Thinking of an Upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics CRM?

Are you thinking about moving your Microsoft Dynamics CRM instance to Azure? Or perhaps you want to move to CRM Online? Maybe you just want to upgrade from a much earlier version to the most current version?

Microsoft Consulting Services has a set of services that will provide you with an upgrade assessment.

Now is a great time to get that assessment done and to start thinking about polishing up the heart beat technology of your company. The products every one of your staff use : Microsoft Office (or O365) and Microsoft Dynamics CRM!

Learn More

Smart Clients

In catching up with the communities I saw comments regarding a client who wanted to make sure development and extensions were supported.

Kudos to the client for recognizing that Microsoft Dynamics CRM is flexible, configurable and extendable with supported paths and that developers can sometimes be a little too creative without remembering the long term cost.

Answers to the easy and hard questions to consider as we think about Managed and Unmanaged Solutions (#Msdyncrm)

Answers to the easy and hard questions to consider as we think about Managed and Unmanaged Solutions

1) How do you create a managed or unmanaged solution?

  • Select Settings
  • Select Solutions
  • Select New

New Solution

  • Give your solution a name
  • Add a publisher (see next question for details on publishers)
  • Add a version such as
  • Add existing entities you want to modify or new entities you want to create
  • Save your solution
  • Export as either an unmanaged or managed solution

2) What is a CRM publisher?

A publisher allows you to define a prefix and variables for your solutions. A publisher can be used to organize or classify components added to a solution. To create a publisher

  • Select Settings
  • Select Customizations
  • Select Publishers
  • Select New
  • Publisher
    Give your publisher a name
  • Set your prefix
  • You can also set the starting number for any values in option sets
  • Save your publisher (you can now use it when creating solutions)

3) What benefit does the publisher give the customizer?

  • Every component (attribute, entity, etc. is prefixed with that publisher prefix)

4) What happens when you import an unmanaged solution?

  • The solution is merged with all other unmanaged solutions.

5) Can you export a managed solution?

  • No, you can only export an unmanaged solution which gives you the option to create a managed solution.

6) Who is the primary audience for managed solutions?

  • Independent Software Vendors (ISVs)

7) What are the disadvantages of using managed solutions?

  • The components of a managed solution can not be changed.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 (Version 7.x.x.x) Exams


Three Words: Do the training 

It is available on PartnerSource, the Dynamics Partner Learning Portal

Exam title

Exam number

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Applications

Extending Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Deployment

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Customization and Configuration

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Application

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Deployment

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Customization and Configuration

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Installation

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing

Visual Studio Online

Did you know that if you track all your requirements and backlog iteration items in Visual Studio Online you can easily bridge Business Speak and Developer Speak?

The developers live in Visual Studio, writing code and looking at lines of characters that are often Greek to the non-dev folks, but by using work items in Visual Studio Online you can all work in one world.

Better yet, you can add Microsoft Test Manager test cases and link those to the work items. Just for fun you also get full graphing on burn down and task management.

I like the AGILE TEMPLATE, but also use the SCRUM Template despite my mantra of all CRM projects should be ITERATIVE or a mix of AGILE and WATERFALL.

Check it out: 

PS: Online, available from anywhere and it sync's with your local version of Visual Studio and Office AND there are some free try it out options.

Dev to Dev, Let them out once in a while

Sometimes the developers have to sit at the table and talk to each other.

In the really big Enterprise projects, where you bring together the greatest of the great (sometimes still bleeding) AND you pull in the well established, proven technologies, you often end up with a wide variety of languages, thoughts, strengths and weaknesses. (sprinkling in acronyms and it can get really crazy) 

Each person is a deep expert in their specialty, but getting each expert to use a language that other experts can understand is a challenge worth noting. 

If one person is talking Plugins, Processes, and Actions and another is talking approval cycles, statuses and signoffs and a third is discussing throughput, bottlenecks and distribution you might have a disconnect.

The trick?

Recognition. : Acknowledge and recognize that different languages are being spoken.

The second Trick?

Diversity Training : Point out that each person is incredibly different, show a few videos.

The Third Trick?

Collect all the egos and put them in a bag on the table. They cause so much heart ache!

Now add transparency. Acknowledgement and diplomacy.

I have yet to master all of the above. My fears, well ingrained XRM/CRM Think, opinions and even my female blond hair have known to get me in trouble, but  I don't regret my transparency and shared knowledge. I regret my lack of occasional sensitivity. I get so excited about the project and the technologies, I can forget about the people.

It does TAKE all variables. People, Process, Technology (well recognized buzz)

So back to the first line of this post. In the world of partners, there is this tendency to yell over the fence to the developers the criteria and requirements that need to be met. This works for many a plugin or DLL, but sometimes the developers really need to talk to other developers.

So this is a shout out to partners, vendors and ISVs to let the guys and gals with their heads down coding out in the field, to fine tuning their business skills and to encourage them to participate in some dev to dev discussions.  It can increase quality and create a bigger network of knowledge shared, knowledge learned.

Oh and a message to all developers in the world of Dynamics CRM and External apps talking to CRM: Keep an open mind, find the STRENGTHS and learn how to work with the not yet released or newer weaker areas, from those who have mastered the road before you.

Your developer peers are a close knit team writing code every day with variables that you might not be aware of.


Calling All CRM Users: Please send feedback on the new DYNAMIC HELP Features!


Calling All CRM Users: Please send feedback on the new DYNAMIC HELP Features!

"This feature was introduced in the Dynamics CRM 2015 for Outlook Client and is referred to as “Dynamic Help”.   Prior to this feature, the Outlook Client included a help link that always directed you to the same troubleshooting page regardless of which error you encountered.  For each error code that occurs during configuration, Dynamic Help can now direct you to a KB article designed to help resolve that specific issue.  This feature was also backported to CRM 2013 Update Rollup 1 for Service Pack 1 and CRM 2011 Update Rollup 18.  The Dynamic Help feature is also included in the new CRM App for Outlook. "

To Read More and To provide Feedback CLICK,

One Person Can Change the World!


Developer? New to Microsoft Dynamics CRM?

Many years ago when I was trying to ramp up on all things Microsoft Dynamics CRM, I started with the What's new features. I took each feature and mastered it and moved to the next. We also had a great need to depend on books and externally provided information. Needless to say one reason I wrote a book.

Today is Different.

Today developers new to Microsoft Dynamics CRM are lucky to have the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Developer Center.

If you have not visited, check it out!

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.



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.

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.

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:

The Facebook App can be accessed directly at:

    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.

    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! 

    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.




    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!


    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 =


    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!

    What is a Microsoft Dynamics CRM View?

    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.  

    What Are Some of the Default Entities? #msdyncrm

    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.

    • Lead
    • Account
    • Contact
    • Address
    • Opportunity
    • Case
    • Case Resolution
    • Activities including
      • Social Activities
      • Tasks
      • Appointments
      • E-Mails
      • Phone Calls
      • Faxes
      • Letters
    • Product
    • Article
    • Competitor
    • Connection and Connection Role
    • Contract
    • Document Location
    • Entitlement
    • Goal
    • Invoice
    • Order
    • Price List
    • Queue
    • Campaign
    • Team
    • User
    • and so much more!


    Keeping up with Dynamics CRM Versions

    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. 


    • If you don't like something, enter a CONNECT request and you might be surprised sooner than you think or VOTE on one already submitted.


    • Competition: There information is probably outdated, ask multiple sources. Also make sure you include an experienced servcies provider in your conversations. The Field Service teams at Microsoft and at Partners configure and extend past most all objections.


    • You need to make sure to plan on staying current.
    • You need to interrupt the versioning.

    These Resources can help

     The Dynamics CRM in the Field Blog

    The Microsoft Dynamics CRM Team Blog


    What is an Entity? #msdyncrm

    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.  

    Charts Getting you Down? Inject them!

    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.

    Hold onto your Hats! Dynamics CRM 2013 is Deepening gaining depth and breadth

    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.

    Now is the time to "Work Like a Network"

    The latest Taste of Premier episode is now LIVE!  

    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.   

    • [1:10]      What is Enterprise Social?
    • [4:15]      What role does Yammer play in this?
    • [4:48]      What should our expectations be around Social Media?
    • [6:38]      Define “Work like a Network”?
    • [8:01]      How does it work?
    • [9:50]      How do you measure the success of Enterprise Social?
    • [12:31]      Can you see what topics are trending internally?

    Microsoft Dynamics CRM v2013 (#mscrm2013)

    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"


    Visitors, The Globe, Perspectives

    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"


    Welcome 2014

    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.

    Why I use Yammer (#yammer)

    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

    Dynamics CRM v2013 Rollup 1 has been released #mscrm2013

    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.


    Jump Start your MS CRM 2013 Understanding #crm2013

    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:

    Or if you want to just sign up for tomorrow's session, here is the link:

    Promote via LinkedIn/Twitter as well!  Thanks!

    Purchasing CRM? Style considerations

    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.

    Are you ready for some Dynamics CRM v2013 Videos from YouTube?

    Are you ready for some CRM v2013 reading?

     Microsoft Dynamics CRM v2013 Implementations Guide

    Microsoft Dynamics CRM v2013 Software Developer Kit (SDK)

    Microsoft Dynamics CRM v2013 Performance Counters

    Microsoft Dynamics CRM v2013 Connectivity and Port Requirements

    Microsoft Dynamics CRM v2013 Server

    Scalable Security Modeling for Microsoft Dynamics CRM v2013

    Using multi-tenancy in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 to address challenges in enterprise business environments


    The word of the day is: Composite Control

    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:

    • Salute: Mr.
    • First Name: John
    • Middle Name: Jay
    • Last Name: Smith
    • Prefix: III

    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.

    To read more on Composite Control in the world of Dynamics CRM, CLICK HERE.

    Microsoft Dynamics CRM v2013

    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.