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Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 ~ Rich CRM Email and Appointments

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 ~ Rich CRM Email and Appointments

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Ok, let’s be real. When you think about the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Outlook Client, “Track in CRM” is usually the first thing that comes to mind. The reason so many of you use Microsoft Dynamics CRM is because of Microsoft Outlook integration, and when you think about Outlook integration, you think about Track in CRM.

Well, we took Email and Appointments to a whole new level in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011.

Track in Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Let’s walk through some of the new features. We’ll start where you start every morning, coffee in hand: your Inbox:

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So you start your day, you read some emails, and you Track a few of them. But in the new Microsoft Dynamics CRM Outlook Client, you are given contextual CRM information about that email you just tracked! For all the contacts on the email, right from your Reading Pane, you see the related record links in CRM. These links are nicely organized by record type for easy reading, and you can click on these links to open up the CRM forms. And if one of the recipients isn’t in CRM? They show up in red fonts showing that they are unresolved. You’re one click away from creating them right from your inbox:

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Want to convert the email to an opportunity or a case? Want to add a Connection to a new product? It’s all available to you, right in your inbox

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But what if I get lots of emails, from lots of people, and I don’t want to manually create them every time? Well, in the new Microsoft Dynamics CRM Outlook Client, you’re able to have contacts/leads auto-Created from sender email id just by Tracking the Email. And you won’t have to search around in complex menus for your CRM options anymore, just click on “Options” in your reading pane to manage these settings!

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So if Track in CRM wasn’t your favorite feature, it should be now! But we didn’t just stop there, let’s look at the cutting edge in CRM Email and Appointment integration.

Rich CRM Email and Appointments

One of the things we’ve heard you loud and clear on is that you don’t want to choose between the richness of outlook, and the flexibility of CRM. You want to have the rich surface of Microsoft Outlook to type your emails (I can’t live without spell check), but you want the flexibility of CRM (Mult—language email, anyone?). You want your custom fields, your web resources, your sales literature, your KB articles, and of course your email templates while sending business emails via Outlook.

Well, we heard you loud and clear. Let me introduce you to Rich CRM Email:

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Your CRM templates, KB articles, and sales literature are all easily accessible from your Outlook Email Form. We also gave you a Most Recently Used list, so you can quickly get to the items you use most often.

Some of you are wondering, though, what that “CRM Fields” button does? Well, that gives you the ability to edit your custom CRM fields directly from your Outlook Email Form!

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So no more writing emails, Tracking them, sending them, then finding them in CRM to edit your CRM fields. You can do all that in the same window in Outlook!

Here are some things to note:

1. By customizing the fields on your CRM email, they will show up in the CRM Fields page. Feel free to high five the person next to you.

2. The CRM Fields page is also available for Appointments as well. I suggest a chest bump this time.

3. You can also now Track recurring appointments. Victory Lap!

Anything you’re still wondering about? Just let me know. Stay tuned for more posts on how administrators can administer CRM data filters, and the story about Multi Instances inside your Outlook!

Cheers,

Tripp Parker

  • I was looking through the beta and there still isn't a way to close an appointment as completed in CRM from the Outlook form.  I know we could put a check box or something on the more fields form and use workflow to close the appointment but a button seems more useful.  Any idea if this is slated for the release candidate?

  • What about shared calendars??? You still can't set regarding items inside a shared calendar only your own?

  • Thanks for the feedback! Unfortunately, we haven't integrated the form ribbons, so that button isn't available (yet). It's definitely on the table for the future, though, and the workaround you stated should work in the meantime.

  • @Leanne Actually, we do support delegated (or shared) calendars in the Outlook client. I'm going to add this to blog queue, thanks for bringing it up! Are there any other things you are wondering about in the OLK client?

  • Wow great article, I was just wondering about a scenario I have, i'm using the Case entity as a correspondence tracking System, and I've created a button to sends the case as an email when the user chooses to do so. now i want that if the contact replies back, the message should be added as an incoming email activity to the case, can you please let me know how to configure this?

  • Hey Mohamed,

    Are you using the Outlook Client/Email Router to send out the email? If so, sending the tracked email (and making sure that the regarding is set to the case), I believe should solve work for you. Any reply to this email will be autotracked and the same regarding value used (if your settings are set to do this, take a look at them in the personal options dialog).

    I believe you could also accomplish this via a queue/workflow, if you wanted.

  • Is there any possibility of the CRM tag that gets added to the subject line going away? Example CRM:00103485042

  • Mandy,

    You already have an option to get rid of the tracking toke.  It's called smart tracking, and it was introduced in v 4

  • Is it possible to track emails within CRM if they have been archived in Outlook?

  • Great Post!

    Can the CRM fields handle Java Script?  Based on the Category value selected drive the visibility of additional CRM Fields?

  • How does CRM 2011 track email marketing campaigns e.g. where a hyperlink is included in an email how can you monitor who's clicked on this link? I've not used this facility yet and am just curious as to how this works.... thanks.

  • Nice write-up Tripp.

    Question regarding displaying the CRM Fields (Excellent Feature!) - Is it planned to support for others types beside Email and Appointment?  Like Task/Contact?  Custom Activity Types?  I'm surprised that Show CRM Field for Outlook Task and Contact are left out.

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