By The Protech Team
We all know it’s important to update our software, but how many of us do it as quickly as we should? Whether it’s as small as a minor operating system update to get improved security features and those new emojis that you never knew you needed, or a larger version update to your association management software (AMS), it’s easy to delay the project until the situation becomes dire.
Fortunately, Microsoft has simplified the AMS update process. The days of cumbersome system upgrades that seemingly put your association on hold are behind you. Now, Microsoft releases two major Dynamics 365 updates each year to deliver new features and functionality without the headaches.
But the best part for your association’s IT team isn’t the updates themselves, it’s the preparation and transparency on display from Microsoft months ahead of the update. Here’s how Microsoft offers associations all the shiny, new features of an updated system without the hassle of a time-consuming upgrade.
AMS Updates — What to Expect
More than three months prior to your AMS update, you’ll know what’s in store from Microsoft. In December, Microsoft released the key dates for the upcoming wave 1 release. Here’s a look at those key dates:
- January 27 – Release Plans Available
- February 3 – Early Access Available
- April 1 – General Availability
For most organizations, the key date to focus on is April 1. Here’s why:
“Over the course of April 2020, all environments will be turned ‘on’ to receive the 2020 release wave 1 features… by the end of April 2020, all instances will have had 2020 release wave 1 features applied.” – Microsoft
Both Protech and Microsoft take these updates to your software platform very seriously.
“The quality of our releases is paramount to ensuring our customers’ satisfaction. We have multiple parts to how we approach quality as we release to our global audience.” – Microsoft
Each release is finalized with Microsoft’s Safe Deployment Process, a gradual and phased deployment plan, to ensure that any system changes can be validated and monitored as the release progresses.
We’ll find out on January 27. For an example of which kind of product enhancements could be on their way, here are 3 new features that Protech’s Senior Sales Engineers Dave Perron and Justin Rossello raved about from the October 2019 release:
- Softphone Dialer: The Softphone Dialer makes phone interactions simple, allowing your member relations team to quickly dial numbers directly from their browser and automate the process in which these communications are captured in your database.
- LinkedIn Sales Navigator Enhancements: Three new features were added in October, including the ability to automatically add InMail messages as an activity in your database.
- Marketing Email Quick Sends: When you need a bulk email to go out ASAP, you probably don’t want to go through all the fuss of setting up follow-up automations or behavioral triggers. To make things easy, Microsoft has added a “quick send” function to expedite the process of sending these often-important standalone emails.
Read the full blog post for more of our favorite enhancements from the October 2019 release. Or, for more on the release plans for Microsoft Dynamics 365’s April release, check out this blog post from Microsoft.
Still on a proprietary system with a difficult path to product updates and upgrades? Read our free guide to better understand what a simple update path should look like.