Dynamics 365 CE (CRM) Oct. Release Wave | What’s New and Upgrade Preparedness (Video)
Mike: Hi. Good morning, everyone. This is Mike Smith with Encore. I am a senior solutions specialist with Dynamics CRM/365 Customer Engagement, and we’re here today to discuss the wave to upgrade, which is coming up quite soon. If you have any questions, in your webinar control, you should have a questions area. Feel free to submit your questions there and we will follow up with any questions at the end of the webinar. Otherwise, I will go ahead and jump in. So our agenda today, I kind of wanted to cover everything at a high level here, but we’ll cover the what, who, when, why, how, and an overview of what’s new for Release Wave 2. So the what portion, so 2019 Release Wave 2 is coming in October 2019 through March 2020. So the reason why there is a range there is the exact dates of the upgrade are dependent on your region or location. We will cover those exact dates as well.
And I have a link in the PowerPoint, which will be provided to everyone, that has the links as well. So you can refer back to the Microsoft site for dates for any of the regions that we don’t cover today. This introduces end-user impacting features that will be enabled by default. The big change here is the user interface, and I’ll look at that at the end of this slide, but this is one of the major changes that is coming and your early access opt-in is now available. So if you want to begin testing this in sandbox environments, you should have availability to opt in and deploy this upgrade.
So jumping over to just a quick review or overview of the user interface changes, here you can see this was essentially your landing or your homepage within CRM. You can see it looks quite a bit different. We’ve really gone away from the area-based navigation up top here to more of this kind of side-based navigation. So if you use some of the ERP packages or you kind of think of old school outlook, it’s the somewhere type of scenario where you have your different areas here, like here we’re working in this sales area, but you have all your standard items or dashboards, activities, accounts, contacts, leads, opportunities, etc. So you can still quickly access this information. You don’t have to click down through the series of menus like you had to in the old user interface. And then if I want to jump to different modules, I can do that as well. So if I wanna go into the service or marketing areas, instead of clicking down through the area drop-downs, I can just quickly make that change here. So you’ll notice maybe in here like settings is no longer available. If you wanted to access settings, it’s actually now available over on the right-hand side here, you have this gear, and you can go into Advanced Settings, and this will take you to all of your administrative level type set up.
So if you’re a system admin and you need to set up new territories or whatever it may be, it’s all done through this new advanced setup. So if you upgrade and can’t find that, just keep that in mind. But the user interface is quite a bit different. You can change this in your Advanced Settings, so you can revert the system back to the legacy user interface. However, my personal opinion on this is I think this is the direction that we are going to see with CRM. So this is kind of one of those things that it might be kind of time to cut the umbilical cord on this, so to speak, and move forward with the new UI. Again, that’s my personal opinion on it, but I think this is very much here to stay. So do keep that in mind. It is a bit different, but once you’re kind of used to the new navigation, in my opinion, it is very easy to move around and navigate within the system.
So who holds impact in this is anybody who’s a Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement online system. So pretty much all of the online systems will be impacted by this update. The when, so as I mentioned earlier, early access opt-in is now available. Upgrades will begin October 2019. The current schedule for North America is, this will be rolled out on October 25th through October 27th, 2019. If you need to know what your schedule is on for a different area, if you’re outside of North America, a link here that I will make sure that everyone gets has those dates, but this is staggered across multiple dates on generally the weekends. So they treat those as the service windows for these upgrades.
So why would we move forward with the early adoption and getting this deployed? Early access opt-in allows the team to perform testing in a sandbox environment prior to the upgrade in production. So this is really important so that the team could go in, review the user interface, perhaps there’s new features that the team wants to look at, but generally, the big thing other than getting used to this new user interface is really anytime that there’s an upgrade, I would recommend going through your standard business processes, making sure that you don’t have any issues. Everything is working as expected. So it’s almost kind of like a lightweight user acceptance testing.
If you have your UAT scripts from an initial implementation, that is a good starting point for this type of testing. Otherwise, if you don’t have those user acceptance testing, or UAT scripts, my recommendation would be to just go through kind of your daily processes and make sure that you can complete everything that you normally would on a normal business day. Make sure that the system isn’t generating any errors, your workflows are working correctly, whether that’s updating fields, sending emails, whatever it is, just go through the system and make sure everything is working correctly.
Regarding the sandbox environment, I have a note here. So depending on your organization’s licensing, you may or may not have access to a sandbox instance. That sandbox instance is, it’s any non-production instance. So if you were going through an implementation to have access to some type of development or test environment, those are your sandbox instances, that’s anything pretty much other than production. This is really where you’d want to opt in and perform that initial upgrade. In of those sandbox environments do your review so you’re ready for production rollout. Then like I mentioned earlier, it’s key to test all your business processes to identify if any issues are present. If issues are discovered, depending on your preferred course of action, you can work with Encore on those issues or Microsoft directly. So if there are issues, feel free to reach out to whatever support team you use.
The how, so from the Power Platform Admin Center, you can go into your Environments and then upgrade from there. So what I’ll do is I will kind of show you how to get to these. Oh, it looks like my links may not be working here. Let me see if I can get this open. I’m gonna have to exit out of here. So here’s your Admin Center. So to get to the point where you can go into one of these environments and upgrades, you would go into your different environments, and please ignore… I’m in a trial environment so I can break this all I want, so please ignore the fact that this is production. But normally, what you do is you would find your sandbox environment in here. You would click on the link, and then what would happen is your updates would be available for Wave 2 over here and you would be able to just follow, basically, the links on here to get to the point where you can perform this upgrade. If you want or need assistance with the upgrade, we can certainly do that. If you wanna be totally self-sufficient in this, one of the links to that PowerPoint will take you to this early opt-in 2019 Release Wave 2. If you scroll down through here, this is kind of a lot of the same material that we’re covering today, but here you can see this will actually walk you through the exact clicks that you need to go through, so Manage and then Update Now. I found that in my trial environments, what happened is this basically kicked off the upgrade process and you got a series of status bars through here. These status bars did not automatically refresh. So after about an hour, I had to refresh this and I saw that the upgrade was done. So maybe anticipate some similar type of timing for that upgrade. So about an hour worth of time.
So both trial and sandbox environments can have the 2019 Release Wave 2 enabled. Note, production environments can have 2019 Release Wave 2 enabled, so you can enable this in production. However, I would strongly recommend that you do this in either a trial or a sandbox environment prior to rolling this out in production. That’s what really gives the team’s opportunity to go in, make sure that all the functionality exists, you’re not having any issues or things to address before this was performed in production. Once 2019 Release Wave 2 is enabled, it cannot be undone. So there is no undo in this, so please keep that in mind. And then here’s the link that’ll take you to the Microsoft article we were just looking at.
Jumping into the actual, what’s new? So I’ll start in sales and go into service. If you’re using other modules like D365 marketing, field service, or any of those, I’ve included a link to Microsoft’s website for the entire list of what’s new. Here I’m just focusing on the sales and service modules. So if you’re using modules or areas outside of sales and service, please review that full list of what’s new so you’ll have some insight into what’s coming in the pipeline for that on this release.
Business Card Scan. Let me exit out of here. So you can see in the Business Card Scan, I wanted to give an idea here of what this looks like. So for the Business Card Scan, this is available on both of your mobile and web application. What you can do is when you’re creating either a contact or a lead, you can see here that there’s now a Scan Business Card. So this is just a screenshot of the mobile application. So you can click this Scan Business Card and you can actually take a picture of the actual just business card. And what will happen is within CRM, you’ll actually be creating a contact. So here I just use the quick create on contact, and this gives us what we need. So here’s our list of contacts and then here is the actual contact that’s created by the snapshot of the business card. So all of this information, the T max or the system actually extrapolated directly from the business card, so first name, last name, job title, my email. And then the other thing that this function does is it actually adds a screenshot or a photo of the business card itself, so you have record of that. So that’s the new Business Scan feature that we have available.
There’s a customization of the Opportunity Close. So what will happen on this is we can actually control now what happens within the Opportunity Close window. So if you wanna add any custom fields to the Opportunity Close, you can now actually do that. So before we did have the ability to modify this window, but now we can come and actually create custom fields and add it to the Opportunity Close window. So here’s my opportunity. If I close this as one, we’ll get our standard Opportunity Close window. But you can see here I’ve actually set up a custom field, so if there’s some key pieces of information that I want the team to enter when an actual opportunity is closed, you can create those fields and then add them to the Opportunity Close window. So, again, we previously did not have that functionality. Now we have the ability to come in and add custom fields and otherwise modify this Opportunity Close window.
Streamlined opportunity, quote, order, invoice, product experience. So with this functionality, existing products can be added without a price list. So some might be gasping, but this functionality is, you do have the ability to turn this on and off. So if you do not want people to be able to create or add products to your sales type documents, you do have the ability to control that. And then the other thing that they’ve done with this is the experience of adding products into your sales documents is much more streamlined, in my opinion. They’ve gone to almost like a quick create type of experience instead of a…because the legacy experience where you had to either enter the grid or open up a separate window to manage these products. So here’s an opportunity. And then what we will do here, actually, this is a quote. Once our products load, I’ll show you what this interface looks like. So here what we could do is here’s our actual grid. So you have this grid that we did similar, but then here we can click on our leads and we can add a product. And so, what this will do is this will actually load this kind of quick create type of a window where I could come and I could select my product from here. So you’re seeing type of fields are still available. It’s just not taking you to a separate dedicated window where you have to enter in those product details, save, and then return back to your sales document.
So moving on, other new items. The LinkedIn Sales Navigator, I did not deploy the LinkedIn Sales Navigator with this. But if you are using that functionality, what they’ve added is a new widget to expose your LinkedIn InMail in D365 so you can actually go in and interact with those emails directly within CRM. You don’t have to go to LinkedIn for that functionality anymore. It will allow the sending of an InMail for contacts, opportunities, and leads. If you’re leveraging the seek functionality of the LinkedIn Sales Navigator, the InMail will appear in your corresponding activity timeline. So that’s where kind of reverting back to this first bullet point. And if leveraging sync, the LinkedIn pictures will be used as your contact pictures in D365. So D365 has had the contact picture functionality for some time, but if you’re using the sync tool with LinkedIn Sales Navigator, it’ll actually pull their LinkedIn profile pic and use that within CRM or D365.
Teams integration enhancements. So if you are using the team’s integration functionality with CRM, when you’re connecting a D365 record to a team’s channel, relevant members will be suggested, the SDK. So if you’re into developing, it actually now supports the team’s integration. So we do have more customization options around the integration. And then when creating a team channel from a D365 record page, users can automatically connect the D365 record to the selected channel. So just more functionality around teams.
We’ve also introduced a hierarchy relationship on territories. So if we take a look at this, if you are using territories with this functionality, ads is actually a tiered type hierarchy to territory. So, previously, you may have been doing this with custom type build out or whatever it may be, but here we can set up different territories and now have a parent territory. So if I have a territory of the United States, maybe I have associated territories of Pacific Northwest, maybe Southwest, Northeast, Central, Southeast, and I can associate those, what would be child territories to the actual apparent territory. So if we look at the sub territories for United States, we can see that I’ve taken these other territories and associate them to the United States territory. So now I have this parent-child relationship that can be used.
Moving on, we have a simplified lead management experience. So now we can auto-populate the contact or account-related fields when selecting an existing record. So a lot of organizations, previously what was happening as you might’ve had a workflow or some other tool that introduced this functionality, but now this is available out of the box. So we’ll get to our record here so we can see what this looks like. So here we have this specific lead. So under our Qualify, these are the standard fields if you’re not using a modified business process flow within D365. But for a lead, you can select an existing contact or an existing account to link this lead to. And what’ll happen is once you have this contact selected, the rest of the actual lead form will populate with the data from that record. So you don’t have to fill this out again, or save, and wait for our workflow to fire, to populate this information, depending on how your system was set up. It just automatically does that now.
Display notes and attachments when promoting a lead in the opportunity record after lead qualification. So when we look at our opportunity, what we will see is we’ll actually have these details brought over from the leads, so I don’t have to go back to the lead to view this information, it’ll be available directly within the timeline now. So here’s this opportunity, and was waiting for our timeline to load. So now we’ll have any of this information that was collected at the lead level, this will now be brought over into the opportunity where the lead is converted or qualified and the opportunity created.
The other item that I don’t have control over is deciding the behavior when a lead is qualified. So the standard behavior for this is, when a lead is qualified, the system auto-creates an account contact and opportunity. But what we can do now, and this functionality can be turned on and off at the admin level, is you can actually force the team to select what happens now. So in this environment, I’ve actually turned off the auto-create scenario, foreseen my team to actually make a selection when this lead is qualified. So here’s our lead record loading. So here I’ll go ahead and qualify this lead.
Instead of the system just auto-creating these records behind the scene, you can see here now that I can actually say specifically what I want to have happened. So, do I wanna create the account? Do I wanna create the contact? Yes and yes, but maybe I don’t wanna create the opportunity, I can set that to no. So I could make whatever updates I want, click OK, and then those specific records, corresponding records that will be created within D365. So full control over that lead qualification process now.
They’ve also introduced a softphone dialer. So this allows integration framework to integrate your softphone dialer from your telephony provider with the customer engagement app. So if you have softphones deployed, basically, the underlying customizations and infrastructures in place to introduce that softphone dialer into D365. There are some third-party apps that do that, but the system now has the functionality to develop those integrations internally. You don’t have to go to like a custom third party application.
Moving onto service, we have some changes around knowledge-based articles. So the system will now have some out of the box templates that the team can use. So if you need to or leveraging knowledge-based articles, you now have those standard templates available that the team can leverage instead of defining your own templates from the ground up, you can create, edit, and delete these templates for whatever your business need may be, and then if you are using knowledge-based articles, the search functionality has been improved. So search will now extend to additional attributes on the knowledge article. I believe previously it was like status and title. So they introduced some additional fields to that functionality.
Timeline usability enhancements. What they’ve done here is, at the case level, and you may see it through some other areas as well, is improved information density. This is really key here. Microsoft is making a large effort around this concept of information density. So what you’ll start seeing within the new UI is everything might be slightly more compressed. So they’re trying to limit the amount of scrolling one has to do through the records within the system. So this information density may be a common theme that we see in future upgrades such as Release 2.
And then we have an improved filtering by activity type along with multiple filters simultaneously and a visual indicator of filters when they’re applied. So we’ll take a look at a case record here and how this looks. So once our timeline is up here, so here you can see the actual timeline. I can come in, I can filter this. So here’s my filters loading. So here I can specify what exactly it is I wanna see. So right now I have the one post, but I can select from other types if I had other things in here and then by modified date as well. So you do have the ability to filter down your actual timeline for what you may want to see.
And then moving along, we have links. So, again, the links are very important. This, I’ll make sure that everybody has these links, whether it’s through some type of copy of this PowerPoint or if it’s in some type of follow-up email, I’ll make sure that the team gets all of these details because this is really important information that the team will want to see. Otherwise, I wanna thank everyone. At this time, we’ll go ahead and move into the questions and answers.
Melissa: Okay, I’m just taking a look at the question pane. I don’t have anything coming in just yet, but we could wait a few more minutes. Is there anything else you’d like to add while we’re reading?
Mike: No, just like that the importance of this, and I’ll admit I am quite conservative when it comes to upgrades, that’s kind of my ERP background coming through. So really just, you know, the big stuff, we reviewed some other functionality, some of it is really neat by things that the big, kind of…the big show you need to be aware of is just this new UI. So if you kind of wait until this is automatically deployed out to production and your team comes in on, you know, Monday morning or whatever it is and they see the new user interface, this is gonna be a big shock.
I think the other what’s new items will kind of generally you fall in places. Everyone take advantage of those. But this new UI is huge and, like I said, you can turn this off. So, again, if you wanna get into your advanced settings, you can go into your Advanced Settings and then within your Administration area, you have the ability to control these settings.
Melissa: We just have one question come in, saying, “Can we get access to the recorded presentation for future reference?” And yes, we are recording. We will be sending the link out to this recording in an email to all the attendees today, and that will be up on our website.
Mike: Any other questions?
Melissa: I don’t see any others coming in, but, of course, if anyone has questions later, they can give us a shout.
Mike: Absolutely. So, again, anything in the slide deck I had mentioned was you can control at the system admin level, it’ll all be in your system settings. But that’s really the big one. I can’t overemphasize that enough. I think the UI is a big enough change that if I sat down with CRM Monday not being aware of these changes and log into the CRM, this would definitely be a, you know, “Oh, my gosh. Oh, my gosh,” type of a scenario. So I think the biggest kind of take away from the ability to introduce this into a sandbox, you know, essentially a month before this will automatically be rolled out is really getting the team into the new UI because it is, like I said, quite a bit different.
Melissa: It just have another question come in saying “can we turn it off? I think you were about to show it.”
Mike: Oh, yeah. Yeah. Let me get back into our Administration. And I’ll have to hunt in here a little bit. I can’t remember exactly where they added this. I think this is it, this new unified interface. So here we have the sets of yes, we’ll see if this is what we’re after. Yeah. But what’s the like what’s… Yeah. So there we go. That was the correct setting. So this’ll take you back to your standard CRM interface, but, again, like believe me, I probably hate change as much as everybody else, right? And I really think that this new UI is the direction that Microsoft is going. It really ties into the whole power apps and there’s a huge driver behind PowerApps.
This UI, and again, this is my opinion, this is not Microsoft. This is not Encore. I really think that this is here to stay and I watched some changes in three months, right? But realistically, I think this is the direction of the product. So I think this is one of those things that, at some point, you know, the community at large is going to have to adopt that new UI. I have no idea, you know, if or when they’re gonna retire the legacy UI, but I think that this is inevitable.
Melissa: I’ve had one more question come in asking, “how do you scan the business card via web?”
Mike: Yeah, that’s a good question. I can only assume it’s through like your…if you have an actual cam on your machine, and believe me, I have not tested that, I know it sounds a bit odd, but apparently, it is available through the web app. And that’s the only thing I could think of, is if you have like a camera or something. On the phone, it’s super easy. It just, once you click the…was it picture button or whatever, it just kicks over to your phone’s camera and you take a picture and CRM, the app takes care of the rest. I’m on Android and it was super easy and very intuitive.
Melissa: Okay, great. It looks like that’s all the questions we have for right now.
Mike: All right, well, thank you very much, everyone.
Melissa: Thanks, everyone.
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