When Microsoft first introduced Dynamics 365, it introduced the concept of apps to separate different business modules. Now the “old” Dynamics apps (Dynamics CRM, Dynamics NAV, AX…) all became part of one big product.
What used to be Dynamics CRM is now the “Customer Engagement” module of Dynamics 365, and this module contains various Dynamics 365 apps. One of these apps that launched with Dynamics 365 is Dynamics 365 for Sales, Enterprise Edition.
Now, this app is great because it contains everything we were used to in Dynamics CRM, such leads, contacts, quotes, orders…but, as the “enterprise” name suggests, it was designed for large businesses.
What about small or medium-sized businesses? Does this mean they have to purchase licenses for the enterprise edition? Well, the wait is almost over; Microsoft has announced that Dynamics 365 for Sales Business Edition is coming soon and it’s tailored for small to medium-sized businesses.
Let’s take a look at what’s available in this edition.
Easier Setup Process
The days of spending months setting up your Dynamics app to connect to different sources (e.g. SharePoint, Email Exchange server, etc.) are coming to an end. Microsoft has worked hard to streamline the setup process and make it as easy as possible.
The new sales application provides a wizard-based setup process that will take care of some big jobs to get you up and running (connecting to SharePoint, configuring exchange online and even importing your data from another deployment).
New and Improved Settings Page
Microsoft finally added an “Advanced View” to give people access to all the settings in one place instead of having to wander around and scroll infinitely (I’m looking at you, Dynamics CRM).
Microsoft is always experimenting with the navigation in Dynamics apps to give a good, easy-to-use solution. With the new Dynamics 365 for Sales app (Business Edition), Microsoft introduced a new way to navigate entities, showing the list of records in a specific area in a separate pane on the left, and providing easy access to recent and favorite records in a bar on the top. This will make going to your records of interest a lot faster and easier.
Users Creation and Management
With the introduction of Dynamics CRM online, Office 365 and Dynamics CRM were inter-related, which was a good move by Microsoft. But creating a user became a little tricky. With the new user management feature, creating a user has become easy, showing you only things that need to be filled out and can be completed entirely from Dynamics 365 (no need to go to Office 365).
Old Dynamics CRM developers (well, not old, but those who worked on the previous version) know that there’s one piece that Microsoft wasn’t spending time on for the last six years: Designers.
With the introduction of Dynamics 365, Microsoft took some time to change the business process flow designer to make it more intuitive and easier to read and update. Apparently, this got a lot of positive feedback.
So with the new Dynamics Sales App, the following features have been updated:
Microsoft was using the Dynamics CRM 2011 form designer (that’s right…2011!) up until this update. Now, the old designer was working fine and, if it’s not broken don’t fix it, right? But it didn’t fit with the design language Microsoft is using anymore. Also, sometimes it was a bit slow, which was rather annoying.
Apart from the new look, the form designer offers new features:
Easier field creation with quick drag and drop
Faster inline field editing
Multi-select fields (a much-wanted feature that will save people from creating loads of custom entities only for the 1:N relationships)
Also born in 2011, the old view designer was still working fine but, again, it was becoming old, so Microsoft blessed us with an updated version.
With the new designer, we can now:
- Sort columns with a single click on the column header (this was doable before but with more steps)
- Configure filters and columns side by side
- View sample data while creating the view to see how the data will look like once the view is published.
This one was introduced quite recently. Still, there was apparently room for improvement, so why not?
An old, very useful feature from Dynamics CRM makes its way to Dynamics 365 for Sales Business Edition to allow businesses to maintain a catalog of all products the organization offers.
Another feature from Dynamics CRM in which duplication rules can be defined and published for selected entities to prevent the system from creating duplicated records.
The following entities will be available for the Business Edition of Dynamics 365 for Sales:
- Opportunity products
- Quote products
- Invoice products
Data Management Tools
These are tools that allow businesses to import data from different sources. One such tool allows importing data that was already exported from another Dynamics system or any data in a CSV file, as long as the mappings are set up correctly.
What’s good is that the duplicate detection rules apply here as well, so you won’t have to worry about whether duplicate data is being imported.
Office 365 Integration
As we talked about in the quick setup section, Dynamics 365 can be integrated with your Office 365 instance to enable sending and receiving emails directly from your Dynamics 365 app. Also, documents can be stored and shared across the entire organization.
Microsoft is making all the right steps to bring all its products together for a better overall experience. You can now instantly connect with your customer from inside Dynamics 365 using Skype calls or Skype for business.
It looks as if assistants are the new thing in all technologies. Dynamics 365 provides a relationship assistant that keeps an eye on your daily actions and generated helpful cards.
Dynamics 365 for Sales Business Edition features out-of-the-box charts that can be placed in the dashboards to give users a glance of what’s important to them in an intuitive visual manner.
Word and Excel Templates
Create professional Word or Excel templates that can serve as placeholders for your Dynamics 365 data to generate professional-looking sales documents.
One big selling point for Dynamics 365 (and even Dynamics CRM previously) is the mobile app availability. This can be very beneficial for sales professionals engaging with their customers on the go.
The app has a great user-friendly interface to make interacting with Dynamics 365 easy and enjoyable.
One thing worth noting is that, for the business edition, the app lacks offline support (a feature available in the enterprise edition).
Dynamics CRM has been integrated with Outlook for a long time. Microsoft managed to inherit the same functionality for Dynamics 365 for Sales.
After installing the Dynamics 365 client for Outlook, a dedicated Dynamics 365 tab will appear in your Outlook client that allows you to:
- Open Dynamics 365 records directly from Outlook.
- Create activities (phone call, appointment, task, etc.) and link them to existing Dynamics 365 records.
- Create Dynamics 365 records for entities where “enabled for mobile” and “enabled for multisearch” are checked.
- Add email templates, Knowledge articles, and sales literature.
Track Outlook contacts so you can see them from your Dynamics 365 app.
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Microsoft is proving how much work it’s putting in to make its Dynamics 365 product as complete as possible. It’s addressing the customers’ needs and making sure everything works seamlessly together to boost productivity and cover anything a business may need.