Directions EMEA 2020 – Day 1

Directions EMEA and Asia has just started today. This is the first-time virtual Directions ever and I can just imagine how challenged it was to prepare everything in very short time. But based on what I saw today, everything is well organized. OK, this is not the same as live event and I would like to have an opportunity to meet all of you in person, but it is still the great option with not only sessions but with a lot of networking opportunities. And just to mention, this is the biggest Directions ever with 2775+ attendees. Great achievement!

Today we had the first day Keynote and after that I had my first session. Now I want to share my experience from these two parts of today’s event.

Christian Sega started with good news about numbers (2775+ attendees, 60+ countries, 147 sessions, 101 speaker…) and future of this event and finally we had an opportunity to see Mike Morton as a new GM on the Directions stage… unfortunately not in live, but again this is the first time on Directions stage.

Mike presented roughly the most important directions from this BC release and they are:

  • Deliver seamless service and performance
  • Design for compliance and security
  • Develop ISVs and globalization
  • Delight customers by exceeding expectations
  • Drive better together Microsoft experiences

Let’s talk about these directions in the next days. Now I want to talk more about numbers. First time we had an opportunity to see official numbers about BC SaaS customers – there are 10.000 BC online customers and by my opinion this is an amazing result. And only this, there are other impressive results…

I don’t want to forget great rest of the keynote with Claus, Jannik and other PM’s where they showed some new and really good features.

And finally, Mike announced roadmap and some new features ready for the next release. First let’s make a look at new roadmap:

Now make a look at some of the next release’s features:

  • Finally, we will get Report Extensibility as this is one of the highest voted idea from users and partners… this is something we are really missing.
  • We will get enhancement printing features in BC, improving complex hybrid setup, taking care about user access to printers, eliminating admin of print servers or printer drivers, printing from anywhere…
  • Easily onboard of new clients to BC using step-by-step guide how to configure and prepare your solution, and it will be possible to use for partner’s addons as well.
  • Better integration of BC with Teams as using BC directly from Teams.

What I wanted to emphasize… completely experience with the Directions4Partners platform was/is great (if I forget some minor technical issues… who knows, maybe only at my place😊 because of my connection). You could have a feeling you are really on a site. This is briefly my experience from my first session. After 30 minutes prerecorded session, we had additional 15 minutes for live Q&A. I have a lot of questions and I had an opportunity to have a live answering session and it was good experience. As we probably had more question, we needed to continue our chat somewhere. For this purpose, we could go out to the Q&A session room and continue with discussions about all specific topics. Really great experience. I had an opportunity to meet some of friends and big thanks to Arend JK who attended my session and who continue chat with me and few other attendees in the Q&A session room. He also helped me answering on some questions. Big thanks for you Arend as well as to Christian Sega who joined us in after session time.

I’m looking forward to see more sessions today and next two days and I really hope it will be great experience.

All Dynamics events in 2020 are going virtually

All Dynamics events until the end of 2020 will go virtually… or they are cancelled. I don’t know what to say… if it is a good or bad. Definitely virtual event cannot replace live one and I’ll try to explain why. But with given circumstances, I think that going virtual is the best possible option… on the first place because of our health and not losing community work.

Right now, we have the following situation with all our Dynamics events:

  • First, we will start with D365 Community Summit. It will go virtual instead in Nashville and it will be held in period October 7-9, 2020. Agenda is already ready and if you didn’t register, you can see details and register here.
  • Directions EMEA and Directions Asia, instead of Prague and Bangkok will be organized as a common virtual event in period November 3-5, 2020. More information here.
  • Directions NA, Orlando is unfortunately canceled for this year. But as Directions EMEA and Asia will go virtually, it means there is not any limitations for colleagues from North America to join this even.
  • NAV TechDays is canceled somewhere on the beginning of Corona crisis and we will not have opportunity to meet before next year.

OK, I wanted to explain why I’m not a fan of virtual events… but to be honest it is probably better to have them in comparison with cancelation all these events. With virtual event you can still have an opportunity to listen prepared content and this is good. But… attending conferences is not all about content… content is important of course, but more important is an opportunity to openly ask what you need and not to get an answer only from presenter. You have an opportunity for discussion on sessions, but probably more important during the pauses. All these networking is not possible to be created in a virtual world… minimum it is not possible in this moment. And communication between presenter and attendees actually doesn’t exist in the virtual event. And when I’m talking about all of these, this is not problem only for attendees, it is not inspiring for lecturers as well (it is not the same when you have people in the front of you and when you have camera and laptop).

But again, with these circumstances, this is much better to have virtual events than not having them at all. And I must admit in a few digital events I’ve already participated, organization was really the best possible what somebody can make in a virtual world… and probably beyond my expectations. But again, this is not the same ☹.

And on the end, our hopes for the next year are that we can see each other in a live. I hope we will have much better health situation and we will attend minimum these already scheduled events:

  • Directions Asia, April 15-16, 2021 – Bangkok, Thailand
  • Directions NA, April 25-28, 2021 – San Diego, CA, US
  • Directions EMEA, October 7-9, 2021 – Milan, Italy,
  • NAV TechDays, November 16-19, 2021 – Antwerp, Belgium
  • …and hope others will schedule events soon.

Business Central – Spring & Fall ’19 Release

In my previous post, I’ve introduced you with the news from Directions ASIA and Business Central spring release. As I said in this previous post, there are a lot of improvements. Some of them are on this slide, and as very important improvements in performance, reliability and scalability, we can find that now we have

  • 50% faster Role Center load time
  • 40% faster in Lead to Cash scenarios
  • 2x improvement in RapidStart

Of course, there are a lot of other improvements. I’ve recently had a session about this topic in eXtreme 365, but this time I’ll not write about them, because you can find all of them in the following:

In total, there are more than 100 enhancements and some of them are extremely usable.

But what is also interesting? We got some hints what will be in Fall ’19 release. And as I mentioned yesterday, the first things – there will not be Windows Client and C/SIDE anymore; only Modern Client (web) and AL with VS Code. But in on-prem, you will get full BC code as an app and you can change this code as you used to work with that in old Development Environment. Not exactly the same, but you can do it. But even if you can do it, this is not recommendation as we heard that in one moment in the future we will continue with extensions only even on on-prem. Nobody can say when exactly, but this is a future. Because of that, start with extensions immediately.

Of course, team will continue to improve proficiency, to reduce ISV friction, enhance migration tools, to improve service fundamentals… and now we can see plans for CDS in 2020 and further.

What is not so good information (especially for countries without MS official localization) is that team announce that we can expect expanding localizations after October release, not before that ☹. But on the other side, team will invest in really cool things in this period.


And on the end, Directions NA will come in May and we will see if we have stil something new regarding all these topics.

Directions ASIA 2019 – After Keynote

Directions ASIA has just started a few hour ago. On a first day keynote, we could hear a lot of interesting information. I’ll start with some numbers. As this is third Directions in Asia, number of attendees still increase every year. This year we have the following statistic:

  • Number of attendees: 453
  • Attendees from 157 companies and from 32 countries
  • Number of sessions: 70
  • Number of speakers: 55 (Microsoft, MVP’s and industry experts)

Now, what we could hear about product and market? Based on showed information, Business Central and NAV together are implemented at 223.000 customers with more than 3.3 million users in 196 countries. Impressive numbers, right? And I really hope, this solution will continue as previously and even better.

As this is announcement of Business Central Spring ’19 release, we can see what is new in this release and the full roadmap for this solution. During keynote, we could see that product team is extremely proud on stability, security and performance. Of course, there is a lot of new features. In my following texts, I’ll write about all these things.

Currently, we could see new roadmap for our solution, and it looks fine:

We can see that system already got a lot of new feature, especially trying to improve user experience. And I can conclude, they really succeed with this.

But if we look in more detailed roadmap, you will find two very important facts. This release will be the last one with Windows Client and with C/SIDE and C/AL.

From October ’19 release, we will have only Modern Client (web client) and VS Code + AL in development side. If you used only BC on a cloud, you will not recognize some difference, but if you used on-prem solution, then it is the right moment to migrate to web client asap. And in development, please start with extensions immediately. But to be honest, in on-prem solution you will still be in situation to change a code, but this time in VS Code using completely BC system as an App. But it will still be much better if you start to move all your customization to extensions.

Of course, there are some other news, but I cannot put everything in one blog post, but you can expect all this news soon.

Run D365 Business Central for the first time

When you run your Dynamics 365 Business Central for the first time, you will see new refreshed Web Client. Well, I think we will get some more small features soon (but just small polishing). Anyway, everything is easy for navigate and everything is exactly where you expect to be. And everything works very smoothly. I think the first what we can see are the messages in the left part of screen, with the most important information (the first will be “Good afternoon…”, but after that information).

d365bc1.PNG

Now we have a main menu on the top of the screen. Depends what we choose, we will get submenu just below the first row. Again, depends of the number of commands, we will get just one or more rows.

d365bc2

But we also have a lot of the most important actions on the right side of the page. Then we can see information and tiles in the activities and there are ordered noticeable. If you click on ‘See more’ or on some tile, you will open additional information (the same thing s with the large message on the left top part of screen).

We can also find “Product videos” and “Get started” links. On “Product videos”, you can find a few interesting videos about product, but more interesting is “Get started”. OK, we can find some educated videos again, but we have something more interesting – Role Centers link. With this, we can Explore different business roles features.

d365bc3.PNG

If you run it, you will get new window where you can choose all available role centers as an option and see what features are covered with each of them as the main menu structure (for each of them, you will see small tooltips with the basic information). And even more, if you click on Continue, you can change your role center; and again you don’t need to make logout/login, because system will change your role center automatically.

d365bc4.PNG

Of course, you can change your role center using ‘My Settings’, but guess… you will run the same page as I already showed. Really good user experience.

Then, when you run some page, from menu… for example customer, you can choose if you want to unpin the top menu… just to get little more space. Of course, you can chose the view type and so. But everything is so modern and provides really good experience.

d365bc5

OK, this is just beginning. This is still not even the first impression. But I don’t like to write so big texts. I’ll continue soon with more details.

D365 Tenerife is Dynamics 365 Business Central

I didn’t plan to write this article before keynote on Directions ASIA, but two days before it, it is announced – new SaaS solution, previously known as code name Dynamics 365 ‘Tenerife’ is named as Dynamics 365 Business Central. This news is published today by Alysa Taylor (General Manager, Business Apps & Strategy) here in blog.

BC1.PNG

Dynamics 365 Business Central (it is interesting that only this solution hasn’t ‘for’ in its name) will be available in first 14 countries from April 2nd and it will continue one of the most successful customer base with more than 160.000 customers. This solution also has new refreshed Web Client and many other interesting features.

If you want to find more information, you can run official D365BC page, where you can find new licensing model and new prices as well.

We will have two different packages of features with different price range:

BC2

I will try not to copy already published blog and wait on another news in next two days. And just not to forget, Dynamics 365 Business Central has new logo:

BC0

Waiting Directions ASIA

Today is Sunday and I’m seating on the airport waiting my flight to Bangkok. I just few days Directions ASIA 2018 will start. This time, it will be one of the most important conferences in Dynamics NAV world.

DirectionsASIA.PNG

Why it will be so important? On this conference we will see the new product with still code name – Dynamics 365 ‘Tenerife’. As we already know, this solution will be full Dynamics NAV on a cloud as full SaaS solution. But we will get the same on-prem product, with the same code base – Dynamics NAV 2018R2. From my point of view, I’m primarily waiting SaaS solution and I expect it will be much more significantly for Dynamics world. In this moment I don’t want to write anything about news in this solution, because we will get officially information in only few days. I’ll be there and I’ll publish the most important news announced on Directions.

Also, we will see some news from CRM world (Sales and Marketing), especially from SMB area. It will be very important in the future of business applications, because we can offer common solutions to cover all requirements in specific companies.