Microsoft Puts Stake in Dynamics and Power Platform User Communities

Updated: Mar 30, 2021

Microsoft is investing in the user group community arena. If you’re new to the concept of user groups, there are hundreds of these organizations for the Dynamics products: D365/AX, D365/CE, Business Central/NAV, GP, and the Power Platform. These groups are run by volunteers to promote peer-to-peer knowledge sharing. They typically hold regular meetings to share best practices, challenges, and tips and tricks for product use.


In a pandemic year, the landscape changed for the third parties that run user groups for the Dynamics 365 and Power Platform products. This led to some disarray for users and partners who lead and take part at the local levels. Microsoft says it heard the discontent and is responding. As part of the effort, the software giant is spinning up a new engagement platform for user groups and hiring substantial staff to manage and structure the effort.


Heather Newman from Microsoft’s Power Platform and Dynamics 365 Community Success Team, and Jon Stypula, a community enthusiast, recently discussed Microsoft’s vision and plans for user groups. You can watch it here.



Microsoft’s direct-to-the-user effort consists of:


· Building a cohesive UG platform under the Microsoft company umbrella at communities.dynamics.com

· Ability to join the community, via authenticated or unauthenticated versions.

· Monthly calls for user group leaders.

· Increased involvement of Microsoft Field Leads in the local user groups.

· Home for local user groups event schedule.


Newman indicated that as the Dynamics and Power Platform adoption has enjoyed explosive growth, the user community efforts haven’t maintained parity. “Users want a more direct relationship with Microsoft…sometimes difficult to have that connection if it was always through a third party,” she said.


Newman hesitated to provide a date for the preview but indicated that it would be sometime this spring. If you are interested in testing out the new platform, you can register at the links below and you’ll be alerted when the platform is available for use.


Dynamics 365: https://aka.ms/D365ugannouncement

Power Platform: https://aka.ms/ppugannouncement

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