Our Top 10 Dynamics 365 Posts of 2018
We've continued to see strong growth in traffic through our blog during 2018 and as we near the year's end it's an opportune time to look back at the most popular posts from the past 12 months.
Topping the list is an overview of Dynamics integrated portals. Most users are entitled to deploy a portal as part of their subscription so it's no surprise this has proved such a popular topic. We covered the fundamentals for choosing a portal template and defining users as well as examples of using self-service portals to log support cases and write updates back to contact records.
In view of the length of the October release guide covering Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement we split our content into a series of posts. Our 2nd most popular post of the year summarised the main themes for v9.1 and headline announcements across the Customer Engagement apps.
While Microsoft has adopted a cloud first approach for many years, there remains a sizeable number of Dynamics on-premise users. The most recent on-premise version was released back in 2016 so demand for news about a v9 release intensified but for much of the year it was unclear when exactly this would happen. Once Microsoft confirmed its release schedule in August we shared the news and this brief post proved to be our 3rd most visited of 2018.
The first major Dynamics news of 2018 was Microsoft's announcement that it had begun the scheduling process to update cloud instances to v9.0. At that time, we were are still in the world of 'customer driven updates' where instances needed to be on the latest version, or the immediate version prior to this release. Microsoft has since revised its update cadence as Dynamics 365 moved to a continuous developement cycle. Almost 12 months since this post was published, the first communications have been released about the April 2019 update which reflects a rather different update process.
Since Dynamics 365 was first announced back in 2016, Microsoft repeatedly emphasized its vision that users should only pay for what is needed. The combination of plan, app and team licences reflected this but in the Spring '18 update it went further by announcing a new Sales Professional licensing option. To help prospective new customers select the best licences for their user needs, we added this post comparing the new Professional licence with the long-standing Sales Enterprise option.
Our summary about the Spring update touched on the new Marketing app and the new Sales Professional licence. However, the big development was a change to the Dynamics platform following the release of the Common Data Service 2.0. As a result, the same platform that now powers Dynamics is also used by PowerApps, Office 365, Microsoft Flow, Power BI and the Common Data Service. Now titled the Microsoft Power platform, it has quickly changed how easily apps can be built, customised and connected with little or no code.
In another 'new features' post we walked through the main announcements from the October '18 update specific to the Dynamics 365 for Sales app. In addition to announcements for new integration with Microsoft Teams, dependent option sets and Playbook functionality, readiness for the Unified Interface was a prominent message.
Following the launch of the PowerApps P2 'platform' licence, a series of changes were announced to the Team Member licence. In this Microsoft sought to double-down its definition for this licence as being for light usage requirements. For new agreements activated on or after 1 October, Team licences are now restricted to a maximum of 15 custom entities with create, edit and delete rights, and these rights were no longer available for the Accounts entity on a Team licence. These changes didn't immediately impact existing customers who remain able to renew agreements on the same basis through until July 2020.
With the total cost of acquiring new customers many times higher than servicing existing clients it’s no surprise that retaining business is at the heart of many organisations CRM strategy. In this post, we shared a series of recommendations for using Dynamics 365 to increase account value, improve service quality and better understand performance.
To accompany our webinar in which we demonstrated the Unified Interface for Dynamics 365 we added this post sharing more detail about the new user experience and how to prepare for this.
Many thanks to everyone who has visited our blog during 2018. We look forward to sharing more content in the New Year!