Microsoft is preparing to add a host of new features and offerings as part of its Dynamics 365 Spring '18 update, with the new capabilities becoming available from April.
The update to Microsoft’s cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform will see additional features for its Dynamics 365 for Marketing offering, which will also be made generally available as part of the Spring '18 release.
“This is a new marketing automation application for companies that need more than basic email marketing at the front end of a sales cycle to turn prospects into relationships,” Microsoft Business Applications Group corporate vice president, James Phillips, said in a blog post.
The vendor also announced the introduction of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales Professional, a new streamlined version of its sales application with core sales force automation capabilities, designed to optimise sales processes and productivity.
Microsoft is also talking up the artificial intelligence capabilities being rolled out into its Dynamics 365 platform, saying that the new embedded intelligence capabilities in its Dynamics 365 for Sales offering, for example, include a so-called relationship assistant designed to help sellers see alerts and reminders to move relationships forward.
“Across Microsoft we’ve invested billions of dollars over the last two decades in cutting-edge AI research," Phillips said. "These investments are infused throughout Dynamics 365 and are now available with the spring 2018 release."
At the same time, the company announced the Microsoft Power BI Insights apps, aimed at delivering out-of-the-box insights tailored to specific business scenarios, for use across marketing, sales, service, operations, finance and talent.
The insights themselves are generated by applying advanced intelligence to a subset of unique Microsoft data. The Power BI Insights apps are customisable in Power BI and further tailorable via the application of Azure data services.
According to Phillips, Power BI for Sales Insights and Power BI for Service Insights will be available in preview this (Northern Hemisphere) spring.
The Power BI for Sales Insights offering will include an embedded experience for Dynamics 365 for Sales, which lets users tap into relationship analytics for single relationship health score calculated from large volumes of data.
The Spring release also sees a “significant” update to the Common Data Service for Apps that ships with PowerApps. The update is aimed at enabling a broad set of capabilities for modeling sophisticated business solutions.
“Combining these new capabilities with PowerApps existing high productivity point-and-click app development approach unlocks new potential for customers to customise existing apps across Dynamics 365 and Office 365, and quickly build new ones,” Phillips said.
Meanwhile, the spring update will also include a new capability in Power BI, the Common Data Service for Analytics, which has the potential to reduce the complexity of integrating and analysing data siloed across business apps thanks to an extensible business application schema built on the common data model.
“It is this collection of integrated capabilities spanning the Microsoft Cloud that supercharge Dynamics 365, creating what we believe is an unmatched platform for digital transformation,” Phillips added.