Here's how Microsoft is building on its Power Platform and Dynamics 365 vision for the connected business cloud.

Lynn Haber

September 23, 2019

4 Min Read
Swinging lightbulb

Microsoft continues to build on a strategy of positioning its Power Platform and Dynamics 365 as the world’s connected business cloud with Monday’s announcement of an expanded Dynamics 365 portfolio with new AI-driven features, and the addition of new business applications that target the retail industry. 

The company first introduced the new Microsoft Dynamics 365 features and applications last week at a press and analyst event, also presenting its vision for retail at that time. 


Microsoft’s Alysa Taylor

“With the expansion of the portfolio, we can provide a 360-degree view of your business. One that goes beyond data capture and backward-looking insights, to unification of all data, providing forward looking intelligence,” said Amy Hood, Microsoft’s chief financial officer, in a discussion with Alysa Taylor, corporate vice president, business applications and global industry, in a blog. “Powered by Azure AI, these tightly integrated capabilities can make AI real for businesses today and enable employees to proactively drive decisions and actions.” 

Here’s a closer look at new features for Dynamics 365

  • Microsoft has added new capabilities to Dynamics 365 Customer Insights that address complex B2B journeys by mapping leads and contacts to buying groups, accounts and account hierarchies, giving customers the ability to build segments and measure the relationship between an account and contact. Microsoft calls this providing a 360-degree view of the customer in order to help them determine the best action to drive personalized engagement at scale. 

  • Dynamics 365 Virtual Agent for Customer Service is now generally available. New features include the ability to create and deploy virtual agents that engage in personalized conversations with customers without the need to write code. The company is releasing new authoring and web publishing improvements that will enable teams to deploy a virtual agent on a demo website for testing and stakeholder feedback before deploying on an external-facing website. Infused with new AI-driven insight, Dynamics 365 Virtual Agent for Customer Service allows managers to monitor performance metrics for the virtual agent. A new customer satisfaction dashboard allows customer service managers to view scores and bot topics driving those scores.

  • New capabilities that improve visibility and insight into the shop floor and equipment operations have been added to Microsoft’s IoT Intelligence for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management. In particular, Microsoft has added IoT Intelligence capabilities that can connect IoT signals from mission-critical assets with business transaction data, enabling manufacturing and distribution to proactively manage production and stock in real-time, leverage predictive analytics to predict maintenance needs for business-critical equipment, and increase quipment performance and throughput. 

Here’s how Microsoft is building on its vision for the retail industry with new applications. 

  • Dynamics 365 Commerce, an omnichannel solution, enables retailers and e-tailers to unify the back office, in-store, call center and digital experiences. The new retail application uses intelligent systems to provide deep insights to help customers with advanced decision making and personalization to drive brand loyalty, optimize operations and supply chain efficiencies and improve business outcomes. 

  • Dynamics 365 Connected Store helps physical retailers understand and improve the in-store experience by analyzing disparate data from video cameras and IoT sensors to provide real-time and predictive insights that help store managers and employees make better decisions. This new application uses observational data generated as customers move around the store, as well as the status of store equipment and product, to create employee alerts and actionable insights to improve store efficiency. Dynamics 365 Connected Store supported by Azure IoT Central uses IoT sensors to monitor temperature and humidity to detect any anomalies to protect inventory. 

  • Dynamics 365 Product Insights brings insights from connected physical products and gives visibility into product performance and customer interactions so organizations can improve their customer relationships and engagement. 

Expect to see the rollout of new features and applications beginning in October.

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About the Author(s)

Lynn Haber

Content Director Lynn Haber follows channel news from partners, vendors, distributors and industry watchers. If I miss some coverage, don’t hesitate to email me and pass it along. Always up for chatting with partners. Say hi if you see me at a conference!

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