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How Microsoft Dynamics SMS Texting Integration Works

Microsoft Dynamics SMS texting is a perfect marriage between a powerful CRM system and an SMS texting platform. Email works in some cases, but studies show email has a dismal open rate of only 20%. Compare that to texts at a 98% open rate and you can see why so many businesses and higher education institutions are interested in integrating Microsoft Dynamics with SMS texting.

You can add SMS text messaging to your email communications to generate new leads, increase productivity, and boost sales. It’s essential to find a truly native SMS text messaging integration for Microsoft Dynamics in order to realize the combined solution’s full benefit. 

The highest ROI Microsoft Dynamics SMS texting integrations are built using Microsoft Development Tools and operate seamlessly within your existing IT infrastructure. These integrations offer an array of enterprise-grade features built for scale and reliability, as well as operate inside of your existing Microsoft Dynamics 365 database. No extra systems to manage and no data transformation issues, increasing message speed and deliverability rates.

Native Microsoft Dynamics Integration

With any Microsoft Dynamics SMS texting integration, compatibility is a major concern. Native integration means applications are built using Microsoft’s own development tools versus home-built integrations that frequently cause resource, implementation, and usability issues. Gartner says building your own integrations can lead to “integration disorder, complexity and cost.” On the other hand, native integrations ensure greater security, performance, and reliability.

Although some SMS text messaging providers report having Microsoft Dynamics integration, it’s important to clarify what that often means. Many times, these “integrations” are simply data connections that merely sync contact info between the vendor’s application and your Microsoft Dynamics 365 instance. Sounds fine, until you start using the system.

Related: Salesforce SMS Text Messaging Integration

Your users will have to open a separate window to send text messages, killing productivity. A more effective workflow is to have text message capability embedded into the menu system within the Microsoft Dynamics window. This is just one of the reasons a truly native Microsoft Dynamics SMS texting integration is so beneficial.

Other vendors use automation tools, like Zapier or Boomi, as intermediaries between their messaging services and client databases. While tools like these have their place, third-party solutions are typically not the ideal solution for enterprise-grade SMS text messaging. They can substantially increase your costs per text message as well.

Since both inbound and outbound requests count as separate transactions, the total cost of ownership grows rapidly as messaging volume increases. Automation platforms like these provide quick access to basic integrations but remain prone to unwelcome side effects. 

For instance, Zapier adds its own fees to your messaging costs, and 15-minute Zapier messaging delays are common (depending on the service plan and configuration). Most enterprise-grade businesses eliminate the middleman and instantly deliver your messages.

Many non-native Microsoft Dynamics SMS applications require using provider infrastructures to send SMS messages instead of your own. This presents a questionable arrangement subject to a host of vulnerabilities and problems. True native Microsoft Dynamics SMS texting integrations eliminate these concerns because SMS messages and activity flow directly from within your CRM database.

Benefits of Native Integrations

Ease of Use

With native integration, you can significantly reduce onboarding and training times. Since there is no need for additional accounts or logins, users already familiar with the Microsoft Dynamics CRM ecosystem can take full advantage of native SMS integrations immediately.

Microsoft Dynamics dashboard screenshot
A Microsoft Dynamics SMS texting integration allows users to text directly from the Dynamics dashboard

Native integrations bypass the steep learning curve often associated with implementing third-party solutions and make your organization more efficient.

Enhanced Security

Another benefit of a native Microsoft Dynamics SMS texting integration is enhanced security and better control over data access. Built for large organizations, enterprise-grade SMS texting features make system administration easier. And because they use the same security protocols as other Microsoft applications, you can minimize data security breaches and containment issues.

Download: “Microsoft Dynamics Text Message Integration” whitepaper

Most importantly, data never resides on questionable third-party servers that you have zero control over its security. On-premise Microsoft Dynamics installations utilize local data processing and storage servers, while cloud-based setups reside on Microsoft’s trusted, ultra-secure network. Administrators rest easy knowing they are protecting critical data and providing always-available access.

Improved Performance

Native apps built using Microsoft Development Tools share the same legendary performance and uptime associated with traditional Microsoft products. Because native applications live entirely within your Dynamics 365 instance, they’re naturally more efficient and less susceptible to problems.

Businesses using native, cloud-based SMS integrations have higher reliability. Since native apps exist within your specific Microsoft Dynamics 365 environment, you never need database updates between you and outside vendors. As long as the Microsoft Dynamics database is operational, your data is accessible.

However, to take full advantage of these capabilities, you must choose a cloud-based SMS text messaging provider with a native Microsoft Dynamics SMS texting integration. It’s the only way you can enjoy the benefits of an enterprise-grade texting platform and those of Microsoft Dynamics.

Compatibility and Extended Functionality

Because they’re built with the same software development platforms, native Microsoft Dynamics apps integrate seamlessly with other Microsoft products and services. With so many powerful API and customization features, you have nearly endless system configuration options.

You can connect freely with other Microsoft Core Services or create custom solutions knowing compatibility won’t be an issue in your CRM environment. Some integrated solutions not only capture text messages inside of your CRM but mark activity of those messages (both bulk messages and 1-1 messages) on the contact record, much like you attach email conversations in your CRM for later reference.

Partnering with an SMS text messaging vendor who supports cloud-based Microsoft Dynamics 365 installations offers even more possibilities. One example is taking advantage of Microsoft’s powerful, cloud-only custom integrations and smart reporting functions powered by machine learning.

Dynamic 365 dashboard screenshot
Cloud-based installations extend CRM functionality and reporting capabilities

Many of the following add-ons also benefit from including SMS text messaging and reporting functionality. 

PowerBI

Microsoft’s flagship business analytics solution offers valuable data insights and customizable displays of performance metrics. You can easily embed these stunning reports in apps and web pages, as well as sharing with others both inside and outside of your organization.

Flow and PowerApps

Create built-in workflows and custom automation sets using a drag-and-drop suite of tools. Users can easily personalize over 200 different Microsoft/partner applications based on business logic and enterprise needs.

Automated workflows improve productivity and enable collaboration at an unprecedented scale. They also provide the ability to create new processes without having to write a line of code or hire a developer. 

Web Portals

portals. These websites are easy to share and maintain and can be used for a number of different internal applications.

Learning Paths

A relatively new Microsoft Dynamics CRM feature allows organizations to strengthen and enhance user experiences. Administrators can build “paths” to deliver custom content to specific users/groups accessing the database. Such automation can significantly reduce training times/costs by allowing the user to control their own learning experience.

Keep in mind these add-ons are only available for cloud-based Microsoft Dynamics and Dynamics 365 installations. Thus, it is paramount to choose providers who support Dynamics cloud databases to take full advantage of a Microsoft Dynamics SMS texting integration.

Long Code vs. Short Code SMS Texting Options

A frequently overlooked component of selecting a vendor for a Microsoft Dynamics SMS texting integration is understanding when to use long codes vs. short codes. 

Related: Long Code vs. Short Code: Which Is Right for Your Business?

Long Codes

Long codes are 10-digit numbers used for direct 2-way communication with two or more parties. Following the traditional number format of landlines and cell phones, voice calls, faxes, and text messages use long codes. Being able to call and text from the same number has distinct advantages, the biggest of which is providing customers direct access to your brand via a single point of contact. 

Long codes are ideal for creating personalized experiences and seamless 2-way conversations; however, carrier restrictions prohibit sending mass SMS marketing messages using long codes. Violations can incite legal action and cause vendors to forfeit long codes already assigned, making short codes just as essential.

Short Codes

Short codes serve entirely different purposes than long codes. Organizations use these 5-6 digit numbers frequently for marketing, alerts, and mass 1-way communication. Short codes are designed for sending bulk SMS marketing messages and mass notifications.

Although less personal than long codes, short codes facilitate messaging millions of prospects, clients, or subscribers at the same time, yet this messaging format comes with its own limitations.

Shared short codes are currently the most common option among smaller SMS text messaging providers, but carriers are retiring these codes this year. Organizations can still use short codes but only dedicated short codes that you do not share with any other organization.

Dedicated short codes are either vanity or non-vanity codes. With vanity short codes, you get to choose your own number combination as long as it hasn’t already been taken. The carrier randomly selects a non-vanity number for you, but it is yours alone to use. The only downside to these dedicated short codes is they are relatively expensive and still require customers to call a 10-digit long code if they want to reach your business via phone.

The solution? Choose a provider who offers both long codes and dedicated short codes to fit all of your business scenarios. Short codes for marketing campaigns and long codes for customer service is an excellent approach.

SMS Text Messaging Service and Support

A high quality Microsoft Dynamics SMS texting integration adds tremendous value; however, the right setup and support are crucial to fully leverage your investment. 

Look for SMS providers who build and support their own technologies rather than piggybacking off of other SMS APIs or generic integration tools. True enterprise-grade SMS vendors provide native SMS integrations, have direct carrier connections, and maintain their own fully-documented SMS APIs.

Besides offering higher performance and optimal pricing, top vendors employ dedicated technology teams and seasoned developers who understand how to properly integrate new SMS texting solutions.

Leading SMS vendors provide knowledgeable installation teams to assist with new setups or transitions over from existing ones. Premium SMS solutions also include automated software wizards to help with common tasks and provide troubleshooting assistance should problems arise.

Seek out vendors who employ US-based support agents who understand the unique needs of enterprise businesses and large organizations. Overseas service options can introduce language barriers and create support hours outside of US standards.

Enterprise Scalability and Pricing

When integrating SMS text messaging into Microsoft Dynamics 365, choose an experienced vendor who understands enterprise businesses, maintains direct carrier connections, and offers volume pricing and scalability.

SMS texting vendors who deal primarily with small businesses often lack the resources to manage mall SMS traffic volume, including reliable mass deliverability and proper queuing protocols for competing campaigns. 

Insist on using cloud-based providers who have the bandwidth and speed necessary to handle the large-scale volume.

You’ll find market pricing varies as many SMS vendors simply build their interfaces on top of other provider’s SMS APIs. In most cases, these are resellers with little or no flexibility to offer volume discounts as you grow. The best SMS providers build their own SMS API and connect directly with carriers to eliminate costs and offer enterprise-level pricing.

If you’re ready to add Microsoft Dynamics SMS texting capabilities to your existing IT infrastructure, schedule a TrueDialog demo to see why TrueDialog has the best enterprise-grade platform and US-based support on the market.

 

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