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Microsoft slows Dynamics 365 update cadence

Twice-annual tweaks is slower than Salesforce and Oracle, faster than other SaaS rivals

Microsoft’s announced a new twice-annual release cadence for Dynamics 365, its cloudy CRM/ERP service.

Corporate veep and COO for business application engineering Mo Osborne has pitched the change as “modernizing” Microsoft’s efforts by making a new release every April and October.

“Our new update cadence aims to lower upgrade costs, provide all users access to the latest capabilities, performance improvements and offer a better support experience,” Osborne wrote, adding that while all users will be moved to the new versions “New features with major, disruptive changes to the user experience are off by default” in order to minimise disruption.

Redmond’s also cooked up a plan to advise users well in advance of each update and will offer a test environment to help them prepare for the cutover. The company will also “deploy regular performance and reliability improvement updates throughout the year”.

The news of twice-yearly updates is advanced as helping “businesses everywhere to accelerate their digital transformation”.

And perhaps it will. But for what it’s worth other SaaS players accelerate more often: Salesforce offers thrice-annual updates, while Oracle has a quarterly cadence. Workday slowed to twice-yearly a few years ago and ServiceNow does a release about every nine months but as its users all have their own instance upgrades aren’t mandatory. ®

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