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eXtreme 365 EMEA 2017 Highlights

eXtreme 365, the new eXtreme CRM has just been completed in Lisbon, Portugal. What an amazing, beautiful and fun location to host a great Dynamics conference. Lisbon was great, the food, historic locations, and the Fado more beautiful than ever.

We “QBS, MindsUnited and Dynasource” presented ourselves for the first time to the Dynamics CRM channel to show our partnership and the Value Add we can bring to this great community. But also, to learn and understand the changes and challenges ahead that you as partner will face with the launch of Dynamics 365 and prepare to help you steer through and beyond these. 

So, what was the hot news coming out of the eXtreme 365 EMEA 2017? A lot of great sessions from several partners as well as the Microsoft product group. Here are some of the top things that caught our attention:

Business Wise

To be successful with Dynamics 365 in the Cloud First, Mobile First world, CRM partners must expand their CRM-only based portfolio with solutions like Office 365, Dynamics ERP, Power BI, Flow and Cortana. On top of that they need to differentiate their offerings more than ever before. In future, it won’t be enough to just offer the “plain vanilla” taste anymore – the guy next door also has that on the shelf – and you will only be competing on prices! And finally, you need to market, sell, deliver and support digitally. These are all huge changes for most of the partner channel!

Rather than just focusing on the functions and features of Dynamics 365, partners should also pay attention to the business side of this new solution. What does it take to make a success out of Dynamics 365? Are the traditional on prem CRM partners able to sell Dynamics 365 at an affordable Customer Acquisition Cost level? To be successful, most partners will need to see Dynamics 365 as a new chapter in their businesses. With less license margin, faster delivery, smaller services revenues, and cheaper delivery people with a different mindset.

For a successful delivery of Dynamics 365 projects, the current CRM partners need knowledge and experiences in the ERP and Office domains. There are different scenarios to get these capabilities on board. Like building these capabilities yourself. Or co-operate with specialized partners.  

Dynamics 365 is not part of the Microsoft Dynamics pricelist. Instead, this solution will only be sold via the CSP model – the Cloud Solution Provider program. Partners have a choice between becoming CSP themselves (so called ‘Direct’ or ‘Tier 1’ model) or work together with a Value-Added Distributor (‘Indirect CSP’ or ‘Tier 2’)

Product Wise

Virtual entities – allow data in external systems to be represented as CRM entities and can take advantage of Business Process capabilities. These are just models in the Dynamics system but no tables created in the database and no data is replicated. Plug-in to APIs and surface external data to Dynamics within the Dynamics interface. Have an Azure DocumentDB you want to show in Dynamics, as long as it has an API or you can create your own you can surface the data and interact with it within Dynamics like its native Dynamics data. Important to note that there is no security model in Dynamics for virtual entities, security is the responsibility of the source system or API.

Read only replicas across regions – if you’re a global organization then this one is for you. No longer will you have to deal with long latency to access to Dynamics data in another region. Coming in a future release will be the ability to replicate your Dynamics data to various regions but only in a read-only state, one region will remain as your primary with full read/write functionality.

ALM for Dynamics – the cries for more robust Application Lifecycle Management tooling with Dynamics 365 have been heard and the platform team will be bringing PowerShell and API functions to provide better ALM functions for online. Exact details in terms of functionality are unknown as is the timeframe for this, but great news to hear — personally and from Adoxio’s perspective we really hope to see similar tooling to the ADX AlmToolkit and scripting capability for Configuration Data Manager so that it doesn’t have to be run interactively.

Custom controls like the Gantt chart in Project Service will be part of the solution architecture (they actually already are for PSA) in the next release so you as a partner or ISV can build your own controls and easily transport them just like other Dynamics components. Custom controls will be developed using standard web development technologies, JavaScript, CSS and image file assets.

Gamification – Microsoft provided us with a global overview of how easily gamification characteristics can be implemented in a collaborative and very intuitive platform for users. 

We know that taking time out of busy schedules and coming to Lisbon for eXtreme is not in everybodies scope – that’s why we are preparing an eXtreme 365 EMEA 2017 Business Report to give a more in-depth walk through of the topics covered at the conference – and our recommendations in that regard. If you would like to receive this report – please register here.

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Yes, I'd like to order the eXtreme 365 EMEA 2017 Business Report.

Order now