First Glance: the brand new Engagement Hub in Dynamics CRM 2016

With Dynamics CRM 2016 comes the brand new Engagement Hub. I just received a preview instance of Dynamics CRM 2016 and did some initial testing of the look and feel of the new Engagement Hub

This new online user experience (UX) design provides a modern and intuitive end user experience for customer service roles.

Dashboards and forms have been completely redesigned for this interactive service hub. Visual filtering and applied filtering in the new dashboards will help you prioritize your workloads and complete your most urgent tasks. The interactive service hub comes with a multi-stream dashboard for use by, for example, Tier 1 agents and a single-stream dashboard for use by, for example, Tier 2 agents.

The streams can show data from Views or Queues (e.g.: My Activities, My Cases, Cases from Queues I'm a member of etc.). Interactive charts provide a visual snapshot of key metrics related to the work items, and also double up as visual filters which allow agents to slice and dice the data.

  Figure 1: Tier 1 Dashboard

An additional level of filtering is available to bring focus to the relevant items.

  Figure 2: Filtering to see only cases with origin = Phone

   Figure 3: One case with origin = Phone

Please note that this means that you can set up a stream to catch eg. Cases originating from Twitter allowing your agents to stay on top of your important customer concerns (please see the blog post "Social CRM at its best - Leads or Cases in Dynamics CRM from Social Posts in Microsoft Social Engagement" for more)

Case Form

The case form design allows agents to find and act on data with reduced clicks and navigation.

It unifies customer interactions and pulls together all related information, enabling agents to be productive and view what’s most relevant at all times.

  • The Guided Business Process is further enhanced to show process stage information as a fly out.
  • The timeline (Interaction Wall) allows for rich time and record based filtering capabilities.
  • Quick actions on search result, allow you to perform every day functions with ease, such as marking a task as complete or responding to a customer’s email.
  • The Reference Panel is geared towards a highly configurable experience that allows you to always show relevant related data.

Agents have full access to the customer record and can see recent cases, eligible entitlement, and any other relevant information. With integrated Knowledge agents can deliver solutions to customers.

   Figure 4: Case form

   Figure 5: First stage in Case Resolution Process

This design pattern extends to other entities such as Account and Contact, as well as Activities.

   Figure 6: Account Form

Tier 2 Dashboard

The Engagement Hub also comes pre-loaded with a single-stream dashboard for Tier Two Agents.

It comes with a single data stream on the left which would typically show an aggregate view of the workload. The stream can show data from Views or Queues (e.g.: All Active Cases).

Like the multi-stream dashboards, single-stream dashboards also come with interactive charts that can be used to filter data.

The Tiles on the right side (shown in blue) show a count of records from a Queue or a View. Users can get a peek of the records by selecting the tile. .

   Figure 7: Tier 2 Dashboard

Brief Walkthrough

You navigate the Engagement Hub using the familiar navigation design and grids

   Figure 8: Navigation

   Figure 9: My Activities - two emails I drafted for replies to case contacts

   Figure 10: Accounts

   Figure 11: Cases (My Active)

   Figure 12: KB Articles

A new content editor and editing experience helps teams keep knowledge articles approved and up to date. The curation process is inspired by a Knowledge-Centered Support (KCS) methodology.

   Figure 13: A KB Article I'm working on (in Draft; major version 1)

   Figure 14: List of My Active Articles

   Figure 15: Knowledge Manager Dashboard

I truely think the new Engagement Hub will help all Customer Service Representatives be Super Agents delivering the best possible Customer Serive for your company.

Comments (7)

  1. Anonymous says:


  2. brad says:

    Just got my online preview instance… how do I access the interactive service hub???

  3. You should look for an alert in the (yellow) notification bar. Apparently there is no UI for accessing the Engagement Hub so make a note of the URL once there

  4. Harsh Patel says:

    How to ‘Publish’ KB Article in Interactive Service Hub ? & How to ‘Resolve’ Cases in Interactive Service Hub ? There is No Action button on wizard to resolve case or publish KB Article !!!

  5. Harsh Patel says:

    How to ‘Publish’ KB Article in Interactive Service Hub ? & How to ‘Resolve’ Cases in Interactive Service Hub ? There is No Action button on wizard to resolve case or publish KB Article !!!

  6. MikeH says:

    Thank you for the write up Jesper.

    This must still be preview. While MS says it is GA, it clearly has some more work required before it is ready for a production environment.

    – As Jesper notes, the only way to navigate to the new experience is to wait for the Alert then click on it and then remember or bookmark the URL….really Microsoft?

    – Occasionally getting error messages "Sorry, something went wrong while initializing the app. Please try again, or restart the app"
    – As Harsh has found, the Action or Save buttons are missing. Technically they are there, but I found I had to move the form/browser to a large format monitor. So it seems the buttons are hidden when in full screen mode below the Windows task bar. No way that
    I found to get to it other than moving it to the larger screen.
    – Picklists are not populating correctly. Intermittently, I pick a value from the list, but you don’t see the selected value. You have to refresh the page to do so.
    – I am not liking the BPF drop down; it requires extra clicks to see what the steps are or to select any of them. CS agents need fast, not clicking around. In fact, most that I know prefer keyboard entry.
    – Why did MS move the New, Save, Close buttons on the right hand side of the screen, when everywhere else in CRM they are on the left.

    – It looks like a move back to "tabs" e.g. Summary, Details, Case Relationships, SLA….again, more clicks required instead of scrolling down.
    – Speaking of scrolling, it’s odd that the 3 individual panes scroll but the whole form does not. You have to over a pane/column then use your scroll when to scroll that individual pane. Not intuitive at all.
    – I have a pretty high res monitor (Surface Pro 3) and I find the UI crowded and bit busy.

    I was/am excited about the new capabilities, but it’s still rough around the edges.

  7. Ali Sharifi says:

    Access Engagement Hub by adding "nga/engagementhub.aspx" at the end of you CRM URL.
    for instance:

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