Last week we looked at what was within the NetSuite 2022.2 Release and this week it’s the turn of Microsoft Dynamics 365 to take centre stage with its 2022 Release Wave 2. It seems most features across all modules have been made available from October 2022 or are at least available to preview, but as always others will come online between now and March 2023.
Marcus, one of our newest recruits on our Microsoft Dynamics 365 team, was keen to dive into documentation on Release Wave 2 when it was available, but also wanted to highlight some of the long-awaited Teams integration that became live in September. Over to you Marcus…
Teams chat meets Dynamics 365
In the middle of the year, Microsoft released the preview for this powerful integration between Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Teams and now it’s available in all regions. Every little integration helps to make someone’s life easier – here, fewer clicks by sellers or agents can ensure customers on the other end of the phone have an improved experience.
Now you can chat in Microsoft Teams from within the Sales Hub, Customer Service Hub and other custom apps. So, while working on Dynamics 365 records, a new chat can be started or an existing chat to a record connected. It’s a simple collaboration efficiency that can be achieved without switching context or leaving the application.
Furthermore, you can search for records within your Teams chats and then send those records over to colleagues to check out. It’s a more efficient way to share, manage and update records. You can then open and edit the record seamlessly within Microsoft Teams, which completely streamlines the process of sending and then opening a link to a record.
To make things even more interesting, you could be discussing the record in question with your colleague over Teams and may want to add a little reminder on that Opportunity or Lead. Now you can simply add a Note or Task directly from your chat window.
Time savings for financial teams
There’s a handful of seemingly small feature updates in the Finance and Operations module of Dynamics 365. They’re available now and we think you’ll find them a real help with shaving time off processes.
Quotation enhancements in subscription billing – if you import Billing schedule information from an external system you couldn’t create a quotation within Dynamics 365 Finance. But now, you can generate sales quotations using the pre-existing quotation report from a Billing schedule. Along with generating the quotation report, data is stored in existing Sales quotation tables so you can reprint quotations.
Split billing in subscription billing – now you’re able to bill multiple customers from a single contract, with a single billing schedule. Select additional customers as responsible parties on a schedule in Recurring contract billing within Subscription billing, then an invoice can be produced for multiple customers from a single schedule.
Vendor invoice automation – accounts payable clerks can save time and reduce errors now they don’t have to go through multiple steps to create vendor invoices, from applying prepayments to matching and validating. Now vendor invoices are processed automatically when the invoices are imported.
Ledger settlement automation – while this feature isn’t available until January 2023, it’s not long to wait; you soon won’t have to manually match debit and credit transactions in the General ledger and mark them as settled. Reducing the number of manual steps through an automated settlement process, it will run in the background, based on transaction attributes matching rules, and at a frequency you require, whether daily or monthly.
More effective marketing emails
Some marketers will be wowed at this first feature – available now in preview and generally from March 2023 – while others will be horrified at the thought of AI generated email content. I think it’s quite fun! Whether you’re short of time to review the intelligence behind previous email engagement or you have writers block, this functionality should be viewed as inspiration, like asking colleagues to brainstorm with you. Built on a machine learning model called GPT-3, your new AI friend is trained on huge amount of text samples from the web. It suggests content based on the key messages you want to get across and your latest commercial emails, but you can fully edit to get it perfect.
As from now, you can now make light edits to live customer journeys without creating new versions, enhancing them iteratively without impacting customers. The Dynamics 365 Marketing app automatically version-tracks each update, making collaboration on journeys as simple as editing documents, tracked and easily reviewed. Any customers in the middle of a journey continue the version they entered while all new customers experience your updates. You can now also test your custom triggers before using them in a journey by running internal users through the journey. Test sending means you can validate the path and check your expectations meet your customers’ reality.
And one for sales teams to watch for…
Another exciting feature coming to Dynamics 365 within Sales is the new Deal Manager, unfortunately this is in preview with no availability date. Even while it’s not fully complete, I can see how useful it will be for businesses, organisations and charities and I’ve create a video so you can see for yourself. From the Deal tracker chart, you’re able to click into a Deal – this then opens the pane on the right-hand side where you’re able to edit data and quick-add activities, notes and tasks. The Deal Manager can be personalised and when live it will be a single place where you can update information to multiple different Opportunities simultaneously.
I’m excited to see where Microsoft take these new features and many more, and where we can implement them into customers’ processes, as well as our own. If you’re hungry to learn more, you can visit the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Release Wave 2 website pages, or if you’d like one-to-one support, please contact the BrightBridge office 0330 133 5000 and either myself or another consultant will be able to assist.