Dublin Summit for D365 Leaders
Last week we held the DynamicsPact CEO Summit in Dublin with more than 30 business leads from our members around the world attending the event. We came together to share and discuss ways in which we can continue to provide world class Dynamics 365 solutions for our international customers.
Microsoft’s Ehrenberg Explains D365 FO Focus for 2018!
This year’s Microsoft VIP guest speaker was Mike Ehrenberg, who is a Microsoft Technical Fellow and the Chief Technology Officer of the Business Applications Group.
In addressing the delegation, Ehrenberg said that, in relation to D365, Microsoft were focused on three key areas:
- Engineering Fundamentals
- Dynamics Integrations
- Embedding Intelligence in the Organisation
In more detail…
Essentially this refers to the reliability and scalability of D365 which is currently strong but Microsoft want to improve this further.
Historically customizations in D365 FO’s predecessor, Dynamics AX, have been necessary to enhance the functionality of the standard solution. However, with D365 FO, the application is richer in standard functionality.
In addition, as opposed to making ‘modifications’ within the ERP software, D365 is designed to promote the development of ‘Apps’ outside of the core ERP application.
The two common environments Microsoft are promoting for such App developments are Power Apps and Flow. Microsoft are forcing this approach to development by locking the application code to prevent the old-style approach to modifications referred to as ‘over layering’.
Microsoft has created defined integrations points to enable Apps to ‘hook’ into the ERP without modifying the core code. This approach will increase reliability of the core system and enable Microsoft to measure, manage and improve the Core Application without impact on customizations made by partners and users. With Microsoft able to concentrate on the engine, much more focus can be applied to its continuous improvement.
To help the application scale, Microsoft have introduced world class telemetry to the application and databases. This enables real time monitoring of the systems which means better maintenance of the solution, both reactive and predictive, improving the user experience and reliability.
Microsoft has released their Common Data Service 2.0 (CDS) enabling easy integration between D365 FO (ERP) and D365 CE (CRM).
As well as being a new integration tool with almost drag and drop simplicity, CDS 2.0 comes with numerous integrations already built by Microsoft. It is being further extended to enable third party products to be integrated using CDS.
In addition, CDS also collects data into a non-transactional repository for ‘Big Data’ via the CDS Analytics feature. CDS Analytics provides two main features:
- The collection of the data to be analysed in Power BI.
- CDS Analytics will also enable the archiving of documents and transactions. This will allow improved data retention in the case of both D365 upgrades and when replacing legacy systems.
Microsoft aim to leverage their rich application stack by making maximum use of their own components.
For example, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning can enable automated workflows based on recognised criteria. Many analytical processes can be optimized by blending AI and human knowledge. The Internet of Things (IOT) enables much more data to be collected for analysis than ever before. It also collects this data much earlier than was previously possible.
More, better and earlier data enables faster and better responses to scenarios. An example would be IOT machine sensors, for example, detecting early signs of overheating. Once identified, this information could be messaged to the service desk enabling predictive maintenance rather than reacting to the problem at the point of machine failure.
As well as learning what Microsoft are focused on, DynamicsPact Chairman, Michael Blatherwick led a packed agenda containing some very relevant topics in the current market place including:
- Project delivery and implementation methodology
- Upgrades from old versions of AX to D365
- Product licencing and pricing models
- And of course, the long running on-premise versus or cloud debate.
Business Built Upon Relationships
This is DynamicsPact 14th year and events like this really strengthen relationships between our respective members. This bond and trust is the foundation of DynamicsPact and once the business of the day was complete it was time to cement relationships with the summit dinner and some good old Irish hospitality.