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Preview feature: Relationship Insights overview

We're introducing a new suite of features called Relationship Insights, which continuously analyzes the vast collection of customer-interaction data already stored in your Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Exchange systems, to help you better understand your business relationships, evaluate your activities in relation to previous successes, and choose the best path forward.

Relationship Insights includes the following features, which all work together to amplify their individual strengths:

  • Relationship assistant

  • Email engagement

  • Auto capture

All of these features are available as preview features in the December 2016 update for Microsoft Dynamics 365 (online) and are only available in North American sites that use US English (en-us). Some basic features of the relationship assistant are also available in the December 2016 Service Pack for Microsoft Dynamics 365 (on-premises). Additional restrictions apply depending on which versions of Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Exchange you are running. For complete details about how to enable these preview features, plus version requirements, prerequisites, and any known issues, see Preview feature: Configure Relationship Insights features.

A preview feature is a feature that is not complete, but is made available before it’s officially in a release so customers can get early access and provide feedback. Preview features aren’t meant for production use and may have limited or restricted functionality.

When fully included in the product, Relationship Insights will help salespeople work more effectively while nurturing and enhancing their business relationships.


Microsoft doesn't provide support for this preview feature. Microsoft Dynamics 365 technical support won’t be able to help you with issues or questions. Preview features aren't meant for production use and are subject to a separate supplemental terms of use for preview features.

Send us feedback

We are making this preview available so that you can try it and let us know what you think. Your feedback will help us prioritize work to include the capabilities you need most. We ask that you give us your suggestions and report problems by using our publicly available feedback site: Microsoft Ideas

Getting started

As with most preview features, your administrator must enable each Relationship Insights feature before you can try it out. For complete details about prerequisites, how to enable each preview, and how to set them up, see Preview feature: Configure Relationship Insights features.

The relationship assistant automatically shows you the right information at the right time

The relationship assistant is constantly at work, keeping an eye on your activities, records, and communications with customers. It analyzes your daily actions and communications and uses them to drive insights that help you focus on what’s important today, and how to optimize your communications to help nurture healthy business relationships going forward.

The assistant combines and analyzes all of the information at its disposal, and then generates a collection of action cards, which are displayed as your entry point to Dynamics 365 on mobile devices, and as a carousel or column display on your web-based dashboards. When working with individual records you’ll see the action cards that apply directly to that record (all record types are supported, including custom entities). Many different types of cards are available, each of which provides tailored information, helpful links, and action controls for working with that information.

The system reminds you of upcoming activities; it evaluates your communications and suggests when it might be time to reach out to a contact that’s been inactive for a while; it identifies email messages that may be waiting for a reply from you; it alerts you when an important opportunity is nearing its close date; and much more.

More information: Preview feature: Relationship assistant, Preview feature: Action cards reference

Get more out of email with email engagement

Email engagement helps you create more effective email messages—and to learn how your contacts are interacting with them. Stay on top of your email and prioritize those prospects or customers that are most engaged.

When writing a new message, get started quickly by choosing the most effective content template, with recommendations based on previous open and reply rates.

Create followed email messages, which let you know when a recipient opens the email, clicks a link, opens an attachment, or sends a reply.

Write your messages when it's convenient for you, but schedule delivery for when they're most likely to be noticed and read by recipients. The system even checks recipients' time zones to provide advice about when the best delivery times might be.

Set yourself a reminder for when it’s time to follow up on a message. Your reminder is provided as an action card displayed by the relationship assistant, so it will be brought to your attention right away. Each card includes links to help you investigate, act upon, snooze, or dismiss the card.

You can view the status and history of your followed messages anywhere they are shown in Dynamics 365. The current status and most-recent interaction are shown right in the Activities list for any record where the email is relevant, and you can expand the listing to see the full interaction history.

To protect the privacy preferences of your customers, you can choose to not allow followed messages for individual contacts by setting a flag on their contact or lead record.

More information: Preview feature: Email engagement

Find and track relevant messages from your Exchange server with auto capture

Dynamics 365 can now analyze your email messages directly in Microsoft Exchange to find all messages that might be relevant to your work in Dynamics 365. The system looks for messages to or from relevant email addresses, and presents you with the relevant messages right in Dynamics 365. With just one click, you can track any of the suggested messages in Dynamics 365, which makes them available to your sales team and also for use by other Relationship Insights features.

You can still track messages in Dynamics 365 in all the ways that you could before, including by using the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook or tracked folders. All tracked messages in Dynamics 365 are available to Relationship Insights features.

More information: Preview feature: Auto capture

Privacy notices

By enabling the Relationship Assistant feature, limited exchange data, specifically a sender's name and email address as well as excerpts of the email body, is retrieved by Dynamics 365, but not stored, for the purpose of showing relevant insights of your email. An administrator can enable and disable the Relationship Assistant feature by navigating to Settings > Relationship Insights, clicking the Relationship Assistant tab, and then making the appropriate selection.

The external components involved with Relationship Assistant functionality are detailed in the following sections.


Relationship Assistant uses Bing to search for relevant news to display to a user by using the account names from that user’s Dynamics 365 data.

MSN Money

Relationship Assistant uses MSN Money to show relevant stock information to a user by using the account ticker symbol from that user’s Dynamics 365 data.

By enabling Email Engagement, a Relationship Insights feature, when an email marked with the Follow setting is sent from Dynamics 365, information about interactions with the email by recipients will be collected and stored in Azure for the purposes of computing recipient activity KPIs and interactions on “followed” emails.

A system administrator enables Email Engagement by provisioning the feature from the Email Engagement tab within Relationship Insights. Administrators can subsequently disable Email Engagement in the organization from the Relationship Insights node, under Settings.

When the feature has been disabled, emails sent from Dynamics 365 cannot be followed, either from the user interface or programmatically. Also, recipient interaction data will no longer be collected on sent emails that were marked with the Follow setting. Any data previously collected will remain in Azure and will be available again if the feature is re-enabled in the organization. Data is retained for 90 days after customers terminate their subscription with Microsoft. Dynamics 365 users can also disable the Relationship Insights - Email Engagement functionality on a per Contact or per Lead basis by changing the Follow Email setting under Contact Preferences.

Azure components and services that are involved with Email Engagement functionality are detailed below.

Note: For more information about additional Azure service offerings, see the Microsoft Azure Trust Center.

Azure Storage Account

The Email Engagement feature uses Azure Storage Account to temporarily store email interaction blobs.

By enabling the Auto Capture feature, Exchange data is retrieved by Dynamics 365, but not stored, to show email activity to the signed-in user. Users can explicitly 'track' these emails to copy Exchange emails into Dynamics 365 as an Email Activity, to be shared with the appropriate users as configured by Dynamics 365 permissions.

An administrator enables and disables the Auto Capture feature by navigating to Settings > Relationship Insights, clicking the Auto Capture tab, and then making the appropriate selection. A user can also disable the Auto Capture feature on the Email tab within Personal Options, by changing Show email not tracked in Dynamics 365 in the Activities list to No.

Applies To

Dynamics 365 (online)

Dynamics 365 (on-premises)