One of the hallmarks of Microsoft cloud products is constant improvements and bug fixes. These are incremental changes. However, wave releases are scheduled twice a year, where we get a significant jump forward in functionality. Wave 1 2022 was announced in January, and its feature set runs from April 2022 all the way until September 2022. As you may have guessed, there is some overlap between Wave 1 and Wave 2 releases.
These rollouts are staggered to allow for adequate time to learn new features, evaluate business impact, and possibly involve development teams to help adjust to recent changes. That’s what Dynamic Consultants Group is here for – to help you get the most out of your Dynamics 365 system and to be on the lookout for features that may benefit you and your business.
This release has a big focus on collaboration and integration. With remote work a new reality, Microsoft Teams has become the go-to tool for chat, audio, and video communications. These changes bring the world of Dynamics 365 and Teams closer together. Let’s dive in.
Easily edit a Dynamics 365 record within a Microsoft Teams conversation.
Public preview: April 28th, 2022
General availability: August 2022
Requirement: Dynamics 365 Enterprise license
Collaboration on Dynamics 365 records has just gotten easier. Via cards, users can now edit records directly from a Teams conversation. It goes like this: you’re working with a colleague on an opportunity. They have some critical information that needs to be reflected on the record. To facilitate, you send them a Dynamics 365 record card, where you and your colleague can see the record without leaving the Teams interface. Dynamics 365 records can be searched for from within the Teams interface via a new button in the chat window. In addition, if you already have the record open in Dynamics 365, copying and pasting the record link automatically renders it as an interactive card.
Abilities include editing record columns and changing the state of the record. Custom columns and business rules are also supported – meaning the information displayed is tailored to your organization’s particular needs. The default card display is the table’s Quick Find View. This view can be customized to display only the most relevant columns to your users. Once the information has been changed, click refresh on the card, and the updated info appears. In addition, notes or tasks can be added directly to a record’s timeline – without switching contexts. Productivity for the win!
Access control ensures that only those with required security permissions have write access. The existing Dynamics 365 security model you’ve set up carries through. This functionality is a significant productivity improvement for sales teams everywhere!
Drive seller productivity with a seamless experience between Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Teams meetings
Public preview: April 7th, 2022
General availability: September 2022
Requirement: Sales Enterprise or Sales Premium license (Customer Intelligence)
Above, we discussed ways to integrate Dynamics 365 records into chats with your colleagues. But what about during Teams meetings? If you’ve been in sales, you may know what it’s like to juggle running a meeting, sharing a PowerPoint deck, and taking notes in OneNote. This second bit of functionality is designed to make this process easier. The sales team can pull contextualized sales data into the meeting from Dynamics 365. In addition, you can schedule and join Teams meetings directly from inside Dynamics 365. This is available natively via the new Teams integration feature (see the links below).
Working together with this is Conversation Intelligence. Customer conversations are monitored for those with a Sales Enterprise or Sales Premium license, and the system picks out action items. In addition, the system evaluates the conversation and displays business insights during the meeting. The idea is to enable you, the seller, to focus on what is actually happening in the conversation.
Use Microsoft Teams chat in Sales Hub
Public preview: September 15th, 2021, July 2022
General availability: N/A
We’ve talked a lot about pulling Dynamics 365 into Teams. But what about the other way around? Now, Dynamics 365 users can start Teams chat conversations from within Sales Hab. New chats can be started and related to a specific record (such as an account, lead, opportunity, etc.) OR existing chats can be linked. This enables you to use all the benefits of Teams, with the layer of organization afforded by Dynamics 365. When opening up a record, the Teams chats window automatically displays conversations that you have linked to the record or that someone else has linked to you as a chat participant. In addition, the Other chats window displays the top 200 chats related to records in Dynamics 365. This full Teams chat experience includes message importance, emojis, GIFs, and a rich-text editor. Multiple chat windows can be open, and the chat window persists as you navigate across Dynamics 365.
One of the neat features in this regard is the ability to start a chat with other team members who are directly on a record. This is much like the real-time collaboration tools inside Office 365 products like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. With this feature, users can see other active members on the record. This presence indicator provides context and encourages collaboration. The copresence feature is set to roll out in preview this month, with general availability currently unknown at this time.
As you can see, Microsoft Teams and Dynamics 365 are moving closer together. This has tremendous implications for productivity and collaboration across your organization. There are also a lot of other exciting features included as part of the Wave 1 release, such as built-in insights from Conversation Intelligence.
We look forward to covering more of these features in future content on our blog. In the meantime, Dynamic Consultants Group is here to answer your questions and help you optimize your Sales team for success by utilizing the latest features in Dynamics 365.
Tony Pimpo is a CRM consultant with a background across the consulting, marketing and online media industries, aiming to facilitate successful relationships between customers and end-users. He has experience managing and contributing to successful teams and D365 projects, along with gathering, understanding and documenting business requirements.