Dynamics 365 April 2019 Release Notes

Microsoft announce that the April 2019 Release Notes for Dynamics 365 and Power Platform are now available, detailing the hundreds of new enhancements and capabilities across the Dynamics 365 applications. Key dates for your diary include 1st February, 2019 when the preview of some of the new features starts, and 5th April, 2019 when it’s General Availability time.

Find the announcement and download the 315 page PDF here: http://bit.ly/2R6qOwV.

Visual Studio Subscriptions

Visual Studio subscriptions provide access to developer tools, as well as cloud services and software to support all types of dev projects. Microsoft have sold Standard subscriptions through Volume Licensing agreements and annual or monthly Cloud subscriptions through the Visual Studio Marketplace. Note that annual Cloud subscriptions are no longer available, but that existing customers can continue to renew, increase, decrease, or cancel their subscriptions.

The Cloud subscriptions page is here: http://bit.ly/2HrksJj.

MyAnalytics Availability

Microsoft announce that MyAnalytics is now available to everyone using Office 365 and Microsoft 365 Enterprise and Business suites that include Exchange Online. Previously, MyAnalytics was only available with an E5 plan or as an Add-on to E1 and E3 plans.

To remind yourself of the benefits of MyAnalytics and to get an overview of timelines, find the Microsoft announcement here: http://bit.ly/2Cz31AE.

New Security and Compliance Offerings

The Microsoft 365 Enterprise plans are a convenient way of purchasing Windows 10 Enterprise, Office 365 and EMS. If you look at the difference between the E3 and E5 plans then there are three main areas where you get more functionality in E5: security and compliance, productivity tools, and telephony.

On 2nd January, 2019 Microsoft announced two new Add-on plans for Microsoft 365 E3 to allow customers to buy the security and compliance components at a cost-effective price from 1st February, 2019.

Information Protection & Compliance will be made up of Office 365 Advanced Compliance and Azure Information Protection Plan 2 and will be $10 per user per month.

Identity & Threat Protection will be ALL of the other security components: Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection, Azure Advanced Threat Protection for Users, Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection (now including Office 365 Threat Intelligence), Azure Active Directory Premium Plan 2, and Microsoft Cloud App Security. This plan will be available for $12 per user per month.

Find the Microsoft announcement here: http://bit.ly/2sFNgUa.

A new way to buy and manage Microsoft Azure services

Microsoft announce that from March 2019 there will be a new way to buy and manage Microsoft Azure services directly from Microsoft. Customers will have a new agreement – the Microsoft Customer Agreement – which will replace any existing agreements that they are buying Azure through, and will be a non-expiring, simpler agreement.

Management of the Azure services is likely to be easier too with a single portal for account and cost management, and billing and invoicing. Note that to start with, customers will be invited by Microsoft directly to purchase through this new agreement.

Find out more and access an FAQ here: http://bit.ly/2D24dhg.

CSP Subscription Billing Frequency Changes

If you’re a CSP partner then you might like to know that from 31 October, 2018 you can now change the billing frequency of a Subscription for the Online Services (Office 365 etc) from monthly to annual, and vice versa.

Find an FAQ here: http://bit.ly/2T0izF0 and an updated billing article here: http://bit.ly/2FfyA77.

Updated Dynamics 365 Licensing Guide

There’s an updated (November 2018) Dynamics 365 Licensing Guide. The main changes are the addition of the Dynamics 365 AI for Sales app (page 15) and some extra clarity around the new Order Lines add-on (page 45). You’ll also notice that some fairly major restructuring has taken place.

Find this guide alongside the rest of the Microsoft Licensing Guides here: http://bit.ly/MSLicensingGuides.

Dynamics 365 AI Apps

The Dynamics 365 AI apps build on the intelligent capabilities in Dynamics 365 to offer additional insights. Microsoft announce that Dynamics 365 AI for Sales is now available in the US (http://bit.ly/2JCVK69).

From a licensing perspective, it’s available for users already licensed with Sales Enterprise, Microsoft Relationship Sales Solution, Customer Engagement Plan, or Dynamics 365 Plan, as an add-on at $50 per user per month (http://bit.ly/2zoVQtg).

Dynamics 365 AI for Customer Service (http://bit.ly/2JCWNmB) and Dynamics 365 AI for Market Insights (http://bit.ly/2QfgNxP) are also available in public preview.

New SA Benefit: Access to Exchange Online Voice Mail Service

Microsoft add a new Software Assurance benefit to the November 2018 Product Terms. Customers with active SA for Exchange Server Standard/Enterprise 2019 may use the Exchange Online Voice Mail Service to access voice messages from Outlook.

The details are on page 25, and you can download the Product Terms every month here: http://bit.ly/MSproductterms.

Home Use Program: Office 2019

The Home Use Program is available to those customers who have active Software Assurance on their Office suite or applications licences, and it enables users of licensed devices to buy Office products at a heavily discounted price for home use. Office 2019 is now available through this program with a choice of Office Professional Plus 2019, Office Home and Business 2019, Visio Professional 2019 and Project Professional 2019.

They are all priced at $14.99, an increase from $9.99, and you can find out about the HUP program and order the products here: http://bit.ly/2Dd65VN.