The arrival of Unified Interface for Dynamics 365 CE (Customer Engagement), has been buzzing around for a while. In 2018, Microsoft announced it was coming and the functionality is now available. Important for Dynamics 365 CE users is that from September 2019 no new functionality has been developed on the “old” web client.

The automatic transition date therefore differs per customer and for some customers this has already been in effect from January 2020. Kevin Brown, Sales Director – Customer Engagement at HSO explains what Unified Interface means, what the benefits are and what you need to do before you transfer.

Kevin: What is the Unified Interface for Dynamics 365 CE?

The core of Unified Interface is that it has a consistent and accessible user experience on every device, so whether you’re working on your desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone. Microsoft’s goal is to improve the user experience and ensure that users can work more efficiently.

What is important to know?

To find out when your organisation will change, you can use the following link if you have admin rights: https://runone.powerappsportals.com. If the date is getting very close and you would you like to request an extension, this is possible. Microsoft provides an option to request a short delay and HSO can help you with this.

What are the benefits of Unified Interface?

Overall, the navigation of the Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement apps has improved significantly. You navigate faster through the different apps and the data is presented more clearly. The layout of the forms has been adjusted using tabs. In these tabs, the data is presented clearly and the user can navigate to the relevant data faster.

What else stands out?

Unified Interface Custom Control

Example Custom Control

  • Custom controls – these are custom controls, which are visual elements that you can use on forms and views to display fields with standard data (text or numbers) in a different, graphical way. As in the example on the right.
  • Timeline management – using the timeline, the user can easily follow all communication with the customer over time.
  • Reference panel – with the reference panel, you can look up all kinds of information, such as knowledge articles within the context of the record you are in, without leaving your screen.
  • Reflow – responsive design adjusts based on screen size. So the more space available, the more information can be displayed.
  • Better performance – a major advantage of Unified Interface for Dynamics 365 is the better performance. Grid, forms and dashboards load much faster.
  • Business Process Flow – the process steps are “collapsed” by default. The process step in progress can be linked to the screen via the “coupling mechanism”. This is especially useful for complex steps.
Unified Inteface Dynamics 365 Business Process Flow

Example Business Process Flow

 

Below you can see an example overview of an account. As you can see, this is no longer made up of blocks, but of tabs, giving you more overview, less scrolling and clicking.

Unified Interface D365 Account

Example Account Overview

Each user has it’s own group

Unified Interface fits Microsoft’s strategy to work more and more app-based. You can set up different apps based on, for example, business process or user groups. Based on the authorisation, you give users access to one or more apps or modules. This immediately provides more speed and ease of use. A user can also have access to multiple apps depending on his or her role in the process. You can also create apps for external users, such as your telemarketing agency, which gives you access to only the customer data that they really need to do their work.

What do you have to take into account before you transfer?

The Unified Interface is a change for the user, which you really have to get used to. That is why I recommend testing your use cases and processes properly in a separate acceptance or test environment where Unified Interface and the apps are set up, and involving your core users. Is everything still working or is it necessary to adjust processes (such as business rules or workflows) or to rearrange forms or tabs, for example? If you have custom code in the current system, it is certainly recommended to test it properly and to adjust it if necessary. Given all the new possibilities in the Unified Interface, you may also see opportunities to set up certain processes more efficiently.

Because it is possible with the new UI to set up role-based apps and modules, the current security model can be examined: how many users are there, which roles are distinguished, are they still required in the current form or can this be set up differently? This transition is also a great opportunity for this.

What now?

That is a good question! If you are well prepared, have tested the various apps including authorisation, custom code and processes and have informed your users well, then you can in principle already do this. After all, the new interface has many advantages.

HSO offers a quick scan to ensure that you are not faced with surprises. In a few days we will map out the impact for your organisation and you will receive a step-by-step plan to make the transition to the Unified Interface. Feel free to contact us via your HSO contact person or send a message to Kevin Brown.

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Also read: Attention Dynamics 365 CE users! These changes await you.