Microsoft have just announced its anticipated 2021 release wave 1 for Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Power Platform. With hundreds of exciting solution updates, ensure your organisation is prepared for these changes by April 2021.

What is Microsoft 2021 release wave 1?

Microsoft’s 2021 release wave 1 for Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Power Platform is a series of automatic updates made across all applications and the platform at large, creating hundreds of new features, changes and opportunities. 

Automatic production deployment for the 2021 release wave 1 begins April 2021, continuing until September 2021. Release plans have already been published, providing early visibility of the exciting new features that will soon be available to all Dynamics 365 and Power Platform customers. In this article, Incremental provides an overview of the key features of release wave 1 and how Microsoft users can begin preparing their adoption strategy.  

What is new? 

The release will affect all Dynamics 365 applications, including; MarketingSalesCustomer ServiceField Service, FinanceSupply Chain ManagementHuman ResourcesCommerce, Fraud Protection, Business CentralCustomer Insights, and Customer Voice. To highlight just a few of the new features: 

  • Dynamics 365 Marketing will deliver deeper personalisation, additional channels, and built-in analytics. 
  • Dynamics 365 Sales adds productivity enhancements enabling sellers to access data driven insights to improve decision making. 
  • Dynamics 365 Finance offers machine learning to predict when customers are likely to pay forecasting budgets and cash positions.

More power for your Power Platform

Changes to the entire Power Platform are also part of the release, specifically; Power BIPower AppsPower Apps portalsPower AutomatePower Virtual AgentsAI builder, governance and administration, ISV experiences, and data integration. Notable new features include: 

  • Power BI delivers a new generation of the product, increasing return on investment, rapid scalability and faster performance. 
  • Power Apps provides duplicate detection, improved accessibility when mobile, and in-app notifications. 
  • Power Automate improves integration with Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations, enhanced robotic process automation with support for user interface automation within Citrix environments, and a process miner revealing insights into how people work. 

What does this mean for your organisation?

The release will affect all Dynamics 365 and Power Platform users. Microsoft will automatically apply wave 1 updates to production environments from April 2021, creating new opportunities to maximise productivity and improve decision making.  

To ensure your organisation is equipped to adapt to these changes, you should begin your adoption strategy now. Administrators, owners and leaders should take action to prepare for the release wave to ensure a seamless rollout to production for users and environments. This will require a mixture of technical (i.e. test and validation) and non-technical (i.e. training and communication) actions. Changes can affect the end-user experience, so training, messaging and internal communication is required to support the rollout of wave 1. 

Preparing for the 2021 release wave 1

Incremental’s recommended approach for receiving the release is to optin to early access as soon as possibleAt the time of writing, Microsoft have only published descriptions of upcoming changes, but optingin provides time to transition to the new features, enabling each change to be validated by use across the organisation.  

Organisations should identify the changes that will impact them now and prepare by structuring a delivery plan, factoring in any required remedial action. Once validated by your teams, the upgraded solution can be deployed to production with confidence and ease. 

release-wave-planningIf your organisation requires assistance navigating the rollout of Microsoft’s 2021 release wave 1 across Dynamics 365 or Power Platform, please get in touch for a free 30-minute consultation with our team.  

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