Dynamics 365 (CRM) Release Wave 2 Upgrade

Release Wave 2 for Dynamics 365 (CRM) was launched in October 2019, continuing until March 2020. The exact date for your solution is dependent on the region you’re in, thus the range in dates available. If your region isn’t covered here, visit this Microsoft page for dates and instructions about enabling Release Wave 2. You can also watch our previously recorded webinar on the release here.

The biggest change to note in Release Wave 2 is the user interface. Essentially, your landing page in Dynamics 365 (CRM) will now appear fairly different than what you’re used to.

The familiar top-based navigation has been traded in for side-based navigation:

Dynamics 365 Release Wave 2

The bonus with the new side-based navigation is that you no longer have to click through the series of menus; now you can access your standard items like Dashboards, Activities, Accounts, Contacts, Leads and Opportunities much faster. If you are really not enjoying the new side-based navigation, you do have the option to revert back to the legacy user interface using the process defined here.

Who Is Impacted by This Change?

Any user of an online Dynamics 365 (CRM) system will be impacted by the changes in Release Wave 2. Once your system is upgraded, it’s important to complete User Acceptance Testing (UAT). You can do this by going through your standard day-to-day business processes and ensuring that everything is working as expected or use previous UAT scripts if you have them. Make sure to also check out any new features and take some time to get used to the new user interface. If you have access to a sandbox environment (any non-production instance), make use of that so you can spend time in the system checking that everything is working as it should. If any issues arise during sandbox testing, feel free to reach out to us for assistance.

How to Upgrade Dynamics 365 CE

You can upgrade Dynamics 365 (CRM) by going to the Power Platform Admin Center, under Environments. Your updates will be available to you on the right-hand side, where you can follow the links to perform the upgrade. The upgrade should take about an hour in your system to complete. We strongly recommend that you complete the upgrade first in a sandbox or trial environment before going into production. And of course connect with us if you come across any struggles with the upgrade. Once the Release Wave 2 upgrade is enabled, it cannot be undone!

Dynamics 365 Release Wave 2

And Now the Best Part – What’s New?

New in the Sales Module:

  • Business Card Scan – Take a picture of a real business card to create a contact in CRM.
  • Customization of Opportunity Close – Control what happens within the opportunity close window, like adding custom fields.
  • Streamlined Opportunity/Quote/Order/Invoice Product Experience – Existing products can be added without a price list. Adding products is much more streamlined.
  • LinkedIn Sale Navigator Enhancements – New widget in D365, send InMail from D365, LinkedIn pictures used as contact pictures in D365 if using sync.
  • Teams Integration Enhancements – Relevant Team members suggested, SDK support, connect D365 records to a channel.
  • Hierarchical Relationship in Territories – Visual report of the relationships between territories.
  • Simplified Lead Management Experience – Auto populate contact or account related fields, display notes and attachments.
  • Softphone Dialer – Integrates dialer from telephony provider within D365 (CRM) application.

New in the Service Module:

  • Knowledge Article Templates – Use out of the box templates, create, edit or delete templates.
  • Knowledge Article Search – Improvement in searching functionality for articles.
  • Timeline Usability Enhancements – Improved information density, less scrolling through records.
  • Improved Filtering by Activity Type – Use multiple filters simultaneously.

Out of all the new features, the new side-based user interface is probably the most impactful to your day-to-day user experience. It’s also likely the direction that Microsoft is going, so it would be wise to spend some time becoming familiar with it. If you have any questions about upgrading your Dynamics 365 (CRM) solution, please reach out to us for assistance.

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