Use Connected Field Service to remotely monitor and service customer equipment (Field Service)

Applies to Dynamics 365 (online), version 9.x

Use Connected Field Service for Dynamics 365 to monitor connected devices and always know your customer’s equipment is functioning correctly. If equipment fails, you’ll be notified so that you can troubleshoot the problem remotely, or send a technician to fix it.

Connected Field Service for Dynamics 365 helps service organizations move from a costly break-fix model to a more proactive service model by combining monitoring and predictive maintenance with Internet of Things (IoT).

Key benefits of Connected Field Service:

  • Reduce downtime with proactive alerts from connected devices.

  • Address issues faster by remotely monitoring devices and keeping customers in the loop.

  • Reduce maintenance costs by dispatching a technician with the right expertise, availability, and location to the job.

Note

This feature was introduced in CRM Online 2016 Update and CRM 2016 (on-premises) by the name of Interactive Service hub. With the December 2017 update, Interactive Service hub is now known as Customer Service Hub. Interested in getting this feature? Find your CRM administrator or support person.

To learn more, see Video buttonVideo: Use Connected Field Service to remotely monitor and service customer equipment (2:59)

Prerequisites

Before you install Connected Field Service for Dynamics 365, make sure you have the following:

Install Connected Field Service

Install the Connected Field Service solution from your Office 365 admin portal. The solution includes a sample thermostat simulator app that you can use to send test alerts to connected devices that are registered in field service.

Developers can also use the simulator as a sample template to further customize the app. More information: Connected Field Service Developer Guide

  1. Sign in to https://portal.office.com with your Global Administrator or Dynamics 365 system administrator credentials.

  2. Click Admin centers > Dynamics 365

  3. Click the Applications tab, and then select Connected Field Service.

  4. Click Manage.

  5. Read and accept the Terms of service.

  6. In the Installing Azure Required Assets dialog box, enter your Azure account, click Sign In User, and then follow the sign-in process.

  7. In the Selecting Azure Subscription dialog box, select the Azure subscription that you want to create resources under and then click Next.

  8. In the Choose a resource group dialog box, create a new resource group or use an existing resource group.

  9. Optional Step for Power BI. To install the Azure SQL database that is used for Power BI, check the Enable Power BI Integration box, and then enter the Azure SQL database user name and password.

    Note

    To Power BI, you will also need to download a PBIX (PowerBI desktop file) to publish reports.

  10. Click Deploy.

    After you’ve installed all required Azure resources, click Authorize to configure the Dynamics 365 connector connection API . When you configure the connection API you’ll need to enter your Dynamics 365 subscription account.

Note

Before you click the Authorize button, make sure all required Azure resources are successfully deployed and that the overall deployment status is “Success”.

Set up the sample simulator (optional)

To find the simulator URL , sign in to your Azure subscription, and then click the App Service resource type under the newly created resource group. You’ll see the URL is in the top right corner. Copy the URL and complete the following steps:

  1. Paste the URL into your browser’s address bar to load the page.

  2. When the simulator page opens, click Configuration.

  3. Enter the IoT hub host name and key. This information is in your Azure portal.

  4. Select the IoT hub in the Resource Group.

  5. On the left under General, click Shared access policies to get the host name and primary key.

  6. Make sure Connection status is marked as Connected and then close the dialog box.

    Now you can send a test command by using the sample simulator. For example, click the temperature and increase it to above 70 degrees.

Register devices that you want to monitor in Dynamics 365

To monitor a device, you need to create and register an asset.

  1. From the main menu click, Field Service > Customer Assets.

  2. On the command bar click New.

  3. Use the helpful tooltips to fill in information.

  4. Connected Device Attributes: to register the device with the IoT hub, make sure you enter a Device ID.

  5. When you’re done, click SAVE and a record will be created.

  6. On the command bar click, REGISTER DEVICES.

  7. Click OK in the registration box that appears.

  8. When the device is registered, it will appear as a registered asset. To verify the registration, from the main menu click Field Service > Registered Assets.

Set up a Power BI chart (optional)

Set up Power BI accounts and open the sample .pbix report.

  1. Go to https://powerbi.microsoft.com and create a free Power BI account .

  2. Install Power BI Desktop.

  3. Sign in to Power BI Desktop with the Power BI user credentials (we recommend that this user is the same as the Dynamics 365 user).

  4. Download and open the sample Power BI template.

    The Power BI report will open with errors because it was created with a sample SQL database and user. Update the query with your SQL database and user, and then publish the report to Power BI.

Update the query to point to your SQL database

  1. Click Edit Queries.

  2. Click Advanced Editor.

  3. Replace the source SQL database with the database provisioned in your Azure resource group.

  4. Click Close and Apply.

    You can find your SQL server name in the SQL database in the Azure portal.

  5. Add your IP address to the SQL server firewall to allow Power BI Desktop to connect to the SQL server.

  6. Copy the IP address when you see this message.

    Microsoft SQL message

  7. Go to the Azure portal, open the SQL server, and add your IP address to the firewall.

Publish to your Power BI account

  1. Save your changes and publish.

  2. Once you publish, Power BI Desktop will provide a link and message that instructs you to open the report and provide credentials.

  3. Once the report is open, you’ll see notifications to edit your credentials.

  4. Enter the SQL server admin user name and password to allow Power BI to access your database.

  5. In the Power BI sidebar, open the report and pin these tiles to a dashboard. You can create a dashboard or pin to an existing one.

  6. Save the dashboard, and then share it with any users who have permissions to see the dashboard and tiles.

    • In the top right corner of the dashboard, click Share, enter the users email address, and click the Share button .

Pin the tile in Dynamics 365

  1. Open the device, alert, or asset form.

    Important

    The device that is related to any of the open forms must have a device ID and be registered; otherwise, the PowerBI section will be hidden.

  2. The first time you will need to specify the tile you want pinned. After that, the tile will load when you go to the page.

    1. Click the Add button.

    2. A configuration window displays. Sign in if prompted.

    3. Pick your dashboard and tile.

      A preview of the tile will load; however, if you have not run the simulator for that device, there will be no data, as shown here.

  3. Save the tile.

  4. The config window closes, and the Power BI section reloads with the pinned tile.

  5. The tile is filtered to the device ID of the current entity.

  6. The next time you load any of the device, alert, or asset forms, the Power BI section will load the tile automatically, filtered to the current entity device ID (if there is a device ID and the device has been registered).

Add devices to an asset

If you have a device with more parts that you want to monitor, instead of creating separate asset records for each part, you can create one asset record and add the parts to it.

  1. From the main menu click Field Service > Registered Assets.

  2. From the list of existing assets, open the asset record that you want to add parts to.

  3. To add parts, in the Connected Devices section, click the See the records associated with this view button.

  4. Click Connect, and then click To Another or To Me.

  5. Use the helpful tooltips to fill in the rest of the information and then click Save.

Register multiple existing assets

  1. To register multiple assets at once, click Field Service > Customer Assets.

  2. From the list of assets, select the assets that you want to register.

  3. On the command bar, click REGISTER DEVICES.

  4. Click OK in the registration dialog box that appears.

  5. When the device is registered, it will show up as a registered asset. To verify the registration, from the main menu click Field Service > Registered Assets.

Register an asset on the mobile app

Before you can register assets on the mobile app, you will first need to install the mobile app. More information: Field Service Mobile App User’s Guide

  1. On your mobile device, open the mobile app.

  2. Tap Customer Assets, and then tap the Add button.

  3. Fill in the asset information and, then tap Register Device.

Note

You cannot associate an asset with a device using the mobile app.

Registration error

When a device does not register, you will see an error in the Registration Status field of the asset record. For assets with multiple devices, device status will show the error message for each device.

This error may occur if Dynamics 365 is not connected to Azure or if Azure is offline.

View a device's registration history

  1. From the main menu, click Internet of Things > Registered Devices.

  2. Click an IoT device record to open it.

  3. In the Category field, use the search button to find and to add the device to a category.

Categorize devices

You can also manage devices by categorizing them. For example, you can categorize devices by the commands they support, the type of device, or by devices that break down more often.

Create a new IoT device category

  1. From the main menu, click Internet of Things > Device Categories.

  2. On the command bar, click New.

  3. Enter a Name for the device category.

  4. Use the helpful tooltips to fill in information.

  5. When you're done click Save.

  6. Open the IoT device category record that you created.

  7. In the Devices section, click Add IoT Device record , and then add a device to the category.

Add devices to an existing category

  1. From the main menu click, Internet of Things > Registered Devices.

  2. Click an IoT device record to open it.

  3. In the Category field, use the search button to find and add the device to a category.

View device readings

Once a device is registered, you can open the record to view the readings sent by the device. For example, if you’re monitoring a thermostat, your reading will show the thermostat temperature.

By default, you can view the last 20 readings. You can change the default setting in the Power BI report by using Power BI Desktop.

  1. To view a device reading, from the main menu, click Field Service > Customer Asset.

  2. From the list of assets, choose an asset and open the record.

  3. Refer to the Connect Device Readings section to view the device readings.

Remotely send commands to a registered device

When a device isn’t working properly, the system receives an alert. To troubleshoot the issue remotely, you can send a command by choosing a registered device or by using an existing IoT alert.

Note

When you receive multiple alerts from the same device, the alerts will be listed in hierarchical order. You can change the grouping by changing the IoT - Parent IoT Alerts workflow.

Send commands from a registered asset

  1. From the main menu, click Field Service > Registered Assets.

  2. From the list of assets, choose a registered asset or device.

  3. On the command bar, click CREATE COMMAND.

  4. Enter a Name for the command.

  5. In the MESSAGE TO SEND box, copy and paste one of these supported commends. {"CommandName":"Reset Thermostat","Parameters":{}} {"CommandName":"Notification","Parameters":{"Message":"Technician has been dispatched"}} {"CommandName":"Set Values","Parameters":{"Reading":{"Temperature":"30","Humidity":"30"}}}

    Note

    Before sending a command make sure there are no spaces or extra characters in the command.

  6. On the command bar, click SEND&CLOSE to send the command.

Respond to an alert

  1. Navigate to Field Service > IoT Alerts.

  2. Choose an existing IoT alert record.

  3. On the command bar, click CREATE COMMAND.

  4. Enter a Name for the command.

  5. In the MESSAGE TO SEND box, copy and paste one of the supported commands listed section above.

  6. On the command bar, click SEND&CLOSE to send the command.

View history of commands sent to a device

  1. From the main menu, click Field Service > Customer Assets.

  2. From the list, choose an asset.

  3. Scroll down to the Command section to view the history.

Create business process flows to automatically handle incoming IoT alerts

When you receive an alert from a device, your service team can manually monitor the alerts and troubleshoot the issue remotely. If the issue is not resolved by sending a remote command, the service rep can create a case or work order and dispatch a field tech. The provided business process flow guides you through the process of manually responding to IoT alerts. More information: Create a business process flow

List of default IoT actions:

  • IoT- Parent IoT Alerts (Action)

  • IoT- Register Customer Entity (Action)

  • IoT- Register Device (Action)

  • IoT – Debounce IoT Alerts (Action)

  • JSON-Based Field Value - Get Number (Action)

  • JSON-Based Field Value - Get String (Action)

  • JSON-Based Field Value - Get Boolean (Action)

View the IoT dashboard

The default IoT dashboard provides data on registered devices and alerts. More information: Create or customize dashboards

  1. From the main menu, click Field Service or Internet of Things.

  2. Click Dashboard.

    • The first chart shows alerts that you can sort by clicking the IoT Alerts by menu.

    • The second chart shows alerts by time.

    • The third chart shows alerts along with the action taken to resolve the issue.

Privacy notice

By installing Connected Field Service for Dynamics 365, when you provide your Azure subscription information, the required Azure resources (listed below) will be deployed and your Dynamics 365 (online) instance will send data (such as commands and registrations) to Azure to enable IoT–enabled scenarios that register devices and then send and receive commands to the registered devices. An administrator can uninstall Connected Field Service to remove the functionality and then navigate to the Azure portal to manage any related Azure services that are no longer needed.
Azure components and services that are involved with Connected Field Service functionality are detailed in the following sections.
Note: For more information about additional Azure service offerings, see the Microsoft Azure Trust Center.
Service bus queue
This provides a queue for both inbound and outbound messages (commands) flowing between Dynamics 365 and Azure. When an IoT alert is sent to Dynamics 365, or a command is sent from Dynamics 365 to the IoT hub, it will be queued here.
Logic Apps
This provides an orchestration service that uses a Dynamics 365 connector and a Queue connector. Dynamics 365 connectors are used to construct entities that are specific to Dynamics 365and Queue connectors are used for polling the queue.
Stream analytics
This provides a fully managed, real-time event processing engine that helps to unlock deep insights from data. Stream Analytics makes it easy to set up real-time analytic computations on data streaming from devices, sensors, web sites, social media, applications, infrastructure systems, and more. It is functioning as a funnel to send selective IoT alerts to Dynamics 365.
IoT Hub
Connected Field Services uses the IoT Hub to manage the state of registered devices and assets. In addition, the IoT Hub sends commands and notifications to connected devices—and tracks message delivery with acknowledgement receipts. Device messages are sent in a durable way to accommodate intermittently connected devices.
Simulator
This is a test web app to emulate the device that is sending commands or receiving commands from the IoT hub.
Azure SQL Database
Connected Field Service uses SQL Azure to store device heartbeat messages for later use by PowerBI to show the status of devices in Dynamics 365.
Azure Blob Storage
Queries that Stream Analytics will use are stored to Azure Blob storage.

See also

Overview of Dynamics 365 for Field Service
Install Dynamics 365 for Field Service
Configure default settings
View user accounts and security roles
Field Service Users Guide