Microsoft is planning to refresh its Dynamics 365 customer relationship management and enterprise planning software bi-annually, essentially on the same schedule as the Office 365 ProPlus and Windows 10 feature updates. The company is making available 238 pages of release notes for its impending Fall 2018 releases of Dynamics 365 CRM and ERP Applications.
Mo Osborne, Microsoft’s Business Applications Engineering group COO said “We are transforming how we do service updates for Dynamics 365 (online). We will deliver two major releases per year – April and October – offering new capabilities and functionality.” The Fall updates to Dynamics 365 will be rolled out between October 2018 and March 2019 officials went on to say further.
The announcement however, only affects the cloud-hosted version of Dynamics 365. Local Business Data (On-premises Dynamics 365) will not receive upgrades nearly as frequently as Online, which is hosted on Microsoft’s Azure platform.
Osborne added “Regular performance and reliability impvement updates will be released throughout the year”. She also said that updates would be “backward compatible so your apps and customisations will continue to work post update”, which implies that 3rd party applications would always run after a Dynamics 365 upgrade. She also said that the upgrades would be rolled out in stages using the Windows 10 model, that starts off targeting end points that have a higher likelihood of successfully processing the upgrade, uses telemetry to measure progress, then tweaks when needed.
So, what happens in October then? Well the Fall update will include more than 100 incremental updates to the core Customer Service, Marketing, Sales, Omni-channel Engagement Hub, Talent, Retail, etc.
Dynamics 365 AI for Sales, the new app that Microsoft demonstrated the other day is supposed to aid sales teams use technologies such as warning about deals being at risk, proactive solutions and sentiment analysis. It will be available for public preview in October 2018.
Microsoft is also continuing its work to better integrate Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Teams, LinkedIn, SharePoint, Azure, Azure IoT Central, Outlook, and the list goes on. In the public preview as of October, users will be able to see the integration between Dynamics 365 Sales with Team, LinkedIn InMail relationship analytics and predictive lead scoring. Furthermore, a preview of Microsoft Teams and Dynamics 365 for Sales, a deeper integration between LinkedIn and Dynamics 365 for Marketing, as well as a better integration between Microsoft Stream and Dynamics 365 for Talent will also be available as a preview.
The company is also still emphasising the applicability of HoloLens AR goggles with the company’s business applications. Furthermore, Microsoft is also continually advancing its updated Common Data Service, which is part of “Power Platform” also due in the October 2018 release.