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June 2016
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October 2016

Knowledge Management : KB Articles in Microsoft CRM

A few resources to ramp up on all that is new in Knowledge Management in Microsoft CRM 8.1.0.00xx (2016 Spring Release)

Dynamics CRM Knowledge Management by the Microsoft EMEA Support Team

New Knowledge Management Features Introduced by the Microsoft Product Team

New Customer Service Features in CRM 2016 discussed by MSDynamicsWorld

Tip of the Day Video (series): CRM Knowledge Articles

One Minute Overview Video on Knowledge Articles

Streamline Knowledge Management in Microsoft CRM Video

You will also want to ramp up on the new Interactive Service Hub (ISH) which offers even more access to the wealth of data in Microsoft CRM.

Tip of the Day : Interactive Service Hub

Overview of the Interactive Service Hub

Working with Cases in the Interactive Service Hub

 

 


Keeping a Clean House: Sometimes it is about the data

Microsoft CRM supports tracking of e-mail messages and e-mail messages often come with attachments. If you want to prevent Microsoft CRM from storing an e-mails attachments you can set the file size within Configuration to 0.

What if you don't want to block all attachments or what if you inherited a system that has a ton of attachments stored in the database?

You can purge e-mail attachments from the CRM Database.

Take a look at the EMEA Support Teams Blog Post on the subject for more.

Kids-cleaning


Building a Demonstration Environments : Data

Microsoft CRM is tightly married to Microsoft Excel and as such some of the EXCEL functions can come in very handy.

When putting together a demonstration system check out the RANDBETWEEN() Function for generating random numbers in Excel. It can also be used for randomly picking values from a list and many other derivatives.  

 


Associating "One Knowledge Base Article" to a Case based on Case Type

In Microsoft CRM you can have many knowledge base articles associated to a case, but what if you wanted to always associate a specific article to a specific case based on the type of case?

This can be done using CONFIGURATION.

Create a new N:1  relationship between Case and Article. This sets up the field for the CASE form to associate 1 article to the case. Once the relationship is configured, add the relationship to the CASE form of your choice.

Most likely you don't want to select and pick the article when you create the case (although that is an option), but rather you want the system to automatically associate the article based on the case type.

To do this you would add a process of type workflow that looks at the case type and appends the article you indicate. It is important to realize that an article can not be appended to the case until the case is created and as such the order in which the workflow fires is a variable.

Items to Consider

  1. The Security on Case and Article might need to be updated to support Append and Append To.
  2. The Case Types might need to be expanded to cover all case types needed.
  3. The Articles should be created before you create the workflow so that you can pick the article you want to associate.
  4. CRM 8.1.0.00xx has three different knowledge base article entities as depreciation occurs so understanding which article to use is helpful.
  5. Workflows can be ASYNC or SYNCHRONOUS and each have their own strengths. In this situation there are advantages to ASYNC because of the timing of case save.

Out of the Box (OOB) Microsoft Customer Relationship Managment (CRM)

If you don't know what you get out of the box, then you might be inclined to ignore all the greatness and create your own entities. This is an option, but what it tends to bypass are all of the OOB integrations and small enhancements that offer some incredible power.

Take for instance "Case" and "Case Resolution" These two entities are a married pair. The first tracks the incoming details on any specific case and the second tracks all of the different derivatives of the resolution to that case.

For instance a case can be cancelled with a reason or it can be completed with a failure or a success.

It should be noted that when closing a case, the configuration offers choices. The status reasons can be modified for each Status of ACTIVE and INACTIVE.  

Status Active - Status Reasons

Status Resolved - Status Reasons Status Cancelled - Status Reasons

 


Scoring and Assigning Complexity

Microsoft CRM and Calculate Fields offers some real power for adding scoring to a specific record.

Take for instance a situation where five different departments work on a specific opportunity. You can configure the system so that each department adds a score to the opportunity record, such as a value from 1 (great fit) to 5 (Gaps), and the system can then add up these five scores and give the opportunity a more realistic probability for close.

  • Department 1 Score (1-5):  2
  • Department 2 Score (1-5): 3
  • Department 3 Score (1-5): 4
  • Department 4 Score (1-5): 1
  • Department 5 Score (1-5): 5

Total Score : (Calculated by the System) 15

Now tie the 15 to a business rule that sets the opportunity to Hot Fit (Red), Warm fit (Orange), Cold Fit (Blue)

If Total Score =>1 and <=5 then set Opportunity Fit to "Hot Fit (Red)"

If Total Score >5 and <=15 then set Opportunity FIt to "Warm Fit (Orange)"

If Total Score >15 and <=25 then set Opportunity Fit to "Cold Fit (Blue)"

 You can even set the "colors" on the option set values for some super cool feature growth ...


Field One: The Mobile Workforce and Microsoft CRM

Did you know there are more field services technicians in the US then sales people in the entire world?

Field One took Microsoft CRM and mastered the platform. What does this really mean? Mastering the platform?

Microsoft CRM as a platform is a parallel growth paradigm. The product grows and matures every day as the developers on the Microsoft teams build, define, refine and release while the teams (external partners, ISVs, other resources) building extended solutions are doing the same. Each team must work closely with the vision of today and the visions of the future. Decisions are not just meeting a requirement or request, they are meeting a requirement or a request in a manner that fits into this parallel growth.

Field One Mastery (now under the Microsoft Umbrella) continues to offer incredible, already mastered, solutions to some of the most complex field services organizations.   

  • Resource Management
  • Complex Scheduling
  • Durations
  • Territories
  • Mobile
  • Routing
  • Modern
  • and so much more

   So what do the developers work on, if the above is already so well matured and defined?

Oh there is so much more that just flows into what you have as time goes one.

Consider the Microsoft Platform and all that is available.

Consider Machine Learning and Predictive analysis and the speed in which Microsoft Azure offerings are growing. Consider Microsoft Portal and Microsoft Project Services within CRM  and, and, and ....

So if you have not taken a few minutes to start thinking about Field Services then perhaps it is time to start? Take a look at Field One.

FieldOne-Sky-devices-medium