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Microsoft Announces Trio of Dynamics Releases in December

Microsoft's Dynamics partners and customers are set for an eventful December, with the general availability dates of three of the company's Dynamics solutions all falling within weeks of each other.

Dynamics AX 2012 R2 is now generally available, Microsoft announced on Tuesday. Additionally, the Q4 service update to Dynamics CRM Online will be released to the Web in mid-December. Finally, Dynamics GP 2013 will become generally available on Dec. 19.

The product refreshes come on the heels of Dynamics NAV 2013's general availability in October, making this a period of "unprecedented" launches, Microsoft said in its announcement.

"Our December product releases deliver significant value to customers through simple-to-use and easy-to-implement business solutions," said Kirill Tatarinov, president of Microsoft Business Solutions, in a prepared statement. "This wave of new Microsoft Dynamics' capabilities, together with Microsoft's innovative social, mobile, collaboration, productivity and analytics resources, inspires people to do their best work and transform their businesses."

Dynamics AX 2012 R2
Release 2 of Dynamics AX 2012, Microsoft's enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution for manufacturing, retail, public sector, distribution and services organizations, is now generally available available in 36 countries.

"We are incredibly excited about this release," said Christian Pedersen, general manager of Dynamics Enterprise Applications and Services at Microsoft, in a phone interview. Pedersen noted Dynamics AX 2012 R2's focus on enabling businesses with multiple offices around the world to manage their operations from a single deployment. The release adds support for the languages and legislations of 11 additional countries: China, Japan, India, Brazil, Russia, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.

"It really enables businesses that have operations in multiple geographies and countries to rapidly move forward with their business," Pedersen said.

Dynamics AX 2012 R2 also features improved business intelligence capabilities, including new Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), via SQL Server 2012's Power View technology.

This post on Microsoft's Dynamics AX blog lists several Web pages where administrators can find various documentation on Dynamics AX 2012 R2. A PDF of new features in Dynamics AX 2012 R2 is available for download here. Those interested in purchasing Dynamics AX 2012 R2 can go here.

Dynamics GP 2013
Roughly three months after being released to beta, Dynamics GP 2013 is now scheduled for general availability on Dec. 19.

"Dynamics GP 2013 is really designed for small [and] medium business organizations that need a powerful business solution. They're looking for something that is quickly implemented and simple to use," said Errol Schoenfish, director product management at Microsoft, in a phone interview.

Dynamics GP 2013 will deliver over 125 improvements, Microsoft said, but Schoenfish singled out three areas in particular. The first is the product's ability to let customers deploy their solutions via a Web client. "What this does is it's not an either-or situation," Schoenfish said. "You can run a Web client and a traditional desktop client in the same deployment at the same time. It really allows customers to be flexible around how they want to deploy the solution. We believe that different customers do different things, and there's no one correct way to deploy a solution."

For partners, Dynamics GP 2013 includes improved "hostability" features, such as a new management console, to help them deliver more streamlined deployments to customers. ISV partners, in particular, benefit from the ability to deploy solutions to the Web automatically, Schoenfish said.

The the other two areas Schoenfish highlighted are faster and lower-risk deployments via the new RapidStart toolset, and improved ease-of-use and productivity via integration with other Microsoft products, including Office and Office 365.

Microsoft has said in the past that it eventually plans to make all of its ERP solutions, including Dynamics GP and Dynamics NAV, available via Windows Azure. However, Dynamics NAV 2013 became generally available this fall without that Azure-hosted version. In an interview with ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley, Schoenfish said Azure-hosted versions of Dynamics NAV and Dynamics GP will arrive in mid-2013.

Dynamics CRM Online Update
The global rollout of the Q4 Dynamics CRM Online update will begin in mid-December and last through January, Microsoft said.

As the company announced last month in a blog post, the update will feature support for more browsers on more devices, integration with Office 2013, embedded Bing maps, and social networking capabilities via integration with Yammer and Skype, both recent major acquisitions by Microsoft.

Microsoft has previously said that a version of Dynamics CRM for mobile devices would be included in the Q4 service update. However, a Microsoft spokesperson said that mobile support will come in a "future update." Microsoft will release more details about Dynamics CRM for mobile during its Convergence conference, scheduled to take place during March 2013 in New Orleans, the spokesperson said.

About the Author

Gladys Rama is the Senior Site Producer for RCPmag.com.

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