Saturday, February 22, 2014

February 21 Blog Review

It’s time to start enjoying the weekend! So let’s cover this week quickly.

PowerObject’s Creating If Then Else Logic in CRM 2013 Business Rules – Tutorial on how to handle AND and OR conditions in your Business rules.

CustomerEffective’s A Better Way to Control User Synchronization Settings in CRM – this describes a new tool that allows you to set up the default sync filters and reset users to the default sync filters in Outlook.

CRM in the Field’s PFE CRM Trace Log File Reader – describes the CRM Tracing log reader and how to use it to gain more information about issues you are having.

Leon Tribe’s Developer Essentials for the Functional Consultant – this is an excellent post that describes things that non-coders should understand – JavaScript and Plugins. He gives details on each, their limitations and alternatives.

Jukka Niiranen’s Information Overload: Cleaning Up CRM 2013 Forms – some helpful tips on how to clean up your CRM 2013 forms and clean up titles.

Jukka Niiranen’s How Would You Change the CRM Navigation? – this post links to several suggested CRM improvements on Microsoft Connect. Login and vote for these items so that the product team will consider including then in a later release.

Mitch Miliam’s Searching for Emails to a Specific Person – This is a handy tip describing how to find all E-mails a contact was involved in using Activity Parties.

Also when working with E-mails, if you need to search for all E-mails To or from a specific e-mail address you can use the contains operator. Try searching for E-mail where the TO field contains and you will see all the messages sent to that address.
Have a good night folks!

Friday, February 14, 2014

February 14 Blog Review

Here are the top stories from the Microsoft Dynamics CRM world this week.

Microsoft posted a few things we need to be aware of. Via the Microsoft Premier Field Engineers’ CRM in the field we have the links to the CRM 2013 Implementation Guide and SDK. From the CRM Team we have a new white paper on Process Enablement with CRM 2013. This describes how to create business processes in CRM 2013 and the best practices you should follow.

Security can be a very confusing concept in CRM especially in organizations that require stricter rules and more separation of Data. To help with this PowerObjects posted CRM 2013 Business Units and Data Silos. This describes what the different pieces of security are and how they work together.

CustomerEffective also talked about security this week when they compared CRM Owner Teams vs Access Teams. Access Teams are new in CRM 2013 and still somewhat mysterious to new users. This could be a good option for you if you have rapidly changing teams that can be changed by regular users. However, Owner teams will be necessary if you currently require the team to have a security role.

PowerObjects talked to us about Customizing Sales Process Flows in CRM 2013. They discuss best practices when modifying sales processes such as creating a copy to work from. Also when you are making changes to one process, think about the other processes that should have the same changes made.

So often we hear stories of failed implemtations. To try to prevent that, CustomerEffective wrote 5 Ways to Make Your CRM Implementation More Difficult. The list includes making your security more complicated than necessary, using supported customization and making processes that require a large amount of user interaction to function properly.

The interface has changed drastically in CRM 2013. This can make it difficult for users to find things they used to find easily. One of those features is Advanced Find. Jukka Niiranen wrote a great blog on Finding Advanced Find in CRM 2013.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

February 7 Blog Review

The big news this week is that Microsoft announced their new CEO, Satya Nadella. The Dynamics community was excited because he has experience with the Dynamics Product line. Now that could mean we can expect more focus on Dynamics or it could just mean he worked at Microsoft for a long time and is well-rounded. Either way, it is interesting news.

PowerObjects posted about how to Use Duplicate Detection Rules in CRM 2013 when Qualifying a Lead. Duplicate Detection is a feature that allows you to create rules to find duplicates. These rules can then be applied in different situations or in jobs that search the whole system for duplicates. The process changed in CRM 2013, removing the pop-up when creating a record. However, you can still use this functionality when qualifying a lead.

Also you can check out Jukka Niiranen’s blog on Making Better Use of Business Process Flow Data. This describes how to handle situations where you have multiple processes running on the same entity and want to be able to report and compare the records together and broken out by process.

Encore Business Solutions also posted this great blog comparing CRM Marketing Automation tools. There are many great tools available but the choice comes down to how much marketing functionality you need and want as well as how much you want to spend.

Also the CRMUG DC chapter meeting was this week. We had a very good turnout on a rather icy day. The first half of the meeting was a presentation from Monique Riviere from Independent Sector describing the work on their implementation of CRM. They are working on many interesting things and working with lots of different vendors. The main takeaways were to make sure you have a good partner that can be your first line of support and assist with the communication between vendors. Also we discussed the question of making CRM fit your process or making the process fit CRM. This is a pitfall that many implementations have fallen into. In the end there needs to be a balance. Streamline the process but make sure you are not making changes that will impair your system in the future.

The other half of the CRMUG meeting with a Social Integrations presentation from Robert Contreras of Microsoft. He demoed the Yammer integration as well as Netbreeze. Both of these are very powerful features and they seem to be continually improved. No licensing or price information has been released about the Netbreeze integration but he said to watch the Social section of the CRM page for details.

That’s all the news I have for today folks. Have a great weekend!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

January 31 Blog Review

This week appears to be relatively quiet. Most of the news is for those just getting started with CRM 2013.

If you only look at one link this week it should be the CRM Team Blog Handy Links for CRM 2013. This compiles all the blogs you will need as you implement, upgrade and get started on CRM 2013.

In CRM 2013 you can now add Tool Tips to fields. PowerObjects talked about this in Tool Tips for CRM 2013. This will make use of the Description field on the attribute. That means two things: 1) if you have behind the scenes information in that field (who created it, why, etc.) you will need to remove it and 2) you will need to put valuable information in that field.

CustomerEffective talked to us about several new features in CRM 2013. First, Working with Subgrids in CRM 2013. Subgrids allow users to view details from related records of another entity within the record they are viewing. In CRM 2011 the ribbon was context sensitive, meaning that if you clicked in a subgrid your buttons would change. This was powerful but could be confusing. This has changed in CRM 2013, now there is only two buttons per subgrid – an Add New and an Expand. The Expand allows you to get back to all the other buttons you once had.

CustomerEffective also posted about Real-Time Workflows in CRM 2013. As you know, in CRM 2011 if you wanted something to happen synchronously you would need a plugin. Now we can set a workflow as real-time so it will run synchronously. Keep in mind that this could impact your performance so it is best to use asynchronous unless it needs to be processed immediately. 

Have a nice weekend everyone!