Exchanging information with your customers is crucial. Pricing, availability, positions, and delivery info; it is a constant flow of data that your customer needs. Challenge is that the moment you send it, that same data might already be outdated. And if you send it by email, you never know where it lands…
Customer Portals enable trading companies to create an online environment directly linked to the Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management environment. This means you have a customer-facing website to communicate data such as order status and account information to your enterprise customers.
As the portal is using the Dynamics 365 security roles unauthorized access is prevented.
WHAT IS A CUSTOMER PORTAL?
Portals are websites that you can customize to give your customers, partners, and employees a tailored experience. Portals are integrated into Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement so you can display data from the backend directly on the portal.
To put it simply, portals enable you to present personalized web pages including forms that your visitors can complete. The information collected is directly linked to your Dynamics 365 so you don’t waste time re-entering information. It’s all done in one simple step.
You can create wide-ranging experiences enabling portal users to carry out several different actions. For example:
- You can give customers access to ‘their’ data in your system (view order history, account information, open order, invoices, etc.)
- Customers can create a purchase order directly online or ask for quotations.
- Customers can submit incidents and search for articles in a knowledge base.
- Partners can display and manage business opportunities.
Modern supply chain systems rely on integration. They require that inventory, customer demand, and sales departments be integrated instead of residing in separate silos. The Customer portal helps organizations that run Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management enhance this integration and more effectively keep their customers informed.
HOW DOES THE CUSTOMER PORTAL WORK?
The Customer Portal template gives you all the building blocks with an out-of-the-box template comprising the following features:
- authentication and authorization
- invitation process for customers to use the website
- ability to view order history,
- ability to create orders,
- ability to view account information
- pre-configured User Roles and Permissions.
Because the customer portal is a Power Apps portal, all the configurations, and the UI is completely customizable. Additionally, the data you surface can be changed and extended as far as the user rights allow you to.
So, because this is a Power Apps portals template, system customizers can use all features and customization capabilities that Power Apps portals offer. This also includes the powerful dual-write to the extent supported by dual-write.
WHAT CAN A PORTAL DO FOR MY ORGANIZATION?
Organizations use web portals for a variety of reasons. They are interactive tools that can provide a specific set of users with aggregated data from various sources in a safe and secure way.
With web portals you can:
- Present dashboards on various data with a consistently branded look and feel
- Display information from various sources in one place
- Empower (external and internal) users to access the information themselves when they need it in a safe place
- Tailor information accessibility depending on the type of user logging into the portal
- Increase revenue opportunities
- Improve communication and satisfaction with your customers, partners, and other relationship
WHO SHOULD USE IT?
The Customer Portal is designed for companies that run Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management and have one of these characteristics:
- You want to communicate order processing information (such as order status or account information) directly from your Supply Chain Management system to your customers
- You are transitioning from Dynamics AX 2012 to Supply Chain Management and previously used the AX 2012 Customer self-service portal.
The Customer portal is provided as a Power Apps portal template. It leans on Power Apps portals and dual-write.
Power Apps portals is a feature that lets users create an externally facing website that people from outside the organization can sign in to. Little to no coding is required to make portals. The Customer Portal is one of many Dynamics 365 portal templates that are available from Microsoft.
Dual-write is an out-of-box infrastructure product that provides near-real-time interaction between customer engagement apps and finance and operations apps. Dual-write also provides bidirectional integration between finance and operations apps and Microsoft Data verse. Therefore, it provides an integrated user experience across the apps. The Customer portal depends on tables that are synced with dual-write.
Customer portals offer secure, self-service websites designed to give businesses the ability to connect and share pertinent account and product information with users, while also allowing the user to easily search, enter, and view information. In this way, it is a centralized gateway between businesses and their clients (or employers/employees) for sharing information. Customer portals address users increasing interest in finding accurate information as quickly as possible by giving businesses an opportunity to keep content current and readily available.
Portals give the customer immediate and easy access to their service needs and businesses benefit from a reduction in support costs. Customers are granted 24/7 access to make purchases and payments, while businesses are open to many more opportunities for generating revenue. Both customers and businesses can use portals as a problem-solving tool, a time-saving option, and an approach to communication. Ultimately, having multiple access streams helps a business reach the primary goal of meeting customer expectations, and customer portals are a quick and effective way to do just that.
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