It’s that time of the year again: Microsoft has released Dynamics 365 wave 2, with brand new features for administrators, business owners, CTOs, and more. Wave 1, launched in April, came at the start of the pandemic when businesses shifted to an at-home working model. Since then, we’ve had monthly updates and bug fixes, but we thought wave 2 might be significantly scaled-back because of the current climate. This isn’t the case at all.
Dynamics 365 boasts over 500 new or updated capabilities, focusing clearly on helping businesses recover from the pandemic and subsequent economic fallout. Plus, there’s enhanced fraud protection and supply chain management.
The 2020 release wave 2 expands our vision to help you unlock the agility, innovation, and resilience to adapt and thrive. More than 500 new and updated capabilities join an unparalleled breadth of intelligent, modular, and seamlessly-integrated SaaS applications for the front and back office, all atop the world-leading Power Platform to enable anyone to create apps and business processes.
New features in Dynamics 365:
- Customer Insights updates
- Better connected customer management experiences across departments
- New marketing capabilities
- New sales capabilities
- A native voice channel to current omnichannel service capabilities built on Microsoft cloud
- Cross-app capabilities across Dynamics 365 apps
- Intelligent cash flow forecasting (previously in preview mode)
- New Supply Chain Management capabilities
- Updates to Human Resources
- Fraud prevention updates
In this guide, we take a deep dive into these new capabilities and explain how they benefit your business.
Customer Insights Updates
Dynamic 365 Customer Insights — now the fastest-growing Dynamics 365 application, says Microsoft — has provided business owners with unparalleled intelligence during these unprecedented times. Now Microsoft has introduced updates for the platform for 2020 release wave 2, letting teams share AI-generated customer insights across departments.
New updates for Customer Insights include:
- New engagement capabilities that provide users with in-depth customer insights. (Teams can access these insights easier.)
- Audience insights that let users analyze customer interactions from websites, apps, and connected products.
- Integration with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Voice for tracking customer feedback signals from one channel to the next. Great for driving engagement when customer behaviors and sentiment changes.
It’s been a tough year for business owners of all stripes, but customer-facing organizations have suffered a tremendous blow, with retail sales plunging. (Experts predict that U.S. retail sales will drop 10.5 percent in 2020.) These new Customer Insights features provide users with the customer intelligence they need to:
- Improve engagement
- Drive sales
- Increase revenue
- Create marketing campaigns
- Enhance customer service workflows
“Customers talk about Microsoft’s unique ability to connect data holistically across departments and teams with AI-powered insights to drive better outcomes,” says Microsoft. “This is precisely the business need that we identified and addressed with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insights, Microsoft’s customer data platform (CDP).”
Better Connected Customer Management Experiences Across Departments
The 2020 wave 2 updates also facilitate better customer management across departments, breaking down the barriers that prevent connected and personalized experiences. Users now have greater customer insights at every touchpoint, as well as enhanced visibility and collaboration between sales, service, and marketing departments.
Are you looking to incorporate Dynamics 365 into your organization? Dynamic Consultants Group provides full service consulting for businesses that want to make this switch, making it the partner of choice for many customer-facing organizations. Click here to schedule a meeting and learn more.
New Marketing Capabilities
Over the next six months, Microsoft is providing marketers with customer interaction tools “at scale” to build relationships “in this new world.” But what does this mean? The 2020 wave 2 release of Dynamics 365 comes with new capabilities for users to expedite customer journeys and align sales and marketing.
Users can now:
- Integrate Microsoft Teams for digital events.
- Use natural language for target segments.
- Optimize social media posting.
- Improve the “customer journey designer.”
- There’s better integration with Customer Insights to facilitate segments in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing.
“We’re dedicated to delivering solutions that bridge marketing, sales, and service departments, seamlessly connecting ushering customers from the first touch to acquisition to exceptional support,” says Microsoft. “The 2020 release wave 2 updates take steps to connect that journey.”
New Sales Capabilities
Digital experiences are becoming increasingly popular for customers, but few companies know how to engage customers throughout the sales cycle. This is where Dynamics 365 comes in. The new features announced by Microsoft streamline sales processes and improve engagement.
Microsoft says it is increasing AI intelligence capabilities to provide Dynamics 365 users with contextual sales insights for:
- Sales accelerator
- Advanced forecasting
- Pipeline intelligence
As a result, sales teams receive better customer intelligence for better decision making. (Users can integrate Dynamic 365 Sales with Dynamic 365 Customer Voice to measure Net Promoter Score and sentiment metrics.)
A Native Voice Channel to Current Omnichannel Capabilities
One of the most exciting features of wave 2 is the introduction of a native voice channel to existing omnichannel capabilities, built on Microsoft cloud, which provides a “seamless, end-to-end customer service experience across every channel within a single solution.”
There are other developments:
- Updated Dynamics 365 Field Service capabilities that improve productivity, optimize scheduling, enhance field service management, and more.
- Updated Dynamics 365 Remote Assist capabilities, including support for non-AR phones and additional call analytics.
Cross-App Capabilities Across Dynamics 365
As sectors slowly return to normal, business owners require close collaboration across various Dynamics 365 applications. The 2020 release wave 2 strengthens these capabilities, bringing apps together with Microsoft Power Platform and Azure Data Lake.
Intelligent Cash Flow Forecasting
Dynamics 365 Finance users might have noticed intelligent cash flow forecasting already. (It’s been in preview mode for a while now.) But now it’s available for everyone, with additional features for vendor invoices.
Good cash flow is the foundation of many businesses, especially during the current economic climate, so Microsoft is investing in more tools that optimize invoicing and other financial tasks. This includes an electronic invoicing add-on (preview mode only) that builds on the other invoicing tools in Dynamics 365 apps.
Want to make the most of these new Dynamics 365 capabilities? Dynamic Consultants Group provides various business intelligence solutions that build on the 365 platform. Click here to schedule a meeting.
New Supply Chain Management Capabilities
Microsoft plans to roll out a new Engineering Change Management add-on that handles product changes throughout the entire pipeline, with a production floor execution feature that makes production management tasks easier than ever before.
“The pandemic took a toll on supply chains, from suppliers to consumers,” notes Microsoft. “Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management is introducing new capabilities to keep the production line running and ease the day-to-day work on the factory floor.”
Plus, there are new supply chain management features for frontline workers via Dynamics 365 Guides.
Updates to Dynamics 365 Human Resources
There are updates to Dynamics 365 Human Resources, the personnel management solution:
“For the 2020 release wave 2, we’re focused on updates that further help HR professionals empower and engage their workforce, provide modern benefits packages, and stay compliant,” says Microsoft.
There’s also new self-service functionality for employees who want to manage leaves of absence, time-off balances, and leave requests themselves via Microsoft Teams. This takes the strain off busy HR departments. Other new features include more “simplified” integrations for Azure Active Directory and LinkedIn Talent Hub.
Fraud Protection Updates
There are further fraud protection updates in wave 2 that benefit all users. Dynamics 365 Fraud Prevention will protect retailers from:
- Purchase and payment fraud at the point of sale,
- Account fraud
- Shrinkage fraud
There’s closer integration between Fraud Prevention and Dynamics 365 Commerce, and users can now manually flag suspicious transactions for review.
“In 2020 release wave 2, we will preview a new ‘manual review’ capability that allows customers to use the Fraud Protection rules experience to flag transactions for review, and then allow expert human agents to consume and adjudicate those transactions,” says Microsoft.
How to Make the Most From Dynamics 365 Wave 2
These are just some Dynamics 365 new features. As you can see, the 2020 release wave 2 will bring additional improvements to all Dynamics 365 users, but few businesses know how to get the most value from these changes. Dynamic Consultants Group provides full service consulting and support for Dynamics 365 2020 wave 2, so you can tailor the platform just the way you like. As the #1 partner of choice for so many Dynamics 365 users, Dynamic Consultants Group provides extra business intelligence for your whole team. Schedule a meeting and discover more.