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Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations April 2019 Release Highlights

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations unifies global financials and operations to empower people to make fast, informed decisions. Finance and Operations helps businesses adapt quickly to changing market demands and drive rapid business growth.

The April 2019 release will bring users together on One Version (version 10) for Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations. This release marks a monumental shift in supportability and allows the community to be on a continuous update cadence. The community can continue to build extensible solutions for Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations.

The core capabilities being introduced in the April 2019 release will be made available for customers on a continuous monthly cadence. These core capabilities will be persona opt-in enabled, which allows the customers to implement these new features at their own cadence. The key driver for any core capability is to increase productivity and ROI of the solution.

Here is a summary of the April 2019 release’s key investment areas as well as a summary of the new, improved and planned key capabilities in this release.

Let’s quickly touch on the entries highlighted in bold in the picture above, which are the most important key capabilities that form part of the for Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations April 2019 release. Please note that some of these features might still be planned for release between April and September 2019 or might be in a public preview state at present. For a full list of features planned for release between April and September 2019, please see the official What’s new and planned for Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations Microsoft article.

  • One Version

Microsoft will manage the continuous updates of Platform, Application (Finance and Operations, Retail), and Financial Reporting with no costly upgrades required. A set of tools and experiences to support this experience (called One Version) will be made available in Lifecycle Services and will enable predictability, reliability, and continuous delivery.

 

  • Personalized analytical workspaces

Analytical Workspaces support new personalization options and power user editing tools of Power BI reports within the Finance and Operations client. Power users can extend reports and do data mashups using PowerBI.com functionality without any developer intervention.

  • Entities in CDS for apps

With the April 2019 release, customers will be able to seamlessly link to Common Data Service (CDS) for Apps from Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations. A breadth of Finance and Operations entities will be available in CDS for Apps. Additionally, Entity Store will be staged in a customer’s Azure Data Lake. Microsoft will keep the data fresh with incremental syncs.

  • Self-service deployments

The self-service deployment option for new implementation projects was released with limited availability in December 2018. Microsoft is now adding support for production environments. Production environments can now be deployed for all Lifecycle Services (LCS) projects that are configured for self-service deployments.

Currently only a small percentage of new projects are onboarded to the self-service deployment option. Microsoft will incrementally increase the percentage of new projects onboarded over time. There is no impact to any pre-existing projects and environments. Microsoft and Hitachi Solutions will work with the customers to bring the new experience to their environments.

  • Financial management including revenue recognition, billing schedules and expense client usability

The April 2019 release for financial management focuses on responding to customer feedback for regulatory features and usability. Customers will have the capabilities needed to comply with IFRS 15 and for responding to the guidance on accounting for revenue recognition on contracts. Users will experience an enhanced expense report entry experience with a new header and details expense report, as well as automated settlements in the general ledger, a process completed periodically. A top 10 feature request has been fulfilled by adding bank foreign currency revaluation.

  • Manufacturing including planning service, enterprise asset management and connected manufacturing

It is a core priority to leverage the continuous feedback obtained from operating the service to drive tangible performance improvements, as well as to optimize core manufacturing business processes. In the April 2019 release, the focus is on optimizing the resilience of master planning toward platform and infrastructure errors, as well as to deliver incremental master planning performance improvements. This is an ongoing effort that will continue in future releases as opportunities for process and performance improvements are identified.

Microsoft is also continuously enhancing and evolving the current manufacturing functionality to support the connected, intelligent operations of modern manufacturers. Integration with the intelligent Microsoft Azure IoT service will be added to help manufacturing customers close the digital feedback loop. This will consolidate close to real-time information from the shop floor with business data to generate business events and actionable insights.

Beyond the April 2019 release, enterprise asset management capabilities will be introduced that will enable customers to track the total cost of ownership of operations assets, as well as to manage the ongoing maintenance of those assets. Maturing additive manufacturing technologies represent a shift in how to approach manufacturing and will also drive enhancements of how manufacturing processes are defined, planned, and executed.

A hyper-scalable multitenant real-time distribution requirement planning service is also in the works. The service enables companies to maintain a dynamic plan that's close to real time and supports high data volume.

Customers today are relying on prompt system reply, and companies that operate close to 24/7 can't afford a planning batch job that runs for several hours every night to generate the needed master plan. Many companies would like to run the planning multiple times during working hours to stay updated on demand and supply changes. The planning service will remove the load of master planning from their ERP system and provide a constantly updated dynamic plan that will give them close to real-time insight to requirement changes and potentially enable them to achieve savings by reduction of the total lead time, as new demands are detected and managed earlier.

  • New China data residency

Companies in China are looking to keep their data within the China region to comply with government regulations. As Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations and Dynamics 365 for Retail expands global availability, we’ll include the China sovereign cloud with all customer data resident within the Azure China cloud.

Customers in China can now set up an implementation project and start building solutions using Lifecycle Services (LCS), which has a dedicated instance within the China datacentre with a new endpoint (dynamics.cn). Customers can request development/test, sandbox, and production environments, which can also be deployed within China datacentres. Customer operational and Lifecycle Services data does not leave the China region boundary.

This concludes our overview of some of the important features and capabilities that are planned Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations and will be released between April and September 2019.

For more details on all the features that form part of the latest release of Dynamics 365 (including the ones discussed above), please see the official Dynamics 365 and Power Platform April 2019 Release Notes which can be downloaded from the Microsoft website by clicking on the link above.

 

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Pieter Smith

Pieter is an IT professional with 17 years' experience in a wide variety of roles, projects and technologies. He is currently working as a Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations Technical Consultant in the areas of application lifecycle management (ALM) and development and loves all things Cloud and technology related.

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Author spotlight

Pieter Smith

Pieter is an IT professional with 17 years' experience in a wide variety of roles, projects and technologies. He is currently working as a Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations Technical Consultant in the areas of application lifecycle management (ALM) and development and loves all things Cloud and technology related.