For a business to be successful, it has to be able to analyze data immediately in real time, and handle the market changes while ensuring that different departments are in communication with each other.
Microsoft has developed a convenient and affordable platform that connects your business processes through Dynamic 365 and office productivity tools.
What is Dynamics 365?
Dynamics 365 is a product line of enterprise resources planning and customer relationship management applications.
Dynamic 365 is a Microsoft-based technology solution that is bringing together all aspects of your business to improve existing workflow, recognize and pursue potential and viable business opportunities and manage the current market to stay ahead of the competition.
Unprecedented levels of efficiency and communication sharing among employees
Dynamic 365 allows you to link Office 365 with other Microsoft apps like Exchange, Office Lens, One Drive, Microsoft Team, One Note, Power BI and SharePoint effectively.
For example, if you want to share a proposal you’re working on, all you do is create your proposal on Microsoft Word this way you can give the appropriate people access to edit it and collaborate on it together. Microsoft Word also allows you to share it on SharePoint or with other team member’s computer with OneDrive.
You can also take pictures with Office Lens (it allows you to take photos of business cards, whiteboard and other visual settings that might be difficult with regular applications).
It also allows you to create a communication channel for team members working together on a project through Microsoft Teams allowing team members share documents, notes, and ideas without missing the critical steps in a project.
Business productivity and communication tool
In any business, success depends on the communication flow between the finance and sales team. Unlike other application and software that are hard to program or synchronize, Dynamic 365 has a multitude of applications that allow team members to communicate effectively, increasing the flow channel and making documentation easy.
Due to the flawless flow of information using Dynamic 365, the different departments in a business are able to perform their function properly, without limiting another department.
Improved customer service
With Dynamic 365, you can streamline your customer service system through Microsoft’s AI service and support system to improve interaction with a customer, delivering fast and useful feedback, social listening and ability to empower your staff with the necessary tools to become effective problem solvers.
Other Microsoft Dynamics 365 features
As your business changes and customers needs evolve; Dynamic 365 allows companies and employees to deliver excellent customer service on the go with improved mobile experiences using ERP core functions that are capable of syncing on various mobile devices.
Microsoft’s interactive data visualization add on, Power BI allows you to improve your business by providing planning and analytical tools that are tailored for your business to transform and analyze your data.
This technology was available in the past, but it was expensive to get the systems to talk to each other. But with Dynamic 365 + Office productivity, you are able to unify your business from data to people to processes.
Watch our video below to see how you can integrate sales with Dynamics 365 Business Central & Office 365.
Dynamics 365 Mobile apps are handy tools which allow D365 users to access and update their Dynamics 365 environment from anywhere and at any time. Beyond that, customizing what is available on the mobile app is key to ensure that the experience is efficient for both the user and the organization.
A user’s security role must include the necessary permissions in order for them to successfully use the mobile app. If you have used (or copied) an out of the box role chances are high that most of these are already set, but it never hurts to check. And if you have created a custom security role, it is particularly important to confirm that the following privileges and access combinations have been configured.
1. The Dynamics 365 for mobile privilege is the first one to confirm. This privilege is in the Business Management tab of a security role within the Privacy Related Privileges section. Verify that Dynamics 365 for mobile is set to Organization.
2. Validate that the following entities have a minimum of Read access at the Organization level, by navigating to the Customization tab of a security role.
- Custom Control
- Custom Control Default Config
- Custom Control Resource
- System Application Metadata
- System Form
- User Application Metadata
3. Next go to the Business Management Tab. Verify that User Settings is set at the Organization level for Read permission, and the remainder of the privileges have a minimum of User access.
Dashboards also need to be configured for them to be available to users in the mobile app. This is easily accomplished by opening your D365 solution and within the Components area, select Dashboards. Choose the Dashboard which you want accessible from mobile devices, select Properties, then select the box to Enable for mobile, choose OK and save. Then move onto the next Dashboard, which you want available, and repeat the same steps.
You can also limit the entities, as well as form components which display in the mobile app. Navigate to you D365 solution and within the Components area, select the entity you wish to be available on the mobile app. Ensure that the ‘Enable for mobile’ box has been ticked.
Next if you wish to only show certain elements of an entity form, open the main form for the entity, and open the Tab Properties, Section Properties and/or individual field properties, and tick or untick the option for ‘Available on phone.’
Dynamics 365 is a great tool for storing your business data, but if that is all you are using D365 for, then do we have news for you! One of the biggest values of D365 is the ability to create reports gaining valuable insight from your data. These reports can be setup in a variety of ways depending on your environment and organizational needs.
Do any of the above diagrams look familiar to you? If your response is “WHAT ARE THOSE!?” then you, my friend, are missing out! All the above are reports based on D365 data. These D365 reports can be run directly from D365 which gives users ease of access to analysis of business data. There are several types of reporting options available for D365, some are out of the box, while others require a bit more work to setup. With that in mind, many organizations opt to export their data to Excel and then use Excel to create reports, when they could be using these much richer options instead.
D365 out of the box comes with report building functionality, in the form of Charts and Views. Users can setup Dashboards incorporating these components, which can help them take their first step into the world of reporting. The CRM Report Wizard allows users to build reports using filters and conditions, like Views, with a touch more functionality and flexibility over the latter options.
While these out of box options are great, they do have their limitations which is why we also provide external reporting options. SQL and XML Reports are great for generating more complex reports and documents. However, if you are looking for an option that is more robust, and intensely eye-catching, then Power BI is the way to go. Power BI is one the most powerful BI and reporting tools on the market and integrates seamlessly with D365. Power BI allows for powerful drill down capability and smart slicers to filter your data however you like.
Reports are a great way for organizations to better understand performance, and with the various report options available, you are not limited to a specific visualization type. Data can be displayed through bar graphs, pie charts, map representations, grids…just to name a few! Maximizing the reporting options is great for upper management, who want a quick, high-level representation of how the business is doing. But wait there’s more! Automated reports can be generated with a click of a button and often require no additional maintenance once they are setup, reducing time and effort and improving efficiencies.
Build better relationships with Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement
Our Build better relationships with Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement webinar will give you the foundation needed in order to learn more about Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement. See how easy it is to build relationships with CRM data located in an easy to use platform. This data can then be displayed using the Embedded Insights Navigator and then used to improve the current sales process. Attend our webinar and learn about this and other functionality for Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement such as:
•Customer Service Hub
•LinkedIn Sales Navigator
Date: February 27, 2019
Time: 2:00PM - 3:00PM EST
Goal management in Dynamics 365 is a tool which provides the ability to manage KPIs in just a few clicks. You can use goals to compare targets and actuals for a defined period. And given the fact that Goals is an out of the box feature with Dynamics 365, you can set them up in no time at all. Additionally, since Goals are native to the system, they work seamlessly with workflows, business rules and other various Dynamics 365 functions.
To help you understand how goals work, consider the following scenario:
Your company sells drywall, you, as the sales manager, want to set a revenue target for the overall sales team and then targets for each individual sales team rep who will contribute to the sales team target. With the given targets you want the ability to monitor progress throughout the fiscal period.
To get the results you desire you will need to utilize a couple entities in Dynamics 365 and create a handful of records:
1. Goal Metric: this allows you to set the detailed measurement (amount or count) for the defined goals. You can create multiple goal metric records to measure different elements, revenue and number of panels sold for example.
2. Rollup Fields: the goal metric includes a section where you identify the rollup fields which will be used to track against the metric. You will define rollup fields which will be used to measure both the in progress and actual values.
3. Goal: the entity where you will define who is responsible for the goal, the metric being measured and the target. In the scenario where you are setting an overall sales team goal and then individual goals, you will create multiple goal records (1 for the overall cumulative goal, and then 1 for each sales team member).
All sales records identified will be rolled up against each sales agent’s goal, which are the child goals. Then the child goals will be rolled up to the parent goal, which is the overall sales team goal. You can then set up a dashboard with data components which display goal metrics, allowing you to sit back and monitor results as they start rolling in.
Setting up the native SharePoint integration in Dynamics 365 can greatly benefit your organization. SharePoint allows users to store files, organize them, and provide ease of access to their colleagues. One of the biggest upsides of enabling this integration is that SharePoint offers much more storage space then D365 Sales, so you do not need to worry about your D365 instance running out of storage, thereby incurring steep costs to increase storage limits.
D365 SharePoint integration allows records in D365 Sales to have their own folders in SharePoint, this ensures all files have their own place in the system. This blog will walk you through the step-by -step process on how to setup your D365 SharePoint integration.
Before you get started, ensure you meet the following criteria so the process runs smoothly.
- Dynamics 365 Sales License with System Admin Access
- Office 365 Global Admin Access
Once you have verified the requirements, log into your Dynamics 365 for Sales web client and go to the Settings tab, in the drop-down menu select Document Management.
In the Document Management screen, Click on Enable Server-Based SharePoint Integration.
This will open a pop-up window to walk you through the setup, first simply click Next to start the process.
Next select whether your SharePoint is Online or On-Premises, once done click Next.
On the next screen, enter your SharePoint site URL. Keep in mind your SharePoint should be under the same tenant as your D365 environment, once done click Next.
Once your site has been validated, click Enable and this completes your setup process.
Now that your Server-Based SharePoint Integration has been enabled, you can go back to your Document Management screen and select which entities should be enabled for SharePoint folders.
Click on Document Management Settings and in the pop-up window select the entities which you anticipate storing documents against and click Next.
On the next screen, you can define the folder structure. It is suggested that you choose Account, thereby creating the structure wherein the Account is the primary folder, and associated records fall as sub-folders beneath it. Make your selection and click Next.
Once this is done, click Finish.
That’s it! If all the steps were performed successfully you will now see a document option under your enabled entities which will allow you to store and manage files using SharePoint directly inside D365.
One of the newer modules in the Dynamics 365 family, Field Service, leverages the latest technology offered by Microsoft and combines it into one powerful solution. D365 Field Service is an integrated solution with your current D365 environment, enabling you to be field ready with your already configured environment, filled with customer data.
D365 Fields Service has tools to help organizations optimize their resources, effectively manage team members and automate work order creation to save you time and money. Field Service can even be used with IoT devices to alert you of an issue even before your customers are aware there is one.
In D365 Field Service, Work Order Management, Service Scheduling and Resource monitoring are 3 key capabilities provided by D365 Field Service.
Work Orders in D365 Field Service are records that track service jobs. Work orders can be created automatically based on set criteria from your opportunity or case records or created manually. Within a work order you can track specific incidents types, estimated time required to complete a job and create the bookings for the work orders With Work Orders stored in D365 you also can create rich reports to identify which phases of your services can be improved upon.
Scheduling Service has never been easier with D365 Field Service. With the Field Service Schedule Assistant, all you must do is specify your criteria and the system will find the best resource to get the job done. Field Service considers factors such as skill set, availability and even current location of your resources to help make the best decision possible. If you want to get even more efficient, you can setup up resource scheduling optimization to let the system handle all the scheduling for you.
Finally, Resource Monitoring gives your manager and dispatch team a 360-degree view of where all your resources are. The Field Service schedule board tracks your resources’ schedules and where they currently are based on job sites. The schedule board also displays the status of the job in different colors to easily distinguish the various statuses of jobs, from Traveling to In Progress to Completed.
What if your most depended upon customer service rep leaves the company and no one else on the team has the level of knowledge he had on various topics? Or at the most granular level, wouldn’t it be incredibly useful if canned suggestions surfaced when opening a service case for a customer?
There is no reason to spend excess time and money researching and troubleshooting the same (or similar) issues repeatedly. Plan ahead and build a knowledge base which withstands the test of time (and turnover) and is shareable both internally and externally.
Knowledge Articles in Microsoft Dynamics 365 provide the ability to create articles with versioning and translation functions. Building a base of Knowledge Articles allows Customer Service Reps to reference and utilize the information to deliver accurate and consistent information to customers, while following the organization’s processes.
By providing access to the article directly from a Case record, the rep can link the article to the case, thereby documenting its inclusion as a step for resolution. Not only can the rep use the information as an assist to themselves, they can opt to share the article with their customer, who may prefer to “do it themselves.”
Knowledge Articles not only benefit reps, who now have answers at their fingertips, those that administer the articles also have something to gain. Analytics are measured which provide article insights for content managers. A couple key stats are how many views each knowledge article has, and the Cases which have been associated to the article. These statistics allow administrators to not only evaluate which articles provide the most value, but ultimately it may provide intel into where there may be a bigger issue which needs attention.
It is worth mentioning that the topic discussed herein is an updated feature which has gone through a handful of iterations throughout the years with Microsoft Dynamics CRM. This most current version introduces some major improvements and enhancements over previous iterations. Do note, that while you can continue to use the legacy Knowledge Base Articles, it is good practice, and a Microsoft recommendation, to transition to the Dynamics 365 Knowledge Articles, as they provide improved capabilities and translation support. Microsoft has confirmed that the legacy Knowledge Base Articles will be deprecated sometime in the near future.
Ever wonder how your team can work more efficiently in D365? The answer is automation, and the number one tool to automate processes in D365 is workflows. Many of the simple (and complex) tasks users perform in D365 can be automated using workflows. Workflows evaluate given parameters and perform actions based on predetermined logic. Such an example is the automation of sending a welcome email when a new contact is created without you having to lift a finger.
Workflows in D365 are processes that typically work in the background to automate the flow of information. D365 Workflows are comprised of triggers, conditions, steps and actions. These properties determine the behavior which you want to have occur which impact your D365 records.
There are many functions you can accomplish using workflows in D365, below are some of the most common:
- Automate Emails – Send out Emails to accounts, contacts or users when a certain criterion is met
- Transfer Information – Automatically pass data from one entity to another entity
- Update Fields – Update fields value based on different conditions and field value changes
Dynamics 365 Business Rules help organizations achieve automation by performing tasks for users based on predetermined logic. This means less time entering data and more time making key decisions. Business Rules can also be used to enforce behavior by controlling certain field properties. This allows upper management to ensure proper steps are taken daily. If these controls are implemented properly, both the organization and users will see the benefit afforded through the configuration of Business Rules.
Business Rules in Dynamics 365 are a simple way to apply logic to your business data without the need for any code. D365 Business Rules are effective, yet easy to manage. The typical Business Rule follows the “if, then” statement structure and often contains two or more parts. The first part is always a condition statement where you state the condition which will trigger the business rule to take effect. The second part is the action, meaning once the set condition has been met, what action should be performed.
Below is sample Business Rule diagram to illustrate how a typical Business Rule is setup.
As you can see, the condition statement is checking the Estimated Revenue for an opportunity, if the Estimated Revenue exceeds a certain threshold then an account manager must be associated to the opportunity. Simple rules like these can help organizations improve their daily process and grow more effective to achieve their goals.
Business Rules in Dynamics 365 can perform an explicit set of functions against records. Below is a list of the actions and what each does.
- Create Business Recommendations: Provide users a recommendation on suggested next action
- Lock/ Unlock Fields: Lock/Unlock fields to control user input
- Show Error Message: Alert users when certain key information is missing or entered incorrectly
- Set Field Values: Automatically populate fields based on set conditions
- Set Default Value: Enter default value on normal conditions
- Set Field Requirement Levels: Enforce data capture to ensure fields are completed
- Set Visibility: Show and hide fields based on conditions
Now that you know what Business Rules are capable of, why not try creating one for yourself. Checkout our step by step instructional video on how you can setup your own business rules.