The world is awash with digital transformation. Every customer and partner that I talk to, across every industry, is pursuing it. Why? To stay ahead of the competition, realize new opportunities, new markets and reimagine how they do business.
For companies to reimagine how they do business, they need to reimagine the processes at the very heart of their enterprise. These business processes connect the people, data and systems distributed across every enterprise and connected to every customer. Yet, despite all the technology at our disposal today, these business processes – and the systems behind them – are often complex, cumbersome and unintelligent. We believe there is a better way and our vision, quite simply, is to make it easy for every business – and every business function – to transform how people work.
To that end we introduced Dynamics 365. Our unification of the siloed CRM and ERP systems of the past, and the beginning of a world of business applications. Applications infused with intelligence that let you start small, transform specific functions, and grow as you need.
Since then we’ve introduced new applications, like Dynamics 365 for Talent, to help you manage your most precious resource – people. We’ve also put the world’s largest professional network at the fingertips of your sales organization, with the Microsoft Relationship Sales solution, and celebrated how customers like Visa, Dolce & Gabbana and Chemonics are putting Dynamics 365 to work for their business.
This week at Ignite I’m excited to share new technologies you can bring to bear for your business, including, new Dynamics 365 AI solutions, modular applications that take our promise of starting small one step further, integrations that make it easier for any business user to build apps that extend and automate their business processes, and greater LinkedIn integration.
Introducing Dynamics 365 AI solutions
AI – powered by decades of research from Microsoft– is already infused throughout Dynamics 365. These new solutions are designed to tackle high value, complex scenarios – end to end. To do that we apply cutting edge AI technologies to existing Enterprise scenarios and tailor it to your existing processes, systems and data. The first solution – introduced in Satya’s keynote at Ignite – is focused on customer service. It includes an intelligent virtual agent for customer care, an intelligent assistant for customer service staff and conversation management tools, all powered by Microsoft AI.
We’re already using this solution in Microsoft Support – along with Australian Government Department of Human Services, HP Inc. and Macy’s – to handle more customer requests, in a shorter amount of time, while improving overall customer and employee satisfaction. You can read more about these solutions at Gugg’s [Steven Guggenheimer] blog on Business AI, here.
Start even smaller
While we continue to offer a complete line of business solutions, like Dynamics 365 for Talent – which includes core Human Capital Management (HCM) capabilities a company needs, we realize some customers need more targeted solutions.
For example, most business have a core HCM system for basic functions like payroll and benefits management. To transform that entire system – and every HR related business process – can be quite an undertaking. So, we are introducing easy to implement, modular SaaS apps designed for business users that let you transform a single process, like how you engage job candidates or onboard new employees. These apps are more like the consumer apps we all use every day, apps that let you get up and running quickly. They take advantage of your existing data, connect to your existing systems, deliver insights from LinkedIn and connect to Office 365 and Dynamics 365 to delivering meaningful results, in minutes.
The first two modular apps we will introduce are Dynamics 365 for Talent: Attract, and Dynamics 365 for Talent: Onboard – they will allow talent leaders and hiring managers to more easily:
- Attract the right people. Profile the most qualified candidates for your company and role, gain better insights into the hiring pool and improve the ROI of your hiring process. Job candidates are also engaged with their own application experiences.
- Onboard new hires to accelerate productivity and ignite employee success. Personalize the onboarding process with the right resources, training and team connections.
These new apps will be available later this year and are just the start of our plans to help you transform your business, one discrete, high-value business process at a time.
Bringing more of LinkedIn to Microsoft Relationship Sales
Customers familiar with LinkedIn and Dynamics 365 tell me that Microsoft Relationship Sales is changing how they connect with their customers, and we are going to make it even better. Below are a few of the improvements we are making to how insights from LinkedIn Sales Navigator are surfaced within Dynamics 365 for Sales. For a comprehensive list and additional details, please visit the blog from LinkedIn’s Steven Kaplan here.
- To better elevate relationship insights, we’ll be updating the user experience to move beyond a standard widget, and instead offer fully configurable insights that take advantage of immersive experiences and intelligent business processes to allow for increased flexibility and adaptability to a seller’s unique sales process.
- Soon LinkedIn InMails and messages will be able to be sent directly from within Dynamics 365 for Sales and these activities will be added to the Relationship Insights capabilities of Dynamics 365 for Sales. This will allow Relationship analytics to be expanded to included activities such as InMail and PointDrive interactions as well as all Relationship Assistant cards to be triggered with LinkedIn data.
- Customers will be able to natively render profile photos from contact records in LinkedIn, enriching lead and contact data directly within Dynamics 365.
Making it easier for every business user to create, augment and extend business applications
Since we launched PowerApps and Microsoft Flow 12 months ago we’ve been working to realize the vision of a single low code/no code app platform.
At Ignite, we’ll showcase new integrations between PowerApps, Microsoft Flow, Office 365 and Dynamics 365 that make it easy for any business user familiar with InfoPath forms, Access databases or SharePoint to build apps that extend and automate their business processes. Now customers can use PowerApps to:
- Create a custom list form experience within Office 365, enabling users to easily extend task-specific forms that embed directly in SharePoint
- Embed your PowerApps directly into SharePoint pages with a web part
- Use a point and click rule builder to express conditional logic in apps for formatting and actions. This will enable the creation of sophisticated apps in less time without the need to create advanced formulas
- Upload attachments into a list, and multi-select items from a list, with improved SharePoint column types support
and Microsoft Flow to:
- Implement a modern approvals system using Flow, SharePoint, OneDrive, and Dynamics 365
- More easily create approval workflows using Built in SharePoint document library support for Flow
In Q1 2018, we will add support in the Common Data Service for relationships and server-side logic, enabling richer data bound apps to be built using the simplicity of PowerApps. Please check out the latest posts on both the PowerApps blog and the Microsoft Flow blog for additional details.
A growing business app ecosystem – powered by partners
Customers are already taking advantage of the more than 2700 applications, from over 1400 ISVs, available through AppSource – our destination for business users to discover, try and get line-of-business SaaS apps.
This week we are announcing the addition of consulting services offerings to AppSource to help our customers find quality consulting services from experienced partners for their next project. Business users in the US can search the catalog of more than 100 pre-defined offerings, with more offerings and country support to come. More details on this announcement can be found at the AppSource blog here.
From new AI solutions designed for the most complex Enterprise scenarios, to modular apps that let you tackle transformation one discrete business process at a time, we are building Dynamics 365 to meet you where you are, at every step of your journey.
Visit https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/home to learn more about the next steps you can take to drive your business forward.
We're always looking for feedback and would like to hear from you. Please head to the Dynamics 365 Community to start a discussion, ask questions, and tell us what you think!