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Microsoft Dynamics 365 v9.02: More new functionality to make our customer service easier - here now

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is constantly changing. Barely before we have got our heads around the July 2017 – v9 release of Microsoft Dynamics 365 there is another one to contend with. However, trials set up at the moment are still on 9.0. The 9.2 upgrade is slated for general availability in April 2018, but not yet (as of 9th April). The good news is that the changes seem to be far less than those in the v9 release last July.  My free ebook on this July 2017 v9 release is available here.

The biggest technical change in this release is that the hubs – Sales Hub and Customer Service Hub, built on the Unified Interface - are now the default user interface.

This document is a high-level summary of the release notes. More detailed material on particular areas of interest will follow once the release is available.

This state of constant change is good, in that we can always fix more today than we could yesterday, but it does mean that we are never finished – there are always more benefits offer and more ways to solve challenges. In turn this means that everyone working in this space should be constantly investing in their education to stay abreast of the options, so we can always give the best advice or make the best decisions.

On 21st March 2018, James Phillips - Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Business Applications Group announced this release, and on 28th March 2018, Microsoft published the release notes. Phillip’s announcement of the 9.02 upgrade release included:

“Today I’m thrilled to announce the spring 2018 release for Microsoft Business Applications. We’re unleashing a wave of innovation across the entire product line with hundreds of new capabilities and features in three core areas: new business applications; new intelligent capabilities infused throughout; and transformational new application platform capabilities.
“As I talk with business leaders to learn what draws them to Dynamics 365, the answer is almost always the same: they want to digitally transform and believe Microsoft is uniquely capable of helping them succeed on that journey. Microsoft is the only provider of a modern, unified and intelligence-infused family of business applications that span the breadth of business processes – across marketing, sales, service, operations, finance, talent and commerce; all powered by a business analytics and application platform, built atop a common data model, on Azure, our planet-scale public cloud, connected to Office 365 and the world’s largest professional network, LinkedIn.
“It is this collection of integrated capabilities spanning the Microsoft Cloud that supercharge Dynamics 365, creating what we believe is an unmatched platform for digital transformation.”

Here, I provide a summary of the CRM related changes, and make the release notes available to you.

Deprecated features in Dynamics 365 v9.02

This release does not appear to have any of the CRM (Sales, Marketing and Customer Service) features deprecated.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Next month, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) privacy laws in Europe will take effect. These new laws affect everyone, not just people located within the European Union. The GDPR applies to companies, government agencies, non-profits, and other organizations that offer goods and services to people in the EU, or that collect data tied to EU residents.
Microsoft have provided resources on the Trust Centre to assist with ensuring compliance with GDPR.

Accessibility

Accessibility is another buzzword as ensuring that everyone can access and use technology and consume the data, whether they have disabilities or just don’t have access to a mouse or monitor is key to ensuring full productivity through digital transformation. I discussed how Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 was compliant with WCAG 2.0 in a blog article in 2016 here.

New Functionality in Dynamics 365 v9.02

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing is a new marketing automation tool released as part of the Spring 2018 update. It is different in many ways from Microsoft Dynamics Marketing, which has now been end of lifed.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing is licensed on a per organisation basis – not a per user. This is a change for Microsoft solutions. Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing can be used alone, although it delivers far more value when combined with other Dynamics 365 solutions.

The features delivered by Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing include:

  • Multi-channel campaign orchestration with customer journeys
  • Ability to run high volume email campaigns
  • Analysis of recipient response to emails
  • Content creation, including landing pages, forms and html emails
  • Event Management
  • Ability to run campaigns on Linked In and bring those leads into Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing
  • Embedded marketing insights

More Sales Intelligence and Functionality for Dynamics 365 for Sales

The new functionality in the Dynamics 365 for Sales module includes more intelligence and analytics, deeper integrations with LinkedIn. This includes:

  • Embedded intelligence which collects, manages, and analyses the diverse data and communications throughout the sales process, and then automatically suggests relevant actions and captures relevant activities so salespeople can concentrate on selling.
  • Intelligence features are the inclusion of:
    • Relationship assistant
    • Auto capture
    • Email engagement

as part of the Sales App rather than Relationship Insights.

  • The Sales App is now built on the Unified Interface framework. This means that there is a consistent user experience across all devices. The Sales App now includes all sales entities and has extended to products, goals, and sales literature
  • Dynamics 365 App for Outlook, LinkedIn Sales Navigator integration, and the Gamification solution all run on the Unified Interface framework.
  • The addition of the Professional user license for streamlined Sales Force Automation (SFA) gives a smaller cheaper licence for sales people who require more functionality than the team member licence, but less than the enterprise licence.

Linked In Sales Navigator integration

Sales people have been eagerly awaiting Microsoft’s purchase of Linked In to deliver them some real value. It has now arrived. We now have the ability to add functionality to Dynamics 365 so users can tap into their personal networks within Linked In directly to help strengthen their pipeline.

Dynamics 365 for Customer Service

The changes in Customer service are also fairly small and mainly focussed on the Unified Interface. We now have full case management and knowledge base article management in the Customer Service hub.

The Customer Service hub also allows well-formatted content for knowledge articles using a rich text editor – as users have been asking for.

Unified Service Desk for Dynamics 365

Unified Service Desk for Dynamics 365 provides a configurable framework for building call centre solutions that provide a unified view of customer data and a range of communication channels (including phone, chat, email, and social media) in a single interface.

Voice of the Customer (VoC)

Voice of the Customer introduces a few technical enhancements, improved analytics, and probably the most useful enhancement from a user perspective, the ability to use a previous answer in a later question in surveys. This has the potential to massively simplify some surveys.

This article is only a brief overview of the new functionality. For full details, download the Dynamics 365 Spring ’18 release notes from our website.

If you would like help in making the best use of these new features, we are very happy to help. Please contact us here.

 

Who is Gill Walker?

Gill Walker is many things:

  • She is an author who loves spreading knowledge of CRM and specifically Microsoft Dynamics 365 via articles such as this;
  • She is an expert consultant who has been helping her clients with their Microsoft Dynamics 365 (and previously Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft CRM) challenges since 2002;
  • She is a professional trainer who shares her wide knowledge of Microsoft Dynamics 365 with her training delegates – so they can implement and manage their Microsoft Dynamics 365 more easily and effectively;
  • She is a speaker who shares her knowledge of varied CRM topics with her audiences;
  • She is a troubleshooter – who helps organisations with their sticky problems.

Please feel free to contact her via linked in (https://www.linkedin.com/in/crmconsultant/) or email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).


Opsis is an expert Microsoft Dynamics 365 consulting company. Our focus is your Microsoft Dynamics 365 success - not licence sales or billable hours. As Principal Consultant, Gill oversees all business operations and strategic planning and execution, yet she still believes in offering personal attention to each and every client, so as to understand their needs and offer tailored solutions.  We are based in Sydney, with clients in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane and across Australia.  We offer Microsoft Dynamics 365 strategy, Microsoft Dynamics 365 scoping, Microsoft Dynamics 365 implementation, Microsoft Dynamics 365 technical support, Microsoft Dynamics 365 advice and guidance, Microsoft Dynamics 365 training and mentoring.