With updated Dynamics 365 "Tenerife" release plan, Microsoft aims to unify NAV, cloud SMB ERP

September 17 2017

Directions North America

Microsoft will advance Dynamics NAV and Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations Business (D365FOB) edition as a single solution, which is being prepared under the codename Dynamics 365 "Tenerife". Tenerife will result in both a new cloud release and a new on-premises release.

"Tenerife is the single product moving forward in the cloud and on-premises," Microsoft general manager Marko Perisic told Dynamics partners today at Directions North America 2017. "We'll do everything we can to make cloud the more attractive and more profitable option for you but we give you the on-premises option for those who can't go to the cloud." Perisic and others from Dynamics 365 R&D revealed to partners some of the new plans in areas including user interface, Office 365 integration, Azure-based service consumption, AppSource, and accountant experiences.

Microsoft did not yet provide a timeline for the Tenerife release or reveal what its official naming will be. But the decision is intended to confirm that NAV customers have a path forward, either in the cloud or on-premises with an ERP product that use a single codebase and maintains all NAV capabilities.

Tenerife will offer "full NAV functionality" in Dynamics 365 and is expected to offer a broader range of customization and add-on options than previously expected. For example, Microsoft appears to be loosening its earlier guidance that all add-ons adopt the Extensions framework. The company is now making room for established add-on solutions built for previous releases of NAV using other approaches.

"Dynamics 365 Tenerife customizations are labeled and you will be able to take your customized assets to ," said Perisic. That announcement garnered applause from the partners in attendance. "We still maintain Extensions are the best way but we recognize there are some people who need that interim step...and enables that," he added.

The enhancements planned for Tenerife reflect several converging factors at Microsoft. In addition to delivering greater functional coverage to achieve NAV parity, the cloud message to partners is shifting from one of opportunity to one of necessity. Perisic told the audience that Microsoft hopes the move toward a single Tenerife release will reduce complexity for partners. He said Microsoft has heard partner complaints of the difficulty of maintaining both NAV and Dynamics 365 brands, acknowledging that it has caused tension.

"This year we're going to make those choices a lot easier," said Perisic.

Tenerife will also mark a new stage in the interplay between Dynamics 365 and Office 365, specifically around Outlook and around integratoin with Office 365 Business Center, the collection of SMB apps like Invoicing, Bookings, which Perisic said will be using Dynamics 365 Tenerife under the covers.

For example, the Office Bookings app, which small businesses can use to provide appointment booking tools to clients online, can roll invoices into NAV as un-invoiced bookings that can then be formally invoiced. Similarly, the Office Invoicing app will utilize Tenerife behind the scenes, Perisic said. 

Working with Outlook, the D365FOB quote-to-cash scenario still begins with an email from a customer requesting a quote. Microsoft cloud services can now be used within Outlook to try and interpret the email's natural language to dynamically create the quote, including the line items. After an order is made, an invoice sent via email can use new Outlook payment capabilities to give the buyer the ability to pay the invoice from within the mail client.

Microsoft also showed off the Accountant Hub coming in Tenerife, which gives accountants a view into their clients' ERP tenants. Accountants can assign and schedule tasks to complete for individual clients. They can also drill into their clients' systems to complete work. Microsoft foresees adding more accounting engagement hooks into Dynamics 365 in the future, like the ability to seek accounting services from within Dynamics 365.

Dynamics 365 on Azure is already yielding huge amounts of data that Microsoft says it is using to increase uptime, and pre-emptively address system performance issues. The team is currently gathering more than 40 terabytes of telemetry data per month on its Dynamics 365 cloud tenants. At the same time, it is standing up new tenants from scratch in 7 seconds, a 37-fold improvement from last year, it says. And Dynamics 365 tenants are being upgraded in 30 seconds or less.

Partners can begin trying out some Tenerife capabilities right away. Sandbox instances of the Tenerife preview are available now. Some of the strong demo features include Excel integration to update and publish changes, user-driven user interface customization with drag and drop, and new cognitive services for image analysis, including faces and inventory items, the Microsoft team says.

Many decisions around Dynamics 365 Tenerife remain unconfirmed, including its launch timeframe, pricing and packaging, details on the adjusted approach to ISV solutions, and how the solution will fit into the larger Dynamics 365 product line.

But Perisic concluded his keynote address to partners with an unequivocal statement of its importance. "Dynamics 365 Tenerife is the next version of NAV.  Dynamics 365 Tenerife is the next version of . Dynamics 365 Tenerife is the single product to rally around, with a cloud focus and on-prem if you need it," he said.

FREE Membership Required to View Full Content:

Become a MemberLogin
Joining MSDynamicsWorld.com gives you free, unlimited access to news, analysis, white papers, case studies, product brochures, and more, and it’s all FREE. You’ll also have the option to receive periodic email newsletters with the latest relevant articles and content updates. Learn more about us here
About Jason Gumpert

As the editor of MSDynamicsWorld.com, Jason oversees all editorial content on the site and at our events, as well as providing site management and strategy. He can be reached at jgumpert@msdynamicsworld.com.

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.

More about Jason Gumpert