Goodbye Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online

Microsoft Dynamics 365 was officially unveiled to the public on Tuesday, October 11th. After months (years), of planning, Microsoft pulled out all the stops for its Dynamics 365 announcement at the Dynamics User Group Summit in Tampa, FL. The atmosphere at the keynote can only be described as electric with musical performances pumping up the crowd before Scott Guthrie took the stage. (Re-watch the announcement.)

One of the most surprising, yet unsurprising, takeaways from the announcement was the end of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. That’s right, you heard me. Dynamics CRM Online is no more!

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is the next generation of intelligent business applications. These applications unify CRM and ERP capabilities by delivering new purpose-built applications that work seamlessly together to help manage specific business functions such as sales, operations, financials, field service and project service automation.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 differentiates itself from other business solutions through four pillars:

  1. Purpose-built – build your solution with only what you need. Then, evolve and adapt from that starting point.
  2. Productive – integration with tools you are familiar using throughout your workday.
  3. Intelligent – the ability to make better decisions with built-in business intelligence.
  4. Adaptable – as your business grows, so can this solution.

What does this mean for current Dynamics CRM On-premise and Online users?

Don’t worry, you’re not going to be ostracized from the group. Microsoft still loves you, as do we! Microsoft has said that existing Dynamics CRM Online (as well as Dynamics) AX7 customers will be able to automatically update their systems to Dynamics 365 without making major changes or losing functionality. For those that do not upgrade right away or use an on-premise version, at some point they will find the need to upgrade their CRM, and at that time they may find the need to switch to Dynamics 365. It is important to note that Microsoft Dynamics CRM on-premise is not being abandoned as a platform or as a brand.

SBS Group will continue to consult and assist CRM clients and prospects looking for a standalone CRM solution. That includes all of our clients using Dynamics CRM Online and On-premise now.

However, like I mentioned previously, Dynamics CRM Online will be ending. So, those searching for Dynamics CRM Online will now be purchasing Dynamics 365. Instead of the term “CRM,” Dynamics 365 will use terms like “Sales,” “Customer Service” and “Field Service” to describe its functionality.

dynamics crm to dynamics 365

Is this transition away from “CRM Online” a bad thing? No.

Some may think that Microsoft is distancing themselves from the CRM market since they are eliminating the name. It is actually quite the opposite. As an example, Salesforce has recently re-positioned their brand and now refers to the capabilities of CRM such as the “Marketing Cloud” or the “Sales Cloud,” rather than CRM as a whole. Additionally, Salesforce has changed their pricing model to reflect some of the same sentiments that Microsoft is addressing in its Dynamics 365 pricing model. Dynamics 365 signals an embrace of business solutions as a whole. This solution employs a more realistic business model where employees touch multiple aspects of the business, not just Sales or Marketing. It offers a more holistic approach to managing and interacting with your business application, especially when you factor in the native capability of Cortana Intelligence.

dynamincs 365 intelligence

Why is Dynamics 365 so great? 

Take your pick…

  1. Completely in the Cloud – Simply available wherever you go. (News about on-premise versions will be forthcoming in the next few months.)
  2. Smarter Interactions – Cortana Intelligence populates your feed and activities based on nuances it has picked up on in your emails, phone calls and tasks.
  3. Clean Interface – The user interface of Dynamics 365 makes it easy for users to navigate and complete various tasks quicker.
  4. Native Integration with Business Intelligence Apps – Your dashboards will fill with graphs and key insights to visually show you how your business is doing and what opportunities you can take advantage of.
  5. Seamless Productivity – Office 365 and Dynamics 365 are the two best friends that anyone could have. Dynamics 365 will pull information stored on your Office 365 account and vice versa.
  6. Better Sourced Data and Insights – Dynamics 365 was one of the main reasons for Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn. New Dynamics 365 applications will provide sales reps and marketing professionals more targeted leads and campaign information.

If you want to learn more details about the Dynamics 365 announcement and features, read Robbie Morrison’s latest blog post from the Dynamics User Group Summit16.

It was nice knowing you… 

We will miss you Dynamics CRM Online. The sudden finality of your departure will sting for a few weeks, but knowing we will see your new, powerful younger brother on November 1st gives us excitement and hope for a great future.

Onto Dynamics 365!

Want to learn more about Dynamics 365? 

Contact us to request pricing information and additional product insights.

contact us

New Video Release: Color Coding in Advanced Order Management (2 min 43 sec)

This brief video demonstration is for current and prospective Microsoft Dynamics AX seeking an enterprise solution to assist order management and tracking.

Processing and fulfilling orders are two of the main functions of a distribution firm. If distributors cannot properly fulfill a customer’s order, that customer will turn around and take his/her business elsewhere. Thus, why order management, especially tracking, is critical to a successful distribution firm. But, wait… order management isn’t that simple. How do you know which orders are in process, in fulfillment, shipping or on hold? When you have hundreds, even thousands, of orders in your system, an order can easily get ‘lost’. Lost orders make for angry customers; nobody wants that. AXIO for Distribution powered by Microsoft Dynamics AX helps distributors avoid this problem.

AXIO for Distribution has a powerful Advanced Order Management module that allows users to have real-time data at their fingertips. Order inquiries and status updates are able to be answered quicker and more accurately than before through simple color coding. What does that mean? Well, it means that a user can sort orders by the various colors attributed to different stages or order issues. For example, if an order is green, it could mean that the order is currently being shipped. Now just search by green and the user will see all the orders currently out for shipping. No more need for users to go on a wild goose chase trying to find what stage an order is – it’s right there at their fingertips.

Watch how a Microsoft Dynamics AX expert navigates an advanced order management scenario using the AXIO for Distribution module.


Want to see more AXIO videos?

Videos of Microsoft Dynamics AX with AXIO Distribution

Increase Profits with Consignment and Vendor Managed Inventory for Dynamics AX

Few things, if any, make more difference in a distributor’s business model than efficient inventory management.

The right inventory drives your sales. The right inventory to sales ratio makes you profitable (not taking anything else into account). Too much inventory – you lose money. Too little inventory you lose customers and money. So theoretically, ensuring you always have the right amount of inventory is a major key in profitability!

So how do you manage your inventory?

We are familiar with inventory management methods dating back to WW2 logistics such as re-order points, safety stock and so forth all the way to MRP, Gordon Graham Principles, JIT, Lean Methods and more. All of these methods have one purpose in mind – manage your inventory to sales ratio for maximum revenue.

Not so long ago, everyone started working together – collaborate – to keep inventory stock at a minimum but at maximum customer satisfaction and availability. So along comes Consignment Inventory and Vendor Managed Inventory.

Consignment Inventory (CI): The inventory I (distributor) keep at my customer site(s)

Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI): The inventory my vendor keeps at my (distributor) site(s)


Advantages of Utilizing CI and/or VMI

CI – I (distributor) can increase customer satisfaction and reduce costs by agreeing to place inventory in a customer location at no cost to the customer until they use it. There are major advantages for both the vendor and the customer.

  • What better way to meet JIT (Just in Time) delivery requirements than by having my inventory on site at the customer location?
  • Having inventory on site and available to my customer as they need it – no chance he will order from a competitor.
  • The inventory is still owned by me and – after discussing with my customer – I can still move as necessary.
  • I have total visibility into usage and can avoid returns due to lack of sales as I will be managing this inventory location as one of my own.
  • As part of agreement, ensure that the customer reviews and updates forecasts regularly for more accurate requirements.
  • Agree to inventory cycle counts at regular intervals – our customer can perform them or I may send my sales person – direct regular access to my customer’s procurement department.
  • Negotiate better margins with customers for 100% inventory availability.
  • Negotiate with your vendor to ship replenishments directly to the customer location and save on transportation costs, receiving and stocking costs and pick, pack ship costs to send the inventory to your customer – if the quantities warrant this process. This process alone can make a huge impact on margins for you or a combination of price reduction to your customer and still positive impact your margins.

VMI – I (distributor) can increase customer satisfaction and reduce costs by agreeing to let my vendor place inventory at my location at no cost to me until I use it. There are major advantages for both myself and my vendor that can lead to positive results in my margins and inventory carrying costs and turns for me (distributor).

  • Since the inventory is not owned by me – not invoiced yet – until I use it then the inventory carrying costs are not affecting my profitability or are reduced.
  • I (distributor) do not reflect this inventory as mine my inventory turn ratio is affected positively.
  • Immediate availability will have a positive impact on my lead times.
  • Immediate availability will improve my customer satisfaction.
  • I can negotiate a better price with my vendor as I am managing the inventory and will commit to certain level of guaranteed usage.

Vendor to Customer Inventory Management

Why is this becoming more prevalent?

It’s easy.  The process itself is logical and simple to understand.  Execution is often another matter altogether.  Taking advantage of CI and/or VMI requires having software in place that is capable of automating much of the process.

  • CI – Customer shows usage, distributor system (my system) accepts the usage, creates a SO, created the pick/pack/ship documents to support the shipment and update the distributor inventory, creates an invoice to transfer ownership to customer and request payment, planning system plans to replenish the customer site based on forecast and consumption. Customer now owns the inventory.
  • VMI – Distributor advises vendor of usage so vendor forwards invoice. The distributor system (my system) creates a purchase order, a receipt is automatically created and executed on, the distributor (my) system is updated, vendor invoice is now ready to be accepted and paid. The distributor system recognizes the inventory for planning, allocation and consumption. Ownership is now mine.

AXIO for Distribution Supports Both CI and VMI Inventory Management

AXIO for Distribution provides a complete distribution solution that enables and automates standard processes to support both VMI and CI.  These processes have training and implementation documentation to help you roll out both or either one of these inventory management methods.

Of course, AXIO for Distribution is much more than inventory management.  It is an end-to-end advanced supply chain management software for both small and large distributors. We’ve extended the powerful capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics AX to include industry-specific functionalities that cover all the important processes a modern distributor needs: sales and operations planning, demand planning, revenue management, order management, inventory management, business intelligence, procurement management and more.

AXIO Distribution Features

Built by industry experts, AXIO for Distribution goes beyond traditional enterprise resource planning (ERP) software to tackle the complex needs of today’s distributors and enable business gains.

Please reach out if you would like to learn more about how AXIO for Dynamics AX and Dynamics 365 can help your distribution business operate more efficiently.

Dominic Telaro CFPIM, CIRM
Vice President Industry Solutions, SBS Group

Dominic Telaro brings over 35 years of Manufacturing, Distribution, Software and Dominic Telaro 001 IBIS DT 110113Consulting experience. Half of his professional career has been in Manufacturing and Distribution from shop floor and warehousing positions to management. During this time he implemented ERP, DRP and Logistics solutions as internal Project Leader. The second half of his career has been in consulting, product management, product development and both consulting and software sales. He has held positions as VP Of Industry Solutions, VP of Product Development, VP of Sales and Marketing and Global Practice Leader for companies like IBIS Inc., IBM, Janis Group, Metamor, Marcam Corp. and more. Presently he is responsible for Industry Product Vision for multiple ERP solutions at SBS Group USA.

APICS Fellow and Certified in Integrated Resource Management, Instructor at Universite de Montreal, Vanier College and Granby CEGEP for APICS certification; Lead instructor for internal APICS training at Bell Helicopter, Avon, Le Groupe Hamelin

5 Pillars of the Modern Distributor Whitepaper


SBS Group Named One of Consulting Magazine’s Fastest Growing Firms of 2016

SBS Group was named No. 36 on the list of Fastest Growing Firms.

consulting-mag-awardSBS Group, a leading technology firm and industry innovator, was selected by ALM’s Consulting Magazine as one of the fastest growing firms in the consulting industry. At the Inaugural Awards Gala at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City on Thursday, October 13, 2016, SBS Group was named as the No. 36 Fastest Growing Firm.

Selection as a Fastest Growing Firm is attributed to SBS Group’s commitment to evolution and expansion. As evidence, SBS Group has experienced a three-year growth rate of 103%. This growth rate is a direct result of SBS Group’s focus not only on accounting and ERP solutions, but also business intelligence, customer relationship management (CRM) and cloud technology spaces. Over the past year, SBS Group has launched a cloud marketplace (, built new cloud solutions and positioned themselves to take advantage of the new release of Microsoft Dynamics 365.

“To be honored as a Fastest Growing Firm by Consulting Magazine is a great testament to our commitment to evolve as a business,” remarked James Bowman, President and CEO of SBS Group. “The impending release of Microsoft Dynamics 365 signals a major opportunity for us to continue our growth by delivering innovative, cloud-based business management solutions to the market.”

This year, 61 firms qualified for the ranking, which requires a minimum growth rate of 20 percent to be eligible. The Fastest Growing Firms will also be featured on, as well as in the November issue of Consulting Magazine.

“With off-the-charts growth, there’s absolutely no doubt these consulting firms are shaking up the industry from the bottom up—they are the profession’s Fastest Growing Firms for 2016,” says Joseph Kornik, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief of Consulting magazine.

About SBS Group
SBS Group is a national Microsoft master VAR (Value Added Reseller) with Gold level competency in enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM). Over the past 30 years, they have been recognized as Microsoft Partner of the Year, Inner Circle Member and Microsoft President’s Club member multiple times. The company is headquartered in Edison, New Jersey and operates offices across North America. For more information, please visit SBS Group’s website at Follow us on LinkedIn at, on Twitter at and find us on Facebook at

About Consulting Magazine
Consulting® magazine is the flagship publication of the consulting profession featuring the latest information on consulting careers, thought leadership and corporate strategies. In addition to providing industry insights, Consulting® hosts award dinners as part of our Achievement Awards series – honoring Women Leaders in Consulting, The Top 25 Consultants, Social & Community Investment and Rising Stars of the Profession.

About ALM
ALM, an information and intelligence company, provides customers with critical news, data, analysis, marketing solutions and events to successfully manage the business of business.
Customers use ALM solutions to discover new ideas and approaches for solving business challenges, connect to the right professionals and peers creating relationships that move business forward, and compete to win through access to data, analytics and insight. ALM serves a community of over 6 million business professionals seeking to discover, connect and compete in highly complex industries. For more information, visit

To read the full release, click here.

SBS Group Announces Ray Cardonne as Chief Financial Officer

Cardonne to play pivotal role in advancing SBS Group’s scalable infrastructure to support organic growth and acquisitions.

SBS Group, an information technology industry leader and innovator, announced today the appointment of Ray Cardonne to the position of Chief Financial Officer. The announcement was made by James Bowman, President and Chief Executive Officer of SBS Group.

“Ray brings a great deal of experience to SBS Group. He has a unique background that blends a host of experience in business process, finance and executive-level management. We are excited to have him on-board and to start contributing to our strategic goals and vision,” said Bowman.

Cardonne joins SBS Group with over fifteen years of experience and leadership working as a Chief Financial Officer. During his tenure as a Chief Financial Officer, Cardonne has been responsible for managing all financial functions, including accounting, financial reporting, treasury, budgeting and investor relations, human resources, risk management, legal and business information systems. Cardonne also has extensive merger, acquisition and divestiture experience, and substantial business and management experience to supplement his strong finance background. He previously held the position of Chief Financial Officer at DLB Associates, a global engineering firm specializing in the design and construction of web-scale data centers and institutional projects worldwide. Prior to working at DLB Associates, Cardonne held various executive level positions at Berliner Communications, Inc., Refac Optical Group, and Technology Management & Funding, L.P.

Cardonne is a graduate of Lehigh University where he earned a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree in Finance, a Master of Science degree in Manufacturing Systems Engineering, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering.

“I am very excited to be joining the outstanding team at SBS Group in this exciting period of growth,” said Ray Cardonne. “SBS Group has a terrific reputation, tremendous capabilities and market leadership positions, which is driven by the dedication and talent of its people. I look forward to working with the team to enhance the supporting infrastructure to handle the growth while simultaneously developing financial strategies to execute on new opportunities in the Microsoft ecosystem.”

As Chief Financial Officer, Cardonne will be primarily responsible for the management of the Finance and HR teams as well as the development of SBS Group’s IT systems. He will be executing on aligning people, processes and systems to scale with SBS Group’s strategic goals and vision.

About SBS Group
SBS Group is a national Microsoft master VAR (Value Added Reseller) with Gold level competency in enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM). Over the past 30 years, they have been recognized as Microsoft Partner of the Year, Inner Circle Member and Microsoft President’s Club member multiple times. The company is headquartered in Edison, New Jersey and operates offices across North America. For more information, please visit SBS Group’s website at Follow us on LinkedIn at, on Twitter at and find us on Facebook at

To read the full release, please click here.

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