Bob Stutz’s Blog:
Customer Center Get Ready Page:
Bob Stutz’s Blog:
Customer Center Get Ready Page:
Are you interested in a little extra reading on Microsoft Dynamics CRM? Check out this list of 2013 white papers.
Within Microsoft Dynamics CRM each entity has a set of system views. These system views can be configured or added to and as such are a powerful feature within the system. You can even create new views.
So what exactly is a view?
If you are familiar with a spreadsheet, you know that you have rows and columns of data and each piece of data sits in its own little cell. A view in Dynamics CRM is just like a spreadsheet. It has rows and columns of data. Additionally any given view in the system also let's you "click" and export to Excel.
Other powerful features of views include the ability to add columns of data from not just the entity where the view is defined, but from every entity that is related to the entity where the view is defined.
You can also sort views of data by clicking on the header of a column and secondarily sort by shift clicking on the next column.
People using Dynamics CRM can also use "Advanced Find" to create their own personal views of data. So if your IT Department is a bit buried under a long to-do list, you don't have to wait. You can create your own personal views AND you can even share these views with your peers or manager.
OK, so you really don't want to give up Excel and all the pivoting and graphics that you can do with it. Guess what, you don't have too! Views feed Excel and all the powerful data manipulation techniques that Excel offers. Check Out PowerView, PowerBI and PowerPivot, if you love Excel, you will go over the top with these Excel add-ins. CRM + Microsoft Excel "Better Together"
Views have another role within the world of Dynamics CRM. They feed charts, so setup your favorite view and then use the CRM Chart feature to chart the data from that view. These charts can be added to Dashboards for instant, dynamic, graphical love!
If you want to learn even more about views you can read about them in the MSDN library entry called Customize Entity Views.
Posted at 01:17 PM in MS CRM Configuring , MS CRM in Enterprise , MS CRM Knowledge Base Articles , MS CRM Partner Resources, MS CRM Studying, MS CRM Tip of the Day, MS CRM Training Resources, MS CRM Users: Network and CRM SQL Database Administration, MS CRM Users: The Executive Office, MS CRM Users: The Marketing Department, MS CRM Users: The Sales Department, MSDYNCRM04, MSDYNCRM11, MSDYNCRM13 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
When you purchase Microsoft Dynamics CRM a number of entities come with the system (if you need a refresher in entities, see previous post). You can create hundreds more, but here are some of the building block Entites.
Keeping up with the incredible Microsoft Dynamics CRM versions in the old days was hard enough, but now the team is updating and releasing at an even faster pace.
These Resources can help
Posted at 09:13 AM in Announcements, CRM Development, MS CRM Partner Resources, MS CRM Selling, MS CRM User Resources, MS CRM Users: The Executive Office, MS CRM Users: The Support Department, MS Dynamics xRM in the field , MSDYNCRM13 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
What is a Microsoft Dynamics CRM Entity?
Think first about a table within a database and then add more. A entity in CRM is one focal point of data including a set of fields, a set of views, a set of forms, a set of relationships and more.
An entity includes an unlimited number of system views that display the data in a spreadsheet like format. Views can also include related data.
An entity includes an unlimited number of data entry forms, although many rollouts have one form per entity. A form is a set of fields laid out in a manner that allows easy data entry. Forms can be tied to security roles.
An entity includes relationships to other entities. For instance you have an Account entity that has a relationship to a contact entity and this relationship is one account to many contacts. You can also have different types of relationships including One to Many, Many to One, and Many to Many.
An entity includes Charts. A chart is a graphical representation of the data that is contained in the entity and it's related entities. Charts can also be filtered and displayed based on the views.
An entity includes system messages that can be configured.
An entity can be named or renamed to represent the specific needs of a business. Take for instance Account, the Account entity can be renamed to be Company, Corporation, Building, Farm, Sign, Hospital, Department, Office and more.
New entities can be created to meet the demands of many different types of businesses and data tracking.
Posted at 09:00 AM in CRM Development, MS CRM Tip of the Day, MS CRM Training Resources, MS CRM Users: The Executive Office, MS CRM Users: The Marketing Department, MS CRM Users: The Sales Department, MS CRM Users: The Support Department, MS Dynamics xRM in the field , MSDYNCRM04, MSDYNCRM11, MSDYNCRM13 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
I have had this one kicking around in my knowledge folder and I wanted to make sure I shared it.
TOOLS for DIAGNOSISing
You don't have to live with only all the powerful out of the box charting options. You can also Modify the Chart XML and inject steroids into the system.
Check out Alex's post on the basics.
One of the amazing things about technology is that the "Grandfathers and Grandmothers" of the industry might be sitting in a cube next to you happily working away.
Time is so compressed!
When I saw this post on the evolution of CRM Systems I had to smile and share!
Something amazing happens when you move to the Cloud. Updates Happen and for the millions of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online users updates have been happening. Have you looked at some of the more recent released features such as Microsoft Social Listening.
This year I have counted at least four if not eight major feature enhancements to Microsoft Dynamics CRM and the wonderful is not slowing down.
About this Video:
Lex Thomas welcomes Jackie Nichols and Chris Gideon to the show as they discuss how businesses can unleash the power of “working like a network” through internal social media tools that can help organizations better communicate and collaborate with each other to drive better business results which impact customer satisfaction and your bottom line.
In the really noisy world that we live in, sometimes it is nice just to go to one place to find all the links and information you might need on Microsoft Dynamics CRM
Convergence: It is that time of year again! #conv14
Convergence isn't just about great sessions and learning, but it is also about
2) Meeting the Third Party Providers and ISVs who partner with Microsoft on
Dynamics CRM and add value add
3) Meeting the Microsoft CRM Support Team and technical resources (bring your questions)
4) Meeting the Microsoft CRM Developers and development team (there are new faces to watch for)
5) Meeting other Microsoft team members
6) Communicating with other CRM users (Look for CRMUG)
7) Listening and learning from Authors, Field Experts and great consultants
1) Know which sessions you want to go to before you go and have a backup option (sometimes sessions are sold out)
2) Know who the speakers are: Ask or search the net or read their blogs, being great at what you know doesn't mean you are a great speaker. Look for both!
3) Use Twitter during the conference to keep up with the live session buzz and to connect with other CRM tweeters. Tweet tags #conv14 and product tags like #msdyncrm
4) Know the level of the session: They can range from 100 to 400 and have a lot to do with presenter and audience. Convergence has both sales sessions to show what is new and deep technical sessions to get you up to speed fast so you have to know how to pick them.
5) Go to the parties and don’t stay at one. Roam from one party to the next and check out the culture, the mood, the tone, the side talks, the buzz
6) Talk to Strangers , they are not that strange they are all loving Dynamics.
7) Eat with people you don’t know and when you sit down, talk to them
8) Make time to visit the bookstore (even if to just see what CRM books are available)
9) Make time to visit the booths (I have had more great technical talks with CEOs at trade shows than anywhere else)
10) Go to some non-CRM Sessions such as Office, SharePoint and BI – products that work great together with CRM
11) Go to some business sessions – they have some incredible leaders presenting on leadership, change management, etc. Many are well recognized business book writers. (loved hearing Malcolm Gladwell a few years back)
12) Setup a Meet the Expert Connect session and have a one on one with a developer, business leader, or other resource. A few years back I met with the development team working on a key feature in the newest version of CRM. What a blast to get their perspective.
13) Attend the Pre-Convergence CRMUG Day, the sessions are smaller and the content incredible.
14) Bring business cards, share your business cards, collect business cards AND schedule time when you get home to follow up. Not just the week after, but again two weeks after and a again after 2 months, etc. Networking is about meeting and then building relationships that offer win/win value to both people.
15) Share what you know! Evaluations make a HUGE Difference in the world of Microsoft. Peer to Peer sharing makes a HUGE difference in the success of Dynamics CRM.
16) Attend the last session of the day and the event. Those speakers are sometimes the best, because they draw out the day.
1) It is Atlanta! Plan to eat incredible food.
2) Don't plan on sleeping too much, but don't burn up all the brain cells so you don't have time to learn
3) Take notes and share with your team members! At least the writing can help you remember.
One of the often forgotten goodies in the world of Microsoft Dynamics CRM is the wealth of available options in the CodePlex Library.
This library also has Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 goodies such as the
CRM 2013 Quick View Menu
"The Quick View Menu helps you navigate to any location in Dynamics CRM quickly and seamlessly by taking your existing Sitemap and presenting it in an easy to navigate interface"
I just reset my Globe so as the days of 2014 accumulate, and people continue to read this blog the touch pinpoints will grow again.
To date I have had ~237,000 visitors and it is a thrill to know that I can keep helping the world to master Microsoft Dynamics CRM. The release of v2013 KEEPS the great and adds more! A framework, a product, a solution set and a platform for integrating to so many other solutions. Make 2014 the year you eliminate all those random Access Databases, and reduce all those way too sophisticated and often redundant Excel Spreadsheets.
"Think Microsoft CRM"
A big welcome to 2014. In my world there are two key phrases that are bubbling up as big picture goals this year.
1) Building and Leveraging Bridges
2) Cross Product Technical Solutions
Bridges of connection have long been a wonderful resource. I find that listening to needs and then connecting two people who can click two needs into some awesome solution(s) has been a whole lot of fun and I don't plan to stop leveraging that awesomeness now that I work within the world of Microsoft.
Cross Product Technical Solutions have also always been my focus, but unlike the days when Small Business Server combined products to meet all the needs of small businesses, we now have combined products to meet complex needs within Enterprise. Take for instance the current version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM v2013. It is not just CRM or xRM, now it also has Social Insights, Yammer, SharePoint and soon to come Social Listening and Dynamic Marketing. Sprinkle in some ISV love and you get Portals, Community, Complex Ordering, Graphical Analytics, Integration bridges and so much more!
It really is a world of frameworks, integration, social and the new features of v2013 process and automated business rules and the toolsets just keep expanding.
So reach out and put on that learning hat, open your mind for some right shift perspective changing and dive in. Oh and don't forget to park egos, negative attitude, doubt and frustration from change at the door. They will just get in your way as you learn to surf on the changing waters of this new world.
I just finished up a training class where one of the consultants was thrilled to have just tried out the new Visual Studio installable CRM Developer toolkit.
What do you think?
And if you have not downloaded the newest Microsoft Dynamics CRM v2013 SDK
My Top 5 Yammer Value Adds
1) Bridges to so many people all within the corporate world in which I work. People who I would never meet, talk to or get to know without the tool.
2) Realtime discussions and debates on issues being faced today, segmented by subjects that I care about.
3) Answers to any question I can think of from a global perspective (if you work in a global company)
4) Access to a large library of already created work - Don't reinvent just improve
5) Opportunities to meet my goals and to help others meet theirs
I have recently changed my daily process to include Yammer and the value add has been significant. Take for instance the release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM v2013 Rollup 1, Yammer post with link and discussions letting me know it was available.
If your company currently has YAMMER and you are not using it, you might want to reconsider. Timing is everything when it comes to accepting new and sometimes you just need to re-evaluate on an ongoing basis.
The wealth of options in Dynamics CRM is amazing and I am thankful that I have learned each of them as they have been released. My accumulated knowledge is one of the things that I am very thankful for during this holiday season and the other piece is the incredible design that the CRM
Microsoft Dynamics CRM v2013 has so much to offer and one of the best ways to start getting your head around what is being offered is to regularly attend some great either 100 or 300 level webinars.
Luckily Microsoft is offering such webinars for partners, customers and prospects.
You can find the whole series here: http://www.microsoft.com/dynamics/offers/crm2013demos/
Or if you want to just sign up for tomorrow's session, here is the link: https://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032569331&Culture=en-US&community=0
Promote via LinkedIn/Twitter as well! Thanks!
As we move into this bold new world of many different devices, we are also opening the door for many different options for accessing our central Dynamics CRM store of data. When learning about all the different options keep in mind the differences between an application that is built to work in different OS environments such as the new Tablet access to Dynamics CRM and an application that is built for a more specific set of criteria such as a specific Windows 8 CRM Phone applications. Key areas of slight shift are items such as on a phone you are usually talking about the "phone" focus and providers like Verizon and AT&T whereas on a tablet your focus on phone might be Skype or Lync.
It is easy to get confused and Dynamics CRM v2013 offers so much!! I have to admit I am excited.
The Tablet access offers cross browser, but also many different tablet centric features like touch, pinning and choice of surfacing what you want to see where.
The Mobile access offers the really tiny form factor (for those small phones) as well as consideration for offline.
We also continue to have the Outlook Client which leverages all that is Dynamics CRM and all the great features within Outlook and the Web Client Access offering the application from your choice of a set of browsers.
In this brave new world you need to figure out how to best communicate all of the power of choice to your customers, peers and team members. As much as we are One Microsoft and One OS across many different devices, there are certain features and options that are very relavant for some devices and not important to others. Given this the technology you are using and the choices it offers does make a difference.
Choice is also not limited to technologies, it is also all about business culture, department process and individual working styles. The convergence of business and information technology is now!
What is amazing about Microsoft is that they offer so many incredible choices without nickel and diming their customers. They help customers use what they need where from their deep pockets of choice.
If you have taken Outlook to whole new levels by installing various addins or if you have configured and customized Outlook before installing the Dynamics CRM Outlook client.
You might want to install the Outlook Client that is part of RollUp 15.
RollUp 15 http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2843571
Thinking on CRM : The last time you purchased a TV, did you purchase it because of the new features? The better picture quality, the smaller form factor, perhaps even a new connection or cutting edge bling?
OK so that is how you buy a new TV, but this mindset does not work as well for the purchase of a new CRM System. A CRM System is not the solution to your business process problems, it is the empowerment of your decided upon business process. Perhaps even new business processes. It is a new road with growth possibilities and potenial. It is a new culture.
You might be limited today by technology, but the technology that you buy for tomorrow should not limit you and your business processes.
Needless to say why I am a big fan of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Microsoft Dynamics CRM is as much a development framework (xRM) as it is a product. Those who are masters understand not only the features they get out of the box, but also the strengths, weaknesses and when to use which feature. They also understand the age and maturity of each feature. Knowing if the feature can easily be used outside it's designed purpose or if it needs to stay in it's comfort zone. They understand when to configure, when to customize and when to extend using standard Microsoft Development methodologies.
As a business owner stepping into the world of implementing and incorporating technologies into the heart beat of your company you need to think flexibility. Change is constant, but the change of technology is so fast that you need a product and a partner that offers you choice. Constant choice. Microsoft Dynamics CRM has a long history (10 years and counting) of not only offering you choice , but of also staying current with the latest technologies and not removing all that has been an incredbly solid framework since 2003.
Choose carefully your product
Choose carefully your partner
and you will have an engine behind your business processes that helps keep you consistent, organized, empowered and current.
Within the world of millions of pieces of data, relating certain data to other data can create a new piece of data. Take for instance a Full Name.
A full name can be considered one piece of data or it can be broken down into two, three, four or more pieces of data. Take the full name : Mr. John Jay Smith III and broken down we see the following:
and these pieces can be data or can be combined to create a number of different data names. John, John Smtih, John Jay Smith, John Jay Smith III, Mr. John Jay Smith III
Why does this even concern anyone? Well these are details that are important within the world of development and coding.
So welcome to Composite Control! A development choice for grouping the need to enter like data through a smooth user friendly interface.
In Dynamics CRM v2013 Composite Control is offered on Name and Address and via the SDK even more can be done.
Do you have a lot of other OutLook Integrations? CRM Outlook Client causing you grief on just one machine?
This rollup includes “process isolation” to split the Outlook Client out from the core Outlook process, an upgrade to SQL CE 4.0, and reductions in isolated performance issues with a large address books (among other things, it’s all in the KB)
Look out! It is a whole new and old CRM world!
Take a huge amount of depth and years of development (Dynamics CRM v2011) and add onto it a whole new way of working. Shake out a few of the old features, park a couple of items for just a bit and add some much very cool new. Now mix well, test and release.
Oh and hold onto your hat, because although change is constant it always has an impact.
In 2002 Microsoft developed and in 2003 released Microsoft Dynamics CRM
Dynamics CRM v1.0 Released January 2003
Dynamics CRM v1.2 Released December 2003
The product team has also had an INCREDIBLE Record for announcing and releasing updates and upgrades with precise regularity.
BIGS KUDOS to the present and previous developers who have worked on this product and who continue to work on the product.
Another incredible in this crazy world of technology change! The core foundation of success, the building blocks and the feature sets keeps growing and expanding with little need to remove anything. Mastering the incredible tough task of staying current with all that is great while also never needing to totally reinvent the wheel. This little discussed value to long term clients is a real win and one of the reasons I continue to be passionate about the product.
Clients want to purchase a software package that has absolutely everything they need all nicely bundle in a shiny box, but the reality is that each client's business process has many unique variables.
In order to meet all the unique needs of clients Microsoft has built not only a product with a ton of features (#msdyncrm), but also with a framework for development (stick within the framework and upgrades and updates go fairly smoothly). So what have the great partners in the field done?
They have built additional modules, utilites, full products and even feature sets for purchase that click into Dynamics CRM.
General best practice for OnPremise users is to stay within two roll-ups. Just consider the large team of developers writing code, fixing any issues (reported by the millions of users) and continuing to make Dynamics CRM the absolute best CRM product on the market.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM v2011 Roll-up 14 has just been officially released. Learn more here.
In our busy lives, this one might have slipped by your Excellent Dynamics CRM Extension Team.
To Read More From the Field, Check out these two great writeups ...
The annoucements are starting to come out about Making your experience with Microsoft Dynamics CRM personal.
And the NewsRoom has been updated
Have you considered the multi-instance option for CRMOnline?
"Multiple instances. Similar in the way that you can add user licenses or storage, you can also add instances to a Microsoft Dynamics CRM subscription. Each new instance that you add creates a separate and isolated Microsoft Dynamics CRM organization. This helps in maintaining distinct instances that are consistent with your organization’s unique needs, such as separate instances by department, location, or those to be used for pre-production and development. For more information"
What's New in the last 12 Months? TechNet Rocks -
Within the world of the CRM Industry there is a cutting edge ...
AND when it comes to the cutting edge pushing the design of data consumption is right up there with tying the use of CRM to employee motivation. As in they get more motived the more they use the internal CRM application. (yes, really, but I will save that for a future post)
Thanks to Mark for sharing this great post and a free solution on data display design - Perhaps take a few minutes to check it out and comment.
The famous Ben Hosk wrote up a great little post about the e-mail tracking token. I like to call it half of the locket or an automation puzzle piece. It clicks a responding e-mail into the e-mail that is being responded to. Offering incredibly reliable threading. On the other hand it is TOTALLY Optional and Dynamics CRM is sophisticated enough to have even more embedded algoritums of success.
If you would like to know more about the e-mail tracking token, take a peek at Ben's writeup which you can find here.
Julie Yack has such a great way with words that I just had to share. Take a look at her summary about how you might fit in the world of Dynamics CRM.
oh and after you read the above, here are a few more
You might be a Dynamics CRM Power User if…
You might be a Dynamics CRM administrator if…
You might be a Dynamics CRM developer if…
People who know me that are not in the world of Dynamics CRM and who don't know what CRM or xRM really means might get a kick out of this new little YouTube Video.
Most worlds have a subset of definitions for terms that perhaps you have another understanding for. In the world of Dynamics CRM the term LEAD and the term PROSPECT are actually very different.
So What is a Lead?
A lead is a hint, a potential and an unqualified set of data. The data usually contains a person's name, sometimes the company they work for and maybe some initial information such as a phone number and address. A lead can can from many sources including purchased lists of name, trade show events, advertising, or direct calling. A lead generally is not HOT, but is still being reviewed. There is not much history on leads; although there might be if you are watching a lead from afar. The structure of a lead in Dynamics CRM is flat. One record.
And what is a prospect?
A prospect on the other hand is more qualified. A prospect is more formal. The structure of a prospect in Dynamics CRM is hierarchical and might contain not only a contact and an account record, but also numerous contacts, an opportunity and even assigned potential products. History can be found on these contacts rolling up to the prospect. You might also have a long list of activities or a sales process that you are following on a prospect. A prospect is qualified, known and many times is being actively worked.
If a prospect is associated to an opportunity then there is an associated timeline that has a process that ends with either a signed deal (as they become a client or customer) or with a loss. A loss that can be reported on, analysized and then used to improve processes.
And what is an Opportunity? (ah material for the next post)
I can't help sharing when I see stories of companies doing cool things within the world of Dynamics CRM.
Needless to say when this little story crossed my plate today I thought I would share.
Check out Weight Watchers and Dynamics CRM
We intermingling the term xRM and CRM when talking about Microsoft Dynamics CRM, but in all reality the name is talking about exactly the same product. A product that can be customized, configured and eXtended.
Changes DO NOT require a developer, but a developer can add an entirely different option set and layer to your already powerful application. The system is built to be configured or extended or both. Developers who work within the defined methodology are also treated by upgrades and updates seemlessly keeping the base option current and in this really fast paced world this is a real PLUS for businesses.
So what is xRM, really?
Here is one example of Dynamics CRM meeting a very different type of need outside your typical Sales, Marketing and Service.
Constitute Relationship Management
It is a rainy day here in the Northeast so what better way to spend an evening. Yes, Enhancing the Dynamics CRM Charts!
There are some great posts summarizing this wonderful development effort of updates, features, fixes and new!
Bullets of Interest
Links for More
Posted at 08:44 AM in Announcements, MS CRM General Announcements, MS CRM User Resources, MS CRM Users: Network and CRM SQL Database Administration, MS CRM Users: The Executive Office, MS CRM Users: The Marketing Department, MS CRM Users: The Sales Department, MS CRM Users: The Support Department | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Rather than dive into writing something again that was so well written by another member of the community I am sharing a post about Multi-Tenant and why this powerful option is now available for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online users.
Well another new world has opened in the universe of Microsoft Dynamics CRM and a number of long time Dynamics CRM Guru's have questions.
To get you started on what can be extended in the new forms take a look at this great little blog post just released on MSDN