Going mobile with Dynamics 365
Lately we are getting more and more questions from clients and prospects how they can leverage their investment into Dynamics 365 for their mobile users, who are mainly their sales people.
I took it upon myself to go mobile only for 2 weeks, and these are my findings and the flow I found works for me.
Accessing Dynamics 365 from my tablet / mobile.
When accessing Dynamics on my iPad, I have two options, either I can use the Microsoft Dynamics 365:
Or, I can simply access Dynamics 365 through the iPad browser ( I actually prefer this option on a screen of this size (9.7 inches), as it gives me all the tools and functionality of Dynamics 365 proper:
We are upgrading our Dynamics 365 environment to version 9 soon, at which point we will be able to publish a more purpose-built mobile/tablet app for our users, and that might change my mind, let’s see!
On my iPhone, the mobile app is how I access Dynamics 365:
For mobile users, who access CRM mainly in between meetings, from airports, from taxis etc., it is crucial that they can take meeting notes so that the back office staff or other team members can see what has been said.
Another important aspect for many organizations is that if there are back office functions that sales executives need to trigger, doing so when on the move rather than at the end of the day or even end of the week, will shorten internal lead times which can be an important KPI internally, but also services the customers or prospects better.
Taking meeting notes for an Opportunity
For notes, many implementations of Dynamics 365 use the notes fields available in the forms, in this example we are looking at an Opportunity:
These fields however, aren’t the easiest to type in from your mobile or iPad, and aren’t very easy to read, especially on your mobile phone:
What I have found extremely useful, is to use the OneNote integration to Dynamics 365. This allows for much more detailed notes, with attachments, and it is much easier to type in OneNote on my iPhone or iPad.
In Dynamics 365, when the OneNote integration is activated, Dynamics creates a OneNote notebook in Sharepoint, which is then accessible from within the Opportunity:
I have the option to open the notebook in OneNote Online, by clicking the “Meetings” notebook:
I can also access the notebook from the OneNote app, here on my iPhone
On my iPad:
As we can see, in the top section of the note, I have pulled in information from Outlook, which is easily done from OneNote (screenshot here from OneNote online on my laptop), the most useful flow I found was to add the information in the note from my iPad or iPhone, and I can then tidy up the notes from my laptop.
In summary; this is the flow I found works well for me using my mobile devices in combination with my laptop / computer:
1. Take notes on iPad during the meeting
- This is a much friendlier way to do it, rather than putting up my laptop as a “screen” between myself and the customer or prospect
2. Update the notes on iPad or iPhone after the meeting
- After the meeting, I can add updates, take a picture of the whiteboard if applicable, and tidy up the note somewhat.
3. Tidy up and add attachments if necessary from laptop
- When back at the hotel room or the office, I can then clean up my notes further, and adding attachments are much easier from my laptop. Either I add the documents inside the notes, which I found looks nicer, or I add a sharepoint link, which is more “proper”, and would be the option I choose for contracts, letters of intent or other more formal documents. Best practice for such documents however, would be to add them directly in the Notes section in Dynamics 365 rather than “hidden” within the OneNote notebook.
4. Access for other team members:
- Other members of our team in Dynamics 365 (with the appropriate access), can now access my meeting notes, so if I am on leave or otherwise unreachable, whoever is talking to this prospective customer, has access to updated information and can continue driving the Opportunity forward:
I hope this quick introduction to mobile users in Dynamics 365 was helpful, for more info get in touch with me and I would be more than happy to discuss in detail!