It is only by CHOICE that an Enterprise continues to suffer the maladies associated with rampant, “pop up” applications.

I hope you’re now wondering what in the world is a “pop up” application.  It’s a term of endearment that I use to describe what happens when an enterprise group (department, division, individual) has a need for a software solution and the IT team has no time or resources to meet the need.  Before you know it, the enterprise now owns “Tammy’s Terrific Monthly Birthday List Generator”.  Tammy, you see, “knows a guy” (let’s call him Fred) in her department who knows a bit about Microsoft Access or Excel – and at the cost of two pizza lunches, Tammy’s problem is solved.

As we well know, however, the real problems have just begun.  Poor Fred, he actually has a job in the enterprise that has nothing to do with ongoing support of Tammy’s application.  Tammy can only afford so many pizzas.  Of course, Tammy finally calls IT for support and we can imagine how that goes.

Well beyond Tammy’s little corner of the enterprise, the same scenario plays out over and over again.

It wouldn’t be fair to use the word “maladies” in the opening sentence without summarizing some of the obvious problems with pop up applications.  From the enterprise perspective, Tammy’s app is a problem primarily because it silos (hides) what might be very useful data in the bigger enterprise picture.  It also cost the enterprise money – after all, Fred and Tammy both have jobs to do, and application development isn’t one of those jobs.  From Tammy’s perspective, what seemed like a good idea at the onset came bundled with future unforeseen problems (ongoing support and enhancements).  From the IT perspective, Tammy’s app becomes yet another bit of technology to be supported.  Imagine the skill sets necessary to support a large enterprise full of pop up applications cobbled together from a wide variety of whatever was available at the moment.

Let’s think conceptually for a moment or two and uncover at least the obvious reasons pop up applications always seem to pop up.  I think we can blame the existence of most pop ups on the indomitable spirit of the typical worker (a very good thing) and the over stressed resources of most IT departments (a very bad thing).  Perhaps if we can solve the IT problem, we can also solve Tammy’s problem…. And score a win for the enterprise along the way!

What IT needs is a way to quickly deliver high-quality, robust solutions built on broadly adopted technologies encompassing popular skill sets.  Enter Dynamics 365.  The current iteration of Microsoft’s CRM flagship has shed the CRM moniker.  The reason for this name change, at least in part, is to support the fact that Dynamics 365 is an application platform that allows you to extend far beyond its ancestral CRM roots.  Simply put, if your business problem needs a relational data solution, Dynamics 365 might be just the tool.  Let’s examine those five amazing Dynamics 365 features mentioned above in a little more detail.

Rapid application development (RAD) is a cornerstone of Dynamics 365.  This web-based application allows you to point and click your way to surprisingly sophisticated relational data models with ease.  In mere minutes, you can assemble Tammy’s application with not so much as a single line of code.  The platform removes the need for developer focus on UI, Middleware and Storage and allows for focus on supporting the process – which, after all, is what software is supposed to do.

Dynamics 365 is a mature platform used by millions of people around the world.  A track record like this is not built without product quality.  When we build solutions with this platform, we know we’re building on a strong foundation – tested, tried and true.

One of the biggest advantages of a product that stands the test of time is the way features are constantly being added and refined to meet the needs of changing, growing markets.  When we build with Dynamics 365 we can leverage integrated email, MS Office, Workflow, Mobility, Business Process Management…. And the Azure Cloud.  A robust platform feature set allows us to meet almost any requirement without the need for extended development effort.

Of course, an application is only as good as the foundation upon which it stands.  Dynamics 365 is built from world class server, database and web technologies already familiar to most IT departments.

When an enterprise moves toward Dynamics 365 with the idea of using it to corral the pop ups, a corresponding move toward staff skill sets is also made.  In a sense, we can “future proof” our staffing by limiting the array of technologies for which the enterprise must hire.

More and more, business is turning to “the cloud” for a wide variety of solutions to everyday problems. Although you can purchase, install and run Dynamics 365 on premise, it really shines in the cloud.  Simply put, Dynamics 365 as part of your Office 365 tenant adds the “untethered worker” advantages to an already great platform.

Imagine your enterprise without all the pop ups.  All of your data working together.  Your workforce adapted to a consistent application framework.  Your IT department saying YES and delivering high-quality applications at the speed of business.  Imagine the synergy of your enterprise operating fluidly on the solid Dynamics 365 application platform.

You don’t have to imagine it any longer. Change the way your enterprise meets the future.