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2020 release wave 1 launches with new apps and over 400 features

April 2020 marked the official start of the 2020 release wave 1, kicking off the deployment of new applications and hundreds of new capabilities and updates across Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Power Platform.

This release lands at an unprecedented time for business and society. We are providing support and resources for organizations on the frontlines of the COVID-19 outbreak and prioritizing the seamless business continuity for Dynamics 365 and Power Platform customers. Our customer commitment includes allowances for the uptake of the 2020 release wave 1, as well as the timely release of innovations and capabilities that can help your business adapt to challenges during and after the COVID-19 crisis.

Watch the Microsoft Business Applications Virtual Launch Event—now available on-demand—for demonstrations of some of the new Dynamics 365 and Power Platform capabilities spanning customer engagement, commerce, and supply chain management. For a complete list of new capabilities, please review the Dynamics 365 and Power Platform 2020 release wave 1 plans.

Seamless B2C and B2B customer journeys across sales, marketing, and service

At the Microsoft Business Applications Virtual Launch Event, we’ll demonstrate updates to Dynamics 365 Customer Insights, Microsoft’s customer data platform (CDP), including first and third-party data connections that further enrich customer profiles that can be updated and activated in real-time. Organizations can unlock the value of their data by quickly and accurately predicting customer behavior using out-of-the-box AI templates for churn, customer lifetime value, and next best action recommendations, as well as enable deeper insights with Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics. We’ll also share how Chipotle Mexican Grill, one of the most popular chains of fast casual dining, brought in Customer Insights to create a real-time, up-to-the-moment understanding of their customers to drive relevant and intelligent engagement.

B2B organizations can take advantage of new customer engagement capabilities in Dynamics 365 Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, and Field Service to provide customers with unified, consistent, and personalized experiences throughout the entire buyer journey. Sales teams can leverage advanced AI-powered predictive sales forecasting and a new sales acceleration hub for inside sellers. Marketers can enhance campaigns with more personalized and sophisticated email messages, integrated surveys using Microsoft Forms Pro, and aggregated data and segments from Customer Insights. In addition, service centers benefit from centralized scheduling capabilities for dispatchers to schedule technicians and new omnichannel capabilities to reach customers on their preferred channels. We’ll bring these capabilities to life at the Microsoft Business Applications Virtual Launch Event by demonstrating how HP’s sales, marketing, and service teams can coordinate a seamless, integrated customer journey for an upcoming launch of a new printer.

Delivering seamless omnichannel retail experiences

Dynamics 365 Commerce delivers an end to end retail solution that helps organizations deliver personalized, omnichannel experiences through advanced e-commerce capabilities, intelligent product recommendations, and enhanced clienteling. At the Microsoft Business Applications Virtual Launch Event, we’ll show you how Dr. Martens, the iconic British footwear brand, could replace all legacy applications with Dynamics 365 Commerce, Finance, Supply Chain Management, and Microsoft Power BI to gain greater visibility into its end-to-end processes and virtual warehouses, as well as get a single view of customers across retail and e-commerce.

Exceed customer expectations with an intelligent supply chain

We’re updating Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management to deliver predictive insights and intelligence from AI, IoT, and mixed reality to your organization across planning, production, inventory, warehouse, transportation management, and asset management.

We’ve added out-of-the-box IoT capabilities that leverages Azure IoT Hub to connect signals from mission-critical assets with business transaction data. This enables manufacturers to improve uptime, throughput, and quality by proactively managing shop floor and equipment operations with a real-time view of their entire production and stock.

Supply Chain Management now integrates with Dynamics 365 Field Service to help reduce downtime of geographically dispersed mission critical assets by automating field service operations, as well as Microsoft Dynamics 365 Guides to train your workforce faster, more effectively, and in some cases, more safely using mixed reality learning experiences.

Eaton, a multinational power management company, with 97,000 employees serving customers in 175 countries, is leveraging Dynamics 365 mixed reality solutions as part of its ‘Industry 4.0’ transformation. Following pilot evaluations by their IT and business teams, Dynamics 365 Guides and Dynamics 365 Remote Assist are being deployed globally by different business units starting with the Vehicle Group in over a dozen locations for maintenance, digital layout, training, product development, and connecting global teams on knowledge transfer and best practices sharing.

In addition to these highlights for operations, we’re introducing Dynamics 365 Finance Insights, which brings the power of AI into your finance processes, as well as Dynamics 365 Project Operations, a comprehensive solution for service organizations to connect and run every part of the business. Learn more about these two new applications.

Power Platform: New ways to analyze, act, and automate

Power Automate adds robotic process automation (RPA)

Today marks the generally availability of UI flows, the new robotic process automation (RPA) capability in Microsoft Power Automate. Power Automate already helps hundreds of thousands of organizations automate millions of processes every day. With the addition of RPA, Power Automate will help these organizations to also automate their legacy apps and manual processes through UI-based automation. The key Power Automate RPA capabilities that are reaching general availability today include RPA for attended and unattended scenarios, a flexible business model to support any business scenario, and several AI Builder models.

Power Automate now provides a single solution for end-to-end automation that spans on-premises systems and the cloud. This approach addresses three primary areas:

  • Intelligent understanding of data: Structured and unstructured data from paper-based invoices to images can be easily understood and integrated with other critical business applications. AI-driven capabilities like forms processing in AI Builder are now generally available.

  • RPA connects to enterprise applications without APIs: Some applications are too old or expensive to support API connectivity. With UI flows, end users can automate their work in these applications by recording manual tasks such as mouse clicks, keyboard inputs, and data entry, and then automate the replay of these steps to integrate with legacy systems.

  • Connecting to over 300 modern apps and services: It is easy to work with information stored in the cloud or on-premises apps and databases. We offer native connectivity to common apps or a company’s APIs with over 300 connectors out-of-the-box.

Power Apps adds mixed reality experiences

Today, we’re announcing new mixed reality capabilities coming to Microsoft Power Apps. With these new features, Power Apps is one of the first low-code no-code platforms that makes it possible for everyone to build mixed reality applications.

With hundreds of millions of augmented reality capable mobile devices in the hands of business users, every Power Apps maker will be able to leverage the power of mixed reality to extend their apps with the ease of drag-and-drop development. With these new capabilities, makers can start to digitize workflows in physical space in new and innovative ways.

At the Microsoft Business Applications Virtual Launch Event, you will learn how GSK, the global healthcare company, has fully embraced the Microsoft Power Platform. This includes a mobile Power App leveraging the new mixed reality capabilities, AI Builder forms processing, Power Automate RPA, and Microsoft Power Virtual Agents.

Power BI adds new capabilities

Microsoft Power BI is delivering new capabilities focusing on three key areas to help customers drive a data culture:

  • Building on Power BI’s core amazing data exploration experiences, we’ve added the highly requested decomposition tree AI visual, a new Q&A experience, and added a modern ribbon that users are familiar with from Microsoft Office.

  • As we continue to meet the most demanding needs of our enterprise customers, we are adding full application lifecycle management, with the ability for customers to move an app through a deployment pipeline. We have also completely opened Power BI’s semantic models by adding full support for the industry standard XML for Analysis (XMLA) protocol.

  • Finally, to help our customers weave business intelligence deeply into the fabric of the organization, we’ve added support for Microsoft Information Protection and Microsoft Cloud App Security to protect data even when it leaves Power BI, added deep integration with Azure Synapse, and a completely revamped Microsoft Teams integration.

At the Microsoft Business Applications Virtual Launch Event, we will show you the work we’re doing with one of the world’s largest companies, ABB, a leader in robotics, power, heavy electrical equipment, and industrial automation technology worldwide.

Watch the Microsoft Business Applications Virtual Launch Event live stream

Join us this morning to learn more about these and more 2020 release wave 1 updates, see the capabilities in action, and explore how customers are already taking advantage of the new features.

The Microsoft Business Applications Virtual Launch Event is now available on-demand. Be sure to explore detailed release plans for Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform. This post was originally shared by James Phillips (President, Microsoft Business Applications)



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