7 Upcoming Dynamics 365 for Sales Features to Accelerate Your Sales Process
The October 2019 release brings lots of brand-new capabilities and enhancements in Dynamics 365 for Sales features – improved email communication, multitasking, simplified lead management, business card scanning, and LinkedIn Sales Navigator integration.
Here are the 7 major Dynamics 365 for Sales features updates.
1. Easily Manage and Keep Track of Leads
Sales teams won’t have to enter company or contact details manually while creating a new lead. The system will autofill fields with relevant information for existing clients, making it more convenient. Also, lead management will become a lot easier as the tool allows you to move swiftly along various stages of the sales cycle.
2. Get More Details on a Won/Lost Opportunity
You can get more data on a won/lost opportunity to help strategies in the future. With the ‘Opportunity Close’ dialogue box in Dynamics 365 for Sales, you will get details on why the opportunity was lost or won.
3. Compose Multiple Emails from the Same Screen
Composing emails will be much easier with contextual email communication after this update. You will no longer have to navigate away from the screen while composing emails, significantly saving time. It also allows you to view all the relevant content in one place. Multitasking will genuinely come to life in this new update.
4. LinkedIn Sales Navigator: Send InMails Directly to Customers
You can now engage with your customers by composing and sending LinkedIn InMail directly from Dynamics for Sales. You can easily drag and drop to select who receives the mail. Dynamics 365 for Sales will become a one-stop solution for sending InMails and viewing profiles of relevant receivers.
5. Scan and Save Business Cards Instead of Stacking Them
You can now scan all your business cards via the scanner, and automatically fill in relevant information in the system.
6. Make Quick Customer Calls Directly with Softphone Dialler
This new feature allows you to integrate your softphone dialler from your phone provider with Dynamics 365 for Sales to quickly call contacts. Without switching screens, you can quickly call customers.
7. Simplified Adding and Editing Products in an Opportunity
Save time creating multiple products line items using Create and Add capability. You can add new products to an Opportunity, Quote, Order, and Invoice with or without a price list. This also lets you view product properties while still editing them in the Opportunity.
See the links below to learn about our other blogs on the Wave 2 release series.
- 6 Upcoming Dynamics 365 for Marketing Features You Should Know
- Dynamics 365 Virtual Agent Delivers Fast and Responsive Customer Service
- 7 Best Picks from Dynamics 365 2019 Wave 2 Release
- [Infographic + Video] A Graphical Overview of Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 2019 Wave 2 Release
We will be posting more blogs on the other Dynamics 365 and Power Platform applications. Do subscribe to our blog for the latest information to be delivered in your inbox.
Dynamics 365 for Sales goes beyond the traditional sales force automation (SFA) and builds deeper relationships with embedded intelligence to guide your sales team through each stage of your customer journey. If you want to learn more about D365 for Sales and how it can increase your revenue, contact us today for a no-obligation consultation on 01296 328 689. Or email us at email@example.com.
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6 Upcoming Dynamics 365 for Marketing Features to Boost Campaigns, Customer Experience, and Relationships
With new Dynamics 365 for Marketing features rolling out from October 2019, you can manage activities and workflows, produce winning email campaigns, and create defining customer experience – to best achieve your marketing goals.
Since the last update, we have a lot to look forward to in Dynamics 365 for Marketing in terms of efficiency and performance.
Let’s round up 6 major features announced for Dynamics 365 for Marketing in the Wave 2 release plan, that will help you maximise on your marketing efforts.
6 Exciting Features in Dynamics 365 for Marketing
1. Approve Activities in a Single Click Using Microsoft Flow
Approve campaigns, emails, or other activities with a single click. Dynamics 365 for Marketing now includes Microsoft Flow to help workflow and approval processes. Managers and colleagues will receive notifications if there is any new approval request.
2. Send High-Performing Emails with A/B Testing
Emails are a vital part of any marketing campaign. With Dynamics 365 for Marketing, you can now create and send different email designs to determine which ones produce the best results.
3. Generate actionable insights with Customer Insights integration
Using Customer Insights, you can now leverage actionable intelligence with the data accumulated in your Dynamics 365 for Marketing. The AI-driven Customer Insights will provide you an all-round view of each individual contact, that’s easy to understand and use.
4. Create stellar customer experience & make smarter decisions based on Surveys
It’s easy to create surveys to measure customer sentiment and satisfaction at every touchpoint. Surveys help you make smarter decisions by capturing and analysing this feedback. Microsoft Forms Pro as part of Dynamics 365 brings a rich set of capabilities for asking about customers’ needs. You can automate this by including them in the criteria for segmentation, lead scoring, or branching a customer journey.
5. Design Beautiful Content with Layout Editor
With this release, Microsoft continues to make it easier for you to design and modify published content. Its graphical content-creation and design tools make visually rich emails, simple to design and execute. And the visual email designer now provides a layout editor for designing multi-column layouts.
6. Quickly Send Blast Emails in Bulk
If you need to send a quick email in bulk to customers such as notifications, updates or notices that don’t require testing beforehand, then the new October release will make this easy and intuitive.
Dynamics 365 for Marketing continues to evolve with new features, providing more fluency and improved processes. Using the application, you can find and nurture sales-ready leads for your business and increase collaboration between sales and marketing departments. 4
If you’re considering Dynamics 365 for Marketing or any other marketing automation platform, it is imperative to define your objectives and technology requirements before looking for a solution in order to find the best fit for your organisational needs.
Seelogic are product agnostic, this means we look at the best fit for your needs whether that be for current challenges or for a transformational vision. We use our experience and technical skills to provide trusted advice and proven solutions.
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Blank Screen When Using Dynamics 365 for Outlook: Here’s How to Fix It
Users are getting a blank screen when trying to launch the Dynamics 365 for Outlook. This is a known issue and Dynamics users have reported the bug globally.
While our engineering team is already investigating for a permanent fix, we do have a workaround to the problem for you.
This issue in Dynamics 365 for Outlook is occurring due to the browser cache. Clearing cache from IE or Edge in browser settings doesn’t actually clear cache for the Dynamics App for Outlook.
So, in order to mitigate the issue, we need to use F12 against the Dynamics 365 app.
Here are the steps that will guide you through the process of clearing cache:
- Reproduce the issue in Outlook. Keep the blank screen on.
- Open F12 develop tool through the following link:
a.) For the 32-Bit version of Office, use C:\Windows\System32\F12\IEChooser.exe (F12Chooser.exe)
b.) For the 64-Bit version of Office, use C:\Windows\SysWOW64\F12\IEChooser.exe (F12Chooser.exe)
- Click on the “Dynamics 365” option.
- A pop up will open. On the popup, go to the Network tab and click the clear cache button as shown in the screenshot below.
Alternative way of Clearing Cache
- Reproduce the issue in Outlook. Keep the blank screen on.
- Open F12 develop tool through the following link.
a.) For the 32-Bit version of Office, use C:\Windows\System32\F12\IEChooser.exe (F12Chooser.exe)
b.) For the 64-Bit version of Office, use C:\Windows\SysWOW64\F12\IEChooser.exe (F12Chooser.exe)
- Check whether you can find “Dynamics 365 for Outlook” in your Outlook
- Go to F12 > Console Tab
- At the bottom of the Console tab, use the box to run commands and type “localStorage” to check the cache. Press enter or click the play button.
If the cache hasn’t been removed, you will see the following information. It will include your CRM user details
- If you find the cache, use “localStorage.clear()” to clear the cache. Press enter or click the play button.
- Close and reopen Dynamics 365 for Outlook.
This should fix your issue!
If you are not able to find it in F12, Outlook may use Edge to render Dynamics 365 for Outlook. For more information on this, you can check out Microsoft Edge WebView for Office Add-ins.
You will need to download Microsoft Edge DevTools Preview from Microsoft Store. Follow the steps to attach Dynamics 365 to Microsoft Edge DevTools for debugging.
Our customers have reported the bug and we’re working on a definitive solution. For now, the IT support in your office can follow these steps to temporarily solve this issue. Customers who are having trouble implementing these measures can contact us for support via mail– firstname.lastname@example.org. Our team will quickly help you with the fix to ensure your immediate operations aren’t affected. Companies outside our customer base can contact us for the consultation or send us an email addressing the issue at email@example.com.
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Dynamics 365 Virtual Agent Delivers Fast and Responsive Customer Service
Microsoft has launched a new AI-driven virtual agent solution for Dynamics 365 Customer Service, which is designed to improve customer service quality through quick deployment of virtual agents.
This solution allows you to create bots using a guided, codeless graphical UI and embed them to a website in a few simple steps without the need of AI engineers or data scientists.
The Virtual Agent which works 24/7 – can handle your routine customer queries to deliver a faster customer experience. It allows your customer service agents to focus on more complex requests, and when the bot can’t handle a case, it transfers the conversation back to your customer service agents.
We have compiled a list of announced features for its Dynamics 365 Virtual Agent.
Features of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Virtual Agent for Customer Service
1. Stay on top of your customer service
With AI-driven insights, you can analyse customer service performances across multiple channels. This identifies regular and emerging topics. You can easily equip your virtual agents with the ability to solve these problems on their own. The Virtual Agent Dashboard gives you an overview of the important metrics affecting your customer service performance.
2. Keep track of your agents’ performances 24/7
You can get more timely and deeper insights into the performances of your virtual and human agents. For example- it lets you identify the human agents with low CSAT (Customer Satisfaction) levels or low case resolved rates. You can then target training and support to help agents improve performances. This process empowers the team, effectively increasing the value everyone brings to the table.
3. Your own virtual agent without any coding- it’s possible!
Creating chatbots is straight-forward using a graphical interface that doesn’t require expensive coding. SeeLogic can then help develop your own staff to update and evolve the Virtual agent as needs change. Its natural learning capabilities allow it to learn problem solving skills and address most common issues.
4. Impress customers with natural, personalised conversations
Virtual Agent is stacked with natural language capabilities. When a customer types a query, the virtual agent will respond with relevant support. What’s impressive is that the customer doesn’t need to enter the exact match to trigger a solution. The virtual agent can instantly match the semantics to offer a personalised and thoughtful response.
For example: a user may type in “internet not working” and the bot will instantly come up with a response like this- “I see that your router is not configured properly. Would you like me to guide you through the configuration?”. Quite exquisite, isn’t it?
Lots of exciting features were announced at the Dynamics 365 2019 Wave 2 Release. As consultants, we work on making technology easier and relevant for you. Go through SeeLogic’s best picks from the features announced in the release plan.
In the meantime, if you would like to find out how you can take advantage of this new solution, contact us today for a no-obligation consultation on 01296 328 689. Or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
[Infographic + Video] A Graphical Overview of Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 2019 Wave 2 Release
Microsoft recently unveiled the release plan for the Dynamics 365 2019 Wave 2 release. This plan, effective from October 2019 to March 2020, disclosed all new features coming to the Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 and Power Platform.
You can go through the 350-page plan released by Microsoft if you have time, but we did the groundwork for you. We hand-picked 7 best features in the Dynamics 365 2019 Wave 2 release and turned them into this infographic video.
In a nutshell, these are the 7 best picks from Dynamics 365 2019 Wave 2 Release:
- AI Capabilities in Reporting
- Chatbot Integration with D365
- Email Communication in D365 for Sales
- A/B Testing in D365 for Marketing
- AI Builder in Power Platforms
- Blockchain in Power Platforms
- PowerApps Portal
Now that you know what major updates and features unfolded in Wave 2 release, do let us know which one you are most excited for.
We will be writing more about the exciting features planned in the Wave 2 release in the upcoming posts. Stay tuned!
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7 Best Picks from Dynamics 365 2019 Wave 2 Release
Microsoft announced its Wave 2 product release plan for Dynamics 365 and Power Platforms on June 10. The Wave 2 plan is set to roll out from October 2019 to March 2020. As a part of this, Microsoft is highlighting new AI capabilities.
We will be breaking down the updates in a series of blog posts, meanwhile, we have highlighted 7 best picks from the Wave 2 release plan in this blog.
AI capabilities in Reporting Tools
Microsoft’s business intelligence and reporting tool Power BI is getting new AI capabilities in the next release. With the AI capabilities users can now be offered “actionable insights” to aid innovation, efficiency improvements, and business decisions.
There is also significant update in Power BI’s natural language capabilities. With this new feature, you can now train and improve your Q&A so it understands and adapts to natural language to improve accuracy and overall speed.
It’s now also powerful enough to spot words in images and decipher hand written text using the likes of OCR – increasing the sources of data it can use.
Chatbot Integration with Customer Service
This new feature uses artificial intelligence to configure powerful bots in Dynamics 365 Virtual Agent for Customer Service. With the introduction of this feature, your customer service agents will be able to automate routine conversation to chatbots, letting the agents focus on other important interactions.
It integrates Chatbots with customer service agents, which allows the virtual agents to route the conversation to customer service agents if it can’t handle the queries. The virtual agent provides complete context to your customer service agents by displaying the whole transcript of the conversation to date.
It is easy and rapid to deploy using a no-code, guided graphical UI and can be embedded in a website within just a few clicks. With artificial intelligence and simplified configuration, Microsoft expects this new feature to improve both the customer service efficiency, quality and overall customer experience.
Improving email communication via Dynamic 365 for Sales
Email communication is now a core tool for a busy sales team. Dynamics can now both aid efficiency and bolster email quality. Within Dynamic 365 for Sales, your sales team can now compose emails, draft email with the context of the record you are working on, navigate between records, and draft multiple emails at the same time.
A new rich text editor feature is added in D365 for Sales, which overlays an email composition screen on top of the existing form, allowing your salespeople to compose an email without having to navigate away from the screen they are on. They will also be able to add attachments and preview the content before sending them.
Another additional feature — the non-blocking window feature –will give you all the relevant content at a glance, while you compose your email. This will help your salespeople to compose more thoughtful emails and help them stay on the top of their emails.
A/B testing in Dynamics 365 for Marketing
Since its inception in April 2018, Dynamics 365 for Marketing is growing from strength to strength and turning into a one-stop solution for all the marketing activities. As the marketing process is getting more and more sophisticated, Dynamics 365 for Marketing is adding more capabilities to it with each passing product updates.
One of the features to look forward in the Wave 2 release is the introduction of A/B testing; that is testing several variations of your email designs to gauge which will produce the best results. Once you create multiple version of email designs, the system automatically segments your email list and sends a different version of the message to each group. This would allow you to understand which email works best for your targeted group.
AI Builder in Apps and Automation Processes
One of the most interesting features to look forward this October is the AI Builder for PowerApps and Flow. This upcoming brand-new feature includes a no-code capability that helps leverage the power of AI and machine learning to make your apps and automation process smarter and more intelligent.
With this, AI can be added without the need for costly programming or data science. AI can be added directly into PowerApps and Microsoft Flow simply and cost effectively.
For example, business card reader capabilities can be integrated in PowerApps. This feature can scan a business card and extract the information directly to your marketing or any other list. Emails can then be automatically sent to the Lead.
Blockchain in Power Platforms
The addition of Blockchain capabilities in Power Platforms is a significant milestone of the Wave 2 updates. In simplest terms, Blockchain is a secure, shared, distributed transaction ledger database that decentralises data, eliminates the need for trusted third parties, and enables the anonymous exchange of digital assets like those used in cryptocurrencies.
Blockchain technology can be used to bring transparency to your business processes across your multiple business partners. Microsoft was quick to introduce the Azure Blockchain development kit for Ethereum blockchain back in May. Its addition will assist developers in creating an app using Blockchain-as-a-service platform.
Now with this impending update, using Blockchain is easier than ever with the ability to write low-code applications through Power Platforms. Applications can be built that can easily create verifiable workflows that pull data from every point in the business process across the value chain.
With this brand-new feature, you can create a new type of app called ‘Portal’ to build a fully responsive and low-code website through PowerApps. On the top of that, this feature will allow you to share the website to external users like your customers, partners, vendors, etc. who can sign in with a wide variety of identities, or even browse the website anonymously.
You can also integrate PowerApps Portals with other Microsoft service like Power BI embed, Microsoft Flow, SharePoint, and Azure Application Insights to enhance your portal with rich content and provide a more personalised experience to your customers. You will get full capabilities of Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement Portal with this feature within PowerApps.
Admins will gain early access to test the new features on August 2. While the general availability for the 2019 Wave 2 Release will see new features being rolled out starting from October through to March 2020.
We highlighted 7 interesting and anticipated features in this blog post, but there are lots more to it. We will write about the new features in each application areas in the coming weeks and as new releases are available for preview.
In the meantime, if you would like to find out how you can take advantage of the latest updates within your organisation, contact us today for a no-obligation consultation on 01296 328 689. Or email us at email@example.com.
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[Infographic] Dynamics 365 April 2019 Updates
The Dynamics 365 April 2019 updates is almost here. This was Microsoft’s first update of the year that brings plenty of interesting features and capabilities to all of its D365 and power platforms. As a Microsoft partner, we were one of the few companies to learn the updates beforehand which allows us to help our clients deploy the new updates.
If you have any questions in the meantime regarding April update, just call our friendly team on 01296 328689. Our team will be more than pleased to discuss these with you.
If you want to learn about the other D365 related updates, follow the links below:
- What’s New in Dynamics 365 for Customer Service April 2019 Release
- What’s New in Dynamics 365 for Field Service April 2019 Release
- What’s New in Dynamics 365 for Marketing April 2019 Release
- What’s New in Dynamics 365 for Sales April 2019 Release
- What’s New in PowerApps April 2019 Release
- How to deploy Dynamics 365 April 2019 Release
In this infographic blog, we have summarised the latest updates in a graphical form.
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Dynamics 365 April 2019 Update and What You Need to Know
Microsoft has published April 2019 release notes, a 315-page document that consists of the announcement of new features and enhancements for Dynamics 365 and Power Platforms. The new update which is set to be released between April and September 2019 is Microsoft’s continuous investment in capabilities to power digital transformation, from improving customer experience to modernising Dynamics 365 with AI-powered capabilities.
This first update of the year (second will be announced in October) describes how major product updates will be rolled out to all the Dynamics 365 and Power Platform apps. While the product updates mentioned in the release notes are not available yet, previews will be available starting from February 2019. Once the previews are available, Microsoft will provide a sandbox environment to Dynamics 365 users to help them explore and test features before the updates are deployed to production in April.
Although tons of product updates and enhancements are planned, this blog looks to provide an overview of the major product updates along with key release dates for each of the announced features in this blog. We will publish specific product-focused blogs in our upcoming posts.
What’s new for Dynamics 365 for Sales
For the April 2019 updates, Microsoft has focused mostly on customer relationship and quotation capabilities. With the new update, users can leverage the power of Dynamics 365, LinkedIn and Office 365 to build deeper customer relationships. According to the release notes, sales professionals will receive recommended content and notes through the sales playbook when working on an opportunity. This new feature will help the sales professionals to ensure that they are using the right content in the right context.
Another interesting feature is the configure-price-quote (CPQ) capability that will help sales professionals in putting together the right product solution and quote the solution to customers. This is a feature that is often requested by our customers, so we are delighted that this solution is being built into the product as standard. Dynamics 365 for Sales partners with the best CPQ solution providers to deliver deep product integration with Dynamics 365 for Sales. This enables the salespeople to quickly identify the right configuration of products that fit their customer’s needs and provide them with accurate quotes.
What’s new for Dynamics 365 for Marketing
The April 2019 release for Dynamics 365 for Marketing lights up new intelligent scenarios and enhanced extensibility capabilities so customers and partners can tailor the application to specific needs.
With the new extensibility capabilities, users can build a customer journey programmatically and modify its properties as needed — or build a new segment based on any existing segment. Users can also control entity lifecycles, such as starting, stopping, or editing a journey.
Website personalization is another interesting feature that will be rolled out in April 2019 update. Users can now personalize their landing pages for each prospect based on their attributes and past behavior. There will also be improved features in social marketing capabilities beyond its existing social insights and analytics.
What’s new for Dynamics 365 for Customer Service
The April 2019 release for Dynamics 365 for Customer Service will have plenty of new exciting features ranging from increasing channel flexibility to customers to improvement in case management and knowledge management.
- Key enhancements will be made in knowledgebase authoring and analytics experience.
- Knowledgebase admins can create knowledgebase templates for common scenarios like FAQs and how-to articles.
- Knowledgebase authors can leverage these templates to quickly create standardized articles.
- Knowledge management analytics can identify usage and respond to gaps in the knowledgebase.
- Knowledge managers will be able to analyze effective and ineffective searches and take appropriate action.
There is also an enhancement for Omni-channel Engagement Hub. Microsoft released the Hub in preview in the October 2018 release, while this feature will be generally available in the upcoming release. Omni-channel Engagement Hub is a customizable, high-productivity app built on the Unified Service Desk (USD) for agents working on multiple channels.
What’s new for Dynamics 365 for Field Service
In the October 2018 release, integration with Azure IoT Central was introduced to enable the flow of IoT information between IoT Central and Field Service. Azure IoT, which is a SaaS solution to connect, monitor, and manage IoT assets, allows users to create rules to identify conditions or events that require service action. Those come into Field Service as ‘IoT alerts’ and can be tracked and monitored in Field Service.
Now the April 2019 release is set to include the next level of integration with IoT Central to be fully embedded within the Field Service application. The flow of alerts can now be managed through cases and work can be defined based on the details of the alert.
There will also be major enhancements in scheduling capabilities. The October 2018 release brought single resource optimisation that helped organisations to quickly optimise the schedule for a selected resource. In the upcoming release, variable resource location will enable resources to work from different areas and have schedules reflect that shift in resources.
What’s new for Dynamics 365 Portal
In October 2018 release, Microsoft put its effort into making Dynamics 365 Portal an external customer facing platform for all Dynamics 365 applications. In this upcoming release, Microsoft continues to take further steps in realising that vision.
There will be enhancements to portal diagnostics tool that allows users to quickly resolve common issues and reduce the amount of time spent on diagnosing issues. The new release will also provide added support for Power BI integration which enables customers to access Power BI dashboards and reports to users who don’t have a Power BI account.
What’s new for the Power Platform
The April 2019 release will provide major improvements to help app makers build high-quality apps with more ease. This upcoming release will focus not only on introducing new capabilities but also on simplifying the existing features to increase productivity for app makers.
Some of the major updates will focus on providing a better platform for administrators, a unified interface for everyone, and more enhanced platform capabilities.
For app makers, PowerApps will introduce capabilities for reusable components, formula, and error handling improvements, and experience improvements to help them simplify their app building experience. Canvas apps will also introduce capabilities in working with the Common Data Service for Apps to simplify working with data and more advanced relationship concepts.
Preview available; admins will be able to opt-in for the April 2019 preview.
Release notes updates; Microsoft will update the release updates with more details about the features.
Virtual launch event; Microsoft’s product leaders will preview the new features.
General availability; Microsoft will start a region-by-region deployment cadence to enable release features across its global customer base.
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Overview of Dynamics 365 for Customer Service — October 2018 Release
As part of our Dynamics 356 October 2018 updates series, we have published 10 Best Picks from Dynamics 365 and Dynamics 365 for Sales in our previous posts. In this blog, we’ll now look at what new capabilities Microsoft is bringing in the for Dynamics 365 for customer service app.
The new service scheduling solution is built on Universal Resource Scheduling (URS) in Dynamics 365 for Project Automation and Field Service. It allows the customer service team to view and schedule resources to service activities by considering the availability of employees, facilities, and equipment.
The URS functionality includes a Schedule Board that allows users to Filter View, Resource search, Resource sorting, and hours/day/week/month view of service activities.
Customer Service Admin Settings
In the October 2018 release, Service Management will move into the Customer Service Hub and will be accessible through the sitemap.
Using the Unified Interface, Customer Service managers will have the ability to configure and manage customer service tasks such as configuring public or private queues, setting up parent-child case settings, configuring routing rules, configuring automatic record creation and update rules, and setting up service level agreements (SLAs), along with other capabilities.
Suggest Similar Cases
With the use of Microsoft Text Analytics APIs and case information across various entity records, Similar Cases will be able to help customer service representatives find appropriate answers while reducing average handling time.
A new Similar Cases grid, which is expected to be added in December 2018, will dynamically list completed cases that match characteristics and keywords from the latest case record. This new function will also be able to suggest contextual knowledge articles to customer service agents to help them resolve cases faster.
Relevance Search for knowledge management
For the first time, Relevance Search will now be made available in the Customer Service Hub. Knowledge base search will leverage the relevance search to deliver the most relevant knowledge articles and display only the necessary information in the results list allowing agents to find information faster.
The feature also searches notes and attachments of knowledge articles from within a case.
The points mentioned above are some of the major functional updates Microsoft are bringing to Dynamics for Customer Service starting this October. Stay tuned for more blog articles that will highlight the updates in other important Dynamics 365 apps.
If you would like to find out how you can take advantage of the latest Dynamics for Customer Service updates within your organisation, contact us today for a no obligation consultation on 01296 328 689.
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Best Picks from The Upcoming Microsoft Dynamics 365 October 2018 Release
Following another jam-packed Inspire Worldwide Conference, we are excited to update you on some of the features to be included in the October 2018 release. Being a Microsoft Silver partner and one of the longest serving Microsoft Dynamics CRM consultancies in the UK, it is our pleasure to share our learnings to our valued readers.
The Inspire Worldwide Conference, which featured some of the most senior Microsoft staffs in the Business Applications, Modern Workplace and Azure product areas, was based around corenotes presentations followed by breakout sessions for the various products and platforms Microsoft offers. The event also featured Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, who highlighted the importance of “cloud technologies” and explained how customers can benefit from the new technologies Microsoft are building.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 was one of the core area of focus during the event as it was positioned as the foundation for all business operations. Revealed at the event, Microsoft is preparing to deploy over 90+ major updates to their platform’s 10 core apps, plus further tweaks to supporting services such as Portals and Social Engagement. Since all the updates in one blog post would be overwhelming for you to read, we are breaking down the updates in a series of posts, starting with 10 major highlights.
1. Dynamics 365 AI for Sales
Building upon the Relationship Assistant we have already come to know and love within the Dynamics 365 for Sales App. Microsoft is releasing a new app designed to help sales teams utilise intelligent features like call sentiment analysis, and alerts about the health of the deals and activities, to keep businesses on the top of the customer sales cycle.
AI for Sales, which will be available for preview in the impending October 2018 updates, will use machine learning to deliver data-driven insights to help businesses make more insightful and proactive decisions. The new AI for Sales app also consists of a natural language processing-based Q&A that allows managers to conversationally ask questions and receive reports from the sales data – providing even more productivity benefits and making it easier to access information ‘on the go’.
2. Improved Dynamics 365 Unified Interface
Unified Interface was introduced in Dynamics 365 version 9.0 (previous version) with an aim to provide users a better user experience with a consistent, accessible and uniform user interface across all devices. It was responsively designed to provide an optimal viewing and interaction experience common to all screen size and devices. However, the mobile experience still fell short in comparison to the desktop experience with several features missing.
In response, the upcoming Unified Client Interface updates, will allow users to add controls to the UI for bulk edits, advanced finds, merge records, share records, and running on-demand workflows, which will help users improve performance and usability.
3. Custom Controls in Business Process Flow
Business process flow works as a guide in the form of stages and steps: stages show the process you are in; steps are action items that help you achieve the desired outcome. In short, it is a streamlined user experience defined by a set of stages that end users walk through.
The previous versions of Dynamics 365 only allowed default visualizations for the field type like text boxes, dropdowns and numbers. Thus, a user wasn’t allowed to create custom forms for entities based on business process flow.
However, with the latest release, business process flow steps support custom controls for rich visualisations in the form of sliders, radial knobs, timelines, and LinkedIn controls. Also, this feature is available in both the Unified Interface and the Web Client.
4. LinkedIn Integration
Sales Navigator was connected in the previous release, where LinkedIn widgets provided insights about contacts and companies in the Dymanic interface. However, the scope for customisation was limited and were detached from sales processes. Now with the impending new release, Dynamics 365 applications powered by LinkedIn Insights enhances the LinkedIn Sales Navigator controls by combining it with the power and flexibility of the Dynamics 365 business process flow. Combining LinkedIn Insights to stages of a business process flow allows data driven users to gather information quickly and accurately to drive the process forward.
For example, in the initial stage of a sales process, LinkedIn Sales Insights can gather essential information about companies including size, industry and location as well as information about people; this includes name, company, position, and years of experience. Icebreakers and conversation starter insights can also be leveraged to start a warm engagement.
LinkedIn Insights enhances the LinkedIn Sales Navigator controls by combining it with the power and flexibility of the Dynamics 365 business process flow. Combining LinkedIn Insights to stages of a business process flow allows data-driven users to gather information quickly and accurately to drive the process forward.
5. Power BI Visualisations Embedded in Web Portal
As Dynamics 365 customers may already be aware, a fully-integrated web portal is already included with 5 x full user licenses or the Customer Engagement Plan. We are excited to learn that the latest update brings a lot of new features that will help the users utilise the web portal in a much better way.
One of the interesting updates about the new release is that it allows users to embed Power BI visualisations with the Portal. With Power BI being one of the best business intelligence platforms on market to deliver insights and interactive visualisations of data, this new update can now securely embed Power BI reports and dashboards within portal pages using liquid code.
One major feature about this update is that Portal users without Power BI licenses will still have access to the Power BI content. Also, filter parameters can also be applied to personalize the Power BI content.
6. Microsoft Teams Integration
With more and more organisations leveraging Microsoft Teams as part of their collaboration tool, users will now be able to connect any Dynamics 365 record to a Microsoft Teams channel.
The new integration will also help teams working on a collaborate deal regardless of where they are working from. It will be easier for individual opportunities to be pinned to a Team associated with the prospective deal. Additionally, users can communicate more effectively through persistent chat sessions across the Microsoft Teams and Dynamics 365 records.
7. Social Listening in Dynamics 365 for Marketing App
One of the new features in the Marketing platform is the addition of Social Listening, which allows marketers to add relevant social tags to the customer journey, events, and other entities. Social listening collects data generated from all the social networks and provides valuable insights like how each phrase is mentioned over time, the sentiment associated with each mention, influences mentioning that phrases, and many others.
Users will now be able to view the social media response in a new dashboard for social insights helping them track their marketing initiatives alongside other marketing insights in real-time.
8. Resource Scheduling Optimisation in Field Service
Resource Scheduling Optimisation is an add-on capability in the Dynamics 365 for Field Service application build to automatically schedule work orders by optimizing bookings to the most appropriate resources, while simultaneously optimizing appointment setting for travel time, mileage, and many other constraints.
The new release will have plenty of updates in the Universal Resource Scheduler feature. Users will now gain a lot of flexibility to assign work orders to a group of resources. A new “Crew Scheduling” option will be added, that will group people and other resources together for a defined time. This feature is brought to fix the issue of the previous version, where a group of people wasn’t allowed to be grouped together for a task.
9. Business Application Platform Capabilities
The October 2018 update will combine all the Business Application Platform tools — PowerBI, Flow, PowerApps and Common Data Service — in the same interface to help users trade app activity and usage more easily. For example, the October release will enable Common Data Service (CDS) to combine with PowerApps to model sophisticated business solutions. Combining CDS with PowerApps, a user can create a high productivity point-and-click app which is easily customisable and quick to develop.
These upcoming capabilities, powered by insights and intelligence from data across business systems, will integrate with the business applications people use every day to provide rich and intelligent experiences. This integration will also enable users to extend and customise Dynamics 365 with Office 365 into the users’ environment.
10. Social Engagement
Microsoft Social Engagement is a very powerful app that helps organisations harness the power of the web – social, search, browse — to achieve better sales and marketing results. In the October release, users will be equipped with a lot of new features, fixes, and changes in the Social Engagement platform.
Key improvements include; a new sign-in process to help users get started with the platform; a guided experience when defining search topics and deeper integration with other business applications including Marketing and Sales. Users will now be benefitted with enhanced user guidance experience that will help them quickly learn how to use the app effectively. A new feature that will be added is the “additional languages”. Several additional languages will be added for both the UI as well as for data acquisition.
The latest Dynamics 365 release is just another example of Microsoft’s continual investment into the latest technologies and user experience being released in October. Stay tuned for more blog articles that will highlight the updates in the specific Dynamics 365 apps.
If you would like to find out how you can take advantage of the latest updates within your organisation, contact us today for a no obligation consultation on 01296 328 689.