Dynamics 365 Outlook App vs Client - What’s The Difference?

Microsoft Outlook is, as many of us know, the most comprehensive and popular email platform in the world today. What may not be as well known, though, is that there is a lot more to it than meets the eye. With the vast amount of business products and apps created by Microsoft, Outlook doesn’t reach its true potential until you have it integrated with the other applications your business already uses (or will use).

Dynamics 365 is Microsoft’s combination CRM & ERP system that contains modules for everything from Field Service to Human Resources. It is one of the products that, as mentioned before, integrates with and increases the ability of your Outlook environment. The combination of these two gives you easy access within Outlook to CRM actions and data such as client info, internal documents, and more.

Before we go any further, we should make something clear; There is both a Dynamics 365 App for Outlook and what is called a Dynamics 365 Client for Outlook. There are some significant differences between the two that you will need to understand. Each product is accessed in a different way, has different features, and contain certain things that can be done in one and not in the other.

Dynamics 365 Outlook Client

The Dynamics 365 for Outlook Client both looks and feels like an extension of Outlook, not its own separate entity. This may seem like a minor detail, but the fact is that it saves you the hassle of introducing a new system to your users and getting them acquainted. The Client provides near-full functionality of CRM aspects of Dynamics 365, allowing users to track their emails, appointments, contacts, and tasks with automatic synchronization of all records between the two systems.

 This picture shows us some features of the Dynamics Outlook Client in the  orange  box and where to access the Dynamics Outlook App in the  green  box.

This picture shows us some features of the Dynamics Outlook Client in the orange box and where to access the Dynamics Outlook App in the green box.

The Client also gives users customization options for viewing and sorting their Dynamics 365 data. Probably the most significant feature of the Dynamics 365 for Outlook Client is the Work Offline mode. Being able to get work done without an internet connection is vital to salespersons and those who travel often for work. The Dynamics 365 for Outlook Client makes this possible by copying a subset of your Dynamics 365 data on to your local hard drive. The changes and/or updates you make will save in your hard drive and when you’re connected to the internet again, Dynamics will resync with Outlook and update with the changes made. Before going offline, users can specify which sets of data to sync onto their hard drive so they get only the information they need.

Dynamics 365 Outlook App

The Dynamics 365 App for Outlook is a Microsoft Office add-in that’s supported by every version of Outlook. With the App, your CRM data will appear directly under emails in Outlook and give you a quick glimpse of the sender with relevant information that you have stored in Dynamics 365. Things like recent activities, phone numbers, job title, and more will be in plain sight with no searching or clicking necessary. Easily link emails and appointments to a Dynamics record or contact or open up the item as a whole to find and/or enter more detailed info

 Dynamics 365 data for a given user is available within Outlook at the click of a button with the Dynamics 365 Outlook  App.

Dynamics 365 data for a given user is available within Outlook at the click of a button with the Dynamics 365 Outlook App.

One of the most helpful features of the Dynamics 365 App is the Relationship Assistant, made to give users the most essential information that’s relevant to what they’re doing at any given time. Each day when users sign in to Dynamics 365, the Assistant will pull their attention to the tasks deemed to have the highest priority based on its analysis. Some examples of what the Relationship Assistant might do for you include:

  • Remind you of any upcoming activities

  • Alert you of any opportunities approaching their close date

  • Identify emails that you may have missed or are waiting for a reply

  • Analyze your contact history and suggesting clients to reach out to

Shortcomings

The most significant weakness of the Outlook Client is its inability to work across devices and operating systems. The Client only works in the Desktop version of Outlook for Windows, not online, and cannot be used on phones or any Apple devices. There are some actions in the Client that require a step or two more than in the App, and it is also missing some minor tracking abilities that are present in the App. Some users have reported slower Outlook performance with the Client installed.

None of this is to say that the App is inherently better or even the right choice for your business, because there are certain things that are simply not possible in the App that are available in the Client. Most notably is users do not have the option to work offline like they do in the Dynamics 365 Client. This may a deal breaker for organizations with lots of field service reps or employees who travel on a regular basis. Additionally, the App does not provide the ability to track tasks to a record like the Client does, but you can for appointments, meetings, and contacts. Lastly, users do not have options to modify the way they view Dynamics 365 data.

 A full list of what is and what is not possible in both the Dynamics 365 Outlook App & Client. For more information, visit https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/customer-engagement/outlook-app/v8/deploy-dynamics-365-app-for-outlook

A full list of what is and what is not possible in both the Dynamics 365 Outlook App & Client. For more information, visit https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/customer-engagement/outlook-app/v8/deploy-dynamics-365-app-for-outlook

Ready to get the most out of your email?

We hope this article has helped to clear up any confusion between the two. Deciding on the Outlook Client or App boils down to what you need to do with the connection. For more information regarding how to get these products, software requirements, and how to install them, visit their respective deployment pages, here for the Outlook Client and here for the App.

Syvantis Technologies Inc. is here to help your business with its digital transformation with products like Outlook, Dynamics 365, and more. Because we have consultants, not salespeople, you can ensure that you will get the rights products and support to help your business grow without having to deal with shady sales tactics. Fill out the form below to schedule a call with one of our consultants, who will work with you to devise a custom plan for your organization.

 
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