Accelerating digital transformation with the spring 2018 release for Business Application Platform

Leipzig, 03/26/2018 – The spring 2018 release for Microsoft Business Applications will bring a wave of innovation across the entire product line with hundreds of new capabilities and features in three core areas: new business applications; new intelligent capabilities infused throughout; and transformational new application platform capabilities.

Microsoft is the only provider of a modern, unified and intelligence-infused family of business applications that span the breadth of business processes across marketing, sales, service, operations, finance, talent and commerce. All of them are powered by a business analytics and application platform, built atop a common data model, on Azure, Microsoft’s public cloud, connected to Office 365 and the world’s largest professional network, LinkedIn.

Prescriptive guidance for digital transformation

Future growth across all industries, and the organization and business models of entire industries themselves will be driven in large part by applying digital technologies to more intelligently engage customers, reimagine products and services, transform operations and empower employees.

Data from customers, products and people is fuel for intelligence to power transformed experiences, with those experiences further providing data to refine interactions. Microsoft calls this the digital feedback loop.


Digital Feedback Loop of Microsoft Business Applications (Source: https://blogs.microsoft.com/blog/2018/03/21/accelerating-digital-transformation-with-the-spring-2018-release-for-dynamics-365-and-business-application-platform/)


Moving business forward with technology innovation across applications and platform  

Dynamics 365 is built around this data and intelligence – unlocking these powerful insights and efficiencies for organizations everywhere. The spring 2018 release represents continued innovation that is the result of that focus.

Business process applications

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing is generally available as part of the spring release. This is a new marketing automation application for companies that need more than basic email marketing at the front end of a sales cycle to turn prospects into relationships. Visit the product page to learn more about how marketers can take advantage of this new solution.

To further simplify the Dynamics 365 offerings and increase ease of selection, today we are introducing Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales Professional, a new streamlined version of our Sales application with core Sales Force Automation capabilities. From opportunity management to sales planning and performance management, the solution optimizes sales processes and productivity. More details can be found on the product page.

Intelligence infused throughout

In Dynamics 365 for Sales, new embedded intelligence capabilities include:

  • Relationship assistant – helps sellers see alerts and reminders to move relationships forward.

  • auto capture with Outlook – helps sellers save time by analyzing email to find messages relevant to specific accounts and then track in Dynamics 365 for Sales with just one click.

  • email engagement – delivers insights from email with customers, so sellers can prioritize the most receptive contacts.

The Microsoft Power BI Insights apps, delivers out-of-the-box insights tailored to specific business scenarios – across marketing, sales, service, operations, finance and talent. Insights are generated by applying advanced intelligence to a subset of unique Microsoft data. Also, customers can easily incorporate additional data from a range of third-party sources to enhance relevance and accuracy. Power BI Insights apps can be customized in Power BI and further tailored by applying the full power of Azure data services.

Power BI for Sales Insights and Power BI for Service Insights will be available in preview this spring. Power BI for Sales Insights will include an embedded experience for Dynamics 365 for Sales, which allows customers to take advantage of:

  • Relationship analytics – offering a single relationship health score, calculated from large amounts of data representing transactions, customer sentiment, emails and content exchanged, and frequency and level of customer interactions brought together from Dynamics 365, email, and social networks.

  • Predictive lead scoring – to predict what will happen in the future to help exceed quota attainment by prioritizing efforts on quality leads.

New Application Platform capabilities

Just as every business is constantly evolving, no app that is successfully serving the changing needs of a business is ever complete. That’s where the Business Application Platform comes in –  a foundation to extend, customize and build new applications alongside and on top of Dynamics 365 and Office 365 with PowerApps, Microsoft Flow and Power BI.

With the spring release, Microsoft is announcing a significant update to the Common Data Service for Apps that ships with PowerApps and will enable a broad set of capabilities for modeling sophisticated business solutions. Combining these new capabilities with PowerApps existing high productivity point-and-click app development approach unlocks new potential for customers to customize existing apps across Dynamics 365 and Office 365, and quickly build new ones.

Common Data Service for Analytics will be a new capability of Power BI. Integrating and analyzing data siloed across business apps and services can be challenging. Common Data Service for Analytics will help reduce this complexity with the addition of an extensible business application schema built on the common data model. Organizations will be able to integrate data from multiple sources and empower users with access to business analytics across all data relevant to them.

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