Microsoft Update

Dynamics 365

Newsletter - December 2019

Wave 2 Highlights

Zero downtime update for self-service deployments

Find out about the latest capabilities and enhancements in Dynamics 365 and Power Platform (Power BI, PowerApps, and Microsoft Flow. 

New features/functions recently released in Finance & Operations

CRM Highlights - New Feature December

Dynamics 365 Omnichannel for Customer Service introduces new channels and rich omnichannel experiences to offer customers personalised support and empowers agents to interact seamlessly with customers in real-time through Chat for Dynamics 365, asynchronously with SMS, or AI-assisted service with your own bot built on the Microsoft Bot Framework in the new Customer Service omnichannel experience.

  • Chat - Chat allows your organisation’s agents to engage with customers in real-time and provide quick personalised help.
  • SMS - SMS is an engagement channel that supports asynchronous mode of communication and allows your organization to connect to customers by using text messages.
  • Facebook – Facebook is currently available in preview only. The Facebook channel gives your organisation the opportunity to jump onboard the social media trend and engage with your customers in a seamless and personalized experience.

The new Omnichannel Engagement Hub allows agents to manage current workloads for enquires from Phone, Web and Email, while adding these new channels in a fully integrated multi-session blended experience. Agent availability and skills can be utilised by the “Enterprise Grade” unified routing engine to distribute workloads automatically to the best agent available. This allows your organisation to provide a truly consistent customer experience across all channels and allows your customers to select their preferred communication option to interact with you.

What now? – Omnichannel for Customer Service is a paid add-on to Dynamics 365 Customer Service apps that use the Unified Interface.  You can sign up for a free 30-day trial of channels by either option below.  Once the trial is set up, you can configure a chat channel, a SMS channel or a Facebook channel.   Give it a go and please reach out to your team at Fusion5 if you have any questions or would like some guidance. 

  1. Channels trial through trials.dynamics.com
  2. Channels trial through Microsoft 365 admin centre

Meet the team!

Meet the Fusion5 Dynamics family across Australia and New Zealand and get to know more about the team behind your solutions. 

Marcin Gesiarz - FnO Consultant NZ 

Could you tell us about your career background? 

I have been working in IT for more than 12 years. I worked in a range of roles like implementation specialist, support manager, business analyst, functional analyst, consultant and more. I worked and lived in Poland, Malta, United Kingdom, Spain and now it’s New Zealand. Despite a role, a country and a company, it has been always about finance, business processes and ERP systems.  

What are some of your career highlights? 

I was one of the main functional designers for complex ISV solutions like biggest AX2012 solution for law companies, biggest AX2012 solution for membership organisations or biggest AX2012 solution for media management companies.   

What interested you in the role? 

Possibility to work with the latest technologies, within group of highly experience professionals.   

Finally, tell us what you like to get up to in your spare time 

I truly love discovering New Zealand, I like sports and board/card games, I enjoy riding my electric unicycle and I love spending time with friends.   

Babi Myo -  CST Consultant NZ CRM 

Could you tell us about your career background? 

I started as a functional consultant for Siemens SAP for 3 years has n Thailand. I then moved to New Zealand and transferred  into the Microsoft world. I worked for Kathmandu as Applications Support. After 6 years at Kathmandu I moved to Auckland joining the port of Auckland as a Corporate Applications Specialist. A year later I find myself at fusion5 starting as a CRM consultant in the customer success team. 

What are some of your career highlights? 

Having started a 5 month SAP internship in Thailand, after 3 months I was offered a permanent role at Siemens as a functional consultant.  

CRM 2011 project go live for Kathmandu where it involved me overseeing the roll out of the implementation of CRM. 

D365 CRM project roll out where I was the service matter expert. 

Involved in AX 2012 Billing project roll out for Port of Auckland as Lead applications specialist. 

What interested you in the role? 

Having a broad range of customers. Exposure to CRM to further gain my knowledge and experience. Having worked for fusion5 where they were my vendor, I saw the professionalism and expertise which made the company attractive to me. 

Finally, tell us what you like to get up to in your spare time 

I like to cook. It’s one of my passions. I will cook soon for you to try. I like international travel. One of my highlights was Croatia. Such a beautiful country. I like walking and going to the beach. Oh and eating delicious food of course. 

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Team Executive Briefing Centre

At Fusion5 our Microsoft footprint doesn’t just reach to Dynamics 365. We have a multiple teams covering other parts of the MS eco system such as; Teams, O365, Azure and M365. Recently we sent Kris Jackson, Consulting Manager - Enterprise Services and Nathan Mossman, Portals and Content Manager to Teams EBC in Seattle USA. The focus for this event was on Modern Workplace and Teams enablement for NZ Partners.

Nathan/Kris: What were your key take away points from the event? 

There was a huge amount of content delivered over the two days at the Executive Briefing Center (EBC) in Seattle. It’s actually quite hard to summarise all of the things that we learnt as there was a lot!! I’m sure everyone is witnessing just how rapidly Microsoft solutions are evolving, even between Inspire back in July and the EBC in October there were major changes across the board to the Microsoft 365 platform. Since then we have also seen a staggering amount of major announcements at the Ignite event in November! I highly recommend that everyone takes a look at the Book of News for all the announcements from Ignite if you haven’t already: 

https://news.microsoft.com/wp-content/uploads/prod/sites/563/2019/11/Ignite-2019-Book-of-News.pdf 

  

Microsoft Teams was a key focus for the sessions across the two days, we found out that there are around 5,000 employees at Microsoft who are actively working on Teams development and the support that wraps around it. It’s already clear to see the impact this is having with all of the announcements that just came out of Ignite… The 3 big areas that Microsoft expect partners to help customers with in FY20 for Teams are: 

  • Adoption & Change Management 
  • Calling & Meetings 
  • Teams Solutions 

Seeing some of the new functionality coming into Teams in relation to Calling & Meetings is just incredible, it’s clear to see that Skype for Business is finally on its way out the door and over the next few months nearly all of the existing functionality in Skype should be available in Teams or at least just around the corner! Unfortunately there is still some limitations with Callings Plans in NZ, AU does have the option via Telstra for AU-based tenants, but I’m hoping to see a direct option in NZ in the near future. 

  

The other key topic across the two days was Security, Security, Security… As we all know a big topic around the world for the past few years, especially as Cloud services grow and more and more data is being accessed from anywhere and everywhere. Microsoft has come a long way in the security space, they now have a complete set of enterprise-class security solutions covering: 

  • Identity & Access Management 
  • Threat Protection 
  • Information Protection 
  • Security Management 

I was really impressed to see that across all of these solution areas Microsoft was marked as a leader by Gartner in their Magic Quadrant Research. This is quite the feat especially due to the fact that Microsoft have been way behind the ball in security solutions over the past few years. 

Overall I’m really looking forward to taking what we have learnt from the EBC experience and “Make Potential a Reality” as we build up for a large Modern Workplace focus here at Fusion5.

 

Nathan/Kris: Which event/session was your favourite and why? Each day at the EBC there was an interactive session where we got to explore some of the really cool technology on display in the building. Day one we had a tour of Microsoft NEXT Space, this tour was a representation of how technology could look for work and at home in the not so distant future. It was very cool, I can’t wait to see homes across Australia and New Zealand fully connected to the Cloud, it will certainly change the way we do everyday tasks! 

  

Day two we went and experienced “Digital Transformation #InRealLife” which showcased some real world examples of Microsoft technology in use for large organisations around the world. It was great to see the power of Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365 and AI and the impact it has had on the way these organisations operate their business. One of the highlights during this session was getting a chance to try out the Microsoft HoloLens, unfortunately it wasn’t the new HoloLens 2 but never the less still an amazing experience to finally test it out in person.  

 

Kris: What information topics are you excited to come back and start sharing with your team/customers? To be honest I really enjoyed the Adoption & Change Management (ACM) session which was presented by Chris Large. Chris is the Director of Partner Strategy Lead for Teamwork at Microsoft, he presented on the importance of ACM when deploying Modern Workplace and the huge investment Microsoft has made developing a “best practice” framework to ensure the successful adoption of all the Microsoft 365 products. Chris also “double clicked” into the new Teamwork Assessment ACM Module which enables partners to help our customers build out priority use case scenarios, develop adoption strategy and success metrics, prepare plans for training, communication and resistance management and then finalise the plan for adoption and reinforcing the change. 

It was quite funny hearing nearly everyone from Microsoft at the EBC say “lets double click into this” when discussing a topic in further detail… Drinking too much of the Microsoft Kool-Aid it would seem!  

GM Wrap up for Australia

Paul Griffin - General Manager, CRM

As 2019 draws to a close we wanted to take a moment to let you know about some of the exciting things we’ve been working on this year you may have missed. Our customers are so important to us and drive so much of what we are trying to do in the Microsoft space. The whole team here has really enjoyed pushing the boundaries this year and finding new ways to add value.  

  

  • We listened to your feedback in 2018 about some of the pain points around the traditional prepaid hours model and launched the new PartnerPlus Unlimited offering in our Customer Success Team. Our customers were now able to create a tailored support offering where all support tickets are part of the monthly fee and no need to worry about micromanaging hours on a month by month basis.  
  • Due to the demand and excitement around Power BI, we invested and expanded our team to have capabilities to support and drive initiatives with our customers to help them get the best out of their data.  
  • Our Customer Success Team and delivery teams have been working with our customers on a new program called, ‘Review, Revive and Thrive’. This initiative was all built around the continual evolution of our existing and new customers to empower them to get the best out of their investment in Dynamics 365. This was an end to end offering with our Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations team and we have seen customers really appreciate the vision and guidance on delivering roadmaps to their business. 
  • We had another great year of recognition with Microsoft – being included for the third year running into Microsoft’s elite Inner Circle (one of only 68 partners globally). 
     
  • FusionX was launched this year, which was a fictious rocket company leveraging the Dynamics 365 platform to show off the power of the truly connected environment. The feedback has been fantastic from the attendees of the event and we are excited about running these types of events more often in 2020. If anyone missed the event, please let us know and we will be happy to walk you through it. We may actually launch a rocket to Mars! 😊 

  • We always appreciate when a customer is excited about working on a case study with us and we recently released a video case study for a Dynamics 365 for Marketing project at Sol Edu. SOL Edu is Queensland’s most successful specialist education and migration business. Founded in 2002, the company provides services to international students from around the world.  If you would like to learn more about the work we did at Sol Edu or some of the other customer projects we have worked on, please visit our Case Studies page. https://fusion5.com.au/case-studies/   

  

This is just a taste of some of the exciting things that have been happening in 2019, however, none of this would be possible without the support of you, our customers. We are truly appreciate of your loyalty to us at Fusion5 and are committed to continue to provide a high quality service and look at innovative ways we can help your business continue to succeed in your marketplace. 

We hope you all have a wonderful break and are able to spend some quality time with your friends and families. We look forward to achieving great things with you all in 2020. 

Paul Griffin 

GM Wrap up for New Zealand

Kristy Brown - General Manager, CRM

It’s been another hectic year in the CRM business here at Fusion5 and it’s hard to believe the year is done and dusted.  As is the tradition, it’s a time of year that we reflect and consider what’s worked well, where we need to pivot and how to ensure we remain relevant so that we can continue to drive outstanding results for you, our customer. 

  

When I reflect on 2019 as a whole, there are some standout moments that come to mind: 

  • We launched our Supercharge offerings in March, designed to ensure you get incredible ongoing value from your Dynamics 365 investment.  These offerings vary from Health Checks, Admin Training, or even just ensuring you’re prepared in advance for the next wave of updates coming to the platform.  Chat to your SDM if you’d like to find out more! 

  • We had another great year of awards and recognition – be it being appointed for the third year running into Microsoft’s elite Inner Circle (top 68 partners globally), or our Highly Commended win for the Cloud for Good category of the NZ Partner Awards off the back of our Barnardos Cloud Migration project, we continue our relentless focus on outstanding customer outcomes and we’re not done yet. 
  • Our experts were front-and-centre in the community sharing their expertise, from speaking slots at the local User Group events and Dynamics 365 Saturdays or presenting on the global stage for the recent 24-hour PowerApps blitz, I’m so proud of our team for sharing their insights and investing time and energy into growing our community. 

  • We have established and continue to grow our Modern Workplace business with some awesome early adopters and results.  We are now proficient in all things Microsoft productivity and analytics related and I’m really excited about what we will deliver in 2020.  Significant investment continues here at Fusion5 in driving this part of our business, and we are passionate about ensuring your investment in Microsoft technologies; be it Office 365, Azure, PowerBI or Dynamics, continues to drive measurable ROI for our customers.
     
  • We are in the final stages of creating our Customer Success Framework, this initiative is in pilot mode now and will be launched early in 2020.  It will be bundled as part of our PartnerPlus support offering, and is intended to ensure your users continue to use your solution and that it remains relevant in driving your business forward.  Watch this space, or speak to your Account Manager to find out more. 

  • The Dynamics 365 platform has continued to evolve, and the incredible capability of the Power Platform encompassing Power Apps, Power Automate and Power BI is truly mind-blowing.  We’ve had a number of our customers consume this new technology and the results are palpable.  No longer should you expect to pay 1000’s and 1000’s to modernise your business.  If you’ve not checked it out, chat to us to find out more.  Here at Fusion5, we are leading the way bringing this innovative new area of innovation to fruition for our customers. 

As you can see, and this is simply a drop in the ocean of what’s been achieved, we continue to explore new and modern ways to make a difference to our customers and their execution of their Customer Experience Strategy.  Our job is never done and we can’t wait to release new initiatives for you in the New Year, after taking a much needed pause over the festive season to recharge our batteries.   

However, of course none of this would be possible without the continued support of you, and we are humbled at the loyalty in our customer base and the fact that you continue to choose us.  We promise to not get complacent, continue to innovate and to ensure our success is measured solely by your success.  Have a wonderful break with your families and loved ones, and we look forward to doing great things together in 2020. 

Kristy Brown

Directors Wrap up

Sven Martin - Executive Director CRM

 

#makingpotentialreality has been our mantra and mission through 2019 and it’s been extremely rewarding to see what our team and customers are achieving. 

Our passion is driven by supporting the evolution of our customers to innovate and achieve their business goals through use of technology.  Our investment in the Microsoft technology stack continues to deepen with our capability expanding across all modules of Dynamics applications, Power Platform, Microsoft 365 and Azure capabilities.  

In addition we’re seeing our strategic partnership with AmbitAI who have built specialised AI conversation gain more traction and interest as organisations look to affordable ways to increase the service availability in contact centre. Who wouldn’t want an ‘employee’ who can work 24/7, never takes time off and is infinitely trainable, helping customers! 

People play a big role in success of any technology investment and as part of our #makingpotentialreality and capability offerings around the powerful Microsoft and Dynamics 365 technology stack, our professional services teams have invested in tools to enable our customer success.  

New ‘how to guides’ for organisation change management; practical guides to running projects and performing user acceptance testing and achieving user adoption have all been developed.  If you haven’t seen these yet, they’re worth talking to us about. 

The success of our Dynamics team in 2019 has seen Fusion5 evolve to one of the leading Microsoft partners embracing the Microsoft stack across all aspects from business applications to infrastructure and crucially, security.  

Thank you for your continued to support, feedback and partnership. We value the work we do for you and continue to strive to enact and realise our mission of #makingpotentialreality. 

 

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