Microsoft announces updates to Dynamics 365

DateApril 2022

Author: Jeremy Jalie, Business Development Director, Silverbear

In his poem, The Waste Land, T.S Elliot’s opening line is that April is the cruelest month. However, this April is proving to be far from cruel after Microsoft announced a raft of new features as part of its 2022 Release Wave 1 Plan.

The result? Those whose membership CRM system is built on Microsoft Dynamics 365 will be able to tap into even more functionality and benefits. Of course, we can’t really comment on other companies’ products – but we can comment on what it means for Silverbear 365, our own member CRM system (or association management system, as it’s becoming increasingly known).

As you might imagine in a document weighing in at 471 pages, the list of potential membership CRM benefits is long. Very long. However, we’ve cherrypicked our top five, which are as follows:

1.    Member intelligence

The holy grail for ALL membership organisations is to build better relationships with their members – and membership CRM systems exist to do pretty much that. However, through Microsoft Dynamics 365’s new relationship intelligence feature, users can now build relationships via predictive relationship intelligence, engagement signals, and LinkedIn data. From a CRM membership management perspective, this means that membership organisations can now actively prospect for new members in a more strategic way by being able to access better insights into where those prospects exist.

2.    Performance visibility

If building relations is the holy grail for membership organisations, then having the mechanisms in place to stay on top of revenue forecasts is a close second. After all, without understanding your membership sales cycle, how can you know how to improve it? By integrating the new forecasting and pipeline function into Silverbear Membership, users can now tap into insights that other membership CRM platforms aren’t able to. The power of the Azure platform is already huge. This addition takes it to a new level.

3.    Teams integration

It goes without saying that communication is essential when it comes to effective membership database management. So, the latest Teams update, enables customer service agents - especially those working remotely in a post-Covid landscape - to work more efficiently. The new update means that conversations in embedded Teams are linked directly to customer service records, which offers a multi-dimensional experience and means that everyone can be connected in multiple ways.

4.    Knowledge is everything

Only by truly knowing your members can you properly meet their needs, which is why the new knowledge management update is vital for those asking ‘how can I increase member engagement?’. Better knowledge management supports issue resolution and boosts member and employee satisfaction levels. The latest update allows users to create, import, and share knowledge bases from multiple sources including SharePoint, Microsoft search, and other Dynamics 365 organisations, in addition to receiving AI-triggered knowledge suggestions to speed up support delivery. What does this mean for membership organisations? It means they can build a knowledge base that can be used to service not only members but also entire industries, in multiple ways.

5.    Search made simple

Being able to quickly access data can often be the dividing line between an efficient membership organisation and an inefficient membership organisation. One of the latest features - explore data through modern advanced find - enables users to access any table in a model-driven app through search, and use advanced filters to explore that data easily. From our perspective, this feature is a little overdue. However, its inclusion is likely to be well received and improve administrator and end-user experiences.

There are many more benefits attributable to the 2022 Release Wave 1 Plan. If you’d like to discuss what they mean for you and your membership organisation, reach out to our team of membership CRM specialists below.

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