Microsoft 2021 Wave 1 Release Dynamics 365

Microsoft 2021 Wave 1 Release Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement Summary

This blog post provides a summary of the new features being released by Microsoft as part of the 2021 Wave 1 release for Dynamics 365, focussing on what is important for Pythagoras and our customers.

As the name suggests, this is released as a wave, with features being released between April 2021 and September 2021.

Full details and updates on all features can be found here:

Microsoft Dynamics 365 2021 release wave 1 plan overview | Microsoft Docs

Please note that all these features are roadmap, and in development, so can be changed, moved to another wave, or completely dropped.

This blog focusses on the Dynamics 365 roadmap, but you can read our Power Platform Wave 1 2021 release summary here.

There is a lot of content to cover, so feel free to use the links below to navigate to a specific section of the summary.

Timeline  |   Marketing  |   Sales  |   Customer Service  |   Customer Voice

Timeline

  • Enhancements to the timeline control.
    • Rich text and embedded image support for user post records.
    • At sign (@mention) functionality in notes.
    • Improved @mention usability.
    • Ability to filter timeline records by status reason.
  • Configuration enhancements for timeline in the new form designer.
    • Set the command buttons for each record type.
    • Select default filters to apply on the timeline.
    • Remove unnecessary filters.
    • Visually configure fields and labels on each record type.
  • New modern administration experience for auto-post configuration.

Marketing

AI Powered

  • Generate segments from Customer Insights data and attributes.
    • Including recency, frequency, and monetization to easily target high-churn risk or high-value customers (Please note – Customer Insights needs to be purchased and configured separately).

Analytics

  • Monitor journey effectiveness in real-time, using analytics.
    • Monitor journey operation health in real time.
    • Track the success and impact of various steps and channels in the journey.
    • Identify key bottlenecks in the journey flow.
    • Immediately see which channel or step in your journey is underperforming.
    • Determine why participants are engaging or disengaging with channels or steps in your customer journey.
  • Ability to do A/B testing within a customer journey.
    • Test any two variants against one another: different channels with the same message, different messages with the same channel, different channels with different messages, slight variants of the same message (with different subject lines or content), or any actions in the customer journey.
    • The winning metric can be message-specific (for example, email clicked), or a journey goal (for example, cart checkout); the latter allows you to choose a winning variant that truly increases the journey goal attainment.
    • Control the audience distribution between the two variants.
    • End the test automatically once a winning variant is declared or end the test at a date specified.
    • Choose to send a default version if a clear winner is not declared by the date specified.
  • New built-in analytics dashboards and cross-journey insights.

Channels

  • Revamped and improved email editor.
    • Fast and fluid editor with a modern look and feel.
    • AI-driven content recommendations.
    • Powerful and reusable content fragments.
    • Flexible layout options allow you to create emails without compromises.
    • Updated workflow guides you through the editing experience.
    • Advanced image manipulations and more fonts and styles.
    • Reliable email previews.
    • Quick and easy test sends.
    • Immediately discover errors.
  • New centralised Asset Library.
    • Single asset library across Dynamics 365.
    • Search, create, update, and delete images, videos, and binaries.
    • Version, revert.
    • Channel content is aware of asset updates or deletions to prevent broken asset references.
    • Bulk import and management of images, videos, and binaries.
    • Intelligent tagging of images and videos using AI for effective search.

  • Create and Send SMS messages.
    • The SMS message channel includes transactional and marketing SMS and MMS messaging via toll-free numbers and short codes.
    • Option to purchase or use existing phone numbers across select regions in North America and Europe.
    • Craft an end-to-end experience with personalized messages inside the SMS editor and orchestrate timely delivery to mobile users.

  • Send push notifications to any Android or iOS app.
    • The mobile push channel includes rich notification features such as customized messages with images, videos, and sound.
    • Send push notifications in-app or outside the app.
    • Push clicks can lead to links and deep links.
    • Custom action buttons can link to a preferred action or a page inside or outside of the app.

Personalisation

  • Personalise emails from more data sources.
    • Use any data for personalization, not just contact records.
    • Use lists of data.

  • Easily create advanced dynamic content.
    • Dynamic content editor.
    • Point-and-click creation of conditions to show content.
    • Point-and-click iteration over lists of data.

  • Customer Journey can target Leads or Opportunities (in addition to Contacts).
  • Use continuously updating Customer Insights generated Segments (Please note - Customer Insights needs to be purchased and configured separately).
    • Discover Customer Insights segments instantly, see the segment creation logic, and use the segments for Marketing customer journeys.
    • Customer Insights segments in Marketing are dynamically updated as long as Customer Insights and Marketing are connected.
    • Save snapshots of Customer Insights dynamic segments as static segments.
    • Use Customer Insights segments directly in customer journeys, just like native Marketing dynamic segments.

Sales

Mobile

  • Capture additional information more easily.
    • Automatic transcription for each call and online meeting.
    • Automatic assignment of each call to its relevant Dynamics 365 entity and populating the data within Dynamics 365.
    • Conversation insights and action item extractions.
  • Find information more easily.
    • Activity management inbox and to-do experience.
    • One-click follow-up actions.

Digital Selling

  • Personalise work queue.
    • User personalisation:
      • User-defined advanced settings and views for the work queue.
    • Upcoming meetings:
      • Integrated view into Outlook meetings.
      • Start new Microsoft Teams meeting from within the accelerator.
  • Seller KPIs and manager dashboards.
    • Manager dashboard: Allow managers to view their team’s performance and coach and guide sellers:
      • Number of active leads in the org versus previous periods.
      • The conversion ratio between leads and opportunity.
      • Leads by source types.
      • Leads per sellers.
    • Real-time seller KPIs: The ability for organisations to define key performance indicators for sellers and allow them to see progress in real time:
      • Number of qualified leads.
      • Number of calls.
      • Number of meetings.
      • Estimated value.
    • Re-organisation of Personal Settings.
    • New modern email template and signature editor.
    • Automation and adaptive sequences.
      • Sequence automation: Execute activities automatically without requiring seller intervention, such as automatically sending emails when email activity is the next step in the sequence.
        • Adding email automation support.
        • Personalisation email template to send from the seller account.
      • Sequence forks: Reactive sequences that can smartly pick the next step based on external or internal triggers.
      • Sequence listener:
        • Adding listener for email engagement: email open, email link click, attachment viewed, and sentiment.
        • Adding listener for phone or meeting conversation: sentiment, keyword, competitor, mentioned, and more.

Pipeline manager workspace

  • New personalised workspace optimized for pipeline management.
    • View, manage, and execute on opportunities by providing the in-context experiences needed to quickly filter deals, view necessary information, and directly take action, all without navigating away from your work surface.
    • Quickly filter data within workspaces through data slicers.

  • Ability to customise and configure the record side panel form.
    • Out-of-the-box record side panel forms for opportunity, contact, and account.
    • Ability to customise the out-of-the-box record side panel form.
    • Support for business rules.
    • Support server-side plug-ins.
  • Advanced editable grid.
    • Edit fields inline.
    • Filter, sort, search, and reorder data in the grid.
    • Show or hide columns in the grid.
    • Add columns in the grid.
    • See aggregations for numeric columns.
    • Run business logic on grid actions.
  • Trigger key actions and activities directly from the grid and the record side panel.
    • New optimised experience for managing notes and tasks.
    • Quick access to notes, tasks, and appointments.

Customer Service

Case Management

  • Invoke Power Automate flows from macros in Customer Service workspace, using the ‘Run Flow’ connector.
  • Configuration to allow updates to cases in resolved and cancelled status (Administrators and Customizers).
  • Improved embedded analytics for customer service managers.
  • SLA usability improvements and enhancements.
    • Improve the usability of the Send email via template experience in Power Automate.
    • Improve the validation experience when the same entity attribute is used for both applicable when and success conditions.

Scheduling

  • Weekly and monthly view support in new schedule board inside of core service scheduling solution.
  • Appointments data included in core service scheduling solution.
  • Schedulers will be able to edit multiday booking experiences.
  • Map view and weekly and monthly view support in new schedule board.

Unified Routing

  • Out-of-the-box assignment strategies including round robin and highest capacity.
  • Dynamic assignment rules based on record values.
  • Intelligent routing and assignment for entities and channels.

Knowledge Management

  • Federated knowledge search – use connectors for SharePoint search, Microsoft search and cross-Dynamics 365 search to access wider knowledge sources.
  • Configure custom knowledge article search filters.
  • Configure knowledge search control in the new form designer.
  • Knowledge search analytics and Dashboard.
    • Search Term Volume.
    • Search Term Average Click Position.
    • Search Term Engagement Rate.
    • Top Search Terms by Volume and other KPIs.
    • Searches that return no results.
    • Searches with low engagement rate.

Omnichannel

  • Visual improvements for multisession apps.
  • Navigation improvements for multisession apps.
    • Session will start when records are opened from the home session and dashboard pages.
    • Tabs will open when related records are opened from an anchor tab in a session.
    • Form to create records will open in a new session when new is selected.
  • Voice channel powered by Azure Communication Services (Please note, this needs to be licensed separately).
    • Phone number procurement and management.
    • Ability to handle and distribute incoming calls.
    • Ability to make outbound calls.
    • Ability to manage SMS (inbound and outbound).
    • Deep integration of voice into core Omnichannel functionality.
    • Real-time sentiment analysis.
    • Real-time transcription.
    • Real-time translation.
    • Real-time smart assist suggestions.
    • Operations management thought supervisor dashboards.
    • Ability to record and manage phone calls.
  • Embedded analytics for chat and digital messaging.
  • Enhanced supervisor experiences for operational monitoring of chat and digital messaging.

Customer Voice (formerly known as Forms Pro)

  • Cascading question type to automatically filter the answer options based on a previous answer.
  • Personalise survey - upload a .csv file with contact information and use any contact attribute to personalise survey questions and survey invitations.
  • Auto prefill answer from respondent’s details in Active Directory or Dynamics 365.
  • Survey reminders.
  • Partial responses - authors can specify whether to accept partial response in which any unsubmitted answers are collected and reported. When survey respondents submit the survey, the partial response is updated with the final response.
  • Pause and resume survey.
  • Power Automate survey response trigger.
  • Custom survey header look and feel to match styling.
  • Over-survey management policy to prevent customers from getting too many surveys by specifying time between sending surveys.
  • Support for report-only user access.
  • Custom email address for survey invitation.

Read our Power Platform Wave 1 2021 release summary here.

If you have any questions about the Dynamics 365 roadmap, get in touch at info@pythagoras.co.uk, we are happy to help.