Nowadays it’s hard to know what is real and what is not especially in the realm of “Mixed Reality”.  Gamers have been using this technology for a while to enhance their gaming experience, however, recently Microsoft business applications have gotten into the game…pun intended.  With the latest version of D365 Finance & Operations, D365 Sales & Field Service the Microsoft business applications are able to leverage this technology through Dynamics 365 Guides and Remote Assist.

What can D365 Guides do for me?

(Microsoft, Dynamics 365 Guides, 2021) (Profitt, n.d.)

D365 Guides offer your end users a step-by-step guide in the Mixed Reality paradigm of the HoloLens experience to assist them with instructions, pictures, videos and 3D models of the task at hand.

Dynamics 365 Guides mixed reality

With the power of D365 Guides, employees can be more productive and reduce the possibility of errors or mistakes on the line.

Integration for Analytics or Process Improvement

Using Guides with some of the other D365 Power Platform applications like Power BI can provide access to advanced Analytics on how your guides are being used as well as feedback on possible improvements that may be needed in your guide or process.  Using all the data captured within the Guides and HoloLens, you can produce some very insightful reports or dashboards with Power BI.  Another integration that would be typical for your D365 Guides is with your D365 Supply Chain Management through dual-write.  Here you can associate guides with particular resources, production orders or through asset management check lists.  Using dual-write, all your guides are synchronized with your Dynamics 365 instance and can then be associated to a check list in asset management or possibly a production order to help guide the employee through the tasks they must complete.

What can D365 Remote Assist do for me?

(Microsoft, Dynamics 365 Remote Assist, n.d.) (Profitt, n.d.)

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could “ping” your smartest co-worker, teacher or mentor to assist you remotely fixing something or solving a problem?  Well, with Remote Assist you can do just that.  The field technician or employee may request assistance through Remote Assist to help them virtually utilizing the Microsoft Teams platform.  This also could be used for a Field Service scenario where your SME is back in the office to assist the field technician virtually through Remote Assist.  What about using Remote Assist for a virtual production floor inspection of inventory or product quality inspections?

dynamics 365 remote assist

Through the power of Remote Assist, the remote resource can draw on the live image or point out objects in real-time to assist the technician or end-user resolve a problem.  They can also upload images or files to assist the end-user during the session.  By leveraging Microsoft Teams, Remote Assist allows you to record your session to review later for training purposes or share files during the meeting to assist in the problem or task resolution.

HoloLens & HoloLens2

The HoloLens hardware technology is the cornerstone to allowing D365 Guides and Remote Assist to be most beneficial and useful.  The “Mixed” Reality the HoloLens provides allows the user to stay engaged but also hands-free to get the physical work completed without the awkwardness of having to refer to a laptop or mobile device in hand.  While Remote Assist will work on a mobile device, the ideal deliver platform is the HoloLens.  The HoloLens hardware is really what makes “mixed reality” possible so the user can be guided or assisted with their hands free to perform what is being asked of them.

Getting the most out of Mixed Reality

Mixed Reality is a new technology frontier which is just getting started, so you may be considering doing a pilot program with a simple process to get your business started down the mixed reality path.  If you wish to learn more about the HoloLens hardware itself and how to purchase it, then please use this link.  Of course Microsoft provides plenty of documentation and learning materials to get you started which are listed in the Resource section below.  I can see these mixed reality technologies being very beneficial to things like employee onboarding, training, field service collaboration, a substitute for classroom instruction or many other possibilities.

Resources

  Dynamics 365: The Load Workbenches Part 2 - Load Building