Summit 2016 - 3 Major Takeaways

It has been a little over three weeks since Summit 2016 wrapped in Tampa Bay, Florida and I thought this would be the perfect time to reflect on three days of keynotes and sessions from users, MVPs, and Microsoft employees with three major takeaways from the event.

If you want a full recap of Summit 2016, I recommend checking out the Dynamic Communities UStream Channel that has video recordings of keynotes and sessions.

Takeaway 1: Dynamics 365 is Unveiled 

Dynamics 365 is arguably the biggest announcement from the Dynamics Team in years. Microsoft finally gave a detailed look (and demo) of both the SMB and enterprise solutions coming November 1st.  What is Dynamics 365? Microsoft describes it as:

“Our new cloud service with purpose-built apps that enable you to address specific business needs (like sales automation, operations or customer service) and start small with the assurance that the solution can grow as your needs do.”

These “purpose-built apps” may sound new, but I’m sure they will be very familiar to you once you hear what they are built on. Microsoft wants to loop ERP, CRM and productivity software into one solution. Apps like Dynamics 365 Financials for Business and Dynamics 365 Sales for Business represent software built from Dynamics NAV/Project Madeira and the Dynamics CRM Sales Module respectively.

Dynamics 365 will have two unique packages called Dynamics 365 for Business Edition and Dynamics 365 for Enterprise Edition. Dynamics 365 for Business Edition will be geared toward small businesses that need an accounting and business management solution. Dynamics 365 for Enterprise Edition will target larger companies that already use ERP and CRM but don’t have a cohesive solution.

Both editions will be available for general release on November 1st and will be priced on a subscription basis.

Take a look at the big reveal here:

Takeaway 2 - Existing Dynamics ERP isn't changing

Because Microsoft is releasing an all-inclusive enterprise solution utilizing current Microsoft ERP software, you may think that they may not continue to support these as stand-alone solutions. While it’s true that Dynamics 365 will be front and center for Microsoft, they are not leaving behind tried and true solutions like Dynamics GP and Dynamics NAV.

The reality is that the two current Dynamics 365 offerings are not fully equipped to handle midsize businesses. Dynamics 365 for Business is designed for small businesses and operates in the same market space as QuickBooks might. This solution will not have the more advanced ERP capabilities that Dynamics GP or Dynamics NAV currently offer and do very well.

Dynamics 365 for Enterprise swings the opposite way. This solution, which requires a minimum of 20 ERP users, is built for larger organizations with needs that require a larger ERP system similar to Dynamics AX. Additionally, implementations cost approximately double that of those to implement Dynamics GP or Dynamics NAV.

As it stands, Microsoft Dynamics GP and Dynamics NAV are the perfect fit for the midsize market that Microsoft does not target with either Dynamics 365 solution. This may change in the future as Microsoft continues to build its offerings, but for the time being midsized customers will do well to stick with the tried and true SMB ERP systems. After Dynamics GP 2016 R2 is released later this year, Microsoft will continue to support and develop Dynamics GP and Dynamics NAV going forward.

Here is the Dynamics GP Roadmap from Summit 2016.

Takeaway 3 - Integration is the future

It’s clear that Microsoft is trying to bring as much integration as possible to their enterprise systems with the release of Dynamics 365. An early example of this can be seen in their handling of Office 365 as a cohesive productivity solution. Office 365 includes classic Office programs of Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc., that use corporate document storage solutions OneDrive and SharePoint for file management. Office 365 also comes with email through Exchange Online and voice communication through Skype for Business. These separate programs are built specifically to all seamlessly work with each other and help you collaborate better with other users.

Microsoft hopes to pull off the same feat with ERP and CRM with the release of Dynamics 365. They will even be using the Office 365 interface on the web as a home for the Dynamics 365 business apps. With Dynamics 365, you will be able to go from your sales dashboard to financial data in one click.

The Office 365 Dashboard - Home to Dynamics 365

The Office 365 Dashboard - Home to Dynamics 365

Summit 2016 was an eye opening experience that gave us a better idea at the direction Microsoft is taking Dynamics and what that means for Dynamics customers.

We are looking forward to exploring what Dynamics 365 has to offer and can’t wait to share it.

If you want to get feature and pricing details about Dynamics 365, contact us using the form below.

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