Microsoft’s October 2019 release notes describe all new features coming to Dynamics 365 from October through to the end of March 2020. Overall the new release brings many new innovations that will provide Dynamics 365 users with hundreds of new capabilities.

As expected, Microsoft has continued with its core theme of enhancing artificial intelligence (AI) features. This article focuses on the new features coming specifically to the Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement platform, covering Marketing, Sales and Customer Service.

AI

The new release wave enhances the artificial intelligence capabilities of Customer Engagement. This will help organisations to accelerate their transformation of customer service, sales and marketing functions:

  • Sales Insights – empowers teams with more foresight, to enhance productivity and better anticipate outcomes across the sales lifecycle.
  • Customer Service Insights – provides an actionable view into critical performance metrics, operational data and emerging trends using industry-leading artificial intelligence.
  • Virtual Agent for Customer Service – enables organisations to create AI-powered bots that chat with customers and provides new opportunities for organisations to improve customer service through digital transformation.
  • Customer Insights – enables every organisation to unify and understand their customer data to harness it for intelligent insights and actions.
  • Market Insights – enables business users to gather actionable insights based on what consumers say, search for and feel about their brands and products.

Dynamics 365 for Marketing

In terms of Marketing, the new release continues to improve the ease-of-use and simplification of this, still relatively young product (released April 2018). Microsoft have also invested in intelligent scenarios. Here are the key points to note:

  • Marketing made simple – Microsoft have simplified trial sign-ups and are continuing to streamline the rest of the product by concentrating on the scenarios most often mentioned in user feedback. It has simplified processes, eliminated extra clicks and added many small improvements that help make marketers’ lives easier. Key improvements include new email layouts and subscription-list management.
  • Personalised marketing – The system helps marketing professionals build effective content effortlessly. With A/B testing, marketers can set up powerful experiments with a few clicks and let the system take care of the rest. Large organisations can customise their marketing execution to run independently for each business unit.
  • Actionable intelligence – Build optimised audiences and orchestrate effective communication strategies. With Dynamics 365 Customer Insights, marketers can leverage the power of the Microsoft ecosystem to increase the effectiveness of their marketing initiatives.
  • Fundamental investments – Microsoft continue to deliver improved performance, scalability, system management and extensibility for campaign execution and email marketing. Improved provisioning helps makes life easier for admins and power users.

Dynamics 365 for Sales

For Microsoft’s enterprise-grade customer engagement software, the new updates invest heavily in the stability and satisfaction of the platform, delivering more value to users. These improvements are centred around the following themes:

  • Reliability and performance – Improved performance, scalability, availability, extensibility and supportability to help sales professionals focus on their customer relationships.
  • Modern and simple user interface – As with Marketing, Microsoft have continued to streamline and simplify key scenarios most mentioned in user feedback – simplified processes, eliminating extra clicks, etc.
  • Relationship-selling enhancements – Integrations that let sellers quickly transition between CRM and communications, without the need to switch context, ensuring conversations are authentic and meaningful.
  • Sales productivity – Utilise intelligence and turn your data into insights that can help increase revenue and enable time for more personal conversations.
  • Ecosystem enablement – Leverage the power of the full Microsoft ecosystem to increase the effectiveness of their selling activities.

Dynamics 365 for Customer Service

The smallest list of enhancements to the Customer Engagement platform for October’s release comes to Customer Service. However that is not to say the improvements are not substantial. Microsoft are focussing on the below three key areas:

  • Agent productivity – New core improvements that will help agents be more productive such as improved email authoring experiences and timeline enhancements.
  • Omnichannel for Customer Service – Harnessing the Microsoft ecosystem, updates will allow customers to experience a seamless personalised service as they switch across support channels.
  • Service insights – Microsoft are investing in updates to deliver improved insights for supervisors and managers to drive better business decisions.

To read the October 2019 release notes in more detail, you can access the full release notes online.

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