Frontline updates in Microsoft Teams, Windows 365, Copilot & Dynamics 365 Field Service
New capabilities for your frontline workers, including Windows 365 Frontline experience, Copilot in Dynamics 365 Field Service for more streamlined service delivery, and Microsoft Teams as the single collaboration hub to get work done, wherever you are. Check out updated admin experiences, from setting up Windows 365 Frontline Cloud PCs and configuring Windows 365 Boot, to deploying Microsoft Teams to frontline workers at scale.
Microsoft 365 Frontline Product Manager, Rajiv Thandla, shares updates, along with the admin controls to set everything up.
Create work orders from customer emails.
Pre-populated and summarized details using Copilot in Dynamics 365 Field Service. Check out AI-powered experiences for frontline workers and managers.
Stay in Microsoft Teams — AND access important information.
Access work orders, upcoming assignments, and location details. Check out connected experiences for frontline technicians using Dynamics 365 Field Service, Remote Assist, and Teams.
Share resources to optimize per-user costs.
Enable three users non-concurrent access to a Cloud PC with Windows 365 Frontline. Set it up.
Watch our video here.
00:00 — Introduction
01:07 — Windows 365 Boot experience
01:39 — Copilot in Dynamics 365 Field Service
02:47 — Technician’s mobile device experience
05:04 — Windows 365 setup
06:04 — Frontline Cloud PCs setup & Windows 365 Boot configuration
07:41 — Microsoft Teams
09:57 — Wrap up
Check out https://aka.ms/FrontlineTech
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-Today I’ll give you a first look at new integrated capabilities for your frontline workers. Including the new Windows 365 Frontline experience, Copilot in Dynamics 365 Field Service for more streamlined service delivery, and Microsoft Teams as the single collaboration hub to get work done wherever you are. Then if you’re an admin, I’ll demonstrate updated experiences from setting up Windows 365 Frontline Cloud PCs and configuring Windows 365 Boot, to deploying Microsoft Teams to frontline workers at scale and more. Frontline workers are often the first and primary point of contact for your organization. And whether they are technicians providing repair services, nurses working with patients seeking care, or in-store associates working on the retail floor, the combination of new frontline capabilities that I’ll walk you through today, can help take your frontline worker experience to the next level.
-Let me show you an example from the service industry, starting with the new Windows 365 Frontline Cloud PC experience, including how this now lets you extend Cloud PCs to shift workers in an affordable way, and I’ll share more on how that works in just a second. But first, let me show you the new Windows 365 Boot experience, which for frontline workers, makes the shared device experience seamless and helps optimize costs. Now this allows a user to sign in to Windows, just as they normally would. But instead of having to first navigate to their desktop and launch a local app to access Windows 365, a direct connection is established to a user-dedicated and persistent Cloud PC. Now this provides a more streamlined experience. And of course, because it’s a user-dedicated Cloud PC, you can ensure any user-specific required apps are available.
-So now that our Cloud PC is up and running, let’s look at a few new AI-powered experiences using Copilot in Dynamics 365 Field Service. Here we’re in Outlook with the new integrated Dynamics 365 Field Service experience with Copilot. An HVAC service manager needs to assign and dispatch technicians to customer sites. And we can see this is an urgent request for an HVAC repair. And so the first thing we can do is use Copilot to pre-populate and summarize details from the email thread into a draft work order for review. Now once it’s saved, it will automatically create the work order for that customer in Dynamics 365 Field Service.
-Now let me show something coming soon where Copilot can also actually help orchestrate service delivery. So here, you’re seeing intelligent scheduling suggestions for an available, nearby technician, taking into account things like travel times, skillset, calendar information, and other factors. And once we’ve selected the technician, Copilot can even suggest a draft response to the customer with key details and next steps. Now this is what the experience looks like in Outlook, but in the future, we’ll also integrate these experiences directly into Microsoft Teams. So now that we’ve assigned our work order, let me next show you the technician’s experience on a mobile device. Now in our case, mobile devices are also shared, company-provided devices. And each has been preconfigured as a shared device using Microsoft Intune with all of the apps and experiences needed to get work done, including Dynamics 365 Field Service, Remote Assist, and Microsoft Teams. And by the way, if you’re using VMware or Soti for mobile device management, they also now support shared device mode.
-Now here, our the field tech is signed-in to the device that he’s checked out for the day, with the Microsoft Teams app open. And front and center is a customized home experience designed for frontline workers. This provides easy access to key actions and surfaces important information. Including items like the next scheduled work order and with the new adaptive cards it’s also easy to access upcoming assignments. And he can quickly see the HVAC work order assigned to him from before and find the location details to get where he needs to be, all without leaving Teams. He can then update the status from “scheduled” to “in progress” as he leaves for the job. Importantly, after arriving on-site, the technician will now have the right tools, including voice, video and even expert support staff at the main office, who can help even further.
-So in this case, our tech needs remote assistance to get more help for the unit he’s servicing. Using Remote Assist, he can see a list of specialists and their availability status, and he’s able to make a call to an expert, Markus, who’s currently working from home using Microsoft Teams. With the call initiated he’s able to share the view from the device’s camera, so that Markus can help diagnose the problem, and provide the recommended remediation. Markus is also able to help further in the moment by using 3D spatial annotations that are anchored to the physical environment to guide our tech on performing the repair. And he’s also able to directly share an embedded guide for this model with a step-by-step checklist accessible from the Dynamics 365 Field Service mobile app for our onsite tech to complete the process. He is then able to finish up the work order in the Field Service app. And sign out of this shared device when he’s done. And of course, now the device can be returned to the pool, where it will be ready to go for the next technician to use. So now we’ve seen how the frontline experience can be more streamlined with the help of AI along with integrated tools for better collaboration and service delivery. Let’s switch gears to see what it takes to set these experiences up as an admin. I’ll walk through a few of the updates, starting with Windows 365.
-First, let me go back to the point I made earlier when I said that Windows 365 Frontline is an affordable option for shift and part time workers, and here’s why. So let’s say for example, you hade nine Frontline users, with only three of them working at the same time. In this case you would only need three licenses for all nine Frontline users. This is because with Windows 365 Frontline, each license enables any three users non-concurrent access to a Cloud PC. And when a worker completes their shift, and is no longer accessing their Cloud PC, the Cloud PC is turned off. Importantly, the Cloud PC does not consume resources, until the next user logs on to their dedicated Cloud PC. So it’s the sharing of these underlying resources to run your Cloud PCs that makes per-user costs affordable. And because Windows 365 gives every user their own Cloud PC, their personal settings are retained whenever they sign in.
-Now let me show you how you’d actually set up those Frontline Cloud PCs. From the Devices Windows 365 page in the Intune admin center, you’ll set up the Frontline edition by creating a provisioning policy. After setting the name, below that in license type, there’s a new option for Frontline that explains how it works. And the remaining provisioning policy steps are the same, except here you’re assigning Cloud PCs directly to Azure AD groups who will be provided access. And these will also be different from enterprise editions, as they are powered off after a specified amount of idle time.
-Now, let me show you Windows 365 Boot and how we configured it. You can set this up on Windows 11 Pro or Enterprise devices. And it’s in preview now for Windows 365 Enterprise and coming soon to the Frontline Edition. From the Intune admin center in devices under provisioning and Windows 365, you’ll select Windows 365 Boot for the guided experience. And first, you’ll see an introduction about what it is and how it works. And next, you’ll just need to add the resource name prefix. Then you’ll configure Windows update parameters for scoped devices, or if you’re using Windows Autopatch, you’ll be able to skip these settings. From there, in Settings you can define your VPN and Wi-Fi profiles, so that the PC can connect to the internet before the user signs into their Cloud PC, or leave it blank for ethernet-connected devices. So I’ll do that. And set the preferred language for the devices in scope.
-Then, in assignments, you will choose device groups that you want in scope or create a new one. And from there, you can review and confirm your settings. And after you kick this off, those PCs will then be configured for Windows 365 Boot. Which again allows for a more streamlined login experience. Now switching over to Microsoft Teams, one of the key updates is the ability to deploy frontline teams at scale. We’ve added new capabilities to provision frontline worker accounts and their teams, where group membership is automatically kept up-to-date as people enter, move within, or leave the organization using dynamic groups from Azure Active Directory.
-To set this up, we have a brand new section in the Teams admin center called manage frontline teams. And I’ll start with setup. That takes me to the wizard-based experience that explains what frontline dynamic teams are, what to expect, and any pre-requisites to be aware of. And on this screen you’ll select the Azure AD groups, and the corresponding values that represent your frontline workers. So for example, this could be a Position ID using an Extension Attribute in Azure AD with a corresponding number. And these groups are designed to be location based, so for example, all employees at a store location would be together in a single group.
-So here, I’ll identify the location attribute that I want. Then, I can set a consistent team structure for all my frontline teams, so to start I can add the team naming convention. I can then choose the team template I want, which will define my consistent channel structure for my frontline teams, and define the team owner or owners. And at that point, I can review and finish setup. Now this will kick off the process to identify your frontline workers and their corresponding locations, based on the attributes and parameters you just selected. Now after that’s done, I can click deploy and select the locations for which I want to assign frontline teams. So in this case I’ll choose two locations in New York to start with. And now I can see the teams are deployed in the manage frontline teams page. Now I just did this for a couple locations to get started, but I can always come back to this wizard to scale this to additional locations and deploy teams to the entire frontline at scale.
-Next, moving on to the Teams mobile app, you’ll remember that our field technician had an adaptive card in Teams with scheduled work orders. So for that we used the new Dynamics 365 Field Service app which is now in preview. The Viva Connections app is already part of the default Teams settings using the Frontline template, so you don’t need to do any additional work to set up that home experience. And we then used Viva Connections to configure the card to display work orders from Dynamics 365.
-So that was a tour of updates to give your frontline workers new tools they can use to get their work done, with help from AI and the latest collaboration experiences, along with all the new admin controls to set everything up. To find out more, check out aka.ms/FrontlineTech. And keep watching Mechanics for the latest updates, subscribe to our channel and thanks for watching!