Demystifying Dynamics 365 | ‘Cause it’s not Just for Sales (Video)

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Automating Dynamics 365 for Sales

Learn how you can combine conditions and actions in Dynamics 365, run custom workflows, and use Power BI dashboards to easily analyze your data.

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All right. Thanks everybody for joining me here today. My name is Alex Fredrickson. I’m an account executive here at Encore Business Solutions. And I’ve been asked to talk about demystifying Dynamics 365 because I work with a lot of our CRM customers, the traditional Dynamics CRM customers. And now, Microsoft is all calling all that Dynamics 365. So, that’s really what we’re demystifying here. So, I just want to make sure we clear up the language around that. And by the time we leave, everybody should know what Dynamics 365 is and why they should be interested in it. So, I’m just gonna jump right in here.

All right. So, our agenda for today, first, I just kinda wanna highlight what is CRM? What are CRM systems? What was Dynamics CRM? And then try to figure out what Dynamics 365 is. And that’s really my main goal. If everybody leaves with a somewhat solid definition of that, I’ll be happy. And so, we’re gonna be looking at all of the functionality that’s available within Dynamics 365, and then after that, wanting to walk through a scenario. So, you know, it’s really important to look over all the functionality, but I think it’s equally as important to see the product in action, so you can get a sense of if it would make sense for your organization and how you could apply it for your own business processes.

So, today, we’ll be looking at an HVAC services example. So, we’re looking into dispatching employees, how you track the time, how you bill it, how you figure out that your customer even has a problem, so, really going A to Z through a scenario there. But this does apply to, you know, many industries. So, whether you’re doing, you know, disaster response, elevator repair, any sort of job that puts you out in the field or, like, Encore Professional Services taking advantage of this functionality. And we’ll make sure that we cover a lot of those key areas today, as well.

So, what is the CRM? So, I think a lot of folks will be familiar with CRMs in general. But basically, it’s called customer relationship management. And traditionally, it’s been focused all around sales. So, you know, you’ve got Dynamics CRM. You’ve got Salesforce. You’ve got [inaudible 00:02:39]. You’ve got all of these different CRMs. And it’s really tunnel vision on sales. Sometimes, there’s a marketing component. Sometimes, there’s a customer service component. But really the focus and the traditional user of that system is gonna be in sales. And so that’s kind of the key of defining what that CRM is.

And with Dynamics CRM, for those of you who are users of that product, for a long time this is what it was. It was sales, marketing, and customer service. But a lot of that has changed. So, I talk to a lot of different CRM users. Some work with Encore, some don’t. And they are unaware of, you know, with this change to Dynamics 365, and what that means for them. They still think that sales, customer service, and marketing is all that they can get out of their CRM system. But that’s just not the truth anymore. So, I’m trying to explain and clarify this language around Dynamics 365. So, what is it? Is it a CRM? Is it not a CRM? What does Dynamics 365 mean to me? What does it mean to you and your organizations?

So, Dynamics 365… Oh, geez. Thanks, Microsoft. Dynamics 365 is really just expanding on the breadth of what a traditional CRM used to be. So, it definitely still is a CRM. But it’s starting to blur the lines between all of your operations and your finance management, as well, and aligning those things all in one place. So, really you think about customer relationship management. If all you’re focusing on is your sales interactions, well then, your customers probably aren’t very happy, right, because you aren’t worried about fulfillment. You aren’t worried about the operational piece. You aren’t worried about efficiency in billing and preventing mistakes around that.

So, why have we always called this CRM when it’s really only one piece of the puzzle? And so, that’s kind of the shift to Dynamics 365 is pulling everything together in one place so you can have a very focused approach to how you interact with your customers and really streamline that process to make it really easy on them and make it easier on your employees and your staff to manage those relationships and to keep those customers happy. And so, that’s really the key of Dynamics 365.

And for those of you that were familiar with the old Dynamics CRM, all that’s in here. All of that is included in Dynamics 365. It’s fully available. But there’s so much more there. And so, that’s why we’re, you know, throwing me up in front of you today to make sure that everybody knows all the functionality that’s available and why they should care about it, why they should use it.

And so, this approach of aligning these traditional CRM functions with ERP or more traditional ERP functions really has a ton of benefits. So, as I just said, streamlining the process itself, but also simplifying reporting. You don’t have to necessarily warehouse all your data to report on all of your operations and all of your sales. You can report on all the systems in one place in Dynamics 365.

It also gives a lot of transparency to your organization. So if I’m a sales user, I could have certain permissions to go and check out okay, are my customers paying their bills? You know, has the purchasing team actually purchased that item then I sold? You can get visibility across teams. So there’s no more shooting emails back and forth between finance and sales and operations trying to keep the wheel turning. You have really all the capabilities you need at your own fingertips, even as an end user.

And so the whole concept behind it is providing all the operational functionality you need in one place. So trying to move away from the idea that you need a best of breed solution for each and every thing that you do and really just trying to provide you with a platform that can check all your major boxes. And as we’ll see later, for that last mile, as they call it, or for those kind of horizontal or very focused operations that you do have, you have some options there to make sure that you can tackle those processes on this Dynamics platform, as well.

And so, what Microsoft is really trying to do here is make this idea of digital transformation a possibility for SMB organizations. So, it’s a lot easier when you can jump onto a single platform and take all of your processes digital and into the cloud and centralize those than it used to be because it used to require integration. You used to need an army of IT people to manage the systems. Now, it’s really simplified. And I think we’ll really be able to show that later on when we jump into a demo.

So, what is this idea? I just said digital transformation. What does that mean? It’s really the idea of just getting away from not even necessarily paper process, but just kind of the forced interactions between different departments and teams and kind of the separation. It feels a lot like, right now, companies are relying on Excel sheets and emails and meetings and things to tie everything together. But what if you could save all that time, that time in those meetings, the time creating those Excel sheets and digging through the interdepartmental sheets and bring it together in one system? I mean, it just makes sense, right? It’s more efficient. Everybody has the information at their fingertips. Any manager can report on all the data that they need without having to make that ask. They just have the tools that they need.

And so, this idea is really around three prongs here. So, it’s focused around your customers in transforming their process and how you work with your customers, your people. So people is important. Every time we go into an implementation of Dynamics 365, CRM, or ERP, it’s all about people, right? If the people can’t use the system, if it doesn’t help either the customer or your internal staff, then it’s not going to be successful. And so, this is a huge piece in the puzzle here. And so, we’ll see how you can start to use this system for not only the services side of people and the pleasing your customers and keeping them happy, but also the hiring piece. So, attracting talent and managing their skills, understanding who’s on the team and how you can leverage their skills to not only enable them to be successful, but also to be as valuable as they can be to the organization.

And then, you have this cog that’s kind of the traditional ERP. So, it’s your product. It’s your operations, your manufacturing, all your finance. And really, this whole idea of digital transformation is to tie these things together. And you have this service point in the middle. And that’s really where all these things interact. And that’s where Dynamics 365 enables you to have visibility from all sides of serving your customer, regardless of if you are a traditional CRM user or ERP, etc.

What happens when… We’ll go through all the products and modules. But what happens if it doesn’t fit, right? What if the project service module doesn’t fit your needs exactly? As I said, Microsoft is trying to go away from trying to create a best of breed solution. And they’re really trying to build something that gets a large number of organizations 80% or 90% of the way there. So, what about all these nodes in between, right? It’s not all as clear cut as just these six points that we’re looking at here. And so, that’s where they came up with this thing called PowerApps. And PowerApps enables you, as a nontechnical user, whether you’re in the IT organization maybe doing this at more of an advanced level or just a power user to create your own interfaces to interact with all of these applications and all of this data.

So, it’s all already part of Dynamics 365. All of the data’s in one place. And now, we have a way of really what they say is going that last mile, right? So, getting from that 80% or 90% of the functionality you need to 100%. And then, you’re truly 100% digital. All of your operations, all of your data is in one place where you can report on that. You can streamline process between different processes and applications that you’re using. And you can do a better job of reporting on all that data without syncing up an entire resource trying to pull reports and, you know, create data warehouses out of all these different systems.

So, what is Dynamics 365? What are the applications that I’m talking about? So they’re all on one platform, much like I’m sure many of you did a transition from Office to O365. It’s much the same. Rather than having all these separate apps and needing to deploy them on premise, you now have everything you need in one place. It’s Dynamics 365. It’s all in the cloud. Microsoft manages it all for you. And it really speeds up the deployment. And it also just makes things easier internally in terms of managing user access and ability to use the tools.

So, here you can see, as I said, we have our traditional CRM apps. We have sales. We have customer service. And we have marketing. But we also have some other things here that are now available on this platform. So, we have field service. We’re gonna take a deeper dive into field service today. And so, that’s where you can actually deploy your users, your equipment, your people into the field to help your customers.

We have project service automation. And I like to compare this to, like, a centralized project, a Microsoft Project. So, I think a lot of us are probably familiar with Microsoft Project. Much like the old Office apps, it’s on somebody’s desktop. Maybe they’re using the online version. So, those files are more accessible. But it doesn’t really tie together with the actual resources who are working those projects or the management team who needs to report across all projects, not just a single project.

And so this project service automation really centralizes that so that not only the project manager can, you know, plan a project, budget, do all their reporting and take care of all their responsibilities. But the management team can understand at a high level overall of our projects how are we performing. A resource manager can understand who do we have on the team, who’s already consumed with these project tasks, and who do we have available to work on this deal that we just closed?

And then also, the resources have visibility into what their responsibilities are, what their forecasts look like moving ahead a couple of months, understanding how busy they’re gonna be in the next couple of weeks and where they might be able to pick up some extra work or do some sales support. And so, it’s tying all of these different groups together and centralizing that information, again, really in the idea of transparency and being able to make better decisions because you have more information at your fingertips.

And then, we have finance and operations. So this is your traditional ERP functionality. And so, we’ll call it finance and operations today, but there’s a few different flavors of this. So, you have Business Central, which is essentially your cloud version and revision. And then, you have the enterprise finance and operations, which provides the enterprise level, global type of ERP functionality. And this isn’t to say, you know, Dynamics GP, Dynamics NAV, they’re here to stay as well. But for those who do want to move to the cloud, you now have some other options that’s gonna tie all of your data into one place here.

And then, the last two applications we have here are talent and retail. And so as I mentioned, that talent piece, understanding who you’re trying to recruit, what kind of skills you’re looking for, posting different jobs across the internet, across your website and managing the different views and clicks are on those. And then, just kinda starting this cycle of understanding that potential employee a little bit earlier, you know, why do we have to wait until they’re hired to understand what their skills are and to track that within our systems so that when it comes to project, field service, and sales, we already understand who that individual is and how they fit in with our organization. And then retail, tackling that point-of-sale piece and just managing for a retail organization what that sales cycle looks like, which is often much different than with your traditional CRM sales cycle working B2B.

And so, just like we saw with the digital transformation concept, what really ties all this together, right? What if I don’t fit right into one of these modules? Well, that’s where we have additional apps kinda surrounding your Dynamics 365 organization to help you accomplish that. So, of course, PowerBI, simplifying reporting, automating the creation of those reports, and powering the end user with the ability to create their own report and to view their own dashboards and manage their own data.

And then, you have Flow. So Flow’s another one that’s fairly new to the Microsoft or the Dynamics family. And it’s really all about integration. How do we tie these apps with the outside world? It’s great that we have all of this in one place. But what about the other things we use? We have a lot of customers that use Trello. We have a lot of customers that use different marketing platforms. That’s where Flow comes into play and can help you interact with those external platforms, and I think with something, like, up to 200 different products, SaaS products across the web that Flow will connect to. There’s a ton of options out there. And it’s kind of a change in the perception where Microsoft used to say, “Okay. We’ve got you using Office and Windows. We don’t want you using anything else.” It kind of shifted gears there with Flow is how I see it. And they’re saying, “Our platform’s gonna provide the most value, if we actually open that up and we enable people to still use those tools that they love, but wrapping all that information together in one place here in Dynamics.”

And then, you have something called PowerApps, which is like we saw, those nodes in between these different applications. PowerApps, you’re creating custom applications, custom mobile applications and web applications with little to no code. I mean, I am not the most technical person. And I’ve done this myself. I’ve created an app from scratch that’s pulling from all of these applications. And really, that’s all about tackling a very specific problem. You have a process or a problem that doesn’t fit into Dynamics 365. That’s no problem because you have PowerApps. You can quickly spin up an application that’s gonna allow you to complete that process without breaking the idea of having all your information in one place.

And that’s where the common data service comes into play. And so, the common data service is really the back-end that’s gonna be tying all of these things together. And so, that’s kind of the loop that we have here with Dynamics 365 is being supported by additional apps to make sure that you aren’t stuck in the loop. You can still interact with other data and leverage the tools you use today alongside Dynamics 365.

So, jumping into the functionality available today in Dynamics 365, here is kind of our core modules that we saw. And when we get in the demo, we’ll see a little bit more. There’s some other kind of residual or related applications that we have available to us. But I do want to quickly highlight each of our core applications here. Now, I don’t want to spend too much time on sales and customer service. I think those that have looked into CRM probably have a pretty good grip on that and try to save some time to really expand on field service, project service, and some of the other tools.

So, within Dynamics 365 sales, it’s all about relationship sales. So, understanding who you’re working with, understanding where they came from, learning about their organization to actually take action on that data to do a better job of relating to that potential customer and completing that sale. Another big component is just efficiency within the sales cycle. So, not only just being consistent with how you approach a given sale. But also, kind of nudging along your sales team to make sure they know what to do next so that they can keep things moving forward. And when things get stuck, being able to understand why are things getting stuck and how can we improve the process to be more efficient next time?

And, especially with this acquisition of LinkedIn, plugging in all of that data into your sales cycle and having it at your fingertips here in CRM is incredibly valuable and really eliminates any need for data entry, right? That’s one of the biggest gripes that we get when we talk to a sales organization is that none of the users want to be sitting there typing things in all day. And that’s, you know, huge with LinkedIn being able to just pull all that data into your system. And, you know, you already probably found them on LinkedIn. We might as well just pull that data in and use that moving forward.

So, it’s all about trying to be more efficient in your sales cycle to really speed things up within that cycle, as well as create, you know, more efficiencies to be more productive with your sales team, spending more time actually building relationships and selling products, services, whatever it might be than they are typing things in, or writing proposals from scratch, or anything like that.

Moving into customer service, one thing that I’ll mention right now about customer service is for those of you that are already using Dynamics 365, the biggest change here is the portal. So, you now have Dynamics 365 portals. And we’ll take a look at this later. But it’s really enabling you to take some of the burden off of your team, whether it’s your manager or if you have an individual that does all of the intake or even your agents themselves and just allowing the customer to do that on their own, right, giving them the ability to self-serve, to go create their own cases, or in some cases even just help themselves with the information you provide.

And it’s not laziness or anything like that. It’s saving time. The more time you can save with any given case means the more cases each CSR can complete. And think about how you interact when you’re working with whatever, whether it’s trying to pay your cell phone bill or working with your cable company. You don’t really want to interact with them. You want to do it yourself. And so let’s enable them to do that. And that’s where the portals will come into play. But it does all tie into the traditional customer service functionality that you have in Dynamics.

You can do live chat. You’re managing that ticket all the way to resolution and tracking all of those interactions and conversations using knowledge bases, using, you know, machine learning to help you identify where maybe you’ve solved this problem before, so why try to solve it again? Let’s just reference that historic case. And so, there’s a lot of really powerful tools here. And we’ll take a little bit of a look at that here when we get into our demo.

So, this is something I’m really excited about. So, for those of you that have been using Dynamics 365 marketing, you know it’s not actually an outbound marketing suite. It’s really just… Traditionally, it was always just trying to track your campaigns and your different interactions and your marketing lists. But it wasn’t actually sending out bulk emails. It wasn’t managing your events and advertisements. It wasn’t giving you a ton of insights in reports, outside of, you know, maybe some ROI reporting. And that’s where there’s been a huge change.

So, Microsoft has finally partnered up with another organization to build out a marketing tool that really does work well. And so, it enables you to do all your outbound email marketing. You can create web forms to pull data into your CRM system, so, no more needing third parties or having to write custom code to do that. It can manage all of your webinars. It can create your nurture drip campaigns, which I love them because I don’t do a ton of marketing anymore, but I used to. And it is just so convenient to be able to sit down and build a campaign in a couple of hours and let it run for months or years compared to having manually track those schedules and send them out by hand and hope you don’t forget about one.

So, you’re building these, what is called lead nurturers, where you can…based on the interaction with that given email or phone call, etc., you can make a decision and decide what that lead is going to get next. So, maybe if they open an email and navigate to the website, the next time you interact with them, it’s gonna be a personalized phone call. But if they ignore the message and don’t open it, let’s just keep them in the email drip because they’re a fairly cold lead. And so, it gives you a lot of power to really, like, set it and forget it, right? Not to be too informercially, but just putting the work in up front and letting it run and letting it start to generate leads for you.

And then with the embedded intelligence with the machine learning in Azure, being able to do lead scoring and looking at six sets that you’ve had based on certain, you know, geographics or industries, whatever it might be. And then, again, your event management. I think a lot of us are going to trade shows or doing webinars or putting on events for our customers such as today. And being able to manage those things to understand, you know, what’s the value behind that? Why are we doing that? Do our customers even like it? What’s the feedback that we’re getting on that? And tying it all together so that we can create those reports and really have an understanding of what we want to do next time to learn and to move forward.

All right. So, field service. This is one of the newer applications on Dynamics 365. And it is really pretty cool. So, field service is all about creating those short customer interactions where you’re going on site and you’re solving a problem. So, we’ll get into project. Project is more okay, this thing’s gonna be running for a couple of days, a couple of weeks, a couple of months. And we need to, you know, strategize around what that team is gonna look like. Field service is kinda the opposite. It’s those short interactions. Think about a cable service provider or I think, as I said before, you know, emergency response or if you’re working for, you know, a utility company. It’s those things where something’s gone wrong, your customer’s reached out and you need to react incredibly quickly, because if you don’t, your customer’s out of service. And they’re gonna be unhappy.

And so, within the field service module, we’ll see different service types that you can create, how you can get these things scheduled, how you can deploy your teams, and then what that looks like from their perspective. So, how are they gonna complete their job? They don’t have, you know, three monitors in front of them. They don’t have a nice big web interface to work out of. So, how are they actually gonna track this service? And how are we gonna make sure that it gets done properly and done right the first time?

So, onto our project service. So, this is one that Encore uses heavily. And so, you can think if you’re doing any consumer services, any professional services, or even any ongoing internal projects where you need to manage the cost, the timelines, budgets, resources, the project module is for you. So, within this, you can set up all of your work breakdown structures, you can set up all of your resources to have a really good understanding of where your project organization sits at any given point in time. So, just at a glance, I can understand okay, are we booked out for weeks? Are we short on work? Do we need to hire?

It’s tying all of the information around your services organization together so you can smart intelligent decisions. And so like I said, it’s project delivery. It’s taking your work breakdown structure, managing all of the resource efforts against that and tracking those as you’re moving through the project so you don’t just, you know, end up on the, you know, go live date saying, “Oh, well, by the way, we’re way over budget. But look, it works,” right? You’re being able to anticipate those things by deploying something like project service automation.

Also, resource optimization, really understanding who is working on what. You know, there’s a lot of tools out there that are a little disjointed from where you actually manage your projects. And so you never know if it’s accurate. And this resource is blocked out. But is it mature or maybe they could, you know, pick up some quick work, if we have just a short project. And so that’s where you can really get full visibility into who’s tentatively booked something? Who’s booked out for eight hours a day for the next two years? Who has no work right now and needs a project to help you optimize how you are able to tackle your projects?

And also, just making sure you’re starting your projects early enough, right? So, even from the sales perspective, having a little bit of visibility into do we have some people available, when might we be able to start this project, goes a long way in helping that sales cycle go smoothly and helping that interaction go well, and really doing all your cost accounting in one place. I mean, you can still do it on the ERP side, if you’d like. But you’re having users input all of their time, all of their expenses.

You have all the information you need including how that project was sold in one system. And so you can get a true look into the profitability of any given project. You can also get a look at different metrics, whether it’s profitability or margin or total costs, total profit amount. You can get all of that as well at a high level, right? So, from the management perspective, you can report over all your projects as well, all in the same place.

Finance and operations, so this is kinda one flavor of the cloud ERP. And this is really that enterprise-focused system. And so, this is where you’re doing your, you know, kind of the global enterprise. You’re working in many countries with many companies. You have a lot of users on the finance team, but also on the operations side. The other flavor to that, kind of the SMB flavor, is what’s called Dynamics 365 Business Central. And so, we’ll see a little bit more about that later on. But you’re still doing all your operations, all your finance. You can still have, you know, multiple companies in multiple countries. But it’s kinda the scaled-down version, and we’ll see that, to manage all your finances, to do all your manufacturing, inventory management, you know, tying into payroll providers, and other things like that as well. So, a lot of functionality on the ERP side there tied in with all of this CRM or D365 platform functionality as well.

So, here you can see kind of how far this goes into managing your financials. So you just kind of have all your processes streamlined. You have access from your inbox in Outlook. You have access from your phone. It’s really taking what used to be kind of a traditional, okay, if you weren’t at your desk sitting right next to the server, well then, you’re out of luck, you can’t see this data, to being a more accessible, a more mobile platform. And that’s both on the finance and operations and the Business Central side.

And then, you have talent. And so, I love this tool because it ties in so closely with field service and project service automation. And so, you can’t start, you know, learning about your prospective employees soon enough, right? I want to know their skills. I want to know how they’re gonna fit in with the team. I want to have all that information. So, day one when we hire a new employee, we can plug them right into our field service or our project service organization. We know what their skills are. We know what projects they can jump on. And we can really hit the ground running.

So, really just following that process, as I said, all the way from posting jobs and attracting candidates through the interview process, but then on from there, too, right? It doesn’t stop when an individual gets hired. But it’s really more of the core HR functionality, as well, doing annual reviews, doing benefits, compensation, managing all of that on this platform as well.

Alrighty. So, let’s jump into our scenario here. So, as I said before, today we’re going to be looking at an HVAC services scenario. And I know I can’t please everyone. You know, I’m sure you aren’t all in the HVAC industry out there. But just try to think of the possibilities for your organization, right? So, whether you’re responding to customer service tickets and you need to take action on those or you’re performing projects and you need to have, you know, visibility into that data, just try to think about how your organization would fit with these tools.

All right. So our scenario that we’re looking at. The customer is having a problem, right? And that happens all the time, unfortunately. But the good thing is we’re here to take care of it. So we’re gonna be helping a customer who’s experiencing an issue. Our customer service rep is going to be the first line of defense. They’re gonna engage with the customer. They’re gonna try to fix the problem. In this case, they couldn’t fix it. So, they’re gonna make sure somebody comes on site to help them out. Our third individual is our dispatchers. So, they are looking at all of the work orders and they are deploying all of the field technicians. This could be one individual. This could be a team of people, based on territories or whatever criteria that you may have.

Our fourth individual is our actual technician. So, they’re gonna be on site, they’re gonna be on their mobile device, and they’re gonna be providing these services for the customer. And then last, we have our accounts receivable specialist. So they’re gonna be invoicing for the services and any products that were used on that particular service. So, keep in mind, I’ll try to call it out when I’m switching personas. But I have included these little photos throughout. So, when you see that change, that’s kinda our queue that we’re shifting gears a bit.

So, here we are on our Dynamics 365 portal that I mentioned. And so, we are Contoso Limited. And this is our self-service portal. So, like I said, we don’t need to have reps sitting by the phone all the time because our customers don’t want to call us anyway. They just want to come in and submit their own ticket. And so here, I’m Yvonne McKay. I’m going to want to create a ticket about my issue. If I’m not sure that I need a fix here, I have other tools available, right? I have a knowledge base. I can click into my knowledge base. And I can search around for articles.

Obviously, you know, I’m not having issues with my printer today. So, I’m gonna go ahead and just submit a ticket. So, here you can see my organization already has an open ticket. So, maybe if a colleague already logged the same issue, I know that I don’t have to actually create a new case. In this case, I’m having a separate issue. So, right now, my office in the back corner of our building is really cold. And then the main room’s really hot. It’s just kinda funky. And it just seems inefficient. And I want to get it fixed.

And so, I’m gonna go ahead and open a new case. And so, here we’ll see our blank form. Obviously, when the customer’s inputting the data, we want to keep it very simple. We can collect more than this on our customers. But here we want to, you know, make sure it’s easy for them to submit these so that they actually do it. In our CRM, on the back-end, again, in Dynamics 365, forgive me if I say CRM, but that is my intention, Dynamics 365. They know, based on my login and my profile in the portal who I work for and who I am. So, they already have that information. We’ve already connected those dots.

And so, here I’m just gonna describe my issue. So, again, I’m having some irregular room temps. I’m gonna give it a classification. So, I’m having a problem. And I think I need some maintenance. And so, I can provide as many details as I want. As I scroll down, I can also attach a file. For now, I’m just gonna submit this case. And as you can see, this has been created for me from the Dynamics and if we wanted to automatically send them an email or a text or something just confirming that we got it. We could do that, as well.

And so, now that I’ve submitted my ticket, I realize, well, I forgot to add those photos or maybe I should go take them really quick to make sure they understand it’s, like, 62 degrees in my office and it’s 78 degrees out in the hallway. And I don’t like it. So, I’m gonna click into my case. And again, you’ll see all of this is logged. We have full control now over what they can edit. So, here if they want, they can change the case type and the subject. But they can’t go back and completely change all the details in the case.

Scrolling down to the bottom, I can add a comment here to get my photos uploaded. So, here’s some photos of my thermostat. I’m just making sure they’re aware that even the thermostat is recognizing that the temperatures aren’t where they’re supposed to be. Maybe that will help them diagnose things. I grab my file. And I’ll hit submit here. And then you can see my beautiful thermostat there. That’s Remy.

So, shifting gears, we’ve submitted that case. And so now, we’re shifting gears to our CSR. So, we’re back in the traditional desktop interface for Dynamics 365. But I’m on a sales dashboard right now. And I don’t do sales. So, that doesn’t make sense for me. So, first, I’m gonna go to where I really belong. And as a CSR, I’m going to go into what’s called my customer service business app. And so, that’s gonna really streamline things for my role. And so now, as I click into my navigation here, you’ll be able to see rather than all of the modules that we’ve been talking about, which are installed in this instance, I’m only having to view what I think is important to my role.

And so, here I have my service module available here. So, I am going to click into my queue because my queue is how I manage my work. My queue is where I go to look for new tickets, incoming, whether it’s through the phone, through the live chat, through the portal, or maybe somebody stops by the office to complain about something. Really, everything is going to flow through these to streamline your support process and so that you don’t lose track of any issues along the way.

And so, here’s the case I want to work on. So, I’m going to select that case here. And then, I can go and I can pick it up. So up here, it’s covered a little bit by my face, but I can hit Pick. And then, that’s gonna ask me do we want to remove this from the queue? And yes, I do want to remove it from the queue. I’m taking responsibility for this issue. And I don’t need somebody stepping on my toes.

So, now, we’ve made it into our case record. This has been picked by me, assigned to me. And so now, it’s no longer in the queue for anybody else to have to deal with. And so, looking at some of our information here, we already know just from the submission in the portal a lot of information. We know who it is. We know what the issue is. Here, we filled out the product that ties to this. So immediately, as a CSR, I go, “Okay. I’ve seen this problem before. Typically, it’s a faulty thermostat. So it’s just not reading the temperature at the, you know, refrigeration unit or the heating unit the same as it is up in the individual rooms. I see it all the time.”

And so, I’m gonna select that product as, you know, one of the things that’s probably going to be going faulty here. If I move over to my activities, I can see that’s where I have my comments and I have my attachment from Yvonne, who has submitted this case. And then, next I can go and actually move this along within my business process flow. So, the same as in those who are familiar with the sales cycle, here we also have a business process flow to help us move through our case process. So, here I want to try to identify similar cases. I’m a veteran here on the support desk for Contoso, so I know that this is a thermostat issue. So, I’m going to go ahead and just add that issue. I’m going to do a thermostat malfunction. That’s the incident type. And once I’ve selected my incident type, I can go ahead and convert this to a work order.

So, this says, “Created successively.” I don’t want to open this right now. I’m actually gonna resolve this case because I can’t do anything else to help the customer right now. So, now I move forward to my resolve stage. I can click, “Mark as resolved.” I didn’t actually solve the problem. So, for reporting sake, I want to select, “Work order created.” I have my resolution. And I know that they’re gonna need a thermostat thing. I’m not gonna bill for this because it is a issue under their contract perhaps or maybe it’s a product that’s under warranty. And then I can hit Resolved. And so now, this case is closed, as you can see. And as a customer service rep, I’m no longer responsible for this. It’s been handed off already to the field service team. And I’m gonna go back to the queue and go and try to help another customer.

So now, we’re gonna shift gears and go and talk a little bit from the field service side about how we’re gonna take that work order, dispatch it, and make sure that we do a good job of completing that repair. So, again, we want to get into our field service hub. Once we’re there, we don’t have to deal with any of our customer service entities any more. We’re just working within field service. So, here we have all of our work orders, our schedule board, which we’ll take a close look at here in a second. Also, any agreements that you have. So a lot of our field service customers have monthly services or quarterly services, and so, those can all be built in.

So, we’ll be looking a little bit about how you can take an incoming kind of ticketed issue and quickly get that on the schedule board. You can also automate the whole scheduling process through your agreements. So, you know that, you know, your customer, ProSquare, has a monthly service. And they need it done between, you know, the…on the last week of the month between Wednesday and Friday. They don’t care what time. You can set those parameters up so that the system can actually schedule that work order for you.

And then, you have all your warehousing inventory. Most of the time this is just pulling in the actual details from your ERP system, right? So, all your inventory in your warehouse locations would be stored in the Business Central side, but we’d be able to get visibility into then here. We’d be able to initiate inventory transfers to actually, you know, interact with that inventory, which would then go back, obviously, to ERP to report on, “Okay, here’s what we’re doing with the transfer. We need to reflect that on the inventory in ERP, which would be master.”

So, if I click into our schedule board, let’s take a closer look at what we have here. So, looking at this list, we have quite a few resources here. Some people are already working. We have quite a few open work orders that we need to take care of. But first, I just want to simplify things. I want to make sure that I’m only looking at the resources that I want to see. So, I can go into my resource types here and start to create some filters. So, I’ll select my user. And then, I also want only my Canadian and U.S. territories

And then when I search for that, I now have a subset of all of my resources. So, maybe I’m only responsible for dispatching North America or maybe just U.S. and Canada. So, you can create all the filters that you want there. You can get more specific, as I said, if you’re doing skills, tracking, and if some of your technicians can do thermostat repairs, while others are more focused around, you know, leaking systems or potentially, you know, implementation support or something like that. You can create different roles and different skills so that you can filter your data that way, as well.

And so, now what I can do, if I want to look at a particular work order, I can click on it. So, I’ll click on my work order here, which based on this color coding, looks like Diego is traveling there right now. It looks like he might be a little late. But I’ll click on it and take a look. And so, now I’m gonna have some details about this work order. So, I can see when is his start time supposed to be? When is the end time? What’s our estimated arrival time? So, at this point, we’re looking like we’re arriving pretty late. And so, I can kinda help him by pushing other things back accordingly. And then, I have other information around that work order and the type of service that we are performing.

So, if I go ahead and shrink that, so now, I can go ahead and let’s schedule a new work order. So, this is our work order that just came in the door. I want to get this on the schedule board because, you know, we let him know that we’d get this done today at some point. And it looks like Enrico is gonna be able to do it because he has a gap. He’s working late tonight. And so, we can throw it on his schedule board. So, if I start to drag this, we’ll see the time promised lights up as green.

So, as soon as I hover over Enrico’s schedule, if I can complete the duration of that service, based on our estimates, before he’s off work or before he’s on another job, it’s gonna show it to me here as green. And then I can deselect that. And as you can see, it dropped right onto this schedule board. And so now, this is gonna pop up in Enrico’s list of work orders. It will also give him a notification, if we want to set up an email or a push notification, as well. As we can see as we were sitting here, we’re getting live updates. So, as the clock ticks, as people are updating their work orders, we now went from traveling to in progress here for Emily.

So, now we’re gonna be shifting gears. So, we have the work order scheduled. And now, we just need to make sure that the service gets completed. And so, we’re gonna take a look at, as a field service technician, how I can complete that job based on, you know, the tools that I have with me, based on the products that we provide, and based on how long that service is gonna take. So, now we’re inside of our field service application. And so, this is available on Windows 10, if you wanted to do it on a Windows 10 device. It’s available on iOS and Android tablets and phones, as well. So, really any device that you could possibly have, you can launch this app.

Here’s our mobile phone interface. The tablet interface is similar. But it’s more of a landscape look, as you can imagine. And so, just working with this tool here, I can click into my dashboard to get to my agenda. So, I have, you know, my time off request form and make those. I have some kind of quick and simple reports on my open work orders. But what is most important to me is what’s next, right? And I’m busy enough trying to get from one job to another. What’s next? Where do I go next? I can’t control, at this point, if the last job ran long. I just need to jump on the next one.

So, I can select my work order 1006. And so, here we’ll see… We’ll get more information about this booking. As you can see, it has my estimated start time, which is a little late, my estimated end time, which at this point probably isn’t gonna happen. But again, that’s out of my control. I just have to keep doing my job. And the system is going to make those updates for me. So, as I click here to change my status, I’m now going from traveling to in progress. And you’ll see that updates my actual arrival time. So, it’s still going to be saving my planned start time. But it’s going to be updating my actual arrival time. And it still understands, you know, how long the service is gonna be.

It’s also going to be tracking, based on my geolocation, how far I’ve traveled. How long was I in the car? How many miles did I travel? And if I want to associate mileage and time as a part of that travel, I can get a cost to that, as well. So, scrolling down the form of it, I’m getting more information around this work order, who the service account is, where I need to go, how to get there. As you can see here, this is some instructions that are actually tied to the account form within Dynamics CRM or Dynamics 365. And so, any time that we create a work order tied to that account, I’m gonna get this instruction through to my app here.

And then you can see we have what we’re doing here today is a leak test. And we have a little description of what that entails. So, even if it’s something that maybe you haven’t done in a while, you can get a rundown of what’s going on there. So, if I click into that incident… I’m sorry. If I scroll down further, I’ll see I have that incident listed as one of many incidents, if there’s more things that are going on or that you learn when you’re on the job. I also have that service task, which is the service itself. It’s two hours. I’m performing a leak test. And if I want to click into that, I can see the details of that.

So, the service task is all based on that incident type. So, since that incident type was the leak test, my service task is now to complete that leak test. I can have more than one task. I can have, you know, an inspection to start, and then a leak test, and then, you know, a follow up with the property manager, and then sign off. I could have all those things built out as different service tasks to help me walk through all my responsibilities almost like a checklist.

That will also give us the ability to add information as we go. So, for dispatch, they’re going to be seeing here, I just completed the leak test. They’re going to be seeing this as we go. And so, as I complete this, I’m reporting back my actual duration. So, if I’m finishing this job early, my dispatcher can add another work order onto the tail end of my day, if there’s something that needs to get done.

Here, I can also take pictures proving that I completed the service or maybe if there’s something I didn’t recognize that I want a little bit of help diagnosing, I can do that. I can also just write a simple note. So here, I can just write a note about what I encountered. And then I can go ahead and save this to move back to the work order. So, as I save, it’s moving me back a screen. And so, here is the bottom of that work order that we were looking at earlier today. And I can go and now that I completed the service, I can get a signature from that customer.

So, now scrolling back to the top, I’ve got my sign off on the building manager. I can go to completed here. It saved. And then I’m done. And it’s popping me back out to my agenda to complete the next work order. If I didn’t want to start my travel to this next work order, I can click in here and I can change this to travel or I can scroll down to my map, if I want to use my maps to travel. And I can click the map icon. Whatever your default mobile app is, it’s gonna pop that for you. So, it knows your current location. It throws in the work order location. And then you’re on your way. And so, then that’s gonna change your status to travel. And as soon as you need to start that work order and once you get there, it [inaudible 00:53:52] progress. And so, that’s kinda how you get the start and end timestamps for each one of those statuses.

So, taking this back to our dispatcher, you can see, now that we’re here, we can go into our actuals and actually see what was the result of completing that service? So, you can see both the cost and material and time are being created here as actuals on the CRM side of the system, on the Dynamics 365 filter side. And so, this is where you’re actually going to be integrating with the ERP software that we talked about before. So, it’s all on Dynamics 365. And so, this is simply an out-of-the-box connector to Business Central, where you can see the actual services provided and you can create invoices for those services.

And so, as I move along here to my next role, I’m in accounts receivable. And so, I’m gonna go and I want to look at this, what’s manifested as a posted sales order. So, I can go in, put in my posted sales invoice, and then I can find that invoice. So, here, as we saw, the materials for that service were $180 plus tax. And we weren’t billing for the technician’s time. And so, even on the field service side, you can still report on cost, the total cost of this service. But in terms of what we’re gonna be billing to our customer, it’s just going to be what we define as being billable for that particular work order.

And now, I can click into this particular sales invoice. And here, I’m trying to send this document. And so, I can go in and define how I want to send that. So here, I’m just gonna send it as PDF via email. And so, one, I’m getting an attachment. Two, I’m getting email body with an overview of that invoice. And so, all I have to do is type in who I want to send this to or select from an existing contact. And it’s out the door. If I want to actually pull down that invoice as a PDF, I can view that as well before I want to send that email.

And so, now we’ve seen really the tie all the way from the customer service side where they started in the portal to the interaction with the actual CSR themselves, right, so leveraging their skills and understanding how they can help this particular customer, to dispatching really flowing into our operations area, dispatching that work order and completing that particular service all the way back to finance, where we’re collecting the billables for that action, and then we’re going to be billing to that.

So, just as a highlight of what we saw before as our scenario and just expanding on that idea a little bit, our customer had a problem. And so they created their own case via the portal. And they were able to go in. The knowledge base didn’t help them with this issue. And they went and logged the ticket. The CSR then was able to see that ticket in his queue. He picked the ticket and identified this as requiring an onsite technician. So, he converted that case into a work order without manually creating any records or inputting any manual data. From there, it flowed through to the dispatcher, based on the parameters. And when the service needed to be done and when it was promised, we were able to dispatch that work order for the evening of. And so, the technician was able to get there on the tail end of his day and complete the service. That technician, through the mobile app, was able to go in and document their completion of that service, document the amount of time it took and the products that were used to complete that service, and then complete that ticket and move onto the following work order.

And then, those actuals flowed into accounts receivable. They were able to see that on their finance dashboard or their AR dashboard. And they were able to post that invoice and get that sent out to the customer. And so really, you’re starting that collection cycle immediately. Rather than waiting till the end of the week to post and send the invoice, you can do it as soon as that interaction is complete. And then the terms on the payment will start at that point to speed up collections.

And so, there are plenty of tangible benefits, as we saw, that are crossing industries. So, whether we’re using field service, project service, sales, or customer service, we’re finding ways to streamline your process, to automate steps within that, and to make sure there’s no data lost to make sure that you’re able to quickly move from one role to another.

And so today, obviously, it’s easy when I’m doing it all myself. But when they system’s passing the data from one person to another and you’re leveraging those dashboards to really act as queues of how each role needs to interact with the business data, you’re getting rid of all those emails and all those little meetings and all those follow-ups to make sure that these things get done. And you’re just getting it to the user so that they can do their job. That’s what you want as a manager and that’s what you want as an end user. You don’t want to have to be in a meaningless meeting. You want to be getting your job done. And if having everything in Dynamics 365 can help your organization with that, I think it’s gonna be an incredible value.

So, I know we covered a lot today. I hope it was valuable to everybody. But if you want to learn more, reach out. Give me a call. Shoot me an email. And join your local user group. We have a great CRMUG that I like to go to. It’s usually on the east side once a quarter. There’s a lot of great people there, ton of different industries attend. Everybody’s using different modules and trying to figure out how they can more with CRM. So, you’d fit right in, I’m sure. And then we have webinars that we put on every so often. Usually, we have one a month around Dynamics 365. So please, watch your emails to get more information that from us or just visit our web page there.

And then learn from your industry peers, go to They have a great forum. It’s very active. You can get help from partners. You can get help from other customers in your industry. You can help other people. It’s really great when we see our customers on there help another people solve their problems. And so, I encourage all of you to do all four of these things. And with that, I am signing off. Thank you very much for listening to me for an hour. And I hope to hear from you all soon. All right. Thank you.

CRM Implementation: 12 Key Questions Answered

What are the steps in a CRM implementation? What are the biggest causes of failure? How long will it take?

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CRM Implementation: 12 Key Questions Answered

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