How do Office 365 and CRM Online Work Together?

I can certainly go on and on about all that is wonderful about working with both Office 365 and CRM Online every day.

I can mention items such as having access to the complete hierarchy of my accounts and contacts easily accessible on my phone, to not having to wonder if the calendar on my phone, within my CRM system or on my computer has everything that I am suppose to know about,  BUT

I just read this summary of amazing business productivity when using the suite so I am sharing here for your reading enjoyment.

Screen shots, Videos, Words all wrapped up in one.

Enjoy! 


Azure + Microsoft Dynamics CRM : Partner Options and Love

Oh Partners and IT Department Leads:

Is it time that your little data center gets an injection of extreme power and versatility? What about adding to your customers CRM Online experience?

Check out this great blog post on CRM Online + Azure


Office 365, Groups and CRM Online

I was on a call today, actually the incredible CRM Community Technology call and in addition to the great content being presented, we also had a very active IM window of discussions happening. Yes, I can multi-task.

So always learning, I posted a question/statement about synchronizing group e-mails with Dynamics CRM Online. As it turns out my assumption that this could not be done was wrong.

So I went out to do a bit more learning on the newer GROUPS feature of Office 365 and how it interacts with Microsoft Dynamics CRM and the CRM Outlook Client.

If you start with the Office "Find Help about Groups" you will quickly see how much is available.

You them might want to read Jesper's post on Office 365, Groups and CRM Online.  

and for a summary the Office team has written Delivering the First Chapter on Groups.

What is amazing about synchronization is how absolutely difficult distributed data technology can be. There are a huge number of variables that the team continues to nail and hit out of the park, none of which can be under-estimated. So to read more about Synchronization check this out.

 

 


Deleting a CRM Online Development or Sandbox Instance

So you ramped up a development instance, used it heavily, crammed a bunch of testing into it and now you want a clean fresh start. The following is how you delete a development or sandbox instance of CRM Online.

 

Switch or delete an instance of CRM Online

https://technet.microsoft.com/library/dn531078.aspx#BKMK_SwitchDelete

 

Switch an instance

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn896590.aspx

 

Delete an instance

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn896592.aspx


Microsoft Dynamics CRM or Salesforce? A question faced by business leaders

Microsoft Dynamics CRM or Salesforce? A question faced by business leaders thinking about the heartbeat of their company. They want to take what they think is the easy road and grab onto a package that perhaps has a ton of buzz, is sexy or one of their peer firms use or maybe they don't want to consider all the value that services brings to the transformation. Microsoft Dynamics CRM soars with an excellent services consulting team. Technology + People + Process .... 

Why? Because there is so much choice! AND choice requires decisions and decision means a tighter fit for your way of doing business and a competitive edge in the marketplace. 

Believe it or Not when it comes to CRM, it is not just the application. Nor the bells or the whistles, or the backend database, it is about a partnership with the vendor and the services provider AND all the great technologies. A partner who is going to be with you through many years of growth. 

Recently I saw a great blog post about great companies switching away from Salesforce to Dynamics CRM.

As quoted in the article

"While each of these companies have unique customer engagement needs, they all have some things in common: the need for increased productivity, the desire to engage more deeply and consistently with their customers, and faster time to value."

So as you consider your options, consider how much choice and at what price. For in today's world there is so much want and even more need for flexibility and options despite how overwhelming they can sometimes be.

  • Tablet Access
  • Mobile Access (Windows, Apple, Android)
  • Web Access
  • On Premise options
  • Outlook (integration and distributed processing)
  • PowerBI (and Power Pivot, Power ...)
  • Excel (Input and Output, with Dynamic Security)
  • Word (mail merge integration)
  • Cortana (Voice to CRM)
  • Kinect  (For those really into the cutting edge working with services) 
  • Did I mention? Microsoft Social Engagement and analytics 
  • Dynamics Marketing (The Enterprise CMO application)
  • Advanced KBA and Services Management (Socially enabled tweets to case) 
  • Document Management (SharePoint integration)
  • Yammer (Internal Social, integrated groups to accounts)
  • Lync or Skype (presence enabled OOB and click to call)
  • Call Center Unified Service Desk (USD)

and a large database of solutions that meet needs that use to require custom everything such as compliance tracking, verification, facilities management, scheduling, and I can go on.

I can't believe that after 10 years of working with this product I am still continually finding great things to love about it.

Yes, it is not perfect, but then that is what requests via CONNECT to the product team are all about and with major upgrades coming out faster and faster. I get more excited every day not only about all that is currently available, but the proven pattern of growth from Microsoft and The Dynamics CRM teams.


Turbo Forms in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 (v7.1.0)

Although not necessary: Writing Code for Forms provides a way to increase interaction between the user and the entity forms. This is often done by using JavaScript that is executed for events that occur on the form.

 

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 7.1.0 (2015) offers TURBO Forms which are seriously worthy of consideration, both for the Experienced Dynamics CRM Developer and for the CRM end user.  Performance differences have been clocked anywhere from 3x to 7x times faster.

 

Here are some materials and videos to help get you started.

 

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1 - New Form Rendering Engine

 

Form rendering enhancements

 

Writing code for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 or CRMOL Forms : Read More

 


Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft Power BI

If you are currently using Microsoft Dynamics CRM, particularly if you are using a more current version or if you are always current with CRMOnline, then it is definitely time to go dive into the world of Microsoft Power BI and all the imbedded tools like Power Map.  

People can be incredibly visual and communicating CRM information using a visual medium like the Microsoft Power BI suite adds a huge refresh to how data and reports are consumed.

 

 


Are you a Microsoft Dynamics CRM Customer? Do you know about Customer Source?

If you have not tapped into Microsoft Customer Source (provided by Microsoft) and some of the incredible resources in the community then you might want to dip your toes into the CRM User Groups offerings, by signing up for a trial and watching the presentation "Getting the Most out of Microsoft Customer Source"

Where is CustomerSource, Right Here!

Where is the CRM User Group?


The Infrastructure of Microsoft Dynamics CRM (#msdyncrm)

NEW Deploying and administering Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015

Are you hosting your own instance of Microsoft Dynamics CRM? Have you invested in training your IT Professionals and Network Administrators in the infrastructure behind Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Ask yourself this question "Are you hosting your own web pages?" If the answer to this question is NO, then you want to seriously consider training your resources on hosting the incredible power of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Take for instance IFD (The Internet Facing Deployment Options) or The Tablet and Mobile Apps .. So many options :)


Office 365 + Groups + CRMOnline : Amazing

For those of you privileged enough to be using Office 365 you might have a grasp on all the incredible new being released! Fairly recently the concept of GROUPS was released and these GROUPS can now been seen as folders in Outlook.

Rojy takes us one step further and shows how you can configure Office 365 + GROUPS + CRM Online to make for some incredibly powerful 360 Degrees for users.

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/rojythomas/archive/2015/05/05/integrating-office-groups-with-crm-online.aspx 

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM SPRING Release is incredible so make sure that you are planning for a review of all that you are doing with the system. Work with Microsoft Consulting Services, or one of the proven and experienced Microsoft Dynamics CRM partners.

 


So many great resources for Dynamics CRM v7.x.x (#msdyncrm)

Dynamics CRM 2015 Update 1 Content (Spring 2015)

YouTube Videos

Subscribe to the Dynamics channel to stay up to date: https://www.youtube.com/user/msdyncomm/DynamicsCRM

 

CRM Team Blog http://blogs.msdn.com/b/crm

  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1 (7.1.0) Product Documentation is Available! http://bit.ly/1JfsMl9
  • Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2015 Update 1 Product Documentation is Available! http://bit.ly/1JGVOxz
  • Microsoft Social Engagement 2015 Update 1Product Documentation is Available! http://bit.ly/1QIgxmq
  • Parature, from Microsoft 15.2 Product Documentation is Available! http://bit.ly/1Pd1625
  • AND SEVERAL MORE excellent blog posts by our field and PMs - check it out!

Security: Microsoft Dynamics CRM gets even more security options

Dynamics CRM 2015 Hierarchical Security

There is so much depth to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Security that it is amazing that they can add more and yet, more has been added. A great post is available on all the new options which you can reach using the link above.


27018: Cloud Trust - Learn More about this Differentiator at Microsoft

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online conforms to ISO/IEC 27018, the only international set of privacy controls in the cloud

Microsoft is the first major cloud provider to be independently verified as having  adopted ISO/IEC 27018, the world's first international cloud privacy standard. The adoption of ISO/IEC 27018 by Dynamics CRM Online is part of a broader commitment from Microsoft to protecting the privacy of our customers, as described in a Microsoft on the Issues post from Brad Smith, General Counsel and Executive Vice President. In addition to Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and Microsoft Intune have adopted ISO/IEC 27018."


CRM Online in the world of Enterprise : Patterns & Principles for Solution Builders White Paper

"In the world of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, the shift to the cloud is well underway. Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online is growing by leaps and bounds, including sales to massive customers with huge user counts. If you’re a partner in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM channel, it’s important that you understand what this means for the solutions you build for customers who want Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online."

READ MORE


Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online vs. CRM On-Premise

A number of people have asked, what is the difference between Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and Microsoft Dynamics CRM On-Premise other than where the actual software lives.

This has generated a few articles and resources that answer this question.

An Exposé on the differences between Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and On-Premise

Demystifying business value of CRM in the cloud


The US Dynamics Partner Team And the Dynamics Academic Alliance have teamed up to create some new offerings

The US Dynamics Partner team has joined forces with The Microsoft Dynamics Alliance Team (http://microsoft.com/dynamicsaa (DynAA)) to train students and recent graduates on Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015, interest them in Dynamics careers, and connect our Partners with this pool of quality candidates who are new to the CRM channel.   

This Microsoft Dynamics CRM Career Connect Boot camp is comprised of:

  • Five days of in-person technical training led by a Microsoft Certified Trainer on Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015
  • Microsoft Sponsored Career Fair for Partners to engage with Students
  • Certification in Microsoft Dynamics CRM
  • Virtual Learning sessions with MCTs, Partners, and Microsoft Dynamics experts focused on product functional skills (i.e. consulting, project management and soft-skills training).

Currently they are hosting this in 3 locations, inviting, juniors, graduating seniors, MBAs, graduate students, and recent graduates from local universities:

  • Chicago, IL – at the Chicago Microsoft office
  • Seattle, WA – hosted by the University of Washington
  • Boston, MA – hosted by Northeastern University

All of the boot camps will take place different weeks in June.

Please contact the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Career Connect Bootcamp Team if interested by sending mail to  usdyns2b at microsoft.com with questions.  Please note that space is limited and applications are only accepted for another couple weeks.  Space is filling quickly!


Microsoft Social Listening has MORPHED into Microsoft Social Engagement

They started with Microsoft Social Listening (MSL), empowering one user at a time to embrace and filter through all the social noise using technology! Empowering users to leverage more data to get their individual goals met and offering more depth of functionality both with and without Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

NOW there is MORE! Now MSL has morphed into Microsoft Social Engagement where you can do more than just listen.  MSL Matured into more features, more interaction and more user power.

So if you have been waiting for the bleeding edge to stop bleeding and you are ready to empower your users with more than just an e-mail system and more than a robust customer relationship system then start dipping your toes into the water with the Microsoft Social Engagement tool (MSE).

You can take a GUIDED Tour Here!  


The Power of Choice (and the risks)

One of the most fabulous features of Microsoft Dynamics CRM is the number of choices that any given business can have when leveraging the power of the toolset. This helps the solution and the product, the processes and the people to grow and change as businesses grow and change. 

This is also one of the biggest dilemmas for the "New to Dynamics CRM" crowd. Choice makes a number of seasoned veterans to business applications scratch their heads and ask "Why". They assume that what they see is what they get.

They often mention things like "Why does the product do this out of the box" or "I need to talk to the development team about how (pick your vendor Siebel, SAP, Oracle, etc. etc. etc.) models this differently". They can even lock themselves into a box by eliminating a huge number of choices and blocking these from the business because of their own filters.

What is often misunderstood is that the consulting partner, resource, resources, mix and match team or IT department that a business works with, needs to understand both your business, the CRM Industry and methodologies for success and the depth of the technology.

This is a big ask, but so many customers have found success! It is not an impossible ask.

This post is to encourage CxOs to consider and discuss and participate in technology as part of their long term growth and to insure that the adaptability of that technology is part of the discussion. Take small bites (small phases) and let teams grow, change and mature on a continued and seamless path to success.  Lastly don't make a decision and walk away. The heartbeat of a business is living and changing and many times always being updated. Setup reviews both of the solution and of the processes and make continued decisions.


MDM and CRM : Working Together

So you have been wondering how an application as powerful as MDM (Microsoft Dynamics Marketing) can work so seamlessly with Microsoft Dynamics CRM. It is for instance built and released for the large enterprise marketing department who likes to control their own data and applications.

Well the bridge exists and here is a great blog post that shows the numerous links between MDM and CRM.

 

 


Dynamics CRM 7.x.x Certification Exams

Some good news about exams - You now have some Online Proctored Options so for those of us in more rural areas, we don't have to drive a couple of hours to an exam center!! Hurray!

  • MB2-704            Application
  • MB2-704OP               Online Proctored
  • MB2-706            Online Deployment
  • MB2-706OP
  • MB2-707            Customization and Configuration
  • MB2-707OP
  • MB2-708            Installation
  • MB2-708OP

MB2-720    Microsoft Dynamics Marketing

and there are so many more !     


Form Load Performance: Did you know you can ... in the latest versions?

I always learn something new when I follow and read the incredible Microsoft Professional Field Engineering CRM Teams Blog! Today I thought it was worth reposting and linking to their tip number 4 from Convergence that they shared.

So you might be wondering about performance on your forms. Check out this handy little tidbit.

CRM Performance Center     

  • Ctrl+Shift+Q (Chrome & Firefox –> Ctrl+Shift+E)  Performance tool built into CRM 2013+. 
  • Gives you the ability to see load times for each component on the form.  Available on form loads only

And thanks to PowerObjects for blogging about this item worth of consideration.


Incredibly Wonderful News! Clarity on Versioning

New Naming Conventions for Microsoft Dynamics CRM

One of the senior developers who I use to work with had a great quote that I often think about when stepping into some of the more complex enterprise projects or when trying to explain Microsoft Dynamics CRM or the projects built from the platform and branded using xRM (relationship Management at it's best).

"Simplicity is often on the other side of Complexity" ~Chris Condron  but perhaps Oliver Wendell Holmes deserves the credit. Either way I was thrilled to find out that the internal teams at Microsoft have announced this realignment of numbering for Dynamics CRM!  

"I would not give a fig for the simplicity this side of complexity, but I would give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity. " Oliver Wendell Holmes

It shows the deep maturity of the product. It easily communicates the growth and the upward trend of the development efforts and it is straight forward for people to understand.

So KUDOs to the team! Keep up the incredible as you pull together all the new power to the Microsoft Dynamics CRM customers and the CRM Community!

 


Integration, Integration, Integration

Microsoft Dynamics CRM is providing ONE PLATFORM for so many different applications out there that I can't even keep up. It is built to be one and it is built to integrate so that it can display, interact, pull in and/or integrate all of your data and all of your applications.

Now that Dynamics CRM is one of your options, what are options for integrating all of your other applications? Don't get stuck with even more distributed data, leverage MCS or leverage one of the great Microsoft CRM partner resources.

A bunch of field resources put together their knowledge and released this WIKI article on Microsoft Dynamics CRM Integration and I must admit it is one of the most requested tips that I get. If you have more to add, dive in or if you just need answers take a look.


Even More Dynamics Love on Youtube and Facebook! #MSDYNCRM

The new CRM page is live on YouTube and Facebook.

You can access the YouTube page here: https://www.youtube.com/user/msdyncomm/DynamicsCRM

The Facebook App can be accessed directly at: https://apps.facebook.com/microsoftdynamics/


    Partner Perspectives: CRMOnline FAQs

    Some of the partners have some great information and although there is a TON of information available from Microsoft, it is also worth tapping into some of the field buzz.

    Here is an interesting little post on CRMOnline Frequently Asked Questions for instance from xRM!


    Perhaps it is not Dynamics CRM - Updates to Excel

    Dynamics CRM is such an integrated platform, it leverages a ton of really cool Microsoft Technologies and taps into the Microsoft technology stack. This means that you get all the power of Excel, Outlook, Word, SQL Server, Windows Server, Exchange and more!

    Sometimes however an issue is not a CRM issue and is resolved with a service pack to one of the other applications. Take for instance Excel.

    Check out this little Tidbit from the Microsoft Excel Support Team Blog.

    Dynamics CRM files do not open in Excel 2013 as expected


    Don't Forget a Bit of Dynamics CRM Housecleaning!

    The people who work on Microsoft Dynamics CRM don't always know all the details of loving and caring for Microsoft Dynamics CRM and although it doesn't need much, it does like some care.

    This is why the community is so incredible and no amount of thanks can truly show the appreciation for the hundreds of hours community members spend blogging and sharing great information.

    So today  I am sharing an older post for those using all versions of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, but particularly for those who might want to do even more to keep their system singing and moving along.

    Take a look at this blog post about maintaining the tables that many business analysts depend on for efficient workflow functionality.


    Access Teams and Security! #MSDYNCRM

    A user’s security role needs to match the privileges at the ‘User’ level with the Access Team Template Privileges (R,W,A,A2,D,Assign and Share) associated with the Entity.  If an Access Team has Delete privileges and a user's security roles did not, the user will be blocked from being added to the team.  CRM Security is AWESOME and this shows that security can’t be bypassed just by adding someone to a team.  If that user cannot delete a record, then adding them to an Access Team with that privilege won’t work!

    Big thanks to the awesome: Thymio Barbatsis, for continuing to share incredible tidbits with the community 


    Understanding Sentiment Analysis

    It is time to get social! and when you want to get social, you want to understand the incredible power behind Microsoft Social within the world of Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

    As a primer take a look at this great blog post by one of the greats in the industry!

    http://blogs.technet.com/b/lystavlen/archive/2014/09/25/understanding-sentiment-analysis-in-microsoft-social-listening.aspx 


    CRMUG has not been sleeping! GREAT Connects, GREAT Content

    If you have not visited the CRMUG website lately, you might want to go take a look. They have been using new community software and have continued to organize and host local, national and webinar enabled meetings for users of Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

    One of the best things you can do if you are using Microsoft Dynamics CRM is to get involved in the community.


    xRM Best Practices

    Microsoft Dynamics CRM is an incredible out of the box, configurable system AND is also used as a development platform. As users adopt and learn some of the incredible features they quickly realize how many other systems it can replace.

    It is like an awesome heart that embraces and wraps all things "need a solution" into it's solution platform, BUT if you have never worked with Microsoft Dynamics CRM then you can make a bit of a mess.

    The following are some best practices for working with any technology in today's world.

    1) Always ask yourself. If I extend or I get a developer to extend my product how does that align with what the Out of the Box Development team is releasing. They are writing code daily as well., but MANY extensions are 100% supported with all rollup updates and upgrades being easy to install, but some are not and we know how creative developers can be. Make sure your developers think xRM. 

    2) Understand and stay current with the product roadmap. Major releases are now coming faster and faster and faster. Two incredible major releases this year and with CRM Online driving an elimination of the world of the "upgrade" staying alert is key.

    3) Love the SDK. Yes, you are a .NET Master and a long time senior developer, BUT the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Software Developer's Kit offers you so much more and helps to define the rules of engagement.

    4) Embrace the well loved and well used Dynamics xRM Tools, but know who wrote them and their strengths.

    5) The Dynamics CRM platform is a set of many different options. Too much choice, but so much choice can also be wonderful. Understand your choices - there are times when adding an ISV solution is so much smarter then building your own, and even within Microsoft the choices are many. Take for instance customer service on the Dynamics platform with and without Parature or Microsoft Social Engagement (also referred to in the past as Microsoft Social Listening) and of course there is the entire Office 365 suite that is forever growing in terms of new cool.

    6) Work with a partner who has proven experience building long term supportable xRM projects OR if you work with a partner new to Dynamics CRM understand the risks. Learning curves can be frustrating for teams.

    7) IT looks easy, and can be easy, but never under estimate the power of the CRM Architect. It is easy to drive a nail in a piece of wood, but rarely do you build a house without an architect OR add an addition onto an existing house without some review of impact.

    8) Don't change software products because you picked the wrong vendor. Hundreds of CRM failures across all vendors have occurred going back 40 or 30 years. People, Technology, Process all have places that need continual current review. Many times it is not the software that is the issue.

     

     

     


    New Dynamics CRM YouTube Channel

    The new CRM page is live on YouTube and Facebook. This will enable better discovery of the video assets being created for the releases.

     You can access the YouTube page here: 

    https://www.youtube.com/user/msdyncomm/DynamicsCRM

     

    The Facebook App can be accessed directly at:

    https://apps.facebook.com/microsoftdynamics/


    Dynamics CRM 2015 SDK Hidden Treasure

    One of the great things about the release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 is all the great new that is packed in between all the great that already existed.  Sometimes there is so much great that a feature, tool or wow slips between the lines in the documentation or the noise of the BUZZ.

    One of these great little features is a feature of the plugin registration tool that was part of the CRM 2015 release of the SDK! Mark has a short video and blog about it here.


    Class at 8am, Class at 9pm, Still Loving and Learning Dynamics CRM

    After 10 years you would think that I know a lot about Microsoft Dynamics CRM and I am so very thankful that I what I learned yesterday still brings me great value today (including the yesterdays of 2004, 2005, 2006, ... , but with an incredible client base of users giving input and an incredible team of developers writing new everyday - learning is ongoing.

    So this week I am participating in a morning class with the incredible MVP, Gus Gonzalez, who is providing some great field perspective and an internal evening class on some really cool new Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Sales Productivity functionality.

    Life is Good!    

     


    What's New - Thanks to Dynamics CRM

    One of the best parts of being semi-snowed in is that I can convert my travel time into learning and sharing time.

    Let's look at a feature that everyone assumes that everyone else knows about. The What's New Social Pane.

    Why do I point this out? If your team uses activities to track, retain touches and to communicate (e-mails) this pane gives you an incredible look into which contacts and accounts are actively engaged. It also lets you see an account that is requiring extra attention, a colleague who is working on something that you can help with or an activity that you needed to know about. (but because it is so easy to get into our own little spheres it was missed)

    It is about raising the bar of transparency and shifting a culture and it is about creating a culture of sharing among all the users of your Dynamics CRM system.

    What only inside Dynamics CRM?

    Well actually NO! If you have YAMMER enabled you click a button in configuration and configure Yammer and your YAMMER Feeds become an option under What's New. Bringing in other (even perhaps non-CRM user) conversations into the mix.

    Just imagine!

    WhatsNew
     


    Back in the CRM v2011 Days

    Back in the Microsoft CRM v2011 days there was an issue with the “Send an error report to Microsoft” configuration where the OOB features of Dynamics would cause generic errors to appear when in reality there were no errors or perhaps just a slight delay. The timing was over sensitive so although there was some debate about it is designed to do that, it was doing it way too often.

    In the field we turned off the alert.  The message was not helpful and also would block an occasional real error. Needless to say for a year or two we would need to turn off this feature both under Settings, Administration, PRIVACY settings and under a user’s personal options.  

    Does anyone remember these times?

    Does anyone still have a blog post on the issue?

     

     


    Thank you Deanna Sparks !

    I wanted to give a big shout out to Deanna Sparks, an associate consultant specializing in Microsoft Dynamics CRM. She is a guest blogger who wrote that great piece on Business Process Flows. As many of  you know Business Process Flows were released with Microsoft Dynamics CRM v2013 and with the release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM v2015 they are even more powerful!

    I can still remember last year at Convergence watching this incredible presentation by two powerful business users at one of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM client sites. They LOVE business process flows and it was amazing to see what they had used them for in v2013! Just wait until they see the newest release. Talk about getting the chain saw - who can keep up and yet users can always find ways to ask for more.


    New Business Process Flows with 2015 Release

    Improving functionality to make it easier to configure your system right out of the box is one of the benefits of the new Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 update. A feature I am finding great value using is the business process flow (BPF) display of a set of predefined steps for users to follow to achieve a desired outcome.

     

    Microsoft Dynamics CRM v2015 offers a method to create these complex BPFs in a Single Edit Experience! Now, all the improvements made to BPF in v2015 such as stage and step configuration, selecting entity relationships and new branching capabilities are all performed in the same process edit window. Let's take a deeper look into these new features on the Single Edit Experience as compared to CRM v2013!

     

    There is now rule based branching. In CRM v2013, the BPF were new and were liner: you had to complete one stage before you moved on to the next one. In CRM v2015, it is now possible have BPF to change to the next stage or to future stages depending on the actions and input of the user. This enhancement displays the most relevant information to the user and ultimately allows them to create more complex BPF. The instant feedback allows for users to be updated in real time, improving the accuracy of direction while performing their tasks. Dynamically changing BPF are enabled by the new branching and merging features, which now include the conditions if, else, and else if for business rules logic.

     

    These conditions are just one of the updates to the entities in BPF. You can create a branch with a single entity, or now with v2015, you can cross the branch with multiple entities! In the previous version, only certain entities were allowed to be included in BPF, now you can choose any custom entity to be involved as long as you've enabled the BPF capability. Another improvement in 2015 is the ability for the BPF to go in and out of the entity loop as many times as necessary to complete the action; opposed to v2013 where you could only loop back to the primary entity once. The relationships between entities has also been updated and a 1:N relationship with the associated entity is no longer necessary. In v2013 there was a predefined set of entities and relationships that could be used, now you get to customize your relationship by choosing "Previous Stage", "Entity", and "Relationship" on the Edit window.  While a relationship is not required anymore, it is recommended to use relationships to allow data to more easily flow between records.

     

    At the end of your BPF, branching will come to a single merge step, which is the condition after the else statement. With the new feature to select the "Previous Stage" at the end of a stage, you now have the ability to create a unique relationship with different field mapping depending on the actions of the user. This is useful in that is allows you to dictate a relationship based on the branches that merge to verify that the correct data is being mapped over from one stage to the next.

     

    These enhancements to Business Process Flows are just a part of the all that is new in Microsoft Dynamics CRM v2015. Check back for more blog posts regarding the newest release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM!

     


    Fine Tuning MS CRM for Enterprise Level Performance

    Microsoft Dynamics CRM has now been running in some of the largest enterprise accounts across the countries, but with millions and millions of transactions comes a need to fine tune so here are a few tricks of the trade from the Enterprise Technical Developers, Database gurus and Consultants!

    1) Although perhaps obvious, it is worth adding Indexes to your  SQL Server Database if you are dealing with millions of transactions

    2) Enable the Quick Find Limit and encourage users to use Advanced Find when doing more sophisticated searching

    3) Kerberos authentic can cause performance issues if it is not turned on AND if it is hitting various incompatibility with different server versions, particularly really old versions so check your server versions and your Kerberos.

    4) Go back to the basics at the front end CRM Server, Do you have "Enable HTML Compression?" Set to  Yes?  Turn it off

    5) You can also "Turn off the Page Counter" for the Grid  1 of 250, 5000+

    6) Review the columns that you have enabled on Quick Find, for each column added the query is increased and overhead is increased.

    7) Review the following SQL Server Flags with your CRM SQL Server guru

    •  MAXDOP =
    • IDSCountForUsingGUIDString =
    • IDSCountBeforeCausingJoinsForSecurity =
    • Optimize for Adhoc =
    • ERMO =

     


    Heads Back Up

    So I have been heads down for a number of months and it is time to pull my head back up into the community! Dynamics CRM v2013 and Dynamics CRM v2015 have a TON of new awesomeness and by sharing the incredible power of the functional configuration options we can increase customer happiness and Dynamics CRM success.

     

     


    ExtremeCRM : Dynamics CRM Awesomeness!

    There are some INCREDIBLE partners and clients doing incredible things in the world with Microsoft Dynamics CRM and a layering of conferences that show the incredible. The Agility, the flexibility and the services that surround the product all create a huge economic advantage to companies from Enterprise to SMB. ExtremeCRM is one of those great conferences.  

    A couple of the partners recently presented their solutions at ExtremeCRM and it was summarized so well in this picture.

    ExtremeCRM
     


    Microsoft PFE Team (Premeire Field Engineering) releases awesome ticklers as well

    AND the PFE Team (Premeire Field Engineering)  releases awesome ticklers as well. Take a peek at this little tidbit enhancement to Quick Find !

    and you can follow the CRM PFE Team Blog !


    MICROSOFT Dynamics CRM and the huge CRM Community!

    The Microsoft Dynamics CRM Community has an incredible history of leveraging the Dynamics xRM platform to meet some really tough business challenges. If you work with a proven Microsoft Dynamics CRM partner or with Microsoft Consulting Services (the MCS CRM Team), they bring to the table their own incredible library of experiences, but also their own depth and reach of resources and tools.

    Knowledge in "CRM" is critical.

    There are also great open source resources such as CODEPLEX where partners and clients can download and take ownership of kick starters and CODEPLEX is not Dynamics specific so you can tap into the entire Microsoft stack.

    To follow the team at CODEPLEX, read and follow their blog.

    Search on CRM on CODEPLEX

    AND CODEPLEX is really just a small taste of the greater community resources. Take for instance following a few Dynamics CRM Specific blogs such as some of the ones listed on this blog. You start and the list just grows and grows and grows.  The number of shared resources, code snippets, tools, configuration best practices and more is so unlimited. OK, so you are now tapped into the blogs ...

    Have you looked into the ISVs? The Independent Software Vendors writing solutions to compliment the Dynamics CRM platform? Take a peek at ADXStudio for instance who has a huge library of PORTAL options and ALM! or perhaps empowering SALES Teams with complex ordering proposals and integration? Look at Experlogix or maybe you just want some nice address verification and compliance, you can talk with Dun & Bradstreet.  The list really is endless!


    Get Ready for the Microsoft Dynamics CRM FALL release! #msdyncrm

    Press Release:

    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/press/2014/sep14/09-16crmpr.aspx      

     

    Bob Stutz’s Blog:

    https://community.dynamics.com/crm/b/crmconnection/archive/2014/09/16/marketing-sales-service-one-cloud-for-all.aspx

     

    Customer Center Get Ready Page:

    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics/crm-customer-center/get-ready-for-the-next-release.aspx