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After Microsoft Inspire: What’s new for Microsoft Dynamics?

07/08/2018

In July, our CEO, Haseet Sanghrajka, attended Microsoft’s biggest, annual partner event in Las Vegas – Microsoft Inspire. From learning about future developments for Microsoft Dynamics and meeting key Microsoft UK stakeholders to watching Satya Nadella’s Corenote, here’s what he had to say about the experience.

It has been, quite simply, a phenomenal year for Microsoft. We’ve seen the launch of new cloud-based ERP Dynamics 365 Business Central and incredible growth across Microsoft’s Cloud solutions, including 65% growth for Dynamics 365. And what I witnessed at Microsoft Inspire was the sheer volume and innovation in what they have planned for the next 12 months.

There are many exciting developments on the horizon for Microsoft and Dynamics, and I can already see how this will benefit our clients and anyone using Dynamics software. Workflows will get smarter, collaboration will become slicker and solution updates will become seamless. Microsoft has ensured that both on-premise and cloud-based Dynamics users will benefit from their newest innovations, so there is truly something for everyone here.

AI will drive smarter working

AI was everywhere at this year’s Inspire. Microsoft plans to infuse it into everything, including the new Dynamics 365 AI for Sales, to be released in October. For Dynamics 365, this AI functionality will provide enhanced insights into business performance and improved forecasting and will offer automation capabilities to support smarter working in Office 365. Imagine you’re setting up a meeting in Outlook – AI will detect both attendees are free at three different times and allow you to suggest three alternative slots for the meeting.

Teams will become a core collaboration hub

Teams will become the central focus point for collaboration. It will integrate with Dynamics 365 (previews in October), meaning that for every new opportunity created in Dynamics, a team to work on this opportunity can be built in Teams, storing everything they need there – from project plans to lists to documents – as well as conducting meetings and calls.

Teams will equally be able to integrate your favourite third-party tools such as project management software Trello. The same features as Skype for Business have been incorporated, enabling it to become the VOIP of choice, so that every aspect of a project can take place within the app.

For professionals who have not yet migrated to Teams, Teams will be changing its pricing scheme, allowing free access for up to 300 users. And as for one of its AI capabilities, it will have language translation built in to facilitate international collaboration – quite an incredible feat.

Updates will be updated

Currently, the Dynamics platform does not oblige its users to update every time a new product iteration hits the market. In the sense of having to manually update your own software, this will not change. Instead, Microsoft will automatically and regularly update your Dynamics platform for you in the background.

And if now isn’t the right time for you to receive this update, that won’t pose an issue. Updates will be performed automatically but new features will be switched off as default, allowing you to decide when you want to activate them. This means Dynamics users can say goodbye to losing time updating their platform before a system error can be seen to – all it will take is a click of a button to activate the already installed update, so your Dynamics partner can perform the necessary fixes.

On-premise and cloud users will benefit from AI

Microsoft’s Intelligent Cloud and Intelligent Edge aim to bridge the gap between on-premise Dynamics solution capabilities – such as Dynamics GP and NAV– and Dynamics products in the cloud like Dynamics 365 or Business Central. The Intelligent Cloud can be defined as the cloud but AI-infused and the Intelligent Edge refers to devices connected to the cloud, including both IoT and on-premise Dynamics solutions.

The Intelligent Edge gives on-premise Dynamics users the option to connect to the Intelligent Cloud and benefit from all the new functionality cloud-based users of Dynamics 365 and Business Central enjoy, such as AI and automation capabilities. By democratising the latest cloud-based Dynamics innovations in this way, Microsoft is giving on-premise users a real opportunity to “trial” cloud-based solutions – a great stepping stone that doesn’t require immediate investment in Business Central or Dynamics 365.

Satya Nadella has the last word

Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, has achieved some amazing things for Microsoft, so it is no wonder he received a minute-long standing ovation when he appeared on stage for his Corenote. His approach is very relationship-focused and you can tell that he really wants to humanise the way Microsoft thinks and talks about technology. He was keen to emphasise the positive impact technology has on people and the importance of building trust – the idea of using technology to better others’ lives.

But to convert this positive impact into a tangible effect, Microsoft and their partners need to really leverage the people and the relationships behind the technology they are providing. Delivering on what you promise to implement is just one part of this. The real task at hand is more challenging – to empower clients to achieve their transformation and help them grow their businesses beyond all expectations. A truly inspiring mantra for our team here and for anyone who works with technology.

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