Microsoft teases new apps and integrations for Dynamics 365

By:  Mike Wheatley

Microsoft Corp. today published some 238 pages of release notes for the October update to its Dynamics 365 enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management applications.

The company said recently that it’s moving Dynamics 365 to a twice-yearly release schedule, once in April and again in October, which more or less matches the schedule for its Office 365 productivity suite. In a blog post at the time, Microsoft officials said Dynamics 365’s Fall updates would be rolled out from October 2018 to March 2019.

The next major release will see more than 100 incremental updates to core services in Dynamics 365, including Dynamics Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, Portals, Finance and Operations.

There’s also a new Dynamics 365 AI for Sales application, which brings new features including call sentiment analysis and warnings of deals that could be at risk. It also offers the ability to take proactive actions in the latter case, to try and prevent deals from falling apart.

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“For Sales, in particular, we’ll show how AI can help salespeople prioritize their time to focus on deals that matter most, provide answers to the most common questions regarding the performance of sales teams, offer a detailed analysis of the sales pipeline and surface insights that enable smarter coaching of sales teams,” Microsoft Corporate Vice President of Engineering James Phillips said in a second blog post. The Dynamics 365 AI for Sales will be made available preview in October.

Microsoft will also tighten up integration between Dynamics 365 and services including Azure, Azure IoT Central, LinkedIn, Outlook and Microsoft Teams. Integrations with Teams and LinkedIn will be available in public preview from October, the company said.

The release notes also suggest Microsoft is planning to continue emphasizing the applicability of its augmented reality glasses, called HoloLens, to its business applications. The company is planning to integrate Dynamics 365 with Remote Assist, which is Microsoft’s hand-free video calling service. It will also integrate with Microsoft Layout, which is a design service for space planners.