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When Microsoft Outlook drives Dynamics CRM / 365 success for customers, partners

by Matt Bolch
Contributing Writer,

Although Microsoft Outlook is not part of Dynamics CRM - now known as Dynamics 365's line of customer experience apps - the popularity of the ubiquitous email and calendar program can be the key winning Dynamics deals, especially for sales teams. And while Outlook offers little financial reward to the typical Dynamics partner, it can drive CRM project success.

"Most Dynamics partners are not actively selling Office 365," says Brad Koontz, vice president of industry solutions for Hitachi Solutions. "So the direct impact [of Outlook] is not great, but the indirect impact is huge."

That impact is in user adoption, and Koontz attributes much of the success of Microsoft Dynamics CRM to user adoption. "In many cases it's driven by use of tools people are familiar with, and Outlook is absolutely one of those tools."

He calls CRM very unique among enterprise applications in that its success is measured on adoption rather than performance metrics that assume mandatory usage. "You really can't say that about other areas of enterprise software. If a user does not adopt ERP, it's a disaster; people don't get paid, and things don't get shipped."

By contrast, CRM adoption may not "feel" mandatory, in which case it becomes the CRM partner's challenge to help customer drive user adoption. The classic complaint about CRM is that the typical unhappy user feels his or her jobs is to "feed CRM" with manual entry, rather than to sell to or to serve customers. That "feeding" mentality needs to be transformed into something that seems less like a chore and more like a productivity enabler.

"The great thing about Microsoft CRM as it exists today is there is a lot of ‘...

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About Matt Bolch

Matt Bolch is co-founder of content provider Landscape Creative. He is a long-time journalist specializing in technology and health IT topics. He can be reached at

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