2021 Release Wave 1 Features for Microsoft Business Applications!

On Tuesday, April 6th of 2021, Microsoft hosted a Business Applications Launch Event in which many Microsoft executives shared the most recent updates and new capabilities of Dynamics 365 and other Microsoft Business Applications. The Bond Consulting Services (BCS) Team participated in this exciting virtual event to learn more about the advanced capabilities of Microsoft technology and how our team can leverage these updates to enhance success for our clients. Continue reading to get the inside scoop on what’s new for Microsoft Business Applications!

Microsoft Business Applications 2021 Release Wave 1 Features:

1. Microsoft Dynamics 365: Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a suite of ERP and CRM software applications that are designed to improve productivity and performance by connecting all business operations and uncovering actionable insights. Dynamics 365 solutions, particularly Dynamics 365 Marketing, promotes an end-to-end customer journey orchestration to ensure your customers and prospects are actively engaged at every point throughout the sales journey. Microsoft recently updated Dynamics 365 apps to support live transcription, enhanced AI capabilities, Teams collaboration, native 1st party voice capabilities and other out of the box features:

      • Live transcription during telephone calls enables your sales team to focus on the customer or prospect’s specific needs and desires for a solution without having to worry about collecting information as all interactions are automatically recorded and preserved for future use.
      • Dynamics 365 apps also include tangible AI capabilities to immediately recognize and address overlooked requests, pending payments, inventory replenishment, and much more.
      • The new integrated capabilities of Microsoft Teams and Dynamics 365 apps enables users to quickly make updates and alterations to a customer journey right from your Teams experience.
      • Native 1st party voice capabilities enable users to automatically retrieve relevant customer information, saving time and increasing the number of successful resolutions. Users are also able to leverage rich client data to inform unified routing capabilities so sales and service teams can manage extremely detailed and complex roles.
      • Dynamics 365 out of the box capabilities gather specific points of data across a customer’s journey into a single screen where users can organize the data into powerful charts, graphs or other customized reports.

2. Microsoft Cloud for Industry: Microsoft recently launched Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare which provides capabilities to coordinate care for patients, manage health data and boost operational efficiency while protecting the security and confidentiality of health data. Microsoft also launched Microsoft Cloud for Retail which compiles various data sources across the retail value chain to connect shopper experiences, build a resilient supply chain and deliver a personalized journey for customers. Although Microsoft Cloud for Retail is a very new application, it comes with powerful capabilities to transform the retail experience:

      • Microsoft Cloud for Retail supports eCommerce personalization by actively gathering information on customers and prospects and organizing the data into rich, comprehensible reports so sales teams can engage customers with purpose across all channels.
      • Microsoft Cloud for Retail leverages enhanced AI capabilities that utilize digital advertising strategies to keep the customer actively engaged. AI will identify the customer’s preferred channel for interaction and will then send real time, hyper personalized emails, notifications or other content so customers are reminded about the products they are interested in and are more likely to purchase. AI also tracks store footfall and will notify retailers when the store is reaching capacity to comply with COVID-19 regulations, and it measures how long customers spend interacting with products to maximize potential sales.
      • Microsoft Cloud for Retail provides a one-stop shop for both B2B and B2C customers’ retail relationships through a unified intelligent platform. B2B and B2C customers have access to full product catalogues, they can easily group products together for bulk orders, they can use account credit so orders will be completed faster and are easier to reconcile, and they have access to a host of online self-service capabilities to easily track and pay invoices.
      • Microsoft Cloud for Retail supports a commerce anywhere at any time approach by automatically updating customer information so customers can easily view their full purchase history, their wish list and product recommendations for upsell purposes. Retailers can use custom replays in the system to view how customers interact with their website and make improvements to the online customer journey. If a customer makes a purchase, they are updated at every stage of the shipping process so they know exactly when the order will arrive. Frontline workers can easily track sales orders in the system and it automatically updates when an order is completed.

Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare and Microsoft Cloud for Retail have the capabilities to transform business productivity and success for these important industries. Microsoft will soon launch other industry applications including Microsoft Cloud for Financial Services, Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofit and Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing so stay tuned for those updates!

3. Microsoft Power Platform: The Microsoft Power Platform is designed to drive a data culture so that every employee can make important business decisions based on actionable insights. Power BI is a cloud-based business analytics service that gives you a single view of your most critical business data. The most recent updates to Power BI include integrated capabilities with Microsoft Teams and the launch of Power BI Premium:

      • Power BI app for Microsoft Teams enables users to find customer data, investigate and collaborate without ever leaving Teams. Power BI data hub in Microsoft Teams encourages users to quickly configure datasets or interactive reports with just a couple of clicks, and all data sets and reports can be exported to Excel. AI visualization within Power BI will automatically recognize and promote the most important insights such as the number of units sold, the return rate, gross margins and data anomalies for further investigation so you are always in the know with actionable data at your fingertips.
      • Power BI Premium supports automated machine learning modules directly in Power BI and Microsoft Teams. Power BI Premium enables users to analyze images and texts with cognitive services, protect data at high volumes and create pixel-perfect paginated reports for streamlined data analysis. Power BI Premium also supports deployment pipelines and trillions of rows of data in memory. Power BI Premium is now available at a per user level at just $20/user per month!

4. Microsoft Power Apps: Microsoft’s Power Apps capabilities enable companies and individuals to build and connect powerful apps all on your own. Microsoft Power Apps support Power FX for low code development, making it easy to customize a solution specifically for your business. Over 1,000 unique transformations are now within reach for Microsoft partners and customers. Leverage Microsoft Power Apps to readily develop innovative apps for use across devices and in Microsoft Teams.

To learn more about these exciting new updates as part of the Microsoft Business Applications 2021 Release Wave 1, please contact our BCS Team by scheduling a free consultation or calling (562) 988-3451!