Steve Shebuski, VP of Digital Strategy
Guiding businesses through their digital transformation journey
The 2021 Microsoft D365 wave 1 release focuses on enhancing the user experience to make processes easier and more efficient. The Microsoft experts at Blue Horseshoe put together guides to help you and your team understand exactly how these new features benefit you.
Click the boxes to learn more about each feature:
D365 Updates for IT Leaders
Microsoft's 2021 release wave 1 plan is packed full of tools that IT leaders and system administrators will need to have on their radars. Across the family of Microsoft D365 applications, these tools promise to improve performance and scalability while optimizing development times.
- Inventory Visibility Add-In
- Scale Units: Manufacturing and Warehouse Execution
- Independent Commerce Deployment and Installation Packages Plus Simplified Commerce SDK Update and Developer Experience
- Business Central Partners: Adding Keys/Indexes to Base & Extension Tables + Report Extensibility
- Batch Size Configuration in Excel for Finance and Operations
- Integrate to Telephony Providers
Optimizing Customer Data
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insights gives you the information you need to understand who your customers are and how they interact with your business.
D365 Customer Insights (CI) is split into two apps accessible by the same URL: Audience insights and Engagement Insights.
- Audience Insights provides a 360-degree view of customer data.
- Engagement Insights (formerly Product Insights) provides analytics from customer engagement channels and IoT-connected products.
In the Dynamics 365 release wave 1, multiple updates focused on making these two products feel more seamless for both the end-users and IT professionals. Upcoming features will help IT administrators manage their data storage and integration to Azure Synapse for the entire Customer Insights platform (Audience and engagement Insights).
Key D365 Features for Supply Chain Leaders
Supply chain and logistics professionals are getting get a significant boost in inventory visibility as part of Microsoft Dynamics 365 2021 release wave 1. D365 Supply Chain Management continues to expand warehouse management and transportation using enterprise cloud data to help supply chains adapt to changing consumer and business requirements.
Microsoft plans to release the following D365 Supply Chain Management features from April 2021 through September 2021:
- Inventory Visibility Add-In
- Integration Framework for Material Handling Equipment for Automated Warehouse Processes (Previously MHAX)
- Warehouse Management Mobile Application
- Small Parcel Shipping
- Saved Views for Inventory Logistics
- Landed Costs
- Schedule Work Creation During Wave
D365 Small Parcel Shipping
Microsoft is including Small Parcel Shipping as part of their D365 2021 wave 1 release. With small parcel shipping (SPS), you can integrate Microsoft D365 Finance and Supply Chain Management with parcel carriers to form a connected shipping and data experience.
Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management users will soon have added functionality to sync package shipment data, including the tracking number and cost from shipment carriers to sales orders. New fields added within Dynamics 365 enable the ability to configure:
- Carrier service accounts
- Third-party account number per customer
- Shipping label printing
D365 Automated Material Handling Integration
With Microsoft D365's 2021 wave 1 release, D365 Supply Chain Management delivers on its promise to be an "end-to-end supply chain solution by adding new inventory and logistics features to help organizations gain visibility, resiliency, and efficiency in their supply chain.
Microsoft is releasing a material handling equipment integration interface (material handling). This functionality, developed by Blue Horseshoe and licensed to Microsoft, acts as a middleware for D365 and various material handling equipment or systems. Features also include material handling automation solutions for your enterprise.
What's Next for D365 Finance Leaders
Microsoft is releasing new features in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance. As part of the D365 wave 1 2021 release plan, these new features will give finance leaders and users insights into their operations, more automated functions, and machine learning capabilities. New features include:
- Advanced Bank Reconciliation Statements
- Vendor Collaboration Bank Charges
- Intelligent Budget Proposal
- Treasurer Workspace
D365 Finance: Cash Forecasting
Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance is launching multiple features as part of its 2021 wave 1 release to help financial leaders better understand cash forecasts.
Earlier versions of Microsoft Dynamics AX and D365 provided limited configuration that aligned ERP system with what was happening in practice. Now, Microsoft D365 gives you the ability to bring in additional data sources plus tools within Azure Machine Learning and AI. With these new features, you’ll have the ability to get real-time insights into your company’s cash position.
- Customer payment predictions
- External data for cash flow forecasting
- Cash flow forecasting - project integrations
Microsoft’s Power Platform is quickly becoming the go-to platform for IT leaders and systems administrators. The platform includes Power BI - analytics and business intelligence tool, Power Apps – a low-code app creator, Power Automate – process automation, and Power Virtual Agents – intelligent chatbots. The Power Platform centers on your data to help you:
- Capture data without disrupting basic processes
- Share or distribute the data/information to the right people and in the right way
- Consume and evaluate the data in a meaningful way
Microsoft’s Power Platform 2021 release wave 1 plan includes new features that track a rich set of metadata across all apps and flows within your organization’s tenant.
- Power BI Custom Reporting with BYO ADL
- X-APP For F&O Apps
- Power BI Embedded Gen 2
- Link Sharing and Paginated Report Visual for Power BI Reports
What's Next for D365 Retail
Retailers are seeing a big functionality lift in Microsoft's D365 2021 wave 1 release. With D365 Commerce, retailers get a complete omnichannel commerce solution that provides centralized operational activities.
- Shop Similar Looks & Shop by Similar Description
- Azure AD Single Sign-On
- Customer Check-in for Touchless Commerce
- Microsoft Teams Integration
- Chatbots for E-Commerce
- Independent Deployment and Installation Packages for MPOS, CPOS, HWS, and CSU Extensions
D365 B2B eCommerce
Since the launch of D365 Commerce, B2B e-commerce leaders have asked for solutions that meet their unique needs. Microsoft heard the call and is adding functionality to use D365 Commerce as their e-commerce solution.
In the D365 2021 wave 1 release, Microsoft integrates B2B and B2C e-commerce functionality into a single commerce platform. It brings together merchandising and site management capabilities that support multiple business models. D365 Commerce gives B2B companies a native solution to the D365 platform, allowing IT leaders to streamline configuration with other Dynamics applications.
New B2B functionality includes:
- Business partner onboarding
- Order templates
- Quantity thresholds (minimum, maximum, multiple)
- On account payment method
- Salesperson for business partner
- Handling of customer deposits
- Account statement and invoice printing
- Payment of sales invoice
- Quick order entry
- Dynamics 365 Sales integration
- Return order and return merchandise authorization (RMA)
- Order cancellation
- Matrix control for order entry
Override Default Production Reservation
Manufacturers are getting more flexibility in the 2021 wave 1 release of Microsoft D365 with the ability to override the default reservation principle for production materials. As part of D365 Supply Chain Management, this new functionality adds more control to how and when raw materials are reserved in the warehouse for a production order. In addition to impacting the reservation, this feature gives enhanced control of warehouse pick work generation for each raw material used in production.
The previous versions of D365 and AX had a single parameter in the production control parameters that set the production reservation principle. This parameter was either set to Estimation, Scheduling, Release, Start, or Manual.
New D365 Warehouse Management Mobile App
Microsoft has redesigned its Warehouse Management mobile app with a focus on improving the user experience. As part of the D365 2021 wave 1 release, the new mobile app features a more intuitive design based on extensive usability studies from end-users across multiple industries.
The Warehouse Management mobile app, part of D365 Supply Chain Management, is a new application, not an update of the legacy app. It’s available for both Windows and Android operating systems.
- Windows 10 (Universal Windows Platform [UWP]) Fall creators update 1709 (build 10.0.16299) or later
- Android 4.4 or later
You can use the legacy app and redesigned version in parallel, giving you the option to migrate at your own pace; however, everyone will need to migrate as Microsoft discontinues support for the legacy version.