Teams, Documents & CRM, a Microsoft Dynamics Talk

   Words by Paul McQuillan

   on 15/04/2020 10:00:00

imageWe worked with Cosmonauts to run a Webinar dedicated to discussing common problems and useful strategies for working with Microsoft Teams and CRM.

We had some great speakers providing great information from their experience with CRM and Power Platform Projects.

The full video can be viewed here, and we’ve collected several of the key points below:

Power Platform Centre of Excellence

One point raised during the Webinar was the usefulness of the Power Platform Centre of Excellence – this can be a crucial resource for Dynamics and Power Apps projects and can be found here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-ca/power-platform/guidance/coe/starter-kit

Flexibility of the Power Platform

The Power Platform is more than just CRM and Dynamics – it now encompasses a range of platforms that can make up a modern day cloud toolbox for building solutions.

Cloud Workflow using Power Automateto help connect different systems under a single set of workflow or flows.

CDS - Common Data Servicehave a single database in the cloud for tracking both CRM and any other App data we want to model, store and run workflow with.

PowerApps Portalspublish our CRM content, data and Documents to external Portals to collaborate with our Customers

These work alongside the PowerApps Core and Dynamics 365 1st Party Applications to allow Architects and Application Consultants to design, prototype and build solutions in a faster and more agile approach that relies less on code and more on business analysis.

In Microsoft circles, this is often branded as the division between no-code vs pro-code in understanding the right tool for the job, and when tools trump code as the right approach.

Rise of the Citizen Developers

Increasingly the tools available in the cloud allow business to build their own Workflows, Apps and Systems without every requirement being sent to a technical team to build.

Sammit Saini has lived this approach with Heathrow Airport to rollout stronger business processes using the Microsoft Cloud between developers and non-developers alike.

There is the ‘barrier to entry’ in knowing what to know, and this is where Solution Experts can introduce the tools to overcome this barrier – as this can ultimately empower the business to control their own use of technology.

This can help align the business with IT so new technology can be a source of innovation in the business, and not (as could happen in the past) end up as a gate keeper limiting what is possible.

Shadow IT

The webinar discussed Shadow IT and how this can arise in large and small businesses.

This could happen when IT moves too slowly for the business, and so instead the business takes matters into its own hands and rolls out new systems without general IT involvement.

This can create Data Security and Governance problems, as described by Ryan Maclean during the webinar.

In some ways, Shadow IT can be a good thing as it is evidence of the business adopting and benefiting from new technology – but in other ways we can end up with a very fragmented and difficult to manage environment.

With the more powerful tools for the business in the cloud + citizen developers, the ultimate aim is to properly align IT and the Business to have the same Platforms and Goals.

Connecting the Cloud

Whilst the growth and increased accessibility of tools in the cloud is great – it can be difficult bringing everything together for a single User Experience.

In the Microsoft world, we see this in the spread between Dynamics 365 and SharePoint, where we want one place for our CRM directly alongside storing our Documents and Emails.

David Baskerville discussed this problem from his first hand experience of bringing Dynamics and SharePoint together within the Legal Industry.

Dynamics, SharePoint and Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is a relatively new innovation from Microsoft as the successor to Skype for Business, and allows Groups of Team Members to have a common workspace for Chat, Documents and Video Meetings.

This has become particularly key across the world during the recent Covid-19 Lockdown and has often become the go-to tool for helping Teams keep in contact whilst working remotely.

Paul McQuillan discussed how Dynamics, SharePoint and Teams can work together to implement the Power Platform working hand in hand with Team Collaboration based on his experience of Dynamics 365.

DocMan for Dynamics

The webinar wrapped up with a Product Demo of a Tool developed by CRMCS to help integrate Dynamics and SharePoint together – DocMan for Dynamics.

DocMan is an App which helps manage Document Management within CRM - the demo focused on how this can be extended to bring Microsoft Teams into Dynamics to enable Team Collaboration Document Management and CRM.

The Product Demo can be viewed as a separate video here – Integrating Teams and Dynamics.

An article supporting this demo is available here – Using Microsoft Teams with Dynamics

Webinar

The webinar was organised by Cosmonauts as a discussion on Dynamics 365 and how to enable better Teams and avoid common problems when working remotely.

The full video of the webinar can viewed here - Most Common Mistakes When Aligning your Teams, Documents & CRM

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