CRMUG Summit16This year’s CRMUG Summit 2016 in Tampa, FL did not disappoint.  This conference is hosted annually by Dynamic Communities and this year brought together users of Dynamics Products AX, CRM, GP and NAV for their own separate educational tracks bringing the entire attendance in Tampa to over 6,500 attendees.

With a 63% growth rate in attendance over the 2015 Summit, not only were there ample users of the product to network with and learn from, but it provided a perfect platform for Microsoft to announce significant changes to the Dynamics product lineup.

During the conference keynote address, Microsoft formally announced the release of Dynamics 365.  With the release of Dynamics 365 on November 1st, the silos of CRM and ERP are no longer.  The Dynamics 365 platform now will incorporate in one platform the following products:

  • Dynamics 365 for Sales
  • Dynamics 365 for Customer Service
  • Dynamics 365 for Field Service
  • Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation
  • Dynamics 365 for Marketing
  • Dynamics 365 for Customer Insights
  • Dynamics 365 for Operations
  • Dynamics 365 for Financials

Users of Dynamics 365 will be presented with a unified experience across all the above applications as a result of the common data model that the new platform is built upon.  With the common data model, data stored within Dynamics 365 can be surfaced across all of the business applications.  In addition, the common data model will allow the platform to connect with Office 365 and additional outside applications.

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In addition to the release of Dynamics 365, the following new features were highlighted:

  • Predict by Versium – a partnership with Versium will offer predictive lead scoring and analytics within the platform. The goal of this application is to identify the most important leads for the sales team to focus on. (Watch Video)

  • Dynamics 365 App for Outlook – will offer integrated functionality that displays the appointments, contacts, opportunities, cases, etc. for an Outlook contact within the Outlook platform.

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  • Built-in Artificial Intelligence (AI) – a significant investment has been made to incorporate advanced analytics and machine learning to provide users of Dynamics 365 with actionable insights. This intelligence will focus around lead prioritization, relationship health, product recommendations and customer intelligence.

One of the outputs of AI is Relationship Assistance Cards that can be leveraged by the sales team.  The goal of this feature is to provide suggested activities and follow-up for the sales user for their assigned accounts and opportunities.  Also, email engagement tracking will allow the sales user to track emails interactions for leads and contacts including visibility of who has opened recent emails or opened an attachment that was included in the email.

  • Power BI and Cortana Intelligence – are natively embedded into Dynamics 365 for predictive insights, prescriptive advice and actionable next steps. Additionally, Azure IoT brings device data to enable preemptive action in business functions like field service.
  • Social 360 – focuses on intelligent social selling (personalized messages, relevant leads, latest updates to grow your network).
  • Omni-Channel Engagement – Microsoft is partnering with CafeX to offer Live Assist (Chat, co-browsing, video platform) for customer service. (Watch Video)

  • Adobe Marketing Cloud –Adobe Marketing Cloud will be available to Dynamics 365 Enterprise customers only. Integrations to Dynamics 365 are still being developed and licensing for Adobe Marketing Cloud will be separate from the Dynamics Enterprise licensing.  In addition a SMB (Business Edition) product for marketing is being developed and is anticipated to be available in Spring of 2017.

Finally, additional platform enhancements announced at the conference included:

  • New Process Flow Designer – the new process flow designer can be used to create business process flows as well as business rules. In addition, workflows can now be tied to business processes if you wanted to associate the workflow to a particular stage of the process (ex. stage entry and stage exit would be examples of triggers for a CRM workflow).

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  • Site Map Designer – is being launched to easily manipulate the navigation.
  • Editable Grids – are coming with this release for both web and mobile. Functionality includes the ability to edit from sub grids, inline editing and nested grids.
  • Learning Path Designer – offers the ability to create customize training/helps areas within the application specific to the organization.

As you can see, there was an ample amount of information sharing at the conference and this was from just two of the 150+ sessions available.

summit-2017So, mark your calendars for the Summit 17’ conference taking place in Nashville, TN, October 10-13th at the Gaylord Opryland Resort so you can experience this conference first hand.

Additional information on CRMUG Summit ’17 can be found here:

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