Part 5: Email Integration with Office 365

One of the most common forms of communication these days is email, it’s everywhere and ever present on all our devices. Our business systems need to work with email in the following way if it is to be a truly seamless experience.

  • From quotes in CRM to invoices and remittance advices in NAV your business systems you need to be able to generate a document as a PDF and then either send it directly or open an email dialogue for you to type a message. Having Office 365 makes this easy and it even works with the web portal version meaning you don’t have to fork out for the full version of office if the user only needs it occasionally.
  • Saving and categorising inbound emails. If you spend time asking colleagues to forward emails you need CRM with office 365. Again, even from the web version, you can save an email into CRM with it attached and recorded as an activity against the account, opportunity, case or whatever it’s needed against. Especially in an age when emails contain binding contractual documents being able to file and retain them properly is essential.
  • CRM has the option of an Outlook adding- which is great – as Outlook is often the first application you use every morning. Being able to take an incoming email and convert to a opportunity or case with a single click makes it easy.
  • Your contacts, accounts and diary entries can be synced with CRM which means you spend less time on simple maintenance. By connecting your 365 mailbox to your IPhone or andriod means you get the benefit of those contacts and diary entries there as well.


This is the new kid on the block but it’s making its mark by giving you a wallboard of everything you’ve been working on. Already including CRM records and activities it will in the future include similar stuff from NAV. Being able to review all of your digital work enables you to assess your performance and highlights where your time has gone.


So often described as the social network for work I’d ask that you bare with me while I explain that using Yammer to communicate across your organisation is so much better than the email that is probably used today.

By making a post into either a specific group for a topic or to the whole company on yammer other people can post a replying comment. This allows discussions to start online which are all together and which can be read together at any point in time and by anyone joining the discussion. If you see something you agree with you can like it.

This is so much more effective than email where an initial post and three replay all scan generate hundreds of emails that have to be read and deleted. Another benefit is that they will not be forwarded out of the organisation even by accident just by miss-electing an email address.

You can set your yammer preferences so that you alerted by email when a posting is made to either tell you immediately or as a summary at the end of the day. This reduces the clutter in your inbox and allows you to participate in discussions without disrupting everyone’s focus.

Add the ability to post documents, pictures and do polls to a whole group and you have a quick flexible platform that can distribute news and questions quickly and effectively.

The integration with the applications comes in the ability of CRM to update Yammer with for instance the closure of a opportunity being posted through so everyone knows the good news.

And the future

All the applications are being made to integrate tighter and tighter with every yearly realise and more often than that in the case of CRM. A recent conference I went to showed a the Office 365 mail portal online and when a email was received it used the mail address to lookup the account and then a single clicked ok you through to the options in NAV without leaving the email page. A was created and send in the replying email.

So increasingly it’s hard to understand where one package ends and another begins. But that good, in fact it’s the holy grail of having effectively a single seamless system. Long may it continue…


This post is part of a 5-part series. A link to rest of the posts in this series are below;

Author: James Crowter

I’m passionate about how businesses can improve their efficiency by getting process optimal more of the time. For the last twenty five years I’ve worked to help organisations of all sizes and types implement the ERP & CRM software that typically they decide they need when things are going wrong. I’ve seen that work unbelievably well and enabled those organisations to rapidly grow but I’ve also had some hard projects over that time where it’s felt more like warfare at times. Since 1996 (and version 1.01) I’ve been working with a small Danish product called Navision that’s now become Microsoft’s Dynamics NAV and I’ve also been using and consulting around Microsoft CRM since 2005. As managing Director of one of the longest established first Navision and now Microsoft Dynamics partners I’ve been involved in the complete history including numerous product councils and system design reviews. It’s my privilege to know many of the key Microsoft executives and product designers and have insight into both where the products are now and their future direction. So colleagues & clients have asked me to start this blog to share some of the insight that both this knowledge (obviously where not restricted by NDA’s or client confidentiality) and experience can help. Specifically I want to concentrate not on the specifics of how (there are some great blogs already for that) but why. If any user helps their business make better decisions or consultant can give better advice then that will be objective achieved. I founded Technology Management in 1992 and have led from the front ever since. Helping clients use technology to grow their business is my passion through explaining technology in terms that everyone can understand. My interest in computing began at the age of eight, long before my school had the equipment to cope. Throughout school and university I developed software commercially. I hold many IT certifications, such as Microsoft Dynamics NAV (for over 17 years), Microsoft Dynamics CRM (for over 10 years), as well as Microsoft Windows Server, Exchange and SQL. In October 2015, I was awarded the title of Most Valuable Professional (MVP), a title given to a select few individuals (31 currently) across the world specifically for Dynamics NAV. After years of working with a range of distribution and manufacturing software for hundreds of organisations, I focus on understanding the business requirements of an organisation, what it will take to deliver the systems required to maximise their potential. Follow me online via my other social channels: - Twitter: @jamescrowter - LinkedIn: Or email me directly at james[.]crowter[@]

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