A sneak peek of the new Outlook-Dynamic 365 functionality

Illustration of the new outlook Dynamics functionality with Microsoft, Dynamics and Outlook logos with male character

There’s a new version of Outlook on its way, which Rocket CRM’s Dirk Cuthbertson was allowed to preview, and he likes what he sees, but there are some changes that anyone using the integration with Microsoft Dynamics 365 will need to communicate to their users.  

Dirk’s sneak peek of the new fuctionality

“Firstly, a big caveat, the version of Outlook I’m currently using is a preview; there are likely to be some changes before the final version is rolled out to all users.  

As with any Microsoft Office update, everything you could do before can still be done, but things have been moved around, and the icons have changed – that sort of thing. Generally speaking, the new layout is much more efficient. I found that my normal vertical folder/inbox/preview/D365 pane layout in the new Outlook didn’t quite work, so I’ve changed to splitting my inbox and preview panes to above and below, which now works well.

However, this isn’t really an article about Outlook; it’s more about its interaction with Dynamics 365. There are two big changes that I’ve noticed so far, and something nice for ClickDimensions users too. 

Turning on the Microsoft Dynamics 365 For Outlook extension

If you are used to using the Outlook web client, this will be service as normal. The reduced range of command options in the main command bar means that the Dynamics 365 integration is now related only to the email itself. The impact is that now instead of accessing the Outlook plugin here…  

 

Screen shot of Dynamics 365 plugin for Outlook.

…you now access it here:

Click on the ellipsis and the drop down menu will appear like so:

Tracking changes 

This is HUGE… and about time too!  

Currently, our advice is to set your email tracking (in your Personalization [sic] Settings) to Email messages in response to Dynamics 365 email“. If you do this, you have to manually track your initial email. Any replies to that email are then automatically tracked. However, if you reply to the reply, you must manually track it again.  

Now, once tracked, the whole email chain gets tracked.

Let that soak in for a second… you track your outbound email, the reply is tracked and then your reply to the reply, and all other subsequent emails in the chain, are going to be tracked without any further action needed.

I said it was huge! 

Word of caution 

There is a slight downside; if users are used to tracking that third email (the response to the reply), they may not realise that it is being tracked. Say, for example, your client’s reply needs to be forwarded to a colleague; if you don’t stop tracking, that email will be tracked, their reply will be tracked, and your email back asking if their <insert embarrassing personal ailment here> has cleared up. Yep, that’s tracked too. You see the potential problem, albeit one that’s easily solved.  

Background images in ClickDimensions Emails

If you are a ClickDimensions user, you are probably aware that Outlook as a receiving Email Client comes with some challenges. One is that background images in sections do not display. I was working on a solution for a client of Rocket CRM on the day that I switched to the preview of Outlook, and whilst testing my solution, I noticed that this issue is now resolved.  

Now, obviously, the issue for you as a sender is not solved until everyone has migrated to the new Outlook, and it will likely be several months before it will even be in general release and even after that, it will be quite some time before you can be reasonably sure that the vast majority of your email recipients using Outlook are on the latest version. So some backward compatibility still needs to be factored into your email design. But it’s a definite step in the right direction.  

Conclusion

So these are just three things I’ve noticed so far, and the preview is updated quite often. It’s unlikely these features will disappear, and hopefully, there’s more to come. We’ll let you know if we spot anything else. “

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ABOUT ROCKET CRM 

Rocket CRM is a Microsoft Dynamics 365, and a platinum ClickDimensions accredited partner, helping small to medium-sized businesses and charities harness the power of scalable CRM technology. Our mission is to make powerful CRM software simple with custom-built, user-focused solutions.  

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