Ignite 2021: Microsoft’s 6 Biggest Dynamics 365 Updates

The updates include new integrations with Teams and LinkedIn along with a number of enhanced features.

What’s Next In Dynamics 365

With this week’s announcements at the Microsoft Ignite 2021 conference, solution providers can expect more integrations between Dynamics 365--Microsoft’s combined CRM/ERP offering--and the company’s other major products. New integrations with the Microsoft Teams collaboration app will aim to help sales teams, customer service representatives and other stakeholders with landing new customers and building loyalty with existing ones, according to a blog post by Muhammad Alam, corporate vice president of Microsoft Dynamics 365. More integrations with Dynamics 365 appear to answer come concerns partners have expressed about Microsoft’s business applications. For instance, last summer, a solution provider executive told CRN that Microsoft needs to make its business applications easier to implement with customers.

Partners are seeking “a more seamless and secure integration point that is going to allow for automation,” the executive said. ”That‘s really what we keep running up against. That’s a headache from a lot of clients. We get a lot of pushback from clients saying, ’Well, I’m not quite ready to move forward because I still have some concerns about the automation and the connectivity.’”

Dynamics 365 is a fast-growing product for North American channel partners, and during its latest quarterly earnings call, Microsoft reported that Dynamics 365 revenue grew 39 percent year over year.

What follows are the key details on Microsoft’s six biggest Dynamics 365 updates at Ignite 2021.

More Insights Through Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing

In April, Microsoft will release a public preview of new, AI-powered real-time customer experience capabilities in Dynamics 365 Marketing that pull from customer interactions with marketing, sales, commerce, customer voice, digital events and service. Later this year, users will have the ability to export the data of webinar attendees to Teams events hosted within Dynamics 365 Marketing into 365 Marketing. Also, commercial Microsoft 365 E3 and E5 customers get six free months of Dynamics 365 Marketing, Microsoft said.

New Surveying Abilities With Customer Voice

Launched last summer, Dynamics 365 Customer Voice aims to improve customer responses by enabling organizations to incorporate feedback into their customer view in real time. Now, the solution has received real-time survey capabilities to help customers in collection and analysis of direct customer feedback. Survey responses can trigger workflows in automated campaigns, like allowing a customer complaint to trigger a notification to an account manager to follow up, for example, according to Alam.

Fulfillment Assistance With Intelligent Order Management

In April, Microsoft will preview a new application called Intelligent Order Management to help customers manage orders from intake to delivery. The app integrates with any enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management, warehouse management, fulfillment and delivery system and doesn’t depend on other Dynamics 365 products. Intelligent Order Management is a configurable, rule-based, AI-powered software-as-a-service aimed on retailers and consumer goods companies. Eschewing the typical static rules hard-coded into fulfillment and order management systems, the app will learn how users react and provide better recommendations over time while helping with stock levels and cash flow.

Teams And Dynamics 365 Field Service

New customer engagement capabilities for Dynamics 365 Field Service will become generally available on April 1 to allow the rating of field technicians by end customers. On that same day, Microsoft will preview self-service scheduling for customers to reduce scheduling errors and simplify rescheduling. This may also reduce back-office costs by reducing the number of customer calls. Automated service visit reminders should help make sure customers are ready for technician visits, and real-time location tracking will show customers if technicians are on their way.

Other Teams Integrations With Dynamics 365 Sales

Sales teams can use the Teams video and audio meeting experience to automatically transcribe calls and analyze content through Conversation Intelligence inside Dynamics 365 Sales. Sellers can make a Teams call from inside a workflow, inside a customer relationship management platform, with conversational key performance indicators (KPIs) and business insights surfaced to improve the conversation.

Users of Dynamics 365 Customer Service can access Teams’ chat capability to find and collaborate with subject-matter experts while working to resolve customer complaints faster. Customer service representatives can also link relevant chats to underlying records to see the history of a customer’s issue.

Microsoft has updated integrations between Teams and Dynamics 365 Commerce to allow better task list creation and assignment management. Later this year, Microsoft Teams users can access Microsoft Dynamics 365 Human Resources from within Teams, freeing up HR staff. Managers will have the ability to review and approve time-off requests.

LinkedIn Integrations

From within Dynamics 365 Sales, sales teams can connect sales records to Teams and monitor contacts’ career movements with LinkedIn Sales Navigator. LinkedIn Sales Insights can also integrate with Dynamics 365 Sales to automatically import company profile data from LinedIn Sales Insights into a matched account in Dynamics 365.