Announcing Dynamics CRM Spring 2016 Wave

New Release Delivers ground-breaking service capabilities, portal solutions and even more intelligence 

It is my honor to announce today that our spring wave of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 will be available to our online customers in Q2 of this calendar year.  This release is focused on the integration of two of our recent acquisitions (FieldOne and Adxstudio), providing our customers with market leading capabilities for field service and portal solutions for community engagement.  We are also taking this opportunity to further extend our service capabilities with the introduction of project service.  Together, our field and project service solutions take the definition of service to a new level in the industry.  With our full range of service solutions for self-service, agent-assisted service and onsite service, we are helping our customers transform customer service. 

Our new approach to service enables a fundamental transition that we’re seeing to the everything-as-a-service model.  Companies are moving away from old models of selling separate products and services as single transactions to more comprehensive solutions that include service for those products.  Companies are now able to access not only their internal resources to perform service, but, increasingly, they can also leverage the skills and availability of third party resources.  With IoT technology there is a whole new opportunity to monitor device data, detect anomalies and proactively identify next best actions for maintenance and repairs.  The new model of everything-as-a service enables managed service offerings, including product installation, ongoing and preventative maintenance, upgrades, overhauls and ongoing billing.

With the new capabilities we’re introducing in our Spring  wave to support field and project service, organizations will have the ability to schedule, manage and deliver onsite service, whether it be their field technician who is supporting multiple customers on a single day, or complex, multi-day projects.  Field service matches the requirements for service calls with the available resources and end-to-end processes span from case management through to work order completion.  Project service enables complex, multi-day engagements and optimizes resourcing with intelligent, skills-based assignments. Through our service delivery foundation, we bring project service and field service together within the core CRM solution to help companies manage resources across all sources of demand – no other vendor in the market is doing this and these new capabilities make Dynamics CRM uniquely positioned to support the breadth of self, assisted and on-site service.     

The CRM Spring 2016 wave also introduces community engagement through portal solutions.  Our portal capabilities enable organizations to better connect with customers, partners and employees, and provide these groups with a streamlined way to access information, obtain assistance and perform tasks.  We are taking a unique approach where portals for these communities are powered with the same data and processes accesses by traditional CRM users.  Organizations can easily configure the amount of information accessed by their communities, enabling more coordinated communications among different teams and facilitating a single, consistent voice.

To bring more intelligence and productivity to CRM, the spring wave introduces new guided navigation capabilities that provide application users with guided tasks and support, personalized to the user.  These new capabilities are role-based and contextual, making onboarding new application users quick and easy, helping to drive business user productivity. 

We are also enhancing the intelligence capabilities of our solutions with the introduction of two new machine learning scenarios for Microsoft Social Engagement – adaptive learning and automated triage.  Adaptive learning, powered by Azure Machine Learning, enables users to customize sentiment scoring models and the system will learn from it to reach higher sentiment precision. For example, a ski or snowboard manufacturer receiving posts with slang expressions such as "crazy" or "sweet" can adjust the model to reflect language commonly used by their communities.  Going forward, sentiment analysis will understand these expressions reflect a positive comment.  With automated triage, Microsoft Social Engagement will automatically detect intention in social posts and, using machine learning, route them as cases or leads into CRM – boosting sales performance and organizational efficiency. 

I encourage you to see for yourself these great capabilities in action by watching our video of the CRM spring wave features including demonstrations of field and project service, portals, guided navigation and intelligent social. I am also pleased to announce the launch of a new CRM Roadmap site powered by Dynamics CRM Online 2016 and our new portal capabilities. This publically accessible site will enable a real time view into our available and planned product capabilities.   

It’s an exciting time to lead the CRM business at Microsoft. I couldn’t be more optimistic about the future of our product and of our customers.  Advances in the cloud and intelligence are making possible new capabilities and scenarios that not only help companies adapt their customer engagement to the digital era, but also use that engagement to secure and expand their business.  In the coming weeks and months, you’ll see me elaborate on these topics as well as share stories of how our customers are transforming their business through intelligent customer engagement.  And we will of course keep you posted as we get close to general availability of the spring wave. 

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