2021 Release Wave 1 - Summary of new features from end-users perspective

Photo by Startup Stock Photos on Pexels.com

As most of us were still exploring features released in the previous wave, Dynamics 365 development team has already published '2021 Release Wave 1' document earlier this week. As I started reviewing Field Service related features, I thought to do a "features summary" a bit differently this time. Instead of looking at features separately, I've summarised them in the context of users of Dynamics 365 Field Service (ie how the newly announced features either improve the current experience of users or introduce new benefits of using the system). In addition to the users, there are a few features which are targeted for customers of your field service organisation - hence features related to customers are also summarised below.

Without further ado, following is the summary for five types of users/stakeholders:

  1. Dispatcher

  2. Resource

  3. Business Administrator

  4. Customer

Note: My top 5 features are marked with ⭐

As a Dispatcher

  • ⭐I will be able to use RSO (Resource Scheduling Optimisation) out-of-the-box!

    • Comment: RSO is an AI-powered component which helps in automatically scheduling resources. It was previously available as an add-on but is now being added to the product as an out-of-the-box feature. Feature link.

  • I can start using new-generation Schedule Board as further features such as map, weekly and monthly views will be added in the interface. Feature link.

  • I will be able to see my resources' Outlook appointment in Schedule Board.

    • Comment: This is a productivity enhancement to save dispatchers' time to look at availability in Schedule Board and then in Outlook calendar. Note that vice versa functionality is not announced. Feature link.

  • I will be able to use an 'optimizer' function within Schedule Board which should help from productivity and error-free scheduling standpoints. Further details are awaited. Feature link.

As a Resource

  • I will be able to access Knowledge Articles from Dynamics 365 Field Service app both online and offline. These knowledge articles can be fetched with related Work Order and/or Assets. Feature link.

  • The system will allow 'Resolution Details' to be captured against Work Order and Work Order Incident records. Feature link.

As a Business Administrator

  • ⭐I will be able to easily and quickly onboard new resources (aka technicians) on Dynamics 365 Field Service.

    • Comment: we all know it was a pain; add user in Dynamics 365, assign license, then create Bookable Resource, then install app etc. This process is being simplified to expedite and streamline the resources' onboarding. Feature link.

  • I will see few enhancements on Work Order form which should help in user experience and functionality; address fields are being merged, address recommendation and auto-geocoding is being enabled etc. Feature link and link.

  • I - as a new user/customer of Dynamics 365 Field Service - will be able to make use of 'guided experience' to help understanding how Work Order works and related Work Order fields and records. Feature link.

As a Customer

  • ⭐I will be able to self-schedule service booking from a list of suggested timeslots. Feature link.

  • ⭐I will receive SMS and email reminders about upcoming service booked for my place. If there is any schedule change, I will be notified similarly. Feature link.

  • ⭐I will be able to view resource's estimated arrival time and track on the map. Feature link.

  • I will be able to provide feedback on the service. Feature link.

Thanks for reading!

Feel free to share your feedback, I'd love to hear you thoughts 😊

Say hi on Twitter and subscribe here if you'd like to get my new posts (on Dynamics 365, Azure AI and IoT) via email (roughly weekly).