Digesting the 2024 Release Wave for Microsoft D365 – Part One

Last week Microsoft released the Dynamics 365: 2024 release wave 1 plan.

All 646 pages of it. 

Our team is actively digging through the Dynamics 365 release notes to uncover the new features and updates that are the most relevant and impactful for our customers.  

While we digest the full release, here are a few features our team is excited about. 

From a Development Perspective: Blake Scarlavai, Principal Consultant, 5x Microsoft MVP 

Feature: Use generative AI testing for canvas apps 

Business Value:  

For leadership, it can be hard to ensure that makers have fully tested their apps with all scenarios covered before allowing those apps to be deployed, especially at scale. For makers, it can be challenging to write complete test scripts as well as automating them. This new feature for copilot can now help makers as they’re building their canvas apps to build the appropriate test cases and scripts, that will generate the elements needed to test the app. 

Feature Details: 

As a maker, you can: 
Leverage copilot for Power Apps Studio to create and automate your tests 

As an advanced maker or developer, you can:  
Leverage copilot for Power Apps Studio to generate test assets and use the integrated VS code experience to edit test scripts in the context of the app. 

Our Take: 

We haven’t had a chance to get our hands on this feature yet as it is early access sometime this month, but we’ll report back with more details. My gut says this first release won’t be fully featured but typically Microsoft does a great job of slowly adding more capabilities in. Excited to see this first release soon and very excited to have more features like this built into Copilot!

From a Consulting Perspective: Pete Majer, Principal Consultant

Feature: Get real-time insights with Copilot on the home page  

Business Value:  

With the new Copilot in Dynamic 365 Sales home experience, you get a powerful tool for achieving sales excellence. Real-time insights and effortless natural language chat functionality empower you to efficiently manage sales activities, nurture customer relationships, and drive sales success. This immersive interface offers an expanded workspace, enhancing the focus on productive conversations with Copilot. 

You can seamlessly access insights from various records and prioritize your actions intelligently. The natural language chat with AI-powered Copilot facilitates deeper insights and quick access to customer details, deal information, meeting schedules, and more. This innovative solution elevates sales management to a new level, enabling you to excel in your roles and drive revenue growth.  

Feature Details 

As a seller, you can:  

  • Access Copilot right on your home page. 
  • Stay on top of changes with real-time insights across different entities.  
  • Find out about any follow-up activities from emails  
  • Get notified and prepare for your upcoming meetings. 
  • Win more deals by staying on top of your sales pipeline. 
  • Read the latest news about your account. 

Our Take: 

This feature rolls out in February 2024 for early access and April 2024 for GA, so we haven’t had a chance to get our hands on it yet. However, it seems a new home page area of the Sales Hub will be available, including a full page dedicated to Copilot. I see this as a great “one-stop-shop” where an end user can land when first entering the system, to then be able to navigate through the application based on what questions are asked and answers are provided.  

I see this being a great addition to the product to centralize everything Copilot can provide (more and more functionality is added to each release). It’s yet to be seen if this control can be added to a custom Model Driven App.  

From a Marketing and Sales Perspective: Ariel Upton, Head of Growth

Feature: Boost Your Sales with Product Content Recommendations, 365 Sales – Copilot and AI Innovation

Business Value: 

As a sales professional, you often find it challenging to find the right product information in a timely manner. With the personalized content recommendation feature, you’re presented with the right document at the right time, significantly enhancing meeting preparations, saving time, and fostering deeper customer connections. The seamless integration of content recommendations directly within the workflow ensures that you remain focused, enabling you to maximize the value of each interaction. 

Feature Details: 

As an admin, you can:  

  • Configure any knowledge source to retrieve product-specific content.  

As a seller, you can:  

  • Get contextual content recommendations based on the products included in the opportunity, from sources like SharePoint.  
  • Leverage the Copilot prompts for easy retrieval of product-specific content. 

Our Take: This feature is a win for sellers and marketing alike. For sellers, having relevant content at your fingertips is key to providing value. With this feature, you have access to up-to-date content based on the opportunity and don’t have to ask, “Does anyone have a deck or content on x,y,z?” 

Marketing teams can create a single repository for content, which will eliminate stale materials on shared drives and reduce organizational headaches and the need for communication plans for future updates.