Friday, March 25, 2016

March 25 Blog Review

Let's jump right in to all the exciting CRM posts this week.

This is the time of year that I start to daydream about summer vacation plans. If you are in the same boat check out this post from Microsoft about how Royal Caribbean Navigates the High Seas of Customer Experience.

CRM Tip of the Day shared a quick tip on Where to Find Quick Campaigns in Advanced Find. They also talked about Birthday Reminders. This deals with some questions around why users could be getting reminders in Outlook for upcoming birthdays for their contacts in CRM.

CRM in the Field announced "Workflows and Dialogs" Upper Limit has been removed. Now there is no limit in CRM Online to the number of processes you can create!

Finally, PowerObjects shared, What is Microsoft Sway and How Can I Use it? This gives information about the new presentation tool, Sway and some of their favorite features. Something to keep in mind the next time you have to present.

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

Friday, March 18, 2016

March 18 Blog Review

Welcome to this week's blog review. We are going to jump right in to avoid rambling about the pitiful mess my March Maddness bracket has become.

Microsoft announced a new Voice of the Customer Survey feature. Check out this article for more information about the information available and answers to your most common questions.

PowerObjects posted about How to Use Dependent Lookups for Dynamics CRM 2013/2015/2016 Like a Pro. This walks through how to use two related entities and business rules to create dependent lists without code.

CRM Tip of the day shared the Illustrated Tipster Guide to CRM Forms. They feature a great chart that describes the use of each type of form and the features it supports.

Salentica blogged about CRM Full-Text Search and the Mysterious Case of Mr. Way. This describes an interesting issue where certain records were not pulling up when full text searching was in use.

Sonoma Partners asked How well do you Delegate? They provide a solution for when one user want's to delegate visibility of certain records to another user.

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

Friday, March 11, 2016

March 11 Blog Review

Let's jump right in to the blogs posted this week!

CRM Tip of the Day shared The "Silent Observer" Custom Activity. This talks about how you can set Custom Activities to not appear in Activity Menus. This allows you to hide them from users but still use them for tracking of certain communication or events.

Jukkan Niiranen posted on Everything as a Service - Not Just Your CRM. This expands upon Microsoft's announcement of the CRM 2016 Spring Wave just last week.

Sonoma Partners blogged on Surfacing the Right Business Process Flow. Here they walk through a bit of information on Business Process flows such as making them available for certain Security Roles, setting the order/priority and allowing users to switch between processes.

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

4x4 Series: Security Suggestions for the New Administrator

I was asked to participate in the CRMUG 4x4 webinar series. These are quick webinars with multiple speakers sharing tips and answering questions. I also wanted to document my tips here for future reference.

There are so many tasks for a new CRM administrator. Security is a key area to focus on. The administrator needs to be familiar with who has access to what and why. So this is an area every administrator should invest time in right away. If you are inheriting a system, reviewing the security at the beginning is a great way to provide immediate value because you may see security issues or concerns that were not previously addressed.

Dangerous Permissions
There are several permissions to watch out for in your security roles:
  • Delete - is there ever a reason your users need to delete? If not, remove it (I would vote that it is removed for all entities and most users)
  • Bulk Edit - Do you want users to be able to edit multiple records at once? If done incorrectly, this could result in a large number of records having valid data removed and replaced with something else.
  • Export to Excel - Depending on the sensitivity of your data you may want to remove the ability to Export to Excel. Keep in mind that the permission is for the whole system not per entity. So if they can export their list of activities they could also export contacts with their SSN's.
  • Import - You should determine which users need to create batches of records. If this is combined with Export to Excel this can be very powerful as you can export the data, edit it and import it back into CRM. However, if this is done incorrectly it could again result in the loss of valid data.

Some other permissions to check on include: Bulk Delete, Merge, Run Workflow, etc.

Also keep in mind that Deactivate is not a permission. This can be a good alternative to delete but you should also ensure that users are trained on the proper use that fits within your business process.

Security Role Report
CRM has a Security Role report out of the box. This can be run on all users to see what roles they currently have. By default this role will include all users (enabled and disabled). However, you can run the report on users in a specific view or selected users. This allows you to narrow down your search (at least to enabled users) before reviewing.

This report is not the easiest to read but you can export it to excel and modify, search, move, etc. to make it a bit easier to work with.

Advanced Find
My favorite way to monitor security is using Advanced Find. You can build Advanced Find views to show all users on a specific team or with a specific security role. I find this particularly valuable for monitoring the high access roles such as System Administrator and System Customizer. This allows you to quickly see everyone with that type of access.

Note: When you create a view for all users with a Security Role, you will want to search for where "Name" equals the role name. This allows you to capture all the different versions of the role (since there is a copy per business unit).

Advanced Find of Users on a particular team

Advanced Find of Users with a particular Security Role

Other tips?
There are so many other great security tips. Adam Vero shares a wealth of knowledge on this topic - breaking out security role by functionality (Base role + Export to Excel role for example), understanding cascading relationships, understanding sharing (See Special Privileges in CRM Security Roles, Figuring out Shares in the PrincipalObjectAccess POA table in CRM, Security Roles and Teams in CRM - An Inconvenient Half-Truth). There are even tools that can tell you all the permissions in a given role and vice versa (Check out Security Role BrowserXRMToolBox).

Tips from Other Panelists
Thanks to Jim Lauer and Jay Murphy for all of these great tips!

  • Start with a Basic role for all users then add additional access
  • Limit Sharing to maintain good performance
  • Keep it simple, make it easy to administer
  • Copy system roles, do not edit in case you need to review later
  • Add a number or other prefix to your custom roles to keep them at the top of your list
  • Justify why access is needed before making changes. "Just because you can, doesn't mean you should"
  • Use a temporary team and add a role to test access for a limited time
So what are your tips? What Security issues have you had to deal with? Any surprises?

Friday, March 4, 2016

March 4 Blog Review

Let’s dive right in with Microsoft’s announcement of the CRM Spring 2016 Wave. The focus of this release is the integration of FieldOne and AdxStudio. There is a large focus on the everything-as-a-service model and many exciting new fatures. There is a quick video that showcases these features as well as a new CRM Roadmap to be able to quickly see what is new and what is being worked on for future releases.

CRM Tip of the Day shared Advanced text Conditions in System Views. This shows you how to edit the Fetch XML for a system view using the example of wanting to filter only to those records starting with letters A through L.

Ben Hosk posted Questions on CRM Solutions and Environments. This walks through some common questions on Managed vs. Unmanaged solutions and the complications of both.

Mitch Milam has written a great new guide – Fun with Fields, A Dynamics CRM Customization Training Guide. This walks through all the different field types so you can understand all the nuances of each.

Now that you are full of CRM Knowledge you can go and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

February 26 Blog Review

Let’s jump right in to this blog review!

PowerObjects shared Five Awesome Benefits of Parature, from Microsoft. This talks about some of the features of Parature so you can figure out if it would work for your organization.

CRM Tip of the Day answered a great question – Why don’t I get all of my characters? This explains why large text fields do not hold the number of characters you expect them to.

For those who have ever been curious about what a being a CRM MVP means check out Jamie Miley’s post – An Insider’s Overview of Microsoft’s MVP Program. This talks about what you need to do to become an MVP and the benefits of that status.

Sonoma Partners shared several great blogs that should be discussed. First of all, Performance Considerations for Creating Custom Reports in CRM. This talks about some things to keep in mind when creating SSRS reports to ensure they have optimal performance. Side note: if you want to learn how to create SSRS Reports, check out the CRMUGDC Presentation from February 24.

Secondly, they posted on How to Get Your Executives to Pay Attention to CRM. This is crucial because you need your executives to support CRM so that they can mandate and drive user adoption!

Finally, check out Microsoft Convergence Morphs into Two Conferences. This helps clear up any confusion about the changes and let you know your options when choosing which events to attend in the future.

That’s all for today!