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.

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.

5 scenarios that will help you realize why you need Microsoft Dynamics CRM

5 scenarios that will help you realize why you need Microsoft Dynamics CRM

By Devi Mahavir, Account Manager

Another hot topic with many of our ERP clients is Dynamics CRM. While ERP is the financial engine of an organization (GL, Orders, Invoices, Inventory, etc.), CRM is the activity tracking engine for an organization (emails, appointments, meetings, etc.).

Why do I need CRM you might ask? The following scenarios will illustrate the potential benefits you may realize if you had Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

1. I have a Microsoft Outlook appointment to meet my customer, but I can’t remember why we are meeting or what information I have already provided. I had a notebook on my desk with the information for that client, and now I can’t find it.

2. I communicate to my customers/vendors frequently throughout the year, and every time I do, I have to search through hundreds of emails to review our conversations.

3. I spend a lot of time and resources creating campaigns to promote my products and services, but I am not sure which campaigns are most successful.

4. I am unable to track who is responsible for replying to a client request or if the request was addressed in a timely manner or at all.

5. To get a full view of my clients’ activities, I need to go to Microsoft Outlook, my accounting system, Excel spreadsheets, paper files, and coworkers.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a powerful activity tracking engine for any organization.  Efficient tracking of sales related activities provides informative pipeline reports and dashboards.  CRM can be customized to create frameworks for organizing and managing processes where systems don’t currently exist, tasks are performed manually, or information is in disparate systems.  Improved efficiencies provided by a fully integrated Dynamics CRM, Microsoft Exchange, and Dynamics ERP system can bring great value to your organization.

These are just some of the biggest reason to explore CRM, but there is so much more that Microsoft CRM can do for you.  With reporting, customization, and dashboards that are user-tailored, CRM lets you manage, engage and deliver customer service to the highest level of excellence.

For more information on what CRM and GP 2013 can do for you, talk to an Account Manager today! Take some time off now that you have your financial and customer service in check and enjoy the summer months ahead!

Contact us or visit our website for more information.