Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing customer journey orchestration preview now available

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing customer journey orchestration preview now available

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

All businesses operate in a competitive environment and customer experience (CX) is top of mind as we rise to today’s challenges of finding ways to differentiate, delivering on business goals and meeting increasing customer demands. Customers expect great experiences from the companies they interact with and companies that deliver superior experiences build strong bonds with their customers and perform better.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing is the secret weapon that will help you elevate your CX game across every department of your company, whether it’s marketing being tasked with driving growth, or the sales department optimizing in-store and online sales, or the customer service department driving retention, upsell and personalized care. With AI-assistance, business users can build event-based journeys that reach customers across multiple touchpoints, growing relationships from prospects, through sales and support.

Today marks a monumental event for Dynamics 365 Marketing: the much-anticipated real-time customer journey orchestration features are making their preview debut! Rich new features empower customer experience focused organizations to:

  • Engage customers in real time.
    • With features such as event-based customer journeys, custom event triggers, and SMS and push notifications, organizations can design, predict, and deliver content across the right channels in the moment of interaction, enabling hyper-personalized customer experiences.
  • Win customers and earn loyalty faster.
    • Integrations with Dynamics 365 apps make real-time customer journeys a truly end-to-end experience.
  • Personalize customer experiences with AI.
    • Turn insights into relevant action with AI-driven recommendations for content, channels, segmentation, and analytics.
    • Customer Insights segment and profile integration allows organizations to build deep 1:1 personalization.
  • Grow with a unified, adaptable platform.
    • Easily customize and connect with tools you already use.
    • Efficiently manage compliance requirements and accessibility guidelines.

Some of Dynamics 365 Marketing’s standout features are listed below. To read about all of the new features, check out the real-time customer journey orchestration user guide or see a demo of the real-time marketing features in action from Microsoft Ignite 2021.

1. Real-time, event-based customer journey orchestration

Looking for a better way to engage your audience over pre-defined segment-based marketing campaigns? Look to moments-based interactions that allow you to react to customers’ actions in real time with highly personalized content for each individual customer. These moments-based customer-led journeys are easy to create with our new intuitive customer journey designer which is infused with AI-powered capabilities throughout. You can orchestrate holistic end-to-end experiences for your customers that engage other connected departments in your company such as customer service, sales, commerce systems, and more. What’s even better? You don’t need a team of data scientists or developers to implement these journeys let the app do the heavy lifting for you. Use point-and-click toolbox in the designer to create each step in the journey, and AI-guided features to create, test, and ensure your message is delivered in the right channel for each individual customer.

The new journey designer simplifies the creation of steps along a moments-based customer journey

2. Event catalog with built-in and custom events for triggering customer journeys

Journeys created with Dynamics 365 Marketing are customer led, they can start (or stop) when an event is triggered and can be executed in real time. “Events” are activities that your customer performs, including digital activities like interacting on your website, or physical ones like walking into a store and logging onto the Wi-Fi. Event triggers are the powerhouses behind the scenes that make it all happen, and you can create them quickly and easily by using built-in events from the intuitive event trigger catalog or creating custom events that are specific to your business.

By strategically using event triggers you can break down silos between business functions. Gone are the days of tone-deaf, disconnected communications from different departments, now you can deliver a congruous end-to-end experience for each of your customers.

The intuitive event trigger catalog with both built-in and custom events allows you to create event triggers quickly and easily.

3. Hyper-personalize customer journeys using data and insights from Dynamics 365 Customer Insights

Dynamics 365 Marketing goes beyond a typical marketing automation tool by leveraging the power of data, turning that data into insights, and activating it. Microsoft’s customer data platform, Dynamics 365 Customer Insights, makes it easy to unify customer data, augment profiles and identify high-value customer segments. You can use this profile and segment data in Dynamics 365 Marketing to fine tune your targeting and further refine your journeys so that you can drive meaningful interactions by engaging customers in a personalized way.

From Dynamics 365 Marketing you can seamlessly connect with Dynamics Customer Insights and use that profile and segment data to fine tune your journeys.

4. Author personalized emails quickly and easily using the new email editor

The completely new, intuitive, and reliable Dynamics 365 Marketing email editor helps you to produce relevant emails with efficiency and ease. The modern layout with the redesigned toolbox and property panes makes everything simpler to find. Personalization is also streamlined just click the “Personalization” button to navigate through all available data so you can customize your messages with speed and ease.

You can also take advantage of new AI-powered capabilities within the editor like AI-driven recommendations to help you to find the best media to complement the content in your messages. We make it easy to create professional emails with advanced dynamic content resulting in messages that better resonate with your customers.

With the click of the

5. Create and send personalized push notifications and SMS messages

Because email is not the only channel to reach your customers, we have also streamlined personalization across SMS messages and push notifications and made both editors easy and intuitive to use so you can create beautiful, customized messages to keep your customers engaged throughout transactional communications, marketing campaigns, and customer service communications. Using these additional channels enables you to react to customer interactions across touchpoints.

Personalizing SMS messages is easy and intuitive so you can create beautiful, customized messages.

6. Search, manage, and tag your digital assets with a new centralized asset library

The new centralized asset library is the cherry on top of all channel content creation within Dynamics 365 Marketing. The new centralized library lets you upload files then AI automatically tags them for you. You can then search, update and add or delete images. No matter where you’re accessing the centralized library from, you’ll have access to the latest assets for your company helping you to build successful multitouch experiences for your customers.

The new centralized Asset library lets you upload files then AI automatically tags them for you

7. Improve journey effectiveness with a built-in cross-journey aggregate dashboard

At the end of the day, you want to know if your customer journey is meeting its objectives. Dynamics 365 Marketing not only helps you to easily set the business and user-behavior goals for your customer journeys, it tracks progress towards those goals and gives you a clear dashboard with the results so you can troubleshoot areas of friction or see what’s working so you can recreate that same approach in other journeys. The new built-in analytics dashboard also makes it easy to view results and act upon cross-journey insights to further optimize individual journeys.

The new built-in analytics dashboard makes it easy to view customer journey results and cross-journey insights.

These preview capabilities are now available to customers who have environments located in the U.S. datacenter, and will be available to customers with environments located in the Europe datacenter starting early next week. When you log into the product, a notification banner will let you know when the preview capabilities are available for you to install. You can install these from the settings area of your app. If you are not a Dynamics 365 Marketing customer yet, get started with a Dynamics 365 Marketing free trial to evaluate them.

We look forward to hearing from you about the release wave 1 updates for Dynamics 365 Marketing and stay tuned, we have a lot more coming!

The post Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing customer journey orchestration preview now available appeared first on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Blog.

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

Improve on-the-job guidance with Dynamics 365 Guides and Azure Object Anchors

Improve on-the-job guidance with Dynamics 365 Guides and Azure Object Anchors

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

As the pace of manufacturing accelerates to meet demands across global customers, organizations are struggling to rapidly train and upskill workers on factory lines and the production floor. In fact, up to 2.4 million U.S. manufacturing jobs could remain unfilled between 2018 and 2028 due to this challenge.1

Today we’re introducing an exciting update to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Guides that promises to improve the way frontline workers access digital guidance in real-world scenarios, empowering them with hands-on opportunities to learn new and revised technical skills on-site. By engaging employees in hands-on, experiential learning, they are better able to retain and apply new skills to meet evolving job demands.

State of learning today

Traditional classroom training methods are not only expensive to implement and maintain but also are often ineffective. On average, employees only apply about 54 percent of new skills learned and business leaders are similarly disenfranchised.2 88 percent of human resource leaders are looking to invest in new technologies and 84 percent of business leaders want to rethink their workforce experience.3 At Microsoft, we see an opportunity to shift the way employees learn by providing organizations with the technology to attract, train, and maintain their workforce. Instead of static, hundred-page manuals that employees consume in a classroom, employees move towards immersive and collaborative experiences that are incorporated into daily workflows. With an estimated 97 million new jobs created by the year 2025, organizations need to provide employees with greater operational knowledge and a seamless, improved way to learn on the job.4 The question is, where do you get started?

On-the-job guidance with Dynamics 365 Guides and Azure Object Anchors

Dynamics 365 Guides is the mixed reality solution for organizations looking to accelerate upskilling and empower employees with transformational learning experiences. With Dynamics 365 Guides, employees can author step-by-step workflows with holograms on a head-mounted display to effectively imitate real-world scenarios.

Visual overlays and markers hover over the next step, using visual reinforcements to help improve muscle memory and reduce downtime.

1. Visual overlays and markers hover over the next step, using visual reinforcements to help improve muscle memory and reduce downtime.

Non-linear guides can incorporate branching logic to account for skill level and workflow variability in which users can easily select the option best fits their skillset or situation.

2. Non-linear guides can incorporate branching logic to account for skill level and workflow variability in which users can easily select the option best fits their skillset or situation.

Operators can stay in the flow of work while following step-by-step instructions overlaid directly in front of them, empowering employees to learn on the job and reduce downtime spent in a classroom.

3. Operators can stay in the flow of work while following step-by-step instructions overlaid directly in front of them.

Yesterday at the Microsoft Business Applications Summit, we announced the latest development: Dynamics 365 Guides with Azure Object Anchors. Azure Object Anchors enable users to automatically align digital content with physical objects, eliminating the need for QR-code markers while improving alignment accuracy. Using Dynamics 365 Guides and Azure Object Anchors, operators can easily move from one workstream to the next as HoloLens’s spatial insight detects anchors and seamlessly launches overlaid digital content. Organizations can move from a manual process, often ripe with inaccuracies, to a walk-up and work experience that improves user learning and reduces errors.

Author using the Guides PC authoring application to create an Object Anchor.An Object Anchor helps HoloLens identify the object in real-timeStep-by-step holographic instruction card is displayed directly over the object

Azure Object Anchors is a recent example of the innovation that stems directly from customer feedback, and we’ve seen it in use recently at Toyota Japan, where they used Azure Object Anchoring to place digital markers in their environment to improve process efficiencies. Without the need for physical markers, Toyota was able to incorporate Azure Object Anchors across dealerships to help technicians get up and running much faster. We are excited to bring this new capability to Dynamics 365 Guides to improve the workflow experience and unlock additional operational efficiencies.

Innovative solutions and technology are needed to address the growing skills gap faced by many industries. As organizations eschew the status quo and adopt experiential learning solutions, like Dynamics 365 Guides, they are better prepared to meet this challenge and empower their employees to learn on the job more effectively.

Learn more about Dynamics 365 Guides and Azure Object Anchors.

1Deloitte Insights and the Manufacturing Institute, 2018 Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute Skills Gap and Future of Work Study, 2018

2Baker, Mary. “Stop Training Employees in Skills They’ll Never Use.” Smarter With Gartner, August 28, 2020.

3Deloitte Human Capital Trends 2019, “Leading the Social Enterprise: Reinvent with a Human Focus,” Deloitte, 2019.

4Russo, Amanda. “Recession and Automation Changes our Future of work, but there are Jobs Coming,” World Economic Forum, 2020.


The post Improve on-the-job guidance with Dynamics 365 Guides and Azure Object Anchors appeared first on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Blog.

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

Improved SLA timer control helps agents track KPIs

Improved SLA timer control helps agents track KPIs

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

Dynamics 365 Customer Service 2021 release wave 1 includes a new, intuitive timer control that displays service-level agreement (SLA) milestones for service cases or any SLA-enabled entity. The new timer addresses key feedback that we received from our customers. The timer is optimized to display SLA metrics, and it supports the display of multiple SLA metrics at the same time.

The SLA timer can be added to SLA-enabled entity forms, and the timer then tracks all SLAs associated with that entity. The timer shows the remaining time with a ticking timer, displays the latest status, and offers a refresh option so that agents can be sure they are seeing the latest status.

Here’s an example of an SLA timer control that shows all the SLAs with their time remaining, status, and timestamp of the last update:

Timer control example

Key capabilities

These key capabilities of the new timer improve agent experience:

  • Near-real time ticking timer: For each SLA, the timer shows the time in days, hours, minutes, or seconds, depending on the remaining time.
  • Multiple SLA KPIs: The timer control shows all the SLA KPIs applicable to that case or entity.
  • Distinct icons for each status: Distinct and clear icons indicate each possible status so that agents can immediately understand the state of their SLAs. For example, the status can show hold/paused, succeeded, failed/expired, nearing noncompliance, in-progress, or canceled.
  • Dynamic icons show near-real time progress: For every SLA, a dynamic icon progresses and is updated in near-real time.
  • Manual refresh and timestamp: An icon in the grid allows agents to manually refresh the status of all SLA KPIs without having to wait for an auto-refresh. The timestamp of last refresh is also updated.

Configuration options give admins more control over SLA timers

Administrators enable the timer control on their entity forms depending on business needs. There are a few configuration options to provide the optimal experience to the agents, and admins can use the classic form designer to configure the SLA timer control.

The following configuration options are available:

  • Filter SLA KPIs: Choose the SLA KPIs to be shown on the form. Control the view by using Data source and views.
  • Update frequency: Choose how frequently all the SLA KPIs will be automatically updated with the latest status. We recommend that you use an auto-refresh interval of 30 minutes or greater for optimal form performance.

Next steps

To learn more about the SLA timer control and how to configure it, read the documentation:

Add an SLA timer to an SLA-enabled entity

Timer control for SLA-enabled entities

Define service-level agreements

Manage service configuration settings

The post Improved SLA timer control helps agents track KPIs appeared first on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Blog.

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

Live from Microsoft Business Applications Summit 2021: Moving forward faster, together

Live from Microsoft Business Applications Summit 2021: Moving forward faster, together

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

It’s amazing how much change we’ve seen across the world in a year.

One year ago, all of us were adapting to a world in lockdown. At today’s Microsoft Business Applications Summit, the worldwide community comes together still dealing with the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Even as challenges continue to reverberate across industriesfrom supply chain disruptions to recurring restrictionsmost businesses are taking steps toward recovery. They’re taking stock of vulnerabilities and opportunities across their organizations, markets, and industriesand the steps needed to move forward into the future.

That’s why today’s Microsoft Business Applications Summit is so timely. As global business communities set sights on what’s next, today’s event is an opportunity for the Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Power Platform community to come together, assess what we’ve learned over the past year, and explore ways to proactively reimagine every layer of business.

Building the agile digital business

Everyone joining the Microsoft Business Applications Summit plays an integral part in moving business forward. Today, we are sharing stories of people and teams transforming the way they do business to be more adaptable, innovative, and impactful.

This past year demonstrated that businesses with a strong digital foundation can push the boundaries of what’s possible and achieve more, even when faced with a global crisis. Without digital capabilities, it’s next to impossible to adapt to rapid change.

At Patagonia, a leader in outdoor clothing and gear, the pandemic accelerated a journey to deliver more meaningful customer experiencesin ways no one expected. Before the crisis, the organization was preparing to move its direct-to-consumer business and selling channels onto Dynamics 365. When lockdowns shut down physical locations, from offices and retail stores to call centers and warehouses, the team turned to Microsoft Teams to coordinate the launch and rapidly adapt operations to a new retail model. With retail locations closed to customers, the team leveraged distributed order management capabilities in Dynamics 365 to turn retail locations into mini-warehouses, keeping employees working and online orders fulfilled, followed by curbside pick-up.

Equipped with the right digital capabilities, the teams at Patagonia demonstrated incredible agility in the face of changepivoting complex operations nimbly and quickly to keep customers equipped with the outdoor gear they depend on.

New ways to connect with your community

Patagonia’s story reminds us that, together, as a team, we can accomplish great things. In a year defined by keeping one’s distance, it’s critical to help our community stay connected.

Today, more than775 user groups bring together more than 2.85 million active community members to connect, learn, and engage one another on topics related to Microsoft technologies. The Microsoft Power Platform and Dynamics 365 communities connect you directly with Microsoft, your industry peers, and high-value content in a diverse, supportive environment.

Today we are introducing a new user group experience with tools to help you find, join, start, and run local user groups for Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Power Platform.

We are supporting the user groups with an administrative team and connection to local Microsoft employees around the world. You can engage with experts to answer questions, learn about the latest innovations, and influence future product roadmaps.

Our goal is to enable a global network of local user groups that are Microsoft-supported and community-led. We invite you to explore the preview of the new experience and get started by creating or joining a local user group.

Helping you move business forward

It’s been a tough year. Every business has had to make difficult decisions, rethink plans, and readjust to conditions few could predict in advance. Moving forward means reshaping the business now to be prepared for future disruptions, large and small. That’s why we are dedicated to continuously providing the technology you need to build agility and resiliency into every layer of your business.

In April, we launched a six-month wave of hundreds of new capabilities, feature updates, and applications across Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Power Platform. This release wave continues our dedication to empower everyone to make an impact with technology that surfaces insights and guidance to the next best step, across every department. By harnessing the data generated across your business, everyone across the company can break through barriers to perform their best and focus on what’s best for the customer.

One way we are bringing this vision to life is by helping you deliver consistent, personalized customer experiences across every touchpoint, from the first point of awareness of your brand through purchase and service, both from the call center and in the field. Today at the Microsoft Business Applications Summit, we’ll catch you up on the latest marketing technologies that help you engage individual customers at scale.

In our keynote presentation, we will demonstrate how the Los Angeles Clippers are able to make game night more personalized by engaging fans with the experiences they prefer. They can now use Dynamics 365 Customer Insightsthe Microsoft customer data platform (CDP)to connect data from a variety of sources to gain a comprehensive view of fans’ preferences and use Dynamics 365 Marketing to orchestrate customer-led journeys in real-time to deliver hyper-personalized experiences for fans on game night. With the combined power of Dynamics 365 Customer Insights and Dynamics 365 Marketing, organizations can deeply understand customer behavior and intent and leverage real-time insights to personalize journeys at scale, unlocking new ways to attract, engage, and delight customers with a more human and empathetic approach.

With the new integration between Dynamics 365 Customer Insights and Microsoft Advertising, advertisers can now create and export limitless set of customer segments from Dynamics 365 Customer Insights into the Microsoft Advertising platform to target on the Microsoft Search Network and Microsoft Audience Network using Customer Match targeting. These segments can be also used on third-party destinations including Google Ads, Marketo, MailChimp, dotdigital, SendGrid, and Autopilot.

Learn more by joining sessions focusing on Dynamics 365 Marketing and Dynamics 365 Customer Insights, including the featured session, “Customer engagement transformed: hyper-personalize experiences to drive better business results.”

Microsoft Power Platform: Making your business more flexible

Innovation and problem solving doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Everyone in the business can play a role in moving the business forward with the right set of digital tools. Our vision for Microsoft Power Platform is to empower every creator in your company to build business solutions, increase collaboration between business and IT teams, and inject more flexibility into your business.

Humana, a U.S.-based healthcare innovation and community wellness company, is helping to bring this vision to life. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Humana used Microsoft Power Platform to rapidly build solutions catering to the needs of their millions of Medicare and specialty members and vulnerable communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. In our keynote presentation, we will demonstrate one of the solutionsa vaccine scheduler and community tracking applications to help members book vaccination appointments with local providers.

As part of this demo, we will also spotlight goals in Power BI, launching in preview today. Goals enables teams to easily curate business metrics that matter most and aggregate them in a unified view. From there, teams can measure progress against their goals, proactively share updates with their teammates, and dive deeper into their data when something needs further analysis. Attend today’s sessions on the Power BI roadmap and new features announcement, and read this overview to learn more.

With Microsoft Power Platform, anyone can solve business challenges with low-code apps, or automate common processesat scale, across departments, or on one’s desktop. Barriers that have blocked innovation and productivity for years are removed.

Join the conversation at Microsoft Business Applications Summit

There’s much more to explore at the Microsoft Business Applications Summit. In addition to the sessions above, we invite you to explore the full catalog of learning sessions and product roundtables. We also invite you to connect, learn, and share with peers and experts to ask questions, engage in discussions, and view content in the Microsoft Power Platform and Dynamics 365 communities.

For more details about what’s new for Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Power Platform, explore recent product updates and the 2021 release wave 1 plans.

The post Live from Microsoft Business Applications Summit 2021: Moving forward faster, together appeared first on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Blog.

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