Dynamics 365 users have plenty to look forward to in the coming months. As we reported earlier this month, Microsoft is moving the suite to a twice-yearly update cycle. Ahead of the first October update for Dynamics 365, the company has published release notes to show what's coming.
The notes are fairly extensive at 238 pages. The enterprise grade planning and customer relationship suite of apps will make over 100 incremental updates. Among the apps receiving updates are Dynamics Marketing, Customer, Sales, Portals, Operations, and Finance.
Dynamics 365 A1 for Sales will gain new features like call sentiment analysis and warning when transactions may be risky.
The update details were offered along with the inauguration of Microsoft's Business Applications Summit, which was held in Seattle this week. In a blog post, Corporate Vice President of Engineering James Phillips says sales is the focus of the October Dynamics 365 update:
“For Sales, in particular, we'll show how AI can help salespeople prioritize their time to focus on deals that matter most, provide answers to the most common questions regarding the performance of sales teams, offer a detailed analysis of the sales pipeline and surface insights that enable smarter coaching of sales teams.”
Microsoft will also push deeper integrations for its service within Dynamics 365. Users will see deeper links to Outlook, LinkedIn, Azure, Azure IoT Central, and Microsoft Teams. The latter is particularly interesting as it will sync Dynamics apps with Microsoft's workplace communications platform.
Microsoft has detailed the following improvements for the platform:
“Dynamics 365 AI for Sales, the first of a new class of AI applications that delivers unique out-of-the-box insights by unifying data and infusing it with advanced intelligence to guide decisions and empower organizations to take informed actions. For Sales, in particular, we'll show how AI can help salespeople prioritize their time to focus on deals that matter most, provide answers to the most common questions regarding the performance of sales teams, offer a detailed analysis of the sales pipeline, and surface insights that enable smarter coaching of sales teams.
Enhanced Azure IoT Central integration with Dynamics 365 for Field Service will enable proactive and predictive service. Building on previous integration, we'll now support bi-directional flows. For example, sending commands from Field Service through IoT central to the device. The power of IoT is also extended to the technician with embedded IoT Central visuals and measurements within the Field Service mobile app.
New enterprise credit management, revenue recognition and new dual accounting currency capabilities in Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations to give businesses a real-time view of global financials. In addition, enhanced process-based integrations across Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations with Dynamics 365 for Field Services, Project Service Automation, and Talent, will give customers end to end visibility across departments.
Continued integration across Office 365 and LinkedIn, there are dozens of new features coming with the October release. For example,
Integration between Microsoft Teams, giving sellers access to Dynamics 365 for Sales within Teams for enhanced collaboration, while also taking advantage of the built-in Teams bot capability to provide new intelligence and self-service capabilities.
Deeper LinkedIn integration with Dynamics 365 for Marketing that brings interactions information for smarter segmentation and lead scoring.
Integration with Skype and video streaming within the interview process using Dynamics 365 for Talent to keep your hiring team in the know about candidates while also delivering a providing them with the ability to utilize Skype, video streaming, and submit mobile feedback.”
New Update Cycle
At the start of the month, Microsoft announce a new update cycle for Dynamics 365. By moving to two major releases per year, the company says it can lower costs for customers. New features will also become more accessible and performance will be enhanced.
Just like Windows 10, Dynamics 365 will now be upgraded each April and October. Also like on the desktop platform, updates will be backward compatible to allow users to carry existing apps and workloads from previous releases.