Getting Started with Dynamics 365: 7 Steps

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Depending on your perspective, implementing new business software can be exciting, frustrating or a little bit of both. One of the tasks that can often be hardest, is getting everyone moved over to a new system. But, it doesn’t have to be. I’m going to give you an overview of the seven steps you need to follow to successfully on board new Dynamics 365 users. Use it as a quick start guide to familiarize yourself with the process of getting started with Dynamics 365. And, as a resource you bookmark and come back to as you move through the entire process from start to finish. Obviously, I can’t cover every detail of the on boarding process in one blog post. But, I will give links after my explanation of each step where you can find more information.


Want to jump to a specific step?  Use the links below.


Step One: Add People

In a nutshell, this means adding users and assigning security roles. You can do this through the Office 365 Admin center.

To have access to Dynamics 365, each user account must have a license and a security role associated with it. As the name suggests, a security role controls what a user can see and do within the system. Even if a user is part of a team that has its own set of security privileges, you must still set a security role for each user.


The different security levels available in Dynamics 365, and what they mean:

  • Basic – Users can access all records that they own, anything shared with them by other users, and anything shared with a team they belong to. This setting is often used for sales and service employees.
  • Local – Users can access all records in their business unit. Besides everything a basic user has access to, local users also have access to information about their entire business unit. This level of access is usually granted to managers or leaders who have authority over a business unit.
  • Deep – Users have access to records in their business unit, and all other subordinate units. Besides everything that basic and local users can access, deep users get information about child business units. This level of access is usually reserved for members of management who have authority over many business units.
  • Global – Users have access to all records in the system, regardless of what business unit they belong to. This comprehensive access is usually only given to people responsible for managing the entire organization.


Getting started with Dynamics 365: Creating users in Dynamics 365 online or on premise.


Step Two: Set Up Email

One of the best things about Microsoft Dynamics 365 is its ability to store all your customer communications in one place. To make this possible, you will need to synchronize your email system with Dynamics 365.


This should be done through server-side synchronization, it:

  • Enables Microsoft Dynamics 365 app for Outlook – This allows Dynamics 365 information to appear next to a user’s Outlook email messages and appointments. With it, you can see information about leads and contacts, without ever leaving your email. Also, it can link contact records and appointments to new or existing records in Dynamics 365. That way, you can easily create and update account, opportunity, or case records.
  • Enables Exchange folder tracking – With this, users can simply drag email into an Exchange folder to have it tracked in Dynamics 365.
  • Allows for automatic synchronization – With server-side syncing, the synchronization happens behind the scenes. You don’t need to do anything or leave any programs open for synchronization to occur.
  • Gives you a variety of connection scenarios to choose from – For example, you can connect Dynamics 365 online to Exchange server on premise, Dynamics 365 online to Exchange online, Dynamics 365 server to Exchange server on premise, and Exchange online to Dynamics 365 server on premise.
  • Allows for syncing of more than email – Besides email, you can synchronize tasks, contacts and appointments in Outlook.
  • Works with POP3 email servers – Sync your email from sources other than Outlook. Connect Dynamics 365 to Yahoo email, Gmail, and more.
  • Allows you to watch mailbox performance and troubleshoot errors.


Getting started with Dynamics 365: Integrating your email


Step Three: Get Mobile Apps

Let users access Dynamics 365 on the go using either Dynamics 365 for phones or Dynamics 365 for tablets. Each of the Dynamics 365 apps can be downloaded by the user from their device’s App Store.


And, these apps can be easily adjusted by you to meet your organization’s needs. With a few clicks of your mouse, you can remove things that your organization does not need and add others. Best of all, you only need to make changes once, and they will appear for all users.  No matter what mobile platform they are using.


Here’s a quick look at the system requirements your users’ mobile devices must meet:

  • To use the Dynamics 365 for phones app, phones must have at least 1 GB of RAM, and be running iOS 8.1 or above, Android version 4.4, 5.0, 6.0, Windows phone version 8.1 or 10.
  • The tablet app requires 1 GB of memory, Windows version 8 or later with 720 P resolution, Apple iPad third-generation or later with at least a 9-inch diagonal screen, Android version 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 5.0 or 6.0, with a screen size of at least 7 inches (nine or 10 inches preferred).

Once you’ve checked that your users’ devices meet the app’s minimum requirements, you will need to make sure that they have the proper permissions. Dynamics 365 has a special security privilege, called Dynamics 365 for mobile that grants access to phone and tablet users. It’s enabled by default for individuals working in sales roles, but not others.  So, if you want to roll out mobile access across more of your organization, follow these instructions.

Getting started with Dynamics 365: Phone and tablet apps.


Step Four: Customize It

Dynamics 365 is designed to make it easy for you to customize several aspects of the software. You can:

  • Add a logo or change the color scheme to match your brand
  • Adjust forms and views to match the way you work
  • Create and design new forms
  • Create and design new views
  • Create and configure dashboards
  • Edit existing and design new business process
  • Report on and visualize data
  • Adapt existing and design new business rules

And more.

Getting started with Dynamics 365: Customizations.


Step Five: Add SharePoint

Dynamics 365 integrates with SharePoint to make it easy for your team to work together. With SharePoint you get a folder for each customer. Use it to store all documents related to that customer and easily share them with your team. For the document management capabilities of SharePoint to work within Microsoft Dynamics 365, you will need to enable server-based SharePoint integration or the Microsoft Dynamics CRM list component.


Server-based integration is the recommended choice for these reasons:

  • Take advantage of single sign in – Save users time by only requiring them to sign into Dynamics 365. With the CRM list component, users must always sign in to both systems if they want to use SharePoint functionality.
  • The list component is being depreciated – It’s currently a sandboxed solution and will not be available with future versions of Microsoft SharePoint.
  • No other software installations are needed.
  • SharePoint actions can be performed from the Dynamics 365 command bar.
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 lists will include SharePoint documents.


Getting started with Dynamics 365: Integrating SharePoint


Step Six: Connect Skype

Skype integration allows Dynamics 365 users to click on any phone number to instantly call, text, video chat or share files with a coworker. All without leaving the Dynamics 365 application. Better yet, they can log customer calls and easily add notes to share with other users so they are always on the same page with every account. For these features to be available, your organization must have one of the following products:

  • Skype For Business Server 2015
  • Skype For Business.
  • Microsoft Lync Server 2010 or 2013

Additionally, each user must have either the Skype for Windows desktop client or the Skype for Windows 8 app installed on their PC. And, Skype must be chosen as your telephone provider in Microsoft Dynamics 365 settings.

Getting started with Dynamics 365: Connecting Skype


Step Seven: Import Your Data

To make the most of your new system, it’s key that you’re able to add your data to it. To make this easy, Dynamics 365 comes with templates and wizards to move information from spreadsheets, email systems, and even your own internally made software.

When importing data into Microsoft Dynamics 365, you will probably want to start with your contacts. Doing this is simple. First, you will need to export this information from your existing system(s) and collect them into a single file. Any of these file types are acceptable:

  • .txt
  • .csv
  • .zip
  • .xml

Keep in mind, the maximum upload size for zip files is 32 MB.  For all other file types, it’s 8 MB. If you store contacts in more than one location, it’s a good idea to create one .zip file that contains everything you want to import. That way, you can bring it in all at once.

Next, you will probably want to import leads, accounts, or other data. Doing this is similar to importing contacts. First you will need to get your import file ready. All of the same file types are accepted, with the addition of .xlsx. The file size rules mentioned above still hold true when importing these files. Once you get your import file ready, all you have to do is run Dynamics 365’s import data Wizard.

Getting started with Dynamics 365: Importing contacts and other data.


Need help getting your Microsoft Dynamics 365 system up and running? No problem! Our experts help our clients implement new systems every day. We have more than 25 years’ experience helping companies like yours, set up their new systems according to best practices proven to help you get the most bang for your buck.  Contact us today to get started with Dynamics 365!

By: Laura Schomaker, Intelligent Technologies, Incorporated, a South Carolina Microsoft and Acumatica partner.

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