Navigating the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Wave 1 Release

By: Jeff Burroughs

The Microsoft Dynamics 365 Wave 1 release, set to roll out in April, introduces a suite of new features and updates. With over 15 years of working with Dynamics 365, I’ve seen how these updates can revolutionize the way you do business. Here are some key insights you should know about the Wave 1 release and what it could mean for your business.

Understanding the Wave 1 Release

Microsoft consistently delivers two major updates each year. Wave 1, set for April 1, 2024, is the first of these. This update is not just about adding new functionalities; it also involves phasing out certain features. The key here is to maintain a balanced perspective – embracing the new while smoothly transitioning away from the old. There are several aspects of the Wave 1 release that particularly stand out and have me excited, including:

  1. Artificial Intelligence Integration: With AI technologies like ChatGPT revolutionizing business operations, the way businesses handle data and tasks is rapidly evolving. Copilot is Microsoft’s response to this change, integrating AI capabilities into the Dynamics 365 ecosystem. Copilot acts as your digital assistant, adept at handling tasks such as summarizing lengthy emails into a bullet pointed list. By analyzing the content of an email, Copilot can provide concise summaries, allowing you to grasp the essential points without getting bogged down in details. For a deeper dive into Copilot and its capabilities, I recommend reading my colleague Pawel Pikul’s article, “Beyond The Basics Of Microsoft Copilot: The Future Of SMBs Tech.
  2. Sequences for Streamlined Processes: Another significant feature of the Wave 1 release is the enhancement of sequences. This tool is designed to structure and automate sales processes, making them more efficient and reliable. For example, consider a scenario where an update is needed in a sales opportunity – perhaps a new development or the project has reached a critical stage – and this general update automatically triggers a scheduled follow-up phone call to the client. This not only ensures timely engagement with clients but also helps in maintaining a consistent approach to sales interactions. The power of sequences lies in their ability to standardize processes across your sales team, ensuring that every step of the customer journey is managed effectively and in accordance with your business strategy. This results in a more organized approach to sales, leading to better client relationships, Improved client satisfaction and potentially higher conversion rates.
  3. Activity Linking Across Multiple Records: It might seem like a minor tweak, but the ability to link a single activity to multiple records is a significant enhancement, one that I’ve seen requested by clients in the past. It opens up new possibilities for tracking and managing interactions across different accounts or contacts. For example, if you have an internal discussion relevant to several clients or projects, this feature allows you to link that one conversation to all related records. It streamlines workflows by reducing redundancy and provides a more comprehensive and connected view of customer interactions and engagements.

Security and Compliance Considerations

The Wave 1 update doesn’t bring major shifts in cybersecurity, but it’s always crucial to stay vigilant, especially when incorporating AI tools like Copilot into processes involving sensitive data. In industries subject to strict regulations, such as healthcare, maintaining compliance is non-negotiable. It’s important to be cautious with AI and data handling particularly with regulations like HIPAA. It’s advisable to avoid using AI tools for processing protected information of any kind to eliminate risks of data misuse.

Future-Proofing Your Technology with Wave 1

Jumping on the new features from the Wave 1 release early, especially those designed to phase out the old ones, is key to keeping your technology up-to-date. Microsoft’s move towards more frequent updates signifies a shift in how businesses need to approach their Dynamics 365 infrastructure. The trick is to adopt these updates in a way that suits your business’s ability to adapt and grow. It’s not just about having the latest tech; it’s about making sure everyone in your team is up to speed with the changes. Take, for example, switching from the old Dynamics 365 mobile app to the new versions – it’s as much about getting your team trained and comfortable with the new app as it is about updating the system itself. Getting ahead of these updates and embracing them proactively is what’s going to help your business make the most of Dynamics 365 and steer clear of falling behind with older tech.

It’s important to not just to keep up with technology but to leverage it in a way that best serves your unique business needs. Whether it’s through AI integration or streamlined sales processes, Wave 1 is about enhancing your capabilities and simplifying your processes. If you have any questions or need some guidance, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at My team and I are here to help you navigate these updates. Together, we can unlock the full potential of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for your business.