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!


    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: 



    The Facebook App can be accessed directly at:


    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!


    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.


    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:



    Bob Stutz’s Blog:



    Customer Center Get Ready Page:


    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.


    History is in the next Cube

    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!


    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?

    Getting Extra Value from Convergence 2014 #conv14

    Convergence: It is that time of year again! #conv14 
    Convergence isn't just about great sessions and learning, but it is also about

    1)      Networking

    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.

    Social Tips

    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.

    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: 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!

    A Bold New World: Even more choices #CRM2013

    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.