Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Business Rule or JavaScript in Dynamics CRM…that is the question

Biz Rules IconWith the advent of Business Rules beginning in Dynamics CRM 2013 we now have the ability to implement client-side business logic without having to write javascript functions. How can I determine whether to code my business logic using business rules, javascript or both?

2 Easy Ways to Calculate Working Days Inside a SharePoint Workflow

I’m in the midst of two different major workflows for clients right now, one of them being an HR New Hire Onboarding request and approval process.  One small but critical requirement of the process was that each level of approval needed a two business day wait period. In this post I'll demonstrate 2 easy ways to be able to calculate working or business days inside a SharePoint workflow.

Sales Rep CRM Quick Tip: Use CRM to Identify and Convert More Leads

Did you know it takes an average of 7 contacts to convert an unqualified prospect into a sales qualified lead?  And did you know that 60%-95% of sales leads are never worked at all?  That’s a huge amount of untapped potential!

In this article, we will look at the "3 C's" of lead management using customer relationship management.

Bringing the Cloud Down to Earth


It’s your data. Don’t let great on-line transactional systems limit your analytics needs. Bring the cloud down to earth, then slice and dice to your heart’s content. This blog will discuss three ways to accomplish this.

Sales Rep CRM Quick Tip: Weekly Planning

If you’re not using CRM as a tool to plan your day, week, month – or more – then you’re missing out.  You’re leaving valuable referral sources in the cold.  You’re letting opportunities slip through the cracks.  And you’re letting your competitors snap up your best customers.

This article takes a look at how to use CRM as a planning tool.

CRM Deployment Options…How to Decide?

So you are ready to tackle that all-important CRM initiative for your company. You will need to consider multiple factors in making the initial deployment decision; however there is usually one factor that rises to the greatest importance in making the initial decision.

Some ‘Gotchas’ To Deploying Code In Salesforce.com™

One common CRM challenge is keeping your development environment in sync with the production environment. Coding in a development environment that is not in sync with production can lead to many hours of frustration trying to find the ghosts in the code. I find this especially true working in Salesforce.

Dynamics CRM Online - The User ID Associated With The Current Record Is Not Valid

CRM Online Administration Center

A client recently found he could not enable a user he needed to use in one of our sandbox organizations. Every time he tried, he got “The user ID associated with the current record is not valid”. This blog explores the fix.

Coding for Special Characters in SalesForce.com Javascript

clip_image002Recently, I was asked to create a button on a Salesforce.com form that would take data from the existing form and create a new Salesforce Lead record from it. Sounds simple enough, right? However, intermittently an error was being produced with a somewhat unclear message. This blog details the encoding function I used for the fix!

Measuring Enterprise Social Collaboration

ROI and value of enterprise social collaborationThe days of the production-line worker, the inbox/outbox process and any other repetitive task for humans to perform – are vanishing quickly. With automation, apps and robotics replacing humans at an unprecedented rate, our ability to collaborate to innovate, inspire, inform and to discover new insights might be one of the last ways to differentiate human labor from an automated workforce. But there is a problem. Most organizations have only a vague notion of how they are doing with social collaboration – let alone a vision and measurable goals for how they will make improvements. 

How to use Javascript on Dynamics CRM 2011/2013/2015 form

clip_image001

In this blog I am going to give you a brief explanation about how to use JavaScript libraries at the form level as well as how to create new JavaScript libraries in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 and 2015.

 

Dynamics CRM Versions and Array Method “indexOf”

image_thumb[1]For one of my recent projects there was a requirement where I had to check the logged in user’s security roles, to find out if the user had been assigned a particular security role. If the user had the security role, there were several JavaScripts that would run. If the user did not have the security role, the JavaScript would not run. This blog explores my efforts to trouble-shoot and cross-test across multiple browsers.

Sales Rep CRM Quick Tip: Track Your Activities

If you’ve started to track contacts, accounts and your pipeline in CRM, then you’re ready to start tracking activities too.  Most CRM solutions provide a way to track activities such as calls, appointments, emails and tasks.  This article provides some quick tips for tracking your activities.

Microsoft Ignite 2015–Day 5

imageIt’s been a packed week at Microsoft Ignite, and in this final post of my daily recaps, we’ll validate the awesomeness of Visio for dashboards and data-connected data graphics, review the common problems encountered when performing the initial configurations of Office 365 service for your organization, and finally share how search works in SharePoint 2013 plus how to scale it properly.

Microsoft Ignite 2015–Day 4

imageAs we near the end of Ignite, day 4 was still filled with some great technical sessions.  I’ll give you a rundown of everything from SQL High Availability, best practices for branding and page design in SharePoint Online to scaling SharePoint 2013 search.  One of my favorite sessions that I’m excited to share dealt with navigating the landscape of Office 365 tools. 

Microsoft Ignite 2015–Day 3

WP_20150506_08_20_14_Pro_smIf you’ve been wanting to get some more information on SharePoint 2016, today’s recap is for you!  I’ll briefly review some tips from the great duo of Todd Klindt and Shane Young on upgrading to SharePoint 2013, then I’ll dangle some awesome new not yet released tools for Dynamics CRM and Office 365 straight from the mouth of the great Girish Raja.  I then got some great insights from the master Spence Harbar himself on OneDrive for Business migrations, then rounded out the day diving deep in the new hybrid search service application for SharePoint 2013 / 2016.

Microsoft Ignite 2015–Day 2


In today's tales from the field, I take you through each session of my day, but also give you a quick look back at something I omitted from the day 1 keynote.  The sessions cover the gamut from information architecture and governance, to search, to OneDrive for Business and best practices for farm solution development. 

Microsoft Ignite 2015–Day 1 Recap

Spring in Chicago - Ignite 2015It’s still spring time here in Chicago, but it’s also time for Microsoft’s first ever all-in-one product conference named Ignite.  Throughout the rest of this week, I’ll do my best to share with you insights from the day, and highlight innovations or other content I thought was interesting.

What is Ignite?

This Ignite conference is the first (but not last I’m sure) time Microsoft is taking most of all of the other individual product conferences and bringing them all under one roof.  These include TechEd, Exchange, SharePoint, etc.  Content and information is being shared across all 5 days this week, ranging from the normal breakout sessions to hands-on lands, ask the experts sessions with the product teams, exam preparation and certification testing, live-streaming from Channel9, community theaters and of course the expo center.  New this year also is the MyIgnite mobile app, providing the same experience from the web to your mobile device with maps, session info, your customized saved calendar and other goodies. 

Are you worth the effort?

Companies continue to spend countless hours focusing on how to better articulate their value proposition, in order to increase both the volume and velocity of sales.  There is potential for greater impact by focusing some of that time on an often neglected piece of the sales puzzle.  Have you considered how hard you are to work with?

Best Practice for Creating Sandbox Instance for CRM 2015 Online Upgrade Testing

CRM Online Instance Picker

If you currently have a production CRM 2013 Online instance, Microsoft wants you to upgrade to 2015 by the middle of June at the latest. It is important to perform full UI and customization testing in 2015 prior to approving your 2015 online production upgrade. The more customizations and managed solutions you have deployed, the more the need for good quality assurance (QA) and user acceptance testing (UAT).

Sales Rep CRM Quick Tip: Manage Your Pipeline

Click Here to Open Index of Sales Rep Quick TipsOne of the most important benefits of a CRM solution is that it allows a Sales Rep to track their pipeline. Sadly, this is also one of the areas that many organizations tend to make overly complicated and so painful, that reps often revert back to using a legal pad. This article will provide some tips for using your CRM solution to track your pipeline – and why this is important – regardless of the condition of your CRM solution.

Sales Rep CRM Quick Tip: Make CRM Your Rolodex

CRM for Contact Management Sales Rep AdoptionLooking for a way to expand usage of your company's CRM?  Here's a simple idea: commit to making it the one and only place that you use to manage your list of contacts. It sounds simple, but it's amazing how many contact lists are spread out over a pile of business cards, in our mobile devices and handwritten on notepads.  This article shares some practical ideas on how to get all of your contacts into CRM.

Are you creating value, or just worried about ROI?

imageWarren Buffet once said that “Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.”  In our daily work, we talk a lot about value. However, the truth is, a lot of organizations spend a lot of time, effort, and money trying to measure ROI – the precise financial impact of an initiative - without first understanding the value to the business. This blog entry breaks down how to generate both organic ROI and real business value.

Data Migration from CRM 2011 to CRM 2015

One blog reader recently asked us about affordable options for migrating data from CRM 2011 to CRM 2015 when upgrading.  This article provides a number of options to consider.

Beware of the Phantom Web Resources in your CRM system

Have you ever wondered where some of those "missing components" come from when adding an entity to a solution? Check out the rest of this blog for some insight into this common predicament.

Data Encryption Feature Isn’t Activated - Prevents Outlook Client Sync

Encryption key is required

You know how the story goes... We were prepping for a CRM 2013 on premise client going live and it was Outlook client configuration time. I was doing some last minute Outlook client testing and hit the sync button to test my Outlook filters when I got this message. Read more to find out how to activate data encryption when syncing Outlook to CRM.

CRM vs ERP: Where to Handle Quotes and Order Entry?

CRM vs ERP for quotes orders pricebook catalog

Are your customer care or inside sales reps straddling CRM (customer relationship management) and ERP (enterprise resource planning, or accounting) systems in order to get their jobs done?  Is it slowing them down?  Are they missing opportunities to collaborate with your field sales reps because they don't have enough time to keep things updated in CRM?  Are your outside sales reps asking for more information about order history to be visible in CRM?

This article takes a look at the benefits of handling these processes in CRM rather than in an ERP solution.

4 Reasons Why You Should Use Excel to Create a Survey

SNAGHTML13b5de3Maybe you didn’t even know, but if you are using Office 365 or OneDrive, you can use Excel to create a survey, share it with others, and easily get the results.  This blog details why you should use Excel to create a survey.  Using Excel won’t be for everyone depending on your requirements, but it does serve a purpose in the landscape of survey tools. Find out what you didn't know before! 

Dynamics CRM – Spring 2015 Related Products Roadmap

Dynamics CRM 2015 - Related Products RoadmapMany improvements to Dynamics CRM were announced last week at Microsoft Convergence 2015. But CRM isn't really just one application anymore - there are a host of things that companies need to consider in order to work together better both externally with customers and internally with employees who are striving to serve those customers.  This article looks at recent and upcoming improvements to Microsoft Dynamics Marketing (MDM), Social Listening, Parature and Unified Service Desk; as well as some of the more standard products such as Excel, SharePoint and Outlook.

Dynamics CRM Roadmap – Spring 2015 and Beyond

New CRM Spring 2015 SiteMap Menus

Get ready ... CRM 2015 just came out, but the spring release is just a few months away.  Microsoft is including a lot of new features in this release that you'll want to take advantage of including: new (easier) navigation, OneNote integration and Power BI dashboards.

Collaboration at Microsoft Convergence

A lot of exciting information is being shared this year at Microsoft Convergence in Atlanta, GA.  This post summarizes the highlights of day 1, with a focus on the sessions that discussed working together better inside and outside of the organization - customer and employee engagement.  We will pay particular attention to the discussions around collaboration in this post.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Mobile/Tablet Express : Part 3

Screenshot (2)In the first two blogs of this series we discussed how to enable Microsoft Dynamics CRM entities for Mobile/Tablet and how to access Microsoft Dynamics CRM online 2013/2015 via a mobile phone. Here is another blog in this series that will discuss how to access Microsoft Dynamics CRM online 2013/2015 on tablets. For demonstration purposes, we will be using a Microsoft Surface.

Gotchas When Using Power Query to Retrieve Dynamics CRM Data – Part 2

imageWelcome back to part 2 of my review of tips and gotchas for using Power Query with Dynamics CRM OData feeds. Let’s continue our review and talk about how ugly the option set numeric values are, and how you can improve your query times by tweaking (filtering more specifically) the OData URL used in Power Query.

It’s All About The User Story. Are You Successful In Getting From “Once Upon A Time” to “The End”?


User stories are the most important aspect of delivering a successful agile project that meets (or even exceeds) the expectations of the client. The story can serve as the vehicle for determining scope, sprint planning, requirements gathering, specification documentation, as well as test script creation and training documentation. So great care must be taken to elicit, document, and gain consensus on and approval of the client’s needs before executing.

Gotchas When Using Power Query to Retrieve Dynamics CRM Data – Part 1

imageIf you have been following the Excel business intelligence space lately, you are familiar with all of the slick add-ins Microsoft has introduced with Power Query, Power Pivot and Power Map.  We work with a lot of Dynamics CRM clients, and I recently set out to use some CRM Online data to create some visualizations and dashboards in Excel.  I encountered a few different situations I had to deal with, so in this post I want to walk you through some of the gotchas I found when you use Dynamics CRM data with Power Query. 

    What is CRM Gamification and Why Do You Need It?

    Inc. magazine recently published an article in which it predicts the top 10 hottest industries in 2015 and one among them has caught my attention: Gamification software. You probably have the same first reaction as me: What the heck is it?! 

    The following is the definition that I found from Wikipedia: Gamification is the use of game thinking and game mechanics in non-game contexts to engage users in solving problems and increase users' self contributions.  

    Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013/2015 Mobile/Tablet Express : Part 2

    IMG_8503In this blog we will cover how to access Dynamics CRM on mobile devices. For the purpose of demonstration, this post will discuss how to install and access Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013/2015 on the iPhone 5.
     

    Optimizing CRM Security by Team

    thumbnailThere’s more to the concept of Team Ownership in Microsoft Dynamics CRM than you may originally think, which means you’ll want to give that topic significant consideration and understanding before embarking on a security model that utilizes team permissions or team ownership. In releases prior to 2011, the concept of Teams existed but Teams were simply groupings of users. Since version 2011, a Team can actually own its own records, and can have its own security role(s), giving CRM architects more options for building more complex security schemes. Let's talk about these options now!

    Thinking About Launching a Loyalty Program? Consider These Five Components Before Making a Decision! Part Two


    imageA successful loyalty program not only allows companies to reward their customers but also enriches the business with valuable customer data and feedback. In this entry, we will review the three important program components: operations, platform selection, and vendor selection. 

    Sales Rep CRM Quick Tip: Take a Long-Term View

    CRM Quick Tips for Sales Reps In spite of what you may have heard from CRM software vendors, a customer relationship management system is not a "shot in the arm" or "30 days to productivity". In all but a few teams (those that are highly process-driven) a CRM project takes time to fully adopt.

    Sales Rep CRM Quick Tip: Index


    CRM Quick Tips for Sales RepsDoes your organization have a CRM system, but you struggle with making it a useful tool for getting your job done? You're not alone! Sales Rep CRM Quick Tips from C5 Insight are an ongoing set of 5 minute tips that a Sales Rep can use to transform any CRM solution into the most valuable tool in their personal sales toolbox.

    Dynamics CRM Contact Form On_load Error Without Any JavaScript

    I'm not sure when it happened. I was happily going along, doing some configuration work for a new Dynamics CRM 2013 on premise client, when my test users began experiencing an on_load error when opening contact records.  When I reviewed the two scripts I had on the contact record, I realized I didn't have an on_load script on the contact form. So I disabled my JavaScript, but still got the on load error. What the heck?!!

    This blog details my chat with Microsoft, how we discovered the problem child, and the fix for the error!  

    How to Selectively Sync Folders to OneDrive for Business

    OneDrive selective folder syncWhile recently working with some users who are migrating to OneDrive for Business for SharePoint 2013, I was in a discussion about how to use the OneDrive for Business client.  After walking through the capabilities and how to use the sync client, the question was asked about how to selectively sync only certain folders from OneDrive for Business and not the entire library.  Users started uploading a lot of documents, and didn’t want to sync ALL of the files in their OneDrive for Business library.  They only wanted to sync some of the folders offline.  This is possible right?  Okay I must admit I misled you a little bit by the title.  You can’t use the OneDrive for Business sync client and only choose certain folders.  It will only sync the entire library or nothing.  But fear not, the point of this blog is to offer a few viable solutions as stop gaps until Microsoft adds this functionality. 

    Early Adopter Issues with Sandbox Instances in CRM 2015 Online

    Many companies choose to defer the upgrade to the CRM 2015 Online version from 2013 in order to complete adequate testing of customizations. Should you find yourself in this situation and have the need to stand up a new sandbox instance of 2013, you can do it but it’s going to be a multiple step process. This blog details the CRM Online Instance Manager.

    How Do You Sway?

    imageIn my recent blog post “Microsoft Can Do Cool”, I mentioned a new app Microsoft has in beta / preview called Microsoft Sway.  Read on for more about Sway and to be inspired!

    Thinking About Launching a Loyalty Program? Consider These Five Components Before Making a Decision! Part One

     
    Finding the right mix of requirements for a customer to participate in a loyalty program versus the reward payout to help grow that existing customer base and bring on new customers is the “secret sauce” of loyalty. In a pair of blogs, we will discuss some of the benefits of a loyalty program, and five important areas of consideration when planning a launch - program structure, operations, platform selection, and vendor selection. In part one of two we will look at benefits and program structure.

    Working with Dynamics CRM 2013 Plugin Profiler

    Clients often ask us to customize their CRM implementation beyond the original out of the box capabilities. There are many options you can use as a developer to eXtend CRM (xRM). For the sake of this blog, we'll focus on plugins; and in particular how to circumvent an issue when working with Plugin Profiler.

    Why Collaboration?

    Why Collaboration is Changing the Business World 

    There is a lot of discussion about collaboration in the workplace, but little explanation as to why it is becoming increasingly important.  This infographic explains the four primary business-drivers behind the movement towards collaboration between employees, customers and suppliers.  

    Guidance for Updating Multiple CRM Online Orgs with Customizations

    Is migrating your full production schema to a new sandbox instance in CRM Online difficult to manage due to customizations? If so, keep reading! This blog provides some guidance on how to migrate your full production schema to a new blank sandbox instance in CRM Online to include managed versus unmanaged components.

    Back to SharePoint Basics: Part 3–Working With Views

    imageIt’s been awhile but I am back to continue on my SharePoint Basics series for SharePoint.  Let’s see where we are:

    Back in Part 2, I touched on SharePoint Views briefly in the context of creating content.  In today’s post I want to go a lot deeper with views and show you how to work with them while will help any SharePoint user work more effectively and efficiently.

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