Dynamics 365 Wave 2 2022 Release Highlights

Microsoft has announced the next wave of updates, improvements and changes to Dynamics 365 and the Power platform. Starting from October 2022 through March 2023, we will get automatic updates deployed via the cloud. Microsoft has used this system to deliver new improvements for the last few years, and by leveraging Azure, it keeps customers on the same version, making support more straightforward, and they can benefit from regular improvements. We've had a chance to read through the full release notes and detail our favourite Dynamics highlights, which you can download from us today. 

Jump to highlights for each Dynamics application:

Dynamics 365 Marketing

The aim from Microsoft in this wave is to empower you to optimise digital experiences while arming you to elevate in-person interactions. So, no matter where you interact with your customers – through email, at a virtual event, or in person – the experience is congruous. We aim to enable you to reimagine your B2B practices by engaging members of the buying group at the right moments and offering them contextually relevant experiences. Our goal is to enable you to raise the bar on your marketing campaigns – reaching new levels of scale and sophistication.

Key themes for 2022 release wave 2 include:

  • Enable moments-based marketing with real-time journey orchestration.
  • Leverage the power of data and AI to market at scale and achieve higher levels of marketing maturity.
  • Embrace personalised content to grow your audience interaction

Dynamics 365 Marketing Wave 2 Features

New Segment audience builder

With the new Dynamics 365 Marketing segment builder, you can build segments by describing them in natural language or by using the easy drag-and-drop logic builder that doesn’t require specialised knowledge of complex data structures and logical operators.

  • Directly create segments based on attribute data for both contacts and leads.
  • Discover and search across all attributes in the right pane and add them to your queries to enrich your segments with more complex logic.
  • Preview and estimate the number of segment members as part of your segment creation process.
  • Use natural language to intelligently assist and ease your segment creation experience.

Personalised AI-powered next-best content

Compelling content and offers are a marketer's most powerful tool in nurturing leads, engaging customers, or preventing them from churning. In addition to specifying manual rules for offer or content selection in a message, you can leverage AI-powered optimization to tailor the best content for each of your customers. The AI model achieves this by analysing your customers’ preferences, interests, and motivations based on rich customer data from all your customer data sources through Dynamics 365 Customer Insights and past interactions with your brand. You know your business best. The built-in AI will work with the rules you define and further optimise by selecting and delivering the best content or offer to each customer, improving your journey goal attainment and return on investment.

  • Simply add a few options of different content variations (containing different offers, images, and calls to action) when composing messages using codeless conditional content and define rules on the type of customers to target with each variation.
  • Use the message with content variations at any step in the journey to tailor the message for every customer going through the journey.
  • Optionally, optimise the content selection logic for every customer with AI. Delight every customer with the best content variation, selected by AI based on their profile attributes and past interaction data.
  • Guide the AI model to make the best decisions by specifying optimisation criteria for the model (for example, maximize email clicks or journey goal attainment).
  • Compare the AI’s performance against an automatically-generated control group.
  • Improve the effectiveness of the AI when using 360 customer profiles from Dynamics 365 Customer Insights.

Boost your creativity with AI-powered email Content ideas

Content ideas help you find inspiration and can be used as a starting point when creating content for your email—it’s like asking a group of colleagues to brainstorm with you. Content ideas make creating emails simpler, more efficient, and fun. It's a new and innovative functionality with the latest AI technologies behind the scenes.

  • Get content recommendations based on key messaging points you want to convey in your email.
  • Use generated text in English that looks and sounds similar to text that a person wrote.
  • Receive personalised content ideas based on your latest commercial emails.
  • Review the suggestions generated and edit them according to your needs.

Create consistent content with brand profiles

  • Create multiple brand profiles for your organisation or for each of your business units
  • Define default senders for emails
  • Set default social links
  • Extend your brand profile entity with custom values that you can use when creating content

Close leads fast by automating handoffs with sales

With Dynamics 365 Marketing, you can now create sales activities such as tasks and phone calls directly from journeys so that leads get individualised attention at the right time when they’re most likely to engage. You can also activate a sales sequence to accelerate the deal, ensuring that sellers receive automated recommendations based on the sales playbook associated with the campaign.

  • Install and configure a new custom channel of your choice.
  • Create templates for your custom channels using Dynamics 365 Marketing editors.
  • Use your custom channel template in a customer journey through a new tile.
  • Review deliverability analytics for your custom channel.

Other Marketing highlights:

  • A brand new out of the box analytics dashboard
  • Scale your marketing across multi brands with organisational capabilities
  • Grow your business with 3 times more maximum monthly interactions in real-time marketing

Dynamics 365 Sales

For 2022 release wave 2, Microsoft continue to optimise the seller experience—using data and AI to help sellers prioritise their work and blending business and productivity tools to meet sellers where they are and surface in-context collaboration experiences so that sellers can engage efficiently and reclaim their time to focus on customer connections.

Dynamics 365 Sales Wave 2 Features

Get tips and suggestions while on a call with customer

To make remote selling more powerful than face-to-face selling, conversation intelligence automatically surfaces real-time suggestions and tips while sellers are on a phone call or Teams meeting with a customer. Suggestions include information and talking points on product and service details, competitive battle cards, pricing, and more.

Track progress using a new seller dashboard

With this feature, you will have a dashboard that summarises progress highlights and insights. You can visit the dashboard at the start of your day to get organized and throughout the day to view your activities.

  • View your dashboard to monitor your progress.
  • Get a summarised view of your activities progress across contacts, accounts, leads and opportunities you are involved in.
  • View key insights across activities, relationships, and conversations you have engaged in.

Share records in email in Dynamics 365 app for Outlook

With the new Dynamics 365 messaging extensions for Outlook, users can now search for and insert Dynamics 365 records as information cards that display key preview information as part of the email body to increase conversation velocity. Recipients can view the preview as part of the email body and respond quickly, thereby increasing their productivity.

  • Search key sales records in the messaging extension's flyout and insert them as an adaptive card in Outlook (desktop and web access) emails.
  • View key information about Dynamics 365 records as part of the Outlook email content.
  • Update Dynamics 365 records right from Outlook emails.

Use mention to find, share Dynamics 365 records in emails, chats

Use the @mention to insert Dynamics 365 data in emails and chats just like you insert people references today. 

  • Use @mention to quickly find and share relevant sales information: Sellers can already @mention contacts in emails and chats. With this feature, they can @mention to search and insert key sales information like customer or prospect details in Outlook emails and Teams conversations.
  • Easily collaborate on Dynamics 365 records you are currently focusing on: Find as suggestions, recently used Dynamics 365 data to add to communications when you draft Outlook emails and Teams chats.

Other Sales Wave 2 2022 highlights

  • Enhanced sequence creation experience with new designer
  • Improve customer engagement by identifying duplicate leads and contacts
  • Customisable worklist cards for right contextual information to the seller
  • Improve assignment accuracy using segment priority
  • Provide intelligent suggestions for improving seller’s effectiveness

Dynamics 365 Customer Service

Dynamics 365 Customer Service is focused on delivering the capabilities that help run contact centers optimally by providing enhancements in unified routing with features such as percentage-based routing, preferred agent routing, and longest idle routing. Customer support swarming in Microsoft Teams will help agents resolve complex cases through collaboration. Organisations can empower their customers with options to leave voicemail, callback, and dial agents directly in the voice channel. The agent experience is modernised with an enhanced conversation timeline, horizontal multisession navigation, and AI-powered conversation summary. Supervisors can view Microsoft Power Virtual Agents analytics within their omnichannel analytics dashboards.

Dynamics 365 Customer Service Wave 2 Features

Monitor support operations near real-time

Contact center managers need to be able to react to events such as increases in the volume of incoming customer interactions, longer call lengths, and agent absences, by optimising agent allocation in real-time to provide top-notch support and boost customer satisfaction. Having visibility into the overall support performance through real-time reporting empowers managers to monitor key operational metrics, make course corrections at the right time, and keep service levels high.

Key capabilities that will be available include the following:

  • Real-time workload monitoring dashboard: Provides information about the incoming workload, key performance indicators such as average handle time, queue lengths, and so forth, for the contact center across chat, digital messaging, and voice channels, near real time.
  • Real-time agent insights dashboard: Provides visibility into agent metrics such as capacity, presence status, items they're working on, and so forth, near real time.

Enhanced layout for Customer Service workspace

Customer Service workspace enables agents to multitask on several cases and conversations simultaneously with the ability to switch among issues seamlessly, without losing the context of the work that's in progress. The modern design of the Customer Service workspace app has a new layout for the site map, sessions, and tabs.

Some of the key layout changes of the Customer Service workspace app are:

  • Sessions and child tabs are displayed horizontally.
  • Improved handling of overflowing tabs and sessions.
  • Tab bar is visible only if multiple tabs are present in a session.
  • Improved site map that's accessed from the Menu icon with support for grouping and areas.
  • Improved accessibility with 400 percent zoom mode.
  • Increased predictability of session closure in multisession apps.
  • In-app notifications aligned with the multisession navigation.

Improve agent productivity with timeline enhancements

The timeline control provides agents with an easy and immersive experience for viewing a customer’s history across interactions. This experience helps agents deliver more personalised customer service in an efficient and effective manner.

Enhancements to the Dynamics 365 timeline control include the following:

  • An optimised and modernised timeline for usability and at-a-glance understandability when working with customers.
  • The ability to display the regarding record on activities.
  • An improved title description for the conversation records, and the ability to view inline chat transcripts and voice recordings.
  • The ability to show only the current email message with the option to expand the full thread.
  • Simplified visual experience for auto-post messages.
  • A preview of attachments for supported file types.
  • The ability for a user to remember filters.
  • The ability to add attachments to posts and replies.

Auto AI suggestions for similar cases, knowledge articles

When solving a customer problem, agents often spend time searching for knowledge articles and or similar cases and scan them to determine if they are relevant to the active case they are working on. This delays customer service and resolution time. With AI suggestions for similar cases and knowledge articles, the best knowledge articles and the appropriate similar cases are proactively surfaced to agents, taking the context of cases or conversations into account.

Compose email with new insert template

Email templates enable customer service agents to create consistent, professional, preformatted email messages that can be used to communicate with customers. With this feature, agents can insert an existing email template to their email in a fast and easy way and helps save their time.

The enhanced insert template experience enables you to perform the following actions:

  • Select any view from the list, grid and tile view in the template gallery. As an administrator, you can default a particular view for all the users. For more information, see Configure the default email template selection view.
  • Search for a template based on the title, subject, description, and content of the email template.
  • Filter the list of templates using a standard set of filters. You can also enhance the filter by adding custom attributes.

Use customer support swarming for complex cases

Agents can easily find and work with co-workers from various departments and have the right skills to quickly resolve complex customer issues. Agents and subject matter experts can swarm cases in the applications they are accustomed to using, including Customer Service workspace and Microsoft Teams.

This will deliver:

  • Richer agent experience with improved swarm creation flow, ability to create notes and tasks to manage swarm progress, and enhanced wrap-up activities.
  • Streamlined admin experience for a faster setup. Admins also have increased flexibility to define which CRM users can automatically be added as participants to specific swarms.
  • Organisations can have additional CRM users beyond the existing default users. Roles such as the agent’s manager, account owner, and Team admin are available in the current release.

Learn more about this on our recent blog feature.

Other Customer Service Wave 2 highlights

Dynamics 365 Field Service

Resource management and scheduling optimization are at the heart of field service management. Resource scheduling is a powerful tool for service organizations to triage unscheduled work orders and cases and schedule the nearest eligible technicians to deliver service to their customers. The schedule board offers scheduling capabilities for dispatchers, project managers, and resource managers in different views of the board (hours, days, weeks, months, maps, lists, and more), as well as extensibility capabilities for partners, to tailor functionality to meet their needs.

The 2022 release wave 2 includes:

  • The new schedule board will get more performance and usability improvements.
  • Resource optimization improvements for lock constraints and clustering logic for nearby work orders.

Avoid double bookings with resource scheduling optimisation

Resource scheduling optimization can schedule many jobs simultaneously, maximizing overall utilization and minimizing total travel time. Booking lock options give customers the ability to constrain scheduling by resource and/or time. Sometimes, configurations result in overlapping bookings that must be manually updated.

Today, the resource scheduling optimization feature will leave existing bookings associated with resource or time soft-booking locks to the dispatcher to make the final decision on the best match. We have heard from customers that they prefer that the soft-booking lock constraints (for example, this resource at any time or this time by any resource) are handled the same way as the hard-booking lock constraints (for example, this resource at this time).

In this release, resource scheduling optimization has been improved to avoid overlapping bookings due to association with soft booking lock constraints.

Manage work order costs using not to exceed function

Setting financial expectations with customers and vendors is critical for managing the company’s bottom line and maintaining successful relationships. This not-to-exceed capability helps service providers stay within the pre-approved price from their customers and ensure frontline workers, including vendors and sub-contractors, stay within the pre-approved cost for work orders.

Customers can now set up not-to-exceed values for cost and price on work orders. Not-to-exceed values can automatically apply to the work order based on the customer, the incident type, and the location of the work. Alternatively, customers can enter the not-to-exceed amounts directly on the work order.

Service managers and frontline workers can optionally receive a warning when the not-to-exceed value is near or exceeds the limit, notifying the user they need to take action.

This feature is applicable to any customer who has a limit on what they can charge their customer without requesting approval, as well as customers who establish a limit on the work order cost, especially when vendors are contracted to perform the work.

Customers will also be able to track when a not-to-exceed value was exceeded.

Not-to-exceed form
Record Name
Details subgrade

Work order form with not-to-exceed control

Save time with mobile usability enhancements

Frontline workers need to use their digital tools to quickly and effectively get help for the tasks that they're performing. By streamlining common user experience patterns on mobile, the time spent on the app to perform repetitive tasks is reduced, and workers can be more efficient.

As part of mobile usability enhancements, these are the upcoming changes for 2022 wave 2:

  • Users will be able to switch tabs in a form even when they're at the bottom of the form. They won't have to scroll all the way up to switch between tabs, reducing time spent on the form.
  • The mobile commanding bar will be updated on the most common tables to contain only functions relevant to the specific forms and views.

Microsoft Dynamics continues to push forward with Wave 2 2022...

The updates detailed above are just some of the hundreds of new capabilities and improvements for the Microsoft business platform, if you want the full release notes you can download it now. If you have any questions about Dynamics 365, including the new updates for Wave 2, please get in touch, we'll be happy to discuss any queries you may have.

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