Newsletter - December 2020
Message from our Microsoft General Managers
2020 has been a year that threw everything at us, including the kitchen sink! We have all learned to adapt to new ways of working within our own businesses, as well as how we engage with our customers. From traditionally sitting on our phones at our desks, to now turning on our cameras from the comfort of our homes, it has been quite a different experience! This has brought some golden moments that have brought smiles to our faces, with children walking in with a random question during a presentation or people’s pets making noises in the background. It has definitely been a unique experience, but one that we have felt has opened our minds to seeing how we can be more innovative in the way we do business with our customers. Our team have enjoyed working with our customers to see how we can continue to push the boundaries in order to create greater value.
While we know COVID was the talk of the town for most of 2020, there were plenty of exciting things that happened in the Microsoft Dynamics space that you may have missed!
As you can see, there has been a lot of exciting activity in the Microsoft space and Fusion5 continues to be one of the leading Microsoft partners who have the depth of capability to continue delivering great solutions to our customers. We want to thank all of you for your continued support, feedback and partnership, which means the world to all of us here at Fusion5. We hope you all have a wonderful break and get to spend some much needed time with your friends and families. We look forward to achieving great things with you in 2021.
Kristy Brown and Paul Griffin
Fusion5 - General Managers of CRM for NZ and Australia
Fusion5 Brings Home a Double Win!
Microsoft NZ hosted its annual Partner Awards on Friday the 27th of November, the only Microsoft subsidiary around the globe able to hold an in-person event, and we are humbled and delighted to announce that we were successful in two hotly contested categories, bringing home both the Business Applications and the Transforming Products awards. We were one of only two NZ partners to bring home a double accolade! What a night, and a pleasure to be able to bring some along some of our winning customers, and consultants to the celebration.
Our Transforming Products entry was centred around our phenomenal Power Platform work, primarily featuring stories from our customers Manawanui, and Life Care Consultants. It showcased just how the combination of a great platform, brave customers and an incredibly clever team can produce remarkable results. You can read more about what Manawanui achieved in Microsoft’s customer story here.
The Business Applications Award told our Higher Education transformation story, which focussed on the incredible achievements two of our key customers in this sector have made, Otago University and Otago Polytechnic, delivered with our team using the powerful Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement platform.
It's been a challenging year for a lot of our team, and our customers, so we couldn’t think of a better way to wrap 2020. We would like to offer our sincere thanks to our loyal and supportive customers, and our amazing team. These achievements would be impossible without you. And also to our local Microsoft team, your ongoing support is crucial to our success, and these accolades remind us we are on the right track. We will continue to relentlessly strive for outstanding success for our customers, using your innovative solutions.
Highlights of Changes and Depreciations
Microsoft is making changes to the Transport Layer Security (TLS). Effective from October 30, 2020, the following cipher suites were deprecated from Microsoft’s servers.
Cipher suites are used to encrypt messages to secure a network connection between clients/servers and other servers. Microsoft removed the above list of cipher suites to comply with their current security protocols.
Beginning March 1, 2021, customers can only use Microsoft’s standard cipher suites. This change impacts clients and servers that communicate with the servers, for example, syncing emails from your Microsoft Exchange server, running outbound plug-ins, using native (local) clients to access the servers.
Customers must upgrade their servers before March 1, 2021. For more information about configuring TLS Cipher Suite order, see Manage Transport Layer Security (TLS).
Microsoft granted customers a lot of additional time to prepare for Dynamics 365’s October 2019 license announcements. These will now be enforced as per the below dates.
With all the above changes in flight, it is very important to stay on top of your licensing and continue optimising your solution as the changes roll out.
In September 2019 Microsoft announced that the legacy web client would be deprecated, and customers must transition to the Unified Interface before December 4th, 2020. After December 4th, 2020, Microsoft will not provide support, security or other critical updates to the legacy web client. The Unified Interface allows organisations to take advantage of Microsoft’s ongoing investments in reliability, performance, and functionality.
If you are experiencing any issues or would like to speak to someone about the Unified Interface, please raise an iHelp to speak to a consultant or reach out to your Service Delivery Manager.
A full list of deprecations is available here
Dynamics 365 Release Wave 2 Features
Sales: Usability Enhancements
Sales: Flexible Forecasting Configurations
Power BI Updates
Power BI has been continuously evolving over the last few months as part of Release Wave 2. Here are some of the latest and greatest updates from the past few months.
Power BI Service
Check out Fusion5’s summary of the PowerBI’s top new features in the video below” below the Power BI service points
Planning Optimisation Service
To enhance performance and minimise the SQL database load during master planning runs, the built-in Supply Chain Management master planning engine is being replaced by Planning Optimization. Planning Optimization allows for fast planning runs that can be performed even during office hours. This enables planners to react immediately to changes in demand or planning parameters.
Companies familiar with Master Planning know the existing process can take significant time and resources to run, especially when dealing with large-scale quantities of products. In this service, users should be able to look forward to Planning Optimization cutting the service time to minutes, instead of hours, while reducing overhead placed on server resources.
Planning Optimization parameter is set once. Master planning jobs will also leverage the planning optimization service. There will be minimal end-user impact and the user experience is unchanged in how the Master Planning process functions.
The advantage of running Planning Optimization during office hours:
High-level data flow for regeneration runs
Microsoft’s planned roll out will start with purchase demand requirements only, with production requirements to follow in subsequent updates.
To use Planning Optimization, install the Planning Optimization Add-in for Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management. You can access the add-in from your LCS project and turn on the Planning Optimization functionality from the Supply Chain Management user interface (UI).
Before you dive in and start using the new features, Run the Fit Analysis Tool. The results of the Fit Analysis show places where the planning service will not honour your current setup. In other words, they show places where some processes might be ignored or might not be supported. Use Microsoft’s Fit Analysis tools to check your set-ups.
Based on the review of Planning Optimization, here are the adoption recommendations.
Activate Planning Optimization in Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management
To view the history for a plan, open the plan by going to Master planning > Setup > Plans > Master plans and selecting History. The history lists all the jobs for the selected plan. The list includes completed and active jobs.
In addition to seeing the start time and status of jobs, you can view the log for a specific job. The log includes additional information and warnings. Not all jobs have a log. To view the log for a job, select Log.
You can apply a filter to a plan. The Plan filter will always be applied during a master planning run. A Plan filter is useful when you want to limit a plan to a specific group of items and make sure that no other items are included as part of the resulting master planning.
If a Plan filter is applied, and a runtime filter is also applied during the master planning run, only the intersection of the two filters is included in the planning run.
The Plan filter can be accessed from Master plans when Planning Optimization is used.
You can cancel an active planning job that uses the Planning optimization functionality. When you select Cancel in the dialog box when a Planning optimization job is triggered directly from the user interface (not in the background), this will not cancel the Planning optimization job.
The job status will be Cancelling until the Planning Optimization service confirms that the job has been cancelled. The status will then be changed to Cancelled.
Meet the team!
Could you tell us about your career background?
I started my career in a manufacturing environment where I was responsible for MRP and production processing. During this period, I got involved in an ERP implementation and from there I transitioned into a new role as ERP specialist. Based on this experience, I decided to become a full-time ERP consultant for Microsoft Dynamics AX / D365 Supply Chain Management and never looked back.
What interested you in the role?
My current role is a combination of being a solution architect on projects and doing presales. I like staying close to what’s happening on projects as well as enjoying a fast-paced presales role, trying to pull the best solution together. And in case nobody knows, I like the Power Platform!
What did you bring to Fusion5?
I was keen to join Fusion5 because the FinOps practice was just starting up in Australia so it was an excellent opportunity to be part of a growing team. Also, after working for larger companies, I appreciated the smaller, less political culture.
Finally, tell us what you like to get up to in your spare time?
Kids, walks, going for a run.
Ronelle could you tell us about your career background?
From a very young age I loved technology and tinkering with things. So, after school I decided to pursue the world of technology and completed my diploma in information system engineering.
I developed many roles in my career, including but not limited to IT girl, Call Centre Agent, NOC Operator, Business Analyst and now Functional Consultant acquiring additional diplomas and certificates as applicable.
Throughout this time, I worked with many amazing people in a wide range of different industries. From big universities, banks and ISPs to a growing entrepreneurial meal kit delivery service and even archaic printmaking. Always solving issues and helping people.
What are some of your career highlights?
Being awarded a trip to Scotland for outstanding customer feedback (NPS) received as a support agent across call centres spread over South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines.
A project that I pitched, designed and developed, that exceeded our wildest expectations by saving millions in revenue within the first few months of release instead of our targeted 2 years.
Consulting with a start-up meal kit delivery service, delivering only 50 meal kits a week to becoming the largest meal kit delivery service in the whole country. Expanding into several warehouses and delivering thousands of meal kits a week. In addition, I was able to do delicious pre-meal testing, expanding my knowledge in world cuisine, what a bonus! :P
Ronelle what are you looking to bring to Fusion5?
I aim to use my strong analytical and problem-solving skills and love of collaboration with people to make ideas become reality. Which is why I joined the Fusion5 Customer Success Team, where every day I can help provide support and solutions to the wide range of queries and issues our clients might have.
Finally, tell us what you like to get up to in your spare time?
I love the outdoors so you will most likely find me fishing in remote rivers or kayaking far into the ocean waters. Additionally, I love crafting things, whether it’s making sourdough bread, home brewed beer or leatherwork, woodwork and gardening.