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Dynamics 365

Release wave 2 launches with over 400 updates, new apps, and industry solutions

2019 release wave 2 launches with new applications and hundreds of capabilities across Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform.

Today marks the general availability of more than 400 new feature updates and capabilities across Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform. This release wave—one of our largest to date—showcases our continued investment in artificial intelligence to unlock proactive insights and drive intelligent action to accelerate your business transformation.

The updates I’ve highlighted below—in addition to new AI-infused and industry-focused capabilities announced last week—are reflected in the latest release notes for Dynamics 365 and the Microsoft Power Platform. We’ll also highlight some of these capabilities at our Virtual Launch Event on Thursday, October 10th.

AI goes to work for proactive, predictive business results

As market disrupters know, a business can no longer function in a vacuum with teams, ideas, and data locked in silos. That’s why Microsoft has invested billions of dollars in AI research to bring insights to everyone in context of the task at hand—a key to transforming from a reactive to proactive organization.

With this release, we’re introducing a wave of new AI-infused applications and capabilities that enable more people across the organization to take informed actions and deliver exceptional personalized experiences, powered by an unprecedented level of advanced intelligence being delivered with Microsoft Dynamics 365 applications.

As announced last week, Dynamics 365 Product Insights will connect product telemetry to Microsoft Business Applications, bringing insights from connected physical products and give visibility into product performance and customer interactions. For organizations like Ecolab—an innovator in water, hygiene and energy technologies—Dynamics 365 Product Insights will capture real-time information from products like dishwashers, providing deeper insights that can reduce water usage while increasing product performance and reliability.

In addition, we’re enhancing applications to help organizations better understand and serve customers. An update for Dynamics 365 Customer Insights will go beyond B2C scenarios to allow your organization to generate insights into complex B2B journeys to better understand and serve leads and accounts. Read how segment leaders Marstons and Tivoli are finding success with Customer Insights.

Dynamics 365 Virtual Agent for Customer Service, currently in preview, will be enhanced with new authoring capabilities to more rapidly test and deploy AI-powered chat bots to free agents to focus on more complex issues, while providing deep insights into customer satisfaction metrics. For instance, TruGreen, the largest lawn care company in the U.S., is deploying a Dynamics 365 Virtual Agent to respond faster to its 2.3 million customers.

Browse the release notes for a comprehensive overview of new and improved features to our growing portfolio of insights applications powered by Azure AI.

Reimaging retail

The future of retail is all about connected experiences—personalized, secure, and friction-free experiences shoppers expect.

To deliver this unified experience, retailers need intelligent business practices driven by connected data to optimize operations, inventory, supply chain, fulfillment, service, and frontline, customer-facing interactions. Dynamics 365 Commerce delivers on these needs. It’s an omnichannel solution for retail and e-commerce companies that unifies back office, in-store, call center and digital experiences, providing frictionless, consistent engagement across every online and offline channel. Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, the third largest premium wine company in the U.S., is  one of the first organizations to deploy Dynamics 365 Commerce.

Just as important, retailers need insights from data beyond transactions and clicks, such as observational data generated as customers move through physical retail spaces—untapped data sources that can help retailers make sense of their entire business, enabling them to act faster and run smoother.  Dynamics 365 Connected Store delivers a new level of insight into the retail space by analyzing data from video cameras and IoT sensors to provide real-time and predictive insights to optimize the in-store experience. Connected Store unlocks the ability for retailers to be proactive in every aspect of their business, from alerting staff to restock shelves, optimizing store layouts to tracking long-term trends in shopping patterns week-by-week, season-to-season.

Together, these applications bridge data-driven intelligence with modern business applications that help retailers deliver the personalized, differentiated shopping experiences consumers expect.

More secure and personalized banking and commerce

Last week at Sibos 2019, the annual banking and financial conference hosted in London, we announced a trifecta of enhancements to empower intelligent banking with AI on our secure, compliant cloud.

Dynamics 365 Fraud Protection is generally available starting today, providing a powerful fraud protection solution to decrease fraud costs and help increase acceptance rates for customer payment transactions with e-commerce merchants. Learn how Microsoft reduced fraud-related costs by $76 million over a two-year period using the technology now available to every organization.

We also enhanced the Microsoft Banking Accelerator, released in July, with use cases for retail banking and sample APIs for interoperability with the Banking Industry Architecture Network (BAIN). These enhancements enable banking and financial organizations to rapidly build intelligent, data-driven solutions across retail and commercial lines of business, accelerating time to value for a range of customer scenarios.

Power Platform: new capabilities to analyze, act, and automate

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: the Microsoft Power Platform community is second to none, inspiring us to deliver in each release the improvements and new capabilities to help you and your organization achieve more. We’re excited to share this wave of updates across PowerApps, Microsoft Flow, and Power BI.

We’re updating PowerApps with improvements to help you build higher-quality apps more easily and better engage your customer and partners. Portals, allows anyone to build a low-code web portal that surfaces data stored in Common Data Service to employees or users outside their organizations. Check out the full list of PowerApps updates.

Microsoft Flow makers will find new features for smarter and more powerful experiences that let them leverage world-class business process capabilities, including working with business processes offline. And administrators benefit from richer tooling, such as PowerShell Command lets (cmdlets) and the new Power Platform Admin Center. See what’s new with Flow.

AI Builder is now generally available in PowerApps and Microsoft Flow, allowing everyone from pro developers to front-line workers to build apps and workflows that leverage AI models based on our low code platform.

For this release, we’ve focused Power BI updates on four key areas that drive a data culture: intuitive experiences, a unified BI platform, big data analytics, and pervasive artificial intelligence (AI). Check out the full list of Power BI updates.

Attend our Virtual Launch Event for a closer look at this wave’s highlights

We invite you to attend our Virtual Launch Event on Thursday, October 10th streaming live at 8:00 am Pacific time, then on-demand, for a first look at the new innovations coming to market. Be sure to register for updates and reminders leading up to the event, and check out our October release page for detailed release plans for Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform, key dates and deep dive demo videos.