Microsoft deepens Teams ties with Dynamics 365

    Microsoft this week unveiled deeper integrations between Teams and Dynamics 365 as the corporate strikes to make it simpler for gross sales and customer support staffers to speak with out switching between apps.  The firm highlighted a few of the integrations affecting its Dynamics 365 platform at its Ignite convention this week. Microsoft’s objective: gather and tie collectively knowledge in a manner that makes it actionable — and simpler to share amongst employees through Teams.“[W]hat stands out for me in this new wave of innovation we’re doing together across Dynamics 365 and with [Microsoft] 365 is this need to connect systems of record with systems of engagement in order to create these new opportunities for business workflows that can really digitize the way companies work,” Emma Williams, company vice chairman of Microsoft Office Modern Workplace Transformation, stated throughout a session at Ignite on Thursday.The nearer ties between Teams and Dynamics 365 ought to have a big impression for customers of each apps, stated Raul Castanon, a senior analysis analyst at 451 Research, a part of S&P Global Market Intelligence. The integrations can allow a workflow-centric method that reduces friction in day-to-day duties and results in improved efficiencies, he stated.“Rather than users switching between business applications to get their work done, enabling collaboration features within ERP and CRM applications aligns more closely with business workflows,” stated Castanon.“By Microsoft bringing Teams and Dynamics 365 closer together, distributed sales, service and marketing teams are able to collaborate far more efficiently,” stated Kyle Davis, a Gartner Research vice chairman.For Dynamics 365 Sales, Teams chat will be embedded within the buyer relationship administration (CRM) app; sellers may even be capable to proceed one-to-one conversations with advised colleagues engaged on a buyer account and entry workforce chats that point out the shopper.The embedded chat can be out there within the Customer Service and Field Service modules inside Dynamics 365, permitting buyer assist brokers to speak on subject material extra successfully.Teams chats and channels are current in a side-panel show, alongside advised chats and contacts primarily based on colleagues engaged on a given account.Microsoft
    Suggested Teams chats and channels will seem on the fitting hand sidebar in Dynamics 365 Sales.
    Among the opposite additions to Dynamics Sales is a Teams name dialler that lets sellers contact prospects with out switching screens. The name panel may even show real-time transcriptions of conversations with business-critical phrases and advised actions highlighted, and presents a note-taking instrument linked to the gross sales information. After the decision, a abstract with follow-up actions and name sentiment evaluation is then created. (The same expertise is enabled for Teams video calls setup by the salesperson.)There’s additionally a Dynamics Sales integration designed to make gross sales info extra available in Teams, permitting customers to seek for and share buyer information; they’ll then considered and edited by colleagues within the collaboration app.The options are because of roll out subsequent month, Microsoft stated. Microsoft
    Marketers can arrange Teams Webinars with out switching screens.
    There had been new Teams integrations with Dynamics 365 Marketing, too, with customers capable of arrange, analyze and observe up on occasions hosted in Teams.From right here, entrepreneurs can determine whether or not to stream an occasion, select which platform to make use of – together with the brand new Teams Webinar operate, additionally introduced at Ignite – and choose amongst choices corresponding to muting of attendee microphones or enabling post-event Q&As.From the Teams app, it’s potential to observe up with contributors, with the flexibility to export attendee info to Dynamics 365 Marketing to view buyer segments primarily based on viewers attendance, and coordinate future communications.Microsoft additionally unveiled Teams integrations with Dynamics 365’s HR, Commerce, and Supply Chain Management apps.Integrating Teams into the workflow of enterprise app customers has been a rising precedence for Microsoft. It just lately introduced new methods to work together with SAP’s enterprise useful resource planning (ERP), HR, and CRM software program from Teams. This will, for example, allow SAP customers to share info corresponding to provider particulars with colleagues with out switching screens.Microsoft isn’t the one vendor, nevertheless, that is poised to mix collaboration capabilities with the methods of report that many employees use day-to-day.Salesforce’s $27.7 billion acquisition of Slack late final 12 months permits Salesforce to combine the favored workforce chat app into its personal enterprise software program, together with its broadly used CRM platform.“This is not a Microsoft exclusive strategy,” stated Davis. “Salesforce just lately acquired Slack, who’s positioned to supply comparable experiences inside its ecosystem.“As these two major vendors in the CRM market are making similar moves, it solidifies the importance and demand for strong unified digital collaboration experiences across the processes and activities performed in CRM and the conversations in workstream collaboration tools,” he said.While the timing of Microsoft’s integration announcements may seem like a reaction to Salesforce’s acquisition of Slack, Castanon said the changes are the result of a platform-based approach Microsoft has been developing for several years; they reflect a larger trend towards communication-enabled workflows.“It also reflects that a platform-based approach can better address the requirements of several use cases — in this case, customer support — than a standalone communications tool,” he stated.In a associated announcement this week, Microsoft unveiled Teams Connect, which can allow customers to speak with exterior purchasers and companions extra simply through shared channels inside Teams.The characteristic might show helpful to these in gross sales, advertising and buyer assist roles, particularly.   External collaboration for buyer engagement is without doubt one of the key areas Microsoft might search to sort out with shared channels — together with buyer assist, gross sales and advertising, stated Castanon.“The integration of Dynamics 365 with Teams, enhanced with the capabilities that Connect-shared channels enable, should allow organizations to streamline and build efficiencies in workflows for customer service representatives and support agents,” he stated.

    Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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