Mapping out the future – Dynamics 365’s priorities for success

by | Feb 15, 2019

If you’re a regular reader of our blogs, by now you should be familiar with Microsoft’s monthly update cycles.
Designed to improve its existing service offering, updates are routinely introduced to Office 365’s entire toolset, enhancing user experiences by addressing customer feedback.

This means all changes are carefully strategised with the userbase in mind – every update has a purpose and is implemented in a way that does not negatively impact the accessibility of the application.

While some updates can be a nice surprise, other changes require significant planning from businesses, and Microsoft’s public product roadmaps provide valuable insights into the features that will be made available during the next round of updates.

Continuously developing new capabilities to enable digital transformation, Dynamics 365 is one of the services that benefits from a Power Platform product roadmap, divided into key sections and categories.

Forward-planning with ease

In total, Dynamics 365 includes eight different product roadmaps, all of which outline priorities for the application’s future updates.

These categories are: Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, Field Service, Finance and Operations, Retail, Talent and Business Central.

The roadmaps give a glimpse of what Microsoft is planning to offer to the market, publishing release notes prior to each major update to help customers and partners plan for new capabilities.

Providing security, reliability and performance updates throughout the year, Dynamics 365 uses the product roadmaps to direct customers, especially in the build up to its two major updates of the year, scheduled for April and October.

Taking a closer look at each of the categories, users can uncover important clues and information about what the future may hold for the service.

Marketing

Closer inspection into the Marketing roadmap presents three major priorities.

One of these is described as actionable intelligence, which enables organisations to better target and engage customers and prospects across the campaign lifecycle with AI-driven insights, allowing users to harness important data to deliver a more focussed service.

Omni-channel personalisation is another roadmap priority, which aims to build optimised target segments, while crafting personalised content, and orchestrating effective communication strategies across different channels.

The final priority outlined is integrate and extend, allowing the app to integrate with the Microsoft Cloud and connected Dynamics 365 apps, while crafting a tailored experience by extending marketing API’s. This provides users with a personalised and in-depth user experience.

Finance and Operations

The Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations roadmap again details three key priorities for future updates, designed to enhance the overall user experience.

The first is global platform and productivity, which aims to drive innovation with an intelligent application that’s easy to tailor, ensures global compliance and can extend and connect to other apps and services, allowing users to work seamlessly and keep all vital information in one location.

Other priorities include finance services and industries, which looks to deliver more robust reporting, and operations, which focuses on maximising the agility and efficiency of your work – enhancing productivity within fast-paced environments.

Sales

Like the previous two categories, Sales also has three key priorities that future updates aim to satisfy.
Sales performance and productivity represents the ability to close deals with team collaboration and guided selling, using insights to make accurate forecasts.

This feeds into the second priority outlined in the roadmap, which covers insights in AI – making it easier for sales professionals to determine important information and data by automatically uncovering insights and identifying key revenue drivers.

The final priority is onboarding and recommendations, which aims to simplify role-based experiences, expanding sellers’ networks and helping users find the best ways to progress.

Mapping out the future…

Microsoft’s monthly update cycles have been well-documented, but this ability to map out future changes before they occur delivers a competitive advantage to all those involved with Dynamics 365. Rather than implementing features out of the blue, the roadmaps are designed to give businesses a chance to plan ahead, and the priorities outlined in each category work as a guideline for all future updates.

Enhancing existing services while adding new features to its most popular apps, Microsoft’s commitment to quality is clear to see. Not only do these regular updates improve the overall user experience, they are previewed within the roadmaps, so no user is caught off guard.

If you’re interested in implementing Dynamics 365 within your organisation, consult our team of experts for help finding the perfect solution.