Understanding Microsoft Dynamics Relationship Insights
Dynamics 365 Relationship Insights
Relationship Insights is a brand new, out the box feature powered by machine learning to provide even more insight into your customers.
Information on another exciting update for Microsoft Dynamics 365 has been released, here at SeeLogic we believe this will revolutionise the way you manage your business relationships.
Relationship Insights saves you having to spend time and money building reports, analysing data or custom development to better understand your customers. Relationship Insights constantly analyses the data loaded onto D365 and provides timely, actionable ‘next best suggestions ‘based upon sentiments, contact frequency, time spent with customers and number of emails exchanged.
This new feature includes four sub features, which all work together to give you a wide breadth of insights throughout the customer lifecycle.
The relationship assistant is constantly working behind the scenes, monitoring your activities, data records, plans and customer communications. Using this data, relationship assistant can provide insights which enable you to prioritise daily tasks. These insights will also indicate any adjustments needed to ensure effective customer communication going forwards.
Using data collected by the relationship assistant, email engagement can recommend email templates based on previous open and reply rates. This feature not only helps you generate more effective emails, it will also show how your contacts interact with them. Using this data, you can prioritise the projects/customers that are most engaged.
This feature helps you monitor the health of your relationships in D365. Using the open opportunities dashboard, D365 will show whether the relationship is in good, fair or poor health. This function uses data collected by the relationship assistant to provide you accurate and actionable insights into your customers. With this data, you can use the relationships insights bubble chart to prioritise at risk customers.
With this new update, Dynamics 365 can now analyse your inbox on Microsoft Exchange. The system searches for messages to or from relevant email addresses, it will then present those messages in Dynamics 365. Each message will remain private unless converted to a tracked mail, tracked emails are visible to the rest of your team in D365.
Keep checking the Microsoft Dynamics road map, to find out when this amazing new feature will be available to you.
If you would like to find out how Microsoft Dynamics 365 can revolutionise your business, please contact us
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Microsoft Dynamics 365 is an award-winning solution!
Microsoft Dynamics awards; D365 is an award-winning solution!
In this article, we look at some of Microsoft Dynamics awards won so far this year. At SeeLogic we pride ourselves on only offering the best CRM solutions to our customers. We are pleased to announce that Microsoft Dynamics 365 has won several prestigious awards throughout the first half of 2017.
CRM magazine Product of the Year for Customer Service & Support (2017)
The CRM Magazine awards are judged by a panel of industry analysts who evaluate products based on; functionality, company reputation, reputation for customer satisfaction and their 5-year software and maintenance costs.
Some comments from the judges:
Principal Analyst Ian Jacobs “’product design remains strongly focused on usability, with a reputation for a better cost structure than much of the competition.’ Furthermore, its road map ‘shows a strong commitment to customer experience–focused developments.’”
Forrester VP and Principal Analyst Kate Leggett “Microsoft’s web support solution offers strong process guidance, good omnichannel capabilities, and robust knowledge management at an attractive price.’ She adds that it has ‘an exciting product direction focused on embedding intelligence and prescriptive advice into its core solutions.’”
Mitch Kramer, senior vice president and analyst at the Patricia Seybold Group, notes Microsoft has “’collected all of the high-end apps, offering cloud deployment and including new and useful technologies’ such as artificial intelligence (AI).”
CUSTOMER magazine 2017 Product of the Year Award
CUSTOMER magazine is published by TMC, a global integrated media company. The CUSTOMER magazine Product of the Year award recognises vendors who are advancing CRM, telesales and call centre industries one solution at a time. The award showcases products which enable users to exceed expectations.
Rich Tehrani, CEO of TMC stated: “Microsoft Dynamics 365 has proven deserving of this elite status, and I look forward to the continued innovation from Microsoft in 2017 and beyond.”
Other notable awards in 2017
Microsoft Dynamics 365 has received other early 2017 awards including the 2017 CRM Watchlist Elite award and two Stevie® Awards for Dynamics 365 for Sales and Dynamics 365 for Customer Service. The volume of Microsoft Dynamics awards is testament to the innovation and commitment to digital transformation that Microsoft has pledged.
If you would like to know how the award-winning Microsoft Dynamics 365 can revolutionise your business contact us for a free trial or demonstration.
Talk to us on 01296 328 689
Or Email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information see Microsoft press releases: https://community.dynamics.com/b/msftdynamicsblog/archive/2017/03/09/microsoft-dynamics-365-wins-2017-customer-magazine-product-of-the-year-award
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Increasing sales productivity with Office 365
The tools and apps available through Office 365 are powerful productivity extensions to CRM. In the following blog we take a look at some of these apps and how they can be combined for increasing sales productivity.
In this example, we take a look at how the tools can be used to empower your sales team and increase day-to-day efficiencies. The integrated Office 365 features support an end-to-end sales process from enquiry.
View contextual CRM information within Outlook
With Dynamics 365 and Office 365, you can now view contextually rich information about your contacts from Dynamics 365 straight from within Outlook. This includes any up-coming appointment opportunities about to close or open cases that you should be aware of when speaking to clients.
Nurture the lead with a follow- up call via Skype for Business
Now the enquiry has been received and tracked, it’s time for a follow-up call to gather further requirements. This can be done through Skype for Business either as voice call or video call. Skype calls and follow-up activity can be recorded within CRM, providing a centralised view of all the interactions you have had with your opportunity
Capture all the details with OneNote
Whilst on the Skype call or during a meeting you can record notes directly on OneNote. These can be synchronised with CRM, utilising Microsoft’s Common Data Service or shared the customer or colleagues. With OneNote there is no need to lose track of what was said or forget a crucial customer requirements.
Keep the team updated with Yammer
Keep team members in the loop with any deal updates by sharing the latest news in Yammer and allow other members of the organisation to contribute crucial information for sales proposals. This secure and private collaboration tool can only be accessed by team members and colleagues.
Discover with Delve…
Sales teams can easily discover relevant documents through Delve and OneDrive for Business. Has a prospect just requested a price list? No problem, before you have even opened the email, Delve has already provided a link to the latest version of your pricelist within Outlook, ready for you to respond! Collaborate across the organisation with support from Office 365 Groups and create real-time proposals as a team.
…collaborate with SharePoint
SharePoint provides a central repository for all CRM documents, so versions can be tracked and members of the team who do not use CRM can access crucial information directly from SharePoint. Manage versions, and restrict sensitive competitive information by leveraging Office 365’s Information Rights Management security features, i.e. by disallowing information to be printed or shared beyond specific users.
Manage the pipeline with Excel
Quickly update the sales pipeline by exporting to Excel online and quickly updating close dates, sales stages, estimated revenue and more without the need to go into individual records. Simply press save, and the information is automatically updated within CRM. There are many more ways that tools can be combined and used. With the increasing range of apps from the Microsoft AppStore, the opportunities for collaboration and increased productivity continue to expand. We will release further examples of tool & app combinations that can improve and enhance all business processes.
If you are looking for an upgrade or to purchase further licences, please contact us on 01296 328 689 or email@example.com. SeeLogic is a gold certified and leading UK Microsoft partner, we can help you with all aspects of your CRM project.
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Important changes to SharePoint public
Important changes to SharePoint public website capability
Way back in March 2015 we wrote to customers to let them know about important changes to Office 365, in particular, the SharePoint public website feature. Microsoft made changes to the SharePoint Online Public Websites feature by removing the ability to create a new public website beyond the changeover date of March 9th, 2015. As of 1st May 2017, anonymous access for existing sites is no longer available.
From 1st September 2017, Microsoft will delete the public site collection in SharePoint Online. Customers will no longer have access to the content, images, pages or any other files that reside on their public website. Customers are advised to make back up copies before this date.
Between March 2015 and May 2017, customers had the opportunity to request postponing the deletion of their site. This postponement comes to an end on 31st March 2018.
Once the site has been deleted, customers will no longer have access to content, images, pages or any other files that reside on their public website. Customers can, however, recover their content through the Recycle Bin.
Microsoft are making this change as they have evaluated their portfolio and believe Microsoft customers will be better served by third party suppliers who specialise in public websites. This will enable Microsoft to put more focus on other Office 365 enhancements.
If you are using Office 365 Admin Office or 365 Small Business Admin, it is possible to migrate your SharePoint public website to a third party supplier. Official Microsoft third party suppliers include Wix.com and GoDaddy. In order to do this you must follow the steps outlined by Microsoft, if you go to the third party suppliers directly, you will not be entitled to any discount. To read more on this click here
To read the full announcement from Microsoft, please click here
If you have any questions or want further advice on what to do, please do not hesitate to contact us by completing a submission form or calling us on 01296 328 689.
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Assuring a quality solution throughout your project life-cycle
Assuring Project Quality…
Project Managers will frequently grapple with the subject of project quality. Should it be factored at the start, middle or end of a project life-cycle? Who is responsible for project quality? There are a number of methodologies for ensuring project quality, which is the best? In the following article, we take a look at the ways to ensure quality can be met and how we achieve it at SeeLogic.
A holistic approach
At SeeLogic we take a holistic approach to delivering projects. This means taking the ‘best’ aspects of both Agile and Waterfall. Our experience reveals that Agile works well to assure parallel stages but there will be a stage in every project where release candidates are based on agreed functionality. Taking this approach ensures that the solution is enriched through effective defined sprints, show and tell sessions and final functionality. The solution is industrialised using this approach.
Using Microsoft’s Sure Step Methodology an approach known as the Quality Management Manifesto is progressed to achieve a solution delivered process.
The latter assures customer expectation management is mapped by initially listing conditions of satisfaction together with an attitude of continuous improvement for the project. The aim is to achieve a ‘consistency of purpose’ to achieve continuous and permanent product and service improvement.
In the Sure Step methodology, project quality control and assurance are manifested through each cross-phase of the agreed implementation plan.
Microsoft Sure Step Methodology Diagram from Microsoft
Examples of where quality control and management are accentuated and specifically applied:
- The Programme Management cross-phase uses specific activities and templates focused on Quality control.
- The Quality and Testing cross phase focuses on due diligence to ensure the solution is customised as per agreed standards and requirements
- Under the Optimisation umbrella a proactive approach /oversight from a technical and governance aspect is taken, including actions that can be performed during production to ensure that the solution will continue to operate effectively.
- Performance management is key to ensure that the solution is tested from a load perspective.
- Service readiness testing is key to ensure that infrastructure, anticipated expansion or review of roles and responsibilities is considered in advance of any solution release.
CoS elements are identified at the outset of an engagement and noted with a published and agreed with client Project Charter. The assigned project manager is responsible for working with the customer to ensure that activities agreed will be executed rather than leaving them (the project charter items) to be lost and not be a prominent driver for the project.
A key component of project quality control during the implementation is Tollgate Reviews. Our experience has found that for a typical waterfall project, Tollgate reviews are called out at the end of each Phase (or agreed with client gate). With waterfall type projects, Tollgate reviews assess project health and reviewing key milestone.
For Agile projects, we ensured that Tollgate reviews take place at the end of every agreed Sprint, effectively, conducting a retrospective.
Tollgate reviews are key to ensure CoS are being met.
Key Quality and Testing Cross-Phase
SeeLogic prioritise testing as key to the success of a project as it assists in reducing ambiguity in the final configuration, development and test stages. These standards are gathered and documented in our test plan. The latter communicates general procedures when conducting software testing and validation. The plan may also encompass projected business processes and workflow changes anticipated in the customer organisation.
The Test Plan also provides a general overview of monitoring and testing activities that will be performed during the course of the implementation. Test plan essential elements include: rigour, recommended number of tests, test throughput (estimated time/resources needed from both the client and SeeLogic to perform tests), orientation for test team members (guidance on acceptable levels of performance and how to ‘mark’/grade a rest result and agreed levels of Priority 1 and 2 failures. A resolution and regression test process is also documented.
Sub-process testing is also conducted. For example, checking if a specific function is intuitive and as per agreed design.
Whilst the latter focuses on a sub-set of a customer’s workflow, the Process Test is a complete set of related features and functions that make up a defined business process.
Data Acceptance Testing (DAT).
DAT verifies for example, data migrated from an existing system to the new system forms the correct data subset and cleansing has taken place. In addition, validation of all data needed for transactions, enquiry and reporting will be available.
Other essential tests include: Integration testing and Performance testing. Finally, User Acceptance Testing focuses on complete end-to-end testing to ensure that the system that SeeLogic delivers meets the business requirement and test criteria initially established/agreed. UAT is typically performed in a Testing or Staging environment. The UAT leverages scripts that are prepopulated with test steps and expected results. The actual results of testing are documented for future reference and customer approval.
If you would like find out more about how SeeLogic can help you ensure your CRM project is a success, please contact us.
About the author:
Dr Savi is a crucial member of SeeLogic Projects’ team and has a extensive knowledge of project principles and delivery. Key highlights from his career to date include development of his own management and business methodologies. He has consulted on projects from large global enterprises including MBNA, Exxon, TSB and NatWest. He was Head of Consultancy at Unisys leading a 120 strong team. In recent years, he has successfully completed projects for: Deutche Bank, 3, Vodafone, Sky TV, O2, NHS, Dept of Health, BCS & Investors in People.
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Re-imagine productivity with Dynamics 365 for Financials
Re-imagine productivity – an exclusive e-book from Microsoft on how your small business could be transformed through Dynamics 365 for Financials. The complete small to medium business (SMB) solution combining financial processing with CRM.
Dynamics 365 for Financials is a revolutionary CRM from Microsoft that will transform the way your small business operates. It is part of the Dynamics 365 family and provides a stand alone platform that will handle all aspects of running your business. When the time comes to expand, Dynamics 365 for Financials seamlessly integrates with other Dynamics 365 products to provide extra functionality as your business grows.
Is Dynamics 365 for Financials right for you?
If you agree with two on more statements below then Dynamics 365 for Financials could right for you:
- Are you outgrowing your basic accounting software?
- Is it time to replace outdated systems?
- Do you have multiple systems that require a duplication of effort when updating records?
- Are you aware of inefficiencies or productivity constraints you know could be automated or improved?
- Do you have to apply ‘workarounds’ to complete data or make it usable in reports?
- Do you struggle with audit trails?
- Do your time constraints mean you have a reactive approach to new technology?
- Are you looking for a hassle free transition from the current situation?
- Are you looking for a complete, high functioning system that is priced sensitively for a small business?
- Looking for easy integration with existing systems if you prefer to start off with multiple systems for now?
- You are a small to medium business with between 5 – 99 members of staff?
Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Financials will enable you to deploy one solution to manage all your financials, sales, services and operations with the ability to connect applications like payroll, banking apps, CRM, e-commerce and customer APIs.
What’s more, this system integrates with popular Microsoft tools such as Office 365 meaning you will be able to set up customers, create quotes, process orders and submit invoices all from your Outlook inbox. There is so much potential and scope, it is best to experience the product first-hand.
Want to find out more?
To find out more about Dynamics 365 for Financials visit here or alternatively arrange a demo or free trial by contacting us. You can also download an e-book from Microsoft about how Dynamics 365 for Financials can re-imagine productivity within your business by following the instructions below…
Download the e-book: “Re-imagine Productivity with Dynamics 365 for Financials”
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Microsoft cloud deployment scenarios have the flexibility for every business need
In a recent blog by Sri Srinivasan, (General Manager, Dynamics 365, Operations in the Cloud and Enterprise Group), detailed the amazing expansion of cloud based services in mid-sized organisations. The full article can be found here, the following article is a precis of the original.
The expansion of the cloud
In the twelve months since the availability of Microsoft’s cloud ERP service (Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations) there has been a big increase in the adoption of cloud based applications by mid-sized and large organisations. Microsoft enterprise customers are increasingly choosing Microsoft cloud solutions. In fact, 4 out of 5 now select Dynamics 365.
Sri believes there is now a paradigm shift with respect to business applications. That organisations now prefer “shorter implementations, fewer customisations, repeatable industry or domain solutions and continuous updates. Most noticeable is the shift from systems of record systems of intelligence.”
Microsoft understands that businesses require uninterrupted execution of their mission critical business processes. Dynamics 365 for Operations plans to enable organisations to run their business processes from application servers at the edges. This means transactions are supported by local application services and business data is stored locally. The facility running at each edge is called “My Workplace”. This provides a central node in the cloud that gives a single view of the business across distributed.
Sri explains that the Microsoft cloud connection ensures data aggregation, financial reporting and intelligence. The cloud instance also provides local installation with data fail over in the Microsoft cloud, automated deployment and continuous updates. By Summer 2017, Microsoft will support a single “My Workplace”.
Local business data storage for the those that need it
Sri acknowledges that not all companies are are ready to store their company’s mission critical data in the cloud. This could due to industry or country regulations, data centre investments or enterprise standards. For these customers Microsoft will be launching a new deployment option that does not require their data to be stored in the cloud. The deployment option “local business data” will support running your business processes on-premise, supporting local transactions and storage of local data, without replication to the Microsoft Cloud.
Selecting the right deployment option
Microsoft want organisations to be able to select the deployment scenario that is flexible. One that caters for today’s situation with the option to change later, with choices ranging from full cloud, to cloud and edge, to local business data.
Table showing side-by-side comparisons of planned scenarios. Image taken from Microsoft 365 Tech blog
The scenarios “cloud and edge” and “local business data” are planned for release in summer 2017.
Microsoft will disclose more details about the deployment scenarios at the Technical Conference. The proposed dates are 12th – 15th March at WSSC, Seattle Washington though could be subject to change The registration page is available here.
You can find the full article from Sri Srinivasan on the Dynamics 365 tech blog here
To book a demo of Dynamics 365 with SeeLogic, please contact us
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Important changes to Microsoft Dynamics Marketing
Microsoft Dynamics Marketing is changing.
Writing in their blog on 24th October, Microsoft outline their plans for Dynamics 365 and Dynamics Marketing. Please see excerpts from the blog below:
“In preparation for Dynamics 365 and the opportunities it opens up to our customers around the world, we have taken years’ worth of customer feedback, internal experience, and industry refinements in the marketing space to bring forth the next generation of marketing from Microsoft. Today, we are pleased to announce that our vision for the future of marketing will be realized in our Spring 2017 release cycle with the availability of a new marketing application “Dynamics 365 for Marketing, Business Edition”.
The new marketing application that will accompany this release will bring our marketing automation tools and features to a whole new level, while also ensuring that they harness the power of Azure and are hyper-scalable for customers of all sizes. While we are very excited about this release and its many features, it also means that our existing marketing application, Microsoft Dynamics Marketing, will no longer be sold to new customers as of November 1st, 2016 in order to prepare for the debut of this new application.
Although Microsoft Dynamics Marketing will no longer be available for purchase, Microsoft is continuing to invest in Marketing solutions.
Microsoft is planning to release a new marketing app as part of the Dynamics 365, Business edition. This solution is planned for the Spring of 2017. Pricing and licensing details will be made available prior to release. The new Marketing application will include features and benefits that Dynamics Marketing customers will find very appealing including functionality to model and manage customer journeys across marketing and sales, lead management across marketing and sales, and sharing the same Dynamics 365 platform as the Sales app. Additionally, the Marketing app in the Spring 2017 release of Dynamics 365 for Marketing will include email marketing, event management, landing pages, and lead management.”
Existing Microsoft Dynamics Marketing customers:
The blog continues:
“Microsoft Dynamics Marketing customers who wish to transition to the new Dynamics 365 Marketing app should evaluate the solution in Spring 2017 and plan their transition in the following 6 to 12 months.
For our existing Dynamics Marketing customers, we want to be crystal clear about our intentions, what the transition between these two applications will look like, and what this means for your business. Below is a brief summarization of the methods in which Microsoft Dynamics Marketing can be purchased today:
- MOSP (web-direct): Dynamics Marketing licenses purchased directly via the Office 365 portal
- CRM Online Enterprise: All existing CRM Online Enterprise licenses include Dynamics Marketing
- Enterprise Agreements: Dynamics Marketing licenses may have been included within your EA
In line with our support policy, existing customers in an Enterprise Agreement or those who have purchased licenses directly through MOSP (web-direct) will have the option to request renewal of their existing agreements until October 31st, 2017. Existing customers can also continue to purchase additional seats and Dynamics Marketing add-on capabilities – such as additional email messages and data storage – for the duration of their agreement. Microsoft is committed to providing support for Dynamics Marketing until October 31st, 2020 in order to honor and facilitate any renewed Enterprise Agreements.
Furthermore, we want to highlight a few of the most important points below:
- If you have purchased Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Enterprise directly through MOSP (web-direct) will be able to continue to use Microsoft Dynamics Marketing for the duration of their agreement.
If auto renewal is enabled, the renewal of the Dynamics Marketing Enterprise will be automatically taken care of but only until the 31st January 2017. Customers may also request their subscriptions renewal through Billing & Subscription support until October 31st, 2017.
- Customers who have CRM Online Enterprise licenses that include Microsoft Dynamics Marketing can continue using CRM Online and their existing Microsoft Dynamics Marketing instance throughout the license period.
If auto renewal is enabled, the renewal of CRM Online Enterprise will be automatically taken care of but only until the 31st January 2017. This renewal includes the Dynamics Marketing license.
For a renewal after this date customers will need to transition the licenses to a Dynamics 365 licensing plan. Microsoft Dynamics Marketing will not be included within the new plan. In this case, customers who had activated Dynamics Marketing should contact Billing & Subscription support to convert and if needed renew the license for their existing Dynamics Marketing instance. Renewal can be requested Billing & Subscription support until October 31st, 2017.
- Customers with an Enterprise Agreement will be able to request renewals based on their individual renewal dates until October 31st, 2017 by working through their assigned Microsoft Solution Sales Professional (SSP) or the Volume Licensing Service Center.
In the near future, we will be sharing further details on the new marketing application included with all “Dynamics 365 for Marketing, Business Edition” plans. Please monitor this website https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/crm/ for future updates and details as they become available.”
- Microsoft Dynamics Marketing will no longer be available to new customers from 1st November
- A new Marketing App will be rolled out in Spring 2017 as part of the Dynamics 365 ecosystem
- Existing customers have different transition options and timelines
- Microsoft will stop supporting Dynamics Marketing from 1st November 2020
SeeLogic will contact all existing Microsoft Dynamics Marketing customers to advise them on the different options. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us
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Join our Microsoft Dynamics 365 webinar on 18 October at 2PM
Dynamics 365 webinar from SeeLogic on 18 October at 2PM
Microsoft have recently announced the exciting release of Dynamics 365 from 1st November. The new system replaces existing Dynamics CRM and merges with ERP as well as offering deep Office 365 integration. It will also feature intuitive business AI which will learn about your business, processes and opportunities. It will then provide Cortana like suggestions to help your business grow. In a recent blog Microsoft CVP Takeshi Numoto talked about scale of innovation and investment that has led to the development of Dynamics 365:
“Designed to help improve manufacturing and supply chain execution, make field service operations more efficient, sell more effectively and ultimately deliver exceptional customer experiences, built-in intelligence capabilities are infused throughout Dynamics 365 apps including: sentiment and intent analysis, preemptive service, relationship insights, lead and opportunity scoring, product recommendations and up-sell/cross-sell, and many more.”
Takeshi Numoto, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft, 11th October 2016.
Of course what does this mean for existing users or who were just about to implement Dynamics CRM? SeeLogic will contact all our Microsoft Dynamics CRM customers individually to advise on them on continuation or transition. In the meantime, we have developed a quick webinar to highlight what will be delivered over the next few months. This webinar is aimed predominantly at existing customers and those with experience of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. However, we cordially invite anyone who wants to find out more to register.
Please join us on Tuesday 18th October at 2PM by registering below:
Read more from the Microsoft blog here