Microsoft Dynamics 365 Deep Dive Series: 10 of Our Favorite Tools

As you have heard, Microsoft Dynamics 365 has been released. But what exactly is Dynamics 365? Why did Microsoft combine CRM and AX, and why is that better? And why should you consider upgrading?

In our first Deep Dive blog on Dynamics 365, What It Is, What It Costs, and What it Means to You, we introduced the product with an overview of features and pricing. Part 2 presents 10 of our favorite tools–new features that will improve your productivity significantly. Here they are, in no particular order:

Dynamics 365 Favorite Tool #1: Relationship Insights

Relationships Insights (this is not the same as Insights) helps you track communications and interactions with customers. By using data from your interactions, it helps guide you in your daily work, uncovering opportunities, proposing follow-up tasks, and managing email including identifying actionable messages.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Relationship Insights

After the assistant analyzes the information, it generates action cards, which provide tailored information, links, and action controls.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Relationship Insights CardsThe cards can:

  • Remind you of upcoming activities
  • Make suggestions about reaching out to contacts that have been inactive
  • Identify emails waiting for reply
  • Alert you about important opportunities nearing close dates
  • And more

It also includes email engagement, including content templates with recommendations based on open and reply rate history.

And here’s the best part: You can now find out when a recipient opens an email, clicks on a link, opens an attachment, or sends a reply!

You can also write emails whenever you like and then schedule them for delivery at the most appropriate time.  The system will even check the time zone of the recipient and advise you on the best time to deliver the email.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Relationship Insights Emails

Dynamics 365 Favorite Tool #2: Outlook Client

Outlook integration has always been tight with Dynamics CRM. With Dynamics 365, it’s even better. You can work more efficiently, tracking email, appointment and task activities without leaving your inbox. Dynamics 365 also supports Outlook for Windows, Mac, Web Application, and very soon, iPhone.

Watch this short video to see the Outlook Client in action

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Outlook Client

Dynamics 365 Favorite Tool #3: Editable Grids

Editable grids offer rich inline editing for main views and sub-grids, support for JavaScript, grouping, dragging columns, and more. All of this makes editing records faster and easier.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Editable Grids

Editable grids support in-grid record editing at the entity or sub-grid level, web/mobile clients, sorting, grouping, and filtering, pagination, business rules, and more.

Dynamics 365 Favorite Tool #4: Relevance Search

Relevance Search delivers fast results from multiple entities, sorted by relevance. It can find a match to any word or multiple key words in the search term in any Relevance Search enabled field, and in any entity. With facet and filter support, you can drill into search results without having to refine search terms over and over. When you search for something, results include a match to any word in the search term, including inflection forms, like “order” and “ordering.” There is also no more need to use wildcards to search anywhere in the text.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Relevance Search

In addition:

  • Relevance Search is available in any client, including phones and tablets.
  • Facets and filters help you narrow your search results, saving time.
  • You can search within documents stored in Dynamics 365, including those in a Note and email or appointment attachments  Several formats are supported, including Office, PDF, EML, HTML/XML, ZIP, and more.
  • Searches respect CRM security and only show you information you are allowed to access.
  • Relevance Search also supports text in Option Set or Lookup fields.

Dynamics 365 Favorite Tool #5: Mobile

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Mobile

In addition to touch-friendly Custom Controls added for a more intuitive experience on mobile devices, Dynamics 365 also offers a new workspace, colors, editable grids, tracking, and task flows. Layouts are more compact and optimized to minimize scrolling, and dashboards and forms expose more information at once.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Mobile Dashboard

Dynamics 365 Favorite Tool #6: App Modules / Site Map Designer

App Modules let you package and deploy entities, forms, views, dashboards, and business process flows. This lets you provide specific, role tailored access, including more granular access.  While there was some ability to do this in previous releases of Dynamics CRM, you were limited to a single site map. There was also limited ability to hide system views and dashboards. Apps let you easily create a highly targeted app that displays only those areas of CRM you want you want users to see. And they’re easy to create, using drag and drop functionality and no add-ins or plugins…and no coding!

Microsoft Dynamics 365 App Designer-Create New App

Microsoft Dynamics 365 App Designer-New App Screen

Microsoft Dynamics 365 AppSource

The new Site Map Designer eliminates the need for a third-party tool or editing of the sitemap. Update your sitemap with an easy to use, visual drag-and-drop tool. This also means you can have multiple site maps, one for each app in your deployment. If you do not have apps, you can still use the tool to hide features and modules not currently in use, keeping the user experience simple.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Site Map Designer

Dynamics 365 Favorite Tool #7: BPF Designer / Visual Process Designer

This drag and drop designer for creating business process flows, task flows, and business rules includes timers, suggestion bubbles, and the ability to call workflows. Dynamics 365 makes it even easier  to manage the stages and branches of a process and set rules for the process flow. To is even help with documentation with an export-to-image capability.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 BPF Designer

Dynamics 365 Favorite Tool #8: Learning Paths

Create your own custom Help with Learning Paths. This tool includes authoring capabilities. For example, on a given form or view,  you can display customized help for different departments or job functions. You can also localize it to a different language.

Learning Paths help users discover new features and familiarize themselves with new forms or business processes at their pace, reducing training time and costs while increasing productivity using Dynamics 365.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Learning Paths

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Learning Paths-Guided Task

Dynamics 365 “Cool Tool” #9: Power BI

With Dynamics 365, not only can you add tiles to dashboards; you can embed entire dashboards to create rich, interactive reports and real-time visualizations.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 PowerBI-Sales Dashboard

You can also enable BI dashboards for tables and mobile phones.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 PowerBI-CRM Dashboard

Dynamics 365 Favorite Tool #10: AI / Artificial Intelligence / Azure Machine Learning

Dynamics 365 introduces Azure Machine Learning (ML)–Microsoft’s version of predictive and artificial intelligence–for recommending product cross-sell opportunities, auto-suggesting knowledgebase articles, and analyzing cases and tickets.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Artificial Intelligence

Versium Analytics, Next Best Action (N.B.A.) is also available. This customer-centric technology analyzes actions from CRM interactions and recommends the next best action, boosting the odds for a positive response.

By continuously suggesting the best thing to do next, Next Best Actions helps users stay engaged with customers and deliver a better customer experience. Next Best Action, which is available as ready to use widgets, can be added to any out of box or custom entity.

And that’s just the beginning…

This covers just 10 of the many exciting capabilities in Dynamics 365. With this release, Dynamics is solid in truly productive and predictive capabilities that help you beat the competition.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Webinar

Want to see more mind-blowing features up close? Join us for Part 2 of our Deep Dive Webcast Series on February 16th.

Alternative Text

Contributor: Michael Hammons

In his role as Director of Customer Experience, Mike leads initiatives to ensure a consistent, positive experience for every customer, from setting expectations in the first meeting through ensuring satisfaction upon project completion and beyond. In addition, His goal is to help customers identify ways to leverage their existing technology investments to address new initiatives and make continuous process improvements.

Leave A Comment