What is Microsoft Dynamics 365?

Due to the latest developments in the areas of information technologies and communication technologies, the customer journey has changed fundamentally. Therefor companies must approach their customers in a whole new way, in order to create unique customer experiences. Microsoft Dynamics CRM will help you to do just so, by offering multi-channel service and therefore using all types of marketing channels to connect with customers. Using Business Intelligence, employees can better understand customers and act with foresight. All in all, the functions Microsoft Dynamics 365 has to offer aim to:

  1. Create personal and unique customer experiences:Encounter your customers at the right time, at the right place, with the right message by making use of all marketing channels and analysing customer behaviour.
  2. Proactively approach customers: By analysing customer behaviour and former interactions, one can determine the customers’ needs and interests. Employees can then proactively approach customers and provide them with the information or solution they may be looking for.
  3. Predicting customer behaviour:Analysing functions and knowledge bases allow employees to predict customer behaviour. This enables employees to better react to the customer’s needs, problems and wishes with fitting information, solution proposals and quotes.

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Update

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing will provide your marketing team with useful functions to help better plan, implement and control all marketing activities. The powerful CRM system covers a wide range of application areas such as campaign management, marketing analysis, lead management, and many more. Microsoft strives to broaden its scope of functions and offer its customers the best solution. The following new features can be expected within the marketing module:

SMS Marketing

Users can now create and manage SMS campaigns. The functions in the area of SMS Marketing enable its users to:

  1. configure inbound SMS campaigns with SMS keywords to get SMS opt-ins
  2. maintain a database of opt-in and opt-out preferences of marketing contacts
  3. send outgoing promotional SMS messages to opted in contacts for SMS
  4. track the performance of SMS campaigns

Microsoft Dynamics 365 also allows its users to create multi-channel campaigns to better reach potential customers. Because of this, Microsoft Dynamics 365 is considered to be one of the best multi-channel integrated marketing management clouds for the modern marketer.  

E-Mail Marketing

The functions in the area of E-Mail Marketing have also been expanded. It is now possible to see a preview of HTML links within emails. Users can also access the media library form the HTML code.

Microsoft Dynamics Sales 2016 Update

The internet and social networks introduce new possibilities to acquire information on products and providers as well as getting into contact with other customers. As a consequence, customers have higher expectations towards products, services and ways of communication. Companies must adapt to these changes and fully exploit the potential newer ways of communication have to offer.

Therefore, Microsoft Dynamics 365 offers its users the possibility to connect with customers using all imaginable marketing channels. The system will also help its users to identify leads and opportunities by for example analyzing all activities. Should the system detect a lead, sales employees will be alerted and can react accordingly. As Users can build a connection between social networks and the CRM system employees do not have to switch between screens to do so. Messages can be send and social media posts can be published within the CRM system. When sending a message in social networks, employees can also attach documents from within the CRM system, such as product presentations or campaigns. CRM Apps allow sales employees to access Microsoft Dynamics when on the go, so they are always up to date.

CRM App for Outlook

The CRM App for Outlook allows you to track emails and convert them to an entity within the CRM system – without being bound to your office desk. Users can access Outlook while on the go, using the device of their choice. Also, you can attach documents from the CRM system to an email. For example one could attach a campaign or sales article, giving the receiver additional information on bargains and products.

Excel Integration

The Excel Online Integration allows users to export analyzing results, generated in Microsoft Dynamics CRM, to Excel. This avoids you having to switch between applications and saves time. Employees can view analyzing results in excel and perform what/if analysis and track developments. Naturally you can use mobile devices to import data to excel and perform analysis.

Knowledge discovery

Microsoft Dynamics CRM proactively provides its users with relevant information. This information is generated from Office Delve. The latter analyses relationships between personas within an organization using signals. By doing so, Office Delve can determine what information is relevant to each individual user. The application will identify teams und consider the documents published by them as relevant to each team member.

OneDrive for Business

Within a record users can view all related documents, which were either created with one of the Office applications or uploaded in SharePoint. Know it will also be possible to view OneDrive documents.

Document Management

Using predefined word- and excel templates, documents can be created based on CRM data. This saves employees having to extract data from the system. All templates are role based, meaning only certain users can manage and use certain templates.

Cortana Integration

The Cortana Integration has been expanded, giving sales personas access to the most relevant data. With Cortana, employees will been given an overview of sales activities, accounts, and opportunities – no matter where you are and which device you are using.

Microsoft Dynamics Service Update 

Due to the latest developments in the area of communication technologies and the vast growth of social networks, connecting with customers has been brought to a whole new level. By interacting with customers in a personal and individual way, you organization will stand out from the competition. One must exploit the hidden potentials these new ways of communication have to offer. In particular, service employees, who are in close contact to customers, can profit from the using different ways of communication.

Service employees strive to provide flexible, personal and high-quality service without losing sight of company goals. Self-Service and multi-channel service not only provides for more flexibility but also offers customers the opportunity to look up information and solve problems on their own accord. Also, customer can use the medium of their choice to contact service employees. High-quality service can be ensured by equipping employees with powerful tools and relevant information for professional service. By giving employees access to a knowledge bade, containing information on fitting solutions to often occurring problems. The latter allows employees to quickly react to customer problems with the right solution. This increases staff productivity and reduces the costs per service case. When performing better, employees are more satisfied, which results in an increase in customer satisfaction. The following text passages contain information on the service functions which can be expected with the 2016 Microsoft Dynamics 365 update.

The customers voice

To get more customer feedback, Microsoft Dynamics 365  offers its users the possibility to create questionnaires, which can be filled out by customers via smartphone, tablet or computer. The filled in questionnaire will be added to the according customer record, which can be accessed by all authorized employees. Service employees can define service rules. For example one could define a rule, that the customer must be contacted after filling out the questionnaire.

Interactive service hub

The redesigned user interface provides for a modern, intuitive user experience. The service hub is now equipped with multi-stream dashboards for Tier One agents and single-stream dashboards for Tier Two agents. The multiple-stream dashboard allows users to view and use multiple data sets. Using interactive diagrams users can visualize data and important KPI´s to analyse staff performance and the overall company performance. Filter options allow you to perform in-depth analysis and view that data behind the diagram. The latte also allows you to efficiently find the data you need and personalize the way data is displayed. To create professional, appealing dashboards and diagrams, Microsoft Dynamics offers a variety of templates and design layouts .Single-stream dashboards typically contain views such as “my cases”, showing the service cases the specific user has worked on. Similar to multiple-stream dashboards, users can also use create interactive diagrams and use filter options for data visualization and data search.

Modern, intuitive design

With Microsoft Dynamics 365 important business processes can be depicted in the form of lists. These lists give employees an overview of the entire process cycle, including the various process steps. The “case” entity (as do all the other entities) contains a process ribbon at the top of the form, showing employees which steps have been reached. Employees are also given suggestions concerning actions that must be taken to reach the next step. The “case” form also contains contact information, information on customer’s preferences, products and services the customer is interested in, proposed solutions from the knowledge base, as well as a collaboration pain, where employees can see who that specific client has been in contact with and for what reason. The design of the workflow has also been improved. Users can see more clearly which process steps have been reached as well as which actions have been performed within this process step. Quick Tasks enable employees to quicken the process of case processing. The reference pain, which is also a part of the case form, displays data referring to that case, such as similar cases and the according solutions. The overall design of the entity form has also been improved, so employees can quickly find the information they need.

Knowledge Management

Microsoft Dynamics 365 allows you to create and manage a knowledge base, providing employees with useful information to provide better service. The newest version of Microsoft Dynamics 365  has now introduced new functions in the area of data management. The new content editor allows you to publish and edit content easier than ever before. This way you can quickly update your knowledge base and provide your employees with high-quality data.

External Party Access

With „External Party Access“ you can grant external stakeholders, such as suppliers or external consultants, access to your CRM. By defining user roles for external parties, you can ensure that are given the users rights fitted to their role.

Power BI

Users can now integrated Power BI objects in their dashboards. By including these meaningful analytical results in the form of appealing diagrams and chart, employees are given a better overview of company performance and staff performance.

Unified Service Desk

The unified service desk enables service teams to access backend systems and third party applications from within a singular end-user desktop. Microsoft has improved the install experience by enabling upgrades to be delivered through Windows Update and distributing custom control DLLs through CRM Server configuration. Also, a process ribbon has been added to show developers the process stage of installation.

Microsoft Dynamics Social Update 

The rabid establishment of social networks has led to increased networking. This has opened new possibilities to connect with customers and create personal customer experiences. Microsoft Social Engagement encourages and simplifies communication and networking – no matter from within the CRM system or when using the CRM App. Microsoft powerful social media tool also helps you to understand the social buzz around your organization and analyse sentiment. This way organizations gain more information on how they are perceived in social networks.

Social Listening & Social Analytics

With Microsoft Dynamics 365 users can analyse sentiment in various social media sources, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr and even internal sources, such as Yammer. When analyzing, localizing and identifying sentiment, the system recognizes and accepts a wide range of languages, such as Arabic, Hebrew, Chinese, Polish, Japanese, Russian, Norwegian, Turkish, Dutch, Swedish, Greek, Thai, Danish.

Knowledge discovery

Role based views enable employees to quickly identify leads, assess customer sentiment and share content. With Microsoft Dynamics Social Listening leads and cases are automatically detected. Employees are informed about these types of findings and can react accordingly. This saves time and money and also increases staff productivity.

Team work

It will now be possible to create groups, determine group members and define their user role. Users can also define processes and workflows for that group. This simplifies team work, as each group member is given an overview of what role each member has, which tasks each role occupies and which process steps must made.

Social CRM

Create unique customer experiences by reacting to customer comments and posts in social networks. Microsoft Dynamics Social allows its users to convert social media posts to CRM entities. For example, a social media post, where a customer shows interest in an organizations product, can be converted to an opportunity in the CRM. The employee will then follow the defined process steps within the opportunity qualification process. 

Social Center

The social center enables employees to publish Facebook Posts and tweets. The „Author lookup“ provides information on the author of the posts as well as his or her followers.

Microsoft Dynamics Mobile Update 

Those who are mobile capable access the web primarily through mobile devices. Therefor the principal of „mobile first“ is valid for our future. Microsoft strives to adapt to this principal by creating a responsive and intuitive user interface. With the mobile Apps from Microsoft users are no longer bound to their office desk. Users have access to CRM data anytime and anywhere, using the device oft their choice.

Mobile Offline Support

The mobile CRM Apps grant you access to your CRM data even when you are offline. Users can create, edit and delete CRM entities anywhere and anytime – no matter whether they are online or offline. Changes to data are automatically synchronized, so your data is always up to date.

Document Management

The mobile CRM apps allow users to view documents from within CRM entities. User can seamlessly open Office documents which were uploaded and saved in either SharePoint or OneDrive for Business. For example, one could open a product presentation in the CRM app using PowerPoint for iPad. To return to the CRM app simply click the „back“ button.

App-to-app deep linking

Enables other mobile apps (e.g. email app) to link and directly navigate to a record, view or dashboard within the CRM mobile app. In simple terms, this provides a URL addressable form/view/dashboard for mobile scenarios.

Mobile controls

Microsoft has newly introduced 15 modern UI controls, making mobile CRM Apps more user-friendly. These controls work across all mobile clients and aim to simplify the usage of all mobile app functions and provide for a unique user experience. For example, users can view and analyse CRM data within the calendar.

Tasked based experiences

Microsoft Dynamics helps you to act more task orientated and goal orientated. All relevant, task related entities and information can be looked upon within one view, so one can fully concentrate on the task given, without having to navigate between entities. The latter is ensured with the help of the newly implemented „Task Based Experiences”.

Mobil Client Form Preview

When creating forms in the CRM system users shall now have the possibility preview the tablet/smartphone forms and dashboards from within the browser.

Web resources and IFRAME

With this release Microsoft has introduced IFRAME and Web resource support for tables as a “preview” feature. This feature will also be available for windows tablets.

Mobile Management

To ensure a high level of data security and data integrity, Microsoft has now introduced Microsoft Intune. Microsoft Intune is a mobile application management tool, which enables separation and protection of private data and company data. Microsoft is also introducing CRM Apps, which offer mobile application management functions. These Apps are available in the Android store and iOS store. The following functions will be available:

  • PIN-settings
  • Eraser-Software for safe deletion of data
  • Encryption of CRM data
  • Settings to prevent data leaks

Online Visibility and control with Microsoft Dynamics 365

Whilst continuously working on improving the service infrastructure and service platform, Microsoft has focussed on the areas safety, performance, compliance and management. The following text passages deal with the latest investments Microsoft has made to better meet customer requirements.

Data encryption CRM Online

To increase data integrity, Microsoft offers a variety of data encryption functions. If necessary Microsoft will take care of managing data encryption. The “encryption at rest” feature enables users to independently manage, edit and generate encryption keys.

Visualization of the Data Performance in Dashboards

With Microsoft Dynamics CRM users can create Dashboards to monitor the overall performance of an organization. Dashboards contain interactive diagrams and charts based on CRM data, giving you an insight on how productive your team or organization is.

New data centers

In 2016 Microsoft will introduce two new data centers in Canada and India. Including these two new data centers, users will now be serviced from data centers located in 9 global regions around the world.

Bulk Data Loader for CRM Online

The bulk data loader is a cloud service for Dynamics CRM Online, which enables its users to export and import large amounts of data. This useful tool offers the possibility to upload large amounts of data in the cloud and perform quality checks. Once uploaded in the cloud, data can be imported into the CRM system. The bulk data loader is available in the CRM admin center. To acquire this tool, go to the following website: https://lcs.dynamics.com.

Learning aid with Microsoft Dynamics

To quickly understand how to correctly use all of the functions within the CRM system, Microsoft offers contextual learning aid. All help settings are role based, so e.g. sales employees only get information relevant to their role. Employees are also informed about newly implemented features and newly published learning materials, so they are always up to date.

Data Security

The CRM Trust Center, provided by Microsoft, will inform you about the latest developments in the area of data security and data integrity. Users can find out which measures have been taken in this area and which certificates Microsoft has received as proof of the company’s efforts.

Microsoft Solutions Framework

Microsoft Solutions Framework (MSF) is a process model, which supports architectural projects. This process model allows you to configure your CRM system according to your needs. The Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform enables users to define data models and the IT-architecture.

Modern Web API

A modern web API ensures Einer der bedeutsamsten Aspekte einer Business Applikation ist die Entwicklung einer modernen API, welches tolle Nutzererlebnisse und die Integration mit anderen Systemen ermöglicht. Microsoft provides API´s, which meet the most common industrial standards in terms of API-Authorization (OAut 2), Data formats (JSON) and protocols (Https). The HTTP-based protocol, OData v4, published by Microsoft and used for data access to compatible software systems, enables the execution of CRUD-Operations.

Synchronization

Server side synchronization settings allow users to manage the synchronization of data from the CRM system and Exchange. Up until now synchronization was only possible between CRM Online und Exchange Online as well as CRM on premise und Exchange on premise. With this release synchronization of CRM Online und Exchange on premise will also be possible.

Improved search functions

Improved search functions have made looking for data more efficient. Microsoft now offers contextual search, meaning the system looks for and displays data that might be relevant in a specific context. Search results are sorted by relevance. When looking for data all types of entities are considered and browsed through. Filter options help users to quickly find the information they are looking for.

Azure Machine Learning

With Azure Machine your CRM system has become intelligent. Whilst sales teams and marketing teams are informed about identified leads and opportunities, service employees are alerted once a service case is detected. The CRM will also make suggestions concerning possible solutions to customer problems or actions, which must be performed to reach the next process step.

Compatibility

To ensure that the CRM system can be used with every imaginable technology, Microsoft is continuously working on expanding the „Microsoft Dynamics CRM Compatibility List“.

If you wish to learn more about the diverse areas of application this powerful CRM system has to offer, click here or get in contact with our consultants.