Dynamics 365 for Talent Even Stronger with Addition of Attract and Onboard Apps

More than 25,000 people descended upon Orlando, Florida, for this week’s Ignite conference, and as usual, there were lots of announcements about product and innovation.

Microsoft announced that Microsoft Dynamics 365 is getting smarter and more customizable with AI enhancements and modular apps designed for specific business processes. Last month I talked about Dynamics 365 for Talent, and now we are pleased to announce that it’s even better. Two new modular apps will be available as part of Dynamics 365 for Talent later this year: Dynamics 365 for Talent: Attract and Dynamics 365 for Talent: Onboard.

Dynamics 365 for Talent: Attract

Integrates data from Dynamics 365 and LinkedIn to help identify qualified candidates and track applicants for positions. The app is designed to profile the most qualified candidates for your company and role, gain insights into the hiring pool, and improve the return-on-investment (ROI) of the hiring process.

Find, interview, and hire the right people

  • Quickly find the talented people you need and deliver more engaging candidate experiences with native integration to LinkedIn and streamlined, collaborative experiences across candidates, recruiters, hiring managers, and interviewers.
  • Simplify candidate evaluation with visibility into LinkedIn profiles throughout the hiring process
  • Improve communication with native integration to LinkedIn InMail and mobile feedback capabilities
  • Streamline interviews using Office 365 to coordinate calendars and set appointments

Dynamics 365 for Talent: Onboard

An onboarding app to help human resources (HR) train new hires and personalize the onboarding process.

Set up new hires for success

  • Help new employees hit the ground running while feeling impactful and connected throughout those first few critical months.
  • Increase productivity by identifying critical contacts and sharing resources and relevant documents
  • Personalize the pre-boarding and onboarding experience with customizable onboarding guides
  • Monitor onboarding success with real-time dashboards

Dynamics 365 for Talent begins to take full advantage of integration with LinkedIn, and is startlingly easy to use. We were able to deploy it within 21 days, and our teams were able benefit immediately. It closes a key gap in the Dynamics 365 ecosystem and will help us empower our employees around the world to be better informed, more connected, and more productive.
Eric Reading
Executive Vice President, Chemonics International Inc.

These two new modular apps join with three other apps: Engage, Learn and Optimize, to round out the D365 for Talent offering. The Human Capital Management (HCM) application is cloud-based and utilizes Microsoft Common Data Services. The Talent application can be licensed as a stand-alone solution or part of the larger Unified Operations Dynamics 365 Plan. Let us know if we can answer questions about D365 for Talent today!

Best regards,

Robbie Morrison
Chief Solution Strategist, SBS Group

About Robbie
Robbie Morrison has spent nearly 20 years helping customers build and deploy elegant technology and business solutions.  From start-ups to enterprise-class organizations worldwide, his knowledge of the Microsoft Dynamics ecosystem and Robbie-2017products helps SBS Group customers maximize ROI on technology investments.

Today, Robbie serves SBS Group customers in his role as Chief Solution Strategist where he provides thought leadership and manages the development of B2B solutions.  Robbie received his MBA from the University of Georgia, Terry College of Business.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/robbiemorrison

 

Microsoft Ignite Announces AI and Bots to Boot

This is our third post covering announcements from Microsoft Ignite in as many days, but there is a lot to talk about following this conference!

Building off much of what Microsoft unveiled at the Inspire conference in July, the company announced new products and innovations that span Azure, Bing, Office 365, Dynamics 365, Windows 10 S, Microsoft Teams, artificial intelligence (AI), security and threat protection, plus a host of developer announcements around SQL Sever 2017 and beyond.

Yes, we said AI. And bots to boot. This isn’t a science fiction movie plot – it’s a reality for businesses, made possible by Microsoft.

New Dynamics 365 AI solutions, such as chatbots and virtual agents, are designed to augment existing customer support and sales processes with intelligent assistant technology and natural language processing (NLP). These agents are already in production within Microsoft Support operations and in pilot with customers – HP and Macy’s are already using the new chatbot to help handle customer queries so that people can get their responses faster. The virtual agents can also integrate with third-party chat apps through the Microsoft Bot Framework, letting them live in apps such as Facebook Messenger, Kik, Microsoft Teams, Skype, and Slack.

Microsoft also announced a preview of updates to Azure Machine Learning: Azure CosmosDB and Azure Functions. These offer developers and data scientists a new set of AI model management tools leveraging open-source frameworks. The Azure CosmosDB database service and server-less Azure Functions offering lets developers write a few lines of code that can tie ML into Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, database changes, and more.

Use AI to solve business problems

Vision
Image-processing algorithms to smartly identify, caption and moderate your pictures.

Speech
Convert spoken audio into text, use voice for verification, or add speaker recognition to your app.

Knowledge
Map complex information and data in order to solve tasks such as intelligent recommendations and semantic search.

Search
Add Bing Search APIs to your apps and harness the ability to comb billions of webpages, images, videos, and news with a single API call.

Language
Allow your apps to process natural language with pre-built scripts, evaluate sentiment and learn how to recognize what users want.

What does all of this mean for Dynamics 365 users? Better customer service for one. Imagine having AI and chatbots continually trolling the Internet for you to determine if, and how, your customers or prospects are talking about you. You would have the ability to proactively solve customer service problems before they become a PR nightmare.

Let us know if we can answer any questions about these or other announcements from Inspire.

Best regards,

Robbie Morrison
Chief Solution Strategist, SBS Group

About Robbie
Robbie Morrison has spent nearly 20 years helping customers build and deploy elegant technology and business solutions.  From start-ups to enterprise-class organizations worldwide, his knowledge of the Microsoft Dynamics ecosystem and Robbie-2017products helps SBS Group customers maximize ROI on technology investments.

Today, Robbie serves SBS Group customers in his role as Chief Solution Strategist where he provides thought leadership and manages the development of B2B solutions.  Robbie received his MBA from the University of Georgia, Terry College of Business.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/robbiemorrison

 

Six Months to Migrate: The Dangers of an Unsupported Windows XP OS

As previously discussed, Windows XP will be retired by Microsoft on April 8, 2014, which is just over 6 months away. Microsoft will end support for the operating system meaning XP users “…will no longer receive critical security updates, leaving gaping holes for attackers to gain access to sensitive files.” According to Holly Stewart, a senior program manager of the Microsoft Malware Protection Center, “Businesses slow to migrate to Windows 7 or Windows 8 could be strapped with implementing costly security measures, and consumers could be exposing themselves to data thieves and other activity…”

These security issues should be a concern to anyone, but the fact that “XP lived longer than any version of Windows ever…” is a major red flag. Developed over 12 years ago, the security features that were robust and as advanced for the time period have now become outdated due to “…rapid growth in online criminal activity.” Stewart continues, explaining that “The infection rate of Windows XP systems is also significantly higher…Windows XP users are six times more likely to be infected than Windows 8 users…”

According to web traffic analysis, “…StatCounter estimates that XP still makes up 21 percent of the worldwide OS market. A recent study conducted by Dimensional Research found that nearly half of the 500 IT professionals it surveyed haven’t completed their migration off of Windows XP. About 16 percent haven’t started.” This is a major concern when factoring in the average enterprise deployment period of 18-32 months.

Any organization that has not started, or is in the early stages of migration is well behind and may have to utilize extended third-party XP support. But Stewart warns that this “….should be considered an avenue of last resort to help bridge the gap during a migration process to a modern OS…” With only a few months until the support cycle ends, organizations that have not yet begun to migrate should factor in a strategy to extend past the end of support and dealing with expected malware infections.

For all Windows XP users, a migration strategy needs to be a priority to minimize the potential costs through extended support, malware damage, and substantial antivirus protection. SBS Group can help plan and execute a migration strategy to minimize your risks. Contact us to get started on your Windows XP migration.

The Four “Big Rocks” of Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 R2

Expected to be released in May, Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 R2 is committed to focusing on four major components, or “big rocks” – requisition, workflow, identity management, and procurement. This release is intended to focus on some of the more valuable capabilities, with smaller changes, or “pebbles” pushed back for a later release.

GP 2013 R2

Business Portal will begin its fading process in lieu of a new set of capabilities that will be built “…into the GP core through the desktop and web client….There will be several integration points for the new capabilities, including into business intelligence, MDA, encumbrance management, fixed assets, project accounting, manufacturing, and analytic accounting.”

These new requisition capabilities will use new workflow architecture as GP begins to break away from SharePoint. While SharePoint delivered positive results, the most significant issue was the increase in cost. In order to lower the cost and provide a simplified workflow “…GP 2013 R2 will begin the roll out of a new native workflow engine that no longer relies on SharePoint.”

One of the criticisms of past Dynamics GP versions was the complicated login method due to the high level of security. In the 2013 R2 update, a new streamlined approach will improve identity management. “The goal in R2 is to improve the web client logon experience, to reduce the sheer amount of identity management that the users has to deal with, to support companion apps and web services scenarios, and to move toward Office 365 security integration.”

One of the new apps coming to GP 2013 R2 is the procurement companion app. “The plan is to create an app that is available in the Windows store that any employee could easily download and begin using for their procurement needs. Like the requisitions functionality, procurement is expected to be built on top of the new workflow engine.”

For more information on Microsoft Dynamics GP or updates on the GP 2013 R2 release, you can contact SBS Group here.

Excitement Brewing Over New Dynamics CRM 2013 Features

From a recent post by IT journalist, Linda Rosencrance, it seems as if the new favorite Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 features are beginning to take shape. Still without an official release date (but heavy October speculation), CRM 2013 is poised to be the major contributor to Microsoft’s autumn update trio including the NAV R2, and Windows 8.1 updates.

Here are a few features that have Dynamics partners excited for October:

Quick Create vs. Quick Forms – The “Quick Create” form, which is accessible by clicking on the “Create” button on the new navigation bar at the top of the screen, lets users quickly create records for the core entity types from anywhere in the system. The “Quick Form” form is a “sub-form” that can be embedded onto the main form of an entity.

Real-time/Synchronous Workflows – Users can create real-time/synchronous workflows and package & deploy these real-time/synchronous workflows via solution files.

Search by Phone Number – Quickly search for records.  Create the new phone call activity and enter the phone number into the “Call To” field. CRM 2013 will then search for a matching Account or Contact in the system based on the phone number that has been entered.

Form and Field Notifications – A new feature in Dynamics CRM 2013 enables the form and field specific notifications to be dynamically displayed.

Improved View Filters – The feature in Dynamics CRM 2011 that introduced filtering for system views across multiple entities, allowing users to apply Excel-like filters to different sets of data in order to drill down and categorize records, has been extended in CRM 2013 to enable users to save custom filters into new personal views.

Make sure you’re ready for the new Dynamics 2013 release.  You can check out the release preview guide and make sure to contact SBS Group to help transition to Microsoft Dynamics CRM this fall.

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