James Phillips, President of Business Applications at Microsoft, presented the Virtual Launch of the 2020 Wave 1 Release today from his home.
Customer Insights was first on the agenda again! (It was also highlighted first during the 2019 Wave 2 Virtual Launch.) This time around, the use case that was shared was UNICEF’s use of Customer Insights and its integration with Dynamics 365 Marketing. Power BI, Azure, CE and F&O also got mentions in the video. You can watch the video about UNICEF here: UNICEF inspires donors with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insights. (This video is a favorite of mine since it was filmed at UNICEF Netherlands – I miss hearing that great Dutch accent!)
After a further introduction, Satish Thomas, the PM for Customer Insights, dived further into the CDP platform. Satish described some of the highlights in this release.
Some of the most interesting updates include new ways to enrich your unified customer profiles. Prior to this release, enrichment was limited to Microsoft Graph data related to brand affinities and category interests. This release will add new enrichment options that include contact data from Informatica, firmographic and address data from Microsoft Graph, location data from HERE Technologies, and media habits from CivicScience. Satish indicated that in addition to the new enrichment options becoming available with Wave 1, there are plans to continue to grow this list.
Another enhancement is the addition of new export destinations, including Azure Blob Storage; an API Connector; Power Apps, Power BI and Power Automate connectors, and LiveRamp omnichannel marketing.
Another segment of the launch focused on Dynamics 365 Commerce, which included out-of-the-box integration with Customer Insights in the POS solution to allow retail workers to easily understand their customers and identify the next best action.
There were tons of other new features and enhancements announced across the entire Dynamics 365 and Power Platform stack. Dynamics 365 Marketing is seeing huge investments in features like simple integration to consume Customer Insights segments, A/B testing of emails in Customer Journeys, and smart scheduling of emails for optimal send times.