Dynamics 365 for phones, Power Apps, and Resco: What are the differences and when to use any of them?

logos of Resco, PowerApps, and Dynamics 365

Resco and Microsoft offer time-proven solutions for the mobile enterprise for years. Still, with increasing complexity and new options added, sometimes it may be confusing for companies to know, when and how to use each platform most effectively.
In this article, we will take a look at the Microsoft Dynamics 365 app and Power Apps, and compare them with Resco for Dynamics 365. We will provide examples of their use cases, features, and explain why they more complement each other, rather than compete.

What is Microsoft Dynamics 365 for phones?

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for phones is a mobile app (a dedicated version for tablets is also available) developed by Microsoft. It is designed as a mobile extension of standard Dynamics 365, mainly for people that occasionally work out-of-office.
The core of this solution lies in the unified client interface. Users can get the same experience on various types of devices such as laptops, desktops, tablets, or smartphones. You can get the Dynamics 365 mobile app for free with the license of the standard Microsoft’s CRM.
Dynamics 365 for phones
The App’s functionality includes various basic features such as dashboards, records creation, call and e-mail activities, or sales process flow. These are all mainly oriented on usability within sales-focused scenarios.

Things to consider before implementing Dynamics 365 for phones and tablets

Potential limitations of the Dynamics 365 app primarily arise if you consider its heavier utilization in your work processes. For example, you can enable just a limited set of entities within the app. Views, sync filters, lookups, or depth of configuration also come with limitations and constrained functionality.
We see it as a light mobile app that provides the very basic Dynamics 365 functionality on smartphones or tablets. Its main purpose is to fit for as many customers as possible rather than provide a deep integration with mobile devices, taking advantage of their unique capabilities.

Pros of Dynamics 365 for phones
Things to consider Use case
  • It’s free (if you have a Dynamics 365 license)
  • Native integration
  • More of a basic extension of CRM than a comprehensive  solution
  • Lots of potential limitations in case of heavier usage
  • Offline functionality
  • Best fit for users that just occasionally need basic access to their CRM data – mainly in sales scenarios

What is Power Apps?

Power Apps is Microsoft’s technology that enables anyone to create business apps based on the specific processes. Or in other words, it’s a service for building custom business apps that connect to your data and work across web and mobile. All without the time and expense of custom software development. It utilizes Microsoft solutions ranging from Common Data Service to data sources like SharePoint, Office 365, Dynamics 365, or SQL Server.
At the moment, Power Apps offers the development of three types of applications – Canvas, Model-Driven app, and Portal.
Types of PowerApps
Apps built by Power Apps provide business logic and workflow capabilities to transform manual business processes to digital, automated processes. Further, they can run in a browser or on mobile devices (phones and tablets). All of that is available without writing code.
Power Apps are usually used to handle specific cases like:

  • Help desk
  • Leave request
  • Fundraiser
  • Simple check-out
  • To-do lists
  • Booking app
  • Health-plan selection
  • Employee engagement survey

Things to consider before implementing Microsoft Power Apps

Power Apps is a more of a “mobile-friendly’ solution than application aiming to be used purely by mobile users. That’s why it’s reasonable to use it for straightforward, less complex processes. However it gets tougher when it comes to offline usage, synchronization conflicts, or support documentation. In general, offline mode in Power Apps allows you to:

  • Browse data in galleries
  • Search and sort through the gallery data
  • View details of individual records

Support can be tricky, too. Especially in case of the Canvas apps which can turn out to be essentially anything. There isn’t much documentation on how to use an app once it’s created. If you need help using a canvas app, you have to contact your app maker or Power Apps admin.

Pros of Power Apps Things to consider Use case
  • No-code
  • Simple designing of one-purpose, task-focused apps
  • UI
  • Excel-like expressions for specifying logic and working with data
  • Backed by Power Automate and Power BI
  • Mobile-friendly” rather than true mobile apps
  • Offline functionality
  • Security
  • Support
  • Use cases range from relatively simple to highly specific but with limited offline functionality and support service

What is Resco for Microsoft Dynamics 365?

Resco enables users to connect their Dynamics 365 CRM with the Resco Mobile CRM app available on phones, tablets, and even other platforms like smartwatches and HoloLens. As a result, it enables employees to view, manage, and modify business data on mobile devices, taking full advantage of their flexibility and unique capabilities in numerous mobile-first scenarios.
Sales reps can manage leads and deals outside of the office. Managers can get insights and reports on the go. And field service technicians can complete work orders on site and even offline. With Resco for Dynamics 365, we aim to provide companies with customizable and use case focused solution, able to take advantage of the advanced functionality of mobile devices.
Users can utilize features like route planning, e-mail and phone call tracking, photo and audio capturing, digital signatures, QR and barcode scanning, and many more.

What’s the key difference between Resco and Dynamics 365 mobile app and Power Apps, and what to consider before implementing it?

The first differentiator is the price. As Dynamics 365 for phones and Power Apps come with a free license included in other Microsoft products. Utilizing Resco utilization includes additional licensing cost. You can take a more detailed look at the pricing of the product here.
However, Resco,  aims to outweigh the extra costs with advanced functionality and best-in-class support. One of the main differences lies in the extent of offline and security features.
Resco and UNHCR Resco and UNHCR team during implementation of the joint mobile solution in Cameroon
Resco provides on 100% offline functionality, which allows users to work with their data flexibly, just like in a connected scenario. Real examples best demonstrate it – read the experience of Kemp & Lauritzen which often uses Resco in a completely disconnected scenario.
Major differences are also apparent when it comes to security. While Power Apps caches the data and leaves it unprotected in the local database, Resco encrypts it by default. Advanced security features are also built-in within Resco’s the synchronization process with Microsoft Dynamics 365/CRM system. That’s also one of the reasons why UNHCR, an organization with a extremely high requirements in terms of data security, uses our solution for refugee registration in some of the most challenging conditions in Africa and South America – continuously achieving outstanding results.
Overall, Resco offers hundreds of features developed explicitly to help companies streamline their processes with mobile technology.  Ideal for use cases requiring an advanced, mature, and feature-rich mobile solution.

Pros of Resco for Dynamics 365 Things to consider Use case
  • 100% offline mode
  • No-code customization and development of the app with the Woodford customization tool
  • Support
  • Security
  • Additional license costs
  • Initial configuration of the solution takes slightly longer than with Dynamics 365 for phones and tablets
  • Numerous comprehensive business scenarios including sales, field service, manufacturing, property management, or inspections

Wrapping it up

The infographic below once again illustrates when to consider each of the three available tools. Remember that their usability depends on your requirements, complexity of the use case, and capabilities of each solution.
Resco vs PowerApps vs Dynamics 365 for phones and tablets
Dynamics 365 for phones might be enough for for simple generic scenarios, while Power Apps and Resco offer a lot more functionality and valuable features in more customized use cases.
If you want to know more about Resco for Microsoft Dynamics 365, check out our website or start your free trial today.