Microsoft Dynamics 365 will be unveiled later this month

New on-demand version unifies ERP and CRM capabilities

Microsoft Dynamics 365 will be unveiled later this month
Credit: REUTERS/Bogdan Cristel

Microsoft will kick off its Dynamic Communities’ Summit 16 event on Oct. 11 in Tampa Bay, Florida—hurricane notwithstanding—with the introduction of Dynamics 365, the main suite in its line-of-business applications.

Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of the cloud and enterprise group at Microsoft, will lead the keynote, which will include live demos of the software and panel discussions for deep dives on what's new. The Summit is entirely devoted to Microsoft's Dynamics line-of-business apps, which includes Dynamics AX, CRM, GP and NAV.

The Dynamics line dates back almost two decades to when Microsoft bought a business software company in North Dakota (yes, really) called Great Plains Software. The apps had traditionally been installed on premises, but in this brave new SaaS world, Dynamics 365 has been modified for on-demand to compete with

CEO Satya Nadella first talked about Dynamics 365 at the Worldwide Partner conference in July. He described how Dynamics 365 moved from a "monolithic application suite to purpose-built, SaaS applications with intelligence built in" to build what you want and buy just the capabilities you need and is integrated with Office 365.

This release will be the first to combine both customer relationship management (CRM) software and enterprise relationship management (ERP) solutions in one package. The conference will discuss the unification of CRM and ERP capabilities into one cloud service with new purpose-built applications and built-in insights and intelligence. 

Dynamics 365 will combine core business apps (focusing on sales, field service, customer service, project service automation, marketing and operations), analytics from Cortana Intelligence and Power BI, and Office 365.

Dynamics is also getting its own app store, called AppSource. Like other app stores, Microsoft AppSource is a place that allows business users to discover, try and acquire line-of-business apps specifically for the Dynamics line. In addition to app sales, it allows a company to connect employees with partners and developers so they can offer input on an application's development. 

Summit 16 runs Oct. 11-14.

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