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December 2015
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February 2016

Product Recognition: Way to Go Microsoft Dynamics CRM!

Microsoft Dynamics CRM WINS Customer Magazine Product of the Year Award

Relationship Management Software is as deep and complex as the relationships that it is tracking (easy as you and I, complex as you and everyone you know and why) and numerous choices can make it even more complex (do you track the buildings you visit, the people who influence the decisions you depend on?).

YET choice is what makes for a great offering as it morphs to fit businesses from one model to the next. Not only businesses, but the ever changing nature of businesses and the uniqueness of your business.

Three Great Tips to working with Relationship Management Software as the heart beat of the company

1) Make sure you have the people (or support from people) in place that understand the product inside out and backwards. The strengths, the weaknesses, the reasons behind all that is offered and how to leverage those reasons to meet your needs. Also make sure these people have time for continued learning. Everything keeps growing and offering.

2) Make sure you honor and respect the product. If you don't host your own website then perhaps you don't want to host your own web based applications. Leverage the offerings and power of CRM Online which is backed by data centers layered in physical and virtual security. Check out the CRM Trust Center for more information.

3) Polish up your processes. Define consistency, eliminate crazy edge cases and understand what each and every person is doing to get the job done. They have found their own efficiencies, adopt the efficiencies. Consider things such as  thinking hard about "alerts" before sending an e-mail alert after everything that happens in the system. Do people really need more e-mail? Leverage Dashboards, charts and PowerBI graphics  to really understand the data that gets put in so that putting the data in the system makes a whole lot of sense to everyone. Share the results. 

 

 


Microsoft CRM Online : Moving Data, Migrating Data, Getting All Setup

It is true that you can import data into Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online.

It is true that you can setup complex integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online.

It is true that you are not the first person to do this nor the first company or complex Enterprise or complex small business environment.

When you need to get started it is; however, helpful to have a service that supports getting you started. Needless to say Microsoft now offers the DATA LOADER SERVICE for CRM Online.

There are two great blog posts on this service written by the team!

Data Loader for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Post 1 of 2

Data Loader for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Post 2 of 2

 


Microsoft Visio

Now that Adult Coloring Books have exploded on the marketplace perhaps it is time for you move from the joys of PowerPoint (Admit it, you love it because it is easy creativity) to the joys and the incredible POWER of VISIO or SWAY (but I will save SWAY for another post)!

Do you have processes? Do you want to get these processes to be adopted and consistent across all departments? Why not drop them into a SIMPLE VISUAL DIAGRAM and post them around the office?

Or you can really get into it and use them to "visualize the future state of transformative initiatives" or to "stay on top of operational insights". It is true that a picture can communicate 1000 words and in this noisy world, using a picture to communicate can make a huge difference (even for the most sophisticated).

To learn more about the new features of Microsoft Visio you can read up about it on the Microsoft office team's blog. I even enjoy older posts like this one which is already a year old!    

Microsoft Office Team's Blog

Microsoft Office Blog on VISIO

Microsoft VISIO Test Drive


So you want to configure your Dynamics CRM System?

First define your desired architecture! (Think Design your addition or house)

Then do some reading and planning! (for instance you might want to have your upstairs bathroom above your downstairs bathroom to make the plumbing easier)

Consult an expert or hire an expert! (They have the experiences of numerous projects rolled out successfully that are often very, very, very similar to what you are doing)

If you want to learn by doing, calculated in the learning curve, because you will make mistakes and you will want to have a plan for fixing the mistakes so that the system is not compromised. (Consider what happens when that addition to the house or the house is not built to code)

Reading: Take a peak at this great TECHNET content!


Gold Nuggets for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Users

Microsoft offers so many choices that sometimes finding out about new choices is noise, noise, noise, but then there are the noises that are worth listening too. Take for instance that for CRM Online users there is a solution that is free and is tucked into your administration options and that makes users go "wow".

Start by going to your CRMOL Administration Portal (http://portal.office.com) and selecting Service Settings, Dynamics CRM

Service Settings Dynamics CRM

You then want to select Dynamics CRM Administration which will  list your instances and solutions

CRMOL Instances ManagementNOW choose the PENCIL: The tiny pencil on the right hand side of the screen under solutions. This represents EDIT and will allow you to step into a very interesting world.

Solutions

 

The world of CRM Online Offered Solutions

Solutions for CRMOL

 

and I started this post with InsideView's Microsoft Dynamics CRM Insights on my mind. It offers some very interesting Account and Contact updates for users who want "web" data options for updating of account and contact details. READ the readme to fully enable for there is some need to update your forms to take advantage for the solution feature offerings. It also requires that you have configured your system administration account correctly.

In addition to the free offering the company also has more extensions and some international features. Take a peek at their website. and reach out to their team for more support and more awesome.

 


Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013

So you have not quite jumped to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 or Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 and you still have users who are learning more and more and more of the DEPTH and potential of Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Well Aaron shared a number of great videos that are worth adding to your 2016 To Watch List

You might also want to consider updating your DRIP LEARN habits. It is the New Year and new habits are a great way to polish up and sharpen up. What is DRIP LEARN? Drip learn is simply reading one blog post a day or one article or watching one 15 minute video. It is amazing how just a little bit of coffee cup, drip learning can impact your world and your thoughts.

 


Microsoft Dynamics CRM Support Lifecycle

Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a continuous book, with pages being edited and new pages being added with each release. Those who build their projects to live with the growth of their companies do not need to be concerned for the book continues as your business continues.

For those who are still running Microsoft Dynamics CRM older versions, this page might be of interest. The Microsoft Support Lifecycle Page

What is a Support Lifecycle, you ask or more appropriately, what is the support lifecycle policy? There is more on the website, but consider this ...

"What is the Support Lifecycle policy?
Microsoft provides an industry-leading Support Lifecycle policy—in length and provision—giving customers consistent, transparent, and predictable timelines for which software is supported."