May 17

Indegene and Microsoft announce strategic alliance

Indegene, a global healthcare solutions provider, and Microsoft are collaborating to deliver commercial cloud applications for life sciences. Dynamics 365 for Sales will combine with the Indegene Omnipresence platform to create a mobile, multichannel CRM solution specifically for sales and medical representatives to engage healthcare practitioners. The solution will help with digital content development and management as well as provide in-line analytics and optimisation to support the representatives.

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Nov 01

Microsoft releases PowerApps and Flow

Microsoft has announced the general availability of PowerApps and Flow. PowerApps supports building web and mobile business applications without coding, while Microsoft Flow helps automate business processes through simple configuration. Both offerings are included in Office 365 (Enterprise, Business Premium and Essentials) and Dynamics 365.

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Oct 31

Microsoft releases Dynamics NAV 2017

Microsoft has announced the worldwide General Availability of Dynamics NAV 2017, which is a business management solution for small and mid-sized businesses. The release includes embedded Power BI reports and dashboards; improved quote-to-cash-processes through integration with Microsoft Office; uses machine learning and Azure to enhance predictions and analytics; as well as support for customised cross-platform mobile applications for specific user tasks.

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Jul 04

View on Microsoft’s June activities

The most significant event this month has been Microsoft’s announcement of its planned acquisition of LinkedIn. This will be the largest acquisition in Microsoft’s corporate history. Microsoft’s CEO believes that LinkedIn information can be incorporated into Office 365 and Dynamics and envisages a LinkedIn newsfeed that serves up articles based on an individual’s current project with Office suggesting an expert to connect with via LinkedIn. There are also other potential synergies with Office 665, Dynamics CRM & ERP as well as advertising products and services.

Microsoft continues extending its services to non-Microsoft platforms with Translator for Amazon Fire available from the Amazon Underground app store and Outlook watch face for Android Wear.

Microsoft has announced that it will use Apache Spark to power its big data and analytics offerings, which includes Cortana Intelligence Suite, Power BI and Microsoft R Server.

The CRM 2016 spring wave includes Dynamics CRM Online 2016 Update 1, Dynamics CRM 2016 Service Pack 1, Dynamics Marketing 2016 Update 1 and Social Engagement 2016 Update 1.5.

Microsoft has featured in a number of Gartner’s Magic Quadrants. Identity and Access Management as a Service (IDaaS) for 2016 and Azure Active Directory was placed in the “leaders” quadrant with a favourable completeness of vision assignment. A visionary placement for Intune and the Enterprise Mobility Suite in the Enterprise Mobility Management Magic Quadrant as well as a Leader in the Mobile Application Development Platforms Magic Quadrant.

Of interest is the release of Microsoft’s first holographic email and calendaring apps, Outlook Mail and Calendar, to Microsoft HoloLens.

Microsoft has announced Azure Information Protection, which is a new service that builds on Azure Rights Management (Azure RMS) and its Secure Islands acquisition. There are no changes for current Azure RMS customers until the General Availability of Azure Information Protection later this calendar year.

A preview of Azure AD Conditional Access policies for Exchange and SharePoint Online has been made available. These policies can be used to require multi-factor authentication (MFA) or block access based on network location.

Microsoft will release its Windows 10 Anniversary Update on 2 August. There have been quite a few test builds of the Anniversary Update for Fast Ring PC and phone testers. The Start Menu and Action Centre include a range of refinements and changes as well as significant updates to Edge, which starts to support add-ins.

Apr 14

Microsoft announces public preview of Project Madeira

Microsoft has announced the public preview of Project Madeira, a business management solution for small and midsize businesses (SMBs). The solution connects business processes with Office 365 productivity tools and provides sales, financial management and operations services. Project Madeira is a public cloud service (Software as a Service) running on Azure and can be accessed via the Web or using apps for Windows, iOs and Android devices.

The service is scheduled to become generally available in the U.S. during the second half of 2016, with other countries to follow.

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Apr 01

View on Microsoft’s March activities

Microsoft announced its Dynamics CRM 2016 spring wave that will be available to online customers in Q2 2016. The release focuses on the integration of two recent acquisitions (FieldOne and Adxstudio), which provides capabilities for field service and portal solutions for community engagement.

For Office 365 subscribers, there have been new feature updates to Power Pivot for Excel 2016, which include the ability to save a relationship diagram view as a picture and enhancements to the relationship dialogue experience.

Microsoft announced the availability of SQL Server 2016 Release Candidate 0 and just a few days later, the availability of Release Candidate 1, which included an updated preview portal, custom branding, KPIs and mobile reports as well as paginated reports.

Microsoft plans to release the first version of the Skype Universal Windows Platform Preview app to its Windows Insiders for testing. The version includes a simplified user interface as well as a range of usability features that have been requested.

The first set of extensions for Edge are available to preview via the Windows Insider Program and include the Microsoft Translator, Mouse Gestures and the Reddit Enhancement Suite.

Microsoft has been making a range of announcements at its Build conference for developers. These include the release of HoloLens Development Edition, the introduction of support for Bash with Ubuntu user mode in Windows 10, new Skype for Business App SDK, new Skype Web SDK and a preview of Power BI Embedded.

Support for SQL Server 2005 ends on 12 April 2016. Microsoft plans to end support of the RC4 cipher with April’s cumulative security updates, which will disable the RC4 cipher by default.

Jan 22

Sapa Group implements Microsoft Dynamics AX

The Sapa Group is an international aluminium manufacturer, creating and distributing products like automotive parts and energy-efficient building materials and has over 20,000 employees working in 40 countries. The group implemented Dynamics AX to consolidate and retire legacy ERP solutions, which has reduced management overheads and improved productivity.

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Jan 04

View on Microsoft’s December activities

On a personal note, I hope everyone had a wonderful time during the holiday season and wish you the very best of success for 2016.

Like most companies, Microsoft has been promoting its software and hardware offerings during the holiday season with an occasional announcement worth reporting.

Microsoft continues paying attention to non-Windows platforms and has released Cortana on select iPhone, Android and Cyanogen OS powered devices. The company also released a preview of the Power BI app for iOS with support for SQL Server 2016 CTP 3.2, which provides delivery of on-premises data to mobile devices and includes out-of-the-box mobile reports and KPI tracking.

On the Azure front, Microsoft announced that Dynamics CRM Online customers will be able to use Azure ExpressRoute to establish a private, managed connection to CRM Online. Updates to Azure Backup include faster backup times, reduced cache space and an increase in the number of recovery points for cloud backups.

As part of promoting HoloLens, Microsoft has opened the first ongoing HoloLens experience showcase for developers at its store in New York – appointment required.

2015 saw the release of Windows 10 and Office 2016, an extraordinary amount of activity evolving its non-Windows platform offerings, the continued evolution of the Azure platform and the “restructure” of its acquired Nokia phone business.

Dec 01

Microsoft releases Dynamics CRM 2016

Microsoft has announced the release of Dynamics CRM 2016. The release features integration with Office 365, an enhanced CRM app for Outlook, improved mobile capabilities for phones and tablets as well as a role driven agent experience using the Interactive Service Hub, native Knowledge Management, customer surveys and field service capabilities exploiting Microsoft’s acquisition of FieldOne.

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