Omnichannel Admin Center (Part I)

So there’s a new kid on the block. Or rather, it’s probably more accurate to say that there’s a new app available in Dynamics 365! This is the ‘Omnichannel Admin Center’ app that’s now present for anyone who currently has Omnichannel installed in their environment, or who is creating a new installation of Omnichannel.

So, what is this all about then?

Well, let’s back up a step here. Previously to set up Omnichannel, users had to go into the Dynamics 365 Settings, find the Omnichannel App, start the setup of it, and then go ahead & manually configure everything in the Omnichannel Administration app.

This, to be frank, took quite a bit of time to do, and needed users to be very familiar with the different parts of the interface. I’ve previously covered the (multiple) steps needed to do all of this in various blog posts, to help users understand what is actually needing to be done.

Thankfully, Microsoft realised the complexity around this, and have come out with a simplified administration experience. I’m very much in support of this, as it reduces the complexity of getting things started for Omnichannel in the first instance!

So let’s go ahead & take a look at this new app

The first thing to notice when opening the new Omnichannel Admin Center app is the interface itself. I think that this is really nice – rather than a ‘typical’ model-driven app experience, users are able to see some useful information on the home page itself!

Also, very nicely done in my opinion, are the three links at the bottom of the page:

  • Release Notes. This takes users to the release notes section on the Microsoft Docs website. It’s a great little thing that can help users understand the latest/greatest features that are being released
  • Ideas forum. People come up with great ideas to suggest to Microsoft to be able to include in their products. The Ideas forum is the location for these, where users can upvote popular concepts, or submit their own ideas. The Microsoft engineering teams do actually keep an eye on this!
  • Support community. The community forums are really helpful in allowing users to raise questions around the products, and give the ability for other users to help them out by giving answers etc. Most users will have already experienced the support forums in one way or another, but having a link directly to it is definitely quite useful to have

Now one thing that’s usually asked is ‘how can we quickly/easily see & set up chat in Omnichannel’? It’s one of the first things asked, as people tend to want to deploy (web)chat capabilities first, and then add other capabilities later on. Setting this up manually does take several steps, along with some waiting time (or, as I like to refer to it as, a coffee/snack break!)

It’s possible to quickly launch this through the button at the top of the page, rather than needing to go through the multiple configuration steps manually:

Click the button to launch it, and you’ll see the following window come up:

Clicking the ‘open chat demo’ will allow the system to start automatically configuring it for you – no more need for manual steps! You’re also able to use sample data if you wish to, to be able to show the experience without needing to load it in manually.

Yes, this really does only take a minute or two to happen!

Once the system has auto-configured everything, you’re now able to go ahead & launch the demo. Again, all the links & information are presented easily to us, telling/showing us what we need to do.

You’ll notice the chat widget in the lower right hand corner, which I’ve outlined in the image above. This launches into the chat widget directly, rather than needing to deploy it first to a webpage:

There’s no need to start needing to get into the setup of workstreams, queues, channels, routing capabilities, etc. It’s all configured right for you, to get you immediately started!

Of course, to test it out fully you’ll also need someone logged in as an Omnichannel Agent, to be able to respond to the chat instance. This could be the same user (in a different tab/browser on the same machine), or a different user on another machine. It’s really up to you as to how you would like to go about it.

So this is a really great feature to be able to have now. It’s not the ONLY great thing about the new app, however – stay turned for Part II next week when I’ll go into more capabilities that it provides!

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