Friday, January 30, 2015

January 30 Blog Review

It looks like there are lots of great posts to talk about this week. Before I do, a quick reminder, if you are in the Washington, DC area you should check out the DC CRMUG Chapter Meeting happening next week – Wednesday February 4th.

Alight now on to the news of the week.

David Yack posted a great tip on the Risk of Adding Field Level Security Layer. This is a good reminder to consider all the implications before you turn on this feature.

PowerObjects posted about Testing Incoming Mailbox Configuration for Server Side Sync. This discusses what the Configuration Test Results mean when you are configuring Server Side Sync.

Hitachi Solutions posted a great walk through about calculating the Last Activity Date in CRM 2015. This build upon an old blog that calculated the last activity date with workflows. Now in CRM 2015 we can use rollup fields to greatly improve this process.

McGladrey walked through their favorite new features in CRM 2015: An Upgrade with more Conveniences. This touches on some features like the multi-entity search and managing synchronization filters within CRM.

The Microsoft Dynamics Team Blog released some videos for Microsoft Dynamics Marketing 2015 Update.

Mitch Miliam announced his 21 Squared CRM Administrator Course. This is a great course for CRM System Administrators. It covers the tools you need as an administrator as well as the basic tasks you will need to do within CRM and on the server.

In CRM 2015 you can now use JavaScript to interact with the process. Sonoma Partners discusses this in their post CRM 2015 – Scripting Options for Business Process Flows.

Also a few quick tips from CRM Tip of the Day:

So it has been a busy week! I hope I covered all the best bits. Have a great weekend!

Friday, January 23, 2015

January 23 Blog Review

Let’s take a quick look at the CRM news that came out this week.

PowerObjects gave a few quick tutorials to help with CRM 2013. First check out, What to do when: The ‘Set As Default’ button for Dashboards Disappears in CRM. This talks about how to resolve an issue that occurs when your Homepage is set to Dashboards. Then also check out, Accessing the Business Process “Name” in CRM. This shows you how you can create a workflow to populate a field with the current process that is running. This allows you to do charts and reports on that data.

Hitachi Solutions discussed Complex Goal Calculations Using CRM 2015 Calculated Fields. This describes how to use Calculated Fields to determine the weighted percent achieved.

CRM in the Field wrote about the Dangers of Guid.NewGuid();. This is more technical than I usually include but it is very interesting. Apparently when GUIDs are automatically created they are sequential to provide better SQL performance. So don’t try to create your own through plugins/integrations unless you have a very good reason.

Mitch Miliam posted a tutorial of how to Find All Activities for a Particular Entity Type. This is a very helpful tip if you want to only look at Activities regarding Accounts or something like that.

CRM Tip of the Day had an interesting Truckstop discussion about turning off e-mail tracking with CRM for Outlook. You should also check out their tidbit on Dynamic Excel Export Not Working (hint: it has to do with CRM for Outlook too).

That’s all for this week. Have a great weekend!

Friday, January 16, 2015

January 16 Blog Review

It has been a very busy week for me because I have been finalizing the CRMUG DC Chapter Meeting. This is going to be a great year for the DC Chapter so all of you should plan to attend!

Now let’s take a look at what was going on in the world of CRM this week.

PowerObjects posted a great tutorial for new users on Modifying a View in CRM 2013 to Create a Personal View. This shows you how to take existing Advanced Find views and create your own copy with columns and filters that are exactly what you need.

Hitachi Solutions blogged about Using Goals as Rollup Tables in CRM. This talks about how you can use the Goals functionality to replace custom reports you might have created long ago to track progress and distance from a target. Goals recalculate every 24 hours so your numbers will be fresh each morning and will not need to be calculated when you run a report.

Donna Edwards posted about CRM Online Licensing Highlights which goes over a few key takeaways from the CRM Online licensing and pricing guide. As CRM continues to have more attached products (Marketing, Social, etc.) licensing becomes more complex, so any extra help understanding is beneficial.

The CRM Team Blog shared a list of the new CRM 2015 videos. Check these out to learn more about the CRM 2015 offering and the benefits it can bring to your organization.

Finally from CRM Tip of the Day remember to Name your Relationships. If you just set up Relationships with default names the left hand navigation of the related entity could show the same name multiple times. So edit this name on the relationship properties or completely remove it.

That’s all for this week. Have a nice weekend!

Friday, January 9, 2015

January 9 Blog Review

It’s time for the first blog review for 2015!

PowerObjects gave us some insight into The Art of Campaign Design: Marketing Automation in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing. This shows a little bit about how to set up campaigns in MDM and how to set up some automation.

PowerObjects also talked about Key Considerations for Writing Scripts for CRM for Tablets Application. This discusses what to keep in mind when your JavaScript will be executed on a tablet and how to test.

Adam Vero pointed out that the CRM 2015 Exams have been posted along with some training. Use his blog as a reference for all the information you need.

Along with the 2015 exams being posted, all of the 2015 documentation is available. Use this CRM in the Field guide for all the links to CRM 2015 White Papers & Technical Documentation.

Sonoma Partners discusses the CRM 2015 Outlook and Sync Enhancements. Check out all the new features that will be available to ensure you can sync exactly what you want and how you want to.

Finally, let’s see what the CRM Tip of the day had for us over the last few weeks:

That’s all for today. Happy 2015!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Tools for your CRM Success

I am often asked two questions “how do I learn about CRM?” and “how do I study for the CRM certifications?”. I figured it’s time to write down the answers!

If you are completely new to CRM start with the Microsoft Virtual Academy’s Introduction to CRM 2013. This is a great way to get a broad overview of all areas of CRM. Anyone with a Microsoft Live ID can view this so you can even watch while you are still evaluating the product.

The next step is to look at CustomerSource. Within CustomerSource you can access training manuals and training videos. The CRM 2013 videos are very nice because they have a real person talking! (After listening to the computer voice for 4.0 and 2011 this is a big deal!)

Note: everyone with Dynamics licenses can access CustomerSource. So talk to the person in your organization who manages that relationship or consult your Microsoft partner.

I actually like to use CustomerSource to study for the certification tests. The certifications are based off of this material and the questions are similar (or even the same as) those at the end of each lesson. If you download the training manuals, you will have the questions along with the answers to study with.

While we are on the topic of certifications, there are also several companies that offer training classes specifically to prepare for taking the tests (check out DynamicsEdge). However it’s good to keep in mind these classes are designed only for the certifications and not necessarily for real-life application. That doesn’t mean it’s bad, just something to be aware of when you make your decision.

For more real-life application training check out the CRM User Group (CRMUG) Black Belt classes or the PowerObjects boot camps. I have started the CRMUG Black Belt classes and they are great! I was worried that I would already know the material in the first class, but I learned new things and was able to strengthen the foundation that the other courses will build upon.

CRMUG also offers many educational webinars throughout the year. You can join for free to view some webinars and participate in the online community where you can ask questions and find the answers you need. If you pay for the premium membership you get even more webinars as well as discounts on classes (such as the Black Belt) and for CRMUG Summit.

One last tip is to look at the Microsoft CRM Team blog Looking for help for the CRM Product Family. This discusses all of the Microsoft resources that exist to help you succeed. They have training videos you can share with users. There are also different ebooks that you can download, edit, and then share with your organization.

So that’s it. There are so many resources at your fingertips! You can do it! I hope this helps you find the tools and resources you need to increase your CRM knowledge. Let me know if I missed anything or if you have any questions.