D365: My take on the new Microsoft focus

On the 6. April 2022 Microsoft had a launch event for Dynamics 365, where Charles Lamanna (Corporate Vice President, Business Applications & Platform) was the key speaker, and presented the latest wave of Dynamics 365. The main innovation theme was organized around 3 concepts; Data, AI and Collaboration.

The main keynote states that Data is ubiquitous, and it’s generated by every part of an organization, and that too often that data is trapped in the ERP and only used for tactical reporting. The storyline here is to unlocking data silos so that it can be used in every business process. And when data is available, then we can apply AI to make predictions and reimagine business processes with automation and by augmenting people. Collaboration processes are a central element to bring people and data together and to enrich both with AI.

As this was a launch event, the focus of new features was organized around these three concepts. This makes the Dynamics 365 CE/DataVerse based apps of the stack the most visible in the launch event presentation. There was very little innovations presented that is based on the Dynamics 365 F&O stack, and on the supply chain investments the new Intelligent Order Management app got the main focus. There where also a substantial time allocated to the Connected Space. But my main takeaway is that Apps based on the DataVerse is where the current innovation focus is.

My thoughts.

I see and understand the direction in tech-stack-unification towards innovations based on the DataVerse as the main platform. I also know that there are investments on the F&O functional stack, but they don’t get the attention and visibility in this launch event. I have been an ERP consultant for 25 years, and the concept of truly and tightly connected systems, transactions, master-data, automation and deep efficient algorithms have been the center for the value I provide to customers. I know for sure that just dumping data into a DataLake or a DataVerse does not solve the actual pains. Putting an AI on top to give predictions and collaborative decision support is great, but yet it does not replace the need for OOB good usability and efficiency of algorithms. We need more than a box of legos where we can build all we imagen. I see and know that the roadmap presented do contains lot’s of new features, but I would like to see more investments to further enhance existing features. Also improving the simple and elementary things to strengthen and improving existing business processes. This could be related to usability, performance, simplicity and further connectivity within the current stack. I know that new innovations and new features are great news and creates attention. But not all customers are ready to implement lot’s of new apps that are still in their early stages and in many cases overkill for what they want to accomplish. Also keep in mind that many customer requirements also have an advanced complexity that makes the use of low-code/power apps not a real working alternative.

My observations

The community have over the last years been able to give feedback through the idea’s site. Here the community votes on good idea’s to further improve existing functionality. This is a goldmine of actual and precise requirements of what users and consultants experience. But we don’t see these community recommendations are being materialized into product improvements. The main focus and attention seem to be on new apps on the DataVerse platform. Let me be more precise. I have taken a look at the D365 Finance, SCM, Commerce and Cross-apps ideas, and in total there are 10.190 ideas, where 306 have been implemented. That is just 3%. I cannot understand that only 3% of community ideas are relevant for a place in the roadmap. The community have spent substantial time in describing these requirements. Here are the actual numbers from the ideas site with the number of ideas and how many that have been completed/included into the R&D backlog.

My wishes

My wish is that the feedback from the community gets more attention as what direction Dynamics 365 should take. If Microsoft want’s, we can together use DATA, AI and COLLABORATION to better understand what D365-customers and the community is requesting as a direction. I’m quite sure the model would predict a very close resemblance to the actual voting on these ideas. I’m not complaining about the direction we are heading, but I am requesting that more R&D funds are invested into what the community are asking for.

I would love to hear Charles Lamanna on the next launch event say that “In our next Wave we will aim to put 25% of the community ideas into our R&D backlog, and we have also processed and given a clear conclusion to the remining 75% ideas. The open community feedback is our inspiration and direction“.

Thanks for reading my thoughts and have a great Eastern.

10 thoughts on “D365: My take on the new Microsoft focus

  1. Microsoft has moved to a consumption based business model. Data, AI, and collaboration is further evidence that Microsoft is still focusing on what will gain more money for the company and shareholders. I’m not a complete F&O pessimist here. I know Microsoft is a business and has to focus on keeping shareholders happy first and then end-users. So in the spirit of hope, I will say this. Microsoft partners and the community as a whole will continue to innovate on useful applications that fit in the Dynamics/Power Platform framework.

    Then Microsoft will add those into their base product after seeing how popular they are or just buy them outright.

    Like

  2. As always, spot on. New capabilities provides a tick on a RFP, but the functionality must be proven and work on more than a simple level. Deep tried and proven functionality is how we ensure successful implementations and build a strong reference network.

    Like

  3. This is one of the most important posts about the current and future status of D365FO, which I have read for a very long time!

    Please do read this if you work with D365(FO).

    I also sincerely hope that relevant people at Microsoft read, consider – and take action.

    Excellent work, Kurt! And much needed, too…

    (shared on LinkedIn)

    Like

  4. Culture eats strategy for breakfast! Kurt, thanks for sharing clarity. Please remain vocal so the feedback is heard and amplified. Happy easter and stay D’axing

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.