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Trends and insights for CRM AI and ERP AI in 2024

Information taken from a blog by Efe Abugo, Senior Integrated Marketing Manager on Microsoft.com. You can view the full article here.

All signs indicate that in the years to come organizations will continue to find new, innovative ways to use CRM AI and ERP AI—and that their employees will embrace the shift.

In recent research that looks at how AI is transforming work, Microsoft surveyed hundreds of early users of generative AI. Key findings showed that 70% of users said generative AI helped them to be more productive, and 68% said it improved the quality of their work. Also, 64% of salespeople surveyed said generative AI helped them to better personalize customer engagements and 67% said it freed them to spend more time with customers.

Looking forward, the momentum that AI in business built in 2023 is expected to only grow in 2024. In fact, IDC predicts that global spending on AI solutions will reach more than USD500 billion by 2027.

Some of the specific AI trends to watch for in 2024 include:

• Expansion of data-driven strategies and tactics. User-friendly interfaces with copilot capabilities and customizable dashboards with data visualizations will allow employees in every department to access AI-generated insights and put them in context. With the information they need right at their fingertips, employees will make faster, smarter decisions.

• Prioritization of personalization and user experiences. Predictive sales and marketing strategies will mature with assistance from AI in forecasting customer behaviors and preferences and mapping customer journeys, helping marketers be more creative and sellers better engage with customers. Also, AI-powered CRM platforms will be increasingly enriched with social media and other data, providing deeper insights into brand perception and customer behavior.

• Greater efficiencies using AI and cloud technologies. Combining the capabilities of AI-powered CRM and ERP tools with scalable, flexible cloud platforms that can store huge amounts of data will drive new efficiencies. Organizations will also increasingly identify new use cases for automation, then quickly build and deploy them in a cloud environment. This will further boost workforce productivity and process accuracy.

• Increased scrutiny of AI ethics. Responsible innovation requires organizations to adhere to ethical AI principles, which may require adjustments to business operations and growth strategies. To guide ethical AI development and use, Microsoft has defined responsible AI principles. It also helps advance AI policy, research, and engineering.

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Dynamics 365 Monthly Update – May 2017

By Ryan A. Anderson as written on blogs.msdn.microsoft.com

Featured News

WannaCrypt Software Attack Update

The WannaCrypt software attack that occurred recently is likely to have a minimal effect on CRM/Dynamics 365 customers. Microsoft has issued a statement about the attack: The need for urgent collective action to keep people safe online: Lessons from last week’s cyberattack.
Below is a description of the incident:
A significant number of customers have reported ransomware (Win32.WannaCrypt) that was suspected to be introduced into their environment via email, this malware is using social engineering to target companies. Microsoft Anti-Malware products have been updated and detect the present version of this malware from definition version onwards. The ransomware then propagates in the Customers environment exposing a windows vulnerability that was patched in March 2017 encrypting the contents of the hard drive
Remediation Steps:
Impacted customers should work through their disaster recovery plans to rebuild and/or patch their systems. Microsoft support will render assistance to infected customers in priority and based on business impact.
  1. Install Security Update MS17-010, to PREVENT further spread of the malware.
  2. Create the registry key to disable SMBv1 (used only if Security Update MS17-010 cannot be applied).
  3. Updated Antivirus definitions should be applied (Microsoft Anti-Malware products detect the present version of this malware from definition version onwards).
Microsoft Security Response Center Guidance is published here. Microsoft Security has made available the security fix for Microsoft Security Bulletin MS17-010 for Windows 2003 and Windows XP.
Update the SDK to remove reference to the Azure Access Control Service (ACS)
With the deprecation of the Azure Access Control Service (ACS), it is important to update the SDK authentication code to remove all references to the ACS. Effective from versions Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2016 Update 1 (v8.1.1) and Microsoft Dynamics 365 (v8.2), Microsoft removed Live ID support and ACS dependencies on the server-side. It is required to update the references in all client side components as well.
For more information about the impacted versions and a workaround, review this article on the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Team blog.

Dynamics 365 Insider Preview Program

Microsoft will invite customers and business partners to join The Dynamics 365 Insider Program. This program is committed to:
  • providing a solid platform for open and honest feedback to the Research & Development team
  • a forum to experience new features and functionality firsthand
  • a window to road test new software updates
Quite a few changes will be implemented for this new preview program. The onboarding and participation experience are the biggest changes, including:
  • continuous preview enrollment via “one time” registration
  • acceptance of Legal Terms & Conditions covers multiple Dynamics 365 previews
  • advanced notice of Dynamics 365 Private Previews
  • previews will now only be offered for Dynamics 365 Online products
  • feedback and surveys will be continuous vs. one time
  • increased opportunity to participate in private previews
If you’re interested in registering for the program:
  1. Click this link: Register Today – Dynamics 365 Insider Preview Program
  2. Select an available program on the right
  3. Choose “Continue” to complete the required profile information
If you have any questions, contact Dynamics 365 Insider Preview Help.

Updates & Releases

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Service Pack 1.1 (on-premises)
Update 0.1 for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Service Pack is now available and includes resolutions for some of the following issues:
  • The Outlook client fails initial configuration with single sign-on (SSO)
  • “Access Is Denied” error message occurs when you change an owner of a record through a lookup field
  • “Access Is Denied” error message occurs when you change an owner of a record through a lookup field.
  • Cancelling SLA Key performance indicators (KPI) does not cancel SLA timer.
Review the Knowledge Base article for a detailed list of resolutions and the Podcast and Overview for more information.

Microsoft Social Engagement 2017 Update 1.4

The MSE 2017 Update 1.4 was just released in May 2017.
New Features
  • Engagement Analytics with Power BI: the Power BI content pack for MSE was extended by a new Engagement Analytics report; adding to the Engagement Performance and Team Performance reports previously released. The report provides additional insights with metrics based on location, sentiment, tags, and authors.
  • Improved usability in Social Selling Assistance: the Social Selling Assistant experience received a first polishing pass. Some updates were made to the UI and the main navigation now contains a direct link to the Post view in Analytics, filtered for private messages, so users can get to their customers’ messages in a single click.
  • Improved visibility of links, text and tooltips when using the dark theme.
  • Fixed an issue that prevented sending private messages to Facebook from within Microsoft Social Engagement.
For more information, review the following article post.

Supported email service configurations for server-side synchronization

Dynamics 365 customers with an email service included in their installation are faced with the decision of using server-side synchronization or the email router/Outlook synchronization. In both situations, there are multiple things to consider, including data encryption. This Technet article provides a table showing what’s supported by server-side synchronization for each type of installation. There are also scenarios included that aren’t supported by server-side synchronization.

Additional News

Microsoft to deliver Microsoft Cloud from datacenters in Africa

Few places in the world are as dynamic and diverse as Africa today. In this landscape, there is enormous opportunity for the cloud to accelerate innovation, support people across the continent who are working to transform their businesses, explore new entrepreneurship opportunities and help solve some of the world’s hardest problems. For these reasons, Microsoft is very excited to share our plans to deliver the Microsoft Cloud from datacenters in Africa.
Services include Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics 365 — from datacenters located in Johannesburg and Cape Town, with initial availability in 2018. This announcement brings Microsoft to 40 cloud regions around the world — more than any other cloud provider — and will help organizations and people from Cairo to Cape Town accelerate their journey to cloud computing.
For more information about this opportunity, take a look at this post on the Official Microsoft Blog.

Changes in the Dynamics 365 Portal trial strategy

As part of the Dynamics CRM 2016 SP1 release, Microsoft introduced the Portal Service for Dynamics CRM and launchedhttps://experience.dynamics.com, where customers can request a Managed Portal trial to use in their Dynamics tenant.
With the launch of the Dynamics 365 service, the whole trial strategy for Dynamics 365 service has been redefined. Portal trials are now bundled as part of Dynamics 365 trials along with other add-ons like field service and project service. Apart from giving an integrated trial experience, the bundled Portal trials get converted into Paid version automatically when you purchase your Dynamics 365 subscription. This functionality was not available with Managed Portal trials before.
For more information, review Changes in Dynamics 365 Portal trial strategy.

Universal Resource Scheduling Solution for Dynamics 365 Update 1

This past fall, Microsoft introduced the Universal Resource Scheduling Solution in Dynamics 365. Regardless of what type of scheduling your organization is engaged in: Field Service scheduling, Project Service Scheduling, Case scheduling, Lead scheduling, custom scheduling, the Universal Resource Scheduling Solution helps you book your skilled resources to the right work, at the right time, independent of work stream.
Update 1 is now available with new features to enhance the scheduling solution, including:
  • Fulfilled and remaining duration: an out of the box way to track fulfillment of a requirement and filter out requirements which have been fully scheduled
  • Configurable Colors on Resource Summary Rows: option to add colors to the resource summary rows for the daily, weekly, and monthly schedule board views
  • Requirement Search: Users can now search for requirements in the requirements list on the schedule board.
For more information on the Universal Resource Scheduling Solution update, review this post on the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Team blog. Additional update information can be found here.

Sample apps for Project Service Automation T&E entry

Source code samples are now available for two mobile apps which can be used with the Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation solution. One app is for project team members to enter their time entries and the other app is for them to enter their expenses. Review this blog post for more details on the apps and where to access the download.

Training Corner

Training Sites & eLearning

Get the most up to date training and eLearning information for Dynamics 365 from the Help Center. The highly anticipated Training & Adoption Kit for Dynamics 365 is also available for download which includes user guides, quick reference cards, eBooks for end users and admins. Feel free to modify the content and distribute to your customers.
Want to know what new features are available for both online and on-prem customers? Then check out What’s new in Dynamics 365 Help and Training.

Roll Back Upgrade via Restore Feature

Did you know the Backup/Restore feature in Dynamics 365 can be used to roll back an upgrade? Once upgraded, customers can select a backup from the previous version and restore to it. This will effectively roll the instance back to the previous version.

Invite Users to access Dynamics 365 with Azure business-to-business (B2B)

Customers can invite other users to access their Dynamics 365 CRM (online) instance through their Azure portal. Invited users can access the Dynamics 365 CRM (online) instance using their own login credentials once an Office 365 Global admin has assigned them a Dynamics 365 license and a security role. For more details on how to invite a user, review this article.

Introducing the Data Export Service for Dynamics 365

The Microsoft Dynamics 365-Data Export Service is a free add-on service made available on Microsoft AppSource that synchronizes Microsoft Dynamics 365 (online) data to a Microsoft Azure SQL Database store in a customer-owned Microsoft Azure subscription. The Data Export Service synchronizes the entire Dynamics 365 data initially and thereafter synchronizes delta changes on a continuous basis as they occur in the Microsoft Dynamics 365 (online) system. This helps enable several analytics and reporting scenarios on top of Dynamics 365 data with Azure services, such as Power BI or Machine Learning and opens up new possibilities for customers and partners to build custom solutions. For use cases and to learn how to set up the service, take a look at this article.

Analyze your Dynamics 365 business processes with Power BI

The new Process Analyzer Content Pack for Power BI is now available for Dynamics 365 version 8.2 and higher. This content pack links directly to the Dynamics 365 database, creating interactive data visualizations that help provide insights into business process flows. Track service performance with metrics like volume in processes with average duration in stage (broken down by stage), the process stage funnel, volume over stage completion date, and velocity through stages (with duration and days since completed). Users can create personalized business-process analytics that are most relevant to them and explore the information using the Power BI portal.

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