Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement 2021 Wave 2: Microsoft Invests Big In Customer Needs

December 20, 2023 Kayla Rohde

What do the terms deal manager, voice, and self-service scheduling have in common? Most of you probably guessed based on the blog title; these are all some of the new features within the Dynamics 365 2021 Wave 2 Release plan from Microsoft. 

Every year, Microsoft Dynamics releases seem like a special celebration—a peek at the features that are in high demand by customers as well as a view into the path Microsoft intends to take the product. Let's consider a few of the key features Microsoft has announced and understand what they mean for the D365 Community.


Dynamics 365 Sales - Deal Manager

Microsoft's lead and opportunity management solution has been in the game for years. At this point, embedded tools make any salesperson's life easy. However, rapid advances in technology along with stronger demand for better user interactions have led Microsoft to deliver what's known as the Deal Manager Workspace. 

The workspace brings the data a salesperson needs into a modern and intuitive user interface (UI). The workspace also offers personalization specific to a salesperson. For example, sales team members can customize side panel pop-outs containing details about accounts, contacts, leads, and opportunities. They can also modify charts and views shown within the workspace to track performance by using pre-defined measures.

Another UI change like this one may not seem like a big deal, but here's why Microsoft's investment in the user interface is important: it shows how the largest users of the platform have the money to demand a more streamlined user interface. 

Case in point…one of our clients identified a  process flow that looked too much like a competitor icon; their end-users did not want to use the tool. By changing the icon, Microsoft demonstrated how it listens to customers and their need for better experiences and streamlined interactions. 

And then there’s this consideration—if you invest in D365, you not only invest in the base platform. You also get feature releases for years to come. Most of these features are driven by ideas submitted by the D365 user base, and they all belong to you. Think of the possibilities!

Dynamics 365 Customer Service - Omni Channel Voice

First Microsoft gave us Customer Service Management, which included cases and queues. Then Microsoft introduced us to Omni Channel as a means to connect inbound customer conversations from any channel such as social media, SMS, and chat. But until now, Microsoft offered telephony only via M365 offerings. 

Compared to the competition, telephony was one area where Microsoft waited in the background. Now that wait is over as Microsoft officially announced the Omni Channel Voice offering. This means you now have access to a full customer service offering supported by the Dynamics Platform. That's HUGE!

You can now tap into features such as call intelligence, call recording, consults, and analytics for voice. For customers looking to streamline and minimize the number of computer systems in play, this move opens the door to setting users up as a full Microsoft shop. 

Chat, social media, and phone calls can all be natively supported by one platform. Sounds simple, doesn't it?

Omni Channel Voice feature

As with the Deal Manager feature in the sales workspace, the Omni Channel Voice feature is a testament to Microsoft's ability to hear what the customer base wants and then deliver on it. But wait, there's more!

Dynamics 365 Field Service - Self Scheduling

Seriously, this release is packed full of too many features to speak of. On top of Deal Manager and Omni Channel Voice, Microsoft gives you customer self-service scheduling via the Field Service Portal. 

If you're looking for an easy solution to enable your customers to schedule appointments for themselves, re-read that line one more time…for anyone who loves to make appointments via mobile and avoid sitting through phone calls to hash out dates and times, this feature stands out as something instrumental to the digital world we live in. 

This feature release also shows how Microsoft is building onto the existing Field Service Portal and pulling out all the stops. There’s no need to custom-build something for your customers to log into. When you spin up the portal, you can easily configure this feature set and avoid years and years of coding.

Dynamics 365 Field Service self scheduling feature

Bonus Content

Wait...there's so much more coming out this fall! One final icing on the cake is an update to the timeline control on nearly every D365 record. The timeline component we all love—and which gives us a summary of what's happening with our accounts and customers—is now able to showcase external data. 

Yes, you read that right. If you have a third-party tool integrated with Dynamics that contributes to the activities on your customer journeys, Microsoft will open the doors to the timeline, so you can start consolidating that information. 

Why is this so exciting? The timeline has had a few enhancements over its lifetime. Each one is better and better. And with this enhancement, you can streamline the places you have to look for customer data.

More Time for Customers

Considering the capabilities of D365 Deal Manager and Omni Channel Voice—as well as the field service self-scheduling and timeline enhancements—you and your sales teams can function much more efficiently and reduce workflows. So what will you do with all that free time? Perhaps close on new business and strengthen customer relationships?

If you would like to hear from a trusted Microsoft partner about the rest of the features coming out in WAVE 2, or feel like discussing how D365 can help you and your team excel (pun intended), reach out to Western Computer today. We look forward to hearing from you!

About the Author

Kayla Rohde

As a Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement Consultant for Western Computer, Kayla’s passions are using Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Power Platform technology.

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