Dynamics 365 Field Service named a Leader in the 2021 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™

Dynamics 365 Field Service named a Leader in the 2021 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™

This article is contributed. See the original author and article here.

Field service is evolving quickly and changes in technology have made a quantum leap forward in customer engagement, elevating frontline worker effectiveness and optimizing service operations. New technologies and advanced analytics are reshaping field service to dramatically improve service levels, personalize the customer experience, increase productivity, and enhance perceived value. It is these differentiators that have helped elevate Microsoft Dynamics 365 Field Service as a driving force within the field service community.

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Field Service Management August 2021.

We are proud to share that Gartner has again positioned Microsoft as a Leader in its 2021 Magic Quadrant for Field Service Management. We believe this position as a Leader reflects our expansive product functionality.

By combining IoT diagnostics, scheduling, asset maintenance, and inventory on the same platform, field service organizations can reduce downtime by diagnosing and resolving issues before customers are aware.

Gartner defines field service management (FSM) as a discrete market within the broader customer service and support software market. Field service providers (FSPs) typically dispatch technicians to remote locations to provide installation, repair, or maintenance services for equipment or systems. They may manage, maintain and monitor these assets under a predefined service or maintenance contract. Gartner’s view of the FSM market is focused on transformational technologies and approaches to meeting the future needs of end users. It is not focused on the market as it is today.

Dynamics 365 Field Service capabilities

Many field service capabilities highlighted by Gartner are innovations pivotal to providing world-class customer care.

Microsoft has pioneered cutting-edge technologies enabling the development of rich features that empower technicians to increase productivity, optimize resources, and enhance the customer experience. These resulting capabilities help field service organizations quickly align service operations to strengthen business continuity, build resiliency to withstand a changing economic landscape, and provide the flexibility to take on new opportunities when they arise.

Burckhardt Compressionis a perfect example of an organization reshaping the delivery of service by leveraging Microsoft technology. This Swiss marine gas compression manufacturer provides critical compressor repair and maintenance services for ships at sea. Compressors create high-pressure conditions that transform gas from a gaseous state to liquid to reduce volume. If a compressor fails, time is of the essence as the liquid gas can expand and return to a gaseous state, building pressure and becoming highly explosive. To respond to an incident or perform proactive maintenance, Burckhardt Compression had to send a service engineer to wherever the compressor was locatedwhich was time-consuming, resource-intensive, and simply not scalable.

The company turned to Dynamics 365 Field Service, allowing service engineers to engage in real-time video chat and provide instructions and markups onscreen over the actual compressor. When a call is initiated via Dynamics 365 Remote Assist, a case is automatically created in Field Service and a recording of the repair work is created for future needs. Burckhardt Compression is thrilled with the seamless workflow and interoperability, increased service capacity, and the enhanced safety resulting from the new process.

What’s ahead for Dynamics 365 Field Service

For the 2021 release wave 2, we continue our focus on delivering rich, innovative features that map to three distinct pillars:

  • Tailor customer engagements. Deliver empathetic connected service experiences that provide a holistic view of customers’ case information to enhance first-time fix rates and support smooth service delivery every time.
  • Elevate employee effectiveness. Empower employees across your service organization to solve problems faster with actionable insights, enriched data signals, and mixed reality.
  • Optimize service operations. Drive proactive service with IoT, unlock new service revenue streams, and reduce downtime and service costs.

We will also continue to enhance this leading end-to-end field service solution, further transforming field service organizations from a reactive break or fix model to a proactive model with built-in predictive modes. We are broadening the possibilities of additional business models such as outcome-based service or “anything-as-a-service.”

We aim to innovate Dynamics 365 Field Service, transforming service operations by connecting people, places, and things to deliver customer-centric experiences. We are committed to driving unparalleled customer engagements by personalizing experiences and anticipating and meeting your customer’s needs and wants. Our focus on ensuring your employees are effective in any capacity they fill, from department managers to dispatch to technicians onsite, will continue to guide us in delivering the analytics and tools you need to resolve any issue the first time, every time, and identify gaps in service delivery and opportunities for improvement. These efforts can drive new revenue streams that were previously overlooked.

We’ve just gotten started, and the possibilities are limitless.

The bottom line

Many field service organizations consist of technicians making service calls, identifying the issue, ordering the required part, and rescheduling to commence the repair. This process is inefficient, costly, and unsatisfying to the customer. Field service is changing. Today organizations are evolving into profit centers, redefining business models, and creating powerful and fulfilling customer experiencesall supported by leading-edge solutions like Dynamics 365 Field Service.

We are excited to be positioned as a Gartner 2021 Magic Quadrant Leader for Field Service and are committed to bringing you the best field service application available. Depend on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Field Service to help you tailor customer engagements, elevate employee effectiveness, and optimize service operations.

Learn more:

GARTNER and Magic Quadrant are registered trademarks and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and are used herein with permission. All rights reserved. This graphic was published by Gartner, Inc. as part of a larger research document and should be evaluated in the context of the entire document. The Gartner document is available upon request from Microsoft. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Field Service Management, 31 August 2021, Jim Robinson, Naved Rashid.

The post Dynamics 365 Field Service named a Leader in the 2021 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ appeared first on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Blog.

Brought to you by Dr. Ware, Microsoft Office 365 Silver Partner, Charleston SC.

[Guest Blog] Living in an autism bubble in an ever-changing world.

[Guest Blog] Living in an autism bubble in an ever-changing world.

This article is contributed. See the original author and article here.

This post was written by Office Apps & Services MVP Peter Rising as a part of our Humans of IT Guest blogger series. This is a follow up from Peter’s first post in November 2020 about the challenges of working from home during Covid-19 times whilst raising a son with severe autism.  Almost one year on, life remains extremely challenging, but in different ways. 


In early 2020, the world changed as the global pandemic disrupted all our lives. In the months that followed, many of us adjusted to working from home, and supporting our children with home learning. This was a massive shock to the system, but what I did not realise at the time was that this would be the easy part for me and my family.

As a quick recap, I live in the UK with my wife Louise, and our two sons George (14), and Oliver (11). Oliver was diagnosed with severe autism at the age of two and a half, and as he has grown older we have seen sensory processing disorder, extreme anxiety and pathological demand avoidance added to the list of challenges he faces on a daily basis.


Screenshot 2021-09-12 at 20.29.17.png

Oliver and me

Before the pandemic devastated the world, Oliver attended a Specialist Educational Needs (SEN) school, and was picked up and returned home each day by the school bus. I don’t believe he ever really enjoyed attending school though, as even back then we had some difficulties in that he refused all food during the school day and would also not visit the school toilets. Looking back at those times, I think that Oliver merely ‘tolerated’ school, but it is clear that having to attend caused him distress.

This became ever more apparent when schools started to re-open again in late 2020 and children started to return. To begin with, we were quite hopeful, as Oliver boarded the school bus on the first day back with no real problems. Things began to change very rapidly though and Oliver started refusing to get on the bus and the more we tried to encourage him, the more distressed he would become.

So we tried driving Oliver to school instead. This looked like it may work until we took him into the school building and he refused to go with the teacher, so we ended up taking him back home with us. Slowly but surely, the mere mention of school made Oliver more anxious. What didn’t help matters was that on the few occasions we succeeded in getting him to attend, the pattern was disrupted when a teacher or classmate inevitably tested positive for Covid-19, resulting in the entire class needing to stay at home and self-isolate for 14 days. Routine and pattern is essential in Oliver’s life, and this unpredictability did not help our cause one bit.

By the time 2020 came to a close, I think Oliver may have attended school for approximately 10 days in total since it reopened before we got to the point that he stopped attending completely. At this time, both the education and social authorities agreed with us that there was little point in persisting with trying to get Oliver to attend school whilst the requirement to self isolate was still in place as it meant that consistency was almost impossible.

As we started the new year of 2021, we became accustomed to Oliver staying at home. This was arguably hardest on our oldest son George who was now the only person leaving the house on a regular basis to attend school. I was still working exclusively from home myself. George, to his credit has shown incredible maturity beyond his 14 years throughout these difficult times – particularly as Oliver staying away from school has led to many other stresses and anxieties in our house.


For many months earlier in the year, we established a pattern of Oliver visiting Louise’s parents who live very close to us. He only went for a short time each day between 3.00pm and 6.00pm but this was extremely helpful to us as it provided us (Louise especially) with some respite. Oliver has become particularly attached to his Mother over the past year – almost to the point of obsession, and he always likes to know where she is.

This extreme attachment to Louise has only been exacerbated by two escalating anxiety triggers which Oliver has developed during this time. The first trigger is barking dogs. There are a lot of dogs living on our street and when they bark (which is frequent), Oliver becomes hugely distressed and will scream. If the barking does not subside quickly, Oliver will run through the house to find Louise and will start hitting her repeatedly. This is utterly horrifying as you can imagine. It contradicts entirely his special bond with Louise, but illustrates that he does not understand how to appropriately process and express his emotions. This behaviour is still a problem as I write this.

The second trigger is bad weather. Oliver seems to sense bad weather before it happens. He will appear in the living room and demand that the curtains are closed and the lights turned on (regardless of the time of day). we then have to play calming music at high volume. This can go on for quite some time, even if the weather has improved. It will only end on Oliver’s terms. Ironically, the bad whether stops the barking dogs issue, but when the sunshine returns, the dogs come out again. It feels like we just can’t catch a break.

To add to the problems, back in July Oliver stopped going to his grandparents. We have no idea why but now we are effectively housebound. Oliver becomes distressed if Louise tries to leave the house for any reason. I am not so restricted but the only time I really go anywhere is to take George to school as I don’t want Louise to be left alone with Oliver for any length of time.

When you write all of this down and read it back, it sounds ridiculous and unbelievable, and you do start to question if you have been good enough parents. Fortunately we did receive some validation recently as child mental health services and a clinical nurse started visiting Oliver every day recently. They were confident that they could challenge Oliver’s rigidity, but they too have found that Oliver is not going to be an easy code to crack.  They attempted to get him to attend his new school last week, and on the first day they managed to get him there for a few hours.  He clearly did not realise where he was going though, as the following day when they attempted this again he refused their attempts to get him ready and into the car.

Despite all this, we still manage to get things done. I manage to do my work, have teams meetings, record a podcast, and write blogs like this one. Louise manages to enjoy her crafting which includes knitting and crochet, and she has recently rediscovered a passion for water colour painting. These activities are often interrupted of course and things take a lot longer than they normally would as a result. In the extreme, I have had to abandon an important work call to respond to a violent episode from Oliver when a dog barks.

I have to be honest and say that I never imagined that life could be this hard, and I don’t know how on earth we are going to work our way out of this situation. The services that are working with us to support us and trying to de-sensitise Oliver to his anxieties are now regrouping and thinking of new strategies, but it feels like while the rest of the world has started to do normal everyday things again, we have never actually come out of lockdown.

We remain upbeat though throughout it all, and our families always kindly remark how incredible it is that we still have a smile on our faces considering the stressful life we live. That gives me so much strength, especially on the days where I’m running on empty and feel like I have nothing more to give.

I have to keep the faith that there is an answer to this situation, and the support and friendship I receive from this community helps me stay strong more than you can know.

Thanks for reading, I hope I can update you in the not too distant future with some good progress. Keep your fingers crossed for us!!

Take care and stay safe!

From expanded live captioning and transcripts to prepare for Windows 11—here’s what’s new in Microsoft 365

From expanded live captioning and transcripts to prepare for Windows 11—here’s what’s new in Microsoft 365

This article is contributed. See the original author and article here.

This month, we’re announcing enhanced captioning in Microsoft Teams meetings, co-authoring in encrypted documents, expanded Microsoft Endpoint Manager capabilities, and more.

The post From expanded live captioning and transcripts to prepare for Windows 11—here’s what’s new in Microsoft 365 appeared first on Microsoft 365 Blog.

Brought to you by Dr. Ware, Microsoft Office 365 Silver Partner, Charleston SC.

Top 3 reasons to join J4K (part 2) – a virtual conference for Java developers on Kubernetes

Top 3 reasons to join J4K (part 2) – a virtual conference for Java developers on Kubernetes

This article is contributed. See the original author and article here.

If you’re a Java developer and Kubernetes is on your plate to learn and to deploy in the cloud, this is the event you don’t want to miss. There’s a rich line-up of stellar Java and Kubernetes speakers across two tracks whose only goal is to share their wisdom and experience with others. It’s free and it’s fabulous, so why not register today?



If that’s not enough, here are the top three reasons why you should join as an attendee now, and possibly as a speaker in the future:

  1. Sharpen your cloud-development skills – you want to know how to build resilient and resource-efficient software in any cloud environment.

  2. Network with the experts – gain valuable industry insights and vital job skills from the J4K community experts.

  3. Check out the cool tech – it’s not just buzzwords, they’re real and they’ll make your life easier. Learn about Quarkus, Spring Boot, App Service, cloud-native Java, MicroProfile, Jakarta EE, GitOps and all things Kubernetes.

J4K is a developer oriented conference focused on open-source and hybrid cloud application development of Java and Kubernetes.  This is a free community event, delivered by Java and Kubernetes community leaders and influencers. J4K is dedicated to enrich developers and architects with cloud focused solutions.


The three basic building blocks of this conference are:

  1. Learn – about the latest Java innovations on Kubernetes

  2. Build – get hands-on experience with workshops and labs

  3. Exchange ideas – network and contribute to open source projects that optimizes Java apps on Kubernetes

Don’t let conference fatigue have you miss out on a day of learning. Attend sessions that matter to you or stay for the whole show, it’s up to you. Or get up to speed with how Microsoft supports Java. Check out Microsoft’s keynote and sessions:

J4K is a free event for our communities to learn about Java on Kubernetes, network with community leaders and developers, collaborate on open-source projects and gain insight in industry innovations. There’s also live music by Nirvanna, a tribute band to the famous grunge band Nirvana, and awesome entertainment between sessions. Join us on October 6th by registering now and fill your noggins with all sorts of Java and Kubernetes goodness. See you soon!

CISA and NSA Release Guidance on Selecting and Hardening VPNs

This article is contributed. See the original author and article here.

The National Security Agency (NSA) and CISA have released the cybersecurity information sheet Selecting and Hardening Standards-based Remote Access VPN Solutions to address the potential security risks associated with using Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). Remote-access VPN servers allow off-site users to tunnel into protected networks, making these entry points vulnerable to exploitation by malicious cyber actors.

Exploitation of these devices can enable:

  • Credential harvesting
  • Remote code execution on the VPN device
  • Cryptographic weakening of encrypted traffic sessions
  • Hijacking of encrypted traffic sessions
  • Arbitrary reads of sensitive data (e.g., configurations, credentials, keys) from the device

The information sheet helps organizations select standards-based (rather than proprietary) VPN solutions and provides hardening guidance to prevent compromise and respond to attacks.

CISA encourages organizations to review and adopt recommendations in the information sheet to reduce risk.