Now in preview: Relationship Insights for Dynamics 365

Applies to: December 2016 Update for Microsoft Dynamics 365 (online) and December 2016 Service Pack for Microsoft Dynamics 365 (on-premises)

This year brought major changes to the Microsoft CRM platform—even its name changed from Dynamics CRM to Dynamics 365. Dynamics 365 still provides all the familiar capabilities of Dynamics CRM, but now also aims to break down the invisible barriers that have traditionally existed between CRM, ERP, productivity software, and other systems that business professionals use every day. Going forward, the platform will also take increasing advantage of the scalability, data integration, and advanced processing power of the Microsoft Azure cloud-computing infrastructure. And already now, you can get your first glimpse of some of benefits this change has made possible by previewing the new Relationship Insights suite of features.

Relationship Insights leverages the data-integration and artificial-intelligence capabilities built into Azure to combine and analyze your Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Outlook data. It uses the insights derived from this analysis to surface features that help guide your daily work, find critical opportunities, manage email communications, identify actionable email messages, and propose the best path forward. Relationship Insights features are context sensitive, so the information they present and the suggestions they make are always most relevant to whatever you are doing (or should be doing) right now.

The Relationship Insights suite currently includes the following features: the relationship assistant, email engagement, and auto capture.

Relationship Insights is currently in preview, which means that it is considered stable but is still under development. Microsoft makes preview features available to give customers early access and a chance to provide feedback. Preview features aren’t meant for production use and may have limited or restricted functionality. The Relationship Insights preview is currently available only for North American sites that use US English (en-us).

The Dynamics 365 online help provides everything you need to know to enable, set up, and use the Relationship Insights preview. Here are a few handy links:

  • For a detailed overview of the various Relationship Insights features and their capabilities, see the Relationship Insights overview.
  • For prerequisites and instruction on how to enable and configure the preview, see Configure Relationship Insights features.
  • For details about the relationship assistant, which helps salespeople and support staff organize their daily work and nurture vital business relationships, see the Relationship assistant topic. The relationship assistant uses data analytics and artificial intelligence to generate a collection of interactive action cards, which are presented throughout the application to deliver important information, advice, and action buttons related to your current ongoing activities, scheduled activities, and whatever you are doing right now. It also monitors your incoming email message and applies natural-language analysis to identify travel plans, customer requests, competitor mentions, and other relevant communications. This feature is available both in the web interface and in the mobile interface, where its space-efficient design and context awareness deliver extra value.
  • See the Action cards reference for details about the various types of action cards that can be generated by the relationship assistant.
  • For details about email engagement, which helps salespeople and support staff get more out of their email communications, see the Email engagement topic. Features include delivery scheduling, follow-up alerts, and the ability to see when contacts open your messages and attachments. Email engagement features are available in both in the Dynamics 365 web interface and in the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook.
  • For details about auto capture, which finds email messages from your Outlook mailbox that could be relevant to the record you are currently viewing in Dynamics 365, see the Auto capture topic. Messages found by auto capture remain private to you, but you can choose to track any found message with a single click without having to open Outlook. Tracked messages are imported into Dynamics 365 and added as an activity for the relevant record, where the rest of your team can also see them. Auto capture is only available in the web interface for Dynamics 365, though you can also track messages manually using existing controls in Outlook.

Most Relationship Insights features require Dynamics 365 Online, and the Outlook integration features require Microsoft Outlook Online. The only Relationship Insights feature available to on-premises installations is the relationship assistant, which provides just a subset of action cards. For full requirements, see Configure Relationship Insights features.