July has been an exciting month. We, at Microsoft, started our new fiscal year and hosted our worldwide partners at Microsoft Inspire in Washington, DC. Thanks to our partners that joined us! For those that were not able to attend, this blog post and our upcoming community call on August 8 will provide you with an overview of the announcements and the Dynamics 365 July update.
Microsoft Inspire announcements
The Verizon Center in Washington, DC was filled with thousands of enthusiastic partners for the Day 1 Vision Keynote. Satya Nadella, Microsoft Chief Executive Officer, announced that attendees at Microsoft Inspire come from 140 different countries, and that the joint efforts of all these partners create 17 million jobs worldwide. This hard work and dedication to provide the best solutions built on Microsoft technology are the cornerstone of our success, and the reason why Microsoft has been and always will be a partner-led company.
Ron Huddleston, Corporate Vice President of One Commercial Partner, announced how we are bringing together our partner-focused teams from across the company to create a new organization called One Commercial Partner. As Ron Huddleston states in his blog post, “This organization is not just partner-led. It’s partner-first, and it was designed to put our focus on your success and growth.” This new organization aligns all partner-facing roles into three primary functions: Build-With, Go-To-Market, and Sell-With to help simplify and optimize our engagement with you.
The Day 2 Vision Keynote focused on the process of digital transformation that is changing the way we work and live. We heard Judson Althoff, Executive Vice President, Worldwide Commercial Business, describe the four pillars of digital transformation that empower organizations to re-envision their business: engage customers, empower employees, optimize operations, and transform products. We were then introduced to several Microsoft partners and their customers, who are already benefiting from amazing solutions that are turning the objectives represented by these pillars into reality. For more details on these partners who are leading digital transformation around the world, read our Day Two blog.
On Day 3, Gavriella Schuster, Corporate Vice President, Worldwide Channels and Programs, and Brad Smith, President and Chief Legal Officer, shared their vision for how partners and Microsoft can work together to address the challenge of transforming a business while protecting data and meeting government privacy requirements.
Brad Smith addressed partners with an inspiring message about the need for all of us to work together to keep our customers, as well as individuals and institutions, safe from increasingly aggressive and sophisticated cyberattacks. To this end, Microsoft has created a Security Practice Development Playbook to help partners better understand and address their customers’ needs. Partners also have a huge opportunity to help customers comply with the requirements of the European Union’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which will take effect in May 2018 and will significantly raise the bar for data privacy protection. You can learn more about the huge implications of the GDPR in this informative blog post, and then review a host of GDPR-related partner resources.
Gavriella Schuster described the steps involved in taking your great idea and using it as the basis for a profitable business model. She then focused on major changes that Microsoft is making to its sales model to make it simpler and easier for partners to engage with the field and show up better with customers together, including the new Channel Manager role that Ron Huddleston announced on Monday.
We announced a host of new offerings to help our partners capture part of the $4.5 trillion market opportunity for digital transformation with our customers. A new program for Dynamics partners is ISV Cloud Embed that allows partners to purchase core Dynamics 365, Power BI, Power Apps and Microsoft Flow capabilities as embeddable building blocks at discounts up to 50%. This will allow you to add sales automation, service line, and operational backend functionality to your own business applications.
Dynamics 365 July 2017 update
We announced the general availability of Microsoft Dynamics 365, July 2017 update. This announcement includes updates for the Enterprise edition and the preview of the new sales and marketing applications for the Business edition.
A couple of key Customer Engagement updates in Enterprise edition are UX enhancements and extensibility. The UX enhancements will improve readability and usability of the web apps making data entry faster and easier. One example of the changes is the removal of whitespace on forms and dashboards. The new Virtual Entities will allow for much easier integration with external systems. They will allow a System Customizer or Developer to build complex business applications to view external data in Dynamics 365 at runtime without having to make multiple copies of the data.
The new Business Edition Sales Application will be familiar to existing Enterprise edition customers, as it is built on the same platform but optimized for small-to-medium businesses. We have streamlined the setup, administration, and customization of the application with a new wizard-driven installation to get customers up and running quickly. One example is the automatic integration and configuration with Exchange Online and SharePoint Online. You can gain access to the Business edition preview by signing up for the Dynamics 365 Insider Preview program (Register Today – Dynamics 365 Insider Preview Program).
This is just a sample of the many highlights included in the July update for new and existing applications. For a comprehensive list and more details, make sure you visit the “What’s New” section of our public roadmap and our Dynamics 365 product documentation portal.
- Watch all sessions and get up to speed with all great announcements from Microsoft Inspire
- Read the Microsoft Dynamics 365 July 2017 update from Alysa Taylor
- What’s coming for Customer Engagement, Enterprise Edition, in the July 17 update for Dynamics 365 (online)
- Developers: What’s coming in Customer Engagement in the July 2017 update for Dynamics 365 (online)