Guide To Increase Productivity With Microsoft Flow And CRM Integration

Microsoft Flow

Workflow automation is one of the constant battle cries of the modern, highly connected and overburdened workforce. So much that it sometimes appears that organizing, scheduling and managing the flow of work takes up more time and effort than the core activities. The time which could be better spent in accomplishing your business goals. ‘Work less, do more’ is the mantra of Microsoft’s workflow automation tool simply called ‘Flow’ and it seems to do exactly that.

It creates automated workflows between your preferred apps and services to deliver notifications, sync files, collect data and much more. For instance, just with a few clicks you could capture tweets and store them as leads in your CRM, or subscribers in MailChimp. Microsoft Flow’s potential to simplify and automate many such repetitive and algorithmic tasks is quite extensive.

Using the IFTTT (IF This Then That) logic, Flow automates and integrates seamlessly and virtually requires zero coding. There are connectors to various web services such as Dropbox, OneDrive, Dynamics 365, SharePoint and so on. You can even use your preferred connectors. Since integration is one of the strong suits of Dynamics CRM, it makes it all the easier to connect with Flow. Let’s take a quick look at how to do this: 

Microsoft Flow and Dynamics CRM Integration

Step 1:  Go to the Microsoft Flow home page. Log in to Flow.

Step 2:  Select the template called ‘Create Dynamics notes for Files in a OneDrive Folder’.

Step 3:  Sign in to both your Dynamics CRM instance and your OneDrive instance. Click continue and you will be able to see the operations within the workflow.

Step 4:  Choose a folder to sync from your OneDrive

Step 5: Scroll to the bottom of the workflow and then click on Create.  

Step 6: Now test the workflow and if it is running as desired by clicking on My Flows.

Step 7: Now add a new contact record within Dynamics CRM.

Step 8: Select an image for your OneDrive folder. The file name should have the same name as your contact’s last name.

Step 9: Wait a few minutes while the sync is in process and then look for your record in Dynamics CRM. You should be able to see a new attachment.  Click it to preview.  You are all set now.

As you can see, creating workflow integration is easy as pie and it can beautify your business routine.

Using Flow Mobile App for Pushing Notifications

A common requirement for office users is the need for automated e-mail notifications or messages. That is to get notified when such and such event takes place. It could be any trigger right from an email from the boss, or a VIP customer to getting notified whenever a file is added or deleted, or if a keyword is retweeted more than 100 times.

Microsoft Flow’s mobile app lets users cruise through various scenarios and templates and set notifications for specific triggers. Notifications can be emails, text messages, or push notifications on the phone. It is quite easy to design the flow for push notifications to your mobile device. The design can be created in the mobile app or on the Flow web app.  However, you will need the mobile app to receive the notifications. This app is available for iOS and Android with the promise of a Windows-based app being launched soon.  In case you are using an unsupported mobile device, fret not. You can still benefit from notifications by using SMS messages instead of push notifications.

Designing the Push Notification Workflow

1. Choose a template from the home page. If you can’t locate the template you want, you could use the See more button or the browse button in the top bar menu.  You could also search for specific templates using the Search box.

2. For example, choose the template ‘Get a push notification when you receive an email from your boss’. 

3. Click on the Use this template link. Now connect the necessary services.

4. Click on continue. This leads you to the designer page that designs your logic. Use the template default values and name your flow.  Publish the workflow.

5.  Your new push notification flow is designed and ready.  Of course, you will need set up the app on your phone and see the magic unveil.

Summary:

Microsoft is living up to its cloud-first and device-first strategy with productivity tools like Flow.  It has received generous feedback from power users and CRM users. The tool connects previously incongruent systems and devices and makes it super easy to design business rules and implement integrated workflows. The possibilities are quite exciting and almost endless for Dynamics CRM users. But if you are unsure of how to leverage the full potential of Flow within the CRM context, you could benefit from Dynamics CRM consulting services.  

Have you worked with Microsoft Flow yet? What other instances have you found it to be useful?

Please let us know in the comments below. 

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