Muhammad Alam - General Manager, Dynamics 365 for Finance & Operations
In 2018, we announced a new update cadence for Dynamics 365 applications to help you stay current in a consistent, predictable, and seamless manner. Today, with One Version, Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations customers have easy access to new capabilities and innovation in an environment that eliminates the cost and disruption that defined enterprise software upgrades in the past. All of this comes as part of One Version, without sacrificing the control that is essential for mission-critical workloads.
In the past, business application vendors delivered innovation slowly. Customer deployments, characterized by extensive customizations and complex integrations, could not adapt new capabilities without expensive, disruptive upgrade projects. The result was that most customers faced even longer delays and increased expense before they could realize the benefits of the new capabilities – and in many cases, customers never reached that goal. With One Version, Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations innovation will be delivered rapidly and regularly, and every customer will immediately have the ability to opt in to leverage the new capabilities. With One Version, Microsoft delivers tailored service updates for mission-critical enterprise business software.
“As a product owner of the new retail solution on Dynamics 365, and my more than 20 years within this industry, I have never seen anything like it. We are already looking forward to version 10 and One Version. Dynamics 365 for Retail is on the right path, and we cannot wait to see what’s next from Microsoft.”
– Kim Guldager, Retail Circle Product Owner, BESTSELLER
One Version also raises the level of quality that customers can expect in their enterprise software. Historically, a landscape of almost every customer running a different combination of software versions and hot fixes made the challenge of ensuring quality incredibly difficult. With One Version, when Microsoft fixes an issue in one environment, the same solution can be rapidly propagated to all customers. With One Version, Microsoft raises the quality bar for mission-critical enterprise business software.
The One Version journey begins now, but our investments to make this possible started over two years ago. One of the first innovations was the introduction of the extension-only model for customization. This is a critical enabler for the One Version continuous update process, and it extends the coverage of the model to our ecosystem of ISVs and implementation partners, and our customers. This allows them to innovate more quickly and extend the Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations product, preserving the promise of One Version.
“Having the DXC Eclipse ISV extensions on One Version is enabling our customers to continuously keep up to date with Microsoft’s latest fixes and new features with a minimum amount of effort.”
– Ivan Cole, DXC Technology
“The move to One Version enables us to deliver our accelerators to the market faster, saving us time and money while allowing our clients to see business value from our solution. Moving to one-version ensures we have One Version of our solution to maintain, which frees up our capacity to deliver customer enhancements of our solution. The regression suite automation tool allows us and our clients to take these updates with a peace of mind.”
– Rachel Profitt, MVP, Director, Client Solution Architect, RSM
The idea of a single version of cloud software that delivers continuous innovation is central to Software as a Service, however core enterprise software is mission-critical, often customized, and generally wrapped in multiple integrations. This raises the bar of the importance of the customer being able to validate software updates before they deploy and have full control of when those updates move to production. Microsoft has developed six essential innovations that let One Version meet this bar:
- Safe deployment rings – Each software update progresses through a series of rings, starting from internal Microsoft deployments, and progressing to partners and customers requesting early access before full deployment. At each stage, both the version and the update process are exercised as they will be in general availability. Telemetry is collected at each stage, with the update moving to the next stage only with successful results.
- Regression Suite Automation Tool (RSAT) – This new tool empowers customers to efficiently script regression tests specific to their organization, which can be used to validate pending updates in their sandbox environment, before updates progress to production deployment.
- Release Validation Program (RVP) – With this program, multiple customers provide their RSAT suites to Microsoft and Microsoft deploys shadows of their environment and runs their RSAT suites as part of the internal deployment ring validation. Running both our own tests and this diverse set of customer specific tests before production deployment is another key level of quality assurance.
- Enabling new features – Customers need to control when new capabilities that change business processes or user experiences are enabled for their deployment. As part of One Version, the ability to manage new features has been added, ensuring that customers maintain this critical level of control.
- Control of update timing – Every organization has critical periods when system maintenance can and can’t be performed. One Version allows customers to control the timing of production environment updates, and even allows the ability to opt out of selected updates for critical periods.
- Reduced downtime updates – With continuous updates, the time spent making updates can add up. To make One Version practical and actually improve system availability, the One Version program includes investments to reduce update downtime.
“The words “upgrade” and “easy” aren’t typically used in the same sentence for ERP, that is until the One Version service updates from Microsoft made it so. As a regulated industry, it is important for us to have the right processes to be ready for continuous update and we have developed processes and are investing in the RSAT tool to experience an “evergreen” ERP world.”
– Jeff Ketelhut, Vice President and Head of IT, Atara Biotherapeutics
“We now have a longer-term view on modifications and enhancements that benefit our company. Within hours after we refresh/upgrade an environment, we can have scripts run that create a known set of scenarios in various states – every time.”
– Tom Ashbrook, CIO, 5.11 Tactical
While we’re officially starting this journey at scale today, we have already been exercising our muscles with our early customers and partners, and have done thousands of updates in customer sandbox and production environments to create a robust process.
One Version begins NOW. Join us in the transformation to modern application management!