Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales Assistant Targets Social Networks

Microsoft has added the Social Selling Assistant to Dynamics 365 to help salespeople make more sales with recommendations gleaned from social media.

Social Media Business

More than a timeline of up-to-the-minute information of what's going on in people lives, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are also troves of personalized data and provide a channel for some to expand one's influence and reach. Now salespeople using Dynamics 365, the software maker's blended, cloud-enabled customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software platform, can get some targeted help in engaging with the masses on social media to potentially rack up more sales.

Microsoft added a new Social Selling Assistant tool to Dynamics 365 this month, courtesy of update 1.1 to the Social Engagement 2017 app for the platform. "With this application, your salespeople get personalized and smart recommendations to share on their social networks to enable them increase their social presence, gain trust from their followers, and generate more leads," stated the Microsoft Dynamics 365 team in a blog post.

Customers can install the tool from Microsoft AppSource, the company's business Software-as-a-Service app marketplace, into their Sales application within Dynamics 365, instructed the company. "The AppSource app adds a new dashboard that contains Social Selling Assistant. Salespeople can access this dashboard from the Dynamics 365 web client, as well as from Dynamics 365 for tablets." Smartphone users may have a bit of a wait, as the feature is currently not supported on that device type.

Also new is the ability to post public Social Engagement posts to LinkedIn, including those from the Social Selling Assistant. Users can elect to share posts only to their networks or make them available to anyone on the professional social network. It is one of the earliest integrations since Microsoft acquired LinkedIn late last year.

The update also introduces localized user interfaces for the Japanese and Chinese languages. Several issues were fixed, including a bug that prevented Social Engagement from processing large numbers of RSS feeds. Additionally, legibility has been improved for lengthier social posts.

This week, Microsoft also issued some additional guidance on its Dynamics 365 Asynchronous Processing Service and how it may affect customer workloads. Also called the async service, it processes workloads independently of the main Dynamics 365 for improved performance and the sake of scalability.

"The asynchronous service features a managed queue for the execution of asynchronous plug-ins, workflows, and long-running operations such as bulk mail, bulk import, and campaign activity propagation," explained the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Product Engineering Team in a Feb. 20 blog post. "These operations are registered with the asynchronous service and are executed periodically when the service processes its queue."

Several settings are used to ensure that the cloud service's resources are distributed among all users, although customers can tinker with their quota limits to improve the service's performance. Nonetheless, Microsoft cautions that "all operations which directly or indirectly impact async operations should be created judiciously."

Therefore, the company suggests that users keep an eye on the number of async operations they create and to review cases of workflow exceptions that can degrade performance. A review of the async settings and their purpose is available here.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the Internet.com network of...