Initially when Dynamics CRM Online was introduced it was tied to windows live id, Microsoft’s online authentication platform. Since then it has been replaced by Microsoft Office 365 login. And it’s not just that Dynamics CRM Online authentication that has moved to Office 365, now there is lot more integration between these 2 systems. The latest one is the connection between Power BI and Dynamics CRM using Office 365. You can find additional details of the same at https://community.dynamics.com/crm/b/crmvideos/archive/2014/11/07/using-power-bi-with-microsoft-dynamic-crm-2015.aspx
Microsoft is building up a huge ecosystem offering enterprise systems and applications in the cloud and Office 365 is that ecosystem where Dynamics CRM Online can interact with other enterprise applications and provide the best value for the customer. In the coming releases and updates we will see that other applications in Office 365 will start to interact with CRM Online, like Excel Online where users in CRM will be able to interact with CRM data in Excel Online without leaving the CRM Online application. Skype for business will eventually replace Lync and again Office 365 will provide that ecosystem which could make the integration between Skype & CRM Online possible.
If we discuss about what’s currently available then Dynamics CRM introduced Server Side Sync with the release of CRM 2013 and the setup process for the same is simplified when you are using Dynamics CRM Online. If you have your Email on the Office 365 platform then setting up Server side synchronization with CRM Online is a breeze and you can start to sync emails/contacts/appointments between CRM & Exchange Online in no time. The Dynamics product line has increased over the past 2 years to include Dynamics Marketing and Social Listening and both of them are available only through Office 365 and connect to each other using the authentication platform provided by Office 365.
The biggest differentiator between CRM Online and CRM on-prem is the access to the backend SQL database and be able to write CRM reports by directly making dataset connections to the SQL database. With the ecosystem that Microsoft has created with Office 365 and its other products you can overcome this limitation to a certain extent by use of Power BI which allows you to query CRM data in different datasets and use them in creating a Power BI dashboard or report. With all the new offerings and updates coming to CRM Online doesn’t mean that its counterpart CRM on-prem is left behind. The new features and updates also come to the CRM on-prem version but with a different pace and some of the integration with other MS products becomes challenging at times because of the lack of Office 365 as the seamless connector between them.
In its current state Office 365 is providing an authentication mechanism for CRM Online but looking to the future we can see that Office 365 is becoming a strong ecosystem of enterprise applications which are able to interact with each other and provide the best value to its customers.
DAVE VORA | Senior Business Software Consultant and CRM Lead
Dave is responsible for leading KTL’s CRM consultants, assuring that our solution scoping, architecting and delivery meet and exceed customer expectations. Dave has built lasting relationships with clients by understanding their business needs and providing value by leveraging their existing resources. Along with his consulting team, he has delivered effective solutions beyond traditional CRM constraints. Dave has more than eight years of experience in implementing business software for a variety of industries including service, government, distribution, not-for-profit and manufacturing. He graduated with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Computer Science and also a specialization in Management from University of California at Irvine. His experience includes helping companies embrace technology to fulfill their organizational needs and creating innovative solutions using CRM, GP, Scribe and other Microsoft products.