• March 2, 2021
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

Microsoft Announces Dynamics 365 Capabilities at Ignite Event

This morning at its Microsoft Ignite virtual users conference, Microsoft introduced a number of capabilities for Microsoft Dynamics 365, its CRM platform.

Among them is real-time customer journey orchestration capabilities in Dynamics 365 Marketing as part of the April release wave 1 updates. These capabilities will allow customer experience teams to engage customers in real time based on interactions across marketing, sales, commerce, and service to win customers and earn loyalty faster. The solution enables teams to personalize experiences with artificial intelligence (AI) across digital and physical touchpoints and build customer trust with a unified, adaptable platform.

Updates to Dynamics 365 Customer Insights power even greater insights from ecosystem-wide data and direct activation on new destinations, including Microsoft Advertising and third-party services. Deep integration with Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics also empowers organizations to build custom AI models and improve relevancy with advanced segmentation and targeting.

Microsoft is also adding real-time survey capabilities in Dynamics 365 Customer Voice. In addition, within Dynamics 365 Marketing, people can use customer journeys to create automated campaigns with workflows triggered by survey responses.

"Together, these connected applications help companies elevate customer experiences across all touchpoints in a customer's journey and build deeper customer relationships with more meaningful engagement across both digital and physical channels," said Muhammad Alam, corporate vice president of Microsoft Dynamics 365, in a blog post.

Microsoft also used the conference to introduce Microsoft Dynamics 365 Intelligent Order Management, which allows companies to intelligently orchestrate fulfillment and automate it with a rule-based system using real-time omnichannel inventory data, AI, and machine learning. They can measure fulfillment effectiveness and model the order fulfillment journey using designer tools.

Dynamics 365 Intelligent Order Management integrates with any enterprise resource planning (ERP), CRM, warehouse management, fulfillment, and delivery systems and has no dependencies on other Dynamics 365 products.

Microsoft also unveiled tighter integrations between Dynamics and its Microsoft Teams collaboration platform, which Alam said "makes it simple to meet, chat, call and collaborate right from within your Dynamics 365 workspace. Similarly, while working in Teams, you can seamlessly access and share records and information from Dynamics 365—so everything you need to stay focused and productive is in context of the task at hand."

A new embedded Teams experience helps sellers leverage Teams chat directly in Dynamics 365 Sales. Sellers can see chats, channels, and people related to a customer record, start a conversation without leaving Dynamics 365, and see suggested actions to help close deals.

Microsoft also introduced an embedded Teams dialer for Dynamics 365 and an extensible Teams meeting experience that ties back to Dynamics 365 Sales. Conversation Intelligence in Dynamics 365 Sales automatically transcribes calls and analyzes content, sentiment, and behavioral style.

Sellers can generate Teams calls right from within their workflows, inside their CRM, with conversational metrics and advanced business insights surfaced on top of those calls.

Sales teams can also monitor career movements of contacts using LinkedIn Sales Navigator and connect sales records to Teams without Leaving Dynamics 365 Sales. "When you integrate LinkedIn Sales Insights with Dynamics 365 Sales you can automatically import the latest company profile data, such as size and growth of specific departments and job titles, from LinkedIn Sales Insights into a matched account in Dynamics 365, to help keep your data up to date," Alam said. "This combination helps sales ops teams by providing more reliable, trusted data that's updated in real time so that sales ops can focus sellers on building relationships with accounts with the most opportunity."

Another capability allows users to set up, promote, and report on events hosted on Microsoft Teams from within Dynamics 365 Marketing. They can export attendee data and view customer segments created in Dynamics 365 Marketing based on audience attendance. Customer journeys, including starter emails, are also automatically created to nurture attendees. Users can then further customize the content and experiences for attendees based on how they engage and orchestrate personalized customer journeys.

With Teams capabilities embedded in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service, customer service agents can find and collaborate with the right, available subject matter experts or supervisors and link relevant chats to underlying records.

Microsoft also used the conference to unveil customer engagement capabilities for Dynamics 365 Field Service that will enable end customers to find their technicians and rate their visits. Customers can also schedule appointments directly from their devices, receive automated service visit reminders, access real-time location tracking while the technician is on route, and submit direct feedback.

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