Christmas has come very, very early for Microsoft Dynamics 365 fanatics as the company unleashed a half-year-long typhoon of new capabilities and product refreshes in their 2019 Spring Update. A massive 350 improvements and innovations are set to be made in total, finetuning Microsoft’s ERP and CRM offerings even further.
Here is what James Phillips, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft’s Business Applications Group, had to say about the most interesting developments across the Dynamics 365 suite:
1. AI will produce even deeper actionable insights
Dynamics 365 has been AI-enabled for some time, helping key decision makers (KDMs) to make more informed business calls, sales staff to better nurture customer relationships, amongst many other things.
Of the Spring Update, Phillips said “AI-driven applications that produce deeper actionable customer insights and personalized experiences, while giving sales teams more integrated collaboration and buyer insights for a modern, relationship-focused approach to selling” will now be available to users of the suite.
2. Market Insights will help companies to truly know their customer
Going all Daniel Day-Lewis and becoming the customer has long been the goal of salespeople. Fortunately, with Market Insights, they won’t have to read hundreds of books about their target audience to get a feel of what they’re actually about, as the tool gives an all-in-one view of how their clientele behaves.
Phillips adds that Market Insights “tracks web search data and social conversations to help companies know what their audience is saying, seeking, and feeling about products, brands and topics important to their business.”
3. Customer Insights will tailor customer experiences
Without demanding to be greeted by seven bouquets of orchids, a dule of doves and a subtle whiff of frankincense upon arrival to any given destination, we all enjoy customer experiences which make us feel special. And Customer Insights more than accounts for this.
According to Phillips, the tool “unifies data sources to provide businesses with a single view of their customers and discover insights that drive personalised experiences.”
4. Customer Service will help companies adapt to changing landscapes
It’s jarring when people give you old news and act like it’s insightful. Old chestnuts include “you know what, I reckon the internet is really going to change things” and “these prima donna footballers get paid far too much”. Yeah, alright Pete, now go and stick Homes Under the Hammer on and have a nice lie-down.
Thankfully, users of Dynamics 365 are able to get ahead of the game through Customer Service’s agile, future proof functionalities. The program “provides actionable insights into critical performance metrics and emerging support questions, enabling managers to proactively train agents on new emerging topics, create new materials or automate responses through the virtual agent, so they can resolve customer issues quicker.”
5. Microsoft Forms Pro will amalgamate customer feedback
For better or for worse, the World Wide Web empowers people to have their voices heard – everywhere and at all times. But getting skewed feedback can have real, negative impacts on any organisation.
The brand-new Microsoft Forms Pro tool will serve as a “comprehensive survey solution that makes it easy to collect feedback across customer touchpoints, correlate the feedback with business transactions, and derive actionable insights from the combined data,” protecting against this.
6. Fraud Protection will leverage AI to make your business’ future safer
A consensus is extremely hard to come by these days, with society divided into more sections than a child’s birthday cake. Perhaps the one thing that can bring us all back together is not a Mandela or Gandhi character, but rather Microsoft’s new Fraud Protection service – bear with me on this.
Built from Microsoft’s experience of managing billions of ecommerce transactions, “this public preview product offers state of the art fraud protection based on connected knowledge, industry-leading AI and operations research to help businesses shield themselves and their customers from payment fraud.” Surely everyone can get behind that, right?
7. The Power Platform has levelled up
Let’s be honest – the vast majority of sequels are complete garbage. Think Staying Alive, the sequel to Saturday Night Fever or Jaws: The Revenge. We could have happily lived without them – in fact, we’ve all more or less agreed that they never happened. However, in the mould of Return of the King and The Godfather II, the Dynamics 365 Power Platform reaches even further into the ether than its successful predecessors.
“The Power Platform enables business users to Analyze, Act, and Automate in ways that can make a big impact across the business.
“Any business user, from the CEO to frontline workers, can gain insights from data using Power BI, create intelligent business processes via PowerApps without writing code, and then leverage Flow to automate workflows between apps and services.
“The April ’19 release enables citizen app makers to build higher-quality PowerApps more easily. Flow helps organizations automate and extend processes directly from business and productivity apps like Microsoft Teams, Excel, and OneDrive.”
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