Top Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Power Platform articles of 2021

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As 2021 draws to a close, let’s take a look back at MSDynamicsWorld’s most read articles over the past twelve months.

With Business Apps now playing a more recognizable role at Microsoft, it’s perhaps no surprise that some of the most read stories this year have focused on the company’s broadest announcements: strong financial performance and mature industrial cloud strategy.

Microsoft also seems to have found more ways to explain the roles of Dynamics 365 apps and Power Platform services in the context of the company’s more high profile offerings such as Azure cloud services, Teams, and Microsoft 365. This has improved visibility. along with product growth data and new product portfolio updates have all fueled the interest of our readers this year.

Microsoft in numbers

MSDW’s coverage of quarterly earnings for Microsoft hit new readership highs in 2021. Our reader’s surge in earnings interest could serve as an indicator of a shift in outlook in 2021, as the company announced. Consistent and impressive growth in cloud revenue, with Dynamics 365 and Power Platform growth remaining stable. or even accelerate. Microsoft’s fourth-quarter fiscal 2021 and full-year results released in late July beat analyst estimates with Azure growth of 51% and Dynamics 365 revenue growth of 49%. The company ended the year with net income of $ 61.3 billion and earnings per share of $ 8.05.

The company’s third quarter fiscal year 21 results also exceeded estimates. “The Microsoft cloud, with its end-to-end solutions, continues to add value to our customers, generating $ 17.7 billion in cloud business revenue, up 33% year-on-year. other, ”Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood told investors. Azure revenue grew 49% and Dynamics 365 revenue grew 45%.

Microsoft has also chosen to reframe line of business applications slightly with the launch of a new group of digital transformation platforms in March. Led by James Phillips, who was previously President of Business Solutions, the new organization spans Phillips’ existing portfolio and integrates Azure AI, Azure Data Platform, Azure IoT Platform, and industry cloud solutions. The new organization had 15,000 Microsoft employees at the time of the announcement, and Phillips has continued to report to EVP Scott Guthrie.

Microsoft also revealed that Dynamics 365 Business Central, its ERP SMB offering, surpassed 15,000 cloud customers in April and is experiencing 200% annual growth in user numbers. The growth rate in user numbers was greater than the growth in new customers, according to Business Central Managing Director Mike Morton.

Business Central chain veteran James Crowter took the product’s success in stride, as in his well-received May article outlining the priorities he would ask Microsoft to focus on to further strengthen its ERP lineup in the face of a downturn. fierce global competition. For example:

Despite the lack of support from Microsoft Corp., the product succeeds thanks to end users who love it and partners who fill the gaps. This growth in Business Central victories has led to a chronic shortage of qualified people. The pandemic reduced demand for three months in 2020, but it’s back now and more extreme than ever, with each candidate having multiple offers, some without an interview.

I know some at Microsoft have seen the “model-driven implementation methodology” as a way to get more subscriptions without solving this problem and I am convinced that it has its place in the ecosystem. I think, however, that this is starting to increase the demand for expertise. This is because a lot of organizations that used this approach to begin with now want to take it a step further after reaching the limits of the models.

Price and packaging

Products and licensing programs never stagnate at Microsoft, and as cloud applications and services evolve, so do their sales and subscription metrics.

Microsoft announced better storage pricing and allocations for Business Central in April, a change to overcome a major hurdle in the previous model that limited storage to 80GB plus 2-3GB per user.

We also learned in August that the latest iteration of Dynamics 365 HR will make a clean break from the HR capabilities inherited from Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations apps. This decision to proceed with product separation once and for all sounds good, but it will require some unraveling of product functionality and licensing, Microsoft explained. The overlap of HR functionality in other Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations applications will eventually disappear, until 2025, but D365 HR will start to prevail much sooner, with lifecycle service compatibility, functional advancements, new options. integration and new licenses.

Power Platform licenses also continued to evolve in 2021. In July, Microsoft announced plans to lower Power Apps prices while simplifying per-app plans. The change was a response to a volume of “significant acceleration” of applications built on the platform, Microsoft’s Ryan Cunningham said at the time. The update reduced the per-user plans from $ 40 to $ 20 per user per month, and the per-app plans decreased from $ 10 to $ 5 per app per month. Power Apps portals have also received license updates. Readers were interested in the June announcement of new pricing levels for high-volume portals, a move designed to bring published costs for hundreds of thousands or millions of monthly connections to a realistic range. Looking ahead to 2022, Microsoft has introduced more options like pay-per-use pricing, new entitlements for AI Builder, and higher usage volumes.

Product planning

The Business Apps ecosystem appears to have adapted to Microsoft’s biannual release waves for Dynamics 365 and Power Platform. The planning documents are getting a lot of attention from bloggers and partners, while the community also expects inevitable surprises that are not in the print version. Perhaps predictably, our coverage of 2021’s first wave release plans has become one of the most popular items of the year. For more feature-level information, see the articles highlighted in the 2021 best of article highlighting MSDW contributors.

Microsoft in January unveiled plans for new B2B e-commerce features for Dynamics 365 Commerce that add account relationships, partner management, account-based promotions, distributed order management, and more. These enhancements helped Microsoft launch Microsoft Cloud for Retail, which consolidates the company’s retail offerings from Dynamics 365, Power Platform, Microsoft Advertising, Azure, and Microsoft 365. The company pursued Similar goals across a range of industry cloud solutions in 2021.

Dynamics 365 Sales got a new mobile app in 2021. It provides a better experience on mobile interfaces than the model-driven interface with optimized views, better information capture using device controls, and better access to information through research.

Microsoft also revealed plans to provide internal user group support in March. After keeping user groups remote for years, the new plans involved a dedicated internal team that wanted to support individual user groups with technology infrastructure and organizational tools. Microsoft estimated at the time of the announcement that there were around 700 local user groups around the world. Not all of these groups have aligned with Microsoft’s approach yet, but the team looks set to offer more attractions to local leaders in 2022, such as better access to Microsoft staff and some technology updates.

Other popular stories from 2021:

photo by Andrew Seaman to Unsplash


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