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Transforming service operations with Connected Field Service

You have probably heard of Connected Field Service as a buzzword these days, but some of you may still wonder what it actually entails. Field service management (or FSM) typically refers to the management of a company’s resources employed at or en route to the client’s location.1 FSM typically involves the installation, service, maintenance, or…

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You have probably heard of Connected Field Service as a buzzword these days, but some of you may still wonder what it actually entails. Field service management (or FSM) typically refers to the management of a company’s resources employed at or en route to the client’s location.1 FSM typically involves the installation, service, maintenance, or repairs of systems equipment and is usually facilitated by software with cloud-based platforms that aid in the management of field service processes.

Connected Field Service is the ability to add connected devices, powered by the Internet of Things (IoT), and leverages cloud capabilities to augment your existing field service operations. It enables organizations to transform the way they provide service from a costly, reactive break-fix model to a proactive and in some cases, even predictive service model through the holistic combination of IoT diagnostics, scheduling, asset maintenance, and inventory on the same platform.

Field service management and automation software like Microsoft Dynamics 365 Field Service creates value for organizations and can help significantly transform service operations by providing the ability to transmit critical information from IoT-powered equipment directly to service providers and technicians via the cloud. This is made possible by the convergence of multiple technologies including real-time data analytics, machine learning, ubiquitous computing, commodity sensors, and embedded systems.

Connected Field Service: Leveling up from traditional field service

Field service typically involves the traditional process of installation, check-up maintenance, and break-fix (repair) appointments. However, without smart sensors in place, this process is often reactive, time-consuming, and puts the onus on the customer to contact the field service organization to log a ticket for any repairs or schedule maintenance.

With Connected Field Service, the transformation to proactive and ultimately predictive service is made possible as downtime can be effectively mitigated through remote monitoring of IoT-enabled devices. Connected IoT devices can automatically transmit alerts regarding equipment operational anomalies to the field service organization, helping to accelerate service response time. In some cases, fixes can be completed remotely, avoiding the need to schedule and dispatch an onsite technician, thereby helping organizations reduce operation costs. This also saves the customer considerable time and money as repairs can now be proactively completed even before the customer becomes aware of an issue or experiences any impact.

Benefits of Connected Field Service

Connected Field Service offers a plethora of advantages, including:

  • The ability to predict and proactively prevent breakdowns by identifying underperforming or faulty equipment.
  • Improved first-time fix rates and minimizing equipment downtime via proactive IoT alerts from connected devices.
  • Resolving issues faster with remote self-healing capabilities by sending device commands to repair or reset equipment, without requiring onsite technician support.
  • Reducing maintenance costs through remote monitoring and analysis of device data, and if onsite service is required, to help ensure that the right technician with relevant skill sets is dispatched with the necessary tools needed.
  • Providing greater visibility into products, services, performance, and customer satisfaction, and proactively identifying opportunities for improvement using AI-driven data analytics.

Simple setup

Connected Field Service is relatively simple to set up and can be implemented in stages as your organization becomes more comfortable using it. If you are already using a traditional field service management system, the transition to Connected Field Service is straightforward as it is a natural progression.

With Connected Field Service, IoT devices collect relevant information from your equipment—for example, cycle counts, temperature, humidity—and automatically relays it to your field service management system. Machine learning then uses the equipment telemetry data gathered over time to improve responses and provide accurate predictive analytics to enhance your field service management processes.

How Connected Field Service works

As an example, let’s say an IoT sensor is installed on a client’s equipment to collect status reports. The sensor transmits data back to your organization where it is then integrated into your field service software and matched with customer information within your current database. When an anomaly occurs, the error is quickly identified and this data is delivered as an alert via the cloud to the technician en route to the client site, where the complete service history can be viewed in real-time. The data from the IoT sensor helps eliminates the need for the initial onsite diagnostics so that the technician can get right to work in resolving the issue once onsite. A technician with the relevant skillset in that particular issue or anomaly is automatically dispatched via Dynamics 365 Field Service and arrives onsite already armed with critical data relevant to the malfunctioning equipment to resolve the issue.

Enabling business continuity with always-on service in the new normal

The COVID-19 pandemic created an urgent need for contact-free service to protect both field service frontline workers and customers from potential exposure to the virus. During this time, companies reassessed how to enable remote working to accommodate social distancing and other safety precautions, but for field service technicians, the “office” is one client site to another. To safeguard frontline workers and customers, many organizations stopped sending technicians all together or scheduled technicians to only perform service when the customer was absent.

As a result of the global travel restrictions, many companies accelerated the migration to Connected Field Service as it helps to minimize in-person contact to keep both technicians and customers safe. However, that’s just the beginning of the full breadth of benefits. In addition to travel avoidance, service costs were also effectively reduced as the field service organization is now automatically alerted to operational anomalies via IoT-enabled devices. A technician can remotely deploy a fix by sending a command to resolve the issue even before it impacts the customer. The focus of Connected Field Service is the transformation to proactive and ultimately predictive maintenance, turning the field service organization from a cost center to a revenue generator.

Better together

Transform your field service operations today. Come discover how Connected Field Service using Dynamics 365 Field Service, Dynamics 365 Remote Assist, and IoT can help create a seamless service process that enhances customer satisfaction while boosting revenue. Take advantage of smart, internet-ready devices that can detect and diagnose issues, integrating with field service management (FSM) software like Dynamics 365 Field Service, to automatically initiate troubleshooting and, when needed, create work orders to dispatch technicians for onsite service. Learn how you can leverage technology to schedule preventative maintenance based on consumption rather than rely on a regimented schedule. Best of all, enjoy the flexibility of implementing the solution in stages so your team can ramp up via a natural progression.

Learn more about Connected Field Service.

Read about Dynamics 365 Field Service.

Chat with a Field Service expert.

1- “Field service management”, Wikipedia.

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Facebook: How Meta Is Preparing for Brazil’s 2022 Elections

Today, we want to share our work to protect the integrity of presidential elections taking place in Brazil in October 2022. In recent years, we’ve increased our efforts to combat misinformation by investing in teams, technology and partnerships to ensure the safety of people using Meta’s platforms. Since 2016, we’ve quadrupled our security and integrity…

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Today, we want to share our work to protect the integrity of presidential elections taking place in Brazil in October 2022. In recent years, we’ve increased our efforts to combat misinformation by investing in teams, technology and partnerships to ensure the safety of people using Meta’s platforms.

Since 2016, we’ve quadrupled our security and integrity workforce to more than 40,000 people globally. Last year alone, we invested nearly $5 billion in both areas.

We know that local knowledge is essential for this work to be effective, so we also have a large team of specialists based in Brazil who have a deep understanding of the situation. These efforts are intensified as the election approaches, and our work to protect the integrity of our platforms will continue after the vote.

Preventing and Stopping Election Interference

Removing content that violates our policies on voter suppression, such as posts that discourage people from voting, is among our many responses to potential interference in the electoral process. We take many actions to prevent hate speech or the incitement of violence on our platforms.

Currently, 99.7% of the fake accounts we remove from Facebook are deleted by artificial intelligence, before they are reported by users. We also investigate and disrupt networks that use fake accounts in a coordinated way to influence public debate.

Closer to October, we will activate an Elections Operations Center focused on Brazil, an initiative we’ve implemented since 2018, to bring together experts from across the company – including intelligence, data science, engineering, research, operations, public policy and legal teams. They work together to identify potential threats on our platforms in real time, accelerating our response time.

Collaborating With Authorities

In partnership with Brazil’s Superior Electoral Court (TSE), in December 2021 we started adding a label to posts about political elections on Facebook and Instagram, directing people to reliable information on the Electoral Justice website. In the first two months after its launch, the label led to a 10-fold increase in visits to the Electoral Justice portal.

Between the end of April and the beginning of May, we posted reminders on Facebook for users to request or update their voter cards. The content was seen by the majority of adults using Facebook in Brazil and more than three  million people clicked to see more information. Closer to the upcoming election, we will again display reminders on Facebook and Instagram about voting day to raise awareness among voters and reduce abstention rates.

For the first time, the TSE will be able to report content directly on Facebook and Instagram that may violate our policies. We will analyze the reports once they are received.

WhatsApp launched an extrajudicial channel of communication in the 2020 municipal election to receive complaints from the TSE. The focus is on quick response to potential cases of bulk messaging, which is forbidden by local electoral law and by the app’s terms of service.

We also developed a virtual assistant on WhatsApp with the TSE, as we did during Brazil’s 2020 municipal election. The chatbot is accessible through the number +55 61 9637-1078. It allows voters to interact directly with the electoral authority and receive relevant information about the vote.

Meta has hosted training sessions for electoral officials all over Brazil to explain our actions to curb misinformation, share details on how Facebook and Instagram work, and detail our content rules, which we call our Community Standards and Community Guidelines. We also offer workshops to candidates and their campaign teams.

The partnership with the TSE also includes booklets with information for the electoral community and a guide to combating online violence against women in politics, also supported by the Women’s Democracy Network (WDN) – Brazil Chapter.

Fighting Misinformation

We remove content on Facebook and Instagram that discourages voting or interferes with voting, such as incorrect information about the election date or candidates’ numbers.

We also work with independent fact-checking organizations to verify the veracity of reported posts that don’t violate our Community Standards. When fact-checkers mark a post as false, we reduce its reach on Facebook and Instagram.

People who still see this content in their feeds will see it covered with a label and a link directing them to more information from the fact-checker. In July, we increased the number of partners in our fact-checking initiative in Brazil from four to six including: Agência Lupa, AFP, Aos Fatos, Estadão Verifica, Reuters Fact Check and UOL Confere.

Since messages on WhatsApp are end-to-end encrypted, we fight misinformation on WhatsApp through measures to reduce message virality.

Messages forwarded on WhatsApp are identified with a tag. Since 2020, messages with five or more forwards can be resent to just one conversation, which has led to a 70% global reduction in the number of frequently forwarded messages. This year, we implemented a new forwarding limit on WhatsApp: now, any forwarded message can only be forwarded again to one WhatsApp group at a time.

Advertising Transparency

In 2018, we launched our transparency tools for ads about politics and elections on Facebook and Instagram in Brazil. In 2020, we began requiring advertisers who wish to run ads about elections or politics to complete an authorization process and include “Paid for by” disclaimers on these ads. This year, we’ve expanded that requirement to ads about social issues such as economics, security and education.

All posts with the “Paid for by” disclaimer go to the Ad Library, where they are stored for seven years. The tool is open and provides anyone with detailed information about political ads including  the ad source account, audience demographics and estimated spending range, among other data.

Protecting the integrity of the Brazilian election in 2022 on our apps is a priority for Meta. We will continue to share updates on how we move forward with this work.

See more information about our work on elections.

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Microsoft is a Leader in The Forrester Wave: CRM Suites, Q3 2022

We are honored to announce that Microsoft Dynamics 365 was identified as a Leader in The Forrester WaveTM: CRM Suites, Q3 2022. A few weeks ago, during his Microsoft Inspire keynote, Satya Nadella reminded us of the distinct value that Microsoft provides to organizations by leading the way in digital transformation and supercharging their systems…

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We are honored to announce that Microsoft Dynamics 365 was identified as a Leader in The Forrester WaveTM: CRM Suites, Q3 2022.

A few weeks ago, during his Microsoft Inspire keynote, Satya Nadella reminded us of the distinct value that Microsoft provides to organizations by leading the way in digital transformation and supercharging their systems of record. “Dynamics 365 is purpose-built for this new world of business process. Our intelligent business applications connect data, process, and teams, ushering in a new era of hyper connected business and offering unparalleled value.” And over this past year we have been proud to see our customers take Dynamics 365 and show that there are really no limits to what can be done when you unite data silos with industry-leading AI and integrate collaboration tools throughout.

From the Campari Group’s ability to deploy bespoke personalization to their event attendees with real-time customer journey orchestration, to Dextra Group’s saving a whopping 60 percent on their customer relationship management (CRM) cost while also increasing seller productivity and lead quality, and to the city of Richmond, Virginia transformation of their non-emergency case management capabilities to deliver omnichannel engagement for improved efficiency and also becoming benchmark for how governments nationwide can utilize digital tools to better serve their communities.

What makes our CRM and connected products stand out for our customers? Here are seven key insights we have heard over the past year.

  1. Dynamics 365 provides an end-to-end, full-funnel solution. Dynamics 365 is the only portfolio of intelligent business applications that accelerates revenue outcomes by transforming selling experiences with a single intelligent, digital, customizable solution.
  2. Robust AI insights at your fingertips. Dynamics 365 enables everyone, across every team, to make better and more impactful decisions by converting data into insights with the intelligence of Microsoft AI allowing teams to be more efficient and productive.
  3. Breakdown the barriers between people. We offer the leading workplace collaboration, video conferencing, and meeting software in the world with Microsoft Teams, which can connect seamlessly with our out-of-the-box CRM or be personalized to fit an organization’s needs with custom features.
  4. Personalize every experience. Dynamics 365 Marketing assists companies in more deeply understanding their customers and drives intent with AI-powered insights to deliver connected experiences—all the way from acquisition to retention.
  5. Streamlined, proactive, scalable sales. Dynamics 365 helps sales teams uplevel forecasting and revenue operations with built-in AI and machine learning and enhance seller performance with recommended next best actions, productivity tools, and real-time coaching.
  6. Breakthrough service capabilities. Dynamics 365 Customer Service helps organizations meet the evolving needs of every customer across every channel and increases customer satisfaction, while boosting frontline employee productivity regardless of location.
  7. Low-code transformation. With Microsoft Power Platform, organizations can provide anyone with the ability for low-code transformation with low-code, intuitive, extensible tools that seamlessly connect to Dynamics 365. 

It’s an honor for us that so many organizations look to us for help modernizing sales, marketing, and service operations. As Forrester states in its report, “Microsoft’s strong vision, the breadth of its suite, and its partner ecosystem and industry solutions drive its 40% year-over-year growth, especially in industries such as financial services, healthcare, and retail.” We genuinely believe that with connected data, underpinned by industry leading AI and insights, there are no limits to what organizations can do. From upleveling employee experiences, to improving team productivity, and building deeper relationships with customers. It is all available with Dynamics 365.

Learn more

To learn more about how Microsoft compared with the other eight selected providers, please navigate to The Forrester WaveTM: CRM Suites, Q3 2022 website and get your copy.

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Exchange Online Basic authentication is going away: What you need to know

Effective October 1, 2022, you will no longer be able to use Basic authentication to connect to Microsoft Exchange Online. If your organization uses server-side synchronization or the deprecated Dynamics 365 Email Router, you should find out now whether you need to prepare for the change. How will removing Exchange Online Basic authentication affect Dynamics…

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Effective October 1, 2022, you will no longer be able to use Basic authentication to connect to Microsoft Exchange Online. If your organization uses server-side synchronization or the deprecated Dynamics 365 Email Router, you should find out now whether you need to prepare for the change.

How will removing Exchange Online Basic authentication affect Dynamics 365 and Power Apps?

After October 1, 2022, any connection to Exchange Online that uses server-side sync or the Dynamics 365 Email Router with Basic authentication (username and password) will quit working. Dynamics 365 mailboxes that use these connections will no longer be able to:

  • Send email from Dynamics 365 through Exchange Online
  • Retrieve email from Exchange Online
  • Synchronize appointments, contacts, or tasks between Dynamics 365 and Exchange Online

This change doesn’t affect connections that use Modern authentication (OAuth 2.0 token-based authorization).

How can I find out if I need to prepare?

If your company is using server-side sync or the Email Router to connect to Exchange Online using a username and password, you need to act. There are a couple of ways to find out whether your organization is affected and what you need to do if it is.

Review your Message Center Posts (recommended)

The fastest and most reliable way to know if you need to prepare and what to do is to look in the Microsoft 365 Message Center. (You must have admin rights to sign in to the Message Center.) The Exchange Online team has been sending monthly Message Center posts to all affected customers with the following title format: “Basic Authentication – Monthly Usage Report – 2022.”

If your organization is using server-side sync with Basic authentication, you may also have received Message Center posts from the Dynamics 365 or Power Apps services. Look for posts with the following title: “Impact due to Exchange Online disabling Basic Authentication.”

The posts provide detailed information about the change and actions you need to take before October 1.

Check your Dynamics 365 email settings

If you don’t find any posts in the Message Center, read our guide on how to check whether your organization is affected and if it is, what you need to do before October 1.

Learn more

You can find more information, including FAQs, in the documentation:

Use of Basic authentication with Exchange Online | Microsoft Docs

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