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Microsoft Dynamics 365


On March 21st, James Phillips, CVP of Business Applications, shared details of our Spring 2018 release, including version 8.0 of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations. This release is shipped with many feature-rich updates that you can learn about in our Spring release notes and see in action by viewing the Virtual Launch of Spring 2018 video.

With the Spring release, we have reached the two-year mark of the Finance and Operations initial availability to the market. As I thought about the work that has gone into this release, I wanted to take a moment to thank our customers and highlight what we have accomplished in these first two years.

Building on the success of our on-premises offering, Dynamics AX 2012 R3, and leveraging the breadth and depth of its business processes, we set out to build a world-class cloud service that provides a unified real-time view of business across finance, manufacturing, retail, supply chain, warehouse, inventory, and transportation management in one cohesive solution with an intuitive user-interface that enables our customers to run a modern business at global scale. Two years later, it is exciting to see the rapid global customer adoption of Finance and Operations and to hear from customers about the tremendous value their businesses are benefiting from this service.

With the introduction of Finance and Operations, we delivered a new, modern service that shifts from being just a system of record to a system of intelligence. We help customers share information within their organization and across their supply chain by delivering real-time intelligence and actionable, predictive insights to keep business’ competitive using embedded Power BI analytics, Cortana intelligence, and advanced IoT and machine learning technologies. People are empowered to make informed-decisions faster, adapt quickly to changing market demands, and drive rapid business growth.

Highlights and Milestones

The following are highlights of the areas where we have delivered world-class capabilities in the first two years of the Finance and Operations service. For a comprehensive view of the core capabilities of this service and the value it can provide to your business, refer to our website.

  • Over 50 role-based insightful, customizable workspaces that provide an overview of business processes with both transactional and analytical data through visuals, tiles, KPIs, and quick links to reports that drive productivity, while providing built-in, role-based security to limit access to only those that need it. You can find more information in the Build operational workspaces documentation.
  • Built 1,200 pre-defined business process flows that help speed implementations with proven best practices. You can find more information in the Business process modeler (BPM) libraries documentation.
  • Offer over 20 Power BI content packs delivered standard with the system that provide rich analytics that reflect the entire business and provides extensive real-time reporting capabilities that enable customers to get the most from their data. You can find more information in Power BI documentation.
  • Created task-based guided experience that helps on-board users faster with context-sensitive help and assistance to learn functionality faster and reduce support costs and overall TCO. You can find more information in the Task recorder and task guides documentation.
  • Flexible and agile financial reporting that supports multiple legal entities and currencies in a single instance that natively handles foreign exchange and shortening end-of month process. Global Electronic Reporting (GER) that provides a configurable regulatory e-invoicing, payments and reporting that makes the maintenance and extensions of frequently changed regulatory functionality much easier. You can find more information on Financial Reporting as well as GER.
  • Flexible deployment options–Cloud, on-premises, and cloud + edge (also known as hybrid and currently planned for CY2019) – deliver the speed, scalability, flexibility, and control to enable customers to optimize global operations and stay on top of legal and regulatory compliance. Customers can deploy Finance and Operations where their business demands across 20 regional Azure datacenters. See the latest list here.
  • Delivered localizations and regulatory updates across 34 countries and 41 languages, with the latest introduction of support for Brazil and India. Russia is currently targeted for Q4 CY2018. See the latest list here.
  • Move from over-layering to extensions for customizing or extending the application and recently introduced no code/low code extensions where users can easily add fields and embed PowerApps. This enables our customers to still adapt the application to their needs but in an update safe manner, allowing them to take advantage of our innovations in a more continuous fashion. You can learn more about extensions.
  • Increased our financially-backed Service Level Agreement (SLA) to 99.9% to support our customer’s needs across the Dynamics 365 portfolio of applications. You can find more information about our cloud service here.
  • Commitment to achieving and maintaining the industry certifications that our customers need to support their business needs. Our current list of industry certifications includes ISO, SOC, HIPPA BAA and FERPA, all within the first 24 months of running the service. See the full list of certifications.
  • Launched, then expanded our FastTrack service for Finance and Operations to help customers plan for a successful rollout by accelerating the deployment and user adoption with best practices and guidance that deliver greater repeatability and predictability.
  • Rapidly growing Finance and Operations partner solutions through AppSource to help customers more easily find solutions that are more specifically tailored for their industry and vertical.
  • Enabled seamless, connected and configurable business processes across the breadth of Dynamics 365 business applications such as order to cash across Finance & Operations and Dynamics 365 for Sales; and connected business processes across our Field Service, Project Service and Finance & Operations applications.
  • We are committed to Finance and Operations being ready for the May 25, 2018 enactment of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). This includes helping our customers respond to Data Subject Requests (DSRs) with the Person Search Report. You can find more information about Dynamics and GDPR on the Dynamics GDPR page and learn more through the Dynamics GDPR blog post.

And the momentum continues…

All of this, and yet we believe we are just getting started. Our North Star is to drive continuous innovation that helps our customers achieve true digital transformation. This digital transformation is achieved as customers are able to take meaningful advantage of the vast amount of digital signal and feedback that is now being generated by a plethora of customer interactions as well as IoT enabled products and operations.

As we look ahead to the next wave of innovation for Finance and Operations, we will continue to build intelligent solutions, that deliver capabilities that provide our customers with new and improved value that in turn enables them to drive superior business outcomes. An example of this is our recent announcements of deeper partnerships with Armanino LLC, Tyler Technologies and Blue Horseshoe, whereby we will bring key capabilities in some of their ISV solutions natively within Finance and Operations and make it generally available to our customers as part of the service. Customers will begin to see these investments light up in the Fall 2018 release as well as future releases of Finance and Operations. We will also deliver a new wave of innovation that brings advanced predictive insights that uses Machine Learning and IoT that empowers our customers to realize more business impact. We will share more details on the roll out plan through updates to the Release notes.

We could not have achieved this level of success without the help of you – our customers. You have helped us to identify areas of development through our ideas site. You can learn about upcoming features and functionality through our continuously updated Release notes, and understand how to use new features and functionality through docs.microsoft.com. We value your feedback and will continue to invite your input. Thank you!