IDC reports that by 2020 mobile workers will account for nearly three-quarters (72.3 percent) of the U.S. workforce.¹ With the ever-growing mobile workforce, spanning a multitude of industries, it’s imperative that organizations have tools in place to unify systems, streamline workflows, and provide relevant insights that empower employees to work from any location.
Microsoft has supported this growing mobility trend by placing added emphasis on digital intelligence tools and applications that support mobile workers. SADA recently hosted a webinar led by Andrew Magnotta, Sr. Solutions Architect at SADA Systems and Diana Yerke, Partner Account Executive with Microsoft that dove into how Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 CRM is enabling enterprise mobility.
Here is a recap of the Microsoft features and functionalities that were covered in the session.
Office 365 and Dynamics 365 Enabling Enterprise Mobility
Organizations will need to support a greater range of devices as the types of devices employees use will continue to shift as a reflection of a more mobile workforce.
Employees are now using multiple devices daily for work activities, which means applications need to render responsively on all the various devices employees use. A Unified User Interface (UUI) is important so organizations aren’t training users on mobile-specific capabilities versus what they’re doing on desktop.
Microsoft has placed a clear focus on transitioning its capabilities to enable a more mobile workforce. Traditional desktop apps such as Word, Excel, and newer apps such as Power BI and Teams have all been designed and redesigned for the cloud and mobile interfaces. Like the familiar Office application, Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM have been re-tooled for mobile and help close the gaps between different business units within an organization, regardless of where they’re located.
Dynamics 365 App for Outlook
Office 365 and Dynamics 365 come together through the Dynamics 365 app for Outlook. Users can view their Outlook email appointments, and now even have the ability to pull Outlook contacts into Dynamics 365 CRM for tracking. Contacts also sync – for example, if a colleague changes a client’s contact information in Dynamics 365 CRM, it will sync through Office 365 and then back through Dynamics 365, and ultimately sync down through your contacts. Updated once and synced across all your Microsoft apps.
Dynamics 365 Apps for Phones
Giving employees mobile access to CRM and ERP applications is becoming important for large organizations to stay competitive in today’s marketplace. The Dynamics 365 app for phones is available on iOS, Android, and the Windows phone store. Users can download Dynamics 365 and connect to whichever Dynamics instances they have available.
For today’s busy professional, mobile capabilities allow users to quickly create, search, and update business data on-the-go. Whether you’re a salesperson on the road needing the ability quickly find contact information in Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement, or an inventory controller placing an order for new materials in Dynamics 365 for Field Service. This application has been designed with the user’s needs in mind and the different situations mobile workers face each day.
Some of the tools include:
- Relationship Assistant: A visual breakdown of your day, upcoming tasks, meetings, or opportunities that need to be acted on.
- Quick Create Tasks: Visual cues for quick tasks, notes, following up on requests, or updating contacts.
- Categorized vs. Relevance Search: Search between categories or relevance to quickly access what you are looking for.
- Business Process Flows: Staged processes that have been developed and run in Dynamics 365 are able to surface on your mobile device.
- Product Suggestions: Product suggestions can be applied to an opportunity record for easy upsell opportunities with customers.
There are also tools for users to configure and design their mobile UI in a way that best suits their needs.
- Form Designer: Go to a particular field of a form and determine how the field will render on a device and configure this once to deploy it everywhere. Built-in capabilities include more mobile-friendly tools such as numeric sliders, embedded videos, input masks, pen recognition, star ratings, and flip-switches.
- Configure UI tools for a better mobile experience: You can configure the UI and update areas such as editable grids, calendar control, barcode scanning, and attach pictures to notes.
Mobile Insights: Be Smarter On-the-go
With managers rarely at their desks, there is an increasing need for management tools that can present mobile dashboards in a useful and timely manner.² The mobile workforce has the ability to view, perform, and update dashboard and business intelligence (BI) capabilities on-the-go with access to Dynamics 365 BI from anywhere.
- System and Personal Dashboards: Both system and personal dashboards are available on mobile devices. Administrative level employees can create system dashboards depending on their security role, and each individual user has the ability to build personal dashboards , all available in a mobile view.
- Export Excel and Word Templates: Export Excel and Word templates on mobile devices in specific formats and update them on-the-go.
- Knowledge Base Search: Perform knowledge-based searches. Employees are able to pull the information they need from their mobile device without ever having to open their laptop.
Power BI is Microsoft’s increasingly powerful analytics tool. Users can draw data from a number of different data sources, and pull it all together in one mobile dashboard.
Power BI’s robust capabilities include:
- Aggregate and surface information from a number of data sources
- Interactive reporting and rich visualizations
- Drill-down dashboard components
- Pre-configured Power BI Solution Packs for Sales and Service
Dynamics 365 v9 Mobile Roadmap
Microsoft is excited to announce v9 of Dynamics 365, and is introducing a Unified User Interface (UUI), enabling users to learn once, use everywhere.
For users this means:
- Responsive UI, adaptive across any device
- Configure once deployed everywhere in the administration
- Common functionality across operating systems
This is the next step from a product standpoint to make all apps more mobile responsive and adaptive across any device to navigate Dynamics 365. The goal is to continue to build upon the “configure once and deploy everywhere” capabilities. The Unified User Interface (UUI) will look much more similar across all interfaces so organizations aren’t training users on mobile-specific capabilities versus what they’re doing on desktop.
Interested in learning more about Dynamics 365 capabilities for your organization? View the complete webcast showcasing demos of the features outlined. Or, reach out today to get the conversation started with a CRM expert.