When it comes to sending and receiving information to colleagues, employees or clients, email is frequently the communication channel of first choice. Whether you are regularly logging on during a business trip or are in the office mere feet away from your intended recipients, your email inbox is the online equivalent of your home turf: It’s where you go to give or receive guidance, feedback and email message updates — and lots of them. Indeed, some statistics indicate the average office worker receives 121 emails per day and more than 40% of Americans check their work emails even when they are off the clock.
As the most widely used email client in the enterprise market in the United States, according to a study performed by The Radicati Group, Microsoft Outlook is probably your chosen email application. But if you’re only using Outlook and don’t have it integrated to other Microsoft applications like Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and the CRM applications Sales, Service, and Marketing — you’re not getting as much out of the computer as you could be for collaboration with your coworkers.
Here, we’ll explore Microsoft Dynamics 365, what the software includes from an application perspective, and why Dynamics with Outlook as a unified interface can help your organization perform its day-to-day tasks more seamlessly and easily.
What is Microsoft Dynamics 365?
Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a suite of enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) applications that are cloud based and accessible via the internet. Composed of several different applications, the Microsoft Dynamics 365 applications most commonly used by small to mid-sized organizations are Sales, Customer Service, Field Service, and Marketing (the CRM applications); and Financials, Project, Supply Chain, Warehouse, Service and Manufacturing (Business Central).
Dynamics 365 helps businesses in virtually every industry more effectively manage their day-to-day business processes. Although the solution is comprehensive, you can license and leverage only the CRM applications that are relevant for your needs (Sales, Customer Service, Field Service and/or Marketing). The Business Central Application is a full ERP Suite that includes all the components with the user license, but there is a base system called Essentials and a Premium edition. Premium includes everything in Essentials plus Service Management and Advanced Manufacturing.
Helping organizations assess the health of their business, improve financial controls and make key decisions that can drive agility and growth by increasing visibility and profitability, Business Central is an all-in-one business management solution that is particularly popular among small- and mid-sized businesses. Generally speaking, mid-sized businesses are those that have between 100 and 1,000 employees. They may also have more than one location. Also cloud-based, Business Central is called “all-in-one” because it connects users across the entire company and includes advanced functionality. The applications include Finance, Project, Sales, Purchasing, Inventory, and Manufacturing. By connecting people and processes, organizations are better equipped to make smarter decisions and increase productivity as a result.
If you’re in a product-based industry — such as manufacturing, retail, engineering or logistics — you likely have a newfound appreciation for the functionality of your supply chain after the massive interruptions fueled by the pandemic. In a survey conducted by the Institute for Supply Chain Management, 97% of business owner respondents in May 2020 said they anticipated supply chain disruption during the crisis or encountered it. The Supply Chain Management application can help you build a more resilient, sustainable supply chain through a variety of forward-looking technologies that are designed to provide more predictability. These include artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, mixed reality and more.
In addition to all of these features and functionalities that come with Microsoft Dynamics 365, it integrates with other Microsoft products. Such as Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, Power BI and Power Apps.
Why does it make sense to integrate Microsoft Outlook with Microsoft Dynamics 365?
There are both general and specific benefits to software integration. Chief among the all-around advantages is increased efficiency. For example, instead of having to manually transfer data between different software programs, integration makes data transfer automatic, helping to boost productivity and minimize data loss.
Integration can also make you more confident in your decision-making by improving overall data integrity. When data is accurate and timely, you’re in a better position to make good choices because you can trust that the data you are drawing from is reliable. Data accuracy is a byproduct of integration.
Integration also allows for greater flexibility. This enhanced dexterity makes it easier to adapt to changing business needs and incorporate new technologies into the current or legacy solutions that you may be using. Despite being from rival vendors or one having more advanced functionality than the other, seemingly incompatible software systems can be linked together, creating a more flexible and scalable solution that blends the old with the new.
With these big picture benefits in mind, Microsoft Outlook does integrate with Microsoft Dynamics 365 and in doing so, allows users to access Dynamics 365 data and functionality from within Outlook itself and push information like emails and contacts into the CRM/ERP systems, seamlessly switching from one solution to the other instead of having to exit out of each one. This includes the ability to view and update customer information, access sales and marketing data, create records and more.
Business Central Add-in for Outlook
Business Central add-in for Outlook is a tool that enables users to share data between Outlook and the Business Central solution without having to leave the Outlook application. It also allows users to manage business interactions with customers and vendors. With the add-in installed, users can view and edit Business Central data directly within Outlook, including customer and vendor information, invoices, purchase orders and sales quotes. Additionally, they can create new records and link them to existing Business Central records.
The add-in provides users with the ability to track email messages and appointments in Business Central, making it easier to keep track of communications with customers and vendors with your entire team. Furthermore, they can create new Business Central records from within the Outlook program by dragging and dropping an email message or appointment.
Dynamics 365 App for Outlook (for Dynamics 365 Sales, Customer Service and Field Service)
Dynamics 365 App for Microsoft Outlook is a productivity tool that allows users to access Dynamics 365 data and perform various tasks within Outlook on their desktop or mobile device. It helps users quickly create records, track emails and add customer details, events and tasks to Dynamics 365 without having to exit out of the Outlook program.
When it’s installed, Dynamics 365 users can video and edit a wide variety of data, including customer information, sales opportunities, orders, customer service cases and more. They can also create new records and perform business-focused actions such as converting an email message to a lead, opportunity or case and then link them to existing Dynamics 365 records. The Dynamics 365 App is available for both desktop and web versions of Outlook and is deployment agnostic, supporting Dynamics 365 Online as well as on-premise.
Why choose The TM Group
There are three overarching goals of any software implementation, not just integrating Microsoft Dynamics 365 with Outlook: improved efficiency, reduced manual workload and a better user experience. This is what The TM Group strives to deliver with each implementation that we perform. Since our founding, The TM Group has equipped thousands of organizations in dozens of industries with the appropriate Microsoft Dynamics CRM and ERP and solutions that solve their biggest challenges and accomplish their goals.
It’s not just application training that we perform as part of an implementation. From project planning, to technical services, to business process review and technical support, The TM Group is a one-stop-shop for professional services excellence. We’ve also won dozens of awards that speak to our know-how and credibility within the development and implementation space, including Partner of the Year (the highest achievement possible for Dynamics partners) and Champion of the Year (awarded to partners that demonstrate the greatest commitment to their clients).
For these reasons and more, organizations in many industries including family offices, distribution, manufacturing, service, nonprofit and healthcare turn to The TM Group again and again for all of their common and unique business requirements that Microsoft Dynamics technology can solve. We’re eager to work with you next. Contact us today.