Thursday, August 29, 2013

August 29 Blog Review

It’s another short week with the Labor Day long weekend. Let’s see what the blog world holds for us today.

PowerObjects posted a Tutorial for Including Case History on the Account. This is good for whenever you want to add a sub-grid to a form. They also posted several blogs about Installing, Configuring and checking your version for CRM for Outlook but I don’t really want to talk about CRM for Outlook more than necessary.

Altico Advisors posted a Tech Tip on IFD Settings. Internet Facing Deployment and everything related is increasingly becoming a hot topic as more people want to access CRM on their mobile devices and as we prepare for the mobile friendly interface in CRM 2013. This blog discusses how to make sure your timeout settings are what you want them to be.

Now, if you are on the cutting edge and using Internet Explorer 10, you should read Chris Cognetta’s steps for setting up IE 10 to use CRM 2011. He describes how to update your compatibility settings as well as current know issues.

The CRM Software Blog highlighted an article about CRM 2013 Frequently Asked Questions. It highlights questions like when will I be upgraded, will my system be offline, and what are the major changes with this release.

The CRM Team Blog talked to us about Preparing JavaScript for the Upgrade. Here is what you need to know:
  • Get everything UR 12 compatible. This will need to be done prior to CRM 2013. There is the Code Validation Tool for this, although the output is not very fun to work with. It is a great place to start.
  • Get all your endpoints up to date. No more CRM 4.0 endpoints.
  • Don’t Modify the DOM. It will not work in CRM 2013.
  • Fix your unsupported changes. These will most-likely break as well.

Everyone loves Richard Knudson and he is a smart one when it comes to Business Processes. He wrote a great, albeit long-winded, article on how to create a Flexible Sales Process. If this isn’t something you need, still make sure you catch the tip about editing read-only fields through workflow: you can unlock the field while creating the workflow then set it read-only and the workflow will run and update the field correctly. This only needs to be done in your development environment; it will work fine when you import it into other environments.

That’s all the CRM news I have to pass on today. Have a great Labor Day Weekend everyone!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

August 21 Blog Review

This week is a short week for me at work. That means early blog review! Just a few items for this half-week, I will catch you up on the rest in the next edition.

CustomerEffective has a nice article about using CRM to Organize Baseball Little League Registration. They were able to begin accepting online registrations and payments to avoid data entry and busy work.

They also posted a summary of the Microsoft Training Blitz and the Enhancements to the User Experience coming in CRM 2013. Some interesting pieces are Microsoft’s five core design principles: Simple, Usable, Modern, Fast and Loved. Also, the new ribbon has color coded buttons. So Activities will always be red and such. I like this as it will draw the eye and train users (look for the red button). However, this feature may not be as helpful for the colorblind users.

Leon Tribe talked to us about Licensing for Dev, UAT and Prod Environments. For CRM Online this is very simple but can be expensive. With on-premise you can purchase a MSDN subscription for developers which include the Dev and Test licenses.

I am always a fan of finding ways to do things without needing to write code. So naturally I am very excited about the Business Rules functionality in CRM 2013. McGladrey posted a great blog: Business Rules in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013. These rules are added to the entity and can be used to do things such as make a field required, show an error message and make fields read-only. This allows a large amount of custom JavaScript to be removed and replaces with built-in functionality.

Thanks for tuning in. Look forward to more news on the next blog review. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

August 16 Blog Review

The MVP Bloggers were fairly quiet this week. I think they are probably working hard on CRM 2013 and not allowed to tell any regular people about it. Perhaps we will know more soon. The rest of the blog world is still a buzz. Here are some of this week’s best articles.

Leon Tribe describes how to make a dialog to use when a Contact Moves Employers. The issue here is if you simply move the Contact from one Account to the other the Activity history will move with it. If we want this information to remain with the old company we should deactivate the old Contact and create a clone contact under the new employer. A dialog can assist with this by copying all information to a new contact and entering the new Account that is entered by the user.

MSDynamicsWorld sheds some more light on CRM 2013 in Behind some Key Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Design Decisions. Key takeaways are as follows:
  • Focus on speed to boost productivity and user adoption
  • Online users will need to upgrade fairly quickly because there are plans for quarterly enhancements
  • Goal was to make the interface simple, easy and seamless across devices
  • Focus on outcome-driven experiences
  • The business process piece allows businesses to standardize their best practices and assist with new user on-boarding

There is also another article challenging common beliefs when planning out a CRM system – CxM through xRM: Focusing on Outcomes when Modeling Relationship Management in your CRM system. Tenets the article challenges: (1) that a relationship can be managed and (2) that managing a relationship can be done by tracking activities or interactions. You can measure interactions/activities but the fact that they occurred does not necessarily mean that it produced the desired outcome. Rather than focusing on those Activities you can instead manage the desired outcome. Interactions need to be customized to achieve the desired result. “Better interactions lead to better experiences which lead to stronger relationships that in turn produce valuable insights that allow a business to create even better interactions.”

With all the news about CRM 2013 Microsoft also announced a new licensing and pricing system, you can learn more about this in Sonoma’s How Much Will I be Paying for CRM?. Now there are 3 licensing tiers, you can choose the level that is right for you and your users. The blog suggests getting the highest level, professional, for your administrators and power users. Then the lower tiers can be for the rest of users that may not need access to as many features.

The CRM Software Blog posted a Summary of What’s New in CRM 2013. Here are the key pieces they mention:
  • Mobile Device and Touch-Optimized Screens
  • Configurable Business Rules – rules with automatic actions tied to them such as populating a field, making a field required, locking a field, etc.
  • Improved solution architecture
  • Image support on all entities
  • Quick Create Functionality to quickly create new records without leaving the page you are working on
  • Workflow Improvements – Synchronous workflow capability, ability to choose if a workflow runs before or after an action, and workflows will work on all devices. In addition, customizers can now select if workflows should run as the owner of the workflow or as the person who modified the record that triggered the workflow.
  • Native Mobile Apps

That’s all I have for you today. Have a nice weekend!

Friday, August 9, 2013

August 2 & 9 Blog Review

I have been a very bad blogger. My blog for two Fridays ago was just posted and my blog for last Friday is obviously not here. So here we have a two week blog review.

Biggest news from last week was the Rollup 11 Critical Update. To find out what you need to know check out the CRM in the Field Recap, PowerObjects Blog and the KnowledgeBase Article. This is an update for systems currently on UR 11 who are unable to move to UR12+ because of compatibility. This update includes performance fixes from UR 12, 13 and 14 as well as an update to split the CRM for Outlook process from the Outlook process (to fix those pesky out of memory errors). This cannot be installed if you are on UR 12, 13 or 14 and if you install the critical update you cannot install another rollup until UR 15.

Preact CRM has three great blogs about what to expect with CRM 2013. There is so much information included; I could never do it justice. Check it out:

Jukka Niiranen also posted a great blog summarizing all the announcements and excitement from the World Partner Conference – Dynamics CRM 2013 Finally Revealed.

PowerObject talked to us this week about Duplicate Detection. It is important to remember that if duplicate are being checked as records are created or updated these can only be checked against records the user has access to. So consider giving users read access to all records or having a duplicate detection job run separately by an administrator.

For our custom report people, CustomerEffective describes a quick way to download multiple reports to edit. They also gave us a Beginner Guide to Pivot Tables.

Leon Tribe has a glowing review of Zero@Ten’s Bulk Workflow Extension tool. This tool allows you to run a workflow on more than 250 records at a time. Leon notes that this will be very beneficial in CRM 2013 when Workflows become even more powerful and take on some of the functionality currently handled by plugins.

Alternatively, PowerObjects gave a tutorial on running On-Demand Workflows from Outlook. This also allows you to run a workflow for more than 250 records.

The CRM Software blog also presented us with Thoughts on Microsoft CRM 2013 which talked about the strides Microsoft is taking to improve user adoption, integration, and mobile use with CRM 2013.

I hope this helps you stay up-to-date on the world of CRM.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

July 26 Blog Review

The CRM world is starting to recover from the flurry of news a few weeks ago. Here are the top stories this week:

Everyone is getting excited/nervous for the Orion upgrade. PowerObjects is helping us with their blog Preparing for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013. If you are fully up to 2011 standards and compatible with the UR 12 cross-browser functionality you should be in a good spot to move to 2013. Make sure you do not have the “Include HTC support in Microsoft Dynamics CRM forms” setting checked when testing, this will not be available in 2013. To know how long you have to prepare check out MSDynamicsWorld and Putting it in Writing.

Queues in CRM can be a tricky feature. One especially irksome piece is how, in many implementations, users can see a full list of all queues including everyone’s personal queue. A good way to fix this is to decrease the read access level and then use teams and sharing for access. Learn more about this in CustomerEffective’s Taming The Queue View in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

For those of you working on moving to Update Rollup 14, Chris Cognetta advises that some old registry keys should remain in place to prevent poor performance. CRM 2011 Outlook Client: Disable Mapi Caching not working after UR 14.

This week Leon Tribe has been talking about Capturing Multiple Contact Roles in CRM. We know that Contacts can only be parented by one Account, but if they work at multiple companies some problems can arise. Some suggested approaches are: Connections, A Contact Role Entity and A Person Entity. Read the blog to see the Pros and Cons of each approach.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM just celebrated its 10th birthday. Read some Veterans Reflections at MSDynamicsWorld.

If you missed the WPC a few weeks ago (like me) you can catch the Top 11 Stories here.

That’s all for today folks. Let me know if I missed anything and I can include it next week!