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What are Dynamics 365 Portals?

Have you ever had to contact a technical service centre? Or had to waste precious time explaining your issue and even sometimes having to repeat it all to a second or third person because the first one you spoke with didn’t document your situation? Would you like to make your website more interactive and collaborative for your customers? Microsoft Dynamics 365 has the perfect solution for you: Dynamics 365 Portals.

Portals are websites that you can customize to give your customers, partners and employees a tailored experience. Portals are integrated into Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement so you can display data from the module directly on the portal.

To put it simply, portals enable you to upload websites including forms that your visitors can complete. The information collected is directly linked to your Dynamics 365 so you don’t waste time re-entering information. It’s all done in one simple step.

You can create wide-ranging experiences enabling portal users to carry out several different actions. For example:

  • Customers can submit incidents and search for articles in a knowledge base.
  • Partners can display and manage business opportunities.
  • Employees can create and see good practices using the intranet.

Will Dynamics 365 Portals Replace My Website?

No! Dynamics 365 Portals are a way to extend your web presence beyond your website. It’s not going to supplant your website! Dynamics 365 generates a web address (URL) that you can easily add to your website as a hyperlink, generating a seamless transition between your website and the portal.   Your visitors won’t even feel like they’re on a different website. The portal is customizable and you can easily integrate your company’s branding.

Why Do I Need to Interact and Engage with My Customers on My Website?

Maintaining effective communications and being available for your potential and existing customers is one of the best ways of generating customer loyalty. Being seen as a reliable and trustworthy company will take you far. Your customers become ambassadors for your company, and you become the first person they recommend to anyone requiring your services/products. Therefore, in addition to having a customer who constantly uses your products or services, you also obtain new business opportunities. Dynamics 365 Portals helps you to reach this status with your customers by empowering you to maintain this level of effective communications and engagement.

What’s more, you can promote open dialogue with your customers by creating forms. Use open questions to benefit from constructive and comprehensive customer feedback. This is an excellent way of getting a feel for your customers and evaluating their satisfaction with your services or products.

Provide customers requiring support with special services. Give them access to a knowledge base. Enable them to create their own support ticket so that your customers can save time. Dynamics 365 Portals enables you to add value to your company by quickly creating this type of site.

Make Things Easier for your Business Partners with Dynamics 365 Portals

Do you work with business partners to sell your products? Using the Dynamics 365 application, you can create a dedicated portal for your business partners, so they can place orders directly through your website. Orders will be submitted to your Dynamics 365 automatically without you having to re-enter the information. This might not seem like much, but it can really set you apart from the competition. The easier the user experience, the more they’ll want to work with you and your products. Dynamics 365 empowers you with the tools you need to be recognized as a reliable company that it is easy to do business with.

Create a Portal for Your Employees

Dynamics 365 Portals was created to be flexible, enabling you to create several different experiences. We’re simply giving you some ideas, but you can take it much further. We love the idea of using the portal as an intranet. Dynamics 365 enables you to create a portal only accessible by those signed up to it, so that you can provide your customers or employees with specific content for their eyes only. Your human resources team could use this portal to provide employees with all the documents they need to do their jobs.

How Do I Activate Dynamics 365 Portals?

If you have an Office 365 Business licence, the Dynamics 365 application comes as default. Follow these simple steps to activate Dynamics 365 Portals.

Head to your Office 365 Admin Centre (office.com)

Open the Admin Centre and select the Dynamics 365 application.

Click on the application and select Portal Add-On

Configure your portal.

  • Name your portal.
  • Decide if you want to link the portal to an existing CRM Sandbox/Procution instance.
  • Website address: you can change this once the portal has been uploaded.
  • If you have more than one Dynamics 365 instance (your CRM version), select the instance you want to link the portal to.
  • Set the portal’s language.
  • Set the portal’s administrator.
  • Set the portal’s audience. You can choose between: Partner, Customer, or Employee.
  • Select the type of portal you want to create: Custom Portal, Customer Self-Service Portal or Community Portal (Intranet)
  • Check this box if you want to automatically update your portal.
  • Click “send” once you have completed points 1 to 9.

Wait a few minutes. Dynamics 365 will take a few minutes to generate your portal. You can click where shown on this image to see your portal’s status. This process can take anywhere from ten minutes up to one hour. In my case, it took ten minutes.

And this is the finished result.

To conclude, if we’ve inspired you to tackle a new project or if you think this tool could be a must-have addition to your website, contact us so that we can help you create your own portal. Portals are a simply way to keep in touch with your customers and show them the added value of doing business with you. As you’ve seen, they are easy to configure and implement!

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