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Microsoft Deepens Integration Between Dynamics 365 and Teams
by Daniel Newman | March 3, 2021

The News: Coming soon, new integrations will bring together Teams events with the robust attendee management experiences from Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing. Managing attendee information across Microsoft Teams and Dynamics 365 Marketing to nurture attendees before, during, and after the event is now easier than ever before. Microsoft also announced several more integrations between Teams and Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement apps.

Read the full news piece from Microsoft.

Analyst Take: Over the past year, as work shifted from office to remote for many, we saw a massive uptick in adopting collaboration platforms. This has led to significant growth for companies like Zoom, Webex, and most notably, Microsoft Teams.

At the onset of the 2020 Covid-19 Pandemic, Microsoft Teams had around 11 million daily active users of teams. By the end of 2020, the company had over 115 million daily active users.

Dynamics 365 has also been popular over the last year. In its most recent quarter, its growing cloud-based business application suite saw 39% growth. Almost double what the market leader Salesforce announced in its most recent earnings. The faster growth isn’t apple and apples yet, as Salesforce CRM is about 6x revenue of Microsoft’s D365 offering, but I’ve been clear in saying that Microsoft is the most likely to put pressure on Salesforce.

The increasing integration that is taking place between Teams and Dynamics 365 is addressing the need for a remote work operating system. Over the past year, we have seen Microsoft do more to integrate its architecture into teams with Power BI and Apps making their way into the platform. Productivity tools from O365 have also become native to the platform. Pop-outs have made it easy to fully function within Teams, even when using a small(ish) laptop.

As I see it, the goal is for remote and soon hybrid work to be done in its entirety, without ever leaving the Teams platform.

The announcements made at this year’s Ignite further those ambitions by tying the full Dynamics 365 application suite and Teams together in ways that make daily work and activities flow more naturally. This cuts across marketing, service, finance, commerce, and even HR.

What’s Notable in the Teams and D365 Integration

Features that caught my attention include new capabilities to meet, chat, and collaborate within the Dynamics 365 workspace. No need to switch between your biz app and your Teams app. It is all integrated.

Also, the embedded Teams chat experience in Dynamics 365 creates an easy-to-view side panel that shows interactions within an account and all personnel tied to a particular account. Giving tighter visibility between the account, those working on the account, and the actions required. Digital assistant capabilities also provide suggestions to optimize interactions and support needs that a particular customer may have—all within Dynamics 365.

Another new feature that caught my attention is the embedded dialer that enables voice and video to be initiated within the D365 environment. If the next best action requires a voice or video call, that can be launched within Dynamics 365 without bouncing to Teams or using another calling method.

LinkedIn Integration

The MSIgnite announcements also brought some much-needed integration with LinkedIn. Right within D365 Sales, teams can track the movements of contacts using LinkedIn Sales Navigator. Also, LinkedIn Sales Insights will be viewable right within the D365 environment. While the API for LinkedIn remains flexible broadly beyond Microsoft Dynamics and Biz Apps, I’ve been eager to see deeper integrations with LinkedIn.

Side Note: Teams Delivers E2E

While outside of the Dynamics integration, I wanted to take a moment to address a newly announced feature that I felt was important to address going concerns for enhanced security in collaboration platforms. Teams announced that it would support end-to-end encryption (E2EE) for one-to-one Microsoft Teams calls. This feature provides an additional option for conducting sensitive online conversations, and IT will have full control over who can use E2EE in the organization. I’m happy to see E2EE for Microsoft Teams being prioritized. This capability was something Zoom released in its most recent quarter. According to the announcements, one-to-one ad hoc VoIP calls will be available to commercial customers in preview in the first half of this calendar.

Overall Impressions of Teams + Dynamics 365

The operating system for the hybrid work experience will likely become a more central part of the future employee experience. Bouncing between apps is antiquated, and the integrations with Teams are making this less problematic. This type of functionality in time will become table stakes. Microsoft, having inherent advantages because of its full suite of software, platform, and infrastructure–but formidable competition will rise, likely using APIs to combat Microsoft’s completeness.

An encouraging debut of robust features making remote work and business applications more useful and seamless… As it should be.

Futurum Research provides industry research and analysis. These columns are for educational purposes only and should not be considered in any way investment advice.

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Image: HPE

About the Author

Daniel Newman is the Principal Analyst of Futurum Research and the CEO of Broadsuite Media Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise. Read Full Bio