Dynamics CRM Community
October 10, 2012
Please join us at the upcoming CRMUG Summit in Seattle, October 15-18, 2012. Customer Effective will be there in our booth, and we will also be leading five different breakout and deep dive sessions.
Tuesday, October 16
10:00 a.m. – Tools of the Technical Trade for Dynamics CRM. With Paul Way. Are you using the right tools for the job? From Fiddler, HTTP Watch, Visual Studio 2011 ALM, etc…let's join in a roundtable discussion to share in the best practices of using the right tools for the right job.
2:45 - Tips & Tools for deploying a user-friendly and high-performance CRM. With Scott Sewell. Putting the final “fit and finish” on a CRM configuration greatly improves the usability but is tedious and time consuming, unless you know the “secrets”. In this results-oriented presentation, we’ll identify common configuration weaknesses and their best-practice solutions. – We’ll also demonstrate a “veritable smorgasbord” of free or low-cost utilities that every CRM administrator should have in their toolkit.
Wednesday, October 17
9:30 a.m. – 50 Tips in 50 Minutes. With Brad Koontz and Leah Quartano. This fast-paced presentation delivers 50 tips for Microsoft CRM that you can take back and implement. With topics like social CRM, mobility, extending CRM, user adoption, Office integration and collaboration you will walk away with a bag full of tricks that are guaranteed to make you more productive and your CRM sing. The Tips and Tricks are straight from our team of experienced CRM professionals and the award-winning Customer Effective Blog.
11:00 a.m. – Taming the Beast of CRM Security. With Scott Sewell. Implementing Data Security within CRM is undoubtedly one of the most complex and under-planned aspects of any implementation. We’ll break down the components of how CRM data can be segmented and protected – without crushing performance. We’ll look at the roles of Security Roles, User Teams, Business Units and Shares – as well as Field-Level Security, configuration gotchas, automating user-security management, and the all-powerful PrincipalObjectAccess table.
5:00 p.m. – Keys to Unlocking CRM Data Integration Success. With Scott Sewell. Providing a 360° view of a customer is the heartbeat of a successful CRM Implementation. This session will explore best practices for getting that all-important data into - and out of CRM. We’ll survey the popular built-in and 3rd-party tools for integration. Finally, we will reveal the simple, practical, “secrets” of high-performance integration that you need to know.
September 28, 2012
Customer Effective will be attending and presenting at the upcoming eXtremeCRM 2012 show in Las Vegas September 30 – October 3. eXtremeCRM is the premier event focused exclusively on Microsoft Dynamics CRM and dedicated to advancing best practices and strategies for Microsoft Dynamics CRM organizations. The purpose of the eXtremeCRM conference is to help the Microsoft Dynamics® CRM community grow their business by selling, deploying and extending the Microsoft Dynamics CRM solution more effectively. eXtremeCRM is dedicated to creating an environment that provides insight to the Microsoft Dynamics CRM future vision and strategy, encourages sharing of knowledge among the Microsoft Dynamics CRM community and supports critical connections with Microsoft, ISVs and partners – all with a goal of helping the community learn, grow and work more productively together. You can check out more show information and the agenda here.
Tuesday 3:30 – 5:00. Presented by Brad Koontz and Paul Way (Customer Effective)
Dynamics CRM 2011 provides a robust default user experience for both the built-in and custom components configured for a solution. This default user experience can then be further tailored to specific solution requirements using the extensibility hooks provided by Dynamics CRM 2011.The focus of this session is about enhancing the User Experience (UX). We will walk through:
- The importance of UX in driving user adoption,
- What Microsoft has in place that we can leverage,
- How we can enhance the interface when the situation calls for it
- This class is a 300 level, but geared to all developers.
Industry Showcase, Financial Services (level 200)
Insurance: Monday 1:40 – 3:10.
Capital Markets: Tuesday 11:00 – 12:30
Presented by Tom Feher (Microsoft); with Brad Koontz (Customer Effective)
In these sessions, learn how Microsoft Dynamics CRM Insurance industry solutions can provide insurers with the capabilities necessary to gain deep business insight, deliver a consistent customer experience and enhance sales performance, innovate and integrate by streamlining information and business processes, and ultimately reduce operational cost and maximize revenues.
- Current Market Overview and Opportunity within Financial Services
- Typical Day in the life scenarios
- Microsoft Dynamics CRM Vertical Solutions & Whitespace within Financial Services Industries
- Microsoft Industry Resources Available to assist you in building an Industry Practice
- Conditions of Success in building a Financial Services Industry Vertical Practice
- Panel Discussion & Q/A with a Dynamics CRM Financial Services Industry Partner
Ongoing, Oct 1&2
Featuring a panel of CRM industry experts including Mike Rogers (Customer Effective)
The eXtreme executive Summit is designed to provide unique perspectives around key business issues that leaders face today and VIP backstage access to experts, influencers and Microsoft leaders you won’t find anywhere. This executive-only program is designed to deep dive on critical business, technology and leadership strategies facing Microsoft Dynamics CRM leaders today. More information on about the Executive Summit can be found here.
August 21, 2012
Gartner: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 is a Leader, Visionary in Sales Force Automation
Gartner’s 2012 Magic Quadrant for Sales force automation (SFA) applications support the automation of sales activities, processes and administrative repsonsibilities for B2B organizations’ sales professionals. The analysts'’ report cites Microsoft expanded platform support for mobile devices and non IE browsers as “significant advances”. They also site integration with the Microsoft technology stack. “Integration with the Microsoft technology stack assets, such as Microsoft SharePoint for collaboration and content management, Microsoft Lync for Presence and Instant Messaging and Microsoft Visual Studio for extended customization, enables customers to leverage their Microsoft investments.”
Another strength of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 is the “broad delivery network” that provides a “breadth of application add-ons, industry vertical expertise and implementation capabilities.”
Midsize Insider: Right Data and ‘Simple Tools’ Crucial for CRM Success
Midsize Insider published an interesting take on Scribe’s recent big growth and wonders why so many CRM systems sit unused. “In many cases, CRM solutions are seen as an "IT project" rather than one that affects business as a whole. While midsize IT admins have a role to play in overseeing the technical aspects of a CRM rollout, holding them responsible for employee use of the solution is like telling sales managers they are in charge of updating the company's computer desktop operating system. It just doesn't make sense.”
The solution, they say, lies in simple user adoption carrots like integrating familiar productivity tools into the mix. “Crucial is the use of a CRM system's scheduling and calendar systems, simple little tools that can help greatly increase productivity.” Sounds like a pretty good case for CRM integration with Outlook, Excel and the rest of the Microsoft productivity stack.
CIO Today: CRM Online Trust Center helps Microsoft Compete on Trust
Microsoft announced the availability of the Microsoft CRM Online Trust Center. This website will provide in-depth information about the privacy and security practices for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. This includes high-level data security and compliance practice verification and certifications.
“Customers have to be confident that their business solutions are meeting their high-level security features and privacy needs. The Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Trust Center ensures transparency in how we operate Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and handle these critical customer needs,” said Dennis Michalis, general manager, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Microsoft Corp. “Our customers need business solutions they can depend on, and the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Trust Center helps remove some of the anxiety they may have as they consider going to the cloud.”
August 09, 2012
How do Contact Centers avoid the creation of duplicate data in their Microsoft CRM System, particularly when they have multiple Agents entering data and hundreds, or even thousands, of customers contacting them daily? The answer is to implement best practices and governance around
maintaining your data.
July 19, 2012
Top of the Wave; Microsoft Dynamics CRM Ranked as a Leader in Three Different 2012 Forrester CRM Reports
Forrester recently published its three 2012 CRM Waves: The Forrester Wave: CRM Suites For Large Organizations, Q3 2012, The Forrester Wave: CRM Suites For Midsize Organizations, Q3 2012 and The Forrester Wave: CRM Suites for Customer Service Solutions, Q3 2012 and Microsoft is ranked a Leader in all three. The reports notes that “Microsoft Dynamics CRM shines with strong usability and compelling value.” The highlights from the different reports are below.
This vendor ranking was focused on organizations with 1,000 employees or more. The highlights:
- Microsoft Dynamics CRM has been growing quickly as a result of the “power or choice”, which means customers can choose deployment options (on-premises, online, or hosted), and user interface options (Outlook, browser, mobile).
- The report notes that Microsoft Dynamics CRM appeals to organizations that have a commitment to other Microsoft products. These customers generally feel this creates a lower total cost of ownership. “Buyers also like Microsoft Dynamics CRM’s lower price and its quick time-to-value compared with traditional CRM applications.” Conversely, Salesforce.com buyers are beginning to question economics of their subscription model, especially for large numbers of users.
Focused on CRM suites marketed to organizations with between 250 and 999 employees. These CRM packages often have more-limited capabilities in specific areas and are focused on simplicity.
- Microsoft offers strong support for mobile CRM compared to other CRM vendors.
- “Microsoft Dynamics CRM offers strong marketing, business intelligence, and customer data management capabilities as well as a strong architecture and platform”.
- The report notes that this solution does not generally offer industry-specific solutions. These solutions are generally developed and managed by partners like Customer Effective. Microsoft’s ecosystem allow partners like us to focus directly in vertical areas such as financial services.
This report focuses on CRM vendors that offer multifunctional application suites, have strong presence in the customer service market and provide functionality that spans multiple functional areas for customer service. Highlights from the report:
- Key trends in customer service are empowered agents, engaged customers across channels, and rapidly changing customer technology landscape.
- The report gives Microsoft Dynamics CRM high marks for flexibility and value. “The primary buyers of
Microsoft Dynamics CRM are upper midmarket and enterprise customers that require easy-to-
use, flexible customer service solutions that yield productivity gains for their customer service organizations”.
- Microsoft Dynamics CRM offers strong support for native business process management (through MSCRM processes, workflows and dialogs), and provides strong support for agents and collaboration. Knowledge base, customer service analytics and data management also received high marks.
July 12, 2012
The 2012 version of the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference is wrapping-up in Toronto today. Below are some numbers collected during the sessions that speak not only to the sheer size of the Microsoft user base, but to the momentum of emerging technologies and a new emphasis on design.
1,300,000,000: Number of Windows users on the planet.
1,000,000,000 : Number of Office users worldwide.
630,000,000: Number of Windows 7 licenses sold to date, making it the best selling OS in Microsoft history.
357,000,000: Projected number of new Windows PCs to be sold in the next 12 months.
250,000,000: Number of Skype users every month. They average 100 minutes per month using the product.
80,000,000: Current users of Microsoft’s online business products, including Dynamics CRM and Office 365
55,000: Microsoft partners selling cloud products in a given month.
497: Security vulnerabilities that Secunia discovered from Oracle in this report. Apple had 360, Google had 324. Microsoft was best in class with just 231.
82: Inches across of Perceptive Pixels large-scale, unlimited multi-touch device (right). Microsoft announced that they would be acquiring Perceptive Pixel. The move is consistent with their recent move into hardware manufacturing.
80: Percent of small and medium-sized businesses buying cloud services that are new to Microsoft. “It’s a massive opportunity for us to engage and reach out to new customers,” said Vahe Torossian, Microsoft’s corporate VP of SMS
44: Number of Microsoft retail stores by mid-2013.
30-40: Percent growth of Microsoft Dynamics CRM on a per annum basis.
15: Years. As in the anniversary of Windows XP on April 8, 2014. “And then we are going to put it to sleep. May it rest in peace,” Kevin Turner.
12: Number of times Yammer was mentioned in the opening keynote.
12: Months. As in “Every product in our portfolio is being refreshed in a 12 month period.” Kevin Turner.
3.04: Multiple that Steve Ballmer has increased annual revenue since taking over 12 years ago. Revenue in 2000 was $23 billion; $70 billion in 2011. Not bad for a ‘lost decade’.
4: Recent Microsoft “successes'” as recounted by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. They were Xbox, Surface, Kinect and Windows Phone. While the Microsoft world was focused on the WPC in Toronto this week, the Woz took some time this week at a technology conference in Chile to praise Microsoft for their recent innovations (right). “They have such a strikingly good visual appearance, which is a lot of what Steve Jobs always looked for; the art in technology, the convergence of art and technology. And usually it was visual appearance of things. So I made a joke that Steve Jobs came back reincarnated at Microsoft.”
1: US-based Microsoft CRM Partners that were named finalist for Microsoft Dynamics Financial Services Industry Partner of the Year. (It was Customer Effective, FYI).
May 10, 2012
When an account or a contact isn’t currently engaged in business with your company, we might think of them as “inactive.” – CRM offers a button on the ribbon to ‘deactivate’ the record - but is that the right way to manage the status of a record? - Typically not. – The Active/Inactive status of CRM records really refers to the status of the ‘record’ rather than the contact or account the record refers to. Setting a customer to ‘inactive’ means that it cannot be edited, re-assigned, shared and it immediately gets excluded from most views and reports.
While an administrator may ultimately want to de-activate records if the customer goes out of business or is merged, everyday users shouldn’t be deactivating records on-the-fly. Far more useful is to add a customer “Classification” options to include a more descriptive set of data around why the customer is not an ‘active customer.’ – Once that information is captured, a data administrator can review and deactivate those records through a more methodical process.
May 12, 2011
The big story on Microsoft's acquisition of Skype focused on what some felt was an outrageous purchase
price of $8.5 billion. A good argument is posted here about why the $14.70 per/user price is a bargain. I happen to agree with their theory, but I'm not here to discuss the purchase price. What's interesting to me is the Skype acquisition's effect on Microsoft CRM.
First, let's look at where Skype is today. They have 636 million users. That's sizable. Certainly sizable enough to make a case for a communication platform for an enterprise using MSCRM. And that enterprise would certainly expect Skype communications initiated from, managed and tracked in CRM.
Skype also has a good small business and enterprise customer base. Granted, businesses have adopted Skype at a slower rate than consumers - thanks in part to security concerns. Microsoft can help change that perception. The bulk of the existing business customers most likely use some form of Microsoft Office. They would expect the same integrated desktop experience they get from their Office suite to extend to Skype. When that can be further extend to Microsoft CRM, the overall end-user experience becomes richer.
Secondly, let's look at how Skype fit's into Microsoft's enterprise vision. At Monday's announcement, Steve Ballmer said:
Communications though is perhaps the most fundamental area in which technology can be transformative . Communications is changing rapidly and there are plenty of opportunities ahead . We will move beyond e-mail and text to rich experiences in the future.
'Beyond email' - that's the key. Currently, Microsoft CRM, in conjunction with the Outlook client, is the market leader in email/CRM functionality. CRM is often extended to include integration with social media channels, phone systems, and mobile devices. The closer, and tighter, the Skype integration is with CRM, the closer users will realize the 'transformative' opportunities and the productivity gains that will come from it.
While Skype gained some business credibility, Microsoft gained some consumer credibility. If consumers use Skype in their real life, won't they feel comfortable using it at work? In the Microsoft CRM world, we always talk about how using 'familiar tools' can drive up user adoption and make the enterprise more productive. Skype can be another familiar tool.
Microsoft purchased one more cloud. Windows Azure, Office 365 and CRM Online will have another cloud cousin. This just strenghtens the Microsoft Cloud story. It also adds a video conferencing sub-plot. Yes, Microsoft already offers Lync as part of Office 365. While Lync is great for internal meetings, the real gain will come when people within a business can use Lync + Skype to easily connect to customers outside their Lync network.
But what do you think? Will MS-Skype + CRM make an impact?
April 30, 2010
Want to know what’s new with Dynamics CRM, but didn’t get a chance to attend Convergence 2010?
Customer Effective’s Scott Sewell will be presenting a recap of Convergence 2010 on Tuesday, May 4th at 9:00 AM PST for the XRM Virtual User Group. You can register for this session or join the XRM Virtual User Group here.
If you are not a member of the XRM Virtual User Group you should be. Whether you are new to extending Microsoft CRM or an old pro, they have both beginner and advanced sessions, and you can’t beat the price—it’s free.