Key takeaways from Microsoft's business applications partner conference, Directions 2023, April 14-19.
Microsoft’s design and development team continues to rapidly expand the capabilities of Business Central. These consist of new end-user features, new back-end technologies, new native Microsoft integrations with other Dynamics products and with Shopify, Artificial Intelligence, and over 40 more new capabilities that have been released or will soon be released in 2023. My top takeaways from the conference include the following:
Business Central continues to be Microsoft's most popular and highest selling ERP and is also the fastest growing, with an astonishing 75% increase in active users year-over-year.
An “Analyze” button, has been added to every list page which displays the totals and subtotals for each numeric column, including custom fields. Users can apply filters, sort by groups, and the totals are recalculated to respect the filter. Views can be saved for further analysis. The result is Excel pivot table functionality residing in BC, without Excel, for quick, powerful analysis.
The user interface and menu system has been enhanced, providing users more flexibility in personalizing their dashboard and pages. For example, lower-level menu items may be pinned to the top level for access with a single click. Users can now also use a “split view” mode to see two pages side by side, “drag and drop” images to Business Central, and enjoy other ease-of-use and navigational features.
Statistical accounts have been added to the General Ledger and Financial Reporter to allow users to track non-financial data such as headcount, square footage, units sold, etc. and include statistical information and ratios within financial statements.
Microsoft 365 licenses of Office E3 and Teams will include full read access to Business Central without additional cost, enabling more users to benefit from Business Central financials, inventory, purchasing, CRM, sales, and operations.
New back-end technologies announced at the conference include:
A new data storage service called "Azure SQL Hyperscale" enables Business Central to perform faster queries with larger databases.
A new telemetry service called "Azure Application Insights" provides insights and tools to optimize Business Central performance.
A new security service called "Azure Sentinel" provides Business Central with enhanced threat detection and response by leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning to identify and mitigate potential security risks.