Microsoft Dynamics 365 Grand Unveiling
This month, Microsoft began to bring their Partner Network up to speed with the highly anticipated Azure Cloud hosted Dynamics CRM and Dynamics ERP combo. It’s the first time we’ve seen the Common Data Model used to such great effect joining business processes with business productivity in a way that not only creates one big feedback loop for insight, but also licensed the way that many of our customers will be thrilled to be able to buy.
The final launch is set for the 1st of November. Our MD Billy Lyle has a countdown on his calendar and time set aside to get stuck into the workings of the system. Because of the way we like to service our clients, the whole team will be reviewing how the new features and capabilities are going to benefit each of our clients, existing and new.
Writing over the weekend, Billy said “This isn’t just an upgrade. It’s going to make Dynamics 365 the most comprehensive and user-friendly business productivity platform in the category. For our existing clients, there is huge opportunity to have ERP, CRM, Business Intelligence and productivity tools such as Outlook and Excel all working on a single platform. Imagine the insight you will be able to get into your business when your full team can see all interactions with the customer from one single location. This will mean that the full team is empowered to deal with the customer in the best possible way. Management can also get there KPIs real time with the granularity needed to know exactly what to do to continue an up surge and, to stop any negative trends quickly and effectively. That’s just the tip of the iceberg of what this level of integration can do.
We’ll have more information soon but if you can’t wait that long you can read our FAQ document from earlier this month and we’ll also soon be hosting a Dynamics 365 Introduction Webinar, which you’re invited to register for.
What about Microsoft Dynamics CRM?
Whilst, CRM Online will cease to be available for new implementations as of the 1st of November, existing CRM Online customers can continue as normal. Your Dynamics CRM is safe. You can continue to add new users under the CRMOL and AX SKUs until renewal. You will also have transitional prices you can transact for Dynamics 365 SKU’s. If you are at renewal already, you will transition to 365.
If you’re On Premise, you won’t be forced to move to Cloud, nor will you find yourself unsupported. Microsoft has committed to continue developing and supporting the on premise versions of Dynamics AX and CRM for the foreseeable future.
And if you’re considering moving to Cloud? Talk to us and let’s see how 365 compares to how you’re currently doing things. What we can tell you is there will be a 40% Customer Cloud Transition discount for On Premise customers who purchased their licenses before 31.10.16 and that will remain open until 1.11.19. The discount is called a “Cloud Add On’ which means you need to have an active enhancement plan or software assurance.
UK Data Centres
Back in September, Microsoft Cloud brought its cloud locality commitment to the UK. It’s in response to UK requirements for local data storage to enable UK back ups and UK legal compliance and has already secured the business of The UK Ministry of Defence, Aston Martin and the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. The Cloud focus appears to be paying off with Microsoft shares at a new high.
Ever wondered what a data centre looks like? We don’t have footage of the new UK one yet but here’s what one looks like from the inside:
The Next Generation of Humans:
HP and Microsoft have paired up to transform how technology is used in schools. The three UK schools that are part of the project will use Learning Studios to “reinvent the classroom as a space for students to design, create and invent through innovative technology.
Using Skype, Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft OneNote and Office Sway, pupils will build a variety of skills, including design thinking, 3D design, visual communication, invention literacy, digital storytelling and social entrepreneurship. They will also be encouraged to foster greater collaboration with teachers, afterschool programme leaders, administrators and parents, who have all been encouraged to play active roles in the learning experience. Their schools will be provided with ongoing training, support, resources and evaluation as well as the technology.
Here’s what we might see from Microsoft’s $26bn purchase of LinkedIn:
- Single sign on for CRM and LinkedIn – Single sign on already exists for Office 365 and Dynamics CRM Online so it makes sense to include LinkedIn.
- Sales Navigator Integration with CRM – the lead and contact discovery tool will most likely feature in the integration.
- Contact Discovery & Data Cleansing – Imagine a world with intro requests from the CRM Interface, being able to import LinkedIn contacts into CRM, discovering other contacts at the same organization, keeping CRM data content current. E.g. job title as people move around.
- HR Integration – enabling teams to discover and research candidates then manage the relationships within the CRM. For existing employees, it will be easier to keep employee profiles in line with brand where required.
- Messaging – Instead of email, CRM users might be able to send messages to LI contacts and track the interactions in Dynamics.
- Social Engagement – we hope to see the LinkedIn API opened up to up Microsoft’s Social Engagement game yet another notch.
What’s being said about the acquisition:
““I’d do everything differently, but this goes into the category of ‘you can’t win them all,” Marc Benioff, Salesforce CEO
“Just as we have changed the way the world connects to opportunity, this relationship with Microsoft, and the combination of their cloud and LinkedIn’s network, now gives us a chance to also change the way the world works,” LinkedIn CEO, Jeff Weiner stated in Microsoft’s release.
In other Tech news…
- There was much speculation that Salesforce would buy Twitter but CEO Marc Benioff has now told the FT it’s officially off the cards.
- AI has had a fair few headlines with Stephen Hawking naming it as either the best thing or the worst thing to happen to humankind. AI and Machine learning are often confused – read more about it in this Wired article.
- Facebook is now reported to be taking on food ordering, event ticketing and more in an effort to grow the ‘stickiness’ of its platform.
- We saw Google admiring retool Apps for Work and Apple leveraging its relationship with IBM. Facebook are reportedly soon launching their business focused Facebook at Work. Everyone is suddenly very interested in the Enterprise market (that’s all of you) but all of these advances still don’t get them anywhere near Microsoft’s level which is more accessible than ever with the Dynamics 365 pricing approach.
If there’s anything you’d like to hear our views on, or particular tech info you’d like to see on our site or on social, let us know and we’ll try our best to include it.
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