Key Announcements from the Microsoft Business Application Summit 2021

Every year Microsoft host the Business Application Summit. Due to the pandemic, 2021’s event was unable to take place in person.

The event was held virtually instead on Tuesday 4th May.

The Business Application Summit aims to help individuals turn actions into data. Microsoft hope to achieve this through sessions, community connections, and expert insights into the latest announcements and innovations from both the Dynamics 365 and Power Platform. Read more.

In April, Microsoft launched a six-month wave of hundreds of new capabilities, updates, and applications. In this article we will highlight the main announcements from this year’s event.

Dynamics 365

New Marketing Capabilities

Microsoft announced the launch of new marketing capabilities within Dynamics 365. Customer insights are now an available feature on the platform. These are available on the Microsoft Customer Data platform and allow organisations to gain a deeper understanding on customer behaviour and intent. Therefore, this allows organisations to leverage real-time insights and personalise customer experiences. Additionally, customer insights unlock new ways to attract, engage, and impress customers with a more human approach. Read more on the Microsoft blog.

New AI-powered Segment Creation

Microsoft has also added AI-powered segment creation, which allows the creation of a limitless set of customer segments from Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insights into the Microsoft Advertising platform. These include customer lifetime and churn predictions which help with gaining more of an understanding to personalise customer interaction. These segments are also available to use on third-party applications such as Google Ads, MailChimp, Autopilot and Marketo.

Conversation intelligence is also a new feature which automatically identifies insights, next steps and actions, and customer sentiment directly from sales calls whilst they are still in progress.

customer insights in dynamics 365

Power BI

The arrival of ‘Goals’

The arrival of ‘Goals’ was announced during the business application summit. Goals is a data-driven, collaborative, and adaptable way to measure key business metrics and goals. It is built directly on top of Power BI and is available in preview. This enables organisations to track the health of their businesses and allows the measurement of their progress against their goals. These can then be shared as updates with teammates. Read more.

Furthermore, these features will be displayed with scorecards. Scorecards bring together all the goals that are currently being tracked. Users can assign owners to each goal to create accountability within the work force. This makes the progress of each goal and their assigned team member easy to track.

New Automatic Insights

Power BI has also been fully integrated into Microsoft Teams, which makes collaborations around data easier and more accessible. Power BI also has automated insights. These are also a new feature and enable generation of automatic insights that need attention from reports as you open them.

Power Apps

New Modern Apps Designer

Microsoft revealed the Modern Apps Designer, which enables you to see a preview as you build. This will save time when it comes to making changes to Power Apps.

It is also now possible to build Power Apps through Microsoft Teams, which makes sharing across different teams more accessible. App users do not have to be members of the team where the Power App was built to access, edit, or make any changes within the application.

New Power Apps Templates

Microsoft also launched new Power Apps templates during the Business Application Summit. These templates include Bulletins, Employee Ideas, Milestones, Profile +, Inspection and Issue Reporting. These can be found and easily integrated via the Microsoft Teams store. Additionally, because they are built on top of the power platform, this means they can be changed and personalised to your business needs. It was also announced that there will be more templates to be revealed over the course of the year.

These announcements are the start of two release waves this year, with Microsoft planning to have a six-month wave of new capabilities, updates and applications across the Microsoft Power Platform and Microsoft Dynamics 365. Read more about the first wave of release plans.

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