Friday, December 18, 2015

December 18 Blog Review

This will be the last blog review before my holiday time so let’s make sure it is interesting.

I must start by reminding you that the CRMUGDC 2016 Chapter Launch Party was just announced! This will be a fun networking event on Thursday January 21st. It will feature eating, drinking and question-answering. Come out to learn more about all the user groups in DC, Maryland, and Virginia and talk with CRM users in your area. For more details, read the Blog or get Registered.

Within the last few weeks Microsoft announced the release of CRM 2016. This week they announced the acquisition of Metanautix, a data analytics company. No information is given about CRM integration but it will be interesting to see how this develops in the increasingly connected Microsoft product catalog. (Although Salesforce is mentioned in the announcement. Odd.)

With 2016 in mind, check out CRM Tip of the Day’s post on CRM 2016 Postponed Features. This talks about some items that were originally expected in CRM 2016 that have been pushed out to upcoming releases.

PowerObjects was very aware that most of the population was distracted with Star Wars this week and so their blogs reflect that. Be sure to read The Force is Strong with this Version: Top New Features in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Online and Light Side or Dark Side? Personalize Dynamics CRM 2015 with Themes.

Adam Vero posted Figuring Out Shares in the PrincipleObjectAccess POA table in CRM. Take a close look at this if you are experiencing any odd access issue and need to dig in to all the sharing going on in your organization.


That’s all for today folks. Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Announcing: CRMUGDC 2016 Chapter Launch Party

Save the date for the January 21, 2016 CRMUGDC Chapter Launch Party!

The fun will start at 7pm at Higher Logic in Arlington.

This will be a great time to meet other CRM users in the DMV and learn more about the user group. We will have lots of food and drink as well as great networking. We will also have an Ask-It Basket where you can submit your questions and experts will answer them right then! Questions that are not answered may be used as topics for future meetings.

Come see the value of CRMUG - networking and getting answers to your questions!


Learn more about all the chapters in the DMV - DC, Baltimore, Richmond, and Reston (coming soon!)!

This is a great event for regular attendees of the local chapter meetings to meet up with old friends. It’s also a great time for new members so you can learn what the local meetings are all about and make connections before attending the regular quarterly meetings. Looking forward to seeing everyone there!

Location: Higher Logic, 1600 Wilson Blvd, Suite 400, Arlington, VA

Register here!

Post any questions in the comments!

Friday, December 11, 2015

December 11 Blog Review

This time of year is very busy with parties and gifts. So we will keep this quick so you can rush off to your cookie exchange.

Microsoft sent us the gift of CRM 2016 last week. This week came all of the documentation and more information about new features. The CRM Team shared the CRM 2016 Product Wave Documentation. This has links to many different documents and videos to help you prepare and transition to 2016.

The CRM Team also shared information about the new Task Flows feature. Check out, What are Task Flows and how do they compare to other tools in CRM? 

Then, when you are ready to build your own you should read, Creating and Customizing Task Flows.

Lastly for today, if you are looking to make a change in the new year you can review Sonoma Partner's Infographic on Resume Tips from the Recruiting Desk.

That's all for today folks. Have a lovely weekend!

Friday, December 4, 2015

December 4 Blog Review

Welcome to the first blog review of December! 2015 is quickly slipping away from us but don’t get too melancholy – CRM 2016 has been released!

Here are all the blogs to check out about the CRM 2016 announcement:


Lots of new and enhanced features to look for. I’m sure there will be many more blogs about CRM 2016 in the coming weeks!

Let’s check out a couple other interesting blogs posted this week.

PowerObjects shared Take your Disk Space to the MAX: Automatically Delete Completed Workflow Jobs in CRM 2015. This walks you though how to set up your workflows to be removed when they complete. This is great to save space by removing the completed system jobs for workflows that have been fully tested and are running smoothly.

Leon Tribe posted an interesting article on Calculating the Day of the Week Without Code. This shows you how to use Business Rules to have a field show “Friday” when “12/4/2015” is entered in the trigger field.


That’s all for today folks. Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, November 27, 2015

November 27 Blog Review

It is a shorter blog review today with so many on vacation for Thanksgiving. That means you should start it off by reading a few themed blogs Hitachi Solutions shared CRM Features to be Thankful For and CRM Tip of the Day posted about the Top CRM Turkeys.

I would say the CRM features I am most thankful for are Workflows and Advanced Find along with Export for Re-import. Workflows allow me to automate processes without needing to involve a developer. Advanced Find allows me to find detailed information about a record or isolate instances where a particular situation is occurring. I’m also very thankful for the CRMUG Community and how it has really helped me learn and grow as well as make so many friends in my field.

But back to the regular blog review as there are a few quick items I want to focus on.

PowerObjects shared Troubleshooting Tips: Why isn’t my Business Rule Working? This walks through how to troubleshoot a few common issues you may run into with Business Rules. A helpful tip that was mention was that Calculated Fields cannot be used in a Business Rule or to trigger workflows. Keep this in mind when you are planning your logic.

Develop1 posted Option-Set, Lookup or Autocomplete. This talks through the different options you have to avoid using free-form fields. They talk about the options for each and the best options for specific scenarios.


That’s all for today. Have a lovely weekend!

Friday, November 20, 2015

November 20 Blog Review

Let’s jump right in to the CRM news of the past few weeks!

Update 0.2 for CRM 2015 On-Premise has been released. For all the information review CRM in the Field’s Overview Blog.

PowerObjects shared Manipulating the Value of Days Remaining between Today and the Expiration Date in Calculated Fields. This shows you how to modify the Days Remaining field so that it will not show a “-ve” value when the expiration date is in the past.

Adam Vero the CRMGuru posted an interesting post on Figuring Out Shares in the PrincipalObjectAccess POA Table in CRM. This provides more information about how shares are saved behind the scenes and how to view/interpret that data.

Chris Cognetta shared the Great Microsoft Cloud InfoGraphic! This shows the number of users that are on the different Microsoft cloud offerings. It shows why this is such a large area of emphasis and why this continues to be important for future growth.

Leon Tribe blogged about the Post MVP Summit Roundup. Unfortunately not too much information can be released yet but at least we can see everyone’s smiling faces and get a little glimpse into what it is like to be a CRM MVP. Also mentioned was that the CRM 2016 features that have already been announced were presented and provided a much better understanding of the capabilities. So be excited for more information at the end of the year!

Finally, one quick tip from CRM tip of the day is what to do with Disabled User’s Personal Views. Everyone runs into a situation where a user leaves and their views remain assigned to that now disabled user. Check out this post to see 3 possible solutions.


That’s all for today folks. Have a great day and Happy almost Thanksgiving! (In America, or happy almost Christmas, Thanksgiving was forever ago why are you still talking about it in Canada :) )

Friday, November 6, 2015

November 6 Blog Review

This was a lovely week for CRM because it was the Washington, DC Chapter meeting! We had a full house to talk about Marketing. See all of the notes on DC Chapter Community Blog.

If those notes don’t give you enough information about the topic, also check out Sonoma Partner’s Microsoft Dynamics Marketing: A Few Tips and Tricks.

For general tips, look at PowerObjects post on Copying a Workflow. We have used this fairly often in my environment to start a similar workflow by making the original a template temporarily.

User Adoption seems to be the ever present problem. Ledgeview Partners presents some ways to help in 8 ways to Increase CRM User Adoption on Rollout Day. There are some great tips in here including storing videos in CRM. (I loved the tip of linking to a SharePoint folder of videos with the custom help from Summit Day 3.)

Finally, for a taste of the season check out CRM Tip of the Day’s Pumpkin-Spiced CRM. No description required but let’s just say it makes me want to go get another red cup.


That’s all folks. Have a great weekend!

Friday, October 30, 2015

October 30 Blog Review

Happy Halloween!

Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) I do not have any spooky CRM Stories for you other than users saying they didn’t do something the system says they did. Instead I have a quick blog review touching on the highlights of the last few weeks while I was busy with Summit and such. Let’s jump right in.

PowerObjects is working on a series about CRM Upgrades. Check out this installment – Upgrading CRM: Reimplementation vs. Upgrade – Choosing What’s Right for you. This talks about what the options of reimplementation and upgrade mean along with the reasons you might select one or the other.

EMEA Dynamics Support posted a helpful troubleshooting article, Dynamics CRM Bulk Delete – General Support Questions. This works through the common questions and issues that they deal with and how to respond.

A little bit ago we talked about the CRM 2016 Release Preview Guide. This is a very long document, so if you don’t have time to read it you should check out Leon Tribe’s slightly shorter summary – Review of the Latest Dynamics CRM Release Preview Guide. There are lots of great new features centered around Microsoft’s themes for Productivity, Intelligence, Mobility and Unified Service.

Sonoma Partners shared the Negative Effects of a Disjointed CRM Environment. This touches on the importance of ensuring your CRM supports and aligns with your business as it grows and integrates with all the necessary systems. Some of the impacts of a disjointed CRM environment include customer satisfaction, employee productivity and retention and company performance.

Lastly, I will put all of you in charge of reviewing the recent posts of CRM Tip of the Day. What was your favorite tip? Anything that can help your business?


Have a great weekend and a happy Halloween!  

P.S. Make sure you come out to the Washington, DC Chapter Meeting on November 4th get more details and register here

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Summit 2015: Day 3 Takeaways

Let's quickly catch up on the last day of Summit! Of course the big announcement is that Summit 2016 will be in Tampa! Make sure you block your calendars and plan to be there for lots of great learning and networking. (But before that remember to come out to the Washington, DC Chapter Meeting on November 4th!)

Change Management Tips
Keep a backlog of all of the changes that need to be made - large issues and minor changes. Releases will need a balance of small and large items. Prioritize and review the backlog consistently.

Have "Story Jam" or Sizing sessions to fully flesh out requirements. These should involve the business team, development, QA, and anyone else who would need to be involve in the process. Make these fun, team-building days to improve relationships and ease future work.

Be sure to communicate changes to users. Make use of the custom help feature, consider linking to a SharePoint folder with short videos that help with that record type. Constantly remind users about this in training.

Always keep performance in mind. Scale and performance need to be key. Process should not be decided before the structure. Everything must be built to scale.

Standardize where you can. Users need to get what they need but may not always get what they want.

Customer Service
The 4 C's of customer service are Communication, Commitment, Consistency and Customer Connectedness.

Define your KPIs and remember they may not be traditional KPIs. Define your process and goals first and use this to build out metrics based on what matters to you.

The experience must be flexible. Engaged Employees create happy customers which are easier to deal with and make happier employees. Define the roles and responsibilities for each group and define the experience you want to provide. Then define the processes to support this experience. Next train and enable employees to apply these flexibly.

Ensure you are aligned with business and organizational goals. Know the long term plans or the organization and make sure technology is aligned to support this.

To manage knowledge, empower users to create and publish. Define what you are looking for and ask for the resources to assist. Only maintain articles that are in use, let the older unused articles fall away.

Advanced Workflows
Glen Wolinsky (@glenwol1) lead a great presentation on combining workflows with some custom workflow activities and form Java Script. Be on the lookout for a follow up webinar. This really shows the power of CRM when combined with creativity and a little bit of code.

It also demonstrated the value of fully mapping out your processes. Use Visio to show all the logic including IF conditions, Waits, Child Workflows, etc. This is a great way to understand what is happening and find any gaps in your process.


That's all for today. Have a good evening!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Summit 2015: Day 2 Takeaways

It's a bit late but it's always good to learn more Summit takeaways. Here is what was discussed on Day 2 of Summit 2015.

Upgrading
Between 2011 and 2015 there are over 1500 updates so there are many reasons to upgrade. Keep in mind that the longer you wait to upgrade the more difficult it will be. To upgrade (not migrate/re-implement) you will need to go through each version. Keep in mind the optional table merge for 2013 needs to be done to move to 2015. Make sure you schedule time for this in your upgrade if you want to skip 2013.

Upgrades are difficult because of the little hacks and things we did to get around limitations. Using Business rules will make future upgrades easier. Make sure you take advantage of the new features to replace the code you have.

Keep in mind that some new permissions were added with 2013. This means if you have custom Security Roles these will need to be updated to include the new permissions.

If you are considering using mobile, set up IFD and ADFS now. Code will need to be updated to work correctly with IFD. Take the time to do that work with the upgrade so that when you are ready you can just turn on IFD.

Make sure you talk to your ISVs early and ensure they have a migration and upgrade plan. Be sure to follow this plan to prevent accidental deletion of data.

When reviewing your reports, look on the SSRS server to see the date for the last time it was run. If it hasn't been run for 6 months, remove it.

When demoing new functionality, use CRM Online. CRM 2015 online is the same code base for CRM 2016 on-premise.

Tools:
  • Legacy Upgrade Tool - report of everything that I going to fail in IE or Other browsers with the upgrade
  • XRM Tool box: Document generator  shows all of the items that have been added to entities


Security
CRM was designed for sharing data. Don't over complicate it with too many business units or security limitations.

New in 2015 - Hierarchical security. This allows you to configure security based on manager or position hierarchy. In both, users will have full access one level down, then read access down the rest of the chain.

A great way to prevent mistakes that are more difficult to control is real time workflows. You can have these run pre-delete for instance to stop users from deleting records of certain statuses. These can be used for many user-error items such as changing status, reassigning, deactivating, etc. Bonus tip: You can even put the user's name in the error!

Implementation
When looking at a new to you implementation, first take time to evaluate security. This helps you be effective on day 1 as you evaluate concerns, risks, etc.

When building, create an implementation strategy. This gives you something to follow and later will provide historical data of what was done, when, and why.

When working on changes, ensure there is a gate keeper for these requests. This person can manage any dependencies and act as the owner for all changes that go into the production implementation. It is good if this person has a technology background so they can understand and monitor all dependencies for multiple areas (within CRM, integrations, plugins, etc.).

Share the love of CRM with your developers. Show then CRM and explain the power (i.e. creating a field here is updating the database schema). Show them how to build fields, workflows, business process flows, etc. This is a great way to get them involved and help to make sure all changes are fully evaluated to see if they can be done inside of CRM or not.

User Adoption tips:
  • Find your biggest resistor and determine the main reason for the resistance
  • Work with the resistors through personal training. Show them how CRM will help them. They will become your cheerleaders without even realizing it.
  • Continuously provide tips and tricks
  • Drive excitement by showing them new features and how these will solve their problems
  • Show users what's in it for them



That's all for today. I hope to have Day 3 posted soon!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Summit 2015: Day 1 Takeaways

Summit is already in full swing! Make sure you keep up with all the action by following #CRMUGSummit, #INreno15 and of course #CRMUGDC. So many exciting things are going on!

The day started out with a keynote from George Kourounis who is a professional adventure, storm chaser and all other crazy endeavors. He talked about how fear is important because we need to harness it to do great things.

Today we also had a keynote with Bill Paterson from Microsoft. He talked about Microsoft's focus for the rest of the year and the changes they are working on. The newest item is task based experiences. They demoed a situation where a user wanted to record details from an appointment. Instead of the usual process, you could run a mini-app which would quickly and easily walk you through filling in the appointment details and give you an opportunity to update the regarding record without needing to navigate to any other records.

Here are some other pictures of the items shared:

  




I attended several other sessions which were of course filled with great content. Be sure to download all the slides if you can or look for encore presentations in the next few months. Here are the top things I learned:
  • When upgrading, do not introduce new features. Save this for a separate project later. You can still change current features to take new out of the box functionality.
  • Keep in mind the longer you wait to upgrade, the more complex your upgrade will become (more versions to go through).
  • If upgrading from 2011 to 2016 you must go through 2013 and 2015.
  • When working on new features/customizations, don't do it if you aren't willing to stick the landing. And make sure your executive leadership is too. Anytime you make a change be ready to make good documentation and training materials.
  • For user adoption, take time to find the influencers in your environment and make them your fans. They can be your advocate to the users to drive adoption.


Those are just a few quick takeaways. So much more to come over the next few days! Have a good night everyone!

Monday, October 12, 2015

#CRMUGDC Q4 Chapter Meeting

Before all of the CRMUG Summit craziness begins I wanted to remind everyone in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area to save the date for the Q4 Chapter Meeting on November 4th. 

We will be focused on Marketing including a showcase of Microsoft Dynamics Marketing in use as well as a comparison with Click Dimensions and other Marketing tools. We will also discuss our top Summit takeaways and work on plans for our 2016 chapter meetings.

Check out this video for more information:




To stay up to date on these events make sure you join the DC Chapter Community. You can also register for this event and find more information on CRMUG.com.

Also, be on the lookout for the #CRMUGDC Monkey around CRMUG Summit this week! This is the gorilla marketing plan for the group, just don't go bananas on my spelling! :)


Travelling in Style! #CRMUGDC is in the plane on the way to Reno.

#CRMUGDC has arrived in Reno!


Friday, October 9, 2015

October 9 Blog Review

It’s a short blog review today because I still have lots of packing to do for CRMUG Summit! I’m looking forward to the week out in Reno connecting with so many great CRM professionals! My goals this year are to learn how to successfully upgrade from CRM 2011 to (hopefully) 2016 with minimal loss of sanity. As well as learning how to be a better Chapter Leader for Washington, DC (and promoting #CRMUGDC too)!

Some other reading for this weekend includes PowerObject’s JavaScript Best Practices for CRM 2015. This talks about what you can do but also gives some things to keep in mind while you are coding away.

CRM Tip of the Day shared Whatever happened to the “copy a link” button? This talks about how the button was removed in 2015 but there are a few ways to still get the link. (Spoiler alert: It was removed due to cross browser compatibility issues.)

CRM Tip of the Day also posted Do not Reuse the Owner field. This describes how the Owner field is much more than just a user lookup and how you need to make sure you consider security and all the implications before reusing that field.

Sonoma Partners blogged on Upgrading to CRM 2015? Here’s what you should Consider. This walks through a few things to keep in mind and the new features that you may want to upgrade for.


That’s all for today. I hope to see many of you in Reno!

Friday, October 2, 2015

October 2 Blog Review

Suddenly it is very apparent that fall is upon us! It is dark, cloudy and rainy. But it is only a week until I escape to sunny Reno for CRMUG Summit!

Let’s quickly catch up on some blogs this week so all of us east-coasters can get back to preparing for the hurricane.

CRM Tip of the Day shared Why can’t I set the Default Dashboard? This talks about the difference between your home dashboard and default sales or marketing dashboard.

We have looked at lots of items from the PowerObjects blog so you should check out Behind the Scenes with the PowerObjects Blog: A Dynamics CRM Workflow in Motion. This walks through how they use workflows inside CRM to review and approve blog articles before they are posted.

One of the pieces that went through this workflow is How to Find MS CRM Records without Activities using Advanced Find. This gives a step by step guide on how to use Marketing lists combined with Advanced Find to find records without a certain associated record. Keep in mind Marketing lists can only have Accounts, Leads, or Contacts as members so you can only use this method when you are looking for one of those 3 record types.

Lastly, if you have ever wondered about what CRM consultants really do check out Sonoma Partner’s Day in the life: Meet Melanie. This walks through a day for one of their consultants.


That’s all for today folks. Have a nice (hopefully flood-free) weekend!

Friday, September 25, 2015

September 25 Blog Review

Let’s jump right in to this week’s blog review.

First of all, it’s always good to see what is going on at the CRM Tip of the Day. This week they talked about troubleshooting the mobile client (part 1 and part 2) as well as had a video, Tipster Guide to CRM Themes.

Ben Hosk talked about What’s New in CRM 2016 and Why you should read the Preview Guide. This discusses what to expect from the preview guide, the importance of being aware of the upcoming changes and gives you an overview of the announcements.

PowerObjects also talked about CRM 2016 in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 is coming – Get a first look at What’s New! This gives some quick information about the top feature changes/updates.

In addition, PowerObjects shared a quick tutorial on Dynamic CRM Alert and Notification JavaScript Methods. This walks you through the JavaScript for different types of alerts.


That’s all for today. Have a great day!

Friday, September 18, 2015

September 18 Blog Review

 With CRMUG Summit quickly coming up, let’s start this review with an article from Microsoft – the Do’s and Don’t for Striking up Conversation. This gives some quick networking tips and ideas to consider.

The CRM Team Blog posted an update to the Scalable Security Modeling White Paper. This includes new information about hierarchy security modeling and optimizing your design for security.

Ledgeview Partners shared – Lookup Field vs Option Sets in Dynamics CRM. This talks about option sets, global option sets, and lookup fields and the values for each type.

PowerObjects posted about Enhanced Field-Level Security Features in CRM 2015. System Fields are now available with field level security and there are several other enhancements to look into.

PowerObjects also shared 10 Data Export and Import Redesign Features in Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1. This talks about improvements with the export functionality as well as new features like being able to update through Excel Online.


That’s all I have to share today. Have a great weekend!

Friday, September 11, 2015

September 11 Blog Review

We have lots of CRM tips and news to catch up on from the last 2 weeks. First of all, the big news is the CRM 2016 was officially announced. Check out the press release, video and release preview guide for all the information. This is scheduled to be available at the end of the year as a new version for online and on-premise. It appears that Microsoft is working hard to improve the integrations with other Microsoft offerings like Outlook, Excel and Cortana. It will be exciting to see what is to come!

Ledgeview Partners posted about Using Calculated fields in CRM 2015. This walks through the different formulas available for different field types and how to set up the calculation.

In the last blog I shared the Outlook Synchronization in CRM 2015 white paper. If that was too long to read, check out the EMEA Support Blog’s Recap of Outlook Synchronization. This talks about what happens when you hit Track or Set Regarding, what happens if you delete an email or appointment, etc.

The CRM Team shared my favorite feature of TechNet – Finding you way around CRM topics on TechNet and MSDN or how to be a CRM Technical Documentation Zen Master in 5 minutes. This was one of my top takeaways from CRMUG Summit last year. When viewing an article there is a version drop down you can use to switch between versions. So if your search takes you to 2015 but you need the 2011 article you can find it in just a few clicks!

The CRM Lady tackled the Easy and Hard Questions to consider as we think about Managed and Unmanaged Solutions. Understanding how different solutions interact is one of the hardest parts of CRM. This blog is a great way to build the foundation for that understanding.

PowerObjects talked about Customizing Entity Icons in CRM 2013 and 2015. This goes through step-by-step how to update your icons and everything you need to know.

PowerObjects also walked through Expanding the Field Label Widths in CRM 2015. This is something to look into if your field labels are being cut off on the form.

Finally, there are always great tips on the CRM Tip of the Day. Check it out this week to learn more about Unified Service Desk and OneNote integration.


That’s all for today folks. Have a great weekend!

Friday, August 28, 2015

August 28 Blog Review

It was very exciting this week that CRMUG announced the CRMUG All Star Nominations! I am so honored to be nominated. I can’t believe I am even in the same league as the rest of those awesome people. Make sure you check out the survey and vote!

Let’s jump right in to the blog review!

Ledgeview Partners talked about Hierarchical Security with Dynamics CRM. This describes the CRM 2015 feature that allows you to configure security to respect records owned by people you manage.

PowerObjects posted A Day in the Life of a CRM Admin. This talks about the general tasks, how to learn, and what to do to become a CRM Admin.

CRM Tip of the Day posted a Friday video – Tipster Guide to Immersive Excel. This shows you how to use Excel within CRM 2015.

McGladrey shared Four Top CRM End User Training Tips. This talks about the importance of power users, training materials and other things you need to keep in mind when you are training your user base.

The CRM Team also announced a new white paper: Dynamics CRM Synchronization: How it Works. This walks through the architecture of the Outlook Synchronization in CRM 2015.


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

Friday, August 21, 2015

August 21 Blog Review

Lots of tips, tricks and news to share with you this week!

First check out the DynamicsCafe post – Start-up Trupanion and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Help Ease the Minds and Hearts of Pet-Owners. I clicked on this mainly because of the picture of the puppy but I was pleasantly surprised. The video describes how this pet insurance company uses CRM to better serve their customers. They use CRM to route the call to the most appropriate agent based on if they own the same kind of dog or live in the same city. They also use Unified Service Desk to make sure everything they need is right at their fingertips.

PowerObjects did not post and puppy pictures but did share Utilizing Alternate Keys in Dynamics CRM Integrations. Creating an Alternate Key can allow you to interact with records through the API without having the GUID of the record. Keep in mind that adding an Alternate Key will create a new database index on that field.

Be sure to check out How to Ensure a Successful CRM Implementation and Adoption also from PowerObjects. This goes over the important things you need for your CRM rollout to go well including formalizing your business processes before setting up CRM and getting management support and buy-in.

Ms. Dynamics CRM shared Social Engagement (formerly known as Social Listening) Trial. This shows screenshots from the Social Engagement tool and gives instructions on how to try it out yourself!

Finally, let’s check out the tips shared on CRM Tip of the Day:



That’s all for today. Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, August 14, 2015

August 14 Blog Review

It seems like a quiet week in the CRM world but we did have the CRMUG Washington, DC chapter meeting! If you are a CRMUG member, make sure you check out the Blog Recap from our presentations on Customer Service.

PowerObjects posted about Adding JavaScript to Quick Create forms in CRM 2015. This talks about how to access the Quick Create form and what you need to know to add JavaScript to it.

The Dynamics EMEA CRM Support blog shared CRM Online Themes won’t work if Enahable High Contrast Option is Checked. This is a quick tip if you are having trouble using the Themes feature available in CRM 2015.

Let’s also take a quick look at some posts from CRM Tip of the Day:



That’s all for today. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

August 5 Blog Review

Due to busy summer schedules we have a quick, early blog review this week.

Most importantly, make sure you register for next week’s Washington, DC CRMUG Chapter meeting. We will be discussing Customer Service with presentations from a customer using Parature and AdxStudio.

Microsoft made an interesting announcement this week – Microsoft Acquired FantasySalesTeam, an innovative sales gamification platform, to help Organizations increase productivity. This shows that Microsoft is embracing the gamification aspect of corporate work. It will be interesting to see how this will be integrated or involved with CRM.

PowerObjects posted the New Navigation Guide for CRM 2015. This compares the old and new interfaces and highlights some great improvements.


That’s all for today. Have a great day!

Friday, July 31, 2015

July 31 Blog Review

Let’s finish off July with a great blog review! Check out the CRM news from the last few weeks.

PowerObjects posted a how-to article about Changing the Color of Custom and Out-of-the-box Entities in CRM 2015. This explains how to change the background color of the tiles in CRM 2015 Update 1.

PowerObjects also posted Exporting Data to Re-import: The invalid Column Headings issue. This discusses how having fields with the same display name can cause an issue when trying to re-import.

If you are interested in Parature check out Leon Tribe’s post on The Current State of Parature – Dynamics CRM Integration. You should also register to attend the August 12 CRMUGDC Meeting which will be focused on Customer Service!

We also have a few quick tips from CRM Tip of the day.

First Prevent Duplicate Outlook Contacts by using Server Side Sync. This prevents issues from installing or re-configuring CRM for Outlook.

Also check out the Tipsters guide to Dynamics CRM for Phones. This is a video showing the updated CRM for Phones app that came with the CRM 2015 update 1.


That’s all for today folks. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

#CRMUGDC Summer Meet Up Recap

On Saturday July 18 the CRMUG chapters for DC, Maryland and Virginia came together to attend a Washington Nationals game! The previous night's game had been suspended so we actually got to see 1.5 games for the price of 1.
It was a good time to see chapter members in a more relaxed setting and enjoy some yummy food together! We even made sure to talk about CRM! (Specifically upgrading implications and concerns.)
Hopefully we will get to have many more events like this in the future. Check out the pictures below and make sure to join your local chapter community to learn about the next one (DCBaltimoreRichmond). If you are not yet a member of CRMUG, I have compiled some useful information to get started!
P.S. I have lots more #CRMUGDC wristbands so come to our next meeting on August 12th to get one!







Friday, July 17, 2015

July 17 Blog Review

Welcome to this week’s blog review! The most important takeaway today is that all of you should join me at the Nationals Game tomorrow (July 18). This is a meet up for the Washington, DC area CRMUG chapters. It will be a great way to meet other CRM users and learn a bit more about CRMUG even if you haven’t come out to our quarterly meetings.

Back to other CRM news, check out PowerObject’s Dynamics CRM 2015 Spring Update 1: Date and Time Data Type. This is talking about the new data types of User Local and Time Zone Independent. This gives customizers a way to ensure that all users see the same date when they look at a date only field.

PowerObjects also posted on How to Define Scope for a Dynamics CRM Project. This talks about the steps you should take when you plan out the project and what pieces need to be identified.

The Microsoft Dynamics Team Blog announced a way to Track Incoming Email from Anywhere with the new CRM App for Outlook. This allows you to use the CRM for Outlook features from the Outlook web app or desktop app.

CRM Tip of the Day also talked about CRM for Outlook and posted Read Only Users and CRM for Outlook. This discusses how the CRM for Outlook configuration requires a user to have write access to CRM.


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

Friday, July 10, 2015

July 10 Blog Review

It is a beautiful day! Really makes you want to go to a baseball game!

Let’s quickly jump in to the news of the day!

CRM Tip of the day posed a video: Tipsters Guide to Folder Level Tracking for End Users. This shows users how to set up folder level tracking when you are using Server Side Synchronization.

Hitachi Solutions shared a quick tip – Hey! Where are the Users in CRM 2015!? In CRM 2015, instead of having users directly under Administration you need to look under Security.

The CRM Support Blog posted Dynamics CRM Support with Windows 10, Edge browser, and Office 2016. As some have speculated only CRM 2013 and CRM 2015 will be supported with Windows 10.

Finally, Jukka Niiranen discusses the State of Dynamics in 2015. This is a look at many topics around the state of Microsoft and CRM.


That’s all I have folks. Have a great weekend!

Monday, July 6, 2015

July 18th Nationals Game

If you are in the DC/Maryland/Virginia area - make sure you plan to attend the Nationals vs the Dodgers game on Saturday, July 18th at 4:05 PM.

This is a great way to connect with other CRM users and learn more about the CRM User Group especially the DC and Baltimore chapters.

I will be in the neon pink shirt and I will be handing out #CRMUGDC wristbands! Just come meet me in the Red Loft Bar. I plan to be there from when the doors open until 6pm. 

If you are planning on coming, let me know by Registering with CRMUG or commenting below.

Also make sure you buy your tickets! Looking forward to seeing everyone there!



Wednesday, July 1, 2015

July 1 Blog Review

This week’s blog review is a bit early due to the Holiday but the CRM news-machine is still running. Lots of great tips and tricks to share with you today.

PowerObjects posted two great how-to articles. How to Hide the Lead Qualify Button without Coding talks about how you can remove the Account and Contact create permissions to prevent some users from being able to qualify their leads.

Also see Aging using the ‘Older Than’ Clause with Advanced Find. This talks about the new “Older Than” option in Advanced Find with CRM 2015 Update 1. This will allow you to look at calls that are older than 24 hours or even Leads that were created 5 minutes ago. The possibilities are endless!

There are also a few CRM Tip of the Day posts that you should read. If your Child Workflow needs more than One Entity describes two options for getting the information to the child workflow. In CRM 2015 Update 1 you can create a process as global or you can use an intermediate entity to pass all the data (don’t forget to clean these records up!).

No email Without Activity reminds us that if you enable an entity for email you also need to enable it for Activities.

We have looked at Leon Tribe’s Secrets to a Successful CRM Deployment over the last few weeks. This week he released Part Three – Technology. This includes embracing and using the new features CRM offers such as Hierarchical views, Business Process Rules and Business Process Flows. All of the improvements in CRM 2015 (especially update 1) make CRM a very appealing product which will help make your project a success.

As organizations are updating from older versions to CRM 2013/2015 many questions come up in regards to what should stay in code and what should take advantage of the new features. If you are in this situation, be sure to read C5Insight’s article – Business Rules or JavaScript in CRM…that is the Question. This talks about the benefits and limitations of Business Rules to keep in mind while you are making your decision.

Finally, the CRM Team is continually working on providing better training and documentation for CRM customers. This week they announced a CRM eBooks and Videos Page. This is a great tool for finding the resources you need.


That’s all for today. Have a great holiday weekend!

Friday, June 26, 2015

June 26 Blog Review

Apparently everyone is off on vacation except for me. I just have a few quick posts to highlight for you this week.

First of all, several weeks ago we talked about the importance of people in your CRM deployment. This week Leon Tribe talked about the Top Ten Secrets to a Successful CRM Deployment: Part two – Process. This stresses the importance of planning the system with the future in mind and fixing data quality issues early before they get too out of hand.

Next I love Hosk’s blog on CRM 2013 – How to stop these Annoying Things in Microsoft Dynamics CRM. This talks about fixes for annoying things such as the Outlook download reminder, pending emails notification and send error report question.

Finally, PowerObjects provided a step-by-step walk-through of Collapsing Business Process Flows in CRM 2013/2015. This shows you how to create a web resource that will hide all the Process Flow details until the user needs them.


That’s all I have. Have a great day!

Attention CRMUG Members of the DMV - 3 things to do this Summer!

If you live in DC, Maryland, or Virginia watch this video to learn about the 3 things you need to plan on doing this summer!




  1. Register for CRMUG Summit - The Summit Early Bird Deadline is June 30. Summit is a great place to connect with other users and learn how to use CRM better. Also see the Sneak Peek of sessions to be offered.
  2. Nats Game Chapter Meetup - Plan to come to the July 18th 4:05 PM Nationals game vs the Dodgers. Come to the Red Loft Bar throughout the game to meet other CRMUG members in the area. This is a great way to get to know the user group especially if you haven't been able to come out to one of our quarterly meetings yet. Make sure you register with CRMUG and buy your tickets.
  3. Q3 Chapter Meeting on August 12 - Come to the Microsoft Office in Chevy Chase the morning of August 12 to discuss Customer Service in Microsoft Dynamics CRM. We will have a customer talking about how they have used CRM to improve customer experience and AdxStudio will also present on using portals to improve customer engagement.

I am looking forward to seeing all of you at these events. Please let me know if you have any questions!