Microsoft Ignite 2017: A Dynamics Perspective

Dynamics 365 takes centre stage is Orlando

What began as a Microsoft customer conference has evolved over the years into an all singing, all dancing showcase for the latest Microsoft business technologies. 2017 has certainly followed this trend with a series of eye catching keynotes and presentations, as well as some much-welcomed clarification over recent changes.

Over 25,000 business customers visited Orlando last week to hear Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella discuss a variety of innovations including AI, Cloud Infrastructure as well as business management solutions like Dynamics 365 and Microsoft 365.

As a Microsoft Dynamics House Metaphorix was particularly interested in the Roadmap for the innovative Dynamics365 solution and how this relates to Dynamics NAV. We certainly weren’t disappointed with what we heard…

Dynamics 365

Perhaps the best word to summarise the feeling surrounding Dynamics 365 at Ignite is “flexibility”. As a joint ERP and CRM dashboard Dynamics 365 is now expected to become more customisable and modular to accommodate highly specific business requirements.


AI (artificial intelligence) integration with D365 was also a hot topic at the event. As a product Dynamics is becoming much richer and should be able to incorporate functionality such as computer vision, speech recognition, intelligent image analysis. Steve Guggenheimer Corporate Vice President of Developer Platform described how the first 365 AI solutions will focus on customer support and sales engagement with the use of automated virtual agents.

Dynamics 365 Talent will get two new modular apps. “Attract” will integrate with LinkedIn and help companies recruit the best possible candidates. “Onboard” will help HR departments train new recruits and ensure the onboarding process runs smoothly.

A Dynamics NAV Perspective

Whilst the possibilities of an integrated ERP and CRM dashboard in Dynamics365 are exciting, one of the main questions partners such as Metaphorix are asked is where does this leave NAV. From this point of view, Ignite was highly reassuring as it was revealed Dynamics NAV 2018 is going to be released later this calendar year, alongside Dynamics 365.

Initial plans to make NAV a modular component of Dynamics 365 only appear to have taken a backseat. This should allow partners such as Metaphorix to continue to offer highly industry specific ERP solutions with flexible installation options for clients.

What else was discussed

Away from the Dynamics Business Software side there were many more exciting announcements and topics covered at Ignite.

Microsoft 365

Alongside the exciting developments with Dynamics 365 Ignite was also notable for the announcement of a new MS package- Microsoft 365. M365 will bring together Office365, Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility/security. As a package it will cater for “first line workers”, those who engage with customers and act as brand ambassadors. By all accounts M365 will revolutionise the way those dealing with the day to day realities of a business operate.

LinkedIn Integration

Data insight will take priority as Microsoft integrates the LinkedIn graph with the Microsoft graph. Dynamics 365 will benefit from a fully configurable LinkedIn widget. InMails can be imported directly into 365 for Sales as well as Outlook emails.


Positive developments for Azure Hosting as Scott Guthrie (Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise President announced Azure stack is to be shipped through OEM partners such as Dell, HP and Lenovo. SQL 2017 is also increasing flexibility and will be generally available on Docker and Linux as well as the traditional Windows. This has been described as Game Changing and will create more intelligent and scalable apps.

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