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How Users Can Take Dynamics 365 On-the-Go with Mobile Devices

One of the best features of Dynamics 365 is its portability. With administrator support, users can access work from anywhere with smartphone and tablet options, making it an ideal platform for an increasingly mobile world.

The Advantages of the Dynamics 365 Mobile Platform

Today’s employees are connected, working in offices, on job sites, from home, and on the road. By implementing the Dynamics 365 mobile platform, users have the ability to do their work wherever they need to be. This is particularly important for people in the following situations:

  • Sales professionals who need the ability to create quotes or proposals during off-site client meetings
  • Remote workers who need access from their preferred devices
  • Employees who travel frequently for business and need to check in from smartphones or tablets on the road
  • Executives who need to stay connected at all times

Working with Your Administrator to Set Up Dynamics 365 for Mobile

Setting up Dynamics 365 for phones and tablets requires administrator assistance to configure the correct privileges for your account. You should work with an admin before attempting to set up your Dynamics 365 platform on mobile. Then follow the steps below:

  1. Make sure you have a supported device. You can view Microsoft’s list of supported devices here.
  2. Install the app from your preferred app store. There are options for phones and tablets on Android, Apple, and Windows devices.
  3. Once you have sufficient privileges from your administrator to access Dynamics 365, you may need to work with him or her to gain the level of security access you need for your work. Customer Data is limited based on security and entity settings.

What Administrators Need to Know About Customization Options for Mobile Dynamics 365

The ability to design once and deploy everywhere is a big advantage with Dynamics 365. Customizations to the main Dynamics 365 platform are automatically optimized and then applied to mobile apps for convenient functionality. The following are additional customizations for mobile:

  • Form customizations: Forms are already optimized for the mobile user experience, but additional customizations can be made to eliminate fields, sections, or entire tabs to allow users to focus on the most relevant data (for instance, the contact’s primary information).
  • Entity customizations: All custom entities can be enabled on Dynamics 365 for phones and tablets.
  • Visual controls customization: Users can enter data faster using visual controls in Dynamics 365 for mobile devices. Sliders, switches, star ratings, video embedding, and calendar controls are all available options that can create a sleeker experience.

Whether you’re a Dynamics 365 user or administrator, getting comfortable with Dynamics 365 mobile functionality is an important way to help your company take the next step in CRM optimization. To learn more about Dynamics 365 and implementing mobile options as part of your digital transformation, contact us today!

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:

Dynamics365LicensingExplained2

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.