Archive for August, 2022

Dynamics 365 2022 Wave 2 Highlights

August 26th, 2022

The Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Power Platform 2022 second release plans, announced on 12 July 2022, provides users with a wide range of new capabilities and hundreds of new features. These product updates will roll out over the next 6-9 months.

. These release plans, can be overwhelming so here is a summary significant of updates for the different modules.


Scale a multi-brand business

Implement marketing strategies across multiple brands and product lines at scale and with more control over your marketing assets and data across brands.

Define their organisation structure and access roles to delve deep into the performance insights of a specific brand.

Key Features

  • All brands can use AI to extend and to customise marketing assets.
  • Control and organise all digital assets, content, journeys and customer preferences to align with multi-brand strategies.
  • Out-of-the-box campaign, and data segregation capabilities, across organisational boundaries will both help to reduce compliance risk.
  • Marketing analytics for each brand, region or department.

Lead capture forms to convert visitors to customers 

The new lead capture forms are an upgrade to the marketing forms in the Marketing Application. Enable moments-based marketing with real-time journey orchestration  to capture customer information, to enhance customer experience and to increase conversion rates. These forms vary based on past customer interactions, and can also validate data. Dynamic fields give an intuitive user experience.

Key Features

  • Create intuitive and engaging forms with a modern editor or use eye-catching templates to convert more visitors into customers.
  • Use smart forms to dynamically hide or display fields based on past interactions.
  • Enhance usability for your customers with advanced form validation.
  • Create new interactions with customer journeys whenever possible like sending a thank you email.

Extend your outreach with custom channels

A new capability to leverage real-time marketing in existing communication channels to easily engage your customers in critical moments in their journey. Insert proven channels into your journeys to boost customer engagement. Use real-time marketing personalisation, consent and analytics tools for content creation and delivery through your communication channels, e.g. SMS or WhatsApp.

Key Features

  • Create custom channels on top of the built-in channels of email, SMS, and push notifications for real-time, personalised targeting .
  • Create custom templates for your channels.
  • A new tile makes it easy to find channel templates to add into your customer journey.
  • Easy review of analytics for your custom channel

New segment builder

To target the right audience and improve returns on your marketing investment, build segments using natural language and an easy drag-and-drop logic builder, without need for technical know-how.

Build segments using leads and then target those directly with customer journeys. To help you build the right segments. preview the members and estimate the size of draft segments t

Key Features

  • Create segments directly based on attribute data for both contacts and leads.
  • Enrich segments with complex logic and scan across all attributes in the right pane and add those to your queries.
  • Preview and estimate the number of segment members as part of segment creation.
  • Use natural language to assist and ease the segment creation process.

B2B marketing with a new OOB analytics dashboard

New out-of-the-box analytics capability to track your pipeline development and to examine the performance of different customer journeys, marketing assets, and channels for the engagement and their contribution to each stage of your pipeline.

  Share the pipeline view between Dynamics 365 Marketing and Sales, to align your marketing and sales teams common objectives, to speed up your pipeline development.

Key Features

  • Track your business pipeline develops from lead generation to won opportunities to optimise the key stages through the OBB funnel.
  • Understand the correlation between your marketing efforts and key business outcomes across different pipeline stages.
  • Pin-point the top-performing customer journeys, marketing assets and channels that drive engagement and contribute pipeline development and revenue generation.
  • Integrate seamlessly with Dynamics 356 Sales for a shared overview of your pipeline and collaborate together to boost ROI.

Grow your business with 3X maximum monthly interactions

Use this feature to reach up to 100 million contacts and send up to 300 million messages per month with Dynamics 365 real-time marketing customer journey orchestration.

Deliver personalised messages and experiences at scale at key touchpoints of their journey.

Increase your customer base in existing and new markets, reach more locations, promote new products and services, and expand your prospective customer pipeline to meet higher sales targets.

Key Features

  • Reach up to 100 million marketing contacts through emails, SMS, and push notifications (3X more than the previous 30 million contacts limit).
  • Deliver up to 300 million monthly outbound interactions through email messages, SMS, push, or custom channels ( 3X more than the previous 100 million outbound interaction limit).
  • Create segments of up to 100 million marketing contacts.
  • Engage with customers in near real-time with a 30-second response time.

Personalised AI-powered next-best content 

Automate content personalisation with rich data and AI to grow interactions and increase conversions, so you don’t have to do the same work for each customer every time. 

Create some content variations and define rules for customer targeting and leave the rest to the AI model. Guide the AI with auto-generated control groups to test different content so that it trains itself to disseminate hyper-personalised content in every step of the customer journey, and it will use 360 customer profiles from Dynamics 365 Customer Insights.

Key Features

  • Create different content variations and define AI rules to better target customers.
  • Apply AI to past interaction data to tailor and to send specific, personalised content variations to delight customers at every touch point.
  • Use optimisiation criteria and auto-generated control groups to train the AI to use the most appropriate content selection logic .


Seller dashboard To track progress

The new seller dashboard and its standardised reports help sales managers both to analyse and to gain insights into how the Sales Application is used, and also how well the teams and individuals that use the application perform.

Key Features

  • Access seller dashboard to monitor sales performance and get summarised insights into sales activities progress.
  • A clear picture of all activities, relationships, and conversations.
  • Manage permissions to access the seller dashboard with admin privileges.

Tips and suggestions during a customer call r

Sellers get AI-driven insights to guide them on exactly what to say during difficult sales calls.

This is particularly useful for remote calls when conversation intelligence automatically shows tips and suggestions to the sellers either while they are on a phone call or talking to a customer in Teams.

All customer calls are transcribed, and the AI gives sellers contextual information about customers, as well as talking points on product or service details, competitive battle cards, pricing, benefits, and more.

Key Features

  • Enable sellers to close deals hrough remote calls with real-time contextual information about customers, products, and pricing.
  • AI-driven insights and customer intelligence that sellers can access easily during tough sales calls.

Orchestrate sellers’ activities in Teams

A smart deal room dashboard, gives a view of customer insights, activity coordination, and intelligent activity recommendations on a single pane with seamless integrations between Microsoft Teams and Outlook.

Key Features

  • The entire team can view team member activity. Provide the latest account information required to facilitate team collaboration.
  • Improve the visibility of customer information and sales progress for everyone working on the same account.
  • Manage key account documents centrally and assign tasks .
  • Organise meetings and communication and access information and action items centrally from meetings.
  • Receive intelligent recommendations on the next best actions based on account updates.

@mention to find, share Dynamics 365 records in emails, chats 

Use @mention to insert Dynamics 365 data into emails and chats intuitively. This makes it much easier to find and share contextual business data in communications..

Key Features

  • Use @mention to quickly find, insert and share relevant sales information like customer details in Outlook and Teams.
  • Collaborate on fresh Dynamics 365 records easily with intelligent suggestions based on recent data and use it to add relevant customer data into Outlook emails and Teams chats.

Enhanced sequence creation experience with new designer 

With the sales accelerator and process automation, set up sequences to develop and to implement winning sales strategies. Provide an improved user experience with features of the sequence designer during sequence configuration.

Key Features

  • A consistent and convenient automation experience across Dynamics 365 Marketing customer journey orchestration and Dynamics 365 Sales sequences.
  • Use the new sequence designer to edit a sequence step using a side panel.
  • Define an exit rule for a sequence and understand the end of any sequence branch with an exit icon.
  • Save all the changes in sequence steps with a single click.


Use customer support swarming for complex cases

All your conversations in Microsoft Teams are now directly integrated into Customer Service records. This provide a contextual experience to licensed users and also allows other non-licensed users to easily collaborate on that data across the organisation through Teams. Much easier to find the right people across multiple departments to more speedily resolve complex customer issues.

Key Features

  • Richer user experience with enhanced swarm creation flow, ability to create notes and manager swarm progress, and enhanced wrap-up activities.
  • Simplified admin experience that expedited setup and allows admins more flexibility to specify automatic addition of certain CRM users as participants to specific swarms.
  • Availability of additional roles like agent’s manager, account owner, and Team admin to support additional CRM users other than the default users.

Route calls to agents who are idle for the longest time

Use AI and definable rules, assign incoming service requests to the best-suited agents or those who are mostly idle, to boost your operational efficiencies and customer service.

Classify, route, and assign work items with complete automation rather than to rely on manual queue supervision and work distribution. 

Key Features

  • Match agents based on their idle times on the voice channel.
  • Configure their voice queues to use the Longest idle assignment method.

Route work items to preferred agents 

Provide personalised and specialist customer service,to develop deeper customer relationships and improve customer satisfaction. Customers feel comfortable with their familiar service agents who are aware of past customer interactions and preferences.

Key Features

  • Define the preferred agents for your customers.
  • Configure assignment of work items to the preferred agent.
  • Select the assignment logic if the preferred agent is unavailable.

FTA tax updates

August 26th, 2022

The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) published Decision 4 of 2022 for ‘Setting the Time Limit for Tourists to Claim Refund of VAT’. Tourists have a time limit of one year from the date of verification of the refund request to claim their VAT refund by bank card or in cash. The operator of the Tax Refunds for Tourist Scheme is required to deposit the unclaimed money to FTA within one month of expiration of time limit if the tourist fails to claim the VAT refund within that time.

FTA calls tax registrants to benefit from the extension of the grace period for the re-determination of administrative penalties on violating tax law until December 31, 2022.Tax registrants who were not able to benefit from redetermination by December 31, 2021, can now benefit from the one-year extension.

The decision has been taken by the Cabinet in line with the wise leadership’s directives to reduce burdens on business sectors and enhance their abilities to contribute more to the growth of the national economy. The decision is also a part of the FTA’s goal to provide a legislative environment that encourages a high level of tax compliance.

Why now is the time to adopt Power Bi – ask Synergy Software Systems, Dubai

August 19th, 2022

Power BI innovation never stops. For several years in a row now, it is positioned as a leader in the 2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Analytics and Business Intelligence Platforms, furthest to the right for completeness of vision and furthest up in the ability to execute within the Leaders’ quadrant.

The gaps are widening with interactive reports, paginated reports, datasets, dataflows, deployment pipelines, scorecards, dashboards, metrics, data alerts, and much more, and recently announced in public preview, self-service datamarts. No wonder, customers are adopting Power BI at an accelerated pace. Boost Office 365 productivity with Power BI integrated into PowerPoint and Microsoft Teams, connect to data anywhere with hundreds of built-in connectors, leverage industry-leading AI, go quickly from insight to action with the Microsoft Power Platform, and provide best-in-class mobile experiences with Power BI Mobile.

Reports can be mobile friendly, they can be paginated, and you can link into Azure Analysis Services.

Microsoft Teams – many enhancements announced.

August 9th, 2022

Mac devices now have a versions of Teams that is designed to support all of Apple’s Mac devices.

We are rolling out a production grade universal binary version of Teams, which means it will run natively on the entire Mac lineup, including those with Apple silicon. For Mac users, this means a significant boost in performance, ensuring efficient use of device resources and an optimized Teams experience even when using multiple high-resolution monitors during calls or meetings.

Mac devices will be “automatically upgraded” to it. Microsoft plans a gradual rollout, with the “general availability” commercial release expected “over the coming months.”

Teams Chat Embedded in Dynamics 365
Teams chat embedded in Microsoft Dynamics 365, Microsoft’s enterprise resource planning solution, is at the preview stage and is scheduled to reach general availability in September

Users c can use records in Dynamics 365 to start a chat. Sales teams will see all “connected chats” related to a customer record. A use case is when a sales rep leaves an organization and others need to know what happened with an account.

To turn on this connected chat feature

When connected chats are used to share Dynamics 365 records information with another person, “the recipient doesn’t need a Dynamics 365 license to collaborate,” the announcement clarified.

Other Teams Enhancements
Microsoft also described Teams other enhancements.

Admins can “clean up individual policy assignments from users in bulk,” with an “Unassign Policies” feature added to the Teams Admin Center portal under the “Manage Users” tab. , Teams users will then “inherit the correct policy either via a group policy assignment or global organization-wide default.”

For organizations using Teams with “frontline workers,” Admins can now “deploy up to 500 teams with 25 users per team using one PowerShell command.” Similarly its also possible to remove members. This capability is in preview.

Microsoft added a Device Test capability for Teams appointments, which will “validate camera, microphone, and browser compatibility, as well as the internet connection at any moment before the scheduled appointment start time.”

The Forms app in Teams is replaced by a new Polls app, available from the Teams app store. It has many user interface improvements, such as t a new “Rating” feedback poll.

LinkedIn profiles are now integrated with Teams, and users can view these from “Teams chat, channels, calls or meetings.

Microsoft added the ability to message team owners in Teams via a @Team Owners” addition.

Microsoft suggested that Teams on iPad devices is “now more responsive to screen size, app orientation, and display modes.”

Microsoft added the ability for users to hide or to remove a call from their call history list when using the Teams desktop or mobile app.

Microsoft enhanced a Common Area Phone offering “to serve a wider variety of scenarios for customers without increasing the price.”

Microsoft added improvements for Teams Room devices, including a “Manage” button for checking out rooms or extending reservations.

Teams calling functionality was also added for certain models of Spectralink Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT) devices.

Travel to the EU to get more difficult

August 4th, 2022

Tourists outside the EU will be required to submit a photograph and fingerprints from May 2023 as part of the bloc’s bid to tighten entry rules. Non-EU travellers will be asked to submit photos and four fingerprints, which will be submitted in the form of biometric data.

This will also register the traveller’s name, travel documents and date and place of entry and exit.

The EU Commission’s spokesman said: “Stamping is time consuming, does not provide reliable data on border crossings and does not allow the detection of overstayers or address cases of loss or destruction of travelling documents.”

The EU’s long delayed Entry/Exit system (EES) will come into force in May, and will replace the stamping of passports. The “Etias” scheme was initiated before the UK’s vote to leave the Brussels bloc and mirrors the US “Esta” scheme.

Prospective visitors will be forced to complete an online form with details of health, education and any criminal convictions, and pay €7 (£6) for a three-year permit.

“There is no such thing as an e-gate for a car, and there is no such thing as an e-gate process for people travelling as a group. They’re all one-at-a-time processes.”

(for UK citizens note: Passport stamping has been a requirement for UK nationals entering and departing countries in the EU since Brexit.


The EU recently said that the introduction of the a new entry visa has been pushed back until the end of 2023. It comes as the introduction of a new European Travel Information and Authorisation System (Etias) from May 2023 has been put back until November.

Eurostar, Eurotunnel and the Port of Dover have expressed concern about the need for every traveller to be fingerprinted and provide a facial biometric. If every departing ferry or Eurotunnel passenger at Dover or Folkestone has to be checked in person, the present infrastructure could not cope.

However, the EU’s long-delayed Entry/Exit system (EES ) is still due to come into force in May and risks catching out summer tourists. The system requires the registration of non-EU travellers’ photos and fingerprints, which will be submitted in the form of biometric data. It will also register the name, travel documents and date and place of entry and exit.

The commission said the system would replace the stamping of passports.