Updating to Unified Interface? PowerApp it!


The Dynamics 365 Web Client is going to be deprecated soon. If you have not transitioned to the Unified Interface, time is running out to be in control of that process for yourself. Maybe there is a reason to look at this “chore” as an “opportunity”.

Unified Interface

The Unified Interface is awesome, a vast improvement over the previous Web Client. Yet a significant number of organizations are still using the Web Client. Microsoft needs you to get off your ass and move. In fact they recently created an Online Community dedicated to this single purpose. In my informal survey of customers who are still on the Web Client I am aware of the following three reasons: Obliviousness, Fear or Money.

Obliviousness

There are a reasonable number of customers who deployed Dynamics 365 without a partner. Many of them bought the licenses and then went underground on their own, disconnected from whatever may be happening on the surface. Many other customers were deployed by a non-Dynamics partner who likewise is not up-to-speed with changes in the product. There are also customers, as well as partners, who engaged offshore resources or freelancers, most of which are also out-of-the-loop of current information. So in addition to many other things this large customer group is unaware of, the looming deprecation of the Web Client they use every day, is yet another.

Fear

This group of customers is aware of changes coming to the platform, but lives in fear that their deployment, which they liken to a Rube Goldberg machine, will break if they dare touch it. This group will always wait until the very last minute, which is ironically the scariest and riskiest thing they could possibly do. Their fear is often a result of a lack of confidence in either their own, or their partner’s knowledge and understanding of the platform. In other words, they’re ignorant.

Money

Is there a free service that will update you to the Unified Interface? Not that I am aware of. Is it a simple project? That depends, for some users it could be, but for most it will require more effort. Is it frustrating that you subscribed to this product, paid some partner to help you initially configure and customize it for your needs, have been happily using it for a long time, and now out-of-the-blue you have no choice but to spend some money to keep using it? Yes, I would assume that is frustrating. More so if you have no budget for things like this.

Opportunity

Does this upcoming unavoidable “Effort/Expense” present a possible silver-lining opportunity for customers? Maybe. As a Partner, I often look at changes like this as a good reason to look at what a customer is doing today, vs. what they were doing when we first put this thing together. Hindsight is always 20:20. If we have to crack this thing open anyway, let’s go ahead and address some of those issues we discovered after launch, that we never got around to taking care of. At least if the customer has to spend some money for a required change, they can get a little upside out of it. But is there even more upside potential today?

PowerApps

What if I told you, that while you were at it, you could potentially reduce your license costs by 92%! Is this even possible? You will have to wait for my next post to find out.

Steve Mordue MVP

Steve Mordue, a Microsoft Business Applications MVP, is the CEO of Forceworks, a 2014 Microsoft Partner of the Year. Steve started his business applications consulting career in 2001, originally supporting Salesforce.com as a Certified Consultant. Steve transitioned his consulting practice to Dynamics CRM, (now Dynamics 365) in 2011. Steve has been engaged in hundreds of deployments over the course of his career. As one of the leading Microsoft Business Application Consultants, recognized by Microsoft as an expert, Steve has provided training, on behalf of Microsoft, to other Microsoft Partners globally on how to launch and build successful practices. Steve is a member of the Worldwide Dynamics Partner Advisory Council, and is a frequent presenter and panelist at global Microsoft events. The opinions shared in this blog are Steve's alone. If you are looking for Microsoft confidential information, you will not find any here.

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