From the 1st October 2019 through to March 2020, Microsoft is set to roll out a wave of exciting new features and enhancements, across their business applications, to support businesses with driving innovation and transformation.

Here are some of the new features within the Dynamics 365 CRM software applications, that you can expect to see over the coming months.

User Interface enhancements

  •           Improved usability, density, and filtering capabilities have been applied to views, forms and grids. Users will now experience a density optimised user interface, giving them greater visibility of records and information on a single screen. Updates to filtering and usability have also been addressed, so users will now be able to navigate away from a filtered view and return with the filters still applied.
  •           Activity Timeline improvements have been made to further improve the user experience and visibility of information. Improvements such as the ‘expand and collapse’ of activities, gives users not only more visibility of activities recorded with less scrolling required in the timeline when collapsed, but also the ability to expand them to see the detailed information without having to open the activity record. Other improvements include simple icons to identify the type of activities, such as phone calls, tasks, appointments and notes. Emails now show as conversation threads to mirror the user experience from Outlook and enhanced filtering capability allows users to quickly and easily find the activities they are looking for.
  •           Business Process Flows in Microsoft Dynamics 365 are tools which help guide users through a business process in the system. Business process flows are representations of business processes and are displayed visually as a heading across the top of an entity form. These now have a new vertical layout which allow users to pin the business process flow on the right side of the form, allowing full interaction.

  • Anchoring error notifications. When there is an error on a form, the notification will now display at the top of the form. With a single click on the error message, the user will be navigated to the related field, thus reducing clicks and improving productivity.


Dynamics 365 Sales

  • Simplified lead management experience helps to increase productivity by auto-populating contact and company-related fields when a sales representative selects an existing contact and account at the creation of a new lead. This brings across notes and attachments captured at the lead stage into the opportunity record after lead qualification, allowing sales representatives the option to automatically create an account, contact and opportunity, when a lead is qualified.

  • Contextual email communication is now supported by the introduction of a new overlaying email composition screen. With this new feature, sales representatives will no longer be navigated away from the record when composing an email. Instead, an email screen will pop-up giving the sales representatives full visibility of the record they are working on, thus allowing them to compose contextual responses. Additional capability of the email screen includes a rich text editor, the ability to navigate between records, draft multiple emails, add attachments, use email templates and preview the email before sending.
  • Customisation of opportunity close dialog box allows administrators to add additional fields such as profit margin, winning product and many more, to really understand the outcomes of the sales cycle. Sales managers can use this information as a form of reporting, to understand why opportunities are won or lost, identify trends with competitors and products, and review or introduce new sales strategies to keep improving win ratios. Sales representatives can also benefit from machine learning models analysing the data to create forecasts against opportunities, so they know which opportunities they are more likely to win.
  • Business card scan allows sales representatives to easily scan business cards using their mobile device, collate and map the information to the respective fields and import the contact into the CRM system.


Dynamics 365 Omnichannel Service

  • Integration to D365 Virtual Agent for Customer Service will allow you to leverage Chatbot technology to provide 1st line support or even handle repetitive customer conversations such as “where is my order?” & “what is the status of my case?”, thus freeing up your staff to work on higher priority cases. Additional functionality from integrating D365 Virtual Agent with Chat includes a seamless transition from virtual agent to a human service agent when an escalation is required, making the full transcript of virtual agent conversations available to the service agent.
  • Bot-Assisted agent guidance is a new feature to provide service agents with contextual recommendations, such as quick replies, knowledge articles, next best actions and similar cases to help resolve cases faster.
  • Multi-provider support opens up a wide range of 3rd party support channels for customers, whilst service agents continue to manage their cases in a unified experience.
  • User navigation history provides service agents with additional information about a customer’s website activity, such as browsed webpages and knowledge articles viewed, leading to an enhanced support engagement.


Dynamics 365 Marketing

  • Layout editor enhancements now allow marketers to quickly and simply make changes to email designs using multi-column layouts.

  • Email A/B testing allows marketers to create several email designs, send them to a subset audience, and analyse the interactions, in order to identify the most effective designs.

  • Quick send email blasts have been optimised so that marketers are able to quickly and easily send out email blasts to their audience in a few clicks.


Dynamics 365 Field Service

  • Mixed Reality Guides for Field Service now brings augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) experiences into the hands of field service employees when handling service tasks. Using Microsoft HoloLens, Dynamics 365 Guides provides field service agents with guided, step-by-step instructions and tools required to fulfil the service task. Analytics are also captured behind every step so you can measure progress, modify processes and maximise efficiency.


Dynamics 365 Project Service Automation

  • Dynamics Sales Extension for Projects is a new solution bringing capabilities such as bookings, sales, pricing, costing, time & expense capture and approvals & project actuals, from Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation and Microsoft Projects into a singular unified experience. A seamless upgrade path for existing Project Service Automation customers will be made available once the new solution is released.
  • Split-billing for project contracts allows you to add multiple customers to a contract with an associated billing percentage.
  • Not-to-exceed limits for project contracts and quotes allows project managers to set monetary limits on time & materials-based projects, in order that customers are not invoiced for more than the services that were agreed.
  • Setting up billing and chargeability options will now provide project managers with the ability to mark project tasks within a project, and breakdown work structure as chargeable, non-chargeable or complementary. This can then be taken into consideration when invoices or sales estimates are generated.

The above are only a selection of many features and enhancements to Microsoft Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform. It demonstrates Microsoft’s continuous transformation, innovation and commitment to providing businesses with the best tools on the market to drive their digital transformation.

Shilen Khimani,
Pre Sales Solution Consultant