Dynamics 365 Spring Release: 5 Takeaways from an Business Solutions MVP


So the Dynamics 365 Spring Release Launch is upon us. 3 days, 14+ hours of videos and presentations and overwhelming amount of content and change. What does it mean for you? Over the next few blog posts, I will attempt to break down the changes and features discussed in each component to help the community understand the impact. However, I felt it would be great to talk about some “Hidden Gems” inside what was actual being presented and as I see it being a Technology Evangelist and MVP.


 

# ONE: DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION IS HERE TO STAY

Digital Transformation is HERE: If you haven’t noticed, or your still using your older CRM/ERP system, your company is at RISK to become insignificant in your marketplace or channel. Your competitors are deploying and using tools that help them understand their business like never before with predictive analytics from Customer Insights showing your customer retention percentage real-time, Social Engagement managing your social brand and online presence giving you the ability to quickly react, resolve and response before your company reputation is harmed. The “Walmart” class of systems is now available to everyone, at every level with Dynamics 365. Think about it too long, and you will get past by a company using AI models to predict, alter and change their business direction before you even know there’s a problem.

 

# TWO: CLOUD, CLOUD, CLOUD

Cloud Cloud Cloud: Cloud is here to stay and Dynamics 365 is taking full advantage of the Azure Cloud Platform. How many times was on-premises mentioned during the presentation by Program PMS you ask? I recorded only 1 time with security team mentioning security changes would come to on-premises as well. On Premises is dead when it comes to innovation. Deal with it. How many times have you been told Azure is nothing more than IaaS? Think again. The solution stack offered via the Azure platform is simply mind blowing, and in my opinion no other cloud partner or platform can keep pace. Azure is no longer about Virtual Machines and Hosting Solutions, it’s become a development hot bed, IOT,  global directory, intelligence & analytical powerhouse! It’s great to see the Dynamics 365 interaction with Azure and its offerings. Educate yourself on what Azure truly can mean for your company. HINT: It’s not just hosting.

 

# THREE: Versatile Platform

Versatile Platform: Many people did not catch all the underlying work to the platform that has enabled the Spring Release to finally escape a monolithic application model and truly become and app centric, modular platform where you can pick and choose the services you need, and that can grow when your ready. Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform team brilliantly executed this move that will set all of us up for the future in many, many ways. First of all, think about having to test all the areas and modules of Dynamics 365 at once. This leads to longer release cycles, inability for rapid change or fixes, and getting bloated to boot. By breaking apart the Dynamics 365 modules into Solutions for Sales (Business Edition/Enterprise Edition),  Marketing and Service this allows each of these areas to work independently of each, removing the dependency will speed up each of these areas ability to resolve challenges and provide new features worrying about a release cycle. I predict we will completely go away from major product releases with Dynamics 365, and follow the Azure release model, of continuous improvement for your business applications, just like the tool you use the most. Your cellphone! It’s updated all the time, with apps changing and updating independently of each other. For ISVs (as fellow MVP Steve Mordue tweeted), this means that Microsoft will now have to work in the same solution model we have been using for System Customization. This will mean great enhancements for the entire community.

 

# FOUR: Unified Client 

Unified Client: As mentioned, the design principals (Uniformity, Styling, Text Wrapping, Font Standardization, White Space Reduction and theming) behind the interface refresh  is based on the new Dynamics 365 interface called the Unified Client. The benefits of the Unified Client are Reusable, Fast Deployment, Deploy Once, Responsive Design, Accessible and Consistent. As seen in the Business Edition, Dynamics 365 App for Outlook and Mobile Versions. Enterprise Edition will get a small face-lift, until the Unified Client can be refreshed across the board. This means, that better than ever before, build it once and deploy every it everywhere. Making sure that all features are available is an amazing feat. As Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella recently stated.. “When we talk about Mobile-First, we are talking about the mobility of the experience”. Customer experience is key and the new client looks amazing. Integration with Skype, new configurable timeline entity that final replaces the social/activity pane and so much more. An entire article will be devoted to these changes soon.

Business Edition Screenshot:

Enterprise Edition Screenshot

Finally, # FIVE: SMB on the same platform 

SMB Platform: The small. medium businesses or business edition version of Dynamics 365 has been eagerly awaited. And this is announcement should be a big win for everyone. I can remember talking about how to accomplish this with the Microsoft Product Team and several MVPS (Donna Edwards, Joel Lindstrom, Steve Mordue, and Gustaf Westerlund). Our concern was we didn’t want another version of CRM, seeing the failures of AX/NAV So-called CRM light offerings. We wanted a solution built on the existing platform with limits (number of  entities, users, workflows, records, processes). Well, we got our wish, and the same underlying platform we love, will soon host the Business Edition “APP” as well. This is a big win for partners and ISVs but also the community. Add in the power to migrate to Enterprise (and possible backwards in the future), this gives SMB the platform the need. Now if we can just stop people trying to find ways to cheat the enterprise license cost and use business edition instead… Think Team Members 🙂

 

 

 


Azure Medics Panel & First Webinar Date Announced!


We have several Azure MVPs & soon to be MVPS signed up to be your first panel for our upcoming Azure Medic Webinar on October 25th. Let’s introduce them here and make sure to follow them on twitter for additional content! I will be your host and moderator for these web events. More details and future webinar dates can be found on our Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1033129676804625/

Greg Leonardo https://twitter.com/gleonardo

Kevin D. Wolf  https://twitter.com/ByteMaster

Santoash Hari https://twitter.com/_s_hari

Scott Dorman https://twitter.com/sdorman

 

 

 


Special Tribridge Customer Invite and Offer to CRMUG Summit 2016!


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Special Invite to CRMUG Summit 2016

Are you searching for best practices in your role? Do you need to train new team members on Microsoft Dynamics® CRM, but don’t have the time? We invite you to join us and your Dynamics CRM peers October 11-14 at CRMUG Summit 2016 in Tampa, Florida. At CRMUG Summit, you will discover the premier opportunity to affect positive change in your career, and Tribridge is excited to share in this journey with you.

As a valued customer of Tribridge, you can save 10% when you register with our special coupon code at the time of check out. Tribridge Discount Code: Summit16TRI. (Ends September 1st. Registrations completed without this code are not eligible for the discount. No post-registration adjustments will be given.) We encourage you to register for CRMUG Summit today and save on your registration.

Here’s what you need to know about CRMUG Summit 2016:
• Customize your experience by choosing which of the 150+ sessions to attend including role-based sessions for System Admin, End Users and more
• Arrive early and participate in two full-days of instructor-led Pre-Conference CRMUG Academy Training
• Exclusive access to the Summit 2016 Online Community
• Network with thousands of your Dynamics Peers, including dedicated networking receptions
• Collaborate with Microsoft Dynamics® CRM Staff, Microsoft  & Tribridge MVPs (@ccognetta and @edwardsdna), and CRMUG All-Stars
• And of course, a beautiful destination – Tampa!
• CRMUG Infographic HERE
Gather your team and join Tribridge in Tampa, Florida this October – REGISTER TODAY! I look forward to seeing you in Tampa. Please make sure to stop by and see us – we will be in booth 731.

© 2016 Tribridge. All rights reserved.
4830 West Kennedy Blvd., Suite 890, Tampa, FL 33609 | P (877) 744-1360 | F (813) 287-8688


Countdown to Convergence 2015! See you there!


Countdown to Convergence 2015

We are less than four weeks out from Convergence 2015 and the anticipation is building! Over the next month we will be sending you, our registered attendees, regular e-mail communications that will provide you with event information, tips to help you get ready, and ways to get energized. We look forward to seeing you in Atlanta!

In this edition: Session Updates | Networking | Atlanta Resources | Quick Links | Next Newsletter Edition

SESSION UPDATES

Now published: General Sessions We are excited to unveil our lineup of General Sessions at Convergence! This year, Convergence will feature seven General Sessions taking place on Monday & Tuesday that will address some of the most important issues facing business leaders today. With content delivered by Microsoft executives and other industry leaders such as marketing pioneer Seth Godin, these strategic sessions will provide fresh, new perspectives and innovative solutions. Search by ‘General Sessions’ in Schedule Builder to review the full list and add them to your personalized schedule today.

NETWORKING

Making the connection One of the most valuable aspects of Convergence is the opportunity to network and connect with thousands of other attendees who have similar interests, similar roles, or work in similar industries. Whether through planned activities or just informal opportunities, you’ll find yourself making connections that will last long after the event is over. Here are few ways you can maximize your time:

  • Review all the opportunities on our Networking page. From Roundtable Discussions to all the offerings that the Convergence Experience Center provides, the options abound.
  • Make sure you’ve opted-in during the registration process to have a QR code printed on your badge. Like a virtual business card, this will let you scan and share your contact information with others easily (don’t worry, you can still go back to your registration record and opt-in if you haven’t already).
  • Read through our Convergence Insider blog about networking at Convergence for some tips and perspectives from past attendees.

New to Convergence? If this is your first-time to Convergence, never fear! We know sometimes it can be overwhelming to try to navigate a new experience, so we’re here to help.

  • Read the latest Convergence Insider blog that highlights first-time attendance tips from some of our Convergence veterans.
  • We’ll also have first-time attendee buttons onsite that you can wear so other Convergence attendees can easily identify you and provide additional help and guidance.
  • We’ll have our Information Desk and roving information staff available to you all week, but if you want to talk with someone in more detail, you can stop by our main Information Desk in the Registration Foyer at the Georgia World Congress Center on Sunday, March 15 between 4:00 – 6:00pm where we’ll a variety of event experts available to help you get the most out of your experience.

ATLANTA RESOURCES

Navigating the ATL Make the most of your time in the great city of Atlanta! Here are a few ways you can find out more about what the city has to offer:

  • Read our Convergence Insider blog about favorite dining recommendations from past attendees. Atlanta has a thriving culinary scene, so take advantage of the many, many great restaurants with your colleagues.
  • Access the Atlanta website that has been specially created for Convergence attendees. It includes information on attractions, things to do, dining, as well as special offers.
  • Connect to #CONV15 on Twitter. Share any recommendations you have and see what others are saying!

QUICK LINKS

Key Convergence Web Links Convergence Social Media Links
Convergence website   Agenda   Session Catalog / Schedule Builder   Sponsor/Exhibitor listing   FAQ Convergence Community page Facebook Twitter (and use #CONV15) LinkedIn YouTube

NEXT NEWSLETTER EDITION

What to expect The next edition of the Countdown Newsletter will be all about the Convergence Experience Center, considered the hub of the conference. From exploring hundreds of partner solutions in the Expo Experience, to demos and technical support within the Microsoft Solutions Experience, and much, much more, we’ll introduce you to the myriad of opportunities to learn and connect within this amazing space. Stay tuned!


A Nice CRM Story!


We recently moved to Tampa this year and have started to build a new home. Imagine my surprise when the home builder, Standard Pacific tells me they have our information in CRM.
Excitedly, I ask which brand but they didn’t know. About 30 seconds later it was Dynamics CRM 2011, very well integrated with custom build your home aspx pages that created the opportunity!

I’m so proud to be a customer and support a dynamics CRM company. Of course they had some small complaints, maybe I can barter for some fixes for more options in our home! It also turns out that they are a Click Dimensions Customer! www.clickdimensions.com.

Just wanted to share with everyone including the product team! Btw If you’re looking for a new home, please contact Lizz Owen at LOwen@stanpac.com or 813.494-8105! She was fantastic!

lizz


Convergence 2014! Are you ready?


We are less than 30 days away from the biggest Dynamics event of the year. If you haven’t been to Convergence before, let me say that I would gladly give up my personal vacation time to attend. Convergence is the mecca for all things Dynamics including Dynamics CRM and ERP solutions, along with training courses from the CRMUG!

You will also find partners like Tribridge, and other ISV’s like ADX Studios and Trillium. Make sure to stop the booths inn the Convergence Expo! Convergence will be Atlanta GA Convention Center – March 3 – March 7, with CRMUG training on March 7th.

I will be presenting at both the CRMPC and CRMUG (partner and users groups) On Monday and Friday:
Dissecting CRM 2013 Upgrades – Best Practices and Lessons Learned at 3:15 – 4:00 pm
I will also be a member of the 2014 Convergence Social Media team, so you can find me at the Social Media Command Center, as well as with the Tribridge team during lunch and evenings at booth 609.

Looking forward to seeing everyone there, please stop by and introduce yourself!

Convergence Email Signature

Link to the event:
http://www.microsoft.com/dynamics/convergence/atlanta14/#fbid=UQz7ZnILZ1g


MVP Summit 2013


Thank you again to the community for helping me achieve this MVP Award for my second year.

One of the main reasons I wanted to become an MVP was not only to help others, but the deep interaction with Microsoft CRM product team. This is the core benefit of the MVP program. This November 18-23 will be no different as all Microsoft MVP’s are headed to Redmond for interaction with their prospective product teams.

From the CRM MVP team, it was great to see so many of my fellow MVP’s including some new ones from around the Globe. The interaction with this team of MVPs is priceless, second to none. We communicate daily with each other and form a giant virtual helpdesk helping each other with the daily challenges our companies, users and other MVPs encounter.

Unfortunately, all content from the MVP Summit is under strict NDA so we cannot share with you any details. Best Rest Assure, knowing that more good things are on the way from the CRM Product Team.

Thank you the community for helping me achieve this MVP Award.

We also took our customary CRM MVP photo.. I’m the tall guy in the back row glowing in white 🙂

mvpphoto2013

Also got to take a picture with my Italian Mafia MVP’s from Italy! I’m in the middle!

Italianmvps