When the New Dynamics AX/AX 7 was launched back in February this year, it introduced a whole new way of how we interact with Dynamics AX. While that was maturing and users and community were learning to get comfortable with it, Microsoft announced Dynamics 365 at WPC, with the intent of combining the Cloud CRM and ERP offerings under one unified platform called Dynamics 365 and produce the next generation of intelligent cloud business apps. Dynamics 365 is now released and is publicly available for purchase by customers.
Starting 1st NOV, 2016, when you login to you Office 365 home page, you should notice the new Dynamics 365 app on your Office home page. Along with this, you should also see the other surrounding apps such as Flow and PowerApps, as those are now publicly available for use.
So with this, it is very evident that Microsoft wants to this to be a default landing page. default landing page, from where you can literally launch any application or cloud service that your organization is subscribed to or those which are Free to use. For example, from this Office home page, you can launch Dynamics 365 (Your business applications), Power BI (Your business intelligence app), Flow, powerApps (event automation apps), or even any of the Office apps. Eventually Microsoft will make all these apps work seamlessly with each other, without the users having to notice any significant differences in front end.
We have already started seeing this, where Dynamics 365 talks seamlessly with Office 365 allowing you to interact with Dynamics 365 data from within Outlook. You can also use Flow and PowerApps to build powerful events automation in Dynamics 365. Dynamics 365 already has Office 365 apps and Power BI at it’s core and works very well with these apps too.
In today’s quick post, let us see and experience how the new Dynamics 365 home page looks like.
After you have logged in to Office 365 HERE, select Dynamics 365 app to launch it.
You will then notice the screen below opening up, which is the Brand New HOME page for Dynamics 365, business applications.
On this HOME page, you can see all the business apps you are subscribed to under Dynamics 365. For example, if your organization has subscribed to the Dynamics 365 for Sales and Dynamics 365 for Operations apps, then those 2 will appear here on the Apps pane.
You can also launch them from the apps pane on the left hand side. You can obviously access the direct URLs for those apps separately using a web browser, but Dynamics 365 Home is the new way of interacting with all these apps, from one central location.
In the upcoming releases, there will certainly be more and more out of the box integrations between these apps and the UI across these apps will be very unified, so that user cannot really notice any difference when they switch between apps. These apps will also exchange data seamlessly and talk to each other (There already many scenarios of data exchange between Dynamics 365 For sales and Operations apps on the first release that came out on NOV 1st). This obviously achieves Microsoft’s primarily goal of launching Dynamics 365, which is to combine the CRM and ERP offerings under one unified cloud service, so that customers and users can take optimum advantage of these to streamline their sales, marketing and operations, get high returns on investment, at a much lesser cost.
On this Dynamics 365 home screen, you can also see a way to directly launch the Dynamics 365 Appsource, which is the new platform for all 3rd party cloud apps, that are built for Dynamics 365. These are typically add-on solutions from partners and ISVs for addressing specific business needs for various industry verticals.
One example of such an app in the Appsource is AXIO For Professional Services, from SBS Group, which offers purpose built solutions for advanced contracts and revenue management.
Last, but not the least, you can also see the Apps that are shared with you from Microsoft PowerApps, which means you can launch the apps from within this. To get an idea what PowerApps is and what it can do for you, you can ready my earlier post HERE.
I wish Microsoft will make this new HOME page for Dynamics 365 to be more informative in the upcoming releases, where it can show user/role specific Power BI dashboards for business insights, predictive recommendations (Artificial intelligence) etc., right on this Dynamics 365 home page, before even user launches a specific app to see the corresponding BI and dashboards or information.
Till next time!!! A lot to digest and learn.