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JOVACO Solutions

The Three Main Takeaways from Directions North America 2017

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The Directions North America conference caused a lot of stir since it took place from September 17 to 20 at the JW Marriott Hotel in Orlando, FL. News regarding the future of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Edition, which was slated for launch this fall, were received with surprise on the part of the crowd. However, very promising product demonstrations have also caught our attention during this event.

As JOVACO was of course in attendance, here are our 3 main takeaways from the conference.

 

1. Change of course for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Edition

Microsoft is currently reviewing its strategy and postponing releases planned this fall until spring 2018. As such, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Edition, which was expected to launch soon, is currently being reviewed as Microsoft seems to be moving away from the idea of two different product versions, Business Edition and Enterprise. Very few details are currently available, except that functionalities and features planned for the modules Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Edition for Sales and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Edition for Marketing will not be launched before spring.

This news caused quite a lot of stir during the initial announcement at Directions North America, as participants were expecting a launch soon instead. Fortunately, the conference also allowed us to see the preliminary versions for the sales, marketing and finance modules (under the current code name “Tenerife”), and these products seem very promising for the future.

 

2. Presentation of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing

Although the official launch has not yet been announced, we’re really looking forward to the release of this marketing application. It offers several functionalities allowing businesses to better meet their needs in terms of marketing automation, which previously required the use of third-party products. The version that has been shown to us allows email marketing, event management and lead management directly from within the CRM.

The solution also introduces new concepts of segmentation and customer journey, which will replace what we know today as marketing lists and marketing campaigns. As the solution will only be available through the cloud, JOVACO recommends the use of a full marketing solution such as ClickDimensions for clients whose deployment is on premise.

 

3. Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales available next spring

Lastly, the solution Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales, which is slated for launch in spring 2018, was also presented to the audience during the conference. The unified user interface is compatible with various browsers and responsive to all screen sizes, allowing users to access it from anywhere via the device of their choice and without having to download any apps. The new Relationship Assistant functionality also tracks communications to offer reminders so that you never miss an appointment or follow-up.

Moreover, we were impatiently waiting for the Microsoft Relationship Sales solution as well as the improved integration to LinkedIn: these make it possible to view and synchronize LinkedIn data for Leads, Accounts, and Contacts, ensuring that users have quick access to this information to improve their productivity and build stronger relationships with their clients and buyers.

 

With all these new announcements, Directions North America was undeniably an eventful conference. JOVACO Solutions is looking forward to see in which direction Microsoft will steer Microsoft Dynamics 365, as the product and module demonstrations were very promising. We will of course keep our clients up to date as soon as new details are made available.

By JOVACO Solutions, Microsoft Dynamics 365 specialist in Quebec

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