Dynamics 365 in Microsoft Teams

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Another announcement at Microsoft Inspire is that soon users will be able to view and interact with Dynamics 365 records and data directly inside Microsoft Teams – without requiring additional licensing.

In a blog post, Microsoft state that they are “eliminating the licensing tax” that has previously prevented organisations from integrating Dynamics 365 & Microsoft Teams. There isn’t a huge amount of additional information available yet so the specific questions as to what data can be shared and what can be done to it etc. will have to wait for another day. This blog from Jukka Niiranen attempts to uncover some potential insights from the Microsoft demo video that’s available.

However, it is clear that this is (another) shot at Salesforce in Microsoft’s efforts to make Dynamics 365 the #1 CRM system out there. It also serves to further Teams’ growing position as the central hub for users throughout their work day, where they’re able to do most things at this point (but no email).

Further Reading

MS announcement

MS site (with demo video)

Jukka Niiranen blog

Microsoft Financial Results: Q3 FY21

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Microsoft’s financial results for Q3 FY21 (Jan – Mar 21) are in and, as usual, they’re pretty impressive.

  • Revenue = $41.7 billion – up 19%
  • Operating income = $17 billion – up 31%

Looking at the different product divisions we can see:

Productivity & Business Processes

Revenue = $13.6 billion – up 15%

Office 365 Commercial was up 22%, LinkedIn increased 25%, and Dynamics 365 was up 45%.

Microsoft Teams is up to 145 million daily active users, almost doubling YoY and Office 365 Commercial has nearly 300 million paid seats. Office Commercial products (on-premises Office) was down 25% – continuing its downwards trend as organisations continue to move to the cloud.

Satya Nadella revealed that Power Platform now has almost 16 million monthly active users, an increase of 97%, and revenue has increased by 84%. Amy Hood (CFO) called out Power Apps and Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations as strong performers.

Intelligent Cloud

Revenue = $15.1 billion – up 23%

Azure growth was 50% yet again, with Amy Hood highlighting an increase in the number of large, long-term Azure contracts.

On-premises server products grew 3%, although that seems to largely be due to year on year currency fluctuations, and the EMS install base grew again, now sitting at 174 million seats.

SQL Server on Azure VMs grew 129% YoY alongside Cosmos DB growth too.

More Personal Computing

Revenue = $13 billion – up 19%

Again there was a big difference in Windows OEM as Pro revenue declined 2% but non-Pro grew 44%.

See the Microsoft details here.

Microsoft financial results: Q2 FY21

Microsoft have, once again, had a stellar quarter (Oct-Dec 20) with overall results of:

  • Revenue up 17% to $43.1 billion
  • Operating income up 29% to $17.9 billion

Looking deeper into specific product categories and areas we can see:

Productivity and Business Processes

Revenue was up 13% to $13.4 billion which included:

  • Office 365 Commercial up 21%
  • Dynamics 365 up 39%
  • LinkedIn up 23%

Intelligent Cloud

Revenue was up 23% to $14.6 billion and Azure was revenue growth of 50%

More Personal Computing

The “other” parts of Microsoft’s business all saw success to with revenue up 14% to $15.1 billion. This included:

  • Windows Commercial up 10%
  • Xbox up 40%
  • Surface up 3%

Microsoft’s results are very consistent and are outperforming pretty much every comparable competitor you can think of…Oracle, SAP, and IBM are very far away from numbers like these! Amazon are still seeing great success with AWS – currently rising around 28% – but that is a greatly limited portfolio when compared to that under Satya Nadella’s control.

There are several areas of Microsoft’s product line-up which are at the very start of their evolution and will grow and continue these results for the foreseeable future.

See the full info from Microsoft here.

Microsoft Product Terms, November 2020

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Just 2 product additions this month:

Microsoft Cloud Healthcare Add-on:
This can be added onto M365 E3/E5, Power Apps/Automate/BI, or a range of D365 licenses

GitHub Enterprise Æ <– 👀 Not sure if this is the actual name or a typo! As a couple of people have pointed out, it’s got a bit of an Elon Musk vibe 😂

Couple of promotions added too…

Free Audio Conferencing licenses for EA, EAS, and EES customers:
You need to have a paid sub with Teams.
Requires min. 20% Teams adoption within 6 months
Not available in China or India

Free audio conferencing for CSP & Web direct:
Free (up to) 12 months licenses are available via the admin portal, not in China or India.

Microsoft Financial Results: Q1 FY21

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As I think most of us expected, Microsoft’s strong financial results continued in Q1 FY21.

Headline figures

In July – September 2020, Microsoft saw:

  • Revenue up 12% to $37.2 billion
  • Operating Income up 25% to $15.9 billion
  • Net Income up 30% to $13.9 billion
  • Operating Expenses grew by 10% (primarily driven by investments in Azure)

This is a fantastic performance as Microsoft – unlike many of their rivals – continue to grow and thrive during the COVID-19 pandemic. While IBM, Oracle, and SAP are all reporting lacklustre numbers – Microsoft are doing very well. This is mainly due to Microsoft’s wide and varied portfolio – if you don’t want one thing, there are plenty of others they can sell you – but also due to the relevance of their product line-up.

Not only are Microsoft 365 and Azure hugely relevant right now, so are products like the Power Platform and Dynamics 365 as they enable new ways of working and digital transformation. This is a strength many of their competitors don’t have – if you don’t want to buy a big database or an ERP system, that dramatically reduces the options for Oracle & SAP for example.

Product Highlights

  • Office 365 commercial revenue was up 21%
  • Dynamics 365 again grew by 38%
  • Azure saw another quarter of 48% growth
  • LinkedIn was up 16%
  • Surface revenue rose 37%
  • Enterprise Mobility & Security install base has grown to 152 million+ seats

On the flip side – Office Commercial was down 30% showing the move away from on-premises perpetual to cloud-based subscriptions continues apace.

Microsoft also called out “continued weakness” in transactional licensing as they saw a 1% drop in “server products” revenue. To be honest, I’m surprised it isn’t a bigger drop than that…

Another drop in Windows Pro OEM sales (22%) while Windows non-Pro OEM grew by 31%. This will partly be due to organisations de-prioritising laptop refreshes right now but also, I suspect, by users working from home buying themselves new “work” devices. That latter aspect opens up some licensing issues – as volume licensing Windows licenses generally can’t be applied to Windows Home licenses.

Microsoft are in a very strong position and it’s further proof that Satya Nadella has overseen one of the greatest corporate turnarounds for a long time!

Further Reading


Microsoft retire Dynamics 365 apps for LinkedIn

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Microsoft have announced that they’re retiring two Dynamics 365 apps, Talent Attract and Talent Onboard, with the LinkedIn Talent Hub being the preferred replacement.

The retirement date is February 1, 2022 and “eligible” customers can continue using the services until that date or the end of their most recent contract or renewal – whichever comes first. If you’re not currently using these apps but have a plan to do so – and still want to continue now Microsoft have announced they’re being phased out and no new capabilities will be added – there is an opt-in process to enable eligibility. You can raise a support ticket to become eligible to access the services until 2022 – that process must be completed by January 31, 2020.

Microsoft are rebranding their “core HR capabilities” from “Dynamics 365 Talent” to “Dynamics 365 Human Resources”, with current customers being transitioned to the new service automatically. This is all further change and flux within the Dynamics 365 family – it will be interesting to see if it calms down through 2020 at all.

Further Reading:

Microsoft Announcement – https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/dynamics365/bdm/2019/12/06/building-a-more-successful-workforce-with-dynamics-365-human-resources/

Microsoft Details – https://community.dynamics.com/365/talent/b/dynamics365fortalent/posts/retiring-dynamics-365-talent-attract-and-onboard-apps

LinkedIn Talent Hub – https://business.linkedin.com/talent-solutions/talent-hub#

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central

Microsoft have announced the upcoming release of Dynamics 365 Business Central, with general availability from April 2, 2018 for 14 countries:

  • USA
  • Canada
  • UK
  • Denmark
  • Netherlands
  • Germany
  • Spain
  • Italy
  • France
  • Austria
  • Switzerland
  • Belgium
  • Sweden
  • Finland

with Australia and New Zealand following on July 1, 2018.

What does it do?

Microsoft say this product “brings the full power of Dynamics NAV” to the cloud and covers:

  • Managing finances
  • Operations
  • Sales
  • Customer Service


There will be 2 editions available:

  • Dynamics 365 Business Central Essentials
  • Dynamics 365 Business Central Premium

and, although I haven’t seen it confirmed, it’s likely it will have the 300 user limit that applies to the Office 365 Business products.

Interestingly, this product will be available ONLY via the CSP (Cloud Solution Provider) program…there is no volume licensing availability announced.

Further Reading

Microsoft Blog

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