With the speed at which Microsoft product enhancements and performance improvements are being delivered, Microsoft has recently announced that they will be making a number of changes to the way in which Dynamics 365 updates will be delivered which will enable you to stay up to date & up to speed.
The drive towards Digital Transformation
The aim of these changes will be to help businesses to speed up their journey towards digital transformation. As well as this, Microsoft will be aiming to help businesses to lower the overall upgrade costs, providing access to the latest set of updates and capabilities as well as offering a better overall customer experience. Let's take a closer look at some of these changes:
Changing the way service updates are completed for Dynamics 365 (online)
As we all know, Microsoft usually announces two major releases throughout the year (April and October) which offers users the chance to see some of the new functionality and capabilities. The good news is that when these updates are released they will now be backward compatible which means that you will still be able to continue to use your apps and customisations after the update. In addition to this, any new features that could potentially disrupt your day to day activities will be switched off by default until they have been fully tested by administrators.
Microsoft have also stated that as well as continuing to deliver two major updates a year they will also continue to release softer performance/reliability improvement updates.
Greater visibility and ability to test pre-update
Also included in the changes announced by Microsoft will be the ability to learn quicker about the upcoming updates as well as additional information on the new features/improvements and availability which will allow businesses enough time to fully prepare for it.
As well as this, Microsoft will also provide the ability to test out the new features and capabilities before they are fully available as an official update. This will start with the April 2019 update, where you will be able to validate major updates in a sandbox environment which will allow you to assess the capabilities and functionality in terms of potential gains for your business.
The need for all users to be on the latest version of Dynamics 365
As part of the changes, all customers will be updated to the continuous delivery schedule which means that your business will need to upgrade to the latest version of Dynamics 365 (v9.0) if it hasn't already.
It is important to note that Microsoft will continue to support older versions of Dynamics 365 until the timeframes below.
For customers who are currently on older versions of Dynamics 365
No need to panic as if you are still using the older version of Dynamics 365, Microsoft will continue to provide you with the option of scheduling to update Dynamics 365 as well as sending you reminders to do so.
For customers who are currently on Dynamics 365 (online) customer engagement applications
All customers who are currently running v8.1 will need to schedule upgrades asap. As well as those on v8.2 who will need to do so by Jan 31st 2019.
For customers who are currently on Dynamics 365 for Finance & Operations (online)
All customers who are currently running v7.0, v7.1, v7.2 and v8.0 should look to upgrade to the latest version by no later than March 31st 2019.
For customers who are currently on Dynamics 365 Business Central or Dynamics 365 for Talent
All customers are already on the continuous update cycle so no action is required.
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