Thursday, April 24, 2014

The 7 Habits of Successful Technology Projects – Habit 7

imageMeasure twice, cut once. You’ve heard the saying, right?  For this final habit, I wanted to take that saying and use it to illustrate a phenomenon that we often see in technology projects – lack of testing.  I call it a phenomenon, because it often defies logic. 

The 7 Habits of Successful Technology Projects – Habit 6

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Most organizations today believe that if you simply implement “the new technology”, that everyone will immediately and automatically (and of course without any prompting) begin to use the new system(s).  On the contrary, our experience has shown us that once a new solution has been implemented, there is still much to do to ensure it is truly successful. I would like to directly address a few areas where we see most organizations struggle to cross the finish line, and practical ways to correct these issues.

Create Dynamic Images Using InfoPath and a SharePoint Picture Library

Create Dynamic Images Using InfoPath and a SharePoint Picture LibraryAs part of an auction site I was working on for a client, one part of the solution was to use an InfoPath form for users to submit their bids.  This post  focused on how to get the dynamic images from a SharePoint Picture library.

Dynamically Set the Document Location in Dynamics CRM 2013 with JavaScript

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 If you have CRM and SharePoint, one of the easiest things you can do is to link the two together so that you can manage your documents in SharePoint, but access, create, and interact with them in CRM. This post will guide you through the process of dynamically assigning the document storage location for CRM entities.  

Lead Scoring – Other Ways to Use Scoring – Part 4 of 4

Using predictive analytics and scoring for more than lead scoring. SharePoint. Dynamics CRM. Salesforce.

Used properly, scoring is a way not only to optimize your organization’s budget, but also to serve your customers, prospects and employees by trying to respond to them in the most relevant manner possible.  Think of scoring as a way to simulate an individual prioritization process across thousands – or even hundreds of millions – of people, all at once.

The 7 Habits of Successful Technology Projects – Habit 5

imageLet’s face it - no one ever tells you to focus on the past.  In fact, we’re all told, from very early on, to stay focused on the “here and now” and to look ahead to our future. While it may be a bit of a stretch, I would like to encourage those who are currently working on a project or getting ready to start a project, to take some time to reflect on the past.  Let me to explain...

Add custom links to the SharePoint 2013 Suite Bar with jQuery

There are a few different ways you can get custom links into the SharePoint 2013 suite bar. This method is going to utilize jQuery to inject these links as the page loads and has the added benefit of working in SharePoint Online as well.   We'll look at how to accomplish this for both on premise and online.

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Lead Scoring – Collaborate with Sales for More Impact – Part 3 of 4

Lead Scoring for Salesforce, Dynamics CRM and Marketing Data Warehouse Scoring leads is a great way to make sure that your sales team is working the leads that show the highest propensity of becoming a customer.    This is an ideal area where your marketing, sales and analytical people can collaborate to create something that helps everyone to be more successful.

The 7 Habits of Successful Technology Projects – Habit 4

Technology is wonderful thing, but never forget that it’s not the only thing.  What I mean is this - while technology can provide us with new ways of doing things, automation of tasks, and analysis we could only dream of doing on our own, technology should never be a substitute for your people and your process.

Use Power Pivot to Merge Related SharePoint List Data

Excel-2013 When working with SharePoint, you occasionally need to work with related data.  Since SharePoint isn’t setup for true relational data, that means we’re typically working with lookup columns from a child to a parent list.  This is all fine well and good, but I had a client ask me for some special filtering and output with this related data.  After reviewing my options, I found that the quickest way to do this (in under 15 minutes) is to use Microsoft’s Power Pivot add-in for Excel.  No SharePoint Designer required!  If you have Excel 2010, you will need to download and install the add-in.  If you use Excel 2013, the add-in is already installed, you just have to enable it.

Lead Scoring – The Scoring Options – Part 2 of 4

Lead Scoring in Dynamics CRM and Salesforce.com

Marketing: Why won’t the salespeople work our leads?

Sales: Why won’t the marketing people give us good leads?

Sound familiar?  Part of the answer to this age-old dilemma is lead scoring.  In this post, let’s dive into the different options for lead scoring.

How To Create Marketing Email Templates That Connect To Outlook: Part 2

As we discussed in a recent entry titled 20 CRM Adoption Options, organizations continue to struggle with adoption. By tying necessary tasks to a functional and dynamic platform, end users won't just have the option to utilize - they'll want to. 

Lead Scoring – Convert Hot Leads to Customers – Part 1 of 4

CRM Lead Scoring, Dynamics, Salesforce You may already know that about 80% of the leads that your organization invests thousands of dollars to generate are never worked by your sales team.  But do you know why?  It’s because 98% of the leads you generate … stink.

And your sales team has no way of knowing which 2% of the leads are worth following up.  So it’s easier for them to work on the deals that are already in the pipeline and work with their networking contacts to generate referrals that are almost always more qualified than those danged marketing leads.

So how do you help your sales team find the gold nuggets buried in that mountain of leads?

The 7 Habits of Successful Technology Projects – Habit 3

  This is a continuation of a new blog series that I started last week, which will run over the next couple of months.  As a brief refresher, my goal is to write a blog on one habit per week, so technically we should get through all 7 habits in just shy of 2 months.  The content for this series has been developed over many years and hundreds of client projects.  In fact, in addition to applying the habits to all of our client projects, we often speak on these habits as part ...

Creating Managed Metadata Terms in SharePoint with PowerShell

sharepoint Create metadata term with powershell with guidWhether you are using SharePoint 2010 or SharePoint 2013, it is very likely you are taking advantage of the Managed Metadata service for taxonomy and other purposes.  Hopefully you have a development / test environment in addition to production, and if so you know it’s a struggle to keep them in sync.  If your groups, term sets and terms are not identical down to GUIDs between the two environments, if you move a database from one to the other then all your terms will be broken… not good. 

The point of this blog is not help you sync your environments with metadata.  Let's dive in.

The 7 Habits of Successful Technology Projects – Habit 2

There are many opportunities for projects to veer off of course, not due to the unexpected, but due to completely avoidable items such as forgetting the definition of success, lack of focus, an individual personality, or a new technology coming to market.  Think you’re immune and that “This will never happen to my organization!”?  Unfortunately, in our experience we’ve seen it happen to the very best organizations, which is where this habit comes into play.  No one has the intention of taking a cross-country road trip to Santa Monica, only to end-up in Fargo (no offense), or worse yet, to simply stop driving somewhere in Arkansas (again, no offense), and say, “Let’s do something else now.”  At the end of the day, technology projects are no different.  My guess is, you started the project in order to actually finish the project (and on time and under budget would great too!).

Microsoft Convergence 2014: Humanize the Enterprise

Members of our team recently had the pleasure of attending Microsoft Convergence, a premier conference for the Microsoft Dynamics community. What really struck me about the conference is that, for a gathering of people seeking more powerful ways to use technology, the common theme always lead back to people, and to building better relationships.

Archive Old Documents in SharePoint with PowerShell

I recently needed to migrate all documents that hadn’t been modified in 90 days in all SharePoint webs within a SharePoint site collection to a records center.  Here is a quick and easy way to accomplish this task.

The 7 Habits of Successful Technology Projects – Habit 1

Habit 1: Chart Your Journey

Before you begin your project, define what a successful project will look like, and you have set yourself up for success from the start. 

20 CRM Adoption Options

Few businesses would argue the value of a good CRM solution anymore. But adoption remains a significant challenge. Our own research shows that 40 percent or more of organizations continue to struggle with getting their teams to adopt CRM. So here are 20 ideas to consider to help drive the adoption of CRM within your organization.

How to Get Date Only in SharePoint 2010 Workflow

While working on a client request recently, I came across a way to easily work with date and time values in a SharePoint Designer 2010 workflow.  I was able to solve this using only SharePoint Designer.  I reviewed other solutions, and I will give links to a couple others in case they are needed.  This worked for me, and I didn’t see anyone else with this exact solution so I thought I would share for the greater good. 

CRM, Call Centers and the Death of Predictive Dialing

Call Center and CRM Dynamics Salesforce Predictive dialers have been a staple of outbound call centers for decades.  But evolving customers and evolving customer relationship management systems may spell the end of the predictive dialer.

Allow Anonymous SharePoint Users to Open Office Documents

If you have ever managed an Anonymous SharePoint site you know that working with Office documents is a pain.  SharePoint and Office try to be smart.  SharePoint passes a path to the to the Office application and then the Office application goes out to the web application to get the file. This post is going to provide you with a way to override the default link for Office documents within SharePoint so you can avoid all the log-in prompts.

What’s Up With This People SharePoint Taxonomy Group Anyway?

Classify SharePoint TaxonomyAfter having some pleasant discussions in the SharePoint Yammer SPYam community on this subject and finding almost no information online about this topic, I thought I’d put some fingers to  keys and do my part to share some information.  This post assumes you have basic concepts and knowledge of SharePoint taxonomies, but review TechNet if you need more info or to get up to speed on the basic concepts.

5 Keys to Protecting Customer Data in CRM

Concerned about how to protect your customers and the data in your CRM system?  So are many business executives.  But you may find some surprises in the 5 keys to protecting one of your most valuable assets.

Connecting Outlook to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013

I just spent most of a whole day trying to find clear, straight forward instructions on how to connect my Outlook to our new Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013. Luckily for you, I have decided to compile the following set of instructions that walk you through how to connect yours.

How to Easily Get the Root OU of an Active Directory User with PowerShell

How to Easily Get the Root OU of an Active Directory User with PowerShellWhile working on a PowerShell script to do some updating list items in SharePoint, I first had to get some properties from the user account in Active Directory. The end goal was to update a managed metadata field, choosing terms based on the root OU that the user resided in Active Directory.  I found an easier way to do this with PowerShell and wanted to share.

Creating a Search Based Employee Blog Rollup in SharePoint 2013

I recently got a request from a client that had a lot of employee engagement around blogging and they wanted to bring that front and center on their intranet home page. We were already rolling up an executive blog to the front page using the Content Query Web Part styled with some custom XSLT. They wanted it styled to look exactly the same, but using the CQWP again was out of the question since these employee blogs were coming from the user My Sites.

Oh Where, Oh Where has my CRM Gone?

In recent days, due to some unexpected challenges, I’ve been required to do my job WITHOUT my CRM solution. I have witnessed firsthand a productivity spiral downward without access to what some may roll their eyes at and cast aside as unnecessary.  

 

Five Different Methods for How to Print SharePoint List Item

Print a SharePoint List Item If you’ve gotten to this page, it’s because you or your users make heavy use of SharePoint lists, and the inevitable request came up “Ok this is great, but I can’t print this item, help!”.  Like most things with SharePoint, there is no one right answer (sometimes there is!), but some are definitely easier than others or better depending on your needs.  I'll show you a couple different common solutions out there in one place, and what worked for me. 

 

How To Create Marketing Email Templates That Connect To Outlook: Part 1

This entry will discuss how to create marketing email templates in Microsoft Dynamics CRM that we can connect to Outlook, saving your friends in Sales a boatload of time while ensuring brand standards and copy consistency guidelines are met.

Great Expectations: C5 Insight in 2014

We're hitting the ground running at a full-tilt boogie this year. Bolstered with knowledge and the hands-on, end-user friendly platforms your company craves, we'll prove what technology is capable of.

Quick and Easy Print SharePoint Picture Library using CSS

A client contacted me the other day about some help with printing a picture library.  I found a simple way to do this, and I wanted to share to hopefully save someone some grief. 

If you search the interwebs for “print sharepoint list” you get articles that are either a fancy ribbon button for printing lists/libraries form codeplex, or doing javascript or similar to call the print dialog from a modal.  That works, and I started down that path. 

SharePoint Usage Logs Not Being Removed Fixed

I've seen folks all over the interweb and even a client of mine hit this issue, so I wanted to take a moment in this blog to document it for posterity.  It deals with the Usage logging features of SharePoint, and the all too familiar Microsoft bugs.

Relationships take work. A lot of sincere work...

A shift towards improved decision making is desired…no, demanded. This requires the many key ingredients we all know so well, like good data, timely data, analytical tools and skill sets to pull analytics into a format understandable to all stakeholders.

 

Five Tips For A More Memorable Marketing Strategy

Your work is too important to be just a daydream. Map it out. Be accountable. Refer back, make edits, and keep climbing. This isn’t a race, but a really fun ride and you’d best be prepared.

Missing SharePoint Document Properties after Protect with Password

In this post I wanted to share a resolution to an issue I had with a client recently.  At first I thought this was going to be a difficult issue, but as luck would have it the resolution was amazingly simple if you know what to look for. 

Salesforce 1 – New Mobile App for Salesforce.com

Salesforce 1 was recently announced at Dreamforce ‘13 and this app will make you love being out of the office! It gives you easy access to your data with a great mobile user interface. There are a lot of new features / areas to this new app and we will only begin to scratch the surface with this blog but I wanted to give you a tour so you can have some insight before you begin to use it.

Outlook 2013 Only Shows Today Appointments is Fixed!

So the community responded, and someone published an add-in for Outlook 2013 that puts it back.  This worked, but sad it was required.  Many blogs reference this codeplex solution as a workaround to ease their pain and suffering.

The other day I had rebooted after some Microsoft Office updates, and to my surprise I noticed it was there!  I guess Microsoft does listen when enough people complain about it. 

Salesforce A - New Mobile Application

Today I am going to review the “Salesforce A” mobile app. The app was officially announced on 11/19/2013 during the Dreamforce keynote and it was met with an astounding applause among the attendees. Why is this app so special, you ask? Well, previously Salesforce Administrators had no way to manage or assist users that were locked out or disabled when they were away from their desk.  However that’s not the case anymore! Salesforce A allows administrators to do the following while using the app:

 

What Makes Good SharePoint Documentation?

When it comes to writing documentation, it is unfortunately one of those things that you will get to tomorrow, gets pushed because this server was down, or Bob needs his password reset.  But I believe it’s important to at least have some form of documentation.  This is important because:

  1. It can prove to be very helpful when planning upgrades to the next version of SharePoint. 
  2. It can be useful if you have to rebuild your farm so you can easily replicate the environment.

Update Default SharePoint 2013 Icon Colors

This post is going to look at updating the out-of-the-box SharePoint 2013 icons.  This comes in to play if you are creating a branded site.

Reporting on Multi-Select Picklists in Salesforce.com

Even though Salesforce.com enables users to create multi-select picklists directly from the user interface, they do not offer organic functionality for reporting on these types of fields. In order to break out the multi-select picklist field to report on each option selected, we created formula fields for each option (or “topics” in this case) to summarize through reporting.

New Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 online pricing clarification!

1. Can you explain the new pricing and difference between the three main tiers? 

  •  Professional ($65 per user per month) - For the core CRM users, who need the full capabilities of Dynamics CRM including sales force automation as well as marketing and customer care. "We believe most users will find this license best fits their needs," according to Microsoft.
  • Basic ($30 per user per month) - For sales, service and marketing users who need to manage accounts, contacts, leads, cases and access custom applications as well as for business analysts who require reporting capabilities.
  • Essential ($15 per user per month) - For lightweight users who need to access custom applications developed in house or by partners.

15 reasons to choose Office 365 instead of an on-premise alternative

Starting with one of the most important factors in choosing a cloud service, security has been the big stumbling block for many companies considering a move to the cloud. Microsoft's online services have been designed with security in mind.

After security, the most commonly mentioned area of concern regarding cloud services is reliability. Downtime means lost worker productivity and ultimately costs companies money.

How to Fix “No two choices should have the same ID” SharePoint Error

Sooner or later, you might run into this error. I was able to work out the easy solution so I wanted to share it to help someone else. You will likely run into this error if you try to go site column or site content types, or from a list or library you click add site column. In my case, I had just created a site from a custom site template and was getting this error. Let’s dig in.

SharePoint: Knowing what is in the box and using PowerShell to move it

When considering an upgrade to your SharePoint environment, there are three questions you should always ask before you start.

Move all SharePoint Lists and Libraries to a New Site with PowerShell

I was on a project in the past where I was upgrading SharePoint 2007 to 2010.  I really didn’t want to move all the lists and libraries for 100+ sites manually, so I turned to PowerShell.  The following script takes the current site URL, and the new site URL where the lists will go.  It looks to see if there are actually items in the list, and only moves lists and libraries that actually have content.

Why Do Hidden Taxonomy Catch All Columns Become Visible?

EMMDoubleTagI’ve been fighting an interesting issue lately where some hidden taxonomy columns are becoming visible. In this environment, there are simple custom content types with some custom site columns, a few of which are managed metadata columns. The issue is that what seems randomly, some strange fields suddenly show up in the library columns, and on the list forms:

Why Do Hidden Taxonomy Catch All Columns Become Visible?

What Should Be in a Business Case?

A business case should be well thought out, inclusive from all angles and contain involvement from all affected parties. In this blog, we review components that should be involved within a business case for full transparency.

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