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What to expect from Microsoft Dynamics 365 release wave 1 

At the end of January 2022, Microsoft published their exciting release wave 1 plans for Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Power Platform, which underpin the CRM capabilities of MemEx, our membership experience platform.  

A compilation of new capabilities is planned for release between April and September and this first wave of the year offers hundreds of new features and enhancements, demonstrating Microsoft’s continued investment to digital transformation. 

As with previous releases, several of the updates in this wave focus on personalisation, automation and user experience, all of which are particularly pertinent to the membership sector.  

Let’s look at some of the highlights you can look forward to later in the year.  

Highlights from Dynamics 365

What’s new in Dynamics 365 Marketing? 

Collaboration is key in this latest release, which enables collaborative content creation with Microsoft Teams. Membership marketers can use content fragments and themes to improve authoring efficiency while investments in Data and AI allow advanced personalisation.  

Make every interaction count by responding at the right moment with new event triggers based on data changes in any Dynamics 365 app, taking action from membership journeys in more ways. Personalise content and take immediate action on SMS replies based on responses using custom keywords. 

What’s new in Dynamics 365 Customer Service? 

Dynamics 365 Customer Service focuses on the setup experience for membership administrators with the new Customer Service admin centre app and improving agent productivity with updates to the agent inbox view.  

Enhancements to embedded Microsoft Teams include Dynamics 365 data integration, AI-suggested contacts, and AI-generated conversation summaries for agents. 

Meanwhile, Dynamics 365 Field Service brings innovation and usability enhancements to the schedule board, allowing for more intuitive and faster usage, as well as improved dispatcher productivity.

What’s new in Dynamics 365 sales? 

Dynamics 365 Sales supports membership sales professionals in maximising the power of data and intelligence to forecast, compare annual projections and measure performance using predictive scoring.  

Sellers can also collaborate using Teams from within Dynamics 365 to accelerate their pipeline, while managers can track team performance and provide coaching to increase customer satisfaction. 

Read more about the D365 2022 release wave 1 plan 

Highlights from the Power Platform

What’s new in Power BI? 

  • For individuals - Improved the create experience through the creation of measures using natural language and work sharing for easy collaboration using OneDrive.  
  • For teams - Enhancements to goals focused on enterprise needs, integration with PowerPoint, and new capabilities to the Power BI experience in Teams.  
  • For organisations – Improved experience with big data through automatic aggregations, data protection capabilities through DLP, and providing improved visibility into activity to admins. 

What’s new in Power Apps? 

Power Apps will add built-in collaboration for end users and integration with Microsoft 365 to allow teams to collaborate and act on business data, as well as key updates to modernise user experiences. 

Activate experts across the organisation with advanced low code - Makers and developers of all skill levels will be more productive over Dataverse, multiple their productivity with fusion teams and leverage intelligence to assist development. 

Power Apps is the safest way to digitally transform at whole-company scale - Secure and governable enterprise apps are critical to creating trust with users and enterprise IT teams. 

Deliver flagship applications faster than ever - Organisations can now build and deliver flagship apps to the entire company through Power Apps with offline and standalone apps. 

What’s new in Power Virtual Agents? 

Power Virtual Apps brings improvements in the authoring experience with commenting, Power Apps portals integration, data loss prevention options, proactive bot update messaging in Microsoft Teams and more. 

What’s new in Power Automate? 

Power Automate is more accessible than ever, which makes it easier to begin automating tasks no matter where you are in Microsoft 365. Microsoft have seen customers of all sizes increase the scale of their robotic process automation (RPA) deployments, so are adding features to make it easier to manage machines in Azure and the credentials of users and accounts.  

All the features they are building are increasingly automatable by default, adhering to the API-first approach, so that IT departments can manage their Power Automate infrastructure in whatever way they want. 

Read more about the Power Platform 2022 release wave 1 plan 
 

Wattle insight

Here are some key takeaways from this release wave from Matt Ballard, Dynamics 365 Consultant here at Wattle.

New Grid controls

Microsoft will be releasing a new read-only grid control which will have ‘infinite’ scrolling capabilities. This means that users will no longer have to navigate across pages in a sub grid, but will be able to scroll until they get to the desired record/s, which  essentially means less clicking when they try scrolling through hundreds of records.

Notifications

Also included in this update is the ability to configure customer notifications in D365 to alerts users when specific actions happen (i.e. a phone call created for them). See below as an example.

Teams integration – Create and join Teams meetings from appointments

This shows that Microsoft is really investing in the integration between Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Teams.

With this feature users are able to create an appointment in Dynamics 365 and add a Microsoft Teams meeting to the appointment. This will save users a lot of time, as they are no longer forced to create Microsoft Teams meetings outside of Dynamics 365. Besides the ability to add Microsoft Team’s meetings to appointments, users will also have the ability to join a Team meeting from a Dynamics 365 appointment or the timeline directly!

Modern Advanced Find

It seems as though Microsoft is finally getting rid of the legacy advanced find in Dynamics 365. The new modern advanced find functionality will be available as a public preview starting in February. It looks like the new advanced find will be accessible from the Dataverse search bar on top of model-driven apps.

According to the information in the release notes, this modern advanced find experience will allow us to create queries and views just like we were able to do in the legacy advanced find. On top of that, we will be able to search view selectors for views. So this may mean the end of the current advanced find.

 

MEMBERSHIP EXPERIENCE PLATFORM INTRODUCING MEMEX

MemEx delivers unrivalled end to end membership management through a suite of membership 'accelerators' designed to meet the specific needs of membership organisations.

Built on two of the sector's most popular cloud technologies, Umbraco's website CMS and Microsoft's Dynamics 365 CRM, MemEx provides a single seamlessly integrated technology foundation to underpin your transformation programme.

Develop a membership management solution as unique as your organisation with our advanced customisation and development options.

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