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One year later: Rating my 2020 Dynamics 365 Business Central priorities for Microsoft

by James Crowter
Managing Director, Clever Dynamics

Back in January last year, MSDynamicsWorld were good enough to publish what I thought should be the ten priorities for Dynamics 365 Business Central. Just a couple of weeks later, leaving an in-person meeting in Seattle (remember those?), Mike Ehrenburg, Microsoft Technical Fellow and BC team leader at that time, thanked me for "giving us our work-to list".

After the recent wave 21/1 announcements, I got to wondering just how many had been resolved and what others should go on my list now. What would my score out of ten be for their performance?

1. Control of Application Updates (done or coming)

With the news that with 18.1 (at least for North America) you will have three weeks in each cycle to choose the date and time you want updates applied, I have what I asked for. With the admin centre allowing you to see what updates were available for AppSource extensions and choose to apply them was a good first step. Combined these two changes give us what we asked for. 10/10

2. Scale up the Support Process

I’m aware this is subjective and for some it's never going to be enough. My experience though has been good. Speed and quality of response seem to have improved and I’ve seen much more proactive messaging. When combined with better partner and admin tools to cancel user sessions for instance and the improvements in performance and reliability, I have no concerns about support right now. 10/10

3. More Telemetry

Wow, OK, you have aced this one, Microsoft, and Kennie in particular. There is way more potential than is being exploited, but the signals are there. Despite numerous examples of extracts and dashboards I still think the majority of partners and ISVs aren’t using much yet. It’s certainly on my ‘must do’ list, but thanks to the mass of other changes never seems to get to the top. 10/10

4. Introduce Solution Design Reviews

The first fail. As an MVP I often get asked about Microsoft future plans because the impression is out there that we have sight of those early. That’s almost completely disappeared with no MVP group activities for a while now. Maybe I’ve just been left out? Some of us have one-on-one calls with individual people at Microsoft, but there seems a comlete reliance on the Ideas site for suggestions. My trouble with that approach is that votes don’t always indicate value and there is no consultation or debate about how the issues highlighted on Ideas could best be tackled. 2/10

5. Early Adopter Programme

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About James Crowter

I'm passionate about how businesses can improve their efficiency by getting process optimal more of the time. For the last twenty five years I've worked to help organisations of all sizes and types implement the ERP & CRM software that typically they decide they need when things are going wrong. I've seen that work unbelievably well and enabled those organisations to rapidly grow but I've also had some hard projects over that time where it's felt more like warfare at times.

Since 1996 (and version 1.01) I've been working with a small Danish product called Navision that's now become Microsoft's Dynamics NAV and I've also been using and consulting around Microsoft CRM since 2005. As managing Director of one of the longest established first Navision and now Microsoft Dynamics partners I've been involved in the complete history including numerous product councils and system design reviews. It's my privilege to know many of the key Microsoft executives and product designers and have insight into both where the products are now and their future direction.

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