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9altitudes wins Microsoft 2021/2022 Inner Circle Award

9altitudes wins Microsoft 2021/2022 Inner Circle Award

Microsoft honours 9altitudes for achieving outstanding sales achievement and innovation.

9altitudes achieved the prestigious Microsoft Business Applications 2021/2022 Inner Circle award. Sales achievements that rank 9altitudes in the top echelon of Microsoft’s Business Applications global network of partners determine membership in this elite group. Inner Circle members have performed to a high standard of excellence by delivering valuable solutions that help organisations attain increased success.

Continue reading and find out what this can mean for the future of your business!

[READ ALSO] ADMIRAL DYNAMICS JOINS 9ALTITUDES >>


9altitudes reaches a new height

9ALTITUDES WINS MICROSOFT 2021/2022 INNER CIRCLE AWARD

9altitudes CEO Filip Bossuyt: “We are very fortunate to be in the top 1% of the total Business Applications ecosystem. Our customers and the relationship we have with them makes it possible to obtain this Inner Circle position. 2021/2022 Inner Circle members get invited to the Inner Circle Summit. The summit is a unique opportunity to share strategy and also network with Microsoft senior leaders and fellow partners. That means even more value for our customers in the future.”

A year of Digital transformation and customer success

“In a year of deep business transformation for every company and every industry on the planet, it is extremely rewarding to be able to recognise Microsoft Business Applications partners from every corner of the world that accelerated our joint customers’ digital transformation and also drove unsurpassed customer success,” said Cecilia Flombaum, Microsoft Business Applications Ecosystem Lead.

9altitudes wins Microsoft 2021/2022 Inner Circle Award!

“Our Inner Circle members are chosen based on their business performance as well as capabilities as an organisation, whether that’s creating IP, developing solutions, or having an industry-leading focus on digital transformation. Microsoft recognises 9altitudes for their achievements this past year, their dedication to our customers, and also their innovation around the Microsoft Cloud.”


Next-up: What to expect of Digital Transformation in 2021?

Digital Transformation Trends in 2021

Questions on what this could mean for the future of your business?


Think Digital

Release of wave 2 for Dynamics 365

Release of Wave 2 - Microsoft Dynamics 365 - CRM

Catch the release of wave 2 for Dynamics 365.

Microsoft just announced the second release wave of the year for Dynamics 365. These brand-new innovations aim to deliver powerful capabilities to propel your business to success. There is no doubt that this release is about to accelerate your digital transformation.

Here is what you can anticipate from the release of new features planned between October 2021 and March 2022.

[READ ALSO] 5 CRM TRENDS TO WATCH OUT FOR >>


Dynamics 365 Marketing

With this release, Dynamics 365 Marketing delves deeper into personalised journeys and engaging with your customers anywhere, at any time. Explore AI-based content ideas and get inspired to bring your content to the next level. Here is how you deliver immaculate experiences time and time again.

Explore new and updated features for Marketing

Engage at the right moment across all touchpoints

  • Use Customer journey orchestration to connect Customer Insights with your data lake.
  • Send out SMS messages with Twilio as well as TeleSign
  • Build webinar registration experiences in Teams effortlessly and create a sound journey for participants instantly in Dynamics 365 Marketing.
  • Enrichen your customer journeys through account-based profile data from Customer Insights.
  • Get a clear view of all interactions within your customer journey on the Customer Insights timeline.

Get more personal with each customer without breaking a sweat

  • Explore the new segmentation builder that easily lets you create segments on leads as well as custom entities.
  • Dive deeper with customisation through Power Automate flows from customer journeys.
  • Boost your decision-making with the combined power of AI and Analytics.
  • Turn your email content into compelling messages through AI-based recommendations.

Dynamics 365 Sales

Achieve more sales by understanding your customers and their buying behaviour. The three key elements you need to drive sales are data, intelligence and meaningful customer experiences.

Here is what these exciting new updates for Dynamics 365 Sales focus on.

Improve teamwork thanks to Teams calling with Dynamics 365

  • More third party telephony aid and also critical business insights for any call.
  • Embedded Microsoft Teams collaboration, Teams message extensions and actions now include enhanced contact recommendations and a better experience.
  • Access sales records while having a Teams meeting and also receive automated notifications from Dynamics 365.
  • Enhanced setup as well as security of the Dynamics 365 app for Teams.

Change the way you build relationships on LinkedIn

  • Explore a new manager workspace for accounts, contacts, and also leads.
  • Visually update deals with the Kanban control.
  • Enjoy improvements to quick filters with hierarchy and date-based filters.

Manage pipeline more efficiently with deal manager

  • Swift access to Sales Navigator.
  • More improvements to the LinkedIn integration coming your way.

Get productive with improved tools and forecasting updates

  • Streamline activity capture with Auto capture.
  • Discover enhanced capabilities for the purpose of sharing and viewing your forecasts.
  • Attribute insights in order to strengthen predictive scoring model clarity.
  • Added admin controls for managing as well as deploying forecasts.
  • Support for new forecast views such as weekly and yearly forecasts.
  • Guided selling gets a boost with Sales Accelerator
  • Salespeople on the road get more out of their mobile experience.

Dynamics 365 Customer Service

Increase your agents’ experiences and productivity drastically with this release to solve cases faster. The power of AI will once again boost your customer service through improvements in searchability.

Explore these exciting features for Customer Service

Aim for a customer experience that exceeds expectations

  • Empower your customers through self- and assisted- service.
  • Deliver exceptional services through an all-in-one contact centre.
  • Boost knowledge authoring and management for your agents through AI suggestions and analytics.
  • Transform contact centre routing.


Dynamics 365 Field Service

Catch the release of wave for Dynamics

Curious about the new customer portal launching in this release? Dynamics 365 Field Service aims to deliver easy customer engagement and enhanced user productivity in this release of wave 2 for Dynamics 365.

Dive into these capabilities For Field Service:

Boost Customer Engagement and User productivity

  • Enjoy a streamlined onboarding experience.
  • The improved information architecture is now combined with an upgraded user interface.
  • Boost your field workers with capabilities such as mixed-reality calls and an enhanced Field Service mobile experience.
  • Engage better with your customers through self-scheduling and also an easy to navigate landing page.
  • Transform the scheduling experience through new and improved features.

Dynamics 365 Customer Insights

Unify and uncover the secrets within your customer data to make smarter decisions and get smarter insights. Audience Insights and Engagement Insights are here to bring out the best within Customer Insights.

Uncover how to get the best insights

What’s planned for Audience Insights

  • Scrap data silos and unite your customer data through connectors.
  • Create rich customer profiles coupled with audience intelligence namely from both first-party and third-party enrichments.
  • Get smart insights about your business with segments and measures and also boost businesses processes with innovative AI models or custom algorithms.
  • Personalise customer experiences across all channels.

What’s planned for Engagement insights

  • Unlock a 360-degree view with essential analytics and smart insights on your customers.
  • Drive better business insights by obtaining valuable insights into customer actions interactively.
  • Get a good grasp on customer journeys through funnel reports, journey maps, flows and more to ensure the best actions.
  • Connect analysis to your systems of action such as advertising channels, marketing channels, and other applications.

Dynamics 365 Customer Voice

What actions do you take after receiving feedback? The focus of this release is to help you engage with the right person at the right moment.

Catch these highlights of enhancements for Customer Voice

Get smarter feedback

  • Collect insights easily and act instantly on them.
  • Swiftly collect feedback insights and define customer workflows through Power Automate.
  • Compare results over time to uncover trends and to analyse performance.

Next-up: What to expect of Digital Transformation in 2021?

Digital Transformation Trends in 2021

Questions on the release of wave 2 for Dynamics 365?


Think Digital

Uncover Dynamics 365 Marketing 2021 Release

Uncover Dynamics 365 Marketing 2021 release wave 1 to boost your marketing this year.

Now more than ever, the happiness of your customers determines your success in gaining new business time and time again. Customer Experiences (CX) needs to be exceptional all-around to have your customers feel valued and also cared for.

Continue reading and find out how Dynamics 365 for marketing plans to transform the way you engage with your customers in release wave 1.

[READ ALSO] 5 CRM TRENDS TO WATCH OUT FOR >>


Real-time, Event-based customer journey orchestration

Real-time Customer Journey with event triggers

How do you keep your customers intrigued at all times? What matters most today is how you deliver a very personalised experience for each customer. Customer journeys now respond to customer interactions in the real world such as visiting a store. Of course, you still enjoy the perks of triggering a journey through virtual interactions like browsing a website.

With this real-time journey, you possess the tools to react instantly to your customers. Soon, you can catch any sales opportunity coming your way.

Highlights

Meet the flexible journey designer powered by AI

What makes this designer stand out is how easy, yet powerful it is to use thanks to AI. Here is why your journey is now highly personalised for each individual. As AI analyses your customers’ behaviours, it selects what is best for each customer based on what it has learned. This journey designer is bound to change the way you interact with your customers.

Every journey is led by the customer

In other words, what your customer does or does not do decides the next action or journey. With the right event triggers in place, you can focus fully on the customer experience. This can now be done easily and quickly without immersing yourself in coding.

Keep an eye on what goes on in the background

Track your analytics or the goals you defined beforehand. This release enables you to view the number of customers flowing through different paths of your journey. All in one place in real-time.

PREVIEW AVAILABLE IN EUROPE EARLY MAY

The new email editor is here to change the marketing game

New email editor in Dynamics 365 Marketing

Many marketers spend a huge chunk of their time creating engaging emails. Therefore Microsoft redesigned the email editor to assist marketers in creating personalised emails swiftly. Naturally, AI plays an important part in the new and improved editor. Through its smart suggestions, your messages will always be engaging and also captivating to your audience.

Highlights

A modern take on the email designer to fuel your team

Another way AI makes life easier for your marketers is by tagging uploaded files in the new centralised library. Marketers win more time instead of completing tedious tasks.

New editing capabilities introduce flexibility to the experience

Create and edit emails more swiftly through the flexible layout, image resizing, text line-height adjustments, including an improved email rendering and preview experience. Your marketer is going to love the freedom to create without restrictions.

AVAILABLE TO ALL REGIONS BY THE LAST WEEK OF APRIL

Host memorable online events with Dynamics 365 for Marketing and Teams Webinars

Teams Webinars and Dynamics 365 Marketing Integration

Here is a combo that will surely forever change the way you host online events. Teams webinars and Dynamics 365 Marketing integration are here to add newfound power, flexibility and endless possibilities to your live events.

Highlights

Organise webinars however you want

Whether you choose to create a webinar in Teams or Dynamics 365 Marketing, both ways are just as easy and intuitive. With the added power of Dynamics 365 Marketing, you get complete control over your live events.

Following up after an event is now a piece of cake

The powerful integration of Teams and Dynamics 365 Marketing turns any interaction into an ongoing relationship to win over your customers. You are one click away from collecting all that rich engagement data and following up effortlessly.

AVAILABLE TO ALL REGIONS BY THE LAST WEEK OF MAY

Next-up: What to expect of Digital Transformation in 2021?

Digital Transformation Trends in 2021

Questions on Dynamics 365 Marketing 2021 Release?


Think Digital

5 CRM trends to watch out for in 2021

Discover 5 CRM trends to watch out for in 2021 to thrive in a world shaken up by COVID-19.

Your relationship with customers is what will win you new business over and over again. If you manage to do it right of course. So, what do you need to do to stay ahead of the fierce competition during these troublesome times? Find out what direction CRM is heading in. Take a look at these trends to spot if your business is on the right track.

Keep reading to find out why you should watch out for these 5 leading CRM trends in 2021.

[READ ALSO] Digital Transformation Trends of 2021 >>


How AI-powered CRM tools can boost your Customer Service

Artificial Intelligence to power CRM and Customer Service

Last year, it became clear that customers’ behaviour is changing drastically and continues to grow more unpredictable each passing day.

The importance of gaining deeper insights is highlighted yet again and also challenges your business to achieve much more.

How do you manage then to do more with your real-time customer data today?

Hence why Artificial Intelligence (AI) is currently one of the most anticipated developments to come in CRM. You can expect AI-powered CRM tools to push the limits of your CRM further.

Think of applications such as automating time-consuming tasks, improving your service agents’ productivity, proactively solving customer issues, advancing your chatbots, predicting your customers’ needs, and many more.


Fewer channels to spark more conversations

One-Channel or Channel-less CRM

Omnichannel is no stranger to many. Plenty of businesses already adopted the omnichannel strategy to create a seamless customer experience, even as customers jump from channel to channel.

However, this year turns out to be quite different as a single-channel approach to CRM is becoming more favoured.

What is a single-channel approach?

What this means is that current communication channels will in fact unite. Through one-channel, your sales agents and also your customer service agents no longer need to switch channels to communicate with your customers.

Add AI into the mix and the majority of the work is done, leaving you with a channel-less CRM.


Big data: The next big thing to happen to CRM

Big data and customer data platforms in CRM

Let us state the obvious. The success of CRM relies on the data that you collect as well as what you do with it. Nowadays, the personalisation of customer experience is what determines the outcome of any interaction you have with a customer. How does this actually influence your business?

Here is what you can expect from big data and customer data platform software

  • Get complete and data-driven insights on your customers.
  • Perfect your marketing strategy through one, unified view of the customer experience.
  • Allow AI to analyse your data so you can identify buying patterns and conversion opportunities.


Voice Technology on its way to CRM

Voice Assistance expected in CRM

With the rise of voice technology, it only makes sense that voice engagement is on its way to CRM. Microsoft for instance is already showing interest by funding Tact.ai, a company that owns smart voice assistance technology.

Why is Voice Technology a CRM trend to watch out for?

Currently, voice assistance empowers sales representatives to follow, message, and also alert their teams about related customer data. Now here is where things start to take an interesting turn. Imagine what voice technology paired with AI and machine learning could do for your business.

This could enable you to fuel your business with more data in addition to helpful insights.


CRM shifting to mobile and social in 2021

CRM going more social and movbile

There are two things you need to know about your customers. The first thing is that your customers crave constant connectivity.

This is what strongly drives CRM platforms to provide full and secure mobile functionality. From smartphones and tablets to any other devices that can connect to the internet.

Social Media is not slowing down in 2021

Another thing you should keep in mind is how the importance of social media is not slowing down anytime soon. Social media users today expect a response from your company almost instantly. Is this is a challenge your business is trying to overcome?

Leading CRM platforms are now planning integrations with more social networks, but the technology is not new. Current integrations with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn can still strengthen and boost your relationship with customers.


Next-up: What to expect of Digital Transformation in 2021?

Digital Transformation Trends in 2021

Questions on how you can make these 5 CRM trends work in 2021?

Facebook Messenger has been added as extra digital channel in Dynamics 365 Customer Service

Dynamics 365 Customer Service adds Facebook Messenger

Just before the holiday season kicked off, Microsoft included Facebook Messenger as an extra digital channel for Dynamics 365 Customer Service. Customer support teams will now be able to assist their clients using this popular social messaging channel.

By adding Facebook Messenger, Dynamics 365 Customer Service is extending its omnichannel capabilities. Interaction with your customers on their preferred channel is possible in various ways like email, phone, SMS, live chat and the recently added Facebook messaging app.

Watch demo to learn more about Dynamics 365 Customer Service

Explore Dynamics 365 Customer Service capabilities

Advantages of Facebook Messenger in Dynamics 365 Customer Service

The asynchronous nature of conversations in Facebook Messenger is undoubtedly an important reason for its inclusion and integration within Dynamics 365 Customer Service. Thanks to this asynchronous character, customers experience the convenience of getting their issues resolved as and when they find time.

When using live chat, the session ends when the chat window is closed. With Facebook Messenger, the customer can continue the dialog with a customer service agent through the same window at a later time. Even when it’s started on their desktop and proceeded on their phone, the conversation is continued, creating a seamless support experience.

With more than a billion active users, Facebook Messenger is one of the biggest messaging apps worldwide. Certainly, it’s a platform many costumers are already familiar with.

Other benefits of the fresh integration of Facebook Messenger are:

  • Service agents will access the messaging conversations in Dynamics 365 Customer Service through the same unified interface already used by chat to engage with customers and resolve outstanding issues.
  • Support center supervisors and managers will also get access relevant and detailed reports to identify opportunities to increase efficiencies and effectiveness.

As a wrap for this latest update, we are quoting Erin Amstrup, Product Marketing Manager, Dynamics 365 Customer Service:

“By including Facebook Messenger to our digital messaging offer, customers can contact support organisations via their channel of choice, while simultaneously arming agents with a true 360-degree view of the customer journey and the tools needed to deliver a quick resolution that is consistent across all channels of engagement.”

Read more about Microsoft’s addition of Facebook Messenger in Dynamics 365 Customer Support on their blog.

Get in touch if you would like to know more about Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Support or any other Dynamics 365 related question. Stay tuned for more Dynamics 365 news!

Source: Microsoft

Dynamics 365 Commerce launch

Microsoft rolls out Dynamics 365 Commerce, which is basically an e-commerce solution that helps retailers manage their business better.

With built-in web authoring as well as development tools you can create engaging and intelligent digital storefronts. While a connected marketing and commerce platform enables seamless management of content, assets, promotions, inventory and pricing across channels.

Dynamics 365 Commerce Preview - Product

There is also room for your customers to leave reviews. What’s more, the solution is an extension of Dynamics 365 for Retail and integrates with other Microsoft software. Companies are now able to communicate with their customers which is equally important.

Microsoft has also rolled out Dynamics 365 Connected Store, a service that can send alerts to employees based on information collected from sensors and cameras in physical stores.

Preview of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Commerce and Connected Store Vision

Curious to find out how these new smart technologies look like in action? Watch the following video to discover how they can boost your business!

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Commerce and Connected Store Vision

Read more about Microsoft’s latest announcement on their blog.

Get in touch if you would like to know more or have any other Dynamics 365 related question. Stay tuned for more Dynamics 365 news!

Image source: Microsoft

Microsoft Dynamics 365 apps

Dynamics 365: 2 major updates per year

Microsoft recently announced a change in their service update process for Dynamics 365 (online). As from now, there will be two major releases per year, foreseen in April and October. Doing so Microsoft wants to lower upgrade costs, offer the latest capabilities and functionalities to all users and provide a better support experience.

Release notes of these predictable updates will be published months prior to each major update to be prepared for the new features and improvements. Next to early visibility of the upcoming changes, both partners as customers will be able to test the latest capabilities early in the update cycle. The Dynamics 365 updates will be made available in a sandbox environment well in advance of its release.

Besides these 2 major updates, Microsoft will deploy performance and reliability improvement updates throughout the year.

Microsoft’s extended announcement is available on their blog.

Get in touch if you would like to know more about this announcement or any other Dynamics 365 related question. Stay tuned for more Dynamics 365 news!

 

Image source: Microsoft

General Data Protection Regulation is here, are you ready?

GDPR is here, are you ready?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes into effect today (25/05/2018). To summarize, the regulation obliges companies to protect the personal data and privacy of all citizens within EU member states. The GDPR centres on two key principles. Firstly, companies need clear consent to gather personal data. Secondly, data can only be used to optimise offered services. These key principles has led to companies updating their privacy and data collection policies.

There is a lot of work to do and not all companies will be 100% ready for today’s deadline. What about you? Are you still struggling with the many requirements the European privacy regulation is imposing?

Here is how you can prepare yourself for the upcoming change. With a total of 99 articles, the legislation might seem like a challenge for your company. Have a look at our infographic below for a quick summary about the new privacy and data rules. Find out how we approach the GDPR as data is at the center of everything in today’s digital era.

Do you still have burning questions on how to prepare and ensure full compliance with GDPR requirements?

Get in touch with us, we can help you to become GDPR compliant!

GDPR is here, are you ready? Contact Admiral Dynamics.

Summit EMEA Dublin 2018

Day 3 @ Summit EMEA Dublin 2018

As you could already read on our blog, our colleague Laurent Van Aert was at the Summit EMEA in Dublin the past 3 days. Laurent’s diary of the first two days are available on this blog: read his experiences of day 1 and day 2.

Curious how his 3rd day at the Summit EMEA Dublin 2018 looked like? Laurent explains it here:

“Really enjoying the final day at the Summit EMEA in Dublin. We started off with getting some profound insights in how LinkedIn can be deeply integrated into Dynamics 365, showing the immense advantages enforcing both sales as HR performances.

This session was followed with a demo on how powerful PowerApps can be to deliver a specific application for the branches of Metro Bank enabling employees to provide a great customer experience. Of course implementing new systems, apps, procedures and other within an organisation aren’t possible without taking care of the aspect of change management. Very useful insights about this matter were provided in a dedicated session concerning internal (digital) transformation.

Last but not least the Summit ended with a comprehensive and accurate representation of the developments of email integration within Dynamics 365, including the latest alteration of keeping the Outlook client and the enhancements of the fully integrated email function within the new Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing module.

It has been some exciting days and the future is looking bright for sure!”

Would you like to know more about the Summit EMEA Dublin 2018? Get in touch, we’ll tell you all about it!

Summit EMEA Dublin 2018

Day 2 @ Summit EMEA Dublin 2018

As you could already read on our blog, our colleague Laurent Van Aert is currently attending the Summit EMEA in Dublin. You can read Laurent’s first day report here.

Curious how day 2 at the Summit EMEA Dublin 2018 went? Then you should read further:

“It has again been a packed day full of sessions! In the morning an elaborative session around 360° Customer Service Engagement provided us with a broad scope of possibilities for delivering a professional approach towards customers using PowerApps, Unified Service Desk solutions and more tools depending on the various ways of interaction with customers throughout the entire servicing journey.

As the deadline for being GDPR compliant is approaching rapidly, Microsoft demonstrated not only how they ensure being compliant as a data controller, but also how the Microsoft solution delivers the necessary tools and functionalities for any organisation or company in order to respond to the different challenges concerning the privacy regulation.

In the afternoon, a session on full Office 365 integration using SharePoint, OneDrive and OneNote provided quite some insights in how this can be set up efficiently and how to assure an effective empowerment of employees surfing on the wave of digital transformation. Furthermore we also had the opportunity to get deeper insights in how to guarantee an efficient implementation of Portals, including Microsoft’s new v8 multiple out-of-the-box solutions.

A final highlight of the day definitely was the Vodafone Iceland case about a effective customer engagement project using Dynamics 365/CRM showing that any digital transformation program needs to be driven by and carried throughout the entire organisation to ensure being successful. It was again a very enriching day! Tomorrow it’s already the last one but my expectations are (still) high!”

Check out this blog post for an update on day 3 of the Summit EMEA Dublin 2018.