One of the many reasons businesses are attracted to Dynamics 365 as a CRM system is because of its easy integration. The solution easily connects to other Microsoft solutions such as Outlook, Office 365, Power BI, and so much more. As a result, users have a centralized hub where they can view and manage all relevant customer information and records. This helps to increase productivity, collaboration, and efficiency as users can view all customer data without switching platforms.
An example that illustrates the power behind these types of integrations is the Exchange Online and Dynamics 365 App for Outlook integration. Synchronizing these two systems allows users to view all data, appointments, contact information, meetings, and tasks directly within Dynamics 365.
Below, we’ll review how to set up this integration as well as how one company used the connection to simplify the registration process around a major event.
Before syncing these two systems, users must have Exchange Online setup; while the sync can work with POP3 and Gmail, it will be limited in functionality.
The user’s Exchange Online account should be automatically discovered by Dynamics 365 depending on their settings. Some adjustments may be needed if automatic discovery does not happen.
For emails to be sent and received in Dynamics, the account can only be attached to one user as opposed to a distribution list, shared mailbox, or forwarding account.
Mailboxes that don’t have a licensed user will need to obtain a license and create a user profile, or build a queue that processes the email which bypasses the forwarding mailbox and creates an email. An Office 365, Exchange, or Global admin must then approve the new mailbox.
Once set up and configuration is complete, information from Exchange and Dynamics 365, including email messages, contacts, appointments, and tasks, are synced.
User or System filters can be utilized for each of these tables to see which information is waiting to be transferred. Additionally, users can create Outlook folders and apply certain rules to specify which emails are migrated into Dynamics 365. Outlook rules currently allow for the transfer of up to 25 folders.
To select the direction of the data sync for each entry, go to sync fields > entity type > sync direction. Users can change the path of the data flow using the arrows.
The XRM toolbox features a ‘User Setting Utility’ tool that allows admins to set personal options to be applied to all users which saves time when adding multiple users. Remember to regularly audit and refresh the tool’s settings to ensure no dirty data is synced. This is done by selecting personal options > email > automatically create records in D365 and leaving the option unchecked.
Email tracking between the two systems is possible via the following options:
- Email messages in response to D365 email
- Email messages from D365 leads, contacts, and accounts.
It’s important to avoid using the ‘all email message’ settings as the action can overwhelm the system.
Dynamics 365 for Outlook App
To ensure proper security around the synchronization, each user must be added to the app by either selecting users from the eligible user list or manually adding each individual user. After users have been added, the Dynamics 365 app will appear in user’s Outlook Customizations for App after approximately 10-20 minutes.
Those wanting to customize the app must ensure the out-of-the-box site map is not changed. Any alterations to existing tables can prevent emails from being tracked properly or Microsoft updates can break the app. Adding to the site map will not cause any disruptions.
How Blue Spring Pediatrics Simplified
Their Event Registration Process
Blue Spring Pediatric was hosting an event where customers could elect to attend various breakout sessions throughout the day. However, their registration process was complicated and lengthy, and it was difficult to distribute the right event-specific information to attendees.
For example, when registering for the event, users were sent a list of all available sessions rather than the specific events they signed up for. This led to many customers signing up for sessions multiple times, skewing the data and confusing attendees.
To resolve this issue, admins created a number of customer journeys that sent emails to customers at various times. Using Microsoft Flows, attendees were provided with the correct information about the sessions. Admins also utilized code blocks within the email template to ensure only the correct information was sent to customers. Finally, the updated email template featured an ‘add event’ button that synced event information directly to the user’s calendar.
With the synchronization in place, Blue Spring Pediatrics was able to streamline and simplify the registration process, creating a more user-friendly, efficient experience for customers.
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