Microsoft will be talking up its Dynamics 365 retail offerings next week at the National Retail Federation (NRF) show in New York City. It also will be announcing availability dates, plus some new capabilities around fraud protection in conjunction with the event.
Microsoft's new Dynamics 365 Commerce app, which the company announced in September last year, will be generally available on February 3. Dynamics 365 Commerce -- which replaces Microsoft's current Dynamics 365 Retail app -- provides a unified back-office, e-commerce, in-store, call center and emerging channels experience.
"Existing Dynamics 365 Retail customers will automatically transition to Dynamics 365 Commerce once it becomes generally available," said a company spokesperson when I asked about transition plans. "Customers seeking to maintain existing functionality from Dynamics 365 Retail will not see a change in pricing. Customers will have the option of opting in for the new e-commerce add-on capabilities at an additional cost. We will share more of those pricing details as we get closer to GA," the spokesperson said in response to a question about pricing.
There were rumors circulating last spring that Microsoft might be working on an e-commerce web-builder platform similar to Shopify. So far, Microsoft has not launched any such product/service.
Microsoft also is announcing that it's adding two new features to its Dynamics 365 Fraud Protection offering: Loss Prevention and Account Protection. Both will be available for public preview starting January 11 and public preview on March 2. Account Protection is meant to help retailers recognize patterns related to e-commerce activities during account creation or attempted hijacking. Loss Prevention is meant to provide insights around returns and discount fraud.
Microsoft still is not announcing a date as to when its new Dynamics 365 Connected Store app will hit public preview, beyond saying "later this calendar year." Also announced last September, Dynamics 365 Connected Store, currently in private preview, is going to combine "AI-driven insights" and IoT-connected cameras and sensors so retailers will get real-time observational data to help improve in-store performance.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella will be delivering the NRF opening keynote on Sunday, where he is slated to address "how technology is transforming the retail industry and how to deliver a superior customer experience," according to Microsoft.