As it does annually, Microsoft is making available today its plans for new features it will be adding to Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform starting in the fall. On July 8, Microsoft is publishing its 2020 "Release Wave 2" plans. This is a collection of hundreds of new features, both incremental and more substantial, which Microsoft will be rolling out to customers between October 2020 and March 2021.
Microsoft will be making some of these coming features available for early access for testing and validation purposes in non-production environments starting August 3, 2020. Rollout of the Wave 2 features begins on October 1, 2020.
As it has been doing for the past few cycles of its Wave 1/Wave 2 releases, Microsoft is focusing heavily on the AI-enabled capabilities it is adding to its Dynamics 365 CRM, ERP and HR applications. It is adding more conversation and relationship intelligence, forecasting and predictive pipeline information to Dynamics 365 Sales Insights. It also is adding a new analytical view to Dynamics 365 Customer Service Insights, as well as new capabilities to help agents use similar case suggestions in resolving customer issues. And Dynamics 365 Customer Insights will get more extensibility via the Microsoft Power Platform, especially with Power BI.
Microsoft also is adding new features to the Dynamics 365-branded apps for the HoloLens. Dynamics 365 Guides, its "show me how to do this" app, will be enabling instructions to be configured to adjust "on the fly based on operator inputs." It also will be getting the ability to analyze time-tracking data and custom business data. And Dynamics 365 Remote Assist is expanding its capabilities beyond calls to allow technicians to do other activities like capture service and repairs data, do surveys and walk-throughs independently, and analyze service operations. Microsoft also is making Remote Assist with non-AR-enabled devices with modified functionality, the release notes say.
Microsoft also is adding a number of updates and features to its core Dynamics 365 apps, including Sales, Customer Service, Field Service, Marketing, Human Resources, Commerce and Connected Store. Capabilities range from a new mobile experience for faster access to customer information in Dynamics 365 Sales, to better integration with mobile apps, the Microsoft Bot Framework and outbound messaging channels in Customer Service, to integration with Teams Live Events and meetings in Dynamics 365 Marketing. Dynamics 365 Human Resources and Dynamics 365 Connected Store are also getting improved integration with Teams as part of this wave of features.
Microsoft is adding the ability to create Power Apps directly within Microsoft Teams for Teams customization purposes as part of the Wave 2 updates. The Power Apps portals ais adding Microsoft Power Virtual Agents as a component. AI Builder is getting new scenarios for receipt scanning and translation, as well as better connectivity for remote-training data.
Power Automate, formerly known as Flow, will be getting integration with WinAutomation (from its Softomotive robotic-process-automation acquisition) and its cloud-based AI Builder and connector-based capabilities. Power Virtual Agents are getting new authoring tools and integrations with Power Automate, as well.