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22. March 2017

Saudações de Lisboa! (Greetings from Lisbon!) What can we look forward to in the near future in Dynamics 365?

The 8th annual extremeCRM Conference was held in Lisbon from 13th to 17th of March, the meeting of customers and partners of Microsoft dedicated to solutions based on Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Millennium na Extreme365 konferencii v Lisabone

At a time when winter was just coming to its end in our country, Lisbon was definitely worth a visit because of the warm spring weather and magical atmosphere of the city. However, the business reason was no less interesting and entertaining. I experienced very inspiring and challenging 5 days, of which I would like to choose a few key “takeaways”:

Microsoft Dynamics 365 – Business Edition

The first observation – one signed up for an extremeCRM conference but came to an extreme365 conference 🙂 For a few months we have had the “old-new” Dynamics 365 and here Microsoft also confirmes that the platform of Dynamics 365 business applications is a key for them and they invest heavily in its development.
In this half of year we expect introduction of Business Edition which wants to attack a segment of small and medium-sized companies aggressively – with price and functionality “simplified” and tailored to their needs. I am happy about it, as for any “small” company there will be a very interesting and comprehensive Office365 + Dynamics365 solution, perfectly inter-connected and also accessible from your mobile phone and it doesn’t need a server (and I almost wanted to add that there is also no need for any IT person 🙂

Millennium na Extreme365 konferencii v Lisabone
User experience

In addition to the above business edition, 2017 for Dynamics 365 will be characterised by three key areas: user experience, customer insights and integration with LinkedIn.

In the area of user experience we can look forward to further improvements in appearance, adaptability and functionality of applications – not only on the website but also in the mobile app. Finally, for example, we will have the opportunities to change the colour of the text in the box (yes, I know :)) Of course there will be more new things, from new controls to a smart display of the right information at the right time.

Customer and Relationship Insights

Customer Insights and related Relationship Insights are my two favourite new “buzzwords”. Firstly, they belong to the category impossible to translate but they describe especially well what modern CRM should be like today – to intelligently and purposefully collect, analyse and display important data on customers and prospects. I have to emphasize the word “intelligently”, because the new functionality is to use machine learning and algorithms to be able to provide really relevant outcomes.

What does this mean in practice? For example, a smart (and automatic) recognition that you have received an e-mail from an existing customer who expresses objections towards some service, or e-mail from an unknown person requesting further information about a product. The former will be automatically evaluated as a new service request for an existing customer and the latter as a new lead for the given product. It would pop-up straight on the dashboard and in nice graphics 🙂

extreme 365 a customer-insights
Connection with LinkedIn

Nearly a year ago Microsoft bought LinkedIn for a whopping 26 billion US dollars as we already know. Now it’s starting to uncover what it will bring in practice. In addition to improving the business functions of LinkedIn itself (in the form of a special service called Sales Navigator – otherwise a great thing), it is of course working on interconnection of LinkedIn with Dynamics 365 as well.
For example, we will be able to see a person’s LinkedIn profile directly in CRM and synchronise the communication in LinkedIn into the CRM solution, so LinkedIn will become another communication channel available for work in CRM.

Millennium na Extreme365 konferencii v Lisabone

Why cloud?

The last key observation is a little sad for me, but at the same time very motivating. In Slovakia and the Czech Republic, we still have a lot of catching- up to do! Bringing innovative functions in such a pace and quantity requires very agile product development and making it available to customers. Without Cloud, it wouldn’t be possible. I cannot imagine how a customer would deal with deployment of new updates every quarter or half-year. Everything is secured in online environment – let’s say automatically – and new features are continuously made available. If a customer wants to have truly modern solution containing more and more new interesting features, the most convenient and cheapest way for me is to use Cloud.

Many people today hold opinion that Cloud reduces IT costs and liberates IT operations. Wrong. The real power of Cloud is in dynamics, availability and inter-connection of services offered and in an on-premise environment, which would be very difficult to achieve.

This year for the first time, the conference also focused on customers whom the last two days were devoted to. I strongly believe that we’ll meet there next year and you’ll be able to experience it 🙂

Richard Sládek


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