The rise of customer self-service and the need for greater customer satisfaction should have you looking at Portals as an excellent addition to your customer’s tool box. With the release of Microsoft Dynamics 365, you are entitled to one portal license with any Enterprise App (Sales, Customer Service, Project Service, Field Service) or Plan purchase. This is a great opportunity to introduce your customers to the benefits of this solution that can help them increase their digital capabilities. There are several portals to choose from, including Employee and Customer Self-Service, Community, Partner, Field Service, Project Service Automation, and Events (currently in Private Preview).
Portals will be the topic for the February Dynamics 365 Partner Community call.
Portal solutions with flexible features
Customer self-service portal
The Customer self-service portal delivers an additional support offering to organizations to help meet the desires for their customers to quickly answer their questions with the device of their choice at the time they have their question. If a question arises after business hours, they are still able to get their answer. In addition, we have enhanced knowledge management to surface more relevant knowledge articles based on the portal users’ product ownership. You are able to restrict access to knowledge articles based on portal users’ Content Access level.
Providing knowledge to customers through a portal deflects higher cost support options in the traditional customer service model, and allows your support agents to focus their time on the more complex issues. With a self-service portal, customers receive the support they desire, access to discussion forums that build customer loyalty, access to their support entitlement data, and the ability to provide organizations with feedback through polls, ratings, and comments.
Employee self-service portal
The Employee self-service portal empowers employees, providing secure access to knowledge that helps employees increase productivity. Employees are able to find answers to commonly asked questions, participate in communities within their organization, and share feedback. The employee self-service portal functions in the same way that a customer portal does, with authentication that verifies their employee status. An example of an employee self-service task is managing internal processes such as human resources assistance, IT helpdesk, and facilities requests.
You can create a robust community using the Community portal by enabling discussion forums; blogs and article creation; using polls, ratings, and comments to capture feedback; and collecting ideas while sharing idea outcomes. Users become ambassadors and influencers for an organization. In return, that organization can realize value in terms of cost-savings, brand loyalty, and trust.
Customers can deliver a stronger partner program by proving partners with access to the tools and information they need for success. The Partner portal enables lead distribution and deal/opportunity tracking, and can provide account management capabilities.
The Partner portal is being enhanced with improved partner management:
- New multi-partner collaboration allows multiple partners to collaborate on the same opportunity to maximize selling and implementation experiences
- Partner lifecycle management allows partners to manage recruitment and onboarding to strengthen your partner channel
- Deal registration allows vendors to gain early pipeline visibility to provide deal protection and authorization for additional discounts, rebates, and benefits
Field Service and Project Service Automation portals
Customers that have purchased the Field Service, Project Service Automation, or an Enterprise Plan have access to the Field Service and/or Project Service Automation portals.
- The Field Service portal provides partners and customers with a 360-degree view of work orders, agreements, assets, and invoices
- The Project Service Automation Portal allows partners to view project information that includes quotes, invoices, and bookable resources
The new Event Portal will support multiple event types, from one-time events and webinars to multi-day conferences. It will handle sessions and tracks to enable attendees to find the topics they are most interested in; manage conference attendance from registration to check-in; and manage logistics for event facilities, staff, speakers, and sponsors.
The default portal provided with Dynamics 365 Plan 1 business application subscriptions may be extended by purchasing licenses for additional portals, for use as a non-production portal, or additional production portals for a monthly payment.
Customers may extend the default 1 million monthly page views capacity of the Event portal by purchasing additional page views in increments of 500,000.
Resources on Dynamics Learning Portal
- Microsoft Dynamics 365 Portal Capabilities – Technical
- Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2016 Update 1 New Features – Overview, Architecture, and Deployment of Portals Capabilities: Overview
- Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2016 Update 1 New Features – Overview, Architecture, and Deployment of Portals Capabilities: Portal Architecture
- Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2016 Update 1 New Features – Overview, Architecture, and Deployment of Portals Capabilities: Legacy Deployment
- Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2016 Update 1 New Features – Overview, Architecture, and Deployment of Portals Capabilities: Office 365 Deployment
- Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2016 Update 1 New Features – Overview, Architecture, and Deployment of Portals Capabilities: Troubleshooting and Notable Callouts
Partner call about Portals on Tuesday, February 14
Join my colleagues and me on the next Dynamics 365 Partner call on Tuesday, February 14, for a Portals discussion and demo. We’ll be joined by Cory Christoffel, Portals Global Black Belt.