Understand and create work streams

Omnichannel for Customer Service offers a suite of capabilities that extend the power of Dynamics 365 Customer Service Enterprise to enable organizations to instantly connect and engage with their customers across digital messaging channels. An additional license is required to access Omnichannel for Customer service. For more information, see the Dynamics 365 Customer Service pricing overview and Dynamics 365 Customer Service pricing plan pages.

A work stream is a collection of routing and work distribution settings. Routing settings define how conversations should be routed to queues. Work distribution settings define how conversations should be allocated to agents within a queue.

In Omnichannel for Customer Service, you can create the following types of work streams:

  • Live chat work stream
  • SMS work stream
  • Work stream for social channels


A work stream can belong to multiple channels of the same type, like multiple chat channels. In this case, all the conversations from these channels inherit the routing and work distribution settings of the work stream they belong to.

Create a work stream

Follow these steps to create a new work stream in Omnichannel for Customer Service:

  1. In the Omnichannel site map, go to Work Distribution Management > Work Streams.

    The Active Work Streams view is displayed.

    Omnichannel work streams

  2. On the command bar, select New to create a work stream.

  3. In the Work Distribution tab of the new work stream, follow these steps:

    1. In the General information section, specify the following information:

      • Name: Enter a name for the work stream.

      • Channel: Channel is defined as a medium through which a customer reaches out for support. For example, a customer can contact an agent through chat.

        Select a channel from the drop-down list:

        • Live Chat
        • SMS
        • Facebook
        • Entity Records
        • WeChat
        • Microsoft Teams
        • LINE
        • WhatsApp
        • Custom
        • Twitter
      • Capacity: Specify the units of capacity that are required to process a conversation for the work stream in the text box.

      • Auto-close after inactivity: Enter the unit of time after which a conversation is moved from the Waiting state to the Closed state because of inactivity.

    2. Select Save. The work stream is saved.

    3. In the Work distribution section, perform the following steps:

      1. Select whether the Work distribution mode should be Push or Pick for agents to take up a conversation.

        In Push mode, a conversation is dispatched to agents automatically via a screen-pop. You can configure a push conversation to be explicitly picked up.

        In Pick mode, a conversation is dispatched to agents when they explicitly pick a conversation from the Open work items in the agent dashboard.

      2. In Allowed Presences, select a base presence, such as "Available" and "Busy" from the list. You can select all options also. Agents will be allocated work items even if the agent presence is set to one of the statuses specified here. If you have enabled missed notifications, do not select "Away" as an allowed presence. For information, see Configure and manage custom presence.

        New work stream

      3. If you have selected Push in Work distribution mode, set the toggle to Yes for Enable selecting from push-based work streams. The agents can assign work items to themselves irrespective of constraints, such as capacity and presence.

  4. View and create context variables in the Context variables tab. Context variables enrich conversations with pre-chat data, channel data, and custom context data. These attributes can then be used to define routing rules to route conversations into different queues.

    1. Select New to create a new context variable in the Quick Create window.

    2. Enter Display Name for the new variable. The Name field is populated accordingly.

    3. Select the Type of variable from the drop-down list. You can choose from Text or Number.

      New context variable

  5. Define routing rule items in the Routing rule items tab. Routing rule items are configured for each work stream, so that conversations can be routed to the correct queues. To learn how to configure a routing rule, see Create and manage routing rules in Omnichannel.

  6. Select Save to save the work stream.

Associate work streams with channel artifacts

You can associate work streams with channel artifacts so that the conversations can be assigned to agents seamlessly. For example, for a live chat widget, a default work stream is already associated in the Work stream field. You can select the search icon to associate another work stream. Select New to create a new work stream from within the live chat widget.

To learn more about how to set up channels and associate work streams, see the following topics:

See also

Automatically identify customers using pre-chat responses
Create workstream for entity record routing
Work with queues