Discover the latest features and enhancements in the 2022 release wave 2 of Dynamics 365
Microsoft has recently announced its release plans for Dynamics 365 in the second wave of 2022. The upcoming release brings a host of new features and enhancements across the Dynamics 365 suite of customer engagement applications. These updates promise to deliver greater agility, efficiency, and innovation to businesses across the globe. The 2022 release wave 2 will be rolled out from September 2022 through March 2023.
In this post, we will highlight new features and updates that users can expect for the following Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement applications:
Dynamics 365 Sales
Enhanced sequence creation and management
In the 2022 release wave 2, Dynamics 365 Sales will include an enhanced sequence creation and management feature with a new designer to streamline the sales engagement process. With improved user experience and features of the sequence designer, sales engagement managers can easily configure sequences. The new feature also allows sellers to create and personalize sequences, removing the dependency on sales managers. The key enhancements included in this release are:
- Enhanced sequence designer with an improved user experience and features
- Up next widget embedded in the default lead, opportunity, contact, and account forms
- Use sequences to guide sellers on any page or form
- Customizable sequences for personalized communication
- Sequence analytics for monitoring sequence progress and effectiveness
Connect with customers through SMS messaging
In the 2022 release wave 2 of Dynamics 365 Sales, users will now be able to engage with customers via SMS during opportune moments of a sales process. With this feature, sales teams can send text messages to customers, providing quick updates, reminders, and answering queries from the Sales Accelerator workspace. Additionally, sellers can easily access past SMS interactions in context with relevant sales entities such as lead and opportunity records. The key functionality of this capability includes:
- Send text messages to customers during opportune moments of a sales process
- Configure SMS as part of any sequence to send reminders or updates before and after events
- Choose a service provider for sending and receiving SMS
- Send SMS from the Sales Accelerator workspace
- Access past SMS interactions in context with relevant sales entities
Improved email communication with email address validation
In the latest release, Dynamics 365 Sales now offers a feature to validate email addresses associated with email-based tasks. After enabling this feature, administrators can review email addresses maintained on active leads in the organizations. This feature is designed to help sales teams to lower email bounce rates, improve engagement rates, and achieve better return on their invested time. Capabilities of this feature include:
- Review all email addresses maintained on active leads in the organization
- Inform sellers of invalid email addresses associated with email-based tasks
- Improve email communication with accurate email address validation
Seller KPIs and manager dashboards
In the 2022 release wave 2 of Dynamics 365 Sales, KPIs and manager dashboards will help keep sales organizations up to date and enable sellers to make more data-driven decisions. With this feature, sales managers can coach and guide sellers while viewing their team’s and sequence’s performances. With this feature, managers can:
- View KPIs and dashboards for important sales goals
- Coach and guide sellers based on performance
- Measure the time taken to convert leads and opportunities
- Monitor the conversion ratio between leads and opportunities
- Measure the success rate of sequences
- Identify the status of sequence steps associated with leads and opportunities
Other updates in the 2022 release wave 2 of Dynamics 365 Sales
For a full list of new features and updates, you can review the official Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales 2022 release wave 2 documents. In addition to the features listed above, here are a few other noteworthy updates:
- Improve assignment accuracy using segment priority
- Customizable worklist cards for right contextual information to the seller
- Override column headers in the forecast grid
- View prediction for a new lead in near real time
- Access comprehensive Sales product use insights quickly
Dynamics 365 Marketing
Enhance personalization with access to more Dataverse tables
In the 2022 release wave 2, Dynamics 365 Marketing will allow marketers to access any Dataverse table to enhance personalization in their communications. Previously, marketers were limited to tables related to an audience or trigger, but now they can pull information from multiple tables. This reduces the need to invoice IT or data specialists. For example, a marketer creating a new product launch email can use dynamics text to include specific product information, images, or SKU numbers directly from the Dataverse product table. With this feature, marketers can:
- Pull information from any Dataverse table
- Access more customer data and specific business data
- Avoid constant message modifications and stale information by directly pulling data from your Dataverse
Manage content across multiple brands
With this new feature, marketers can easily create multiple brand profiles to create consistent and on-brand content across all their campaigns. With brand profiles, marketers can create a set of guidelines that ensures messaging, colors, and fonts are consistent across all campaigns, making it easier to maintain a consistent brand image. With this feature, marketers can:
- Create multiple brand profiles for their organization or for each business unit
- Define default senders for emails
- Set default social links
- Extend their brand profile entity with custom values that can be used when creating content
Drive engagement with audience-specific content
In the 2022 release wave 2 of Dynamics 365 Marketing, Microsoft introduced a new feature to drive engagement at scale by creating highly tailored, audience-specific content. This feature enables marketers to create unique content for different segments or individual customers with the use of content blocks. Other marketers can then reuse these advanced personalized content blocks in different messages to achieve personalization at scale. With audience-specific content, marketers can:
- Create targeted messages and campaigns that resonate with specific segments or individuals
- Use dynamic content to personalize messages and images based on customer data
- Improve engagement rates by delivering messages that are more relevant and timelier
Include QR codes in emails
In the latest release, marketers will be able to increase customer engagement by adding QR codes to email campaigns. With this new feature, marketers will be able to generate a QR code for any dynamics link and add that code to emails. Once scanned with a mobile device equipped with a camera, the code is translated into actionable information such as a webpage or event check-in. With QR codes, marketers can:
- Provide more information to customers without cluttering the email
- Drive more engagement by making it easier for customers to access additional content or offers
- Track engagement rates and measure the effectiveness of email campaigns
Other enhancements in the 2022 release wave 2 of Dynamics 365 Marketing
For a full list of new features and updates, you can review the official Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing 2022 release wave 2 documents. In addition to the features listed above, here are a few other noteworthy updates:
- Use natural language to create segments in real-time marketing
- Create engaging email content using feature-rich text links
- Create lead capture forms that convert visitors to customers
- Seamlessly manage and embed assets into your content with an enhanced unified library
Dynamics 365 Customer Service
Enhancements to overflow management
In the 2022 release wave 2, Dynamics 365 Customer Service includes enhancements to overflow management to give administrators the ability to offer voicemail or direct callback options to customers, transfer calls to alternative queues where agents are available, and enable customers to reach specific contact center agents directly through assigned phone numbers. With this feature, users can:
- Offer direct callbacks to enable customers to keep their queue spot without having to stay on the line
- Offer voicemail to callers if unassigned calls remain in the queue or the call is not in operating hours
- Transfer calls or records to alternate queues where agents are available to accept the work
- Assign phone numbers to agents to enable customers to reach specific contact center agents directly
- Configure and manage rules to handle voice callbacks to customers
Route calls and work items more efficiently
In the 2022 release wave 2 of Dynamics 365 Customer Service, Microsoft implemented enhancements to the routing strategy. With these updates, administrators will be able to route phone calls to agents who have been idle for the longest duration of time to ensure better utilization of agents, improved customer satisfaction, and better agent engagement. Additionally, preferred agent routing enhanced customer satisfaction by connecting customers with a familiar service agent. With these updates, administrators can:
- Configure voice queues to use the Most idle assignment method to assign calls to the agent who has been idle for the longest period of time
- Sort matching agents in the order of their idle times on the voice channel
- Set up preferred agents for customers
- Assign work items to the preferred agent if available
- Select the assignment logic if the preferred agent is unavailable
Use Teams for contextual collaboration
Agents who use Dynamics 365 Customer Service can collaborate with anyone within their organization over Microsoft Teams to resolve customer issues without leaving the case or conversation. In the latest release, enhancements to the Teams integration enables administrators to use custom rules to define the suggested CRM contacts agents see when starting linked chats. Additionally, AI-generated conversation summaries will be available to provide a summary of Teams conversations for agents to share with other collaborators. Key capabilities of these updates include:
- Custom rules to define the suggested CRM contacts agents see when starting liked chats
- Auto-generated summaries that agents can use to share the context of their service conversations
- Summary format structure provides insights about the customer’s issue and any solutions that agent has tried
- Agents can edit or hide the auto-generated summary if they do not want to include it in the Teams chat
Monitor support operations in near real-time
The 2022 release wave 2 of Dynamics 365 Customer Service includes a new feature that allows supervisors and managers of contact centers to monitor key operational metrics, make course corrections at the right time, and keep service levels high. These features include a summary report, agent report, voice report, conversation list, and visual customization. Key capabilities of this update include:
- The ability to customize the visual display of the out-of-the-box Power BI reports
- Personalization to let report users save and manage multiple bookmarks for different reports
- Auto refresh and pause refresh lets users pause and resume data refresh of reports
Other enhancements in the 2022 release wave 2 of Dynamics 365 Customer Service
For a full list of new features and updates, you can review the official Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service 2022 release wave 2 documents. In addition to the features listed above, here are a few other noteworthy updates:
- Administrator experience enhancements to make it easy to quickly set up and use Dynamics 365 Customer Service
- Agent experience enhancements to enable agents to handle multiple interactions, interact with multiple apps, and enhance workflows
- Knowledge management enhancements to create a robust and detailed knowledge base
Dynamics 365 Field Service
Mobile app usability enhancements
The Mobile App received several usability enhancements in the 2022 release wave 2 of Dynamics 365 Field Service designed to improve the user experience and make it easier to use in the field. These improvements are designed to streamline common user experiences on mobile to ensure the time spent on the app to perform repetitive tasks is reduced so workers can be more efficient. Some of the key enhancements include:
- Improved navigation – The app now has a new navigation bar that makes it easier to switch between different areas of the app, such as work orders, customer assets, and inventory.
- Simplified forms – The app now has simpler, more streamlined forms that make it easier to view and edit important information about work orders, customer assets, and other entities.
- Better offline capabilities – The app now has better support for working offline, allowing technicians to access and update data even when they don’t have internet connection.
New schedule board becomes default for all deployments
The schedule board in Dynamics 365 Field Service has been redesigned and is now the default scheduling experience for all deployments. Microsoft plans to retire the legacy schedule board by April 1, 2023. Here are some of the key improvements to the schedule board:
- Better performance – The new schedule board is faster and more responsive than the legacy version, making it easier to schedule and manage work orders and resources.
- Enhanced filtering and searching – The new schedule board has more advanced filtering and searching capabilities, making it easier to find the right work orders and resources for each job.
- Improved customization – The new schedule board is more customizable than the legacy version, allowing organizations to tailor the scheduling experience to their specific needs and workflows.
Resource Scheduling Optimization improves booking lock constraints
The Resource Scheduling Optimization (RSO) in Dynamics 365 Field Service has been improved in the 2022 release wave 2 to provide better control over booking lock constraints. RSO can schedule many jobs simultaneously. This new booking lock features gives users the ability to constrain scheduling by resource and time. Included in this release are the following improvements:
- More granular control – RSO now allows organizations to set booking lock constraints at the resource level, giving them more granular control over how resources are scheduled.
- Improved performance – RSO now runs faster and more efficiently, allowing organizations to optimize their resource scheduling more quickly and easily.
- Better conflict resolution – RSO now has better conflict resolution capabilities, helping organizations to avoid double bookings and other scheduling conflicts.
Dynamics 365 Project Operations
Project budgeting and time-phased forecasting
In the 2022 release wave 2, Dynamics 365 Project Operations will receive enhancements to its project budgeting and time-phased forecasting capabilities. These features allow organizations to better plan and manage project costs and revenues over time. Key updates from this release include:
- Time–phased forecasting – The new time-phased forecasting capabilities enable organizations to forecast project costs and revenues over time, providing greater visibility and control over project financials.
- Project budgeting – The new project budgeting capabilities allow organizations to create and manage project budgets from within Project Operations, making it easier to track and manage project costs and revenue.
- Integration with Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations – The new budgeting and forecasting features are fully integrated with Finance & Operations, providing a seamless end-to-end project management and accounting solution.
Support for transaction cost-based sales pricing methods for cataloged products on projects
Dynamics 365 Project Operations now supports transaction cost-based sales pricing methods for cataloged products and projects. This allows organizations to more accurately price their products and services based on the actual costs of producing and delivering them. These new features are applicable to Project Operations Lite and Resource/NonStocked Deployments. Key feature details include:
- Transaction cost-based pricing – The new pricing method allows organizations to set prices based on the actual costs of producing an delivering products and services, ensuring the prices are aligned with actual costs and profitability.
- Cataloged products and projects – The new pricing method can be used for both cataloged products and projects, making it easier to manage and price complex product and service offerings.
Revenue recognition for project contract lines
In the 2022 release wave 2, Dynamics 365 Project Operations now includes revenue recognition capabilities for project contract lines. This allows organizations to more accurately track and recognize revenue for their projects over time, providing greater visibility and control over project financials. This feature will be available for customers using Project Operations for resource-based scenarios and includes the following improvements:
- Project contract line revenue recognition – The new revenue recognition capabilities allow organizations to track and recognize revenue for individual project contract lines, providing greater accuracy and control over project financials.
- Flexible revenue recognition methods – The new capabilities support a variety of revenue recognition methods, including straight-line, percentage-of-completion, and completed contract.
Subscription billing for projects
In the 2022 release wave 2, Dynamics 365 Project Operations received improvements for supporting subscription billing for projects, making it easier to manage and bill for recurring services and products. Users will be able to leverage subscription billing for projects for stocked or production-based scenarios. The feature will include the following capabilities:
- Defining billing schedules with project reference
- Invoicing billing schedule using Project Invoice Document. This can be done either individually or for a group of billing schedules
Other updates to Dynamics 365 Project Operations in the 2022 release wave 2
For a full list of new features and updates, you can review the official Microsoft Dynamics 365 Project Operations 2022 release wave 2 documents. In addition to the features listed above, here are a few other noteworthy updates:
- Editable contour resource assignment grid
- Upgrade from Project Service to Project Operations Lite Deployment phase 2
- Ability to bulk-confirm project invoices
- Import projects from Microsoft Project desktop client
- Use expense mobile application for intuitive expense entry experience
- Modern user experiences in sales, billing, and pricing
Want to learn more?
The 2022 release wave 2 for Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement applications brings exiting new features and enhancements to businesses looking to improve their customer experiences and streamline their operations. The new features and enhancements listed above are only a few highlights of what Microsoft has planned in the release wave. Users can start exploring these new features and capabilities. Additionally, many D365 users rely on a Microsoft partner for assistance reviewing the most impactful updates. The right Dynamics 365 partner helps users identify the features most beneficial to their organization and provides training for users to maintain peak performance.