Productivity in new D365 F&O

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Killer productivity tools in the new Dynamics 365 F&O.

One of Microsoft’s core initiatives is to drive innovation in business process and productivity, and the new Dynamics 365 F&O lies at the very heart of that commitment.

The first step is engineering the interoperability between Microsoft platforms to a whole new level of functionality and productivity. The new Dynamics interacts seamlessly with Office 365 applications, making it possible, for example, for budget data to be presented in Excel while Dynamics manages the process of requesting and approving, all the time maintaining a live connection to keep the data up to date. Fields can be modified and deleted directly from Microsoft Excel before submitting the data back to Dynamics. Add to this the collaboration and analytic capabilities of Skype for Business and Power BI and the new Microsoft Dynamics 365 brings an extremely powerful set of integrated tools to the productivity table.

A concept that leverages all these capabilities is ‘Workspaces’. The introduction of the Workspace takes full advantage of the new level of interoperability. A Workspace is an enhanced role centre that pulls together all the data, analytics, processes and people necessary to address complex tasks and processes. It is for all employees who like to personalise their workflows, but particularly useful for those who have specialised roles or tasks.

There are dozens of pre-defined Workspaces available out of the box. An HR manager, for example, can bring together and control all their tasks across the organisation. In the retail environment there are Workspaces set up for category and product management, prices and discounts, catalogue management, and channel deployment and operations, allowing the central management of all processes connected with channel deployment, operations and retail IT operations. The browser-based UI allows the user to open multiple windows from their Workspace side by side, further enhancing the user experience and productivity.

With the new Microsoft Dynamics, Microsoft have leveraged their knowledge from the consumer side into the enterprise space, and one aspect of this is the integration of Cortana with another new feature called ‘task guides’.  

Task guides allow experienced users to create step-by-step walkthroughs of processes which can be later searched and accessed from a library. A new user will be guided around the screen with visual cues on where to click and what to enter. It is a built-in, instantly accessible training resource enabling novice users to rapidly learn functionality. The task guide’s metadata is stored as an xml file, making it available for testing and documenting purposes, and through Cortana integration making it possible to drive the application by voice. By telling Cortana, “Create a new sales order,” the system will search the library and run the appropriate task guide.

The Cortana integration does not stop there. Just as on your phone Cortana will alert you when to leave for an appointment based on weather and traffic data, the same predictive intelligence can be applied in business applications, for example, to notify you of a problem in the supply chain or a lack of inventory.

With the introduction of these new features the new Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations makes it even easier for users to work better and smarter.

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