Dynamics 365 – The Fog Starts Lifting

If you have been reading my posts, then you know that I sprinkle a lot of personal speculation on top of known facts. I am really just sharing with you my own thoughts, as I seek to also figure things out. Every now and then, somebody at Microsoft will reach out to me with a chuckle, and attempt to nudge me back onto the actual path.

Speculation is fun, but facts are necessary

I have some additional information I have learned, that as a CRM Partner, was worrying me about this whole Dynamics 365 switcheroo. Nothing confidential here, just clarification of things I have been concerned about, and so assume you have been also. I think what has driven a lot of the fears of partners like myself was not the changes, or even the perceived depth of change, but rather, the abruptness of it. On November 1, CRMOL ceases to exist and Dynamics 365 takes over. For those of us who have built either a practice, or an ISV solution on CRMOL, that sounded pretty damn scary.

The Only Thing We Have to Fear, Is Fear Itself

Microsoft has been highly focused on the high-level virtues of Dynamics 365, preparing partners for the upcoming sales conversations. I know I am not the only partner who keeps saying “yeah but”, and frankly many of those talking about the new sales motions, just did not know the answers to many of the questions you and I had. It’s almost like, the people with the answers to some fairly basic questions, were standing behind those out front talking, and rolling their eyes at me. Well, I guess they finally got sick of it, and decided to give me a few answers, probably just to shut me up about it. It’s not that I have been a complete “Chicken Little”, I never said the sky was falling, and I am happy to report, that if definitely is not.

Meet the New Boss. Same as the Old Boss. But with more Hair!

  • The “new” Sales and Service Apps are the Sales and Service capabilities and structure of what we have today, but with more bells and whistles added. If your customer were to buy the Dynamics 365 Sales App for example, your current customization capabilities remain unchanged.
  • Your ISV solutions will still work (provided the customer has the correct Dynamics 365 licensing to access areas that your solution engages with).
  • All current XRM capabilities remain unchanged.
  • The core SDK is the same, with some additional enhancements.
  • A CRMOL customer can upgrade seamlessly at anytime.
  • The Outlook “Thick” client will still work as it does today, and continue to be supported, though the new Outlook App will be the push going forward.
  • Mobile Apps are Xamarin based
  • Web API recommended path going forward (old news)
  • Insights (InsideView) is still included, as is Social Engagement.
  • The current basic marketing capabilities, i.e. Marketing Lists, Campaigns, etc, remain as a part of the new Sales App. At the enterprise level, there will not be a new Marketing App, instead Adobe Marketing Cloud will be suggested. Oddly, there will be an SMB Marketing App in the spring, and supposedly MDM “functionality” will transition to that… not sure what that means, or how that works.

If I missed anything you are concerned about, let me know and I’ll see if I can get an answer.

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