Get into the minds of the Microsoft Executive team, get their thoughts on the future of Microsoft Dynamics and understand how those within Microsoft deal with financial issues.
It’s always a pleasure to connect with the Microsoft Dynamics Community. For those of you who may not know me, my name is Mike Ehrenberg, I am responsible for technical vision and product planning for Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM solutions.
Kirill talked to you about the three tiers of the Dynamic Business – People, Process and Ecosystem. I want to start from those tiers, and share a little about how we will continue to evolve Dynamics software to help power our customers’ own evolution into dynamic businesses. First, it is important to note that this is not a new direction, but instead, a continuation accelerated by the clarity of intent provided by our dynamic business vision.Kirill’s post was centered on three tiers. I will look at three key areas where we will drive major steps in the evolution of Dynamics to support those tiers…for each, highlighting three key developments that will define our future releases. Three seems to be a particularly important number…maybe it should be the start of a ticket in the new Washington Powerball lottery.First, let’s talk about User Experience. Microsoft is doing exciting work in every area of natural user interface. I’m sure that someday soon this blog will get a look at warehouse management powered by Project Natal, but I’ll leave that one for Jakob Nielsen. We are centered on making people more productive. The Dynamics RoleTailored experience is a major step in this direction – bringing users an experience centered on their roles and responsibilities, prioritizing their tasks, and informing them with business intelligence to make smarter decisions. Looking forward, our RoleTailored experience will get stronger, and in the future, three (of course) areas where we’ll push further are:• Context Aware UX – having the system tailor the user’s experience based on their role is one aspect of context awareness. Recognizing that a user has entered a conference room with a wall-sized display, or knowing that it’s the last week of the quarter are other aspects of context that the product could understand to immediately bring more relevant information to the user.• Task Specific UX – we have shown prototypes of powerful user experiences, enabled by great data visualization, targeted to a single task – for example, the touch screen warehouse experience. In time, we will drive many of these exciting task specific experiences into our products.• UX for a new generation – a new generation of users is entering the workforce, and our experiences will adapt to welcome them. Pervasive search, connections to social networking, blending of work life and personal life, and many others will shape how Dynamics will transform business application user experience for a new generation.
The second major vector of change is in the system architecture itself – technical change driven by customer needs in a rapidly evolving world and supported by innovation across the entire Microsoft platform. Let me call out the two…just kidding, three…big areas to watch.• Cloud – we have taken our first steps with cloud services that extend Dynamics. As we focus on the challenges and opportunities of the connected ecosystem, we will explore new dimensions enabled by the cloud.• Service orientation – more and more, Dynamic business look at entirely new structures – outsourcing of processes, joint ventures, even the construction of almost virtual companies. It is essential that the business software have the flexibility to be assembled to match these structures. Building from the introduction of service interfaces today, we will explore transforming Dynamics from a singular product into a composition of services that can be combined in flexible ways to match the changing ways in which businesses themselves are composed.• Model driven systems and model driven development – Dynamics excels today in its adaptability. We will continue to build on this, reaching new levels by making more and more of the system behavior modeled – and therefore expressed without writing code – allowing change to be driven directly by business analysts, simplifying deployment and future upgrades. Our work here will build on the great work across Microsoft’s platform and tools teams centered on model driven development.Last…and third…and by far…not least, the application itself will evolve. Of course, let’s highlight three hotspots for the application evolution enabling the dynamic business.• Process – we will continue to expand the applications understanding – through models of course – of business processes, building up from modeled workflows today to the full process map for the business. And, more dimensions of the application will exploit that model, for example, giving users the ability to see all of the documents following a process through the system.• BI – Dynamics already leads the way as an application embedding BI directly within the application experience, but we have only scratched the surface. BI – including BI about process performance – is what turns the software from a transaction recorder and extra steps for users into the tool that truly helps people make better decisions driving a more successful, more dynamic business. We will make BI easier and easier for users to define, capture and use in every aspect of their work through Dynamics.• Connected Ecosystem – businesses have moved from organizations in isolation to ones that only exist in a web, connected to their suppliers, partners, customers, potential future partners and to global and social networks. This enables, and will in turn require, new application scenarios that drive the connections to those networks. Supplier Portals as part of the business application are one example today. This represents an important new sea of opportunities for our applications. Like everywhere else, enabling these scenarios with our core tenets – for example, simplicity, value and choice is how we will continue to differentiate Microsoft Dynamics.Of course, this is not an exhaustive – or even prioritized – list, but a sample of some of the exciting work we’ll be doing as we move the vision of software for the dynamic business forward. Every step so far has been exciting and valuable….stay tuned for lots more to come. I look forward to sharing more details of our technology roadmap as we move forward on this journey, but for now, I’m off to the Powerball store….3, ….
Mike EhrenbergDistinguished Engineer, Microsoft Dynamics
Mike, This is a great vision indeed and certainly what is needed from software for running dynamic businesses. I hope you can come visit our stand in Convergence Atlanta 2010 to see many of these concepts already implemented in AgileXRM for Dynamics.
I believe in the vision: enhance productivity and that through making things available anywhere, but also context aware, task aware, etc.
But still it is a big chunk of work if you look at current code base and architecture in AX ... I believe it really requires more than a vision document, but it must be made concrete to make it happen and developers must understand the concept and drive the concept ...
Where we want to enhance productivity on the shopfloor, we should also see how we can enhance the productivity of our own development organization.
Looking forward to see and experience execution on the vision ... If executed well, Microsoft has big future in Enterprise Applications market.
Warm regards and success!
I am interested in reviewing your business process models - I see from my research that Capgemini worked with their process tool - which is called Extended Enterprise Effectiveness - I would be interested in seeing that model down to the sub process level
This is really good reading for sales guys....especially when we can't get to sleep.
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