Comparing Dynamics 365 Outlook App to Dynamics 365 Outlook Client

By Brian Dewulf, CRM Practice Director

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM (now D365) Outlook client has long been a staple of most CRM implementations.  The client provides the ability to access CRM directly from Outlook. It also allows for synchronization of data between Outlook and CRM.  The Outlook client does have some drawbacks.  It requires the full version of Microsoft Outlook. It is an application which must be installed on every client computer.  It tends to get disconnected from CRM, often leading to the need for technical support calls.  It also only works when Outlook is open.  This becomes an issue when you have workflows that are sending emails on behalf of a user.  If that user is on vacation, and their PC is shut down, those workflow emails won’t be sent until the user logs back into Outlook.

To overcome these issues, Microsoft released the Outlook app.  The app has been around for a few years now, but some recent enhancements have finally made it a valid replacement for the Outlook client.  Here are some of the main reasons that I recommend using the Outlook app instead of the Outlook client.

  1. The Outlook app supports Outlook (full client), Outlook Web Access (OWA) and Outlook mobile.  The Outlook client only works with the full Outlook client.
  2. The Outlook app is pushed out to the client directly from within D365.  There is no need to manually touch every client computer.  Pushing the client to a user once will provide the Outlook app functionality to all supported platforms that the user may access.
  3. The app does not require the user to be logged into Outlook to work.  Synchronization of Outlook data happens server-side. No need to worry about those workflow emails not getting delivered.
  4. The Outlook app provides an easy method to create appointments, phone calls, and tasks that are associated with D365 records.
  5. When an Outlook item is tracked to D365, the contact card for the D365 record is displayed, providing basic information about that record.

There are a couple of drawbacks to the app.  First, server-side synchronization with Exchange is required.  If your environment does not support server-side synchronization you will not be able to use the app.  Second, the app does not provide an interface to navigate D365.  You would need to access CRM using a browser or one of the mobile apps.  Below are some screen shots of the app and how it is configured in D365. We also have a video walkthrough of the app on our YouTube channel.

Clicking the D365 icon, highlighted in yellow, will open the Dynamics 365 pane.  Clicking the plus sign icon, also in yellow, in the regarding box provides the ability to create a new task, appointment, or phone call for that D365 record.

The screenshot below displays the results of clicking the create phone call option.

This screenshot shows an appointment:

In D365, click on Settings, Dynamics 365 App for Outlook to manage the app.  Users who have been configured with server-side synch will show up in the list of available users.

Click here to view a walkthrough of the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook.

Editable Grids in Dynamics 365

Watch this recorded webinar to get a brief overview of the new editable grids feature in Dynamics 365, including how to configure and enable them, as well as a demonstration of how they work after being configured.

Want to learn more about how CRM works within Dynamics 365? Attend our free webinar on December 6! Register now

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Customer Success Story: Arbor Day Foundation

arbor day2

ABOUT COMPANY: 
Founded in 1972, the Arbor Day Foundation, has become the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees. The foundation has nearly one million members, supporters, and valued partners.

BUSINESS SITUATION: 
The Arbor Day Foundation’s leadership recognized the need for a more versatile customer relationship management system to replace the organization’s aging infrastructure. In particular, they were looking for a solution that would combine comprehensive service, marketing, and sales management functionality with a highly versatile architecture

THE SOLUTION: 
Microsoft Dynamics CRM has helped the Arbor Day Foundation reduce application development time, improve scalability by empowering IT to drive change and innovation and ultimately strengthen the overall productivity of their employees. The Arbor Day Foundation has added value to each major department. Through information gathering of the departmental needs and requirements, they have continued to expand the user base, program tracking, and connection of disparate data.

PROVEN RESULTS: 

  • 1380078_10152075802403421_468986118_nIncreased Development Productivity: The Arbor Day Foundation management has estimated that application development time has been reduced by as much as 300%. Increased productivity can be attributed to the core relationship management capabilities, shared resources of the application platform layer, reuse of the platform components, and a simple point and click interface.
  • Increased Employee Productivity: The user base has readily accepted the xRM solution. The familiar user interface platform has accelerated its widespread adoption as well as user proficiency.
  • Hiring Reductions: Since implementing the xRM solution, the Arbor Day Foundation has been able to add programs, heighten the impact of those programs, and expand relationships with partners and supporters without a need to increase hiring.

Webinar: Top 5 Reasons to Consider Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013

Webinar: Top 5 Reasons to Consider Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013CRM2013-overview

Please join us for this free webinar hosted by InterDyn BMI’s Solution Consultant, Jeff Spehn. He will demonstrate the best new features of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 and answer any questions you may have.

Agenda:

  1. Intro to CRM
  2. Overview of Sales, Service & Marketing – 365 degree view of a customer.
    1. Integration to GP and other ERP systems.
    2. SharePoint Integration
  3. xRM applications
    1. Simple Example
    2. Example of our PSA System, Expense/Time tracking
  4. CRM in Outlook
  5. CRM Mobile
  6. Q&A with product Expert

Register now!

Visit our website to learn more about InterDyn BMI and Microsoft Dynamics.

Top 5 Features of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013

InterDyn BMI’s Top 5 Features of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013

By Jeff Spehn

Microsoft has officially released Dynamics CRM 2013 in November, 2013. There are many new features in this version and we would like to share our “Top 5”.

1. New Navigation – CRM 2013 has new, touch friendly navigation (for touch-screen enabled devices). The collapsible menu navigation also gives more real-estate on the screen to view important information. (Click on the images to view larger)

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2. Updated Forms – All forms or screens in CRM 2013 use a modern, updated look. It makes it much easier to see all pertinent information all on one screen. CRM13.2

3. Apps! – With CRM 2013, Microsoft has released their own apps for popular devices to run CRM more efficiently on those devices. Windows Tablets, Windows Phone, iPad, iPhone and Android devices have CRM 2013 apps available to use, at no additional cost!

4. Flat Interface/ No more Pop Ups! – CRM 2013 supports several Internet Browsers (IE, Chrome, Firefox and Safari). In addition, records that you open up in CRM 2013 do not open up additional Pop Up Widows or tabs in these browsers. Much easier to use!

5. Auto Save – CRM 2013 introduces an Auto Save feature. Users no longer have to click Save on any record in CRM, it will just save automatically! This feature can be turned off if you like the “old way” of having to click save on a record, but most users will enjoy the freedom of not having to always “save” your changes.

Ready to upgrade your business to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013?

Contact InterDyn BMI today, we are eager to answer your questions!

There are many more new features in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013. For more information, visit http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics/crm-vision.aspx.