As Microsoft is preparing to release wave 1 of 2020 Microsoft Dynamics 365 updates in April, they have organized the changes into three distinct categories for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales: Forecasting, Licensing, and Simplified Experiences. While there are important updates in each category, we will be focusing on a few of the simplified experiences.
*NOTE: These simplified experiences are only available in the Unified interface and the processes for enabling the new features is based upon a standard out-of-box Dynamics 365 Sales configuration.
Contextual email communication
The first noteworthy update is contextual email communication with enhanced mail. Contextual email communication was first discussed in the 2019 release wave 2 in October 2019. The concept of this change comes from the limitations of navigating while creating an email activity record. Currently, when a user creates an email record, they must remain on the record to which the email is regarding. With this update, a user can compose the email, and navigate to different areas of the system with the email record still open. No more opening multiple tabs of Dynamics 365 to gather all the info needed!
Additional perks of this update include being able to have multiple draft emails open concurrently, previewing content before sending, adding attachments, and using email templates.
To use this new feature, Enhanced Email must be setup. To enable enhanced email:
- Navigate to App Settings in the site map
- In the site map, select Overview
- On the Overview page, under Productivity tools, select Manage for Enhanced Email
- On the Productivity tools page, change the Enhanced Email switch to Yes
- Select Save
You are now ready to get started efficiently composing emails!
Easier selection of email templates
Another update is the email template selection process. Right now, if a user needs to select a template when composing an email, they must blindly select from a lookup based on the name of the template alone. With the April 2020 wave 1 release, Dynamics 365 users will now be able to smoothly select a template from a list or search and preview the template before it is inserted into the email. The process is initiated in the same manner, by clicking the Insert Template button in the ribbon, but from there different templates can be selected and modified as necessary.
It even works within the previously discussed enhancement! Not only can you navigate through the system to gather the appropriate information for your email, you can also apply a template. These two enhancements to the email tool will increase efficiency, productivity, and consistency across customer communications.
Manage activities with ease
Several small enhancements to activity management are available with the new release. First, activities can now be created from the activities area in the site map without ever having to leave the page. Simply select the activity type that needs created and a new record will open on top of the activities list (see image below).
Another enhancement to activity management is the ability to filter based on the activity directly from the view, regardless of which view is selected. This makes sorting and filtering simpler and faster.
And finally, activities can now be displayed in a calendar view or Kanban view. The calendar view allows users and managers to see when activities are scheduled on a daily, weekly, or monthly view. The Kanban view allows activities to be viewed by status so users can see how many activities they have in each status. Additionally, activities can be sorted into a different status by simply clicking and dragging the activity to a different column. Simplicity and efficiency at its best!
The Kanban view is also available on the Opportunity entity
These enhancements are just a taste of what Microsoft has planned in the April 2020 Release Wave 1 for Dynamics 365. These features are currently available in preview or early access with the planned date for general availability is April 2020, however, that is subject to change. If you are interested in discovering more about these features or any other features of Dynamics 365, please connect with a Velosio Dynamics 365 consultant today!