Relationship Insights by Microsoft

Posted By
BDO

Overview

Relationship Insights leverages Microsoft AI to bring proactive suggestions to users based on data in Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Office 365. The suggestions appear as action cards in the Dynamics 365 interface and prompt users for follow-up actions like contact client, act on an opportunity or pursue a lead. The AI can also mine exchange emails to suggest actions based on emails received.

Relationship Insights is currently a public preview, which means it is available to evaluate but not supported in production as of yet.

By proactively suggesting next steps and actions, Relationship Insights addresses one of the primary hurdles to CRM adoption; do not make users work too hard.

Pros:

  • Proactively identifies next steps with no user interaction
  • Mines existing Dynamics 365 and Office 365 data
  • User friendly and very visible in the UI

Cons:

  • Public preview only (not supported in production)
  • Increases the load time on dashboards and records where it is displayed
  • No current guidance on additional costs for the service or if it is included in the subscription

Who is it for

Relationship Insights is largely aimed at sales professionals who work with leads and have longer opportunity cycles. Service roles can also benefit if the case resolution time is longer (i.e. not same day resolution). By focusing on data in Dynamics 365 and Office 365 and incorporating AI services to recommend next actions, Relationship Insights takes advantage of data your organization already has.

The service appears to be one of the first in Microsoft’s new AI-driven value-added services.

How to Activate Relationship Insights

Relationship Insights requires several services to function – this may be a limitation for many organizations. The following steps are required to enable the service:

Enable Relationship Insights

Go to:

  • System > Administration > System Settings
  • In the preview tab, click the checkbox beside “I have read and agree to the license terms.”
  • Select Yes beside Relationship Insights
  • Click OK (Figure 1)

Required Services

From the Microsoft configuration steps for  :

Auto capture also requires the following:

  • You must use Microsoft Exchange Online as your email server.
  • Users must use the web client for CS 365 (online) (other front ends are not supported).
  • For each user that requires access to this feature, you must approve their email address to allow queries against Exchange (requires tenant-level admin privileges). More information:Approve email.
  • To track incoming email messages, you must set up server-side synchronization. More information:Set up server-side synchronization of email, appointments, contacts, and tasks.

Email engagement also requires the following:

 

Configure Action Cards

Individual Action Cards can be further configured to prompt users based on the actions below (Figure 2).

 

How to use it

Relationship Insights runs as a service in the background, based on the configuration rules defined in the administrative settings. When a prompt is identified, it is presented to the end user as an action card on:

  • A Social Dashboard
  • A CRM record (Figure 3)

 

The action card is presented in the activity pane and can be acted on or dismissed by the user. Relevant action cards can also be accessed by a new link in the activity pane labelled “Assistant.”

The relationship assistant is also accessible from the mobile application on a phone or tablet (Figure 4).

 

Auto Capture

In addition to the Relationship Assistant, auto capture of email is available. This, and email engagement, are optional features that are not required for the relationship assistant to function.

Auto capture scans exchange for any emails related to CRM work where the email address maps to an existing CRM record, and displays these alongside the tracked emails on a record.

Email Engagement

Email engagement enables email tracking, provides feedback and prompts to end users on tracked emails when:

  • An email is opened
  • An attachment is opened
  • A reply is sent

The feedback based on email activity is presented to the end user as an activity card in the same location as the relationship assistant.

Relationship Health Dashboard

Although not available in the current public preview, the next release of Relationship Insights will include additional functionality, including a relationship health dashboard (Figure 5).

Conclusion

Relationship Insights is the first of a new breed of AI-based services that will be offered by Microsoft. The service leverages data from your existing subscriptions, Dynamics 365 and Office 365, to prompt users on next steps or follow-up activities.

Although still in public preview, and not yet supported in production, the Relationship Insight service looks promising. It also addresses one of the main hurdles in CRM adoption by proactively suggesting next steps and action items without manual user data entry.


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