Your Guide to Building a Dynamics 365 Portal and Enhancing It

Your Guide to Building a Dynamics 365 Portal and Enhancing It

Sulabh Chauhan

March 10th, 2021

When was the last time you called a customer support agent for a trivial issue with your mobile or laptop? Or when did you call a customer support agent to cancel or track an order you placed on any e-store? I bet it must have been a long time back! Thanks to the revolutionary concept of self-service, there were dramatic changes in traditional customer support. The number of organizations providing the option of self-service is increasing day by day.

Rising to the occasion, Dynamics 365 also launched Dynamics 365 Portal or Power Apps Portals two years ago. Power Apps are external-facing websites that enable access to CRM data for various users outside the organization.

Earlier, a Dynamics 365 portal was separate and came as a licensed add-on to Dynamics 365 apps, or the licenses would include a default portal add-on. After October 1, 2019, a Dynamics 365 portal no longer comes as a separate licensed add-on. Instead, it is licensed based on usage and extends a particular functionality of a Dynamics 365 app.

The caching mechanism of Power App portals is different from that of the add-on-based licensed Dynamics 365 portal. There is also a difference in the provision method between usage-based PowerApp portals and add-on-based Dynamics 365 portal licenses.

In short, PowerApps portals are the next generation of Dynamics 365 portal’s licensed add-ons.

If you are looking for a cost-effective way to integrate one or more capacity-based portals with your Dynamics 365, PortalXpand can help you out. It is a highly customizable and scalable Dynamics 365 portal solution that you can use to manage portals for vendors, partners, customers, and other entities right from a single dashboard.

Types of Dynamics 365 Portals

1. Customer Self-Service Portal

A customer self-service portal, as the name suggests, helps customers serve themselves without any manual support. You can include knowledge articles to help them find answers to their queries. There are also other options like live chat, FAQs, online community forums, how-to guides, videos, user manuals, etc., that you can offer. Besides, you can also enable customers to comment, review, and provide their feedback to help you analyze their satisfaction.

2. Employee self-service Portal

An employee self-service portal can help an organization provide employees with a place to share knowledge, manage tasks, and interact with each other within the CRM. They should be able to use it to view answers to FAQs, submit feedback, and develop their community.

HR for Dynamics is a self-service portal for employees that helps simplify tasks – especially for HR and managers. Using this portal, employees can manage their interaction with the HR department regarding leaves, activities, reimbursements, etc. They can also update their info like bank details or contact details easily from within the portal.

Managers can perform their managerial tasks more efficiently with this portal. They can access the team’s summary, leave details, deadlines of projects, certification details, etc., in real-time. This quick access of information helps in accurate and timely analysis of the team’s performance.

3. Community Portal

A community portal is basically like a virtual community. A community portal of any organization or company invites people to collaborate, discuss, write blogs and articles, poll and review products, etc. This type of portal encourages users to promote the brand as they also feel that they have a say in the brand and are indirect contributors to the brand’s popularity.

4. Partner Portal

A partner portal lends a helping hand to your partners to manage their work better. It provides access to various components like orders, invoices, payment, history, and other organizational entities relevant to them.

Easy access to this information helps partners get insights into leads, deals, opportunities, and more. Accordingly, they figure out a strategy to enhance their operations and eliminate any bottlenecks or issues with proper feedback. Partners can also manage their relevant details like contract or contact details and update them easily. Multiple partners can collaborate on a single opportunity to get good sales and experience with a partner portal.

5. Field Service and Project Service Automation Portal

A field service portal gives a 360-degree view of entities like assets, invoices, work orders, and agreements. When customers purchase the Field Service, Project Service Automation, or an Enterprise plan, it is available. The Project Service Automation portal provides partners with project information like quotes, bookable resources, invoices, etc.

Consider Portal Customization – To Smarten Your Portal

A legacy portal that you used for your organization may need customization to make it relevant. CRMJetty can provide customization for any Dynamics 365 portal type to suit your business requirements.

We typically help our clients customize their portals in one of the following ways:

  • Technology/Platform Upgrades

    If you want to upgrade to any technology or platform for your portal, our developer team can get it done for you.

  • Repair and Maintenance

    If you use an ancient solution and it gives problems often enough, we offer bug-fixing services to help protect your data from bugs, zero-days, and more.

  • Technology Migration

    If you are looking to migrate to new or modern technology, we have got you covered. For instance, you can get help moving your solution with a non-CMS backend to a modern and CMS-backed platform.

  • Re-development of Your Current Solution

    If you want changes in your current solution’s architecture to remove development roadblocks, we can provide you with the best possible solution as per your requirements.

Avail of the best customization services now!

Integrate PortalXpand – Your Ultimate Solution to Create a Next-Gen Portal

If you want to create a next-gen portal or upgrade your existing portal with the latest features, here are a few functionalities of PortalXpand that can interest you.

  • Enhanced Security – PortalXpand lets you provide access to different entities in your Dynamics 365 portal to different users based on their roles. You can create different user groups first, define their roles, and then provide them with access to entities based on their roles. It will help you secure your CRM data better.
  • 360-Degree Entity Management – With PortalXpand Dynamics CRM Portal, you can control the entities in both CRM and your portal. It also allows you to use all the default CRM entities and configure additional custom entities to suit your business needs in Dynamics CRM.
  • Custom Dashboard – You can also customize your dashboard to make it easy-to-navigate with PortalXpand. It lets you set and configure multiple widgets like Recent Activity, Counter Block, etc., for one or more entities you want.

Integrate Knowledge Base – Your Easiest Way to Launch a self-service Portal

One of the key elements you should include in your self-service portal is Knowledge Base. By providing access to a knowledge base in your Dynamics 365 portal, you can stay in constant touch with your customers.

An exhaustive library of documents, white papers, and tools to explain everything about your products and services helps serve your customers more efficiently. It also helps you shift from passive customer service to proactive customer service. Instead of having customers call you every time, you can proactively address most of their concerns and queries with your knowledge base.

Consider SharePoint – A Valuable Add-On for Your Portal

There are different add-ons that you can integrate with your portal to streamline your business operations more. One of the best add-ons you can consider is SharePoint. With our portal solution, you can integrate SharePoint in your Dynamics 365 easily.

With this integration, both you (as the admin) and portal users can manage and store the documents like quotes, proposals, etc., associated with specific records. After installing the SharePoint integration plugin in Dynamics 365, users can create folders, documents, files and delete records.

Build a Dynamics CRM Portal Now – With CRMJetty By Your Side

If you seek to build a Dynamics 365 Portal for your organization, CRMJetty can be your right team for that. We can discuss your business requirements, analyze them, and provide you with a ready-to-integrate portal solution if it’s an exact fit. Our developer team can also gauge the scale of customization our ready-made portal solution would require to fit your business requirements.

Once the developers test the feasibility, they start the required customizations after your consent. We also ensure that you keep getting updates on the progress on a regular basis. Once the final product is ready, our QA team comes into action and tests it for limitations and glitches. Once your product is ready and glitch-free, we hand it over to you. We can also provide you with support for a limited period to help you understand portal features and get familiar with it.

All set to kickstart your portal development journey? Your alpha team is just a click away!

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