Insights & Events


Your 2020 CRM to do list: Unified Interface & Team Members

Microsoft Dynamics 365 and its related technologies continue to evolve and improve apace. We will cover some of the exciting new capabilities in future articles, but here, we are focusing on two impactful changes to Microsoft Dynamics 365 'CRM' for 2020.

Both the Unified Interface and restrictions on what functionality Team Members can access have been around for a while now, but in 2020 the Unified Interface is set to become mandatory and Team Member limitations will be 'enforced' for the first time.

A Brief Note on Names

Microsoft no longer use the name 'CRM', preferring instead to Dynamics 365 Sales; Dynamics 365 Customer Service; Dynamics 365 Marketing; Dynamics 365 Project Service; Dynamics 365 Field Service.

The name 'Customer Engagement' was briefly in play, but this has been dropped. Although Dynamics 365 CRM isn't the official name, it's the one we all recognise and use in conversation.

Unified Interface

Microsoft began introducing the Unified Interface in 2018, replacing separate web and mobile interfaces with one 'responsive' design that would work on big screen, small screens and mobile screens. It means Microsoft only have to maintain one interface and, as it is more modern and responsive, the Unified Interface is faster and better from an accessibility point of view.

The previous interface is referred to as the 'classic' interface (which might be overstating its aesthetic qualities, but you get the point).

As of the October 2020 update to Dynamics 365 CRM, the classic interface will be retired and the Unified Interface will be mandatory. This won't happen to everyone on 1st October, it will depend on when your update is scheduled, but it will be there or thereabouts.

So, if you are still relying on the classic interface then you need to rapidly put plans in place to transition to the Unified Interface.

The impact of this will depend on the complexity of your Dynamics 365 CRM and how you use it. The forms and views you are using will translate to the Unified Interface (so you don't need to recreate them). However, the layout and style has changed, so some forms might need tweaking. Some form-based scripting and special functionality might need to be revisited.

There are also new capabilities that you can start to take advantage of.

Although it isn't a huge change, you will still need to consider how you communicate this to your users, some of whom might need a little bit of training and orientation on the Unified Interface. The more notice and support you can provide to your users, the better.

The 'Classic' User Interface

The Unified Interface


Team Members

The Team Member licence for Dynamics 365 provides terrific value, enabling 'light users' to access all of your CRM on a read-only basis, along with some 'write' access for a fraction of the cost of a full user licence.

Team Members can see everything (that you let them, with access based on their role and security permissions), view reports, create and edit Contacts, track their emails and appointments and update up to 15 custom entities (record types that have been created specifically for your CRM). But they cannot create or edit Accounts, or update records in the Sales or Customer Service processes. For less than 10% of a full licence, that is a pretty powerful proposition and helps to drive wider CRM access and adoption within an organisation.

Up until now, the limitations on the Team Members have not been enforced by the system. As of the April 2020 update to CRM, this is set to change (for everyone who first purchased their licences after October 2018. If you did so previously, you should have until 2021).

Once your April 2020 update is applied, your Team Members will no longer be able to accidentally update records that they shouldn't, plus they will have specific 'apps' to use (Sales Team Member; Customer Service Team Member; Project Resource Hub) - still the same Unified Interface, just a different area with its own navigation for Team Members.

The impact of this change will depend on your Team Members' needs and how they use CRM, the Team Members apps may need some additional configuration. And as with the Unified Interface update, providing support and training is advisable.

If you need help evaluating the impact of these changes and assistance when planning on how to handle them, contact Xpedition today. We'd be delighted to provide guidance and advice.

See Microsoft Dynamics 365 in action

If you would like to see some of the latest Dynamics 365 Sales and Marketing capabilities in action, then please register for our free event taking place at Microsoft’s Paddington offices on 10th March.