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Door 20 – Mobile Offline

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Mobile Offline comes with all the apps and does what it says on the tin.

If you think of flight mode on a plane, it’s not dissimilar except that the sync between offline and online when connectivity resumes is automatic. You might not even notice it. You can create, edit and delete records offline and the only limitation is that things may look a little different due to image restrictions in offline mode. If your business has a field service team of any type, mobile offline is a good user experience that improves productivity and customer service.

Next up is Power BI. See you tomorrow.

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Door 19 – Microsoft Flow

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Business Process Flow links business applications together to make day to day tasks much easier for users.

Users can continue to use the tools that they like but still use the Dynamics365 platform and act from within it. It extends out to 72 applications including competitor platforms allowing businesses using other platforms to benefit from the functionality e.g. Asana, Salesforce, Basecamp, Facebook, Google Drive, Instagram, MailChimp, Trello, Twitter, WordPress to name just a small number. Just like PowerApps, there are hundreds of templates to create connections that might include notifications, data organisation, automated approvals, new save paths, calendar sharing, file copying, translations, tweet content emails et al.

Talking of ease of use, tomorrow we’ll talk to you about Dynamics 365 Outlook.

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Door 18 – Microsoft AppSource

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AppSource is a bit like iTunes for Dynamics365, bringing recently built apps, services or modules from other Partners to Dynamics365 users.

Sharing knowledge and work already done helps businesses to further develop their Dynamics365 platform cost effectively. These are apps that will have been built to solve common problems or to tailor Dynamics365 to a specific sector/vertical. It includes Cloud apps built on Dynamics 365, Office, Cortana Intelligence, PowerBI and the Azure platform plus add-ons, extension and content packages for existing apps. It’s a fantastic way of sharing development experience. You can scan apps by category or industry.

With that insight into what is happening on Dynamics 365 in one easy place, it’s tempting to have your pick but we’d always advise you to ask your Microsoft partner to evaluate the opportunities based on the objectives.

Looking for shortcuts between apps or tools? Learn about Microsoft Flow tomorrow.

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Door 17 – PowerApps

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PowerApps gives technical users, or partners, a great shortcut to build an app for your business.

It’s pitched at everyone but we think you’d need to be comfortable with how to design an application and be extremely confident with Excel formulas to use it. It’s newly launches so we can expect some refinement but we’re looking forward to using it for a few discreet cases shortly.

Connection to the Common Data Model (or existing systems and data sources) allows you to build apps, forms and workflows without writing code then publish them instantly for web and mobile. It uses visual drag and drop tools enabling users to quickly create new web and mobile connected apps that pull data from multiple sources to extend the capabilities of Dynamics 365 apps and other business applications.

So, where can you find lots of industry relevant apps to extend your Dynamics 365? Learn about AppSource tomorrow.

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Door 16 – Voice of the Customer Surveys

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Customer Surveys are part of every Dynamics 365 license making it easier than ever to keep a track of what your customers think about you.

Because of the integration, customers can automatically be sent a survey at the end of a project, a transaction or for product development research.  The surveys can be customized to your business including design, imagery and translations. They are integrated within the platform giving you the ability to trigger immediate follow up actions. For example, if a customer indicates an interest in one of your products, the system can generate a quote request and assign it to a salesperson. If a customer replies with a complaint, the system can create new service case and route it to the best queue for prompt handling. Results can be surfaced in the analytics so that you can identify patterns, gaps in service and sales opportunities.

The inclusion of surveys in the platform makes it a lot easier to implement processes like Net Promoter Score and negates any requirement for external options such as Survey Monkey.

Tomorrow, we’ll be talking PowerApps.

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Door 15 – Integrated Self Service Web Portal

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Do you want to staff your business 24/7 to meet customer demands? No, not many do.

Hence the Dynamics 365 Self Service Portal. Your customers can find out what they need to know, when they want to know it without you paying someone to be there. There are four defined templates; Customer Service, Partner Support, Community Engagement and Employee Self Service. It’s included with every subscription so you can improve your accessibility and service levels without an additional fee.

Do you put customer surveys out using an externally integrated tool? Tomorrow, we talk Voice of the Customer Surveys.

 

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Door 14 – Microsoft Social Engement

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Keeping on top of your social channels can be laborious and disjointed from your other systems.

Step up Microsoft Social Engagement. Available to all subscribers (thought subject to the usual security permissions), what’s happening on social will connect to Dynamics 365 and trigger actions such as alerting you to negative threads. A customer’s social account can be linked giving you a full picture of what’s of interest to them and any direct social interactions they’ve had with you such as a message on Facebook. You can add multiple streams so Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs and so on that will let you keep a track of competitor activity, subject discussions, customer interactions. Users can search by activity and choose a format to surface the results.

Want to know how Dynamics 365 will help your customers help themselves. Find out tomorrow.

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Door 13 – Dynamics 365 Non-Production License

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Dynamics 365 now provides a Non-Production environment as standard when you are purchasing full user licenses (apps or plans).

This is effectively your testing environment and you get one non-production environment per love instances (although more can be purchased). Users can test, develop, demonstrate or design changes to the Dynamics 365 set up without putting it live. It’s a big improvement on what was on offer with Dynamics CRM when only 25 or more users received a non-production instance. Customers with fewer than 25 users either had to publish their customisations directly on their live instance, or pay an add-on cost for a sandbox. Neither of these were great scenarios for businesses who needed to phase in changes for employees or who had concerns about testing on live systems. Thankfully, Dynamics 365 includes 1 x non-production instance as default enabling all administrations to test updates separate from their live CRM instance.

Interested in how Dynamics 365 integrates with social activity? Join us tomorrow to find out.

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Door 12 – Dynamics 365 In Cloud Vs On Premise

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We now feel that realistically, there’s very little reason for anyone to be On-Premise now.

With Microsoft’s UK Data Centre, your Cloud storage is governed within the UK with other data centres throughout Europe and the US should you need them. The security is tight. Even the UK’s Ministry of Defence is using Microsoft Cloud in the UK. There’s a lower hardware investment, a lower IT resource requirement and it’s quick to set up. The Dynamics 365 Online offering is always going to be more comprehensive than On-Premise. It’s simply the way the world is going and it makes sense to go with it. If you’re currently on premise, your transition to Dynamics 365 is the time to look to Cloud to make the most of all the features and save money over the longer term. Dynamics 365 for On-Premise is still a strong product, but we think, over time, you’ll have to accept that there will be features and benefits that you’ll lose out on. This is not yet confirmed but we believe that the tools available to provide Online services cannot always be used to provide On Premise services. Assuming that’s the case, there will be instances where Microsoft need to use a tool that will be available Online, but not On Premise such as tiered pricing, PowerApps, Enterprise Plan functionality limitations and use right differences on Team Members.

Tomorrow, we’ll talk a little about the Non-Production Instance.

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Door 11 – Dynamics 365 for Marketing App

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The Dynamics 365 for Marketing App hasn’t launched yet but we’re excited about the announcement that Adobe integration will be at its core, delivering all the power of the Adobe marketing suite from within your CRM. We believe it will include everything you’d expect and need to drive initial target audience awareness, to nurture and convert your prospects and of course, to ensure customer engagement and retention.

In the meantime, the Dynamics 365 for Sales App integrates nicely with Power Mail Chimp for email, or Click Dimensions for marketing automation, both tools that we have always recommended.

Tomorrow, we’ll help you with the Cloud vs On Premise debate.