Today, we published the 2020 release wave 2 plans for Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Power Platform, a compilation of new capabilities that will be released between October 2020 and March 2021. This second release wave of the year offers hundreds of new features and enhancements, demonstrating our continued investment to power digital transformation for our customers and partners.
Highlights from Dynamics 365
- Dynamics 365 Sales includes updates for more simplified experiences; including collaboration tools, a new mobile experience for quick access to customer information, and new enhancements to forecasting to natively create and manage bottom-up sales forecast processes.
- Dynamics 365 Sales Insights continues investments in digital selling across multiple areas: sales acceleration, conversation intelligence, relationship intelligence, and advanced forecasting and pipeline intelligence with predictive lead and opportunity scorings to help sales teams uncover top deals.
- Dynamics 365 Customer Service expands agent productivity capabilities enabling agents to engage in multiple sessions simultaneously. Omnichannel for Customer Service is enhanced with additional extensibility options to enable integration with mobile applications, Microsoft bot framework, and outbound messaging channels.
- Dynamics 365 Customer Service Insights adds new capabilities to help agents using similar case suggestions to resolve customer issues quickly and easily. A new analytical view for customer service managers helps them focus on key support areas that need attention. These highlights will also be included directly in the core Customer Service Hub app so that users can get insights in context without having to switch between applications.
- Dynamics 365 Remote Assist expands its range of scenarios beyond calls, allowing technicians to perform activities such as capture service and repairs data, perform surveys and walk-throughs independently, and derive service insights from their service operations. Availability to non-AR enabled devices with modified functionality further empowers technicians to solve problems faster the first time in more environments.
- Dynamics 365 Field Service continues to add intelligence capabilities including a new Field Service dashboard for monitoring key KPIs and work order completion metrics. There are many user experience enhancements to enable proactive service delivery. The Field Service mobile app is enhanced with capabilities such as push notifications and real-time location sharing. This release wave also includes scheduling enhancements such as multi-day manual scheduling and enhanced skill-based matching.
- Dynamics 365 Marketing improves the customer journey design experience, for example layout options, zoom, and performance improvements. Integration with Microsoft Teams live events and meetings allows users to create and host live events as a webinar provider. Segmentation is enhanced with a new natural language experience to create and consume customer segments, helping eliminate the specialized skills needed to build complex segments.
- Dynamics 365 Customer Insights continues to enhance data ingestion and unification, segmentation, and extensibility capabilities using Microsoft Power Platform to enable and extend line-of-business experiences. For example, users can gain deeper customer insights with Microsoft Power BI, build custom apps with Microsoft Power Apps, and trigger workflows based on insights and signals using Microsoft Power Automate.
- Dynamics 365 Human Resources expands leave and absence, and benefits management capabilities to transform the employee experience. Employees and managers will be able to manage leave and absence directly from Microsoft Teams. We continue to build an HCM ecosystem enabling integrations to recruiting and payroll partners.
- Dynamics 365 Commerce continues to expand capabilities enabling marketers and non-developers to easily create and manage e-commerce sites with built-in experimentation capabilities. We are improving in-store and curbside pickup scenarios to help customers thrive in the face of the COVID impact. In addition, we are making it easier to increase engagement and conversions online and in-store with AI-powered “shop similar looks” recommendations and intelligent search experiences through Bing for Commerce.
- Dynamics 365 Connected Store adds a number of new capabilities such as integration with Dynamics 365 Commerce, front-line worker task assignment and tracing with Microsoft Teams, integrated workflows with Power Platform, intelligent command center, store analytics, and store insights solutions such as anomaly detection, inventory recommendations, and shift management recommendations.
- Dynamics 365 Fraud Protection adds integration with Dynamics 365 Commerce and a new “manual review” capability that allows customers to use the Fraud Protection rules experience to flag transactions for review, and then allow expert human agents to consume and adjudicate those transactions.
- Dynamics 365 Finance continues to focus on automating common tasks to reduce the number of processes that finance users complete manually. We are introducing Asset leasing to enhance the core capabilities of Finance and continue to expand our global coverage delivering localizations for five additional countries/regions (Bahrain, Hong Kong, Kuwait, Oman, and Qatar) extending the number of supported countries/regions to 42.
- Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management expands planning optimization for manufacturing to perform supply and production planning in near real-time with in-memory services. Enhancements to Product Information Management include engineering change management and production versioning capabilities. Cost Management includes new features that will enable global companies maintain multiple cost accounting ledgers by allowing dual currency and dual valuation. Enhancements to the job card device include a new user experience and a new feature to enable reporting serial numbers.
- Dynamics 365 Project Operations unifies operational workflows to provide the visibility, collaboration, and insights needed to drive success across teams from sales to finance. Project Operations connects your sales, resourcing, project management, and finance teams within a single application to win more deals, accelerate delivery, empower employees, and maximize profitability.
- Dynamics 365 Guides prioritizes updates in this release wave on intelligent workflows. By taking advantage of data and AI innovations, work instructions can be configured to adjust on the fly based on operator inputs. In addition, insights will make it easier to use time-tracking data and connect that data to your business.
- Dynamics 365 Business Central investments for this release wave include service enhancements to meet the demands of a rapidly growing customer base, improved performance, handling of file storage, geographic expansion together with support for Group VAT, top customer requested features, and deeper integration with Microsoft Teams.
Highlights from Power Platform
- Power Apps includes significant improvements for Power Apps developers of all skill levels, improving the sophistication and usability of apps that are created across the web and mobile devices. Makers will be able to create Power Apps directly within Microsoft Teams in order to easily customize the Teams experience. Makers will also be able to add custom pages to model-driven apps using the app designer, bringing together the best of canvas and model capabilities, including creating custom layouts and components. Power Apps portals adds Microsoft Power Virtual Agents as a component in the Power Apps portals studio, as well as support for code components created using Power Apps component framework. AI Builder introduces new AI scenarios for receipt scanning and translation, and improvements to connect to remote training data. The AI builder home page and model details page are updated to improve discoverability and integration with Power Apps and Power Automate.
- Power BI is investing in three key areas that drive a data culture: amazing data experiences, modern enterprise BI, and insights where decisions are made. Power BI Desktop includes many new capabilities for users to create content quickly and easily, enabling authors to empower their users, enterprise grade content creation, and AI-infused authoring experiences. Power BI Mobile adds split view support for iPad and Power BI Service integrates with Azure Synapse to automatically create and manage materialized views on larger Power BI models as well as enhanced integration with SharePoint lists to build additional custom reports. We continue to enhance our Data protection capabilities enabling customers to classify and label sensitive data.
- Power Automate enhancements will combine the best of WinAutomation with the cloud-based AI builder and connector-based capabilities in automated flows. This new version will offer customers a way to automate everything from Office apps to legacy terminal applications that haven’t been updated in decades. In addition, enhancements to automated flows running in the cloud will include richer automation and approval experiences.
- Power Virtual Agents brings expanded capabilities in the authoring experience including tools to create richer content, Adaptive Cards capabilities, topic suggestions from documents, improved Power Automate integration, voice integration with smart speakers, theming to customize the look and feel of the bot, and much more.
Early access period
Starting August 3, 2020, customers and partners will be able to validate the latest features in a non-production environment. These features include user experience enhancements that will be automatically enabled for users in production environments during October 2020. Take advantage of the early access period, try out the latest updates in a non-production environment, and get ready to roll out updates to your users with confidence. To see the early access features, check out the Dynamics 365 and Power Platform pages. For questions, please visit the Early Access FAQ page.
We’ve done this work to help you—our partners, customers, and users—drive the digital transformation of your business on your terms. Get ready and learn more about latest product updates and plans, and share your feedback in the community forum for Dynamics 365 or Power Platform.
We're always looking for feedback and would like to hear from you. Please head to the Dynamics 365 Community to start a discussion, ask questions, and tell us what you think!