From new innovations in sales and marketing functionality through to the finance & operations and human resources processes that are vital in keeping an organisation ticking, the latest Microsoft Dynamics 365 2021 release wave 1 plan holds a plethora of updates and new features to ensure users can get the most from their subscription.
Being rolled out from April 1st, the wave 1 release is detailed in a 454-page plan, presenting a hefty read for even the most enthusiastic user. So here, we cover our pick of the best features across key functions.
Increased productivity through intuitive communications integration
Teams has become an important, and in many cases, crucial workplace communications channel – not least with the pandemic spurring a remote working culture that’s likely to become a firm fixture in many industries. However, switching between Teams chats and other apps to hunt for documents or records can be time consuming, so the integration of. Teams and Dynamics 365 addresses this pain point through the marrying of systems of engagement and systems of record, made it possible to meet, chat or call in the D365 workspace, or share records from the D365 space when working in Teams. However, the new features rolled out in this integration will be a game-changer for those working in in areas such as customer service, sales or marketing, speeding up work tasks and enhancing productivity.
Bringing context to the table
One of the key functionality features introduced is the embedded contextual element: by prioritising chats that are relevant or recent to the current record being worked on, context is offered so that all parties are the same page. Colleagues can share a record within the context of a chat about that record, all in the same application – without the need to leave Teams chat, locate the record in another D365 app, and share from there. For sales teams, the integration of Teams chat within the new Sales Pipeline Workspace in D365 will greatly enhance navigation and visibility of the sales pipeline, allowing collaboration between sales teams within that pipeline that will enable them to better capitalise on opportunities.
Conversation intelligence aids the sales process
It isn’t just chat that can be used within the D365 workspace – there is also the capability to make calls in Teams, using the dialler function, while viewing relationship or other relevant records stored in D365. Following the call, transcripts are available within a call record that also documents useful elements such as key words and action items for better follow-up action planning, as well as reporting.
And in an era of increased webinar activity due to fewer venue-based events taking place, the new webinar feature announced for Teams should be very popular. Teams will now integrate with Dynamics 365 Marketing to allow streaming of a webinar through Teams, while accessing Marketing features to promote the event, and export data post-event for follow-up activity planning.
Enhancing self-service capabilities can result in real efficiencies
There’s no doubt that automation of finance and operations processes holds a myriad of business benefits, something which users of D365 Finance will know. From saving valuable time by automating financials and accounting activity to offering predictive insights based on actual company data, it’s an increasingly popular tool used by organisations large and small across a wide range of industries. This offers better forecasting and business finance planning.
But as self-serve solutions become highly commonplace, the wave 1 plan release offers some handy features in this area. The vendor collaboration bank changes means vendors can now enter their bank information directly into your D365 Finance deployment using the vendor collaboration workspace. This can then be reviewed and approved within the organisation for seamless payment processes in the future. This puts control back in the hands of the vendor, who can view, change, add or disable their bank accounts in your system, while taking a manual process out of your hands.
For those who are reaping the benefits of using AI and automation for enhanced cash flow forecasting and better management of cash balancing, the new treasurer workspace within D365 Finance includes all the necessary elements for completing analysis activities.
The above simply scratches the surface of what is offered in the hundreds of new features and enhancements offered in the wave 1 plan. So wait no longer – there’s something for everyone in this update!
Get in touch if you’d like to chat to us about any of the new features, and how they could benefit your business.
The full plan can be viewed online or downloaded as a pdf – visit https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365-release-plan/2021wave1/.