Microsoft Dynamics CRM : Email to Case – Limitations and Comparison with Work 365 Solution

Email to Case Automation

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and On-Premise have the feature that includes Automatic Case Creation, Managing Entitlements (how much service to provide to customers), Managing SLA’s (First response time, resolution time), Dynamic Routing, Case Merging, Case Hierarchy, etc.

A big part of the functionality is the Automation of Emails to Case. For business benefits, considerations and options for implementing email to case automation you can refer my earlier blog: Microsoft Dynamics CRM Spring ‘14: Email to Case – business benefits, considerations and option for CRM 2011 customers.

In this blog I am going to compare and contrast some of the out-of-box Email to Case features with the Work 365 Email to Case solution:

1. Handling Emails received from Unknown Senders

In Microsoft email to case, emails received from unknown senders could either be ignored from case creation or automatically a new contact would be created in CRM and linked to this newly created case.

However, what if you receive a lot of emails from customers and do not want a new contact to be created for each one of them?

With Work 365, Email to Case Automation, emails received from unknown senders could be linked to a configurable dummy account or contact. Also, there is an option to auto-create the contact in CRM and a link to this newly created case.

2. Link New Case Exclusively to Account or Contact based on Configurable Settings

In Spring release of the Email to Case, the email sender of an incoming email is matched against a contact in CRM and if they are found then the newly created case is linked to the parent account of the contact. If the parent account is not found then the case is linked to a contact. So cases are sometimes linked to contact or sometimes to account.

With the Work 365 Email to Case: You can configure this setting to link a case exclusively to the contact or exclusively to the parent account of the contact based on your case management process.

3. Email Spam Protection

We all know that the support addresses like [email protected] or [email protected] get a lot of spam. If you do not have a mechanism to filter this spam then you will end up with a lot of junk cases.

In Work 365 Email to Case, you can not only specify the domains and email list that you would like to exclude from case creation but also configure the keywords that would be matched with the email subject (like out-of-office, undeliverable, etc.) and filtered out.

4. Email Loop Protection

If email sender also has a built-in email to case set-up then this may result from an infinite loop of emails and cases.

Work 365 Email to Case has a built-in mechanism to detect and break such loops.



5. Link an Incoming Email to Existing Case based on Case Number in Email Subject

Microsoft email to case uses the smart matching technique to identify if an incoming email is part of the communication of the existing case. This is not a foolproof mechanism (as customers most of the times modify the email subject) and this may result in duplicate cases in CRM.

Work 365 email to case in addition to smart-matching also provides a very effective “case number search” algorithm, which searches the case number present anywhere in the email subject to all cases logged in CRM. This way even when customer modifies the email subject (but still has case number somewhere in email subject), the add-on will correctly identify the email as part of communication regarding an existing case (and no duplicate case will be created).

6. Copy Contents of Email Body to Case Description

Microsoft Email to Case does not copy the email body content to Case.

Work 365 Email to Case will strip the HTML tags from the email body and copy the contents to the case description for easy reading.

7. Copy Attachments to the Case

Microsoft Email to Case does not copy the attachments to the case.

Work 365 Email to Case allows copying the attachment to the case as well as there is an option to remove the attachment from an email (if needed).

8.  Automatic Case Owner Assignment

Microsoft Email to Case also provides Routing rule in order to set the case owner based on particular condition.

Work 365 Email to Case: in addition to out-of-box “Routing rule sets” also provides a number of different algorithms to automatically set the owner of the newly created case. For example round-robin assignment of cases, assignment of cases to an account\contact owner of the linked case, assignment of cases to a preferred use for an account\contact owner of the linked case.

9. Email Notifications on New Case Creation or New Communication received regarding an Existing Case

Microsoft Email to Case provides a configurable email template for sending an auto-response to the sender of email on case creation.

Work 365 email to case provides 2 sets of notification options:

The external notification provides a configurable email template for sending an auto-response to the sender with an option to have the CC recipient as the owner of this newly created case. This is helpful because the support person in CC… can then directly reply to the sender of the email and the email chain can continue.

The internal notification provides a configurable email template for sending auto-response to your team when a new case is created (with direct URL to the case record in CRM) or new communication is received regarding an existing case.

10. Event Logging

Work 365 Email to Case provides a very detailed event logging which can help you diagnose any anomaly easily. We have some customers who use more than 20 different incoming support queues and are constantly bombarded with emails…this event logging feature has been a lifesaver to easily troubleshoot any issues and take corrective steps immediately.

detailed event login

Below is a tabular comparison between CRM 2013 Email to Case and Work 365 Email to Case Solution:

Functionality – Email to CaseMicrosoftIOTAP
Creating case from an email received from unknown senders by creating new contacts in CRM &
linking to the case
Creating case from an email received from unknown senders by linking to a dummy account \ contact
(option to an auto-create case in CRM without the need to create a new contact)
Linking new case exclusively to Account or exclusively to Contact based on configurable settings
Email Spam protection (ability to detect configurable keywords in email subject and stop the creation of the case)
Email Loop protection
Link an email to an existing case by using CRM smart matching technique
Link an email to an existing case based on case number present in the email subject
(smart matching is not very effective in detecting follow-up emails)
Ability to re-open an existing case if the email is received regarding it
Copy contents of email body to case description
Copy attachments from email to case notes (and optional ability to remove the attachments from the email)
Case Owner Assignment using Routing Rules
Case Owner Assignment Options- Round robin, Account\Contact Owner, Account\Contact Preferred User
Auto-Response email notification to Customer on case creation (based on configurable email template)
Auto-Response email notification to Customer marking the Case owner in CC on case creation
(so that the respective case owner could receive the notification too)
Email Template selection
Detailed event logging from the email received to send an auto-response to the customer for easy diagnosis
of an anomaly (an essential tool for troubleshooting)

Microsoft has done a good job by bringing email to case creation as a part of standard functionality in CRM.

However, if you find certain gaps mentioned above as critical or good-to-have then feel free to try the email to case add-on from Work 365 store.