Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Office 365: Perfect Together

Microsoft Office 365 is turning into a true business standard software like no other. Microsoft Office has been the business productivity software of choice, and with companies trying to lower information technology costs and increasing capabilities, more businesses large and small are turning to Microsoft Office 365. What is unusual is that businesses are not only turning to the Office 365 cloud for the increased capabilities: business find that the cost of Office 365 is the same as buying Microsoft Office on a disk version and upgrading with each new version. That means that offices are really getting SharePoint Server, Exchanges Server, and Lync Server and the technical management of the services are all included at no cost at all. SharePoint provides document storage and collaboration for offices large and small. Lync offers video and audio teleconferencing as well as enterprise IM, over secure channels. Lync also has presence enabled so you can track your employees and know who is working, who is idle, and who is not there at all. Exchange Server with legally compliant archiving gives your users a professional mailbox of massive size and perfect reliability, while protecting your company with a legally compliant archive, which saves everything that gets deleted. Other sophisticated uses for Exchange and Outlook abound, including mobile use. Microsoft Office desktop software by subscription always ensures that your users have proper licenses and the best and most current version of Microsoft Office at all times. Unlike the disk version of Microsoft Office, which now lets you install to only one device, the Microsoft Office 365 Desktop Version of Microsoft Office allows your users to have Office on up to five devices, leaving them no excuse for not taking home unfinished work!

What most people do not realize about Microsoft Office 365 is that it is designed as core functionality for users, but that all of the other great server programs like Microsoft Dynamic CRM, Microsoft Dynamics GP, and Microsoft Project Server, among others, have been developed in a cloud form with facilities to interface to the capabilities of Office 365. This provides the benefits of a single sign-on with the actual integration of server applications. The first enterprise server software to be integrated with Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics CRM offers services that dovetail with the capabilities of all of the Office 365 software. Dynamics CRM shows you who in your business is signed in and working at the time by showing a green light next to their name, a yellow light if they are idle for some minutes, and a red light if they are gone. This capability of presence comes from Lync. It is even available in reports that can be seen and printed from CRM. Enterprises and small companies can see what is happening in real-time. Dynamics CRM also integrates with Exchange server and Desktop Outlook. CRM uses Outlook and Exchange to send and receive messages, which are then recorded into the CRM records of the appropriate contacts and accounts. CRM helps clean and maintain a single standardized list of contacts and companies, which is then shared in Outlook and in CRM with all employees. Dynamics CRM uses SharePoint server as a document and data repository, and has integrations to utilize and maintain connection transparently. Users can even upload and download documents from within CRM as if it was the native application. The flexibility for how the linkage of CRM entities to SharePoint is great, allowing for companies that want to use their own folder structures or even different sub-sites for clients and projects.

The video included in this article shows you more visually how smoothly Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft Office 365 work together.

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