Best of 2021: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Expert Advice


Subject matter experts wrote a series of remarkable articles on the Microsoft Dynamics ecosystem this year. The biannual publication waves and busy customer engagement calendars of Dynamics professionals provide a lot of useful material to share with the community, but little time to write about it, and we as members of the editorial team are grateful. , as always, to those who have worked. with us to publish hundreds of articles this year.

Let’s take a look at some of the more popular articles on MSDW from 2021. The first four sections below represent the areas of individual Dynamics 365 products, including the larger Dynamics 365 ERP and CRM applications as well as D365 project operations. The final section highlights two of our most popular articles examining Microsoft’s larger business ecosystem from both an industry and horizontal perspective.

Business centre

Priorities for My Dynamics 365 Business Central for Microsoft in 2021

Microsoft’s MVP and entrepreneur James Crowter followed his list of priorities for 2020 (that is, the “strategic imperatives” that he hopes Microsoft will prioritize) with a news item in May 2021. The list covers a wide range of topics such as R&D, branding, sales support by channel, data management, and much more. For example, he writes about the transition to using Power Automate for workflow:

I dream of the day when I can easily define a Power Automate workflow to approve any master data, transaction (based on flexible validation criteria) or even request for security privileges.

And there’s the long-term promise of monetization in AppSource:

… I think Microsoft understands the need, but fails to solve it serially. I couldn’t leave him out because the list wouldn’t be complete without him. Heard there might be some progress but sorry Mike if it’s not before 2029 it’s no fun for ISVs and it will rank as Microsoft’s biggest failure since the acquisition of Nokia.

To step back in history, check out Crowter’s review of its 2020 Business Central priorities. He recorded an impressive score, but with one or two notable hiccups mixed in.

The cost differences between upgrading to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central SaaS and on-premises

The actual cost of an upgrade is a difficult figure to come up with, and 1ClickFactory’s Jonas MikalkÄ—nas helps us understand why. Using an iceberg as a metaphor, he explores the costs of running the software, technical upgrade options, and how to make sense of the comparison. The costs can be misleading if a business only looks the first year, or even the first two. After three years, SaaS models are starting to show their value, and he sees even more savings in upgrades to SaaS over six years.

EFT in Dynamics 365 Business Central & Dynamics NAV: 11 lessons learned the hard way!

EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer) should be something easy to set up in Business Central, but it’s not always the case. But with a few key lessons, Cynthia Priebe believes any BC client can make EFT a reality for their organization. His courses cover payment journals, EFT file generation, data exchange definitions, and bank statement file setup.

Cynthia has offered our readers even more on this topic with both a webcast and a podcast.

Handling objections in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management implementations

To stay or to go? This is the decision that Dynamics AX customers face as their ERP systems continue to age. Customers express various objections to an upgrade, Žydra Tubelyte wrote, with typical themes related to value, price and past experiences.

For a team championing the move to D365, it’s important to address the concerns of workers, managers, and executives with the right balance of understanding, expertise, and a realistic plan to move forward. Tubelyte also reviews three of the most common objections and ways to overcome them.

Christmas in April for Dynamics 365 Business Central users: financial dimension improvements

Cari Corozza’s enthusiasm was palpable as she reviewed upcoming updates to Business Central’s Financial Dimensions in the first release wave of 2021. For two key tools, she reviews Microsoft’s official description, what it means for users and why it will benefit finance executives. She encouraged users to inquire about the details so they can be ready to promote upcoming improvements to their teams.

What a great opportunity to make sure that you are taking full advantage of the features and functionality of the system you already own! My suggestion? Have a member of your team be the go-to person to review the notes, then share and discuss with the rest of the team.

Finance and supply chain management

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Training Overview, Session 11: Electronic Commerce

Elif Item, Dynamics 365 F&O training expert, recently concluded a 12-part article and video series on how to train various users on important systems modules. In Part 11, she explored the challenges of starting e-commerce. She said:

Ecommerce covers a specialized area within D365 including website design, online store management, and end-to-end online order management process.

E-commerce training should start after basic training and business training. To take advantage of the data structure and integrated processes, the core team must first understand how products, inventory, customers, sales orders, etc. are managed in D365. The e-commerce training can then introduce the online features to the learners. Initial e-commerce training is essential to building an attractive and easy-to-use website.

Why microservices are important to the future of Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations

Johan Persson noted that as D365FO moved away from its AX roots, the product team constantly moved new and updated feature sets from the base product to various external cloud services. He notes some of the first steps Microsoft took to move functionality out of the kernel, such as resource planning and data export services.

Persson believes Microsoft’s approach offers several advantages for the future of the product and for the well-being of client systems. For example:

These services can be updated without having to “adhere” to customizations made by customers and partners outside of Microsoft’s control. With just a lightweight interface for all parties to adhere to, Microsoft is free to iterate even faster than One-Version’s monthly cadence.

How to Configure the Two Bin Purchasing Kanban System in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management

Veteran solutions architect and MSDW contributor Evert Bos explained in this article that he recently had to try a very old D365 / AX module requested by a customer. He knew enough to get started, but as he progressed he learned more about the setup, the process steps, and the Kanban transfer board. The result of the solution worked perfectly “when combined with a supplier portal (or supplier workspace),” he said.

2021 Release Wave 1 plans: count on new and useful Dynamics 365 supply chain features

Rahul Mohta and Yogesh Kasat of Real Dynamics described 2021 Release Wave 1 for D365FO as a “feature powerhouse” across a wide range of functional areas. They take a look at the preview and general availability features of the first wave of release related to scheduling optimization, inventory, logistics, advanced warehousing, and even mixed reality.

Customer engagement

Why Azure Synapse Link for Dataverse improved the story of Dynamics 365 data analytics

After Build 2021, data and analytics expert Kirk Donahoe highlighted the importance of Microsoft’s Azure Synapse Link preview to Dataverse. While this may have seemed like a new image of the existing “Export to Data Lake”, it was actually more excitement, he explained.

The capabilities… add another hugely beneficial layer on top of the previous functionality: automatic linking of the configured storage account with Azure Synapse Analytics and the creation of T-SQL views in the serverless endpoint that queries the data lake. This additional layer greatly simplifies the process of accessing your data to create a logical data warehouse by writing additional SQL views or through other Azure services, including Azure Machine Learning and Azure Cognitive Services.

Donahoe explains how Azure Synapse Link will modernize data exporting, reduce costs, and be part of Microsoft’s overall strategy to improve and expand options for data analysis in the Microsoft cloud.

My new favorite features coming to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales, Marketing and Customer Service in the second wave of the 2021 release


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