Microsoft’s annual European partner conference, Directions EMEA has now been and gone. This year was its largest ever, hosted in Vienna and bringing over 2500 attendees from Partners, CSP and ISV companies from across Europe. One of the main focuses this year for Directions EMEA was the release of Business Central Wave 2—just like how Directions NA was hosted around the released of Business Central Wave 1, earlier this May.
In this blog post, we will go through some of the main changes and updates that we learnt about at Directions EMEA.
Business Central Wave 2
Modern client: With release wave 2 came the end of the Business Central Windows Client, as the modern clients now support so many productivity features that the Windows client is discontinued for Business Central going forward. This means Business Central is only accessible through browsers, Windows 10 desktop app, mobile apps and Outlook. Microsoft’s heavy investments have accelerated the speed and productivity features of the modern browser experience, making it quicker and easier to use than ever. The legacy Dynamics NAV client remains supported in the April ’19 update and earlier versions in alignment with the support lifecycle.
User Interface: Microsoft has made a variety of improvements to the user interface of Business Central with release wave 2—providing more options to customise and personalise the solution to fit your unique requirements. Improvements include:
- Bookmark any pages & capabilities and add navigation to the homepage to increase productivity and access what you need quicker.
- Resize columns with fewer clicks to ensure you see all the information you need; autofit columns just like in Excel and save your adjusted columns, so you don’t have to keep re-applying your changes.
- In the role centre, you can get a full overview of each department and all the functionality inside it related to you—as well as an overall view containing every capability.
- Work on multiple tasks at once without any interruptions by opening Business Central in multiple tabs—including working with multiple companies simultaneously.
- Add, edit or remove user-profiles and use the designer to configure and personalise the UI with a no-code editor to specifically how you want it. You can design and assign specific layouts for certain users, for instance all of those in a department.
Customer Migration tools: Customer migration tools have been enhanced with the release wave 2 updates, helping ease the journey for existing Dynamics SMB customers coming from Dynamics NAV, Dynamics GP, or Dynamics SL migrating from their current on-premises solutions to Business Central online.
- Correct and cancel issued reminders and finance charge memos with ease, very helpful as these are often done in batches at the month-end and they can be easily altered or deleted if there are any mistakes
- Copy line descriptions to general ledger entries when posting, meaning it doesn’t have to be re-written and can provide you with better insight into what your GL entries are about.
- When creating documents based on existing ones, even if there are any blocked lines you are still able to copy the document—meaning it doesn’t have to be re-written, which can lead to errors.
- Enhancements have been made to the Excel integration for Business Central. Now when you’re exporting, any filters that are applied will be carried across into Excel. There are also extra capabilities for importing and exporting data from Business Central as more fields can be edited and imported into Excel.
Dynamics 365 has also received updates, including a new application, Dynamics 365 Commerce. Dynamics 365 Commerce is built on the proven D365 Retail capabilities and further enhances a truly omnichannel experience unifying back-office, in-store, call centre and digital experiences. D365 Retail customers will be able to seamlessly update to Commerce once it is generally available.
Microsoft AI business applications
Microsoft has also added two more AI applications to their suite to enhance business productivity and provide you with easy deep insights:
- Product Insights—enables organizations to transform their product development, marketing, sales, and support by acting on real-time insight into their customers’ usage and experience.
- Connected Store—enables merchants of brick-and-mortar stores with actionable insights by using data from cloud-connected sensors.
As well as these two new applications, updates have been done to the already released AI applications and enhance their capabilities. Updates have been done to the main Sales, Customer & Customer Service Insights apps, as well as:
- Virtual Agent for Customer Service—enables organizations to create AI-powered bots that chat with customers and provides new opportunities for organizations to improve customer service through digital transformation.
- Fraud Protection—enables the e-commerce merchants to drive down fraud loss, increase bank acceptance rates to yield higher revenue, and improve the online shopping experience.
- Market Insights—enables business users to gather actionable insights based on what consumers say, seek, and feel about their brands and products.
We hope this blog post has given you a good understanding of the improvements and additions that have been made to Business Central and the Dynamics 365 suite with the release wave 2 update. If you’re interested in deploying any of the Dynamics 365 suite, please feel free to contact us.
Alternatively, if you’d like to learn more about the release wave 2 update, view the video at the bottom for more information.