Dynamics 365 & Power Platform October ’19 Preview

By 25th June 2019 June 27th, 2019 Product Updates

In the last few days, Microsoft have unveiled a raft of new features and changes that we can expect to see in the upcoming October ’19 Wave 2 releases for Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform. We take a look at the key aspects of the release that may affect you and your business.

Such is the extent of the changes due in October, Microsoft’s own release notes have been divided into two: one set for Dynamics 365 and a second set for the Power Platform. However, due to the growing importance of the Power Platform, there are inevitable crossovers between the two products. Rather than cover every aspect of the two release documents, here are the key features to look out for –

Dynamics 365

As Microsoft continue to push the newer Unified Interface over the classic/legacy experience, it is no surprise that a lot of the newly-announced functionality will only be available in the new interface. As we have covered previously, it is important that your business is ready for the switch to the new interface to ensure that you do not miss out on new features or are affected when the old interface is eventually retired.

Dynamics 365 for Sales

  • New Email Composer – As Dynamics 365 has integrated with Outlook for many years, there has been less focus on the email experience from within Dynamics itself. This will change with a new pop-up email editor that will allow users to navigate from screen to screen while they compose their emails and also allow the use of templates and attachments.
  • Business Card Scanning – Available via the web and mobile interfaces, the scanner will analyse the card for relevant information and automatically update respective fields in Dynamics 365.
  • Opportunity Close Customisation – In the April ’19 release, Microsoft introduced the customisation of the Case Resolution entity (although since deprecated); now it’s the turn of the Opportunity Close entity. Additional information can now be captured against Opportunities when they are closed as lost or won.
  • Simplified Lead Management – Auto-populate Contact and Company fields when creating new Leads and when converting a Lead and full control over whether an Account, Contact and Opportunity record is created.
  • Softphone Dialer – Call your contacts without leaving Dynamics, using the new softphone integration.

Dynamics 365 for Customer Service

  • Macros – Automate common tasks such as automatic case resolution when specified criteria have been met or automatic case assignment using the new Macro functionality.
  • Social Messaging – As more customers are using Facebook Messenger etc. to interact with businesses, it is important that Customer Service agents are able to respond to questions and requests promptly; the new Social Messaging feature of Dynamics 365 for Customer Service will now facilitate this.
  • Agent Scripts – Help guide and train your Customer Service agents with configurable step-by-step guides.
  • Proactive Chat – Instigate chat with website visitors with the use of a configurable widget, allowing you to specify rules based on time spent on the site etc.

Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation

  • New Dynamics 365 and Office based Project offering – Although this will not be immediately available in October, Microsoft will be release this new service that uses the Common Data Service as its foundation and incorporates the Project Scheduling Service, a cloud-based scheduling engine. Further versions will include combined Project Service Automation and Microsoft Project functionality in one interface, including Bookings, Sales, Pricing, Costing and Time and Expense capture. The new product will be called Dynamics Sales Extension For Projects.

Dynamics 365 Business Central

  • Migration Tools Enhancements – Improvements to the migration tool will allow for more straightforward migrations to Business Central from Business Central On-Premise, NAV 2018, Dynamics GP and Dynamics SL.

Power Platform

Microsoft Flow

  • Improved Business Process Flow Visuals – A new vertical layout that can be docked to the right of a record allows a clear view of the current process without affecting the main page content.
  • Custom Controls in Business Process Flows – In the October release, it will now be possible to embed rich visualisations, such as sliders and radial knobs into Business Process Flows.

Power BI

  • Embedding PowerApps into Power BI Reports – Although this can already be achieved by adding the PowerApps visual manually, this functionality will become a part of the core functionality of Power BI.
  • Object Grouping – By allowing users to group elements together, this will allow for much easier moving and resizing of multiple items at once.

PowerApps

  • PowerApps Component Framework – Allows developers to build their own components for use within an App to introduce functionality that may not be currently available using the in-built tools.
  • Responsive, Reflowing Canvas Pages – It will be possible to have apps automatically adapting and resizing for changes in screen size and device orientation.

How can I prepare for the October 19 Release?

As some of the new functionality will be available as a preview prior to its general release, we strongly recommend that you opt in to test and review these new features to prepare your business. Further details on this can be found here.  If you are an existing client who wishes to discuss any of the points in this post (including assistance opting in to test the preview), please get in touch.