Dynamics 365 Field Service 2020 release wave 1: Key takeaways

Jul 20, 2020 Anjan Barman

The primary attractions of the 2020 release wave 1 for MS Dynamics 365 Field Service include features for time entries & inspections and the use of AI & IoT for proactive service and decisions. Additionally, there are ongoing enhancements to agent scheduling, supply chain, and asset management.

Field service, also called on-site service, demands an end-to-end solution for the management of activities from a central interface. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Field Service counts on AI and IoT to enable proactive and predictive field service, helping users with low service costs, enhanced product life, and easy management of workflows. The latest 2020 release wave 1 features bring added conveniences and enhancements to the solution.

Deploying AI and IoT for optimum performance

  • Analysis of work orders and historical data helps standardize services, refine workflows, identify fast-moving spares, boost first-time fix rates, and reduce the efforts of field technicians.
  • Proactive service is elevated to the next level with accurate case prioritization through contextual IoT alerts. The latest update would have an enhanced time series experience and possible measures for alerts.

New workflow capabilities

  • Users would be able to realize efficient process automation with the solution’s tight integration with Power Automate.
  • Improved asset management with Common Data Model and Common Data Service to address different asset-centric scenarios. Integration with Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management for better visibility and control over warehouse, payment, and shipment.
  • Leverage Microsoft Intune to centrally control the Field Service Mobile app. This promotes end-to-end management of the app with features to manage user groups and devices.

Productivity boost

  • Centralized scheduling of field workforce with an upgraded schedule board with improved booking and initial board load time. It supports drag-and-drop scenarios in the hourly view.
  • Unified interfaces for managers to work out employee working hours. Stakeholders can modify resources’ work timings as per scenario demands.
  • Requirement dependencies injected into workflows to enable efficient service operations. The resource scheduling optimizer helps workflows by factoring in the predecessor and successor dependency relationship.
  • Out-of-the-box features and an upgraded dashboard to empirically measure agent performance and adjust resource utilization.
  • Field agents empowered with inspection capabilities can create and manage inspections as per work orders with a mobile experience.

Time management

  • Integration with Project Service Automation supports process-specific tracking of technician time for estimating service costs.
  • The ability to configure the frequency of capturing booking timestamps and relevant details.

The application of Dynamics 365 Field Service begins with a comprehensive need and cost assessment. Choosing the processes to automate and the ones to leave out requires expert guidance since automating everything isn’t a prudent move. Then you have to decide on the reporting capabilities and define the metrics to measure the success of the investment.

These necessitate the assistance of an expert Dynamics 365 partner with extensive experience. We are one such partner with clients across industries who have ramped up operations and saved fortunes by leveraging our expertise. Do connect with us to know more about our industry-specific custom solutions and services based on the Dynamics platform.

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