By Robin Schaareman
Earlier Microsoft announced that in October this year (2020) cloud organizations need to be on the newest Unified Interface. Via the website https://runone.powerappsportals.com you can check what date is set for your own environments. You can postpone this date to a date which suit you and/or your organization more. Be aware that 1st of October is the deadline, after this all environments should be on the Unified Interface.
Microsoft website you can find a lot of information how to check whether your
solution is ready for the Unified Interface. Most of the information will be
about if the technical parts in your solution will still function after you
transition to the Unified Interface. However this is really important it is
just as important that all the end users will benefit/work with the new
interface as well.
Since it has been changed a lot it is good to discuss a suitable approach to implement this feature. Via this blog I will share my approach in how I implement the new Unified Interface at a customer. It might be a standard approach but in my experience this was effective enough to bring the new feature in the organization.
- Prepare with your team
Before you inform the users about this new feature it is important to check if your solution is applicable. If this is the case you can create a new App within Dynamics 365. This app can be used for testing all the forms etc and see how it looks. If it all looks good you can strip this new app to make the sitemap just with the minimal entities needed for sales to do their work. For example, accounts, contacts, activities and opportunities. This will be the app that will be used during a pilot period with the users. Create a separate security role so the users that will attend the pilot can access the new app.
- Inform important stakeholders/champions
Most of the time at a customer there are some enthusiastic users which
are happy to hear about new features or changes. These users can help you get a
platform to all other users and make them enthusiastic as well! Get those
people in a room and inform them about the new Unified Interface. Show them the
benefits of the new interface (its faster than the “old” version 😉) and discuss your plan in how to implement
this new feature. Important outcome in this meeting is a date and a list of
users that can attend the demo/pilot.
- Give a demo to the users + surprise pilot!
After you have set a date with the stakeholders you can give a demo to a group of users that will attend a pilot (which they don’t know yet!). During this presentation you can show the new Unified Interface and all the benefits that comes with it (tablet/mobile version etc). At the end you have a small surprise, users that want to attend a pilot can start with that right after the meeting. Show the users that they can access the new features via the new app and at all times can switch back to the more familiar interface (if they get stuck or something). Also try to explain that they work within the same database.
- Discuss the outcome and way forward
During the pilot you need to be pro active and ask pilot users how it is going. If they found any issues or have recommendations just write them down and discuss them with your team and the other stakeholders. In the end you can facilitate a meeting with all the pilot users to discuss the outcome and which of the feedback will be implemented before the release. After that you can propose a date to go live 😊 at the beginning you can still make an app which contains the old version of the UI. For some users this can be helpful in the transition to the new UI. Like I said, pretty straight forward but in my opinion an effective way to implement the new UI. Hope this helps