Microsoft made two significant announcements today regarding the tech company’s drive to reinvent productivity for enterprise customers.
The first announcement was concerning Dynamics, Microsoft’s cloud-based Customer Relations Management and Enterprise Resource Planning software. Just like Office’s transition to the cloud five years ago, the various Dynamics apps and services are evolving into a singular cloud service called Dynamics 365.
One of the big points Microsoft made was about Dynamic 365’s flexibility. Enterprises will be able to pick and choose precisely which Dynamics 365 apps they need. Small companies can pick only a few services to start, and as their company grows they can expand their Dynamics 365 apps to fit their new needs.
Companies also have the option to purchase licenses for their employees based on their roles. This helps companies not overpay for apps and services they don’t need as they can tailor Dynamics 365 to each individual user’s needs.
Dynamics 365 will also deeply integrate with other Microsoft cloud services such as Power BI, Cortana Intelligence, and Office 365. Power BI and Cortana Intelligence can help companies gain predictive insights from all of their Dynamics 365 data. Some of the examples in today’s announcement were Cortana Intelligence can make cross-sell recommendations for sales reps or use field data from IoT devices to predict when a machine needs maintenance.
And Dynamics 365 will share the same data model with Office 365. This will allow businesses and developers to more easily build apps which utilize and connect a company’s data in Office 365 and Dynamics 365.
And this naturally leads into the next announcement. Today, Microsoft unveiled AppSource. We learned about AppSource last week when an incomplete version of the website was published early. The Rick Astley video is now replaced with the real thing and the website is up and running.
AppSource is Microsoft’s listing for cloud-based apps that enterprises can use with Office 365, Azure, Power BI, and Dynamics. These third party apps can be added into Microsoft’s cloud services to customize or enhance functionality. Businesses can also try out apps before they commit to anything.
From AppSource, companies can search for apps by categories such as Analytics, Customer Service, or Productivity. They can also search by what industry they are in or specifically which Microsoft product they want to add apps to.
AppSource is up and running as of today, but Dynamics 365 won’t launch until the fall.
These two announcements, along with many other recent updates, continue to show Microsoft is dedicated to providing robust cloud offerings for business. And by running all of their apps on a common data model, Microsoft is building a strong cloud platform that businesses can use to run almost every aspect of their business.