Last April, Microsoft released the new version of the successful cloud ERP solution, Dynamics 365 Business Central. Microsoft publishes new versions of this popular ERP solution every six months, and the amount of innovation increases with every new release. It is not just improvements in the ERP domain itself, but also the integration and cohesion with surrounding solutions, such as Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Teams. To continuously improve its solutions, Microsoft actively uses its implementation partners and end-users’ brains and creativity.
Dynamics 365 Business Central is a comprehensive business application solution designed and optimised for small and midsized organisations. In April 2021, Business Central exceeded 15.000 customers worldwide, and the solution is currently growing at more than 1.000 customers per month.
Since Microsoft’s start in the cloud ERP arena, the company has changed its version and release policies. Traditionally, Microsoft launched new major versions of on-premises ERP and CRM solutions every two years, but now it is a semi-annual schedule that is pretty much the standard in the cloud world. What is by no means standard is the extent of innovation that Microsoft publishes in its new versions.
Based on Microsoft’s huge Research & Development budgets, the company can afford to have many developers improve its business solutions, resulting in a continuous flow of innovations – often with a (much) greater volume and more business impact than her competitors. And these innovations are not limited to the ERP domain only. They can increasingly be found in the integration with ‘surrounding products’ like Outlook and Teams.
Especially the improved integration with Teams is essential these days now that most organisations have their staff work from a home office. It’s a vast advantage that Microsoft is a vendor for business applications and has a leading position in office automation with Outlook and collaboration tools like Teams. Of course, other ERP vendors will be able to connect their solutions with Teams as well. However, the deep integration between Business Central and Teams is built up from the drawing board. And that brings much more value to the Microsoft Dynamics 365 customers.
To continuously improve its Dynamics 365 solutions, Microsoft implemented a so-called feedback loop and promoted this new way of working in the market. This structure allows for thousands of implementation partners and tens of thousands of end-users worldwide to propose product improvements. The development department was hidden in a kind of ivory tower in the past, and it was hard to get new ideas accepted. Today, the Microsoft product managers check these feedback loops daily. With every new product release, they report a fast-growing number of ideas from partners and customers included as part of the solution. This is a great new way to further grow Business Central into the best ERP system for SMB companies in the world!
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