Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Teams: extend collaboration across teams

Think about the time spent between the moment you open an email or chat, find, and reply with the requested information, and then get back into the flow of your work. Add up those minutes-long interruptions, and you begin to realize why we often can’t finish everything on our to-do lists.

We want to dramatically reduce those disruptions by bringing together business processes, information, communication, and collaboration, enabling an integrated workspace for teamwork. Not only does this save time and improve collaboration throughout the day but frees up time so you can stay focused on customers.

At Microsoft Ignite, we are announcing a breadth of more connected and engaging experiences between Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Teams, bringing together the features you depend on into a unified digital workplace for collaboration across your entire organization. These new capabilities help everyone work together from anywhere in a more seamless and natural way, as well as better engage with customers for more personalized experiences.

We’re making it simple to meet, chat, call, and collaborate right from within your Dynamics 365 workspace. For example, as you browse a customer record, you can see related conversations and people, and then start or continue a chat without switching to Teams. Similarly, while working in Teams, you can seamlessly access and share business processes, records, and information from Dynamics 365—so everything you need to stay focused and productive is in context to the task at hand.

Whether you work in sales or marketing, service, finance, commerce, or human resources—any role that depends on teamwork—the unified collaboration features in Dynamics 365 applications and Teams will help you get daily activities done in a way that simply keeps everyone connected virtually in a natural way.

Let’s take a closer look at how our approach to unified collaboration makes an impact across the organization.

Sales: boost collaborative digital selling and engagement and transform customer interactions into revenue

Strong team collaboration and communication is essential in a sales organization, helping every seller identify, track, and share leads and opportunities. With Teams and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales, we are helping put collaboration in context and providing actionable next steps using AI-driven insights. This allows sellers to be more productive, work together better, and build stronger customer relationships.

Today we are announcing several new capabilities for Dynamics 365 Sales to boost collaboration across sales teams.

We are introducing an embedded Teams chat experience for Dynamics 365—a side panel that shows recent and ongoing chats, channels, and people in Teams related to the customer record in view.

As a seller browses customer records, the side panel displays (1) Teams chats and channels that mention the customer or account, as well as (2) suggested chats and contacts based on colleagues who are working on the account. Without switching to the Teams app, sellers can start or continue the conversation thanks to a (3) Teams chat experience which also (4) displays the customer record and quick actions to help avoid switching apps to find relevant information.

Recent years have witnessed a radical shift in buyer behavior that has led most businesses to alter traditional sales methods and adopt digital sales to stay relevant, maintain a competitive advantage, and cater to the buyer’s needs without losing the all-important personal touch. Voice and video now are important channels to ensure sellers keep connection and drive valuable conversations without missing any follow-ups.

Today, we are introducing both an embedded Teams dialer experience for Dynamics 365 as well as an extensible video or audio Teams meeting experience that seamlessly ties back to Dynamics 365 Sales.

As a seller is presented with the next best customer to reach out to, they can click-to-call—a side panel showing the teams dialer opens, including real-time business-critical insights such as transcript with important mentions highlighted (1), a place for note taking (2), and automatic detection of action items (3) sellers can ensure actions are captured ready for follow up.

We also cater for Teams meetings that are scheduled and tracked by the seller. When they join the call from Outlook, Teams, or Dynamics 365 the familiar Teams client opens where—aside from the custom video, avatar, or shared content—the seller will be presented with the same real-time insights as they did during the audio call, including the transcript with important mentions highlighted (4), a place for note-taking (5), and automatic detection of action items (6) sellers can ensure actions are captured ready for follow up.

All insights are tied back to the relevant record in Dynamics 365 Sales CRM with zero effort on the seller’s side. Within seconds of completing the conversation, the summary page will be available; including conversational KPIs representing the seller’s behavior during the call (7), commitment and follow-ups made during the call (8), important mentions (9), and the full playback option alongside sentiment analysis and segmentation of the call to topics (10).

These new team collaboration experiences are supported by multichannel engagement capabilities in Teams that help improve the way sellers connect with other sellers, prospects, and customers. The Dynamics 365 app for Microsoft Teams enables sellers to engage with audio and video online meetings, and support for third-party outbound and inbound calling ensures advanced call control functionality is right where is should be: alongside the information that is fueling sellers’ conversations with the caller. Conversation intelligence automatically transcribes calls and analyzes content, sentiment, and behavioral style—insights that can improve the way sellers engage with prospects and customers.

Learn how VITAS Healthcare, C.H. Robinson, Microsoft Inside Sales, and Grant Thornton transformed sales with Dynamics 365 Sales and Teams.

Marketing: turn event attendees into loyal customers

Virtual meetings and webinars are now a preferred way to connect and engage with audiences. With Teams and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing, planning online events and nurturing your attendees is fast and easy.

Customers can set up, promote, and report on events hosted on Teams from within Dynamics 365 Marketing. In a few simple steps, they can export attendee data and view customer segments created in Dynamics 365 Marketing based on audience attendance. Customer journeys, including starter emails, are also automatically created to nurture attendees. Users can then further customize the content and experiences for attendees based on how they engage and orchestrate personalized customer journeys.

Today we’re announcing that commercial Microsoft 365 E3 and E5 customers will soon get six months of Dynamics 365 Marketing at no additional cost. We’ll have more details on this offer to share soon, along with eligibility details, and we are excited to see you reap the benefits of these solutions together.

Learn more about Dynamics 365 Marketing or visit our help documentation to get started. Also, discover how Project Management Institute Minnesota and Discoveries, Inc are using these event management capabilities in the real world to improve engagement with event attendees.

Customer service: resolve customer issues faster using the power of collaboration

As cases that reach your live agents become increasingly more complex, it’s more important than ever that your customer service tools are designed to make life as easy as possible for your agents to resolve customer issues. This includes how cases get assigned and how your agents collaborate with Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) within your organization. Key features such as unified routing and assignment capabilities leverage rule-based and machine learning classification to ensure incoming work items are routed to the best-suited agent or queue. But, there are still times when customer service agents need support from other colleagues to quickly address customer issues without having to escalate or transfer the case. With the new embedded Teams chat capability, directly accessible from the Dynamics 365 Customer Service agent desktop, agents can collaborate with SMEs to resolve cases faster and more effectively, ultimately improve the customer experience.

The Teams chat feature enables agents to easily start conversations with SMEs and other peers, avoiding the disruption of switching apps, while maintaining a seamless flow of work. The enhanced collaboration feature reads the context of the customer record and suggests relevant collaboration contacts for the agent. Related Teams chats initiated from Customer Service are visually differentiated to enable faster discoverability. In addition, agents can link relevant Teams chats to the customer record so that the conversation, information, and context is immediately available. 

Field service: enhance collaboration across field service

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Field Service, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Remote Assist, and Teams work together to enable field technicians to stay connected to work orders, information, and experts in real-time, even from some of the most remote job sites.

Technicians and field service agents can use the integrated Teams experience within Dynamics 365 Field Service to collaborate in real-time with experts on work orders, as well as use Dynamics 365 Virtual Agents for Customer Service to enhance their productivity as they complete service tasks. Technicians can access the content they need related to the task at hand—from customer records to schematics—from a mobile device or for a hands-free experience, a Microsoft HoloLens mixed reality headset.

The solution is enabling surgeons at hospitals within the Mount Sinai Health System in New York to advise counterparts 7,000 miles away at Kyabirwa Surgical Centre in Eastern Uganda. “Microsoft Teams, Dynamic 365 Remote Assist, and HoloLens 2 allow us to bring our knowledge into a community, share that knowledge, and make it part of that surgical community on a long-term basis,” explains Dr. Michael L. Marin, Chairman of the Department of Surgery and Surgeon-in-Chief at Mount Sinai. “It helps us create a sustainable program of surgical care.”

Retail: maximize retail collaboration and staff efficiency

On the retail frontlines, it’s critical to have the most current and accurate product and inventory information customers need in the moment. With Teams and Dynamics 365, retailers can provide the frontline with streamlined mobile tools to connect with peers and get near-instant access to information they need to deliver exceptional customer experiences.

With Teams and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Commerce, we are also removing the barriers between the head office and individual stores by providing new task management functionality right within Teams. Task management functionality in Dynamics 365 Commerce allows managers and workers to create task lists, manage assignment criteria, and track task statuses integrated between Dynamics 365 Commerce back office, store commerce, and Teams applications.

Users can easily track task completion across all relevant stores, re-assign tasks, and give feedback and proof of execution where applicable.

Learn more about Dynamics 365 Commerce and check out our task management capabilities.

Human Resources: simplify employee leave and absence management

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Human Resources provides a comprehensive personnel management solution, including performance, leave and absence, and payroll integration. A new update, now generally available, enables employees to view time-off balances and submit leave requests from within Teams where they are already collaborating and getting their work done.

Employees simply type in keywords and a chatbot responds immediately to let them know leave balances or request time off. Managers can just as easily review and approve time-off requests with just a few clicks. By enabling employee and manager self-service, HR teams can stay focused on more strategic tasks while empowering employees to better manage their leave and absence benefits.

Learn more about the employee leave and absence experience in Teams.

Boost collaboration for better customer experiences across the organization

These integrated collaboration capabilities are just the start. We continue our investment in innovation to transform work, so everyone can be more efficient, more collaborative, more insightful – and ultimately, deliver the best customer experiences possible.

Learn more on the Microsoft Teams blog and explore all of the ways Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Teams help move projects forward and keep people connected with chat, suggested actions, and records in collaborative workspaces. Sign up for a free trial of Dynamics 365 Marketing.