• March 21, 2018

Microsoft Introduces the Spring 2018 Release of Dynamics 365 and Business Application Platform

Microsoft today unveiled the spring 2018 release of its Microsoft Business Applications portfolio, which includes Dynamics 365, PowerApps, Power BI, and the Common Data Service for Analytics.

Included in the business applications suite is Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing, 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.

Microsoft also introduced Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales Professionals, a streamlined version of its sales application, with core salesforce automation capabilities to optimize sales processes and productivity, from opportunity management to sales planning and performance management.

Microsoft also is infusing Dynamics 365 with artificial intelligence. In Dynamics 365 for Sales, for example, new embedded intelligence capabilities include a Relationship Assistant, to provide sales reps with alerts and reminders to move relationships forward; auto capture with Outlook, to analyze email to find messages relevant to specific accounts and then track them in Dynamics 365 for Sales with just one click; and email engagement, to help sales reps identify and prioritize the most receptive email contacts.

Microsoft also introduced Power BI Insights apps, delivering out-of-the-box insights tailored to specific business scenarios across marketing, sales, service, operations, finance, and human resources. Insights are generated by applying advanced intelligence to Microsoft data or data from a range of third-party sources. Power BI Insights apps can be customized in Power BI and further tailored by applying Azure data services.

The first of these apps, 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 users to take advantage of relationship analytics, offering a single relationship health score based on transactions, customer sentiment, email and content exchanged, and frequency and level of customer interactions brought together from Dynamics 365, email, and social networks; and Predictive lead scoring.

With the spring release, Microsoft also added a significant update to the Common Data Service for Apps, which ships with PowerApps. The update will enable a broad set of capabilities for modeling sophisticated business solutions to help users customize existing apps across Dynamics 365 and Office 365 or build new ones.

Microsoft also added the Common Data Service for Analytics to Power BI to help users integrate and analyze data siloed across business apps and services with 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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