Directions EMA 2017

Microsoft Directions EMEA – 2017 Madrid

The stage was set in 30C heat – not bad for October! – with over 2100 attendees from Microsoft Partners all over the world. Although I had never been to Madrid it was near the top of my hit list due to its football history. I was lucky enough to take some time to visit the two contrasting football stadiums of Real and Atletico.  One old, beaming with history venue right in the middle of the city and the new Wanda Metropolitano, still being finished on the outskirts of the city.

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This was the first year that Directions was also incorporating CRM, having been a solely NAV event since its inception in 2008. The 2008 conference housed 200 attendees in Paris which shows the substantial growth in its popularity, content and the Dynamics partner channel in general.

The hot topic on everyone’s lips was ‘Dynamics 365 Tenerife’ which is the code name for the end to end CRM/ERP Dynamics suite of applications.


What is Dynamics 365 Tenerife?

The key message from Microsoft is one that expands but also simplifies the value proposition of a fully integrated cloud based business solution, bridging the gap between CRM and ERP. Dynamics 365 Tenerife will incorporate the existing Dynamics 365 CRM with a full cloud based version of Nav based on a single common data model.

The announcement was well received by partners as it supports the continued growth of adoption of cloud based solutions in the market place. Adoption of cloud based technology has grown significantly and now 80% of businesses already use or have plans to embrace the cloud. A monthly subscription based pricing model makes investment in this technology very attractive for smaller SME clients that want to leverage technology to compete with larger competitors. As you would expect, integration with Office 365 continues to deepen and enhance users ease of use.

Dynamics 365 Tenerife is due for release in late Spring of 2018 and will consist of a suite of applications, perfect for SME clients that have less complex needs.

The apps will include:

  • Marketing: offering marketing automation, email marketing, surveys, forms and LinkedIn integration
  • Sales: contact management and opportunity tracking
  • Service: management of customer contracts and cases
  • Financials: available to buy today. Watch our Dynamics 365 for Financials webinar 
  • Talent: Microsoft’s new talent sourcing application. Find out more on our blog


For clients adopting Dynamics 365 that have more complex requirements they will be able to upgrade each application to a more advanced application with enhanced features and functionality, much of which is already available to buy today.


What is the future of a fully integrated CRM/ERP Dynamics 365 Business Solution ?

Dynamics 365 Tenerife will be offered as an on-premise or cloud SaaS solution. This will incorporate NAV 2018 into a fully connected customer lifecycle management, business solution.

From our experience, many SME’s have struggled to find an end to end cloud and SaaS based solution and are very excited about this announcement.  The existing and reputable Nav solution has been just out of reach for many of our SMB clients due to the need for hardware investments, up front licences costs and ongoing onsite support required. Full NAV in the cloud will be a revolution worth waiting for (to quote a recent client).

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Are you ready for GDPR ?  – How Microsoft will have back

In case you have been living under a rock, the GDPR regulations come into effect on the 25th of May 2018. This may seem a long way away but at the time of posting, it’s just 217 business days to go!

So, what is your business doing about GDPR? Have you assigned a Data Protection Officer?

Do the terms, Data Subject, Data Controller and Data Processor mean anything to you? If not, then it’s not too late to get ready but be quick the deadline is coming round very fast.

Microsoft have made a number of contractual commitments to ensure their role as a Data Processor. Microsoft have also put together an interactive assessment to determine your GDPR readiness. If you’re local to Brighton, please register for our free seminar where we’re co-hosting with local industry experts to help you on your journey to GDPR compliance.

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Industry focus

Microsoft have always been keen for partners to specialise in niche industries, and even specialising in resolving niche business pains within chosen industries. Microsoft have made this easier to do using App Developer which is included within Dynamics 365. This tool allows partners or clients to develop additional capability very easily. At Cloud9 Insight (link to website) we have already developed apps for HR  and managing delivery of services. We will be adding to this with niche industry quick starts to accelerate clients in specific industry verticals. All of these will be available free for clients on our support, which also gives access to our team to further align these to meet your unique needs more fully.


What we learned

After a great 3 days in Madrid, our takeaway was that Microsoft continue to invest in expanding the breadth and connectivity of solutions to address all levels of complexity of requirements. When buying into the Microsoft stack, you have a truly future-proof and scalable platform to support your business growth and maturity.

The timing of our conference was unfortunate for some as they had booked flights on Monarch, which sadly had just ceased operating, leaving many needing to book on alternative flights home. We are excited by Microsoft’s great strategy that won’t leave any of its clients stranded so you can be confident in getting to your destination and that you have chosen the right partner to get you there.

Until next year in Den Haag.

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