29 June 2017

With initial plans in place to deliver new Dynamics 365 sales and marketing apps for small to medium sized business by mid-2017, Microsoft are currently lagging slightly behind schedule. However, last week, Microsoft held 3 days’ worth of non-confidential briefings regarding the next steps for Dynamics 365 and its existing product line, which included details on the new unified interface, mobile app updates, business-intelligence additions and more.

To recap, Microsoft had put initial plans for Dynamics 365 in place in July 2016, claiming that it would be largely a repackaging and re-architecting of the capabilities of Dynamics CRM, Dynamics AX and Project Madeira; Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 financials component which is a new small-business software-as-a-service offering built on the NAV platform.

Although the first seven applications of Dynamics 365 have been available since November last year, the Sales and Marketing apps for Dynamics 365 business edition are not, with officials having initially said that these would be able in the second quarter of this year (2017).

Despite this, it has become clear in recent weeks that Microsoft are trailing behind with regard to the planned release of the new apps, with the company expressing that private previews of the Sales and Marketing apps for the business edition will be coming in July (however, no specific dates have been provided as to when the public will be able to access previews/final version of either of the apps).

During last week’s partner briefings, Microsoft officials also announced that the next update to Dynamics 365 for Customer Insights would bring about even more buzzy technologies, machine learning, plus more analytical, predictive and other capabilities.

Clearly, Microsoft is now trying to distance itself from “CRM” and “ERP”, as it was once so commonly known, despite the fact that these are the terms that most customers still use. For those of you who are trying to keep up with these developments, here is a brief guide to some of the branding/rebranding of the Microsoft Dynamics 365 product line (some of which have already been announced):

Old: New

Dynamics CRM: Dynamics Customer Engagement

Dynamics 365 for Operations Enterprise: Dynamics 365 for Unified Operations, Enterprise

Dynamics 365 for Financials: Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Business Edition

Dynamics 365 Enterprise Plan 1: Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement Plan

Dynamics 365 Enterprise Plan 2: Dynamics 365 Plan

It’s a busy time for Microsoft, whose teams are currently juggling several plans for its Dynamics 365 products, including the integration of LinkedIn’s various offerings; and Microsoft will more than likely talk more about these at the company’s inspire worldwide partner conference in mid-July in Washington D.C.