Microsoft Announcement on the Future of D365 Updates

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To enable businesses everywhere to accelerate their digital transformation, Microsoft is continuously enhancing Dynamics 365 with new capabilities and real-time updates. Recently, the company announced a set of changes to the way Dynamics 365 updates are carried out. These changes will help organizations stay stable while adding features and transitioning to new initiatives.

Let’s take a look at how Dynamics 365 can ensure smooth sailing when it comes to upgrading organizations’ business processes in the future.

Predictable updates and continuous deployment

Apart from regular reliability and performance improvements, Dynamics 365 will now have two major updates per year – April and October – expanding upon software capabilities and improving apps and customization options. These releases will be backward compatible, so there is no chance of operational disruption at any point.

Additionally, administrators will have the option of testing out new features before they go live. Beginning with the April 2019 update, organizations will get a chance to go through all major updates in a sandbox environment in advance of the update release. As Microsoft points out: “This will help assess the productivity and efficiency gains of the new capabilities, as well as train end users about new capabilities.”

Early visibility of future changes

In order to get a more detailed overview of what future D365 updates will be able to do, users will receive release notes – a summary of upcoming improvements and the exact release dates – months prior to the actual deployment. For example, the release notes for the October 2018 update will be published on July 23 during Microsoft’s Business Applications Summit.

Since cloud-based ERP systems are made to be perpetually improved, every organization will have to update to the newest version of D365 in order to continue receiving support. Updates won’t happen overnight, though – administrators will receive reminders and recommendations in order to ensure a smooth transition and implementation of new features.

Support end dates and update deadlines

Organizations which haven’t yet updated to the newest version of D365 risk losing out on Microsoft’s real-time support. The update deadlines are as follows:

Customers running v8.2 should plan to update to the latest version by January 31, 2019.

For Dynamics 365 for Finance & Operations (online), all customers running v7.0, v7.1, v7.2, and v8.0 should update to the latest version by March 31, 2019. The only exception to being on the latest version is for customers with unfulfilled extension requests by Microsoft. For these customers, support for v7.3 will be available until April 30, 2020.

Dynamics 365: A Future without Disruptions

In the world of digital technology, sudden changes and market disruptions are an unpleasant possibility. With D365, Microsoft is planning to gradually phase update deployments and carefully monitor for bugs or issues in order to give companies the smoothest possible upgrade journey.

With the ability to test out new features before they come out, users will have a much more stable and predictable ERP experience, which can save huge amounts of resources. Two major releases annually and a plethora of smaller additions between them means your organization will have no problem retaining its competitive edge on the market.

With Merit Solutions and Microsoft, you can focus on innovation and improving your products and services, knowing the foundations upon which they are based are constantly improving.

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