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.
I am amazed at how I continue to learn more and more about Dynamics CRM despite focusing on the platform for over eight years. The product team continues to release small and large updates and are amazing in how fast they manage to keep up with the pace of technology change.
Additionally the current product (even before any updates) has a ton of depth and a number of under utilized functionality. When was the last time you decided to add something new to your business processes? What about learning one small area of the software in full?
Consider Goals, or Connections - take a peek at subjects or perhaps you want to become a FetchXML guru
Did you know you can tie web sense into charts?
There is so much that can be done.
Given this I offer this link and suggestions: Go review the Microsoft Dynamics CRM v2011 IMPLEMENTATION GUIDE. You might not have looked at it for a few years, a few months or even ever and it is packed with great information. So take an hour for study, each day this week - shoot make it a team effort and start up a Dynamics CRM brown bag lunch or book group. You will be pleasantly surprised.
When it comes to all things SLA the Dynamics CRM team posted a great blog post a couple of years ago complete with a number of great hyperlinks. I was re-reading this today and I realized that it was definitely worth a reshare!
So if you have questions about CRMOnline's Service Level Agreements START HERE
CRM is highly personal just like each of our own direct relationships. It must also meet corporate and team shared needs. This post dives into this concept.
Take for instance the tracking of details on a relationship between two people. The USER of CRM (such as a sales person) and their prospect or client (such as a key contact at a prospect site)
Some details of a relationship are as unique as each person within that relationship and others are common for all relationships with a specific person no matter who is in that relationship.
These details of a "relationship" can include an incredible list of variables.
What would be considered common and easily shared and valuable to a team? Personal characteristics such as a specific job title, the contacts features (height, gender, eye color) or perhaps even the name of a contacts spouse and friends.
Other variables are unique to a specific relationship and might or might not be valuable to the team.
What would be considered unique? The level of trust between two people, an inside joke, their shared history, perhaps a specific experience and shared networks. This could even extend to likes and dislikes that a person has and their level of likes. A person who is great at skiing might love skiing with a person at their same level, but hate it with a beginner. We could even go so far as to look at other unique traits such as what job or what role is taken as part of a specific relationship. If I think of one person in my network as an example, this same person is a contactor, a developer, a senior software developer (language being a factor), a software engineer, an architect (role being a factor), a speaker, a reference, a father, a son, a coach, a builder and more. So how are all these different variables tracked and shared?
Within the world of Microsoft Dynamics CRM these variables are handled in a number of different ways and at various different companies extended with different styles. Partner extensions to the software, customer driven extensions to the software, base use of already available features. This one subject is a great one for the user group! (www.crmug.com)
Depending on the version of the software choices within the software change significantly between version 4 and verson 2011.
In the world of Microsoft Dynamics CRM v4.
Contacts are people who have a set of shared fields and these include not only what shipped out of the box, but also any other fields you wanted to add. Out of the box fields include title, gender, e-mail addresses, and how the person likes to be contacted. User defined fields might include if they are a referral source or if they are an influencer within a prospect account.
Microsoft also offered a table in v4 for relationships. This is a two column list where a CRM user could custom define that a specific person (such as person A) was a vendor contact and that a specific second person (person B for instance) was the customer of that vendor contact. You could also choose a company and put it in this relationship table such as company A was a vendor for person B as the customer contact. This relationship feature offered both company and contact cross reference choices.
The feature had/has an interesting set of powerful potential, but it also had limits and I would dare to say it is under utilized inthe field and as such in the world of Dynamics CRM version 2011 a whole new world of options was born under the CONNECTIONS umbrella. Relationships exists in 2011 but has been retired and replaced with connections.
If you have not discovered CONNECTIONS then you want to take time to REALLY understand the power before you architect it into your business process.
So with those thoughts and my writing time ended I open up the idea for discussion and perhaps a few more posts over the next few days.
How does your company track all the variables between all the different relationships for each prospect or client contact that you have?
In this incredible world of both technology offering calculated date and people capturing data from all over the world the two concepts can sometimes collide!
Take for instance the world of dates.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM offers UTC adjustments, personal settings and Date and Time fields. What this means is that depending on how you have your computer configured and your Dynamics CRM Personal Options the dates that you enter are adjusted.
Microsoft Outlook does this as well. If I was to setup a meeting with an associate in California for instance on my calendar for today the meeting would display as Eastern Time (2pm for instance), but for my associate (CRM Guru Marc Wolenik) the date and time would display as (11am) and if we then added in another person such as a cool CRM Guru in Australia (Leon Tribe) the time would not only be different, the DAY would be different.
So what happens when you start capturing these types of dates inside of Dynamics CRM for analysis or reporting?
If all the dates are entered by "humans" correctly configured for their local time zones then the software correctly handles all the adjustments. The only trick with regards to this set of considerations is that DATE Only fields are well not really date only so watch that!
If all the dates however are entered by other "Systems" then a bit more thought needs to go into the architecture. Take for instance a system that resides on a server in a data center that is capturing date information based on that servers date. If you then take that date and enter it via an integration, how would you expect Dynamics CRM to react?
How would that date be managed?
Do you want it to be fixed? or adjusted?
If you want it to be adjusted, how are you going to tell the system to adjust it?
What if you want it to be a date field BUT you want to lock it to a certain time zone?
The CRM development team at Microsoft slid in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Mobility option called Mobile Express a while ago - (I could even say years ago -Check out Settings, Mobile Express) and as far as I can see they have been updating it little by little as the rollups and new versions come out.
What does this mean? It means that Mobile Express is an option worth checking out, BUT that it does not necessarily meet ALL your extensive mobility needs depending on what you need in a Mobile client and what and how many platforms you need it to run on as well as how many extra mobile specific features you want.
The mobile ISVs including TenDigits and CWR Mobility are totally focused on working with mobile teams to empower them and encourage them to get more from their Dynamics CRM Investment. They also have additional features that are integrated so if you need those additional features get the teams at CWR and TenDigits to give you a demo, BUT if you just want to access Dynamics CRM from your cell phone once in a while then take a peek at Mobile Express.
Of note Mobile Express is a Free feature in Dynamics CRM and yes, there are a number of people who don't realize this. Pay to get it configured and to learn the best way to use it from your partner, but don't worry about extra licensing fees.
Articles on Mobility and Dynamics CRM are as follows:
CRM 4.0 UR 3 brought in a useful feature, the ability to configure the CRM Asynchronous Service to automatically delete records from completed asynchronous operations, and hence keep the size of the asyncoperationbase SQL table down to a reasonable size. This behaviour is configured by the registry values AsyncRemoveCompletedJobs and AsyncRemoveCompletedWorkflows
However, I recently met an issue with this behaviour, where the CRM Asynchronous Service appears to get in a state where all it is doing is deleting completed jobs, to the exclusion of all other activity. This can leave the CRM Asynchronous Service to have effectively hung (not responding to service control requests, nor polling for new jobs to process) and not to process any new jobs for a considerable period of time (in one environment, this could be several hours).
The main symptoms are:
No jobs being processed for a considerable period of time
The Crm Asynchronous Service not responding to service control requests (i.e. you cannot stop it through the Services console, so you have to kill the process)
No values reported for most performance counters (e.g. 'Total Operations Outstanding', 'Threads in use')
If you do restart the service, you see a burst of activity (including performance counters) whilst outstanding jobs are processed, then it reverts to the same behaviour as above
If you look at the SQL requests submitted by the Crm Asynchronous Service (I use the SQL dynamic management views sys.dm_exec_requests and sys.dm_exec_sessions) you see just one DELETE request and no other SQL activity
At the moment, the only workaround I have is to remove the registry values, and to use a scheduled SQL job to periodically clear out the asyncoperationbase table. Here is an example of such a script.
Dynamics xRM Virtual User Group The XRM User Group is for the professional xRM developer community. User groups have been around for a long time, professionals helping professionals. Why? If we keep spreading the new technology, then we get more new technology. If we keep educating our peers, our work standards continue to rise and then we go back to that new technology thing. If we don't innovate, things get boring. So, that's why we're here.
Dynamics CRM User Group The Dynamics CRM User Group (CRMUG) is an association of companies sharing the common interest of optimizing their usage of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. This independent community of users gets together (remotely and face-to-face) through a myriad of conferences, virtual tools, and programs to share knowledge and best practices. Membership and active participation in CRMUG can make all the difference in the effective use of your Dynamics CRM software.