30 January 2023

Microsoft has released the full notes of the next wave of updates, improvements and changes to Dynamics 365 and the Power platform. Starting from April 2023 through September 2023, Microsoft will automatically deploy these improvements via the Cloud on a monthly basis. Microsoft has used this strategy to deliver new improvements for the last few years. It keeps customers on the same version, enabling more manageable support and continuous, drip-fed improvements. If you have a Dynamics enviornment, you don't need to action anything as these will be delivered automatically. We've had a chance to read through the full release notes and detail our top Dynamics highlight picks, which you can download from us today. 

You can also download the full release notes for the Power Platform which include apps such as Power Apps, Power Pages, Power BI and more.

Jump to highlights for each Dynamics application:

Power Platform wave 1 highlights:

Dynamics 365 Marketing

With this release, Microsoft wants to help you transform your customer experience through the ability to orchestrate congruous experiences spanning sales and marketing. You can break down the silos between departments to ease collaboration, enhance lead nurturing, and, ultimately, accelerate your pipeline. Marketing also enables you to meet your customers’ expectations in any scenario by providing you with capabilities to make your marketing activities even more sophisticated and mature.

The release revolves around four themes to enhance customer experience

Here's our top Marketing improvement picks in the 2023 wave 1 release:

New real-time lead scoring builder

To maximize return on investment from marketing activities, it is essential to identify the best prospects at the right moment when they're ready to engage with your sales team. With real-time marketing, you can use a new simple but powerful lead scoring builder to define your scoring criteria and model more efficiently. Prioritize the most engaged leads from companies that match your ideal customer profile using engagement and profile-based scoring. Define qualification criteria and postqualification actions to grow your pipeline while ensuring that each qualified lead receives attention from your sales teams. With proper scoring and qualification criteria, you can prioritize the best leads and empower the sales team to spend more time winning deals and less time chasing lukewarm opportunities. Feature details • Use the easy-to-use lead score builder to start quickly and update or optimize the model continuously.

Add key internal recipients to marketing campaigns

Improve your customer experience by keeping your sales, customer service, or finance teams in the loop by copying key recipients on your email campaigns. Enable other teams to follow up on hot leads or rapidly answer customers' inquiries to speed up your pipeline and increase customer satisfaction.

This feature includes:

Optimize B2B marketing with out-of-the-box analytics dashboards

Use out-of-the-box dashboards to track your pipeline development and analyze the impact and contribution of journeys, marketing messages, and content at different stages of your business process. When using Dynamics 365 Marketing and Sales, further optimize your pipeline velocity by aligning marketing and sales teams on common goals using a shared view of the pipeline.

This feature includes:

Measure marketing activity, web traffic, and conversion goals using automatic UTM tagging

Urchin Tracking Module (UTM) codes help you track sources of traffic for your websites and landing pages, enabling you to attribute conversions to the right source. Marketing messages can be a significant contributor to this traffic, but it is hard to track them without UTM parameters. They’re often left out entirely from the links in messages due to the timeconsuming process of manually adding the tags to each link.

Dynamic 365 Marketing now automatically tags all your messages with UTM parameters, following a consistent taxonomy. This gives you full visibility into your marketing contribution to web traffic and, in turn, empowers you to optimize traffic and conversions.

This feature includes:

New Form Builder Experience

Effortlessly create smart forms to place on your websites and capture your customers’ attention while allowing them to input their details. Lead capture forms are crucial for gathering marketing information, turning visitors into leads, and turning leads into valuable customers. With the new intuitive forms experience in real-time marketing, you can easily create modern forms with advanced capabilities without depending on developers.

This feature includes:

Send emails directly from Segment builder

Send simple segment-based emails, such as newsletters, without creating a journey. This workflow allows you to send emails to the segment members you need to reach within minutes.

This feature includes:

This workflow is optimized for any role or skill level, allowing senders to use Dynamics 365 Marketing to send emails that take advantage of email templates, personalization, email analytics, and connected CRM.

Add more files types to Asset Library

Sending your customers rich, compelling content is key to keeping them engaged with your brand. In outbound marketing, you can now add a wider variety of relevant information to your emails using additional file types such as documents, PDFs, presentations, and more. Easily upload files to the asset library and add links to your emails to create richer content for your customers.

This feature includes:

Dynamics 365 Sales

The sales execution and sales force automation capabilities in Dynamics 365 sales allow sellers to be more productive and efficient in their core area of work–selling.

The following capabilities are planned for this release wave to enhance sales execution and sales force automation:

These are our Sales improvement picks for the first wave of 2023.

New Sales Pipeline View

The new opportunity view in Dynamics 365 Sales enables you to get a bird's-eye view of your pipeline and manage your opportunities more easily and intuitively than ever before. The new opportunity experience has been designed with sellers in mind, saving time for selling by removing many redundant steps and improving sales efficiency. It eliminates many processes that sellers would normally need to do and streamlines everything into a single workspace. Sellers can uncover the deals that need their attention and act right away. Additionally, they can tailor their experience and personalize the view.

This feature includes:

As a seller, you can:

As an administrator, you can:

Improve lead qualification with intent detection

Sales teams receive millions of potential leads each year. Each lead requires a seller's time to analyze, engage and determine the potential customer's needs. Sellers' capacity and efficiency must be maximized while working on these leads. This new AI-based feature would detect customer intent from emails and ensure that good quality leads are acted upon by the sellers at the right time, thus saving precious time for the sellers. It helps sellers proactively engage with their customers.

This feature helps fast-track the lead qualification process, increasing sales effectiveness and creating operational efficiencies in the lead management process.

This feature includes:

As a seller, you'll be able to:

Prioritize engagement for any sales entity by working in focus mode

The sales accelerator experience is a great way to get a prioritized list of customers and an optimized workspace. It is a modern view that enables seamless navigation across records with activities associated without multiple context switches.

With this update, sellers can switch any sales view to focused mode to effectively work across their records regardless of whether they have a scheduled activity. This view is ideal for sellers who move across records quickly and need to conduct actions like prospecting calls, record updates, and action management.

This feature includes:

The functionality allows sellers to choose and work in the layout that works best for their use cases. The key capabilities include:

Engage with your Customers using SMS conversation

Effective customer engagement is an important means of building and maintaining customer relations to close deals in the current business-to-business industry. It is crucial to meet your customers where they prefer. As the world is changing towards a digital way of living, more and more customers prefer to be contacted via SMS. Even sellers find SMS a convenient and effective channel to send reminders, provide quick updates, or respond to customer queries. This feature will enable your sellers to engage with key customers and decision-makers via SMS during the ongoing sales process and build and maintain a lasting relationship.

This feature includes:

The key capabilities that your sellers will be able to use as part of this feature include:

Redact sensitive personal data from customer calls

When sellers engage with customers over a call, customers may share their data, such as credit card information, purely based on trust. It’s vital to protect such sensitive data to help organizations build trust with their customers and comply with strict privacy regulations.

This feature includes:

As part of the personal data redaction process, our AI technology identifies and masks sensitive information, such as credit card numbers and identifiers, in customer calls.

As an administrator, you’ll be able to:

As a seller, you’ll see:

Get tips and suggestions while on a call with customer

To make remote selling more powerful than face-to-face selling, it’s important to surface real-time suggestions and tips while sellers are on a phone call with a customer. With this feature, sellers get real-time, AI-driven insights that enable them to easily access information on what to say when a sales call gets tough

This feature includes:

With this feature, conversation intelligence automatically surfaces real-time suggestions and tips while sellers are on a phone call with a customer.

As an administrator, you’ll be able to:

As a seller, you’ll be able to:

Dynamics 365 Customer Service

Dynamics 365 Customer Service is a part of the Digital Contact Center Platform that provides best-in-class customer service through live customer engagements, agent collaboration, advanced telephony, and AI-based analytics.

In 2023 release wave 1, the focus is on delivering the following capabilities:

These are our top Customer Service highlights for this wave.

Accelerate time to resolution with AI-suggested replies

Support advocates today face challenges in finding the right response to send to customers. They often resort to solutions such as sticky notes or documents to maintain manually templated responses or draft the replies manually. Suggested replies will address this challenge by providing agents with multiline prompts and response suggestions in the chat control based on the context of an ongoing conversation. The model learns from the organization's chat history and adapts over time so that response suggestions are always relevant and of high quality. This will drive significant improvements in key contact center metrics including handle time, throughput, and agent satisfaction.

This feature includes:

Suggested replies in Customer Service will be powered by the state-of-the-art natural language processing technology used in Nuance Agent Coach. The highlights of the feature include:

Keep track of conversations with AI-generated summaries

AI-generated conversation auto-summarization makes it easier to get and share conversational context, whether you're catching up on a conversation, wrapping up a case, or working with other agents to solve a customer's issue. Using these AI-generated summaries, you can quickly share context about the customer's issue, and the resolutions tried. With structured context, you can collaborate with other agents and subject matter experts to resolve the customer's problem faster and more effectively.

This feature includes:

The conversation auto-summarization feature in Dynamics 365 Customer Service allows agents, supervisors, and subject matter experts to get better summaries with improved user experience with actions such as copying the summary, creating a case from the summary, and the ability to provide feedback. Highlights include:

Create and manage cases efficiently with enhanced case form

Agents create and work on multiple cases and need to switch between multiple screens to view customer details or refer to past cases and prior interactions. Currently, agents can't upload and view multiple attachments or capture notes during case creation. This leads to unnecessary and repetitive tasks. Agents need an intuitive case form that allows them to find the relevant information and perform operations quickly.

The enhanced case form helps agents upload multiple attachments and take quick notes, while simultaneously creating a case. This enables them to perform their daily case management operations with less effort and increases productivity. Contextual customer data with past cases and previous customer interaction data empowers agents to verify and edit customer details without switching tabs. Agents can also provide updates on existing cases without interrupting the case creation flow and avoid case duplication. The autofill feature of case fields when the case is created from a conversation reduces the manual efforts and saves time.

This feature includes:

This feature allows agents to:

Multitask efficiently with enhanced workspace layout

Customer Service workspace enables agents to multitask by switching seamlessly between cases, conversations, and issues, 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 capabilities in the Customer Service workspace app are:

Personalize out-of-the-box real-time analytics reports

As a contact center supervisor, you might need to analyze the operational metrics across dimensions like queues and agent reporting to understand and improve the team's performance and the customer support experience. To address this need, you can use the out-of-the-box real-time reports with your selected filters by saving them as bookmarks. This helps personalize your reports and saves the time and effort required to reapply the filters every time you open the dashboards.

This feature includes:

Key capabilities of the feature include the following:

Dynamics 365 Field Service

Field Service allows organisations to move from paper-based reactive service to delivering proactive and predictive world-class service, empowering digital transformation and allowing innovative business models such as outcome-based service.

In 2023 release wave 1:

These are our highlight feature inclusions for Field Service in wave 1.

Get information quickly with Field Service Mobile app enhancements

By improving the application performance and reliability, you can quickly get the information you need to perform the work and update relevant data. Even when wireless networks aren't available. This ensures that your customers get fixes on time, and that the back office gets the latest information.

This feature includes:

Modern and trustworthy digital tools are critical to the successful digital transformation of every organization in today's world. For field-based organizations, it is critical to provide frontline workers with mobile devices and applications that can support their work in a variety of scenarios and rugged conditions. The Field Service Mobile app is the workhorse for frontline workers to manage their work orders and bookings, to stay in touch with their customers and to get critical information regarding assets and facilities that they manage. We aim to make your mobile users happy so you can use the satisfaction rate as a differentiator to attract talent to frontline worker positions.

This set of features includes:

Find Field Service information with enhanced search

The enhanced global search in Field Service increases your productivity by surfacing the most relevant information. You can now find work orders based on the customer name, or find bookings based on a technician's name. Faster results mean fewer clicks and increased productivity for your workforce.

This feature includes:

You can now build on the global search and get the most relevant information from Field Service surfaced in one place. This feature increases productivity and aims to delight you with a simple way to find information. Find work orders, bookings, and other related field service entities by account, technician's name, or priority. Simply type a search term in the global search bar and see the relevant records across Field Service tables, on a single page. Once you find what you're looking for, you can take quick actions right from within your search results.

Manage work order costs using the not-to-exceed function

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

This feature includes:

You 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, you can enter the not-to-exceed amounts directly on the work order.

Service managers and frontline workers see warning icons when the not-to-exceed value is almost reached or exceeds the limit, notifying them 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.

Power Pages

Implement data loss prevention policies

The protection of organizational data is key to driving enterprise trust. We aim to provide administrators with the ability to enforce additional security measures through a data policy. By configuring this data policy, admins can avoid accidental exposure of their organizational data by makers to anonymous users.

This feature includes:

Currently, administrators don't have control over Power Pages for restricting data access to anonymous users. This data policy configured from the Power Platform admin center will prevent makers from unintentionally exposing organizational data to anonymous users, as it'll enforce authentication for all users

Use Bootstrap version 5 in Power Pages

Create your Power Pages website using the latest CSS styling framework version 5 of Bootstrap. This upgrade also enables you to migrate your existing websites to the latest Bootstrap version using a migration tool. The tool automatically converts your code to Bootstrap version 5 and provides the ability to report the changes and modify the code per the recommendations.

This feature includes:

Bootstrap is a commonly used Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) framework, providing a powerful and extensible front-end toolkit for developers. Power Pages currently supports Bootstrap version 3. With this release, we'll provide the support for Bootstrap version 5 to apply to your customizations as well as for the site templates shipped with Power Pages.

Power Pages will continue to support both version 3 and version 5 Bootstrap libraries for a limited time.

Bootstrap version 5 support with Power Pages will provide the following advantages:

Power BI

Integrate Power BI into Teams meetings

Power BI is adding the ability to include Power BI content seamlessly in meetings and presentations. Modern work requires keeping everyone up to date and using relevant data to make decisions. That’s why so many organizations use Power BI in Microsoft Teams so that users have access to data when and where decisions are made.

Feature details

Power BI is adding new in-meeting experiences for Microsoft Teams. Users can add content like reports to Teams meetings by adding the Power BI tab to their meetings. When users join a meeting with Power BI added, they'll get new experiences that make it easier to find reports quickly, organize reports for attendees, and help them present those reports during meetings

By making collaborating in meetings easier, more people can use data to make decisions and find the relevant data that supports their objectives.

Create and share paginated reports on the web

Create invoices, financial statements, and other operational reports with low code, drag-and-drop experiences on the web. You can share these in a variety of formats or just print them out!

Feature details

You can create a multitude of operational reports with our WYSIWG ("What you see is what you get") web-authoring experience.

Microsoft Dynamics continues to add business value with with Wave 1 2023...

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 1, please get in touch, we'll be happy to discuss any queries you may have.