Microsoft Dynamics 365 to adjust SMB focus to composable solutions, away from Editions

September 18 2017

Microsoft plans to end its use of rigid Business (SMB) and Enterprise editions of Dynamics 365, opting instead for a more flexible approach in the future that will encourage the development of composable applications using the suite's apps.

Microsoft SaaS apps

Microsoft is planning to launch the Dynamics 365 SMB Sales app and Tenerife in the spring 2018 timeframe, while the Marketing app does not yet have a planned release date. All three are currently available as previews. Prior to the "Tenerife" announcement this week, Microsoft had been expected to release the next major version of NAV in late 2017. But the change of course for the products has resulted in the new schedule for the SMB ERP solution.

In moving away from the Business (SMB) and Enterprise editions, the new approach will allow customers and their partners to use apps for field service, project service automation, retail, customer service, and talent - which today are only availalble via the Entperise edition - thus opening them up to a broader audience.

Common Data Service (CDS) will be of paramount importance in connecting these applications, Microsoft GM Marko Perisic told the Directions North America audience. As an example, he pointed to the ability ot surface item data managed in Tenerife in a Sales app interface.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Tenerife Front PageDynamics 365 Tenerife will introduce a new web interface to go with the updated set of capabilities. At Directions today, Perisic provided a brief preview of the new look and feel. He explained that Microsoft wanted to do something new and fresh, while ensuring that customers would still be comfortable using it.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Tenerife Customer Card

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Tenerife list and peek view

The new interface - which is still in work - features a new, more "editorial" looking front page that makes KPIs more prominent with supporting text. The colors can be themed, but the style is more monochromatic. New "peek" views are aimed to provide fast access to information from a list or table view without loading new pages. And Perisic promised that every interface that runs today in NAV will work in Tenerife.

He also acknowledged that today's announcement marked a change of direction that will ask partners to reformulate some plans.

"It's expansive, there's a lot of change," he told partners. "But it is for the purpose of making us all successful ... This ecosystem of Microsoft SaaS apps and partner vertical apps and Office 365 is how we win in the market."

Microsoft also noted a new plan to cooperate with ADP. The companies will create interoperable capabilities between Dynamics 365 ERP and ADP Workforce Now, an HCM solution that covers payroll, HR, time, and benefits. According to ADP Vice President Guatam Sukumar, the partnership will focus on mid-market opportunities. The integration will bring Workforce Now payroll data to the Dynamics 365 Tenerife general ledger, Sukumar said. But ADP also plans to help enrich Dynamics 365 with business intelligence based on their aggregate HCM data across more than 700,000 clients and over 44 million employess. For example, Workforce Now might be able to supply benchmark data that is relevant to the compensation and performance of roles and individual employees at a company.

In announcing the ADP partnership, Perisic also stressed the shared focus on verticals in delivering solutions. He noted that one of the goals of Tenerife will be to encourage ISVs to build even more vertical solutions using the core product, the APIS, web services, and CDS.

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Note: The news on ADP was updated to clarify that the companies are cooperating on interoperability, not a formal partnership. 

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Prior to co-founding MSDynamicsWorld.com, Jason was a Principal Software Consultant at Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC), where he implemented solutions, trained customers, managed software development, and spent some time in the pre-sales engineering organization. He has also held consulting positions at CSC Consulting and Monitor Group.

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Comments

emxgarcia's picture

Oh! But wait... this is only the second round. Guess we'll have to wait then for Dynamics the Apocalyptic Version.