Getting the best out of your Dynamics CRM

Investing in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM involves careful deliberation. The product comes at a high price and an organisation needs to be absolutely certain that they can truly benefit from it. This is one of the greatest areas of concern that needs to be addressed at the onset.

Every organisation needs to be clear about three core aspects:

  • Why they are investing in a CRM system?
  • What do they expect out from the CRM?
  • How to derive the best from the CRM?

A CRM, if utilised to its full potential is great value for money. At the very beginning an organisation needs to ensure that it understands the benefits that MS Dynamics CRM offers and how to obtain the maximum from it.

How to get the best from your CRM?

Every CRM has a number of features which are designed to help a company improve its performance and increase its profits. The first step to getting the maximum from your CRM is to have a Microsoft certified professional team to implement and customise the CRM. Getting the CRM customised to the organisations needs is important. Modification and updates are an ongoing process but it is important to start right.

Mapping your existing system to the Microsoft Dynamics CRM is the initial step of transition. But it should not stop here. The ideology behind investing in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM is to upgrade business functions. This extends beyond an improved customer relationship. It reiterates the resolve to take operation to a newer level with new operational standards.

Incorporating new features

It may require an in-depth study of the operational processes by the Pragmasys team to be able to analyse the needs and requirements of the organisation. A business analytical study can help identify new areas of functioning which can benefit from the Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Introducing new features to the management and working in unison to recognise potential areas where these can be leveraged for expansion and further growth.

Locating potential customers

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM feature to located potential customers based on their online activity can help companies generate leads. These leads can be categorised geographically thus helping to save time and increase productivity.

Dynamics CRM Service Provider

One of the key factors of getting the most out of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM involves partnering with a Microsoft CRM certified firm like Pragmasys. Clients are secure in the knowledge that their CRM is being professionally managed. However, there is more to it. When the Pragmasys Team work closely with a company they are able to advise you regarding features and options available in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM which could facilitate operational procedures, projects and workflow. This enables the organisation to get more out of the CRM by using other available features.

Getting a good start is essential to maintaining a steady inline of business growth. Some organisations in a bid to reduce investments costs compromise on the implementation services, which in turn leads to a backflow and loss of time and money in the recovery process.

Deploying a CRM in a fruitful manner should be considered as a long term investment. Though the investment is significant the focus should be on taking expert counsel on utilising it in the best possible manner where it will increase revenue, productivity and efficiency.

10 reasons to choose Microsoft Dynamics CRM

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM is powerful and flexible. It is the ideal solution for small and big business alike, with a high range of customisable options. MS Dynamics CRM is also one of the few CRMs which offer a choice between On Premise and Cloud hosting. While smaller single locations business may prefer having their CRM hosted on their own server, larger global organisations can avail of the cloud hosting option.

There are multiple reasons which make the MS Dynamics CRM the perfect choice for your business.


  1. Marketing campaigns: The Microsoft Dynamics facilitates the Marketing Team with setting up marketing campaigns and executing them in an efficacious manner. The campaign budget can be utilised in a productive manner, deriving the best outcome and high returns.
  2. Powerful reporting engine: Accessing information from the CRM becomes effortless with the advanced features offered by the Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Up to date customised reports using the local or global scale data can be generated on a real time basis.
  3. Advanced filters: Finding the needed data is an easy task with the great search options and the advanced filters. Filters are a valuable tool when it comes to streamlining data, making reports and searching to specific data.
  4. Manage leads: Generating leads and ensuring conversion is a part of the marketing analytics feature of the MS Dynamics CRM. The leads can be tracked and managed. The follow up and conversion can be monitored.
  5. Role Specific Dashboard: One of the best features of the MS Dynamics CRM is that the Dashboard can be customised to suit the user’s requirements. This facilitates employees to function better and perform given tasks faster.
  6. Management: The Microsoft Dynamics CRM enables the senior management to keep track of the on goings in the organisation. It allows remote management facilities and can be accessed globally.
  7. Integrating business network: An organisation can have central management across the world through the MS Dynamics CRM. Performance data can easily be monitored and corrective action taken when required. Management of a global network becomes easier.
  8. Problem Handling: Internal problems can be addressed on a global scale enabling a wider solution perspective. Problem areas can be tracked and the issues solved in the initial stages.
  9. Higher productivity: Every organisation is on the lookout for ways in which to increase productivity. Streamlining operations through the MS Dynamics CRM can help to derive better manpower utilisation.
  10. ROI: Increased productivity and profit margins helps to balance the overhead costs and thereby deliver a better ROI.


Taking full benefit out of your MS Dynamics CRM is an area of concern for every organisation. The implementation and customisation of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM plays a vital role in defining the type of returns an organisation can get from the Dynamics CRM.

Technically qualified and authorised firms like Pragmasys can help clients with the implementation of the MS Dynamics CRM. Pragmasys is a Microsoft Gold Partner and adept at helping a client’s organisation map their current organisational process with the new CRM system. They analyse the operational patterns and update the management on the helpful features available in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM which can promote business operations to new levels. Many clients are not aware of the multiple features within the Dynamics CRM which can be leveraged for better ROI. This is the where Microsoft authorised firms like Pragmasys can be a valuable asset to businesses.

The Dynamics of Customer Loyalty

Customer loyalty stems not from the service that a company provides its customers, but from the relationship an organisation maintains with its customers. An organisation which takes the effort to communicate with its customers is valued. Communication could be

  • Asking a customer for feedback regarding a service
  • A gentle reminder for a product service
  • General call to check if the customer needs anything, which can also be used to soft sell new products or services

There are numerous types of calls that organisations can make to their customers. Besides calling customers, communication through text messages and emails are also effective.

Why is communication important?

Communication is the basis of all relationships. In a fast growing impersonal world it is important for companies to try and maintains a personalised connection with their customers. Personalised messages and emails have a great psychological impact. This can be used to create an indelible impression.

Communication reiterates the brand name on a customer’s mind. In case a need should arise the company that has kept in touch with a customer is the first name that comes to their mind.  Communication helps to build a link with the emotional heart strings. This is the most vital force for customer loyalty.

Communication with MS Dynamics

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM has the best tools for building and maintaining strong relationship bonds with customers. The enhanced communication facilities included in the MS Dynamics CRM program with automated email facilities makes it easier for an organisation to maintain a healthy relationship with their customers. Easy integration of MS Outlook with the MS Dynamics CRM eases the transition hurdles for employees.

Customer retention

Many companies focus on getting new customers and spend big money on marketing. Sometimes in the process they lose the existing customers while trying to get new ones. Retaining your existing customers costs much less and is more profitable to an organisation. Microsoft Dynamics CRM helps organisations to keep their existing customers happy while also allowing them to build relationships with new potential customers and expand business horizons.

Deriving the maximum benefit from the Microsoft Dynamics CRM is not a tranquil task for any organisation. It takes much contemplation and an in-depth understanding of the system. While the tools may be available in the Dynamics CRM, being able to leverage them is another matter altogether. It is not skill but a good training session with Pragmasys which can benefit an organisation multi fold.

Pragmasys support

Pragmasys is a Microsoft Dynamics CRM expert and can help organisations to obtain the optimal advantage from the CRM system. This encompasses a wide variety of services starting from upgrading, installation, customisation and training. Learning how to use the finer aspects of the CRM system is an art that an organisation must devote some time and attention to, as this is where the product demonstrates its true value for money. The MS Dynamics CRM can help the organisation reap huge dividends with the help of Prgmasys.

The expertise of the Pragmasys team can assist companies in making the most of their Microsoft CRM investment. This Microsoft Customer Relationship Management system can help organisations to manage customers and business operations on a global level. New strategies can be enforced on a wide scale and all operation can be managed centrally from any location.

Customer loyalty is essential for every organisation. Microsoft Dynamics can make it easy for a company to manage their customers with stream lined systems.

What is CRM customisation?

Every organisation has its own unique methods of operation which cannot be put into a fixed mould. A CRM system is designed on a standard model which may not suit every organisation. Fortunately a Customer Relationship Management System does not follow the principle of one size fits all. The basic structure of the CRM remains the same however entities, fields and forms can be customised to suit the organisations particular requirements.

Customisation is a process in which the Dynamics CRM is made usable for a company. This has to do with the type of business and the type of products and services offered. Being able to access the required information in a format that is easily readable is an essential factor for a company. Data entry forms that offer fields for entering the necessary data works towards building a comprehensive database.

Why customisation?

Creating a familiar interface with user friendly options increases the productivity levels. It eases the work effort. The organisation will notice a gradual increase as employees start utilising additional options and implementing these tool into their task schedule. Some other areas that the Microsoft Dynamics CRM customisation touches are:

  • Conform to your organisation’s needs: Customising the Dynamics CRM to suit the specific needs of the organisation. This covers the type of information the records hold.
  • Information specific reports: The MS Dynamics reporting engine can generate reports that display the specific required information. The report generator can produce detailed reports or summarized reports as the need arises.
  • Role specific dashboard: Every employee has a specific job function. A role specific dashboard allows the employee to perform their job better without any confusion of inaccessible or unknown options.
  • Interactive and user friendly data forms: When a person is able to understand the data form it becomes easier to fill. The greatest underlying feature enforced by Microsoft is ‘user-friendly’.
  • Easy to create workflows: The MS Dynamin’s CRM has made it easy for users to define and execute workflows for various job functions. These can be scheduled to execute at a predefined time or triggered to run following a specific action.
  • Reinforce security: Security is an area of concern for every organisation. Microsoft has structured the CRM with high security levels. If an organisation chooses they can customise the CRM which enables implementing other levels of security measures.

It becomes almost impossible for a company to work on a general CRM without some modifications to suit their needs. This is the reason the MS Dynamics CRM has been designed in a manner where it can be customised at every level starting from the basic entity level.

Various industries such as banks, travel agencies, automobiles and various other sectors have specific data that they need to record and maintain in a database.

Customisation by Pragmasys

Pragmasys can help organisations with the Dynamics CRM customisation. With a team of skilled technicians who are adept at handling and reprogramming the Dynamics CRM the Pragmasys team can make the necessary changes. Customisation requires an in-depth understanding of the organisations operational methods. Pragmasys helps their clients by mapping the process and presenting the client with the newer and advanced features of the Dynamics CRM which can be beneficial to the client.

Microsoft CRM offers enhanced customer communication

Commutation is the basic foundation for all relationships. This rule applies to customers as well. Organisations that make it a point to communicate regularly with their customers will not only share a better relationship with them, but will also reap greater rewards in the way of customer loyalty. Taking the time and effort to communicate, projects an underlying message to customers that the organisation cares about them. This goes a long way into securing a strong foundation in the market place.

Business growth

Timely and regular communication with customers is one of the enterprising features offered by the Microsoft Dynamics CRM system. Customers are the foundational blocks on which an organisation stands. A growing a customer base is not the end deal for a company, it is maintaining the customers through a personalised relationship which counts. Increasing customers signifies a business progression.

CRM communication tools

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM offers fantastic tools for communicating with the customer. The greatest advantage of the Microsoft CRM is the effortless integration of other Microsoft products like MS Outlook. Organisations that have been using outlook to communicate with their customers can continue using the familiar interface with the Dynamic CRM. This feature can be leveraged for effectual communication through email.

Regular Customer Communication

The CRM can send customers a monthly or quarterly update regarding their account. This is especially useful for the financial sector and other industries that have a regular customer base. Other industries can update customers about their product’s service due date, newer models with better features and various other products.

Attractive email templates can be designed and sent to customer regarding new products, schemes offers or just or updates about the organisation.  When customers are made aware of the progress of the organisation they feel happy to be associated with you. Some customers feel privileged to receive emails and spread the word around giving an organisation free publicity.

Automated communication

A wonderful feature offered by the Microsoft Dynamics CRM is the automated emails. Emails for occasions such as festivals or even personal events like birthdays, anniversaries etc. will be sent automatically on the correct day. The Dynamics CRM allows the user to have email templates for particular communication which can be summoned by the trigger when required.

Personalised communication: Addressing a customer by name may seem very insignificant to an organisation but holds great value to a customer. It makes a small but indelible indent that demonstrates that the organisation cares enough to send an email that is addressed to the customer personally. The features of the MS Dynamic CRM integrated with the MS Outlook allow organisations to take email communication to the next level.

Integrating the Microsoft Outlook contacts list into the MS Dynamics CRM allows direct communication through the CRM to customers. Employees can continue using the familiar MS Outlook interface for communication and sending emails. It allows collaboration of tools that can enhance the total communication process.

Without proper communication it widens the gap between the organisation and the customer making them vulnerable to offers by competitor organisations.  The Microsoft Dynamics CRM understands the need for an organisation to establish a secure relationship with customers and hence has made this an integral feature of the CRM system.

How Microsoft CRM benefits the Banking Sector

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM is one of the leading CRM systems across all platforms and sectors. Every industry that depends on their customers for business growth needs a CRM solution that can enhance their customer relationship experience. A system that improves communication and allows the customer to feel valued is what every financial institution requires.

Pragmasys presents the Banking sector with PragmaBanco, a CRM system customised and designed efficaciously to meet the specific needs of the financial sector. Based on the Microsoft Dynamics CRM system the PragmaBanco heightens the encounter on every vertical. It is built on a secure foundation and the precepts are all encompassing.

Mobility: Customer centric banks need to provide their customers with an experience that allows then to access information on the go. Secure integrated apps that allows round the clock access lifting the time restriction barriers. PragmaBanco by Pragmasys based on the MS Dynamics CRM supports total mobility of the system. It allows the anytime anywhere engagement for customers allowing them access to their funds even in dire straits.

Flexibility: The Microsoft Dynamics CRM offers the flexibility to expend the CRM across a variety of different platforms and PragmaBanco leverages this feature to every extent. PragmaBanco has the facility to accommodate the client’s needs and fit into their budget. The model and infrastructure of the CRM can be suited accordingly. The Flexibility of the PragmaBanco enables organisation to process customer requests at a quicker pace, improving the response time and customer satisfaction level.

Security: The multiple levels of security ensure that a breach is near impossible. Irregular activity pattern triggers are one of the tools that can help to identify possible threats and curb them with security verifications. Multiplex security model with randomly changing algorithms and delayed deployment work on the regulatory front. The PragmaBanco is a totally secure model with monitored gateways for transaction. Secure shutdowns to prevent infiltration and easy unblocking with valid verification to avert hassles to customers.

Communication: The easy integration of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM with various communication tools including the Microsoft Outlook enables effortless communication with customers at various levels. PragmaBanco supports email templates and automated communication through emails and messages. This communication could relate to account transactions or to communicate vital information. Communication is not limited to customers but helps to improve internal organisational workflow as well. Effective communication within the organisation allows efficient collaboration between employees working towards a common objective.

Consolidating all these features the PragmaBanco offers a variety of options for deployment. It aims at simplifying the complex systems and processes for the end user as well as for internal organisational purposes. It has a user friendly approach with simple manoeuvrability within the CRM system to enhance the overall feel to a less intimidating one.

The PrgamaBanco integrates a 360° view of customer activity. Query and activity patterns can be used to recognise customer requirements and upgrade customer services. It can be leveraged to transform the banking experience to a comprehensive one which caters to customers specific needs.

Pragmasys provides a seamless transition for Banks into the PragmaBanco CRM without disrupting current workflow. It enables customers to adjust into the new system in an uncomplicated manner. The upgrade utilises the current system coordinates to allow straightforward integration. The Banking personnel will receive the necessary training and round the clock technical support with system queries and process execution. Pragmasys makes system upgrades easy.

Why should a business use a CRM system?

Any investment, upgrade or change is accompanied with a “Why?” Strangely this is the beginning of all progress. Many organisations are stuck in a rut, closed to change and determined to make outdated methods work for them. Most are overshadowed by their competition and lose business as a result of that.

Why CRM?

For every organisation the first question is ‘Why CRM?’ For a larger organisation it is easier to understand. For an organisation with smaller staff strength the logistics can be a bit challenging. Business has been progressing fine with spreadsheets and data sharing options. It goes without saying that installing a CRM system would mean additional costs on a recurrent basis not to forget the capital investment at the beginning.

As much as an organisation would like to stall on the arguments, the truth is that they do realise that this is the future. To keep pace with the competition as well as seek constant progressive growth one needs to consider change. Greater gains, involves some investment as well as advancing with technological changes. The CRM technology has been around for ages and is no new bug in the field.

The small companies watch the larger ones upgrade and get on the global platform with technological advancements. Was it the CRM system that helped them to grow on such an enormous scale? The CRM system streamlines workflow and enhances productivity. It allows the integration of various tools which help to analyse market patterns and consumer demands. Automating function helps to reduce the wastage of manpower on mundane tasks. These features definitely make a difference towards better productivity and business growth.

Which CRM?

Once an organisation decides that it is time to upgrade and take a stand on the global scale the very pertinent question arises – “Which CRM?” There are literally hundreds of CRM systems that are making their way into the market. An organisation that wants to make it to the top has to select a CRM that is used by the organisations in the top bracket. The Microsoft Dynamics CRM is among the leading CRMs on a global level. It comes at a price, but offers facilities and services which propel you way beyond what you could have even imagined. It gives you that double leap forward that makes others wonder how you suddenly emerged so far ahead.

Though there are many CRMs contending for the top spot, Microsoft is a name we are all familiar with and trust as well. The greatest benefit with the MS Dynamics CRM is that it integrates easily with the other Microsoft products. These are products that you are already familiar and comfortable with. It reduces the resistance to change and brings in a comfort level.

Making an informed choice regarding the CRM

Pragmasys is a Microsoft Gold Partner. We can help you to understand the concepts of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM and give you a parallel comparison of the various popular CRMs currently trending. The decision to install the MS Dynamics CRM is a big step and must be carried out with full knowledge of what the change involves – the benefits and demerits the system involves. It is important for every business to fully comprehend what the upgrade entails. This allows you to leverage the features for business progress right from the start.

CRM hosting – On premise vs Cloud

Companies are now feeling compelled to install a CRM system to keep abreast of the changing technologies and get a better hold on their customer relations. The CRM system which started out as a database to maintain customer records has expanded way beyond its realm. A CRM system is no longer limited to improving the relationship with the customer, but can help businesses with their marketing and in developing new strategies. It helps with market analysis and tracking changing trends.

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a leading CRM system which includes a vast number of tools and features that can succour market research and helps in strategizing techniques. The decision to upgrade to a CRM system is accompanied with a number of other choices and decision. Many organisations face a dilemma regarding installing the Dynamics CRM On Premise or going with the MS Dynamics CRM Online option.

The needs and requirement of every organisation varies. Smaller organisations confined to one location may prefer On Premise hosting. They have their own server and everything is under one roof. Large organisations spread over a wide geographical area usually prefer cloud hosting. Both onsite hosting of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM system and the cloud hosting option is accompanied with its own share of advantages and limitations.

 Some major areas of consideration when deciding between cloud vs an on premise CRM are:


On premise servers are downloadable to anyone who has physical access to the server, while a cloud hosted database is highly secured. Some organisations prefer to have their server where they can see it and monitor the physical access to the unit. They employ their own security measures. Online CRM leaves the security concerns to Microsoft. With a large number of organisations working through their servers Microsoft has high security measures in place to protect their customer’s data.


The greatest advantage that most organisations prefer with cloud hosting is that they are not geographically restricted to any location. The database is easily accessible from anywhere. Organisations that have multiple offices spread across the globe find the MS Dynamics CRM Cloud hosting preferable. Cloud hosting is also beneficial for the sales team who can update the CRM while on a customer call. They can also leverage the benefit to accessing information regarding products and queries for potential customers while upselling.

 CRM Customisation

The online version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM allows the same customisation options as the On Premise CRM. There is no differentiation based on where the CRM is hosted when it comes to user interface.

 Data Storage Limit

On premise servers have a data storage limit. The amount of space available is according to the capacity of the Hard Disks installed in the server. Storage space can be increased with additional hard disks at an additional cost. Online CRM offers unlimited storage space to organisations and space is never an area of concern. Systems do not slow down due to limited free space in an online CRM version.

 Technical Support

Some organisations feel that the technical support offered for On Premise CRM is better as they can physically monitor what is being done. However, Microsoft offers an equally good round the clock online technical support. The technical support for the Online CRM and On Premise CRM are similar with skilled technicians on the job. The On Premise technical support comes at an additional cost.

Larger organisations prefer the cloud hosted version for the ease of accessibility that the Online Microsoft Dynamics CRM offers. When it comes to cost there is not much difference in the two. They compensate in different areas. The online version requires you to pay per user while the onsite version doesn’t cost you a dime more for additional users. However the cost of security, maintenance, technical support and server hardware upgrades is eliminated in the online version.

The Dynamics CRM is one of the few CRMs which offer user both options of onsite as well as cloud hosting. Pragmasys technical experts can help you to make your decision regarding the suitable option based on your current setup and future requirements.

Email Configuration Exchange Online


Email integration with Dynamics CRM has become an integral part of day to day activity for most of the business users. This enables a user to respond to messages at a faster pace as opposed to logging into the system to respond. Below steps would enable the configuration with ease & improvise on productivity factors.

Email Configuration Exchange Online

Check for License grants

Before beginning with the configuration, we need to check whether appropriate license is given to the user or not.

To check the license provided to the user, follow the steps.

  1. Click on the main menu.
  2. Click on the Users, Active Users.
  1. Edit User, select the user listed.


Fig 1 : Go to Users record in admin portal

Email Configuration

2.1 2

  1. Click on the edit
  2. Check for Exchange Online (Plan 2) in your licenses and enable it.

If it is not available in your licenses then go to Billing section –> purchase services à select the product license which is having the Exchange Online (Plan 2) ( Ex : Office 365 Enterprise E3 Trial ).


Fig 3 : Enable the Exchange Online (Plan 2) service from the License assigned
Once the license is assigned and Exchange Online (Plan 2) is enabled. You are ready for Email Configuration.

Follow the below steps and refer the images along with.

Login to Dynamics CRM and navigate to Email Configuration as shown in the above Image.
Main Menu (1) -> Settings (2) -> Email Configuration


Click on the Email Server Profiles (1).

If Microsoft Exchange Online Record is not available, then

Click on NEW -> Exchange Online. Then save the record.
Now, navigate to Email Configuration



Click on Email Configuration Settings (1)

Email Configuration


Click on Email (1) -> Server Profile (2)

Select Email Server Profile Microsoft Exchange Online.

Appointment’s, contacts, and tasks select Server-Side Synchronization (3)

Click OK (4).

Then navigate to Email Configuration



Click on Mailboxes (1)



Select each record(s) from the list (1),

Click on the Approve Email button (2).

On the next window Click OK (3)

Open each record from the list which is approved.


Check (1), (2), (3)& (4) as shown in the above screenshot.

Then click on the Test & Enable Mailbox button (5).

Refresh the page.After a few moments (6), (7)& (8) will changed to Success as shown in the above screenshot.


If it shows Failed in thosefields instead, click on Alerts, check the error details and resolve the problem.Then try Test & Enable Mailbox (5) again.

Email Configuration POP3\SMTP

Below screens & steps would help establish POP3 or SMTP configuration for the Emails


Navigate to Email Configuration as shown in the above Image.

Main Menu (1) -> Settings (2) -> Email Configuration (3)

Click on Email Server Profiles (1).






 Click on NEW (1) -> POP3/SMTP Server (2)16

Provide details as displayed in the above image.

Name (1): Name of the Email Configuration

Incoming Server Location (2):

Outgoing Server Location (3):

Note: (2) & (3) will be dependent on the actual pop and smtp servers to be used.



Set Use same settings for Outgoing (4): No

User Name (5): your mail id.

Password (6): Password for the same mail id

Incoming Port (7): It is different for different service provider (POP)

Outgoing Port (8): It is different for different service provider (SMTP)



Next select the Email Configuration Settings (1)


Click on Email (1) -> Server Profile (2)

Select the Email Server Profile created above.

Then click OK (3).

Now navigate to Settings (1) -> Security (2) and click on Users


Select all the users (1), and click on Approve Email (2).

Now, navigate to Email Configuration


Click on Mailboxes (1)



Go to Active Mailboxes (1)

Open each record (2)


Provide details for following fields:

Name (1): Name of the Mailbox (User)

Email Address (2): Email Address of the user

Allow to use Credentials for Email Processing (3): Yes

User Name (4): Enteremail id

Password (5): EnterPassword

Server profile (6): Select the Email Server Profile

Incoming Email (7): Select as in image

Outgoing Email (8): Select as in image

 (11): Save

(12): Approve Email

(13): Test and Enable Mailbox

Value in fields (9) &(10) should change to Success after sometime.

If it shows Failed in those fields instead, click on Alerts, check the error details and resolve the problem. Then try Test & Enable Mailbox (5) again.

Power BI and its configuration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Making a revolution in Business Intelligence and Analytics, Microsoft introduced Power BI with a vision to provide improved & impactful live data visualization. Power BI, today, is a well-recognized application in the market with its extensive and powerful capabilities for business intelligence.
Power BI lets you connect to hundreds of data sources such as SQL Databases, Excel, Dynamics CRM, Facebook.

It extracts data from these data sources, easily transforms to related data structures and loads it from which you can create your own reports and interactive dashboards.


Figure 1: Example dashboard generated by Power BI


Advantages of using Power BI in Business context:

  1. Connects to a wide range of data sources.
  2. Helps getting the deepest business insights to boost your business productivity.
  3. Verbal ask for data provisioned by using Cortana Intelligence.
  4. Provides variety of content pack or service pack which automatically fetches data and creates interactive dashboards.
  5. Provides 360 degree Analytics for Organization, helps in keeping track of sales, gaining new customers and making strategies.
  6. Real time dashboard updates over secured live connectivity with data sources.

connect power BI with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online

It is quick and easy to connect Power BI to a Dynamics CRM Online instance. Sign up on Power BI online and follow the steps given below to connect to Dynamics CRM online.

As soon as you sign up, you can see Power BI logo on Office 365 panel.Click on it to navigate to Power BI online.


Figure 2: O365 Home Page


From Power BI Online page, as displayed in the next screenshot, click on Services to get Dynamics CRM service analytics pack.


Figure 3: Power BI Online

Point to remember: This service pack will automatically take data from your CRM instance and  will automatically create pre-populated dashboard similar as in below image:


Figure 4: Pre-populated Dashboard

Now, the dashboard is ready and we can embed it in Dynamics CRM, however first we need to enable Power BI embedding in Dynamics CRM settings.

Navigate to Settings->Administration->System Settings->Reporting in Dynamics CRMcontext using admin credentials.

Enable Power BI visualization embedding.

Navigate to Dashboards section and click New. Power BI Dashboard is now listed & available for use.


Figure 5: Dynamics 365 Dashboards section


Click on it and choose the dashboard you want to be displayed.

If as an Admin you wish to create a report of your own with your desired visuals, Power BI desktop version can be downloaded & installed on local box for further usage

Lets quickly walk through desktop version of Power BI.

Similar as online version, all you have to do, is to:

  1. Get the data from data source
  2. Create a visual, publish it to Power BI service (Online) and create a dashboard from there.
  3. It would ask for the Web API URL, that you change in the developer resources on Dynamics CRM.


Figure 6: Power BI data source selection

As seen above, Power BI provides a number of data sources to connect with.As of now, we will get the dynamics online data. It would ask for specific entities data, select that and start creating your report.

Select the entities; note that you can load as many entities as you want. It will also display the table of that entity.


Figure 7: Power BI entity selection

Note: If you load more than two entities and if those two entities have any relationships then it will automatically identify the possible relationships present in it.

After loading select the visualization and fields from entities and then publish it to power BI online.


Figure 8: Visualization creation screen


You can edit query as well from the data that you received, merge it, create a conditional column, add column, count it, group by it, create relationships etc.

You can maintain the gateways and schedule the refresh of datasets. You need to go to settingsàdatasets

The refresh history is also visible with their specific date &timestamps.

Enable Cortana Intelligence, one of the coolest features, by selecting “Allow Cortana Intelligence” under the option of Q&A.


It allows you to ask questions; so that whatever you ask for, you get the data you want in span of few minutes.


Figure 9:Power BI datasets


We can also make reports in Power BI online version same as that of Power BI Desktop.

Power BI is also available for mobile as “Power BI Mobile” and while creating reports and dashboards you get an option to enable it for mobile.


Published by

Seshan Dixit

Dynamics CRM Developer

Pragmasys Consulting LLP, Bangalore, India