Hurray, the Dynamics 365 October 2018 Release Overview has arrived! CRM nerds rejoice! The Business Applications October 2018 release bring some pretty significant updates with it that can allow for your business to further maximize efficiencies and enhance business processes leveraging the Dynamics 365 technologies. Let's dig in and take a high-level look at some of the most exciting new features, updates and changes coming to Marketing, Sales and Service.
Personally, I am most excited about some of the new features and functionality rolling out in the Marketing application in Dynamics 365. Here are a few:
- Account based marketing: B2B marketers - this one is for you! View a Customer Journey, designed to better align sales and marketing by mapping specific marketing activities to account strategies. Track engaged accounts, show interaction breakdowns, optimize your messaging and more. Look for a future Beringer blog to dig into the details around this new feature soon.
- Reusable content blocks: Marketers will have the ability to save a content block. For anyone using out-of-the-box marketing through Dynamics 365, this gives you more control to define content, design and rules for each of your reusable content blocks.
- Social listening for campaigns: Combining traditional Campaign activities with social listening - brilliant! This adds a dedicated social tab to each customer journey and event, as well as a new dashboard to track social insights.
- Marketing calendar for planning: If you're currently using Campaigns to track planning activities, this is a bit of a game changer. Instead of adding and viewing Activities to one specific campaign, this provides you with a mobile-friendly, responsive calendar showing all elements of a marketing campaign on a single calendar. Like I said, game changer for those of us using Campaigns to track our planning activities.
- Deep LinkedIn integration: Here is one of the features I've been waiting for since news broke of Microsoft acquired LinkedIn! The October 2018 release brings expanded connection between Dynamics 365 and LinkedIn. We will have a deep dive blog about the new functionality soon!
- Richer segmentation experience & Custom Analytics: The October 2018 release expands existing segmentation capabilities by providing more operators and an improved user interface. In addition, Dynamics 365 for Marketing will support custom analytics that can be used to design charts, graphs and KPIs.
- More languages: Dynamics 365 for Marketing currently supports 8 languages. In October, they are adding 33 more. See the official release notes for a full list.
Let's take a look at some of the updates to Dynamics 365 for Sales coming in the October release.
- Playbooks: The October release introduces Playbooks, designed to help companies like yours automate repeatable sales activities.
- Microsoft Teams integration: For any organizations using Teams, a Teams channel will be able to be connected to any Dynamics 365 record. This seems similar to the current OneNote connection, and we can't wait to tie our Teams with Dynamics 365 to further improve collaboration and communication.
- Who Knows Whom: Why cold call a Lead or Contact when Dynamics 365 for Sales can alert you of any colleague within your organization who can introduce you? Help kick start that sales call with this new feature in October.
- Talking Points & Quick Actions: Store brief talking point and quickly, easily take suggested actions.
- Predictive Lead Scoring: This machine-learning model will assign a score to a Lead on a scale of 1 to 100 based on their likelihood of becoming an Opportunity. This can help an Inside Sales team or Sales Rep to better prioritize their leads bucket.
- Dynamics 365 AI for Sales App: Use AI to enhance productivity and performance of your sales team. Capabilities with this app include Q&A, lead prioritization, opportunity pipeline analysis with relationship health score, sales team scorecards, richer sales reports and analytics, and more.
Let's take a look at some improvements and updates in Dynamics 365 Service:
- Service Scheduling with Universal Resource Scheduling (URS): A new service scheduling solution that works with existing Service activities and a powerful Schedule Board that supports filters, resource search and scheduling. This will be a great feature for organizations with resource scheduling needs!
- Customer Service Admin Board: Service Management (including configuring queues, subjects, entitlements, SLAs, holiday scheduleds, automatic record creation, etc) moves under the Customer Service Hub.
- Relevance Search for Knowledge Management
- Omni-Channel Engagement Hub: This cloud-based service connects live chat and SMS with Dynamics 365 for Customer Service.
This is by no means a complete list of features coming in the October 2018 Release, but some of what I am the most excited to see. For a full list of changes in this release, check out the Dynamics 365 October Release Notes from Microsoft. Do you need help updating your Dynamics 365 system to take advantage of these new features? Reach out to Beringer Technology Group today!
Beringer Technology Group, a leading Microsoft Gold Certified Partner specializing in Microsoft Dynamics 365 and CRM for Distribution. We also provide expert Managed IT Services, Backup and Disaster Recovery, Cloud Based Computing and Unified Communication Systems.
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