Top 5 things you need to know about Outlook integration with Business Central
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Okay, so welcome everybody. Thank you for attending just before we start the webinar just a few housekeeping rules. So all attendees will be on mute and will remain for the whole webinar. Please use the question box to ask any questions related to the topic and all questions will be answered after we do the actual demo. If we run out of time, or if your question requires a longer answer, than the questions will be answered offline directly can use the chat box, please, for any questions related to the actual webinar.
So if you can’t hear the audio or if the presenters going too fast, and please note that we will send a link out to review the webinar recording after the demo. So this is the 16th in a series of monthly webinars on key areas of NAV, Business Central you can sign up for as many as you like on our website and I’ll show you a list of the upcoming webinars at the end of the session. We also send out regular emails to register for the next one.
Okay, so my name is Karen and I’ll be facilitating the demo today. I’m an account manager here at TVision, and my background is 18 years of software account management experience working for ERP companies. Ian’s going to be doing the demo and he’s a support consultant at TVision. He’s been working here for about two and a half years and it’s been using NAV since 2000.
So Microsoft Outlook is the central interaction point for the majority of businesses. It’s used as a sales and Finance contact centre. So therefore it’s very important for an ERP solution to integrate easily with Outlook. Business Central has five types of Outlook integration.
Two are currently in NAV, but the other three are new features of Business Central which for a short set up will provide great efficiencies and benefits to current users. It will also open up the use of the solution to users in other departments such as sales and management without even to having to access Business Central directly. So before you start considering the level of Outlook integration needed it’s worth asking yourself these questions. So how quick or easy is it to currently send documents? How and where are you managing your contacts?
Do you want people in your organization to access the Business Central data without actually going into the solution directly? Do you log interactions at the moment or would you like to? And how automated would you ideally like this to be? How often do you update your contacts? And are you doing this in various systems? So keep these questions in mind once we’re going through the demo. So here are the five options for Outlook integration, which were going to discuss or show you in Business Central.
So first, the send button. Then Continia Capture and output and sending out documents from Jet Reports. The Outlook add-in, email logging and full integration. So before the demo, I’m going to launch a quick poll to see what type of integration with Outlook to be most useful for your business we’ll have a look at the results, and then I’ll hand over to Ian to do the demo. So I’m just going to launch the poll now, so if you wouldn’t mind in putting your answers, that would be brilliant.
And I’ll just give everybody just about half a minute or so to do that.
Is it coming through for everybody? I can’t oh, yes, it’s coming through now it took a little while. I think people needed to consider the answers, but it’s coming through.
Okay, just going to give a little bit more time.
Okay, things are changing a little bit. Now. There’s people are putting in their responses.
Okay, that’s fine. I’m probably going to close it now. So it’s quite a spread really and 40% the saying all of the above 20% of saying the ability to update or add new contact information other 20% of saying to do business purely an Outlook and the other 20% is to automatically send documents via Outlook. So what I’m going to do now is I’m going to hand over to Ian who’s going to be doing the demo.
Thank you, Karen. Hopefully you can see my screen and what I’m going to be… yes… Not yet, Ian. No, we’re not seeing your screen at the moment – you need to go and select it I think. Here we go! I can see it now, carry on. You’ve got it perfect. So I have a Business Central latest version open. This is one of our demo databases and I’m also going to be using Office 365 Outlook for the purpose of this demonstration.
As Karen mentioned in all the versions of NAV, you did have some ability to interact with Outlook. So if you for instance were looking at posted sales documents. Let’s just have a look at posted sales invoices.
And on any of these sales invoices you had the option up at the top you could print this document. When you print you don’t necessarily have to send it to the printer, you can save it as a PDF. It’s on your hard drive from there you can open Outlook and you can send the document. That’s the really old way of doing things that’s still available to you, in newer versions of NAV you did get the option to print or send.
And if you chose send. It would send via email either with some default settings or prompt you for settings. And you choose how you want to send the attachment. This would create a blank email for you with the attachment – you could type your story. In order to get that working, pretty much the only thing you had to do was make sure your SMTP set up within NAV was pointing to a valid email account that can send emails.
Its 15 minutes of setup and this is good to go. It was available, it’s still available so you can carry on working the old way – even if you’re in Business Central, you don’t you’re not forced to use any new methods. So it still works. Nothing to worry about. Another option was to use a third-party solution or an external tool such as Continia Document Output, which is a nice fancy tool that sits within NAV – it can batch send documents.
So you want to send statements to 200 customers you could select them hit send and it would automatically send those emails out with the attachment with some predefined text your terms and conditions Etc. And it would do some really nice formatting of that email for you as well.
And another option was to use a tool such as Jet Reports to pull a report out of your NAV system and email that to customers or vendors or even internally within your organization to let people know what’s going on. Those tools still work in Business Central. I’m not going to demo them for you, but they’re still there. They’ll still work if you’re using them the way that you’re used to, so what you’re used to is still there, but there are some new options which are, I think, really exciting.
So there are kind of three new levels of Outlook integration within Business Central. The first one is the really easy win, what I’m going to speak about now for the next couple of minutes. It will take you about half a day to set this up and to get it running basically on your installation discs that came with your Business Central. There’s an Outlook add-in you install that on your users machines you do some minimal setup and you’re good to go.
And how it works. So let’s say I’m in the sales team. I spend my life with emails. I’m sending and receiving emails. I’m not interested in going to Business Central and figuring out how all this works and how to navigate. I really like working in Outlook and I want to stay in Outlook as much as I can. What’s happening here…
I’m receiving emails from contacts, now if we look in Business Central and we look at our contacts.
We will see that not far down this list, we have this character called Claudio Martell. He’s a contact who’s set up within Business Central.
So Outlook and Business Central can talk to each other. And when I receive an email from Claudio Martell, Outlook recognizes that this is a Business Central contact as well, and it gives me this button here, if I click on this button.
I can go for my contact insights. So it’s now looking up Claudio, which company does he work for? Asado Bar and Grill. Here are the other contacts at their company. Here are the ongoing sales related documents for this company and here’s some financial information for this company.
How much money do they owe us, with some aging payments that we’ve received, and when were they received. So we’ve got this information instantly about the contact who’s writing to us, all of these tiles are interactive. So if we look at these sales quotes and if I click on there, I can see the seven sales quotes that it was talking about. I can open any one of them. So let’s just have a look at this one. And I can see exactly what is on that sales quote. Now, this is very hard to read on this screen trying to scroll left and right.
There’s a nice handy pop out button which opens in a new window.
And I can see this entire sales quote. It hasn’t opened Business Central for me. You see I’ve got nowhere to get back to a main menu or anything. It’s as though I’m still within Outlook and it’s just popped up a window for me. From this screen, still in Outlook, I can edit this document. I can change quantities, change prices, put in discounts if I wanted to …
I could come up here, I could convert this sales quote into a sales order, or if there’s an approval process that my company, I could send this to my manager for approval. When I’m finished I can close this screen – I’m still within my Outlook. I’m still looking at what I was looking at when I left off. This is fantastic, especially for somebody in sales for instance.
It’s as if they haven’t left Outlook, they haven’t had to learn any new tools. You can see here it says there are seven ongoing sales quotes. So let’s just flip over to Business Central and look at our sales quotes.
I’ve got a nice shortcut button there, and for Asado Bar and Grill: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 – I can choose any one of these and I’m just going to delete it.
And yes, I do want to delete it. So now there are only six, if I have a look back in my Outlook, if I hit the refresh button. It says there are six outstanding sales quotes. So the information I’m seeing here. It’s live information. 100%. It’s not where we stood yesterday, it’s as things are happening. And any changes that I made would reflect over in Business Central instantly for everyone else within the organisation to see.
So it’s full 100% integration. That by itself is quite exciting, but there’s even more on this first level. So I’m still on this email from Claudio. I still click on the button.
I can create a new document from scratch so I could create a new sales quote, sales order, or if he’s a vendor – a new purchase order, purchase credit memo Etc. And if I create a new sales quote, again, it gives me this very restricted narrow view over here, which is quite hard to work with…what the system has done here… this item that Claudio was referring to, does not exist on our system. It’s tried to find the closest item it can find, it hasn’t quite got it right. But if he’d put in a valid item number, it will be suggesting that item to go on the quote.
From here, I can manually create the quote. I can pop this out make my screen a little bit bigger and easier to read, populate the quote. When I’m happy I can from here send an email back to Claudio with the quote for him to review. So I haven’t left Outlook and I’ve been able to do a lot of my jobs. But wait there’s even more.
In this email from Claudio. He’s referenced a specific document number and you’ll notice a very slight difference between this email, where it just says Dynamics NAV and nothing, this one where there’s a document reference -it says there’s a document link as well. If I click on this document links. It’s going to try and open up sales order number 403, and here it is from Business Central. This is sales order number 403, exactly what it looks like.
And from here I can still edit the quantities perhaps put in a discount. If I wanted to give him a discount whatever needs to happen in the case of this email, Claudio said he’s happy with this, please proceed. So I’ll just click up here.
I can now release this document so that my shipping Department can ship these bottles of wine to the customer. If I was a smaller company, perhaps I might even want to post this document to register the shipment and send a confirmation email to Claudio to say that it has been posted. So this is the first level of integration, it lets you stay in Outlook but work in Business Central without actually having to go to Business Central. This is ideal for the guys in your organization who live and die by Outlook.
They don’t feel that they’re being forced to learn something new they can sit here they can work and they can always stay in Outlook. So it’s fantastic for your sales team as I say about half a day and you’ll be up and running with this and I think this is a big win and this is probably one of the nicest things Microsoft had done in quite some time.
The second level of Outlook integration works the other way around. So this is for people who live within Business Central and they’re not interested in bouncing over to their email every 15 minutes to work there. They want to stay in Business Central. So your credit controllers typically might find this one much more interesting. This is a little bit harder to set up. It’s a, it’s a mini project.
You probably want some help from a consultant just to make sure that all the setup that’s required is done correctly and there are some decisions that you need to make on exactly how you want this to work. So what does it do? If we go and look at our contacts, we could have gone and looked at our customers, but I’ll do this in contacts, there’s some here.
So for that Asado Bar and Grill that we were just looking at, I can highlight any of these contacts and I can go, if I can remember exactly where the buttons are, history interaction log entries. Now you might have seen in your current version of NAV the ability to create interaction logs. This is that same functionality, it’s just been extended a little bit. So we can see here all the interactions that we’ve had with Asado Bar and Grill. I could still filter this list, using the filter button to only show where my contact equals Claudio.
But I’m going to look at the entire company and I can see documents that we’ve been sending backwards and forwards, emails that have been sent backwards and forwards. And if I highlight these, one of these two, yep this one, that same email that Claudio sent us regarding sales order 403. This is a record of that within Business Central.
So even though Claudio might have sent that email to me personally, everybody who can log on and get to the interaction log entries. They can see that email to see what’s happening between our company and Claudio’s company. I do have the option from here of showing attachments, and if I click that, you’ll notice is opened a new window and I’m reading that exact same email that we were reading in Outlook.
It hasn’t opened Outlook, there’s no way for me to get back to my inbox or anything. It’s as if I was still in Business Central I can read this email get the story of what’s happening. From here I can still click on the document link and see the document that Claudio is referring to, without having to go back to Business Central if I choose to.
From here I can still get to my insights for Claudio’s company if I just want to, read through see how much money they owes Etc. And all of this when I’m finished I close it and I’m still here in Business Central. It’s as though I never left Business Central even though I was dealing with emails. As I said credit controls probably find this fantastic.
All of these interactions that are happening here. It’s not just emails. We’ve got this system set up every time we send a purchase order or a sales invoice or a sales shipment document. We’re logging that as an interaction as well. So I’ve got a full history of interactions between our company and Asado Bar and Grill.
There is a fair bit of setup happening in the background to decide which emails come in here and which type of documents: sales invoices, sales order confirmations. What do you want to come into the interaction log? And the way it works, you do need a little bit of setup on your Exchange Server to create some rules, what it does every email that comes into your company and every email that’s sent Outlook makes a copy, it puts it in a folder, Business Central then goes through all of those emails filters out the ones that it understands are contacts.
And it puts those links in for the two to interact with each other. And you need to make some decisions about what are the rules for which, which types of emails and which types of documents come into the interaction logs. But as I say one setup, again now you’ve got full 360 degree interaction between Outlook and NAV. You can go from one to the other.
You can stay in one and work in the other. It’s fantastic and the fact that you have that whole interaction log against your contacts and against your companies, now it’s not just people working as individuals. We can all start working as a team. I don’t have to forward emails on to other people they can read them if they’re relevant to the transactions between our two companies. So this one is promoting more teamwork. A little bit more setup than the first one.
But still it’s not too onerous. Now, the third level of integration is full integration between Outlook and Business Central. So that’s the type of thing. We share contacts between the two systems. So the first two I’ve shown you, I can have different contacts in Outlook, different contacts here in Business Central and it only deals with the ones where it finds commonality.
With full integration against Claudio, we can see his, hopefully, his email address telephone number fax number address Etc.
And if we go to Outlook and look at our people, we scroll down this list and we found Claudio which is, there he is, and we can drill in on Claudio, and we can see that exact same information. So full integration says if I create a new contact here.
Copy it across and make it available over here. If somebody creates a new contact over here in Business Central, copy it across and update our Outlook contacts. Or if somebody changes one of the contacts, make sure that change comes through into both systems so that they’re always both in sync. So everybody within the company is sharing a common address book, a common set of contacts.
You’ve got your full integration going between Outlook and Business Central. So everybody is sharing the same version of the truth. You also have within Business Central the idea of tasks – so you can create tasks for yourself or for someone else to do.
Within Outlook, you also get the idea of having tasks. If somebody creates a task within Business Central, do you want that to come across and create a to-do in their Outlook? To give them a reminder, you need to do something. And the same thing the other way, if somebody’s setting up a to do over here in Outlook, you can get it to come through and show up here as a task to be done within Business Central.
So you fully integrating your contacts, your to do’s, and it’s as if you’re working on one system and suddenly Business Central’s a part of Outlook and Outlook has become a part of Business Central. So that’s your third major option for integration.
So the five things and I’ve spoken about, the print and send button that you’re used to is still there. It’s still works. You can still use that. Your third-party tools such as Continia, Jet or any others that you might have, they will still work. Then you’ve got your three new options, which is your Outlook add-in which lets you stay within Outlook, but work within Business Central as if you’d never left Outlook.
Ideal for your sales team and it’s very easy to implement. It’s a very quick win, very exciting, people will like it and they will use it. Your second option is the email logging within Business Central from which you can then jump back to the emails where they originated. Fantastic for somebody like the credit control team to see a history of interactions, great for getting people to start working as a team instead of working as individuals.
And all of that information that used to be kept by individuals is now going into that central database. So it’s just adding to the whole arsenal of knowledge that your company can use to help them with their business. And the third option is the full integration.
That’s where you’ve got, you can work in either system and jump into the other without leaving. Plus you’re ensuring that all of your contacts are synchronised between the systems, everybody sharing the same address book no matter which system they’re working in. And the to do’s and tasks are synchronized between the two systems. So whether you’re looking in Outlook, whether you’re looking in Business Central, you’re seeing that same list of to do items. So those are the five things I wanted to speak about and I didn’t go over time. So I’m very happy with myself.
Karen, were there any questions? Okay, so if people like to use the question box put in any questions that you have – we do have a couple so far. So, let’s, the last three options, can any of this be done in NAV or does it have to be Business Central? Okay. So in NAV, as I’ve said, you’ve still got your print and send, you still got your third party tools, they will still work. Your interaction log is available in NAV.
It doesn’t integrate nicely with the email, but you can still record those interactions within NAV. And, no, those newer options that full integration – that’s really unavailable in Business Central. The Outlook add-in, it was available for NAV 2018. It was not fantastic in NAV 2018. Business Central, it’s really working.
It’s doing what you expect and it’s working all the time, so I wouldn’t recommend the Excel add-in for earlier versions of NAV. Okay. Another one is, are all emails held even if the original recipient has left the business. Yes.
There’s a special, you set up as part of that level two email logging, you set up a special folder where all of those emails are copied to – so even if it’s in my personal email, it’s automatically copied to that shared folder that everyone can access. If I delete my personal copy of that email. It’s still there in that shared folder. And if I leave the business my emails that were copied to that shared folder, they’ll still be there. Again, that’s part of that set up discussion that you need to have with the consultant. You need some rules on your Exchange Server to say the people have the ability to write here, but who’s got the ability to delete documents?
Perhaps you want to limit that, so that when I’m leaving I can’t delete my documents and keep them for myself. Okay, and the final one is, is there a limit to what I can do with the Outlook add-in? Yep, I suppose there are limits. So with the Outlook add-in, obviously it only really makes sense for email type transactions, so I can come in here – I’m limited by the buttons that I can click on to see a customer sales history or if it was a vendor to see a vendor’s purchase history, and to see the outstanding balance.
It’s not showing me for instance inventory availability on this screen. I’m also limited if I try to create a new document, I can create sales documents. I can create purchase documents. It’s not going to let me create item journals, for instance. This is more designed for the people who really work in Outlook.
Your sales team, your purchasers, credit controllers Etc. Somebody in the warehouse.
They’re going to be working on Business Central pretty much all day long. That’s where they’re going to be doing those item related tasks Etc. So, yep your finance team for doing finance things, warehouse team for doing warehouse things. They’d stick with in Business Central and the add-in for the guys who are interacting with vendors and customers – and it only really works for those vendor customer type interactions.
Okay brilliant. That’s great. Thank you.
Right we shall just go back to the presentation just very quickly.
So, hang on a second.
There we go. Let me just show you that. Okay.
So I’d like to leave you with the 5 key takeaways about Outlook integration, which we will hope will assist you. So first of all, what you are used to still works, the send button is sometimes enough if you just want a blank email or to manually populate the information. It’s fine if you only have a few documents to send out daily. Third-party solutions are not being replaced. So there’s no equivalent within the standard Business Central functionality of Continia Capture, an output to input incoming document data and batch email outgoing documents with client specific template.
Or automating the sending a Jet Reports. Continia and Jet are still our recommended solutions for these tasks. The Outlook add-in is a quick win as Ian said, only takes about half day to set up and you can gain immediate insight into your suppliers and clients and have the ability to do quotes and invoices directly in Outlook.
Email login will add to your company’s arsenal of knowledge, and this will have huge benefits during the auditing process and for Credit Control. You’ll be able to see who contacted you, when and what was said, and be able to quickly access the original email. It will take about one to two days to set up. Full Outlook integration is great for managing volume. So if you want to make sure your contact information in Outlook matches Business Central and have a large number of suppliers or clients, then this is the option for you. After a few days to set up you’ll be on your way to having one version of the truth for all contacts.
So I hope you found this webinar interesting, informative. As mentioned previously, this is the sixth in the series of webinars. We will be sending out emails soon to register for the next one and also put a reminder about our webinars in the newsletter. But if you go on our website and you go to under resources and webinars as well, you’ll see recordings of all the previous ones which you can go and view as well. Okay.
So thanks once again for attending, I’ll close this session now. A survey will appear, would be great if you could respond with any feedback. If there were any questions that you had that you didn’t have time for within the demo then, feel free to put those questions in there and we’ll get back to you. If you do have any other questions, then feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you very much. Thank you.