Preparing for the Dynamics 365 Transition

When Microsoft Dynamics 365 replaced Dynamics CRM, many Dynamics CRM users were uncertain at the thought of transitioning to a whole new platform. Now that Dynamics 365 has launched, its time to answer some of the most common questions about Dynamics 365 licensing, improvements, and making a smooth transition.

What Do You Get When You Transition to Dynamics 365

Dynamics 365 launched with advanced business analytics and a comprehensive platform to unite all your business functions under one software umbrella. We’ve explored some of the many benefits of Dynamics 365 in the recent blogs below:

The bottom line? If your organization is working with a group of cobbled-together tools that are challenging to integrate, Dynamics 365 will provide a strong improvement. And if you’ve wanted to try department-specific software but keep putting it off because of integration issues or budgetary reasons, Dynamics 365 offers a customizable, cost-effective solution.

When to Transition to Dynamics 365 from Dynamics CRM

If you’re using Dynamics CRM Online, you will be required to transition to a new Dynamics 365 licensing plan when your current plan renews (usually one year after your initial purchase). Many users are choosing to make the leap sooner rather than waiting in order to take advantage of enhanced functionality and software upgrades. Instead of delaying the transition to Dynamics 365 and scrambling to choose the right options and apps at the last moment, we recommend talking to us now and preparing for a smooth transition before you’re required to make the switch.

Current Dynamics 365 Enterprise Edition Licensing Overview

Dynamics 365 consists of a suite of apps that users can purchase as needed, which gives users significant licensing flexibility that did not exist in Dynamics CRM. Some popular apps include functions for sales teams, marketing, financial management, and operations, but the selection of apps and integration capabilities is virtually limitless.

Channel Specific Licensing Scenarios for Dynamics CRM Users

1.     Open License / Open Value / Open Value Subscription – At the end of their current CRM Online subscription, these users will be required to renew in an alternate channel (Direct, CSP, MPSA, or EA). In order to renew in CSP, you must use a CSP partner like IOTAP.

2.     Web-Direct (MOSP) Channel – At the time of renewal, these customers must switch to Dynamics 365 SKUs. Promo codes can be used before February 1, 2017. After February 1st, customers will need to renew at the transition price rate.

3.     CSP – These Dynamics Online customers are also required to switch to Dynamics 365 SKUs on or before their renewal date. As with the Web-Direct Channel above, promo pricing is available only until February 1st.

4.     MPSA – Transitioning to Dynamics 365 is required for renewal, and transition/offer SKUs have been available since December 1, 2016.

5.     Enterprise Agreement / EA Subscription – CRM Online customers on the EA program must upgrade to Dynamics 365 at renewal or before.

Basic Licensing Options for the Dynamics 365 Transition

Below, we’ve broken out two typical licenses to help you understand potential options. You can learn more about Dynamics 365 licenses here.

·      Sales, Field Service, Customer Service, & Project Service Automation:

o   1 included production instance

o   1 included the non-production instance

o   1 included portal

o   10GB of database storage plus 5GB additional per 20 full users

o   Dual use rights to Dynamics 365 On Premises

o   Subscription licenses for named users and devices

·      Operations:

o   1 included production instance

o   Sandbox 1 and 2 non-production instance(s)

o   100GB of file storage

o   10GB of database storage plus 5GB additional per 20 full users

o   Dual use rights to AX 2012 R3

o   Subscription licenses for named users and devices

With so many different options available, many Dynamics CRM users are struggling to choose the right licensing and add-on appropriate apps to integrate their departments under Dynamics 365. Talk to us today to find out about making a smooth transition from Dynamics CRM to Dynamics 365, or schedule a demo see how this progressive platform can advance your organization’s digital transformation.

Three Reasons Why You Should Use Dynamics 365 for Financials

Dynamics 365 is designed to connect every business function together into a single, easy-to-use platform. As you can imagine, there are a number of ways in which the software’s capabilities can be used, and today we’re taking a look at one of the most popular: Dynamics 365 for Financials.

First, let’s review what you can do with Dynamics 365 for Financials. The application includes features that perform the following tasks:

  • Quoting
  • Invoicing
  • Payment
  • Purchasing
  • Inventory Management
  • Reporting
  • Analytics

These are basic financial management functions that every business needs, but the way Dynamics 365 for Financials connects these tasks to a comprehensive, scalable platform is what makes it so valuable. Here are three reasons why we think Dynamics 365 for Financials is an excellent choice for small and mid-size organizations alike.

1. Dynamics 365 for Financials Makes Your Back Office More Efficient

Standalone applications can be slow and inefficient. Dynamics 365 for Financials pulls data from the same system as your sales, marketing, operations, customer service, and other business departments. These connections allow teams to share customer data across departments, quickly send quotes and proposals, follow up on unpaid invoices, and work efficiently with local or distant team members.

Dynamics 365 for Financials also makes use of familiar Microsoft Office programs, making it easy for your employees to perform functions like quoting and invoicing via Outlook. Faster, smoother processes enable employees to quickly perform basic tasks and then focus their attention on more important things.

2. Dynamics 365 for Financials Makes It Easy to Discover Problems & Track ROI

The reporting and analytics capabilities of Dynamics 365 for Financials help organizations paint a complete picture of their sales and spending. Financials unites data from accounting, sales, purchasing, inventory, and customer accounts so that you can see exactly where money is being earned – and where it’s being lost.

Microsoft dynamics for finance

At the same time, predictive analytics help organizations model better financial outcomes and avoid wasteful spending. Dynamics 365 for Financials has also made reports easy to create and share so that every member of your team can use real-time data to make important financial decisions.

3. Dynamics 365 for Financials is Ready to Grow with Your Company

When those improved decision-making capabilities pay off and your business starts growing, Dynamics 365 for Financials is ready to grow with your organization. The application is flexible and scalable, with dozens of add-on apps to increase capabilities and connect to popular programs your company may already be using, like QuickBooks, PayPal, and credit card processing services.

Small and mid-sized businesses especially benefit when they have the opportunity to start with a basic platform and scale up as they require more specialized applications. Dynamics 365 for Financials allows organizations to pay for what they need and eliminate wasteful spending on technology that will go unused or unneeded.

Is your company interested in taking advantage of Dynamics 365 for Financials? Contact us today to learn about our special pricing for new Dynamics 365 customers.

Punycode Causes Big Problems for Office 365 Online Users

Security for online or on-premise infrastructure can never be taken for granted. We have identified a defense against a new attack that’s targeting Office 365 business users. This is a very real threat to any companies using Office 365 email because it is specifically designed to bypass Microsoft Security and obtain corporate ID and passwords from your users. (Read this article from today’s SC Magazine website:

How it works

This attack is taking advantage of a particular vulnerability in the way that Office 365 Email handles so-called ‘punycode’ web addresses so that the attacker can send a URL that Office 365 deems benign, but will take a user to a look-alike login page for Office 365.

What is Punycode?

Punycode domain names are used to handle web addresses with non-ASCII characters like the ü in bü Punycode uses the “xn--” command to tell a browser to translate an address like this to

This attack has bypassed Microsoft Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection since it uses what’s called Puny encoding, fooling Office 365 into believing that the URL is safe.

What can you do?

The New Puny-Phishing: How it works

To explain this attack, we will use an example from a real attack captured in early December 2016. The attacker sent a fake FedEx email with a benign looking URL that goes to a malicious site.


We can scan your user accounts.

We are offering a scan of your user email accounts to identify which of your users have received this attack so that you can take remediation measures to immediately change their Office 365 and other corporate passwords! Please contact us now at [email protected].

Dynamics 365 Online or On-Prem?

If you are thinking about a major business application project like implementing Dynamics 365, the deployment option is going to be a very important consideration for some organizations. Dynamics 365 is designed with choice in mind, and one of the first choices a business needs to make is whether to use Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 platform on-premises or in the cloud. Dynamics 365 supports both, and the cloud seems to be the go-to deployment option for most organizations. However, for certain specific requirements, an on-premise install may be worth considering.  As the Dynamics 365 product continues to evolve, it’s becoming clear that the Online versions are diverging from on premises in functionality because of the massive Azure infrastructure that supports Dynamics 365 online applications – especially Cortana intelligence and IoT specific requirements.

As a stand-alone product, Dynamics 365 gives users strong out-of-the-box ERP and CRM capabilities, but the solution’s real beauty is in its ability to connect with a robust collection of apps that enhance functionality and improve business performance across all departments. Organizations that set up Dynamics 365 in the cloud will be better positioned to take full advantage of Microsoft’s wide range of specialized productivity applications.

We will discuss this consideration in two parts – the functional aspects in regards to features and the non-functional and infrastructure considerations. Here are some functional reasons that you’ll want to move to the cloud with Dynamics 365:

1. Cloud-Based Digital Transformation

Dynamics 365 was built to accelerate the digital transformation for organizations that are ready to take the next step in business intelligence and automation. The software’s wide range of available – and customizable – cloud-based apps means that the platform can be tailored to meet the needs of every department, in every industry, without sacrificing agility or bulking up on unnecessary tools. Cloud-based Dynamics 365 installations let businesses enjoy a full range of applications like Field Service, Project Service automation that will transform the way you do business. These applications are not available on the premise.

2. Enhanced Mobility and Flexibility in the Cloud

Dynamics 365’s cloud-based service and applications operate on all devices and channels, expanding opportunities for professionals who need access on-the-go and enabling users to work from their smartphones, tablets, desktops, and other connected devices. Offline capabilities are included for mobile devices.

Further, Dynamics 365’s licensing models let you easily pick and choose the types of applications and functions your team will have access to so that they only see the tools they need. Even office 365 groups, Delve and Customer Portals are available in the cloud version unlike in the on-prem version.

3. Scalability Comes from the Cloud

Built on the Azure cloud platform, Dynamics 365 provides users with a single, simple service to connect people, processes, and data that can scale as your business grows. You won’t have to purchase more servers to handle more load, and you won’t ever have to worry about the security, reliability and support concerns that a growing business would face managing its servers internally. BI and reporting capabilities vary significantly between the cloud and the on-prem versions.

4. Cloud-Based Possibilities You Never Imagined

Rethink what’s possible with Dynamics 365 in the cloud with IoT, Gamification, and insights. The enterprise version of the Dynamics 365 apps let you expand your opportunities to all data in one place with Dynamics 365 in the center of the organization.

With the cloud version,  it’s pay as you go and pay as you grow! It’s easy to start with a smaller number of licenses and then grow with add-ons and apps as they become relevant to your business. You may choose to start with Dynamics 365 productivity apps for your sales and customer service departments, and then expand into operations, financials, or project service automation when you’re ready to grow.

Contact us to learn more about which Dynamics 365 option is best for you. 

5 Ways to Speed Up Customer Service & Increase Efficiency with Adxstudio Portals and Dynamics 365

A 2015 study by Forrester research found that web-based self-service is a popular channel for customers to find support. The web-based channel along with other channels like email and telephone is part of a well-rounded customer service strategy. Developing channels for customers or partners to reach you only increases the likelihood of a successful interaction. In the past, we have discussed how email to case is a critical component of the service channel strategy. However, Pairing Dynamics 365 with Adxstudio portals is another way to a web-based channel for your organization to improve customer satisfaction.  Below are five ways Dynamics 365 users are incorporating ADX portals to provide a better experience for their customers.

1. Improve Customer Service

Enhanced customer service is the biggest advantage of working with Adxstudio portals and Dynamics 365. We’ve already talked about the value of creating personalized customer experiences for today’s demanding consumers. ADX portals are a web interface between Dynamics 365 and your customers that provide unprecedented self-service capabilities in the following areas:

  • Help Desk Support: Alleviate the burden on your customer support team with a self-service customer portal that integrates directly with your ERP and automation systems. Let Dynamics 365 and ADX portals help you deliver responsive service, manage support tickets and warranties, and capture levels of customer satisfaction.
  • Create a Dynamic Knowledge Base: Gather information from customers and staff, and compile that knowledge into a database of resources for customers who prefer a self-service approach.
  • Feedback and Crowdsourcing: Conduct online surveys and polls to obtain customer feedback and identify issues to improve your products and customer experiences.
  • Gain Valuable Insights: Use Adxstudio portal activity data, reporting, and analytics to gain insights about your customers, products, and leads. Generate reports and adapt your online portal as your organization grows.

2. Serve the Public Sector

Adxstudio portals can be configured with Dynamics 365 to create self-serve opportunities for local and state agency constituents. The public sector can engage with citizens using Dynamics 365’s social media and portal publishing tools to manage citizen service requests efficiently and reduce administrative costs to deliver items like self-service permits and applications.

3. Grow Your Partner Channel

Dynamics 365’s Adxstudio integrations are ideal for supporting and coordinating efforts across complex marketplaces. Quickly onboard channel partners, manage multi-level partner relationships and assign inbound leads to partners using web-based portals linked to Dynamics 365. Use Adxstudio portals to create opportunities for partner growth, and aggregate sales data to separate areas of successful performance from those in need of support.

4. Manage Conferences & Events

Event management is a logistical challenge. Dynamics 365’s ADX portals make it easy to schedule, accept payments, manage sponsors and speakers, and provide attendee information that is directly connected to your larger database. Adxstudio portals and Dynamics 365 also provide secure transaction processing and attendee pulse feedback to increase efficiency and gather real-time information from event attendees.

5. Deliver Premium Online Shopping Experiences

Dynamics 365 and Adxstudio portals allow companies to offer a truly personalized online customer experience. Grow customer communities, provide self-service and interactive features to improve UX, and deliver a top-notch online shopping experience with all modern conveniences today’s online consumers demand.

To learn more about how IOTAP can help you bring Dynamics 365 to the web with Adxstudio portals, contact us today.

Opportunity History Tracking and Reporting in Dynamics 365

Dynamics 365 is Microsoft’s new cloud-based business application suite, offering a number of different applications under a variety of plans customized to different work functions. Whether you need a system to track your sales process, customer onboarding, or case resolution, all of these activities can be set up and tracked in CRM. Companies of all sizes can take advantage of Dynamics 365’s powerful workflow and business process automation to improve business outcomes.

Let’s take the example of a sales process. There are multiple stages in a sales process that span multiple database entities, transforming from a lead to an opportunity and then potentially to an order and invoice.

sales process in dynamics-365

A sales process out of the box in Dynamics 365 looks something like this:

sales process out of box in dynamics 365

sales process in dynamics 365

As the opportunity moves from on stages to the next, the opportunity’s likelihood of closure increases. A customer is more likely to buy as they invest more time, resources and learn more about the services and products they are evaluating.

When reviewing their sales process, sales managers can look at numerous data points to identify top performers and gauge the potential likelihood of meeting numbers. These data points could include:

  • Calls made,
  • Appointments setup,
  • Quotes sent,
  • Or, any other metrics used to measure sales team performance

Sales numbers are a function of activity. However, the main purpose of these sales activities is to move an opportunity from one stage to the next. Most reports that measure a single type of activity like calls made do not provide the context of the sales process. By measuring the amount of activity like calls made we are not truly reviewing the results of that activity.

One alternative to the measurement challenge above is to use a Sales Funnel to look at your sales process’s cumulative results and where your revenue is in the pipeline. A sales funnel provides a quick snapshot of where the opportunities lie in the pipeline and is a good way to get an overall likelihood of closure. However, the funnel also doesn’t provide the Sales manager with a report of what sales progress has occurred during the reporting period.

sales process funnel dynamics 365

Activity reports illustrate the scale of the effort, but what if you could receive the result of those activities in a concise, easy to consume timely delivery on a weekly basis? What I am referring to is the results of sales activities on the progression of opportunities summarized in an email that shows the specific stage changes for a period of time.

Measuring activities are not the goal. You want to measure the results of those activities, such as:

  1. Opportunities created and by whom (not just how many opportunities)
  2. Stage changes that move an opportunity along the funnel (which opportunities moved to the next stage)
  3. Specific opportunities closed as Lost (which specific one were lost)
  4. Specific opportunities closed as Won (which specific ones were won)

For some sales managers, this may be a lot of information to process weekly depending on the size of the team and number of transactions and opportunities. But this approach actually simplifies reporting, as it focuses only on the result your activities have had on the stage progression of your opportunities. Additionally, other metrics and measures can be put in place to capture how long an opportunity takes to move from stage to stage and what time frame to expect (average transition times) for each stage.

We have developed a simple solution to deliver these reports in Dynamics 365 which requires a combination of configuration/workflow and the IOTAP report scheduler. In our second blog in this two-part series, we will discuss the specific implementation approach in the next article.

At IOTAP, we leverage technology to provide options for your customers and your business. We create opportunities to help you run your business on your terms using technology like Dynamics 365, and we’re excited to share our insights with you!


Dynamics 365: Relationship Insights Driven By Business Intelligence

Developing personalized, productive relationships with customers and prospects is a top priority for every organization. To help, one of Microsoft’s goals with Dynamics 365 is to merge an organization’s data and communications into a single stream of actionable intelligence that makes managing relationships across multiple systems (email, social networks, file shares, support ticketing systems, etc.) obsolete. That feature in Dynamics 365 is called Relationship Insights, and today we’re going to examine exactly how it works.

Overview of Dynamics 365 Relationship Insights

Relationship Insights’ goal is to make it easy for your users to take the right action, with the right customer, at the right time. It does so by using the predictive analytics contained in Microsoft’s Power BI tools and the Cortana artificial intelligence platform to review all the data in systems such as Exchange, Office 365, your Dynamics 365 installation and provide a single view of the overall relationship health and next steps that should happen.

What’s more, Relationship Insights integrates you users’ tasks and workflows into a single system that automatically tracks all related activities. Rather than shuttling information between different systems, with Dynamics 365 your team will have a single interface that shows the most important business activities for them to take next.

The practical implications are clear: salespeople won’t have to waste time shuttling back and forth between their email and their CRM system to find the latest version of a proposal. Support personnel will automatically see all activities taken on a recent ticket. And marketers will know which campaigns to address first without sifting through their dashboards.

Relationship Insights offers four distinct features within Dynamics CRM:

  • Relationship Analytics
  • Relationship Assistant
  • Auto Capture
  • Email Engagement

Here’s how those features work.

Dynamics 365 Relationship Analytics

Rather than guessing at the strength of a customer relationship or the likelihood of a prospect’s conversion, Dynamics 365 has added powerful business intelligence tools that put this information front and center in every interaction.

Dynamics 365’s Relationship Analytics functionality is built on several pillars: 

  • Natural language processing that evaluates the sentiment of email and other communications sent by your customers and prospects
  • A predictive intelligence that examines signals such as prospect email responses or number of lead interactions and compares them to patterns obtained from previous successful sales

With these features, Dynamics 365’s Relationship Analytics is able to automatically provide data in the following areas: 

  • Response time to customer inquiries
  • Prospect’s response rate
  • Time spent with a customer
  • Most recent customer experience
  • The percent of interactions in which a prospect reached out to you
  • Whether or not you have a positive or negative customer relationship

Dynamics 365 Relationship Assistant

Juggling multiple prospects is a challenge for every sales team. Missing important customer requests, dropping the ball on potential sales, and letting leads go untouched for too long can doom your relationship with a customer. Dynamics 365 Relationship Assistant is designed to help your prospect- and customer-facing employees stay on top of every interaction.

The Dynamics 365 interface is built on a series of actionable cards customized for each user’s specific role. For example, logging in sales team members would see things like scheduled calls, travel itineraries, and proposal due dates. Customer support representatives would find support tickets, important emails, and outage notices, all prioritized for action based on relationship health.

Users can customize the Relationship Assistant to show them exactly what they want to know to keep their schedules – and their functions – running smoothly. Even better, much of the administrative work is handled automatically by Dynamics 365, so your team can spend more time managing relationships, and less time managing email.

Dynamics 365 Auto Capture

Dynamics 365’s Auto Capture feature integrates with Microsoft Exchange to automatically track emails alongside other tasks and activities. As well, Auto Capture enables users to channel external data into Dynamics 365 in order to automatically create or update custom records without writing any code. Standard activities like emails and social actions can be created based on rules users set for their contacts and communications, and custom activities can be created as well.

Specifically, rules can be created to update records based on: 

  • Emails
  • Social activities
  • Task updates
  • Phone calls
  • Appointments
  • Service activities
  • Or custom activities

For instance, an incoming email could be automatically used to create a lead, opportunity, or incident within Dynamics 365.

Dynamics 365 Email Engagement

Dynamics 365’s Email Engagement tool has three key components Microsoft designed to enhance communication with customers and prospects.

  1. Compose and Send: In addition to letting users set up, send and track recipient activity such as opens and clicks, the Email Engagement feature allows users to schedule email sends based on business intelligence data that shows when a prospect is most likely to open their email. The feature also automatically sets reminders to follow up on unopened messages in a timely manner.
  1. Tracking and Analytics: This Dynamics 365 feature shows how, when, and where your recipients engage with your email message. Now you’ll know if your target audience is reading your emails on the go from a mobile device, or at their desk first thing in the morning.
  1. Mobile Email Application: The Dynamics 365 mobile application allows you to do things like track followed attachments, view email statistics, and monitor your activity timeline on your smartphone or tablet.

These features are just part of makes Dynamics 365 an innovative solution to both CRM and ERP needs. If you’re ready to bring a new level of business intelligence to your organization, contact IOTAP to learn more about making the switch to Dynamics 365 and putting Relationship Insights to work.

Dynamics 365 Has Launched! What You Need to Know about Licensing and More

As of November 1, 2016, Microsoft has officially launched Dynamics 365. This new product combines the best of Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft’s cloud-based enterprise resource planning software into a single business intelligence platform that delivers purpose-built apps for the typical business unit functions at most organizations. If that sounds like a lot of change to digest, you’re absolutely right. So in today’s blog, we’re going to help by clarifying Dynamics 365’s licensing model.

Want to dive deeper? Review IOTAP’s technical blog series on Dynamics 365 at the link below:

What are Dynamics 365 Editions Available? 

  • Enterprise edition: (Available November 1, 2016) designed for organizations with 250+ employees that are already using Dynamics CRM online and AX
  • Business edition: (available mid-2017) designed for small and medium-sized businesses. This edition will launch with apps that support financials and bookkeeping.

The New Dynamics 365 Licensing Model – Users, Plans, and Teams 

Microsoft has tweaked it is Dynamics 365 licensing plans to better fit the way businesses and teams actually use the software. Here’s how:

User Types

  • Dynamics 365 licenses can now be purchased for individual users OR devices
  • Individual users have two license tiers:
  • Full Users are those who will be interacting with the full version of Dynamics 365 every day. Think of your customer service, sales, or finance teams. (Current Microsoft Dynamics CRM customers may have called these licenses “Professional” subscribers in the past)
  • These individuals will be licensed under either a Dynamics 365 App or a Plan license
  • Light Users are those who only need to accomplish a single task, like enter data or access a report.
  • These individuals will have their licenses covered under a Dynamics 365 for Team Members subscription.
  • Device licenses will be tied to a particular device and be useful for shared-device environments

liberating customers from traditional business

Dynamics 365: The Difference Between Apps and Plans 

Full Users can be licensed in two ways:

  • For specific apps: this Dynamics 365 licensing model is ideal for specialized employees who only work in one area (e.g. bookkeeping, social media, etc.), as it removes any extraneous functionality from the user and keeps things simple.
  • Via Plans (pre-packaged groups of apps): this licensing model is a good fit for individuals who work across functions and need access to a number of different apps on a regular basis.

Here’s a list of all the plans that will eventually be available with Dynamics 365:


And let’s not forget to address a few of the other common Dynamics 365 questions we’ve received: 

Do I Need a Server for Dynamics 365?  

Not if you don’t want to be on the premise. Dynamics 365 licensing is flexible and supports both cloud and on-prem usage. If you are currently using Dynamics CRM Online or Dynamics AX, contact IOTAP to review your options.

Will my Dynamics CRM installation still be supported? 

Yes. IOTAP and Microsoft will continue to support existing Dynamics CRM installations for the foreseeable future, with planned Dynamics CRM functionality improvements still scheduled for at least the next 2 years.

What does all this mean? If your business depends on data-driven intelligence, Dynamics 365 is an incredible tool worth investigating. And if you’re already using Microsoft Dynamics CRM, there’s lots of change coming that can benefit you. At IOTAP, we’re here to help you through the Dynamics 365 transition. Please contact us at [email protected] for more information or to help answer any questions related to Dynamics 365.

Big Changes for Microsoft Dynamics CRM: Here’s What You Need to Know About Dynamics 365

Microsoft recently announced that Microsoft Dynamics CRM will be discontinued on November 1st, replaced by Dynamics 365. Dynamics 365 represents an evolution of Dynamics CRM that will combine customer relationship management tools with enterprise resource planning (ERP) capabilities and predictive artificial intelligence in a cloud-based environment

As you can imagine, this is an exciting step for today’s on-the-go businesses. Over the coming weeks, IOTAP will be sharing what we’ve learned about the many changes that have been incorporated into the new Microsoft Dynamics 365 product. To begin, here’s an overview of the changes that will roll out on November 1st.

What changes are in store with Dynamics 365?

Microsoft’s vision for Dynamics 365 is to offer organizations a flexible way to manage customer relationships and business operations in any kind of environment while providing a greater level of personalized automation. The software will have a variety of purpose-built apps to manage important business functions such as those below:

  • Financials
  • Field Service
  • Sales
  • Operations
  • Marketing
  • Product Service Automation
  • Customer Service

The other big change in addition to delivering purpose-built applications is that Dynamics 365 will be available in two editions- the Enterprise Edition and Business Edition. The Enterprise edition applications will include all the great innovation, technology, and extensibility that we are all currently used to seeing. These applications are also available as Plans and also include tiered pricing. Please contact us to learn more about the pricing and which plans may be better suited for your organization.

The Business edition is expected to be a simpler and more small business-friendly version of the well known Dynamics suite. The sales and marketing applications in the Business application are going to be available in the Spring of 2017. Currently, the Business Edition of Dynamics only includes Financials. The pricing for the business edition is certainly more geared towards the SMB marketplace and is expected to be at $40/user/month. In the Business edition, the number of users you can have on the plans is limited to 300 total users. The features and functionality of the Sales, Marketing and customer pieces are not all known and available at this time.

Dynamics 365 Relationship Insight Tools Help Deliver Better Customer Experiences

Dynamics 365 is built to allow businesses to focus on all aspects of personalized customer experience delivery. On-going analysis of data in Dynamics 365 allows sales professionals to nurture customer relationships and plan daily activities. Tools like Relationship Assistant, Email Engagement, Engagement Analytics, and Auto Capture help connect the dots to ensure that customers receive the personal touches they’ve come to expect.

  • Relationship Assistant: This app will allow service providers to monitor all activities, opportunities, and customer communication in a single location that is able to gauge that relationship’s health. Dynamics 365’s business intelligence capabilities will help your organization find patterns in the data and make informed decisions to optimize your communications based on analytics and analysis.
  • Email Engagement: Author and monitor messages inside Dynamics 365. Track email performance and get insights into your most invested prospects with Dynamics 365 business intelligence capabilities. Microsoft’s Email Engagement app makes it easier to send the right message to the right person at the right time.
  • Engagement Analytics: Compare successful deals to current communications to discover patterns and optimize engagement with an app backed by artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms. Understand prospect sentiments, and use metrics to inform your outreach and turn leads into sales.
  • Auto Capture: With the Dynamics 365 Auto Capture app, you can instantly analyze your Microsoft Exchange inbox to locate important messages and trace them back to your communications via Dynamics 365. This is another example of Microsoft using artificial intelligence capabilities to improve communications and increase efficiency for sales and service professionals.

More Options and Opportunities with IOTAP and Microsoft Dynamics 365

IOTAP helps you use Microsoft products to create the opportunities that power their businesses. The new Dynamics 365 offers expanded options and opportunities for personalization and intelligent automation throughout your business. The product’s improved selection of apps, coordination between platforms, and integrated solutions will unlock an entirely new universe of business process possibilities.

What does this mean for Dynamics CRM Online customers?

If your organization is already invested in Dynamics CRM, your service will continue uninterrupted until it comes due for renewal. And if your organization wants to purchase Dynamics CRM before the October 31st deadline, that option is available. When it comes time to renew, your Dynamics CRM subscription will convert to Dynamics 365.

Check back for a detailed analysis of more Dynamics 365 features in the coming weeks, or contact IOTAP today to learn more about the changes coming to Dynamics CRM.  

3 Ways IOTAP Helps Clients Deliver Amazing Customer Service with Dynamics CRM

CRM is perfectly named for what it does: help companies deliver customer relationship management. But if you know anything about CRMs you’ll know that there are hundreds of potential tools on the market, making it difficult to choose the right one in this era of increasing digital transformation. Today, we’ll help make your CRM software choice easy by sharing three ways in which Microsoft Dynamics CRM makes delighting customers possible.

At IOTAP, our focus is on helping businesses connect, communicate and collaborate with their customers. What that means is that we customize Microsoft’s CRM solutions to help you amaze your customers and help your business take the next step in its digital transformation. Below, we’ve captured three of our favorite CRM examples. If you’d like to learn more, please download our e-book about case studies of successful CRM systems.

1.       Manage Complex Claims Processing in One System

The home warranty industry has exploded in the past few years as more and more consumers outfit their homes with internet-of-things devices in addition to traditionally covered equipment like HVAC systems. As a result of this digital transformation, home warranty providers have struggled to manage ever-growing amounts of customer data and an increasingly complex claims management process. So what did one of the country’s largest home warranty providers do? Turned to IOTAP to unify its service environment using Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

IOTAP customized Dynamics CRM to provide claims agents with a single view of a customer’s home warranty account and claims. Combined with the ability to update customer claim and policy data from anywhere using mobile devices, IOTAP’s Dynamics CRM implementation allowed the company to cut the time required to process and track a claim for both its service agents and its customers.

2.       Speed Up Service Time

Customers lose patience quickly when their support issue has to move through multiple departments for resolution. And when they’re dealing with issues related to their internet service provider, that frustration only grows.

Recently, a regional broadband service provider faced mounting customer frustration caused by the multiple systems it used to manage its support calls. If Tier 1 support couldn’t fix the problem, the company issued a paperwork order to Tier 2. If Tier 2 couldn’t resolve the issue, the company created a new work order which its field service technicians would pick up the next morning. As you can imagine, the process was slow. Work orders were often lost, and customers were not happy.

Using Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, the broadband company implemented a digital transformation to a one-call tiered support system for customers. Tier 1 level support is handled through Microsoft Dynamics CRM dialog functions, which allow service reps to ask guided questions that fix the most common problems. Issues that require higher levels of support are immediately routed to Tier 2 support. If needed, the Tier 2 service reps route case information directly to field technicians through tablets and smartphones. Those engineers, already in the field, are able to resolve the case quickly and move on to the next job.

The switch to Dynamics CRM and the digital transformation it created has helped the broadband provider rebuild its customer confidence and provide much more efficient cost-effective customer service.

3.       Provide Personalized Service

When serving people in need, it’s critical to understand an individual’s entire history in order to provide the proper care.

Recently, a nonprofit organization dedicated to connecting developmentally disabled adults with the resources they need to lead independent lives was struggling as the organization grew. Serving more clients meant more coordination was required between the multiple people and agencies supporting its population. With no central client management system, processing each case required time-consuming research that stretched the organization’s limited resources.

The organization’s solution was to use Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online in order to provide its staff members with access to full client records that include clients’ status with each program—from acceptance through services received. Dynamics CRM Online saves staff time through easy document attachment and automatic call logging that can create new records for clients who are not yet in the CRM. As well, the non-profit’s staff can search a wide range of programs in Dynamics CRM to help with specific client requests while they’re on the phone with the client. Changes like these allow staff members who have more time and better information to provide caring, personalized service in real-time.

How Can Microsoft Dynamics CRM Help You?

If you’d like to learn more about how Dynamics CRM can help your organization amaze your customers, please download our e-book about case studies of successful CRM systems. Or, contact us today to discuss how IOTAP can build a personalized CRM service experience for your customers.