Microsoft’s 2021 release wave 1 will bring change to all existing Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service implementations. The introduction of dozens of new updates and capabilities across the solution will deliver an enhanced, all-in-one contact centre.

What is Microsoft 2021 release wave 1?

Microsoft’s 2021 release wave 1 is for Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Power Platform. It 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 through to September 2021. Organisations should understand the impact these changes will have for users and process to ensure they fully optimise the use of their platform.

In this article, Incremental will explore the new features arriving for Dynamics 365 Customer Service and the actions that systems owners must take to prepare for the rollout of release wave 1 changes.

What is new for Dynamics 365 Customer Service?

Agent experiences and productivity

With several new features available in early access since February, these updates focus on enhancing agent experiences and productivity, enabling users to help customers more effectively. New features include:

  • Scheduling – several aspects of this feature have been improved including searching, accessibility and presentation. Critical consideration of Outlook appointment data is synced with the scheduling feature, meaning users no longer have to use separate tools.
  • Macros – linked to Power Automate, service administrators will be able to define macros within the Customer Service workspace. This enables them to automate common and repetitive tasks whilst promoting consistency of processes and quality of data.
  • Multi-session apps – enables users to multitask on several customer cases simultaneously. New navigation and visual improvements of this feature will enhance the overall user experience.
  • Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Teams – integration between Dynamics 365 Customer Service and Teams will radically enhance agent collaboration across an organisation.

Omnichannel chat and voice

Due for release between April and August this year, Customer Service will deliver an all-in-one contact centre with an integrated chat and voice feature built into the core user experience.


The chat channel built on the Microsoft Teams IC3 communication service will be enhanced by providing channel insights. Channel insights will be delivered through embedded analytics, view and track metrics and artificial intelligence (AI). This will enable team leaders to better understand agent activity and improve data-driven decision making.


Voice is built on Microsoft Azure Communication Services Omnichannel, the engine behind Microsoft Teams calling platform. The addition of voice to Customer Service will provide a single solution that ensures consistent, personalised and seamless customer engagements across all channels.

Unified routing

Intelligent routing, built using AI and machine learning, will ensure work is delivered to agents who are best able to respond. AI driven routing will reduce the need for queue management, supervision and manual work distribution, which is often an error prone and inefficient process. Assignment rules will match work item requirements to agent capabilities, whilst assignment strategies will support custom, highest capacity and round robin methodologies.

Unified routing will help to improve issue resolution times, customer satisfaction and agent productivity. Reducing the manual administration effort required to oversee work routing, will enable the customer service departments to focus on helping customers.

What does this mean for your organisation?

The release will affect all Dynamics 365 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. Administrators, owners and leaders should take action to prepare for the release wave to ensure a seamless rollout to production for users and environments.

If 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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