Announcing Dynamics 365 Contact Center – a Copilot-first cloud contact center to transform service experiences

Announcing Dynamics 365 Contact Center – a Copilot-first cloud contact center to transform service experiences

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

Today we are thrilled to announce the latest milestone in our journey towards modernizing customer service: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Contact Center, a Copilot-first contact center solution that delivers generative AI to every customer engagement channel. With general availability on July 1, this standalone Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) solution enables customers to maximize their current investments by connecting to preferred customer relationship management systems (CRMs) or custom apps.

Modernizing service experiences with generative AI

Customer service expectations are higher than ever. It’s not only frustrating for customers to deal with long wait times, being transferred to the wrong agent or having to repeat themselves multiple times — it’s detrimental to business. When people have poor customer service experiences, over half of them end up spending less or decide to take their business elsewhere (Qualtrics).

Generative AI is transforming customer service and revolutionizing the way contact centers operate — from delivering rich experiences across digital and voice channels that enable customers to resolve their own needs, to equipping agents with relevant context within the flow of work, and ultimately unifying operations to drive efficiency and reduce costs.

We have experienced the transformational impact of generative AI firsthand with Microsoft’s Customer Service and Support (CSS) team, one of the largest customer service organizations in the world. Before the support team migrated to Microsoft’s own tools, CSS was previously using 16 different systems and over 500 individual tools — slowing down service, hindering collaboration and producing inefficient workflows. With Copilot as part of the solution, the CSS team achieved a 12 percent decrease in average handle time for chat engagements and 13 percent decrease in agents requiring peer assistance to resolve an incident. And more broadly, CSS has seen a 31 percent increase in first call resolution and a 20 percent reduction in missed routes.

Dynamics 365 Contact Center

Applying learnings and insights from our own Copilot usage, coupled with multi-year investments in voice and digital channels, Dynamics 365 Contact Center infuses generative AI throughout the contact center workflow — spanning the channels of communication, self-service, intelligent routing, agent-assisted service and operations to help contact centers solve problems faster, empower agents and reduce costs.

Additionally, Dynamics 365 Contact Center is built natively on the Microsoft cloud to deliver extensive scalability and reliability across voice, digital channels and routing while at the same time allowing organizations to retain their existing investments in CRM or custom apps.

Key Dynamics 365 Contact Center capabilities include:

  • Next-generation self-service: With sophisticated pre-integrated Copilots for digital and voice channels that drive context-aware, personalized conversations, contact centers can deploy rich self-service experiences. Combining the best of interactive voice response (IVR) technology from Nuance and Microsoft Copilot Studio’s no-code/low-code designer, contact centers can provide customers with engaging, individualized experiences powered by generative AI.
  • Accelerated human-assisted service: Across every channel, intelligent unified routing steers incoming requests that require a human touch to the agent best suited to help, enhancing service quality and efficiency. When a customer reaches an agent, Dynamics 365 Contact Center gives the agent a 360-degree view of the customer with generative AI — for example, real-time conversation tools like sentiment analysis, translation, conversation summary, transcription and more are included to help improve service, along with others that automate repetitive tasks for agents such as case summary, draft an email, suggested response and the ability for Copilot to answer agent questions grounded on your trusted knowledge sources.
  • Operational efficiency: Contact center efficiency depends just as much on what happens behind the scenes as it does on customer and agent experiences. We’ve built a solution that helps service teams detect issues early, improve critical KPIs and adapt quickly. With generative AI-based, real-time reporting, Dynamics 365 Contact Center allows service leaders to optimize contact center operations across all support channels, including their workforce.

Here’s what customers are saying:

  • “At 1-800-Flowers.com, we pride ourselves on exceptional service and continually raising the bar. With Microsoft Dynamics 365 Contact Center, we’re creating a best-in-class solution that furthers our mission and helps inspire people to give more, connect more, and build more and better relationships.” — Arnie Leap, CIO, 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc.
  • “MSC has always been known for the personal service that we give to our customers; Microsoft Dynamics 365 Contact Center helps us elevate that customer-centric approach.”— Fabio Catassi, CIO, Mediterranean Shipping Company
  • “For our support teams, efficient problem-solving and smooth customer interactions are key to delivering exceptional service. With Dynamics 365 Contact Center and by leveraging its AI capabilities, we see a future where our support teams will deliver that level of service every day.”— Stephen Currie, Vice President Support Operations, Synoptek

If you’re attending Customer Contact Week in Las Vegas, join me for my main stage panel on Thursday, June 6. Be sure to also stop by the Microsoft booth (#151) during the event to see Dynamics 365 Contact Center in action.

Stay tuned for the general availability of Dynamics 365 Contact Center on July 1.

The post Announcing Dynamics 365 Contact Center – a Copilot-first cloud contact center to transform service experiences appeared first on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Blog.

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

Announcing Dynamics 365 Contact Center – a Copilot-first cloud contact center to transform service experiences

Unlocking efficiency: Dynamics 365 Field Service integration for seamless operations 

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

In the dynamic world of service management, every action counts. From frontline workers in the field to back-office functions, the complexity of service delivery impacts the bottom line. Whether it’s a physical product consumed from inventory, or a service provided, both have financial implications, especially when external customers are involved, pricing and profitability come into play.

When a field service organization’s frontline operations run in isolation, consequences can be far-reaching: inaccurate costing, delayed invoicing, dissatisfied customers, and supply chain bottlenecks. To succeed in this complicated environment, organizations must integrate their systems to coordinate their services, finances, and supply chain processes. 

Recognizing this critical need, we recently announced the integration between Dynamics 365 Field Service and Business Central, and today we’re thrilled to announce the general availability of the integration between Dynamics 365 Field Service and Dynamics 365 Finance as well as Supply Chain Management. This powerful integration ensures that the work of frontline workers, service managers, and dispatchers are seamlessly synced with the financial and supply chain heart of your business. Let’s explore some of the details of this native integration.  

Bridging the gap: Dynamics 365 integration 

The challenges 

Even with robust systems like Dynamics 365 Field Service and a strong ERP system like Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management, gaps can emerge when these systems aren’t fully integrated: 

  1. Limited financial insight: Without smooth integration, determining job costs and profitability requires switching between windows and consuming or updated data in multiple systems, which obscures their financial status. 
  2. Supply-driven delays: Separate fieldwork and supply chain processes lead to inventory shortages and service delays. 
  3. Invoicing bottlenecks: Disparate systems and manual processes cause invoicing and payment delays, disrupting cash flow. 
  4. Inconsistent data: Discrepancies across systems create confusion, affecting accuracy of inventory, decision-making, pricing, and costing data. 
The solution

Our native integration addresses these challenges head-on: 

  1. Operational visibility: Real-time insights into finances and inventory empower informed decision-making across your organization. 
  2. Field-informed supply chain: Field Service work orders can drive estimated inventory demand, ensuring seamless supply chain coordination. 
  3. Interconnected financial operations: Automated and powerful billing and invoicing capabilities of Finance informed directly by the services provided speed up payment cycles, improve cash flow, minimize errors, boost profitability, and turn every work order into a growth opportunity. 
  4. Cost-effective integration: Our pre-built solution reduces implementation expenses and accelerates value realization. 
  5. Reduced risk, faster implementation: The native integration minimizes risk while improving implementation timelines. 
Essential features 

Organizations can create new opportunities to improve efficiency, customer satisfaction, and growth by integrating their Dynamics 365 Field Service and finance and operations applications. Key features of this native integration include:  

  • Data alignment: Dual-write and virtual entities ensure all applications operate from a cohesive set of primary tables. 
    • Primary tables alignment: Basic concepts such as currency, units of measure, products and their attributes (like styles, configurations, colors) are synced between applications to ensure a consistent source of truth. 
    • Legal entity alignment: The company concept, native to Finance and Supply Chain, is used to filter critical lookups to put guard-rails in the system, helping drive transactions along company lines. 
    • Projects and accounts: Work orders are seamlessly synced with projects and customer accounts from the finance and operations applications, allowing for precise project tracking and customer billing.  
    • Inventory: Virtual tables expose inventory from Supply Chain directly in Field Service while work order inventory transactions align with item journals, directly impacting inventory levels in the system of record. 
    • Resources: Using dual-write, resources can be aligned directly with workers ensuring field service work order transactions are automatically associated with the right workers and recorded in their respective hours journal and expense journal lines. 
  • Automated and precise invoicing: The integration automates the syncing of transactions, reducing manual work and mistakes. Organizations can decide when to sync the information and post project journals either as they use them or automatically when they finish the work order. 
  • Full insight and management: No financial system can afford to lose transactional data. Our integration gives organizations complete insight and management of data moving between the systems, making sure they can fix issues that stop data from flowing between applications and re-sync the transaction. 

Get started now 

Dynamics 365 Field Service and the Dynamics 365 finance and operations applications work together to unlock efficiencies. Organizations that use these solutions together can boost their productivity, revenue, and customer satisfaction. Grow your business with Dynamics 365 Field Service, Dynamics 365 Finance, and Dynamics 365 Supply Chain.  

Be on the lookout for future post in June for more ways to take advantage of this powerful integration that make it work for any organization.

Ready to get started today? Learn more about the integration, set up your organization, and create your first integrated work order.  

The post Unlocking efficiency: Dynamics 365 Field Service integration for seamless operations  appeared first on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Blog.

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

Leveraging Copilot in Dynamics 365 Sales to prepare for sales meeting

Leveraging Copilot in Dynamics 365 Sales to prepare for sales meeting

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

In today’s rapidly evolving sales environment, staying ahead of the curve is more crucial than ever. The latest updates to Copilot in Dynamics 365 Sales, particularly its enhanced integration with Outlook, are transforming how sales professionals gear up for their meetings. Let’s dive into how these new functionalities not only streamline preparation but also enrich customer interactions. 

Streamlined Outlook integration for comprehensive sales meeting preparation

connect-to-outlook
Connect Outlook/Exchange accounts to fetch meetings and related emails

Copilot in Dynamics 365 Sales expands its integration capabilities with Outlook, specifically accommodating users who have not enabled server-side sync. This pivotal update accelerates adoption, providing a unified platform where sales professionals can access and prepare for their Outlook-scheduled sales appointments directly within Dynamics 365. This coherence not only simplifies the logistical aspects of sales preparation but also enhances the overall efficiency and effectiveness of sales operations. 

Proactive meeting preparation

Copilot fetches meetings for today and the next seven days

Copilot now allows sales teams to fetch Outlook meetings for the upcoming week, enabling them to prepare proactively. The ability to view detailed agendas and prepare in advance transforms how sales teams interact with clients, paving the way for more successful outcomes.

Refined meeting summaries for enhanced client interactions

Enhanced summary helps the seller prepare for client interactions

The upgraded meeting preparation tool in Copilot for Dynamics 365 Sales now offers richer, more detailed summaries. This enhancement provides sales teams with critical insights and key talking points, tailored to each meeting’s context. Such targeted preparation boosts confidence and competence, enabling sales professionals to tailor their approaches to meet the specific needs and interests of each client, enhancing the effectiveness of their pitches. 

Harnessing innovations for sales excellence 

The recent updates to Copilot in D365 Sales are a testament to our commitment to enhance the user experience and functionality of our sales management tools. By leveraging these new features, sales teams can enhance their productivity, improve client interactions, and ultimately drive more successful outcomes. As the digital landscape evolves, tools like Copilot in D365 Sales are invaluable for staying competitive in the fast-paced world of sales. 

Next steps

Learn more on leveraging Copilot in D365 Sales to prepare for meetings: 
Stay ahead with Copilot | Microsoft Learn 

Not a Dynamics 365 Sales customer yet? Take a guided tour and sign up for a free trial at Dynamics 365 Sales overview.    

The post Leveraging Copilot in Dynamics 365 Sales to prepare for sales meeting appeared first on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Blog.

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

Create a data maintenance strategy for Dynamics 365 finance and operations data (part two)

Create a data maintenance strategy for Dynamics 365 finance and operations data (part two)

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

A well-defined data maintenance strategy improves the quality and performance of your database and reduces storage costs. In part one of this series, we covered the roles and responsibilities of your data strategy team, tools for reviewing storage usage, and data management features in Dynamics 365 finance and operations apps that your strategy should include. We recommended that you start your planning by decommissioning unneeded sandbox environments in your tenant. In this post, we focus on creating a data retention strategy for tables as part of your overall storage maintenance strategy.

Create a data retention strategy for tables

After sandbox environments, tables have the greatest impact on total storage volume. Your data maintenance strategy should include a plan for how long to retain the data in specific tables, especially the largest ones—but don’t overlook smaller, easily manageable tables.

Review table storage by data category

In the Power Platform admin center capacity report for the production environment, drill down to the table details.

The Finance and operations capacity report showing database usage by table

Identify the largest tables in your production environment. For each one, determine the members of your data strategy team who should be involved and an action based on the table’s data category. The following table provides an example analysis.

Data category and examples Strategy Team members
Log and temporary data with standard cleanup routines

SALESPARMLINE, USERLOG, BATCHHISTORY, *STAGING

This category of data is temporary by design unless it’s affected by a customization or used in a report. Run standard cleanup after testing in a sandbox.
Note: If reports are built on temporary data, consider revisiting this design decision.
• System admin
• Customization partner or team if customized
• BI and reporting team
Log and temporary data with retention settings

DOCUHISTORY, SYSEMAILHISTORY

This data is temporary by design but has an automatically scheduled cleanup. Most automatic jobs have a retention setting. Review retention parameters and update after testing in a sandbox.   • System admin
• Customization partner or team if customized
Log data used for auditing purposes

SYSDATABASELOG

Establish which department uses the log data and discuss acceptable retention parameters and cleanup routines. • System admin
• Business users
• Controllers and auditors
Workbook data with standard cleanup routines

SALESLINE, LEDGERJOURNALTRANS

Data isn’t temporary by design, but is duplicated when posted as financial. Discuss with relevant department how long workbook data is required in the system, then consider cleanup or archiving data in closed periods. • System admin
• Business users related to the workbook module
• BI and reporting team for operational and financial reports
Columns with tokens or large data formats

CREDITCARDAUTHTRANS

Some features have in-application compression routines to reduce the size of data. Review the compression documentation and determine what data is suitable for compression. • System admin
• Business users
Financial data in closed periods

GENERALJOURNALACCOUNTENTRY

Eventually you can remove even financial data from the system. Confirm with controlling team or auditors when data can be permanently purged or archived outside of Dynamics 365. • System admin
• Controllers and auditors
• Financial business unit
• BI and reporting team for financial reports
Log or workbook data in ISV or custom tables

Should start with the ISV’s three-letter moniker

Discuss ISV or custom code tables with their developers. • System admin
• Customization partner or team
• ISV
• BI and reporting team, depending on the customization

Consider whether table data needs to be stored

For each large table, continue your analysis with the following considerations:

  • Current business use: Is the data used at all? For instance, was database logging turned on by accident or for a test that’s been completed?
  • Retention per environment: Evaluate how long data should be in Dynamics 365 per environment. For instance, your admin might use 30 days of batch history in the production environment to look for trends but would be content with 7 days in a sandbox.
  • Data life cycle after Dynamics 365: Can the data be purged? Should it be archived or moved to long-term storage?

With the results of your analysis, your data strategy team can determine a retention strategy for each table.

Implement your data retention strategy

With your data retention strategy in place, you can start implementing the actions you decided on—running standard cleanups, updating retention settings, configuring archive functions, or reaching out to your ISV or customization partner.

Keep in mind that implementing an effective strategy takes time. You need to test the effect of each action in a sandbox environment and coordinate with multiple stakeholders.

As you implement your strategy, here are some best practices to follow:

  • Delete or archive data only after all stakeholders have confirmed that it’s no longer required.
  • Consider the impact of the data life cycle on customizations, integrations, and reports.
  • Choose the date range or the amount of data to target in each cleanup or archive iteration based on the expected duration and performance of the cleanup or archiving routine, as determined by testing in a sandbox.

Need more help?

Creating a data maintenance strategy for Dynamics 365 finance and operations apps is a complex and ongoing task. It requires a thorough analysis and collaboration among different roles and departments. For help or guidance, contact your Microsoft representative for a Dynamics 365 finance and operations storage capacity assessment.

Learn more

Not yet a Dynamics 365 customer? Take a tour and start a free trial.

The post Create a data maintenance strategy for Dynamics 365 finance and operations data (part two) appeared first on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Blog.

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

Create a data maintenance strategy for Dynamics 365 finance and operations data (part one)

Create a data maintenance strategy for Dynamics 365 finance and operations data (part one)

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

Data maintenance—understanding what data needs to be stored where and for how long—can seem like an overwhelming task. Cleanup routines can help, but a good data maintenance strategy will make sure that you’re using your storage effectively and avoiding overages. Data management in Dynamics 365 isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Your strategy will depend on your organization’s implementation and unique data footprint. In this post, the first of a two-part series, we describe the tools and features that are available in Dynamics 365 finance and operations apps to help you create an effective storage maintenance plan. Part two focuses on implementing your plan.

Your data maintenance team

Data maintenance is often thought to be the sole responsibility of system admins. However, managing data throughout its life cycle requires collaboration from all stakeholders. Your data maintenance team should include the following roles:

  • Business users. It goes without saying that users need data for day-to-day operations. Involving them in your planning helps ensure that removing old business data doesn’t interfere with business processes.
  • BI and reporting team. This team comprehends reporting requirements. They can provide insights into what data is essential for operational reports and should be kept in live storage or can be exported to a data warehouse.
  • Customization team. Customizations might rely on data that’s targeted by an out-of-the-box cleanup routine. Your customization partner or ISV should test all customizations and integrations before you run a standard cleanup in the production environment.
  • Auditors and controllers. Even financial data doesn’t need to be kept indefinitely. The requirements for how long you need to keep posted data differ by region and industry. The controlling team or external auditors can determine when outdated data can be permanently purged.
  • Dynamics 365 system admins. Involving your admins in data maintenance planning allows them to schedule cleanup batch jobs during times when they’re least disruptive. They can also turn on and configure new features.
  • Microsoft 365 system admins.The finance and operations storage capacity report in the Power Platform admin center is helpful when you’re creating a data maintenance strategy, and these admins have access to it.

Tools for reviewing storage usage

After you assemble your team, the next step is to gather information about the size and footprint of your organization’s finance and operations data using the following tools:

  • The finance and operations storage capacity report shows the storage usage and capacity of your Dynamics 365 environments down to the table level.
  • Just-in-time database access allows you to access the database of a sandbox environment that has been recently refreshed from production. Depending on the storage actions you have set up or the time since the last database restore, the sandbox might not exactly match the production environment.

Features for managing storage

A comprehensive data maintenance strategy takes advantage of the data management features of Dynamics 365 finance and operations apps. The following features should be part of your plan.

Environment life cycle management is the process of creating, refreshing, and decommissioning sandbox environments according to your testing and development needs. Review your environments’ storage capacity and usage on the Finance and operations page of the capacity report.

Screenshot of the capacity report.
The Finance and operations capacity report in the Power Platform admin center

Critically assess the environments and their usage and consider decommissioning sandboxes that you no longer need. For instance, if the system is post go-live, can you retire the training environment? Are performance tests less frequent and easier to run in the QA environment when users aren’t testing?

We highly recommend that you don’t skip the sandbox decommissioning discussion. Reducing the number of sandboxes has a far greater effect on total storage usage than any action that targets a specific table.

Cleanup routines are standard or custom functions that automatically delete temporary or obsolete data from the system.

Retention settings schedule automatic cleanup of certain data after a specified length of time. For example, document history includes a parameter that specifies the number of days to retain history. These cleanup routines might run as batch jobs or behind the scenes, invisible to admins.

Archiving functions move historical data to a separate storage location.

Compression routines reduce the size of data in storage. For example, the Compress payment tokens feature applies compression to stored payment property tokens.

Next step

In this post, we covered the roles and responsibilities of your data strategy team, tools for reviewing database storage, and data management features beyond cleanup routines. We suggested that you begin your planning process by reviewing your sandboxes. In part two, we discuss a strategy for specific tables and actions to take.

Learn more

Not yet a Dynamics 365 customer? Take a tour and start a free trial.

The post Create a data maintenance strategy for Dynamics 365 finance and operations data (part one) appeared first on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Blog.

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

Elevating email efficiency using Copilot in Dynamics 365 Sales and the rich text editor 

Elevating email efficiency using Copilot in Dynamics 365 Sales and the rich text editor 

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

In today’s digital-first environment, effective communication is crucial for maintaining strong business relationships and driving sales success. Copilot in Dynamics 365 Sales enhances this aspect by integrating with the rich text editor, revolutionizing how professionals manage their email interactions. This blog delves into how the Copilot’s capabilities can simplify and refine the email drafting process, ensuring every message is crafted to engage and convert. 

Use Copilot to draft and adjust emails 

Copilot integrates seamlessly with the rich text editor, providing a sophisticated platform for composing emails. This integration facilitates the use of AI-driven suggestions during the drafting process, enabling quick creation of precise and impactful communications. The combination of the Rich Text Editor’s user-friendly interface with Copilot’s intelligent recommendations bridges the gap between rapid email drafting and maintaining content quality.

AI-Powered drafting for enhanced precision and relevance

The seller can prompt Copilot to draft an email 

Copilot transforms email drafting into a more efficient and targeted process. Leveraging AI, it offers contextual suggestions based on the customer’s interaction history and previous communications. This not only speeds up the drafting process but also ensures that each email is personalized and relevant, significantly enhancing the quality and effectiveness of outbound communications.

Dynamic adjustments for tailored email interactions

Adjust the length and the tone of the email using Copilot 

Beyond basic drafting, the rich text editor equipped with Copilot allows for dynamic adjustments to emails. For example, fine-tuning aspects like language, tone, and style to better match the recipient’s expectations and the specific sales context. This adaptive functionality ensures that each email is crafted to maximize engagement and impact, fostering stronger customer connections and driving superior business results.

Advancing email communications with Copilot

The synergy between Copilot in Dynamics 365 Sales and the rich text editor marks a significant advancement in how sales professionals handle email communications. By employing AI for both drafting and refining emails, sales teams can optimize their time on high-value sales activities. As businesses navigate the complexities of digital interactions, Copilot emerges as an indispensable tool, empowering sales organizations to achieve efficiency and effectiveness in their communication strategies.

Next steps

Read more on Copilot in D365 Sales email integration: 

Add the Copilot control to the rich text editor  

Use Copilot in the email rich text editor  

Add the rich text editor control to a model-driven app  

Manage feature settings – Power Platform   

Not a Dynamics 365 Sales customer yet? Take a guided tour and sign up for a free trial at Dynamics 365 Sales overview.   

The post Elevating email efficiency using Copilot in Dynamics 365 Sales and the rich text editor  appeared first on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Blog.

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