Microsoft Dynamics 365 Spring '18 Updates

What's happening with D365 for Sales?

Accelerate digital transformation with these innovative releases in Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales


Microsoft has recently announced the Spring '18 update for Microsoft Dynamics 365, and with it come some pretty awesome updates to what many consider the core (in traditional CRM terms, anyway): Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales.

Over the last several releases we have seen Microsoft heading in really exciting and logical directions with sales, something this release broadens and deepens, namely:

  • More intelligence
  • More Office 365
  • More LinkedIn

The last major release (in 2017) strongly focussed on the Unified Interface framework, which is visually stunning and overcomes the aesthetics barrier that some users battled with in earlier versions of Dynamics - if you haven't seen the Unified Interface, make sure you check it out. (On a side note, yes, we do still come across organisations who say they looked at Dynamics 5 years ago and it's not for them! But as Kurzweil's law of accelerating returns says….well, let's just say technology moves incredibly quickly and Dynamics 365 is a great example of this.)

"Ones to watch" in this release include

LinkedIn Sales Navigator - this is especially powerful when you consider LinkedIn as an extension to Dynamics 365 for Sales and starts to bring intelligence into the context of your opportunities, contacts and accounts. This integration of LinkedIn insights will deepen over time, benefiting from Microsoft's ownership of LinkedIn.

Embedded Intelligence (previously Relationship Insights), encompassing:

  • Relationship Assistant offers timely and actionable insights by continuously analysing customer interaction data stored in Dynamics 365, Microsoft Exchange, and other sources, and then generating a collection of action cards with suggestions for relevant next steps.
  • Auto Capture scans a sales user’s Outlook inbox for messages and appointments relevant to deals they’re working in Dynamics 365, and then offers them as candidates for tracking. Watch video.
  • Email Engagement monitors actions taken by recipients such as opening an email, clicking a link, opening an attachment, or replies. Sales users can schedule when an email is sent and receive follow-up reminders.

Relationship Analytics (Preview) - this introduces intelligent scoring of the health of users' relationships with customers, including using AI (i.e. Microsoft's Cognitive Services for intent and sentiment, as used in Microsoft Social Engagement) to score sentiment and determine customers' satisfaction and engagement levels.

Relationship Overview
Relationship Analytics Dashboard

This release continues the exciting momentum we've seen from Microsoft's recent releases, taking advantage of the synergy between Dynamics 365, Office 365 and LinkedIn and the wealth of data and insight contained in these platforms. The growing degree of "baked in" insight and assistance powered by AI is empowering greater personal productivity and focus in these tools we use every days - especially exciting given the vast potential yet to come. This release of Dynamics is fulfilling Microsoft's strategic vision of helping people and organisations to achieve more. 


Written by Dan Sykes
CTO - Customer Experience Solutions, Microsoft Dynamics


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