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Test driving the Unified Service Desk for Dynamics 365

Test driving the Unified Service Desk for Dynamics 365

What is the Unified Service Desk (USD)? The answer is, that’s up to you

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Test driving the Unified Service Desk for Dynamics 365
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Test driving the Unified Service Desk for Dynamics 365

What is the Unified Service Desk (USD)? The answer is, that’s up to you.
In short, it’s a companion desktop application for use with Dynamics 365. A few months ago I started testing this application, initially without much success. The installation option I chose gave an empty application window, a completely blank canvas that you can customise to your hearts content. My difficulty at the time was getting to grips with the customisation, and running into performance problems. At one stage, some seemingly light customisation led to the application taking over 60 seconds to load on a high spec Windows 10 laptop. I found browsing accounts, contacts and other entities to be cumbersome and sluggish compared to a browser interface.

But this is missing the point! It’s not meant to replace a browser, it’s a different animal altogether.

Round pegs for round holes

One of the main scenarios for using USD is in a call centre environment. Here the power of the application comes to the fore. It’s not just presenting the information in a different way, it’s guiding the user through a process. For example we have

  • Call scripts to guide the user
  • Multiple panes to display associated data
  • Case / Contact records updated directly
  • Session Timer
  • Knowledge base search

The information presented in each pane can be customised as required, the navigation can be customised also. You want pop ups? New tabs? Close the previous tab? Keep it open? Make it so.

This is the real reason for using USD, it can display only relevant information, and in a relevant way. Multiple pieces of information can be displayed, edited, and closed again. Navigation rules can be put in place to help the user. For example if clicking on a contact from the case entity, load it in a new session; but if clicking on a contact from an account, load it in the current session.
 

Test driving the Unified Service Desk for Dynamics 365

Installation

As all of the configuration for the USD is done on the server side, the desktop application requires very little configuration. In fact it just needs a server URL, and user authentication details. When the application is launched it caches the configuration from the server. This means any changes to the configuration will be picked up by all clients when they next launch the application.

But I’m not a developer?

No problem, neither am I. And there’s another thing about configuring the USD, it’s all done via the settings - Unified Service Desk menus. Almost all of the configuration can be done without a single line of code. There is a learning curve on getting to grips with the components, for example hosted controls (stuff), action calls (stuff we do), events (stuff that happens), sessions lines (names) to name a few. But once you have the basics under control you can setup your menus, layout, behaviour and more to meet your requirements.

Presenting the right data, at the right time, is the goal of any CRM system and using USD gives you a desktop application to do that.

If you would like to know more about USD for Dynamics 365, contact Ergo here.

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