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Dynamics 365 April 2018 Release News

Dynamics 365

Warning: the latest release notes for Dynamics 365 require ample time to read with 222 pages of new release information, and it's not boring content. It appears that Microsoft has defined the future of ERP. The focus is not just on an update of Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations (Enterprise), it also covers the progress on the platform beneath the application. There is an amazing amount of information on the new SaaS release Dynamics 365 Business Central (NAV), Power Apps, Flow, Power BI, and more.

Here are some highlights of the release for Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations (Enterprise):

Customizations:  Extensibility

Microsoft has changed the approach of Dynamics 365 to customization by moving from over-layering to enabling no-code extensibility. Extensions let the Microsoft Cloud service Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations without disrupting customers and minimize the impact and costs of subsequent releases (upgrades). Microsoft has also added the ability to embed PowerApps in Finance and Operations forms pages and the ability to add custom fields by a power user without a developer.

Microsoft has also finally created an easier integration from Dynamics 365 Enterprise to other Dynamics products: Dynamics Talent, Field Service, and Project Service Automation. There are two integration tools: Common Data Service (CDS) for Apps, which includes templates that are easily configured, and the new Data Integrator tool for Dynamics 365 Enterprise provides an easier way to work with the Common Data Service for integrations to these additional Dynamics 365 products.

Keep in mind that Dynamics 365 Enterprise for Finance and Operations already has Service Management and a Projects module. There are differences in these solutions that could impact your business, so consult with your partner to determine which option is best for your business. Clients First works with many make-to-order manufacturers and repair shops that need the Projects module within Dynamics 365 Enterprise. Project Automation would not be a good fit for this type of customer.

Here is the section of today's Launch that focuses on extensibility:


Lifecycle Services (LCS) 

Telemetry-driven knowledge-base (KB) recommendations that help support understand how well hotfixes have solved an issue can proactively push out hotfixes to customers. This will allow customers to spend less time looking for solutions to problems that are already a published hotfix. Proactive hotfixes - what a concept!

Telemetry is a big part of the Microsoft digital transformation that will transform manufacturing companies by integrating with the customer's equipment for proactive services and forecast planning for parts, etc. 

There is more to read in the New Release Notes document.  

Highlights of Business Productivity Improvements

  • Alerts - Client-based alert functionality enables a user to define alert rules based on business events, such as when an invoice is paid or a customer changes an address. (I am very glad to see this has now been added from AX 2012)
  • Optimization advisor - Uses telemetry to analyze customers’ business processes, finds optimization opportunities, uses application data to quantify the opportunities, and then recommends solutions.
  • Project timesheet mobile - Employees can create and submit project timesheets. The use of saved favorites and the ability to copy from a previous timesheet facilitates rapid, accurate time entry.  Keep in mind that this or any of the project items in this list are not Dynamics 365 Project Automation but for the Projects module in Dynamics 365 Enterprise for Finance and Operations.  
  • Edit default project fulfillment hours - Project resource managers can edit the default hours as part of the project booking fulfillment process.
  • Reserve project resources past the task end date - Project resource managers can fulfill resources on tasks past the current planned end date for the task.
  • Person search report - You can find a person and their personal data in Finance and Operations.
  • Data sharing for customer and vendor tables - Data can be shared across customer and vendor tables and many related tables across multiple legal entities.
  • One voucher deprecation – One voucher is turned off by default through a General Ledger parameter.

Supply Chain Management Updates

  • Vendor collaboration – RFQ process - Enhancements make it easy to tell who entered a bid (a vendor or a procurement department).
  • Partial shipment of a load (split load) - Allows single loads or multiple loads to be fully or partially loaded.  Immediate replenishment of locations - Used during wave execution if allocation fails for a location directive line that has a replenishment template.
  • Reason codes added to warehouse counting and adjustment - Users can add a reason code when performing counts and when making an adjustment.
  • Batch balancing enabled for advanced warehousing processes.
  • Analytical workspaces with embedded Power BI for Cost management – new Cost administration and Cost analysis workspaces

Contact Clients First if you have any questions:  800.331.8382 x108.  Clients First is a Gold Dynamics ERP and CSP Partner with Dynamics AX and 365 Enterprise experience in manufacturing, supply chain, projects, and finance.

Note--Per Wikipedia: Telemetry is an automated communications process by which measurements and other data are collected at remote or inaccessible points and transmitted to receiving equipment for monitoring.

Dynamics AX vs. Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain

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