Yesterday, on April 2, Microsoft hosted a virtual launch event that marked the official start of its 2020 release wave 1, kicking off the deployment of new applications and hundreds of new capabilities and updates across Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Power Platform.
This release is part of Microsoft’s ongoing bi-annual cycle of release waves and commitment towards regularly providing customers with innovations and new capabilities. In addition, Microsoft used this virtual launch event as an opportunity to share measures they have taken to support customers with business continuity in these unprecedented and uncertain times for business and the economy. Microsoft’s aim, through this release at this time, is to ensure seamless business continuity for its Dynamics 365 and Power Platform customers despite this disruption.
In this blog, we’ve summarized the most relevant highlights of the event.
Business continuity announcements
James Phillips, President - Microsoft Business Applications, highlighted Microsoft’s commitment to ensure business continuity for customers during this critical phase during the launch. What you as a Dynamics 365 user should know is that Microsoft relaxing uptake requirements to help with business continuity for its Dynamics 365 and Power Platform customers. Specifically, Microsoft will defer the mandatory uptake of the 2020 wave 1 update for Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement by a month to May (instead of April), and also enable an additional update deferral for Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations. Doing this should allow customers to take the 2020 wave 1 updates when it is most convenient—either in the month of April, as originally planned, or deferred to May.
Product highlights for Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations customers
Microsoft’s 2020 release wave 1 will include several new features related to the intelligent supply chain. Microsoft is updating its Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management (Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations) to deliver predictive insights and intelligence from AI, IoT, and mixed reality to organizations across planning, production, inventory, warehouse, as well as transportation and asset management.
Microsoft has added out-of-the-box IoT capabilities that leverage Azure IoT Hub to connect signals from mission-critical assets with business transaction data. This will help manufacturers improve uptime, throughput and quality by proactively managing shop floor and equipment operations with a real-time view of their entire production and stock.
With this release, Supply Chain Management now integrates with Dynamics 365 Field Service. This will help reduce downtime of geographically dispersed, mission-critical assets by automating field service operations.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Guides, meanwhile, will help train organizations’ workforce faster, more effectively, and in certain cases, more safely using mixed-reality learning experiences. Watch the recording of the launch for a cool demo of using mixed-reality in manufacturing .
NEW: Dynamics 365 Finance Insights
Microsoft announcing the introduction of Dynamics 365 Finance Insights really resonated with us at Columbus. As a Microsoft partner, we see incredible opportunities for our customers by deploying Dynamics 365 Finance Insights and have very quick return on investment.
Dynamics 365 Finance Insights introduces the power of AI to organizations’ finance processes. It helps in more accurate planning and efficient usage of customer payment predictions, budget proposals, and cash flow forecasting. Specifically, Columbus recommends customers to look into Dynamics 365 Finance Insights to address three business processes:
- Increase accuracy of projected cash flow: Monitor cash flow in real time, predict future trends, and make data-driven decisions with an intelligent and customizable cash flow forecasting solution.
- Adapt quickly with intelligent budget proposals: Reduce the time and effort of budgeting by letting the system perform the tasks for you. Quickly consolidate and analyze years of historical data to forecast your budget.
- Reliably predict customer payments: Use AI to predict when customers will pay their invoices. Proactively reduce write-offs and improve margin with immediate visibility into the probability of late or at-risk payments.