Azure App Services is now available in Azure UAE regions and Azure Functions and other new services too!

Microsoft Azure is delivering a broad and extensive range of services, advancing organizations across a variety of areas from 60+ Azure Regions. These services are often considered as a go-to option for applications, running businesses and freeing up time and capabilities, enhancing work, and providing scalability.

There are benefits too with data residency provided from Azure UAE Regions, as data can be kept in the two UAE datacenter regions, in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

From the day that Microsoft has announced global availability of Azure UAE Regions, Microsoft strived to make this more useful for customers and partners such as the recent availability of M and Mv2 Series Virtual Machines to provide SAP S4/HANA high performance, scalability and security along with the addition of new Azure Services to the UAE Regions recently.

Whatever your Application Modernization strategy, Azure is the platform that you need. You can now run App Services, Functions, Azure Red Hat OpenShift, Azure Files Premium tier and Azure DevTest Labs in UAE regions.

  • Azure App Service: Azure App Service is a fully managed platform for building, deploying, and scaling web apps to enable productivity and innovation. App Service helps for building, deploying, and scaling web apps quickly and easily by supporting APIs .NET, .NET Core, Node.js, Java, Python or PHP, in containers or running on Windows or Linux.
  • Azure Functions: Azure Functions allows developers to act by connecting to data sources or messaging solutions thus making it easy to process and react to events. Developers can leverage Azure Functions to build HTTP-based API endpoints accessible by a wide range of applications, mobile and IoT devices.
  • Azure Red Hat OpenShift: Azure Red Hat OpenShift provides a flexible, self-service deployment of fully managed OpenShift clusters. You can maintain regulatory compliance and focus on your application development, while your master, infrastructure, and application nodes are patched, updated, and monitored by both Microsoft and Red Hat. You have the option to choose your own registry, networking, storage, or CI/CD solutions. Or you can get going immediately using built-in solutions with automated source code management, container and application builds, deployments, scaling, health management, and more.
  • Azure Files Premium Tier:  Azure Files premium tier storage offers high-performance, easily accessible file services, built on solid-state drives (SSD). Premium tier is optimized to deliver consistent performance for IO-intensive workloads that require high-throughput and low latency.
  • Azure DevTest Labs: Azure DevTest Labs make it possible to quickly provision development and test environments, which minimizes waste with quotas and policies. The service allows automated shutdowns to be set to minimize costs. Additionally, Windows and Linux environments can be built.

Dynamics 365 Human Resources 2020 release wave 2

Dynamics 365 Human Resources helps businesses empower and engage their workforce, provide modern benefits packages, and stay compliant. It provides a comprehensive personnel management solution, including performance, leave and absence, and payroll integration. Self-service programs help HR professionals and employees manage time off and benefits. Human Resources connects people and operations data to help you optimize workforce costs and take better care of employees.

For the 2020 release wave 2, we’re focused on the following areas to help you expand your offerings and extend your solutions:

  • Transform the employee experience: Manage leave and absence directly from Microsoft Teams, along with full enhancements to employee and manager self-service.
  • Build an HCM ecosystem: Enable streamlined integrations to recruiting and payroll partners.
  • Optimize HR programs: Continue from wave 1 with additional enhancements in leave and absence and benefits management.
  • Unlock your HR data: Modify existing reports and build custom reports using Azure Data Lake and Power BI Pro.
  • Enrich your existing Microsoft solutions with HR data: Integrate directly with Azure Active Directory, Outlook, and other Dynamics 365 applications.

Dynamics 365 Finance Asset Leasing

Today most organizations are experiencing challenges and making plans that they did not anticipate. In times like these, organizations do not have time to worry about reacting to changes in accounting regulations, yet they cannot risk leaving them unaddressed.

A core tenant of Dynamics 365 Finance is to enable you to reduce risk, and to automate and modernize your global financial operations. To help you achieve this, Microsoft are introducing asset leasing in November 2020Asset leasing helps you adapt and be compliant to the FASB and IFRS 16 accounting regulations related to lease management and its financial impact. Asset leasing will reduce manual errors and save your users time through automatic lease status updates, right of use assets, wholistic monitoring and analytics, and calculations of net present value, lease interest, and future cash payments.

Asset leasing features:

  • Automates the complex lease calculation of present value and its subsequent processes such as future lease payment, lease liability amortization, right-of-use asset depreciation, and expense schedules.
  • Automatically classifies the lease as either operating or finance, or as a short-term lease or low-value lease. The lease classification tests include transfer of ownership, purchase option, lease term, present value, and unique asset.
  • Centralizes the management of lease information, such as important dates, including the commencement and expiration dates, as well as the lease’s transaction currency, payment amounts, and payment frequency.
  • Helps to generate accounting entries for the initial recognition, and subsequent measurement of the lease liability and right-of-use asset.
  • Reduces time for complex calculation of lease modification and automatic adjustment transactions.
  • Provides posting to different layers to accommodate different reporting purposes, such as tax reports that are available in Dynamics 365 Finance.
  • Complies with the accounting standards to represent leases on a balance sheet using the Balance sheet impact calculator.
  • Provides audit controls over the integrity of the lease data to ensure that the posted transactions match the calculated amounts of the present value, future payments, and liability amortization.
  • Provides tools to import from or export to Excel for all lease data using data management.
  • Includes features that help in preparing asset leasing reports, particularly the preparation of disclosures and notes.
  • Integrates with company chart of accounts, currencies, fixed assets, vendors, journals, data management, and number sequences.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 2020 Release Wave 1

On the first of April, Microsoft has officially started the 2020 release wave 1, kicking off the deployment of new applications and hundreds of new capabilities and updates across Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Power Platform.

The complete list of new capabilities for 2020 release wave 1 related to Microsoft Dynamics 365 are as follow:

Seamless B2C and B2B customer journeys across sales, marketing, and service:

Dynamics 365 Customer Insights, Microsoft’s customer data platform (CDP), including first and third-party data connections that further enrich customer profiles that can be updated and activated in real-time. Organizations can unlock the value of their data by quickly and accurately predicting customer behavior using out-of-the-box AI templates for churn, customer lifetime value, and next best action recommendations, as well as enable deeper insights with Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics.

B2B organizations can take advantage of new customer engagement capabilities in Dynamics 365 Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, and Field Service to provide customers with unified, consistent, and personalized experiences throughout the entire buyer journey. Sales teams can leverage advanced AI-powered predictive sales forecasting and a new sales acceleration hub for inside sellers. Marketers can enhance campaigns with more personalized and sophisticated email messages, integrated surveys using Microsoft Forms Pro, and aggregated data and segments from Customer Insights. In addition, service centers benefit from centralized scheduling capabilities for dispatchers to schedule technicians and new omnichannel capabilities to reach customers on their preferred channels.

Delivering seamless omnichannel retail experiences:

Dynamics 365 Commerce delivers an end to end retail solution that helps organizations deliver personalized, omnichannel experiences through advanced e-commerce capabilities, intelligent product recommendations, and enhanced clienteling. With Dynamics 365 Commerce, Finance, Supply Chain Management, and Microsoft Power BI you gain greater visibility into an end-to-end processes and virtual warehouses, as well as get a single view of customers across retail and e-commerce.

Exceed customer expectations with an intelligent supply chain:

Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management is updated to deliver predictive insights and intelligence from AI, IoT, and mixed reality to your organization across planning, production, inventory, warehouse, transportation management, and asset management.

Microsoft has added out-of-the-box IoT capabilities that leverages Azure IoT Hub to connect signals from mission-critical assets with business transaction data. This enables manufacturers to improve uptime, throughput, and quality by proactively managing shop floor and equipment operations with a real-time view of their entire production and stock.

Supply Chain Management now integrates with Dynamics 365 Field Service to help reduce downtime of geographically dispersed mission critical assets by automating field service operations, as well as Microsoft Dynamics 365 Guides to train your workforce faster, more effectively, and in some cases, more safely using mixed reality learning experiences.

For Instance: Eaton, a multinational power management company, with 97,000 employees serving customers in 175 countries, is leveraging Dynamics 365 mixed reality solutions as part of its ‘Industry 4.0’ transformation. Following pilot evaluations by their IT and business teams, Dynamics 365 Guides and Dynamics 365 Remote Assist are being deployed globally by different business units starting with the Vehicle Group in over a dozen locations for maintenance, digital layout, training, product development, and connecting global teams on knowledge transfer and best practices sharing.

In addition to these highlights for operations, we’re introducing Dynamics 365 Finance Insights, which brings the power of AI into your finance processes, as well as Dynamics 365 Project Operations, a comprehensive solution for service organizations to connect and run every part of the business.

Power Platform: New ways to analyze, act, and automate

Power Automate adds robotic process automation (RPA)

Power Automate already helps hundreds of thousands of organizations automate millions of processes every day. With the addition of RPA, Power Automate will help these organizations to also automate their legacy apps and manual processes through UI-based automation. The key Power Automate RPA capabilities that are reaching general availability today include RPA for attended and unattended scenarios, a flexible business model to support any business scenario, and several AI Builder models.

Power Automate now provides a single solution for end-to-end automation that spans on-premises systems and the cloud. This approach addresses three primary areas:

  • Intelligent understanding of data: Structured and unstructured data from paper-based invoices to images can be easily understood and integrated with other critical business applications. AI-driven capabilities like forms processing in AI Builder are now generally available.
  • RPA connects to enterprise applications without APIs: Some applications are too old or expensive to support API connectivity. With UI flows, end users can automate their work in these applications by recording manual tasks such as mouse clicks, keyboard inputs, and data entry, and then automate the replay of these steps to integrate with legacy systems.
  • Connecting to over 300 modern apps and services: It is easy to work with information stored in the cloud or on-premises apps and databases. We offer native connectivity to common apps or a company’s APIs with over 300 connectors out-of-the-box.

Power Apps adds mixed reality experiences

Today, we’re announcing new mixed reality capabilities coming to Microsoft Power Apps. With these new features, Power Apps is one of the first low-code no-code platforms that makes it possible for everyone to build mixed reality applications.

With hundreds of millions of augmented reality capable mobile devices in the hands of business users, every Power Apps maker will be able to leverage the power of mixed reality to extend their apps with the ease of drag-and-drop development. With these new capabilities, makers can start to digitize workflows in physical space in new and innovative ways.

Power BI adds new capabilities

Microsoft Power BI is delivering new capabilities focusing on three key areas to help customers drive a data culture:

  • Building on Power BI’s core amazing data exploration experiences, we’ve added the highly requested decomposition tree AI visual, a new Q&A experience, and added a modern ribbon that users are familiar with from Microsoft Office.
  • As we continue to meet the most demanding needs of our enterprise customers, we are adding full application lifecycle management, with the ability for customers to move an app through a deployment pipeline. We have also completely opened Power BI’s semantic models by adding full support for the industry standard XML for Analysis (XMLA) protocol.
  • Finally, to help our customers weave business intelligence deeply into the fabric of the organization, we’ve added support for Microsoft Information Protection and Microsoft Cloud App Security to protect data even when it leaves Power BI, added deep integration with Azure Synapse, and a completely revamped Microsoft Teams integration.

Dynamics 365 Business Central – licensing

According to the principle of licensing applications from MS Dynamics 365 family, Business Central application is also licensed under the concept of a named user (each user requires a license). The exception here is the new Business Central Device license introduced this year, which allows it to be used on a device aggregating the work of many end users, such as data collectors, POSs and others.

Until now, there was a certain license incompatibility of this product with respect to the entire Dynamics 365 family. The division of Base (Base) model and additional (Attach) had no application in Business Central. This aspect has also  been changed with the publication of Wave 1 for 2020. Regardless of the choice of Business Central (Essential / Premium) version, the following licenses have been added:

  • Sales Professional Attach,
  • Customer Service Professional Attach.

This means, that if we have at least one Business Central license (Essential or Premium), we qualify for the base (base) license offer for the other two products of the Dynamics 365 family, which are:

  • Dynamics 365 Sales,
  • Dynamics 365 Customer Service.

If the need to use these applications is required by the customer, then it is possible to buy them in the form of “attach” to existing Business Central licenses at a very bargain price.

Attention! Please note, that any such license can only be attached to the base license. For example, it is not possible to have 1 Business Central license (Essential or Premium) and to attach three licenses for Sales or Customer Service. Similarly, it will not be possible to assign such license as attached to a user who does not have a Business Central primary license assigned.

Power Platform

As news of COVID-19 cases spread globally, Microsoft pulled together a team to help customers coordinate their own information sharing and team collaboration in response to evolving conditions in times of crisis.

In less than 48 hours later, we have released the first version of that solution for any customer organization to quickly implement and updating in parallel.

Get the full instructions for how you can implement your own Crisis Communication app here.

Watch how to use the Crisis Communication solution here.

The solution combines capabilities of Power Apps, Power Automate, Teams, and SharePoint. It can be used on the web, mobile or in Teams.

Key features include:

  • Employees can report their work status (e.g., working from home) and make requests. This helps managers coordinate across their teams and helps central response teams track status across an organization.
  • Admins can use the app to push news, updates, and content specific to their organization, and can provide emergency contacts specific to different locations.
  • The app includes the ability to add RSS feeds of up-to-date information from reputable sources such as WHO, CDC, or a local authority.

As part of this effort, we are also giving all Power Apps users temporary access to a premium feature, Power Apps Push Notifications, so you won’t need any premium licenses to use Power Apps to push information to users. We have reclassified Push Notifications as a standard connector for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis.

The Crisis Communication template has now been implemented at hundreds of organizations around the world and we’re inviting you to use this template.

NOTE:

This app is a sample and may be used with Microsoft Power Apps and Teams for dissemination of reference information only. This app is not intended or made available for use as a medical device, clinical support, diagnostic tool, or other technology intended to be used in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease or other conditions, and no license or right is granted by Microsoft to use this app for such purposes. This app is not designed or intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or judgement and should not be used as such. Customer bears the sole risk and responsibility for any use of this app. Microsoft does not warrant that the app or any materials provided in connection therewith will be sufficient for any medical purposes or meet the health or medical requirements of any person.