Embrace new Dynamics 365 features and offerings in the October 2018 release

Jim McGraw, Partner Technical Architect

The Microsoft engineering and product teams deliver again with the October 2018 release!

  • Enhancements to Dynamics 365 applications include hundreds of new capabilities across Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, Portals, Omni-channel Engagement Hub, Field Service, Project Service, Social Engagement, Finance and Operations, Talent, Retail, and Business Central. We’re also introducing a new set of mixed reality experiences using Microsoft Layout and Microsoft Remote Assist.
  • New intelligence applications employ decades of AI work pioneered by Microsoft Research to make Dynamics 365 more intelligent. You can enhance sales performance and planning with the new Dynamics 365 AI for Sales application.
  • New Power Platform capabilities combine Power BI, PowerApps, Microsoft Flow, the Common Data Service for Apps, and Power BI dataflows into an unmatched palette of tools to extend, customize, and integrate Dynamics 365 and Office 365 into your environment.
  • Data integration provides built-in connectivity to the Power Platform and more, with data across hundreds of business systems, enabling rich and intelligent experiences. The Common Data Model provides semantic consistency for canonical business entities across Dynamics 365, Common Data Service for Apps, and Power BI dataflows, increasing value and saving time for application developers, ISV partners, and integrators.
  • Deeper integrations with other Microsoft products offer seamless experiences with Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Outlook, Teams, SharePoint, Stream, Azure, and LinkedIn. We’ve enhanced Dynamics 365 with data and signal from Office 365 and Bing.
  • Performance, usability, and supportability enhancements improve the applications and underlying platform, and provide a better experience for you to run your businesses.

The massive investments in IP, sales motions, and new product development made together by the partner community and Microsoft to keep us at the top of the leader board in innovation, product uptake, and customer value! We’ve seen a lot of fascinating new IP and product extensions at events such as Inspire, Digital Transformation Academy, The Business Applications Summit, Ignite, the Dynamics User Group Summit, and Inner Circle—with even more coming at Extreme365.

Following the annual summer and fall rounds of conventions, summits, and inner circle events, we’re coming to the mid-point (H1) in Microsoft’s fiscal year, the beginning of a new fiscal year for many in our partner community. We’re seeing the results of partner and Microsoft investment in great new content from our product teams and partner community, in the form of industry-focused content on AppSource and in OCP Catalog. D365 Business Central has had an inspiring start, with many GP, SL, and CRM partners taking up the product as a complementary revenue stream to their existing product lineup—offering great value to our shared customer base, and an SaaS-based offering to drive incremental monthly recurring revenue.

In the same vein, we’re seeing many of our partners begin to cross-sell Office 365, the Power Platform, and Azure-related services around Data & AI, Cognitive Services, and storage. These are all great motions that drive additional revenue for the partner community and are in line with broader market trends across SMB, SMC, and EC customer market segments.

The types of questions we’re hearing at the One Commercial Partner (OCP) team continue to be around readiness, technical readiness, practice development, and—from our ISV partners—how to go to market through the indirect partner sales channel or with the Microsoft field sellers to introduce industry-specific solutions and create a differentiated sale. With that in mind, here are a few guidelines and insights for fall sales and technical readiness motions:

We’re looking forward to seeing you on our next community call on November 13, when we’ll go over some of the new features from the October 2018 release, so until then. Happy selling!

Business Applications Technical Community