Dynamics 365 – Teams. Love at first SITE (pun intended)..

The Team

Hi everyone, meet Knut and Kjetil.

Knut is a salesperson at Point Taken. He just came across a HUGE deal that he has registered in Dynamics 365. This deal is so big that Knut will need the assistance of several resources to deliver. One of these resources is Kjetil, a SharePoint consultant.

The setup

Knut enters the details needed for the Dynamics 365 deal

Knowing that this opportunity is HUGE, Knut starts by creating a new channel in the Offers Team (name is “General” for demo purposes).

The connection

Knut has now setup the structure for collaboration, and is ready to connect Teams and Dynamics 365 together.
Well done KNUT!! 🙂

Add the Dynamics 365 connection for the tab in the channel

Knut chooses the correct opportunity record.

When Knut is done, he can see the newly created connection message in Teams. The above message indicates that Teams and Dynamics successfully connected.

The harmony begins

Kjetil begins right away with the PowerPoint they will need to win this deal. Kjetil does not have a license for Dynamics, so he creates the PowerPoint in Teams because this is the natural place for collaboration.

Knut can now choose to navigate Teams or Dynamcis 365, because the systems are working with the same document location.

Knut and Kjetil represent 2 different work processes, but are harmonizing well when referring to the ONE TRUTH document. Well done you to!!!

Dynamics and Teams in perfect harmony!

Dynamics 365 + SharePoint. Why is this still an problem?

Microsoft has used words like “seamlessly” integrated when speaking about Dynamics 365 and SharePoint, and I have hated it since day one. CRM and SharePoint never seemed to get it right, and after a while I feel they just gave up. The current state of the integration is in most cases utterly useless.

Larger companies

The larger companies will require scalability and security. The integration has none of these in combination. The standard integration has absolutely no idea what security is, and therefore opens all documents for everyone with site access. In larger organizations they might want to separate the BU’s or even more granular access like team access in CRM. This is where you have to use 3rd party tools like Connecting Software. The second you start adding security to folders, you will hit the cap of 50k something unique permissions in a DocLib.

Result: Fail

Smaller companies

The smaller companies have the highest requirements in regards to simplicity. They expect it to be easy to drag/drop files, navigate a simple folder structure, merge documents from CRM that end up in the SP folder etc. In general the smaller companies are always benchmarking the CRM system against smaller collaboration solutions, and therefore expect simple usage. Again the standard isn’t enough.

Result: Fail

Microsoft Teams, the new hope

So with the introduction of Teams + Dynamics integration, we might be somewhat closer to a solution for collaboration that could work. For the first time it makes sense to include others outside of Dynamics 365 to collaborate on the documents. A salesperson could now easily work together with others in the organization that don’t have the Dynamics license. I will show you how in a later blogpost.

Does this mean that we can use the word “seamless” in regards to integration? NOPE, but we are one step closer. My biggest concern is still that the product teams working on this seem to be forgetting to solve the simple features. When you merge a document out of Dynamics, it should be easy to put it back in to Dynamics (SP folder) where it belongs! We should need to have solutions like Documents Core Pack or Xperido for the simple templates.

Anyway. Stay tuned for the next blog when I show how cool the new integration with Teams is:)


Installing SharePoint connector Dynamics 365 Online

The SharePoint standard connector will work for customers with simple needs for collaboration. There is a Teams integration available soon, and I will write about that once it is released in Europe.

Start off by creating a new site in SharePoint. I prefer to create everything on a new site, because then we can control the site better.

Copy the URL of the site before you move on back to CRM.

I prefer to create folder for the entities Account and Opportunity. Remove all the other entities in the simple demo (not that it really matters).

I prefer to have a structure based on account. This will create opportunity folders bellow the account folder.

If it all worked out, you can now open an opportunity with account connected.

Opening the document on opportunity will now give full access to storing documents in SharePoint. I will write an extended blog about considerations to make when integrating this to Teams later.