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I Love This Time of Year

March 19, 2012 Leave a comment

For those of you at Microsoft Convergence 2012 this week in Houston, Texas, have a great time!! Microsoft is glad you’re there and with a keynote from retired General Colin L Powell, I’m sure it will be an amazing event.

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If you’re a fan of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, you’ll have a choice from an amazing 42 breakout sessions to attend where the rich variety of speakers will be getting into various details of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. I’m sure you’ll also get a great download on what’s install with the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Q2 2012 Update.

The main reason I love this time of year is that Convergence brings out the best in our partners. This is the event where not only is there great new content and announcements from Microsoft, but the movers and shakers in our partner ecosystem also ready new products and services and can’t wait to tell attendees at Convergence, but also all of us who don’t get a chance to be at the conference via their news releases, etc.

Most of these new products and services will be on display at the giant partner expo hall. With approximately 10,000 attendees at Convergence, the partner expo hall is always filled with the latest and greatest solutions for Microsoft Dynamics from around the world.

So that I can monitor all the exciting announcements this week, I’ve created a little RSS feed using Bing Search and you can click here to see the latest announcements yourself. Here is a small screen grab of the current announcements, but this will change dynamically all week:

 

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If you’re into Twitter, then use the #CONV12 to follow real time updates from Convergence, or just click here to see what people are saying on Twitter about Convergence now. Here is a sample of what that looks like:

 

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I hope you love what Convergence brings to your corner of the Microsoft Dynamics world, wherever you are. You don’t have to be in Houston to love ConvergenceSmile.

Regards, Ross

Twitter: @rossd_crm

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Dynamics CRM Industry Vertical Template Program

December 7, 2011 Leave a comment

imageThe Dynamics CRM product team at Microsoft have an Industry Vertical template program. It was created as a vehicle for identifying, validating and distributing vertical specific IP as templates to be used to assist partners and Microsoft deliver easy to use vertical specific demonstrations.

The product team have recently released three vertical templates based on Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. These can be used in Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and in on-premise based demonstrations too. The new templates are for:

  • Wealth Management,
  • Non-Profit (donation management)
  • Health Plan Sales

Typically a template will consist of the following components specific to a vertical:

  • Sitemap
  • Vertical workflows
  • Vertical custom entities
  • Vertical reports
  • Vertical dashboards
  • Vertical sample Data
    All the templates have gone through our detailed security and privacy review processes.  They can be used as a conceptual framework for vertical usage scenarios but are not intended to be used for actual implementations as they are not production level solutions or code and there is no technical support or warranty for these templates available from Microsoft. Microsoft strongly recommends that an implementation partner be engaged to effectively match Microsoft Dynamics CRM to the unique needs and specific vertical requirements of customers.

The templates are delivered as solution packages that can be easily downloaded through the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Marketplace for partners to import and use in sales engagements. The solutions can be found on the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Marketplace under the search “Microsoft Dynamics Labs”, alternatively I have supplied the individual links below:

When you import and publish a template onto an existing instance of CRM, with other solutions already published, the template will be made available as a managed solution. In essence it will be added to the existing instance of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. The solution framework for Dynamics CRM supports layering; hence you can typically install one solution on top of another. Please refer to MSDN for more info.

If you need to further customise the template for a specific customer demonstration the existing components of the managed vertical template cannot be edited or changed. However, a template can be used as a reference to build more complex components when required. For example, consider that a workflow, WF1, is provided with the template. WF1 cannot be edited to satisfy customer needs. However, you can build a new workflow referencing WF1 and use that for the demo, if required.

Important Note for Use in Australia

In Australia, there are a few workflow processes that do not activate during import. This is because the default currency in the base system was set to US Dollar. If you want or need to activate these workflows, after import, you will need to go to ‘Customise’ and open the affected workflows, locate the Currency field on the form and change the lookup to Australian Dollar. In addition, the ‘dynamic’ area on the right of the workflow designer includes a default lookup to US Dollar, you will need to delete this default. This should fix the problems with the workflows so you can then activate them.

 

Microsoft is excited about this Industry Vertical template program and we look forward to releasing additional templates in the future.

Regards, Ross

Twitter: @rossd_crm

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM Connector Series – Bringing relevant data together…

April 8, 2011 Leave a comment

Microsoft Dynamics is about empowering people and organisations to have better experiences with their enterprise business applications.

Combining relational and transactional data in a meaningful way has long been one of the most daunting challenges companies face in providing relevant data to their users and customers alike. Now the Dynamics CRM Connector for AX, NAV and GP is opening new doors for combing relational and transactional information in a simple, effective way.

Most organisations regard the scope of an enterprise business project as being outside of the bounds of what they or their applications are capable of accomplishing. While a certain percentage of their needs are met in the core functionality of an application, others can only be met by customising the product.

In the event that those specific needs require relational data for their ERP applications, or ERP transactional data in the customer management systems, there are few options beyond creating intensive integrations. The Dynamics CRM Connector makes sharing relational and transactional data simple, reliable and extensible.

The current version of the Connector supports both on premise and on-line version of Dynamics CRM 4.0 and CRM 2011 with transactional connections to Dynamics GP 10 & 2010, Dynamics NAV 2009R2, and Dynamics AX 2009 SP1.

A 2 page overview of the Dynamics CRM Connector can be downloaded here for printing.

The Dynamics CRM Connector requires no additional licensing fees. For more information on the Dynamics CRM Connector, please visit the Microsoft team’s blog at: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/dynamicsconnector/

Regards, Ross

Twitter: @rossd_crm

Event Recording for Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace

December 6, 2010 Leave a comment

On Dec 1st,  the Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace team delivered a web-based training session to hundreds of partner attendees.

In this session they shared details on the Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace. They detailed and provided demos of the solutions management capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 and illustrated how to get applications into the Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace.

The recording of the sessions are now available to Microsoft partners. Partners can access the recording of this 35 minute session through the Partner Learning Center.

Cheers, Ross
Twitter: rossd_crm

Pinpoint Australia has Launched – Make Sure Your Dynamics CRM Solution is Listed!

July 5, 2010 Leave a comment

Are you a Microsoft Dynamics CRM partner with an add-on solution or two? You should ensure you get yourself profiled on Microsoft PinPoint!

Microsoft Australia’s Pinpoint – the largest online directory of qualified Microsoft IT specialists and their software and service offerings, has launched with 400 IT Specialists are showcasing 238 services and 178 applications to potential customers.

Get more better-qualified referrals with:

  • Real-time analytics so you can track customer visits to your Pinpoint profile
  • Customer ratings and reviews, so your satisfied customers can help you get more business
  • Powerful search, filter and browse features to help customers find your specific skill-set
  • Sales conversion tools, including direct ‘Demo’, ‘Try’ and ‘Buy’ buttons

Not yet listed on Pinpoint?

Get Listed! Help Customers Pinpoint your Business.

As a sleek, highly-searchable service, Pinpoint will be the first port of call for customers seeking a Microsoft IT Specialist. The site is a perfect place to showcase your custom applications and professional services, with:

  • Real-time customer analytics
  • Referral notifications sent straight to your inbox
  • Independent customer ratings and reviews
  • Robust search, filter and browse features
  • Embedded links to your Demo, Try and Buy pages

Invest a few minutes in your most important business listing.

  1. Read the Pinpoint Profile Guidelines.
  2. Sign in to Solution Profiler to create new solution listings or update your existing ones.
  3. Sign in to the Partner Membership Centre to make sure your company information is current.
  4. When your details are ready, email pinauhlp@microsoft.com for approval

Are You Already listed on PinPoint? Then Perfect your Profiles!

Start making the most of Pinpoint now:

Please feel free to share your feedback with the Pinpoint Team so we can continue to improve the service.

Cheers, Ross

RELEASED: Partner Relationship Management (PRM) Accelerator for Microsoft Dynamics CRM

May 27, 2010 1 comment

http://prm.codeplex.com/

The Partner Relationship Management (PRM) Accelerator allows businesses to use Microsoft Dynamics CRM to distribute sales leads and centrally manage sales opportunities across channel partners. It provides pre-built extensions to the Microsoft Dynamics CRM sales force automation functionality, including new data entities, workflow and reports. Using the PRM Accelerator, companies can jointly manage sales processes with their channel partners through a centralised Web portal, as well as extend this integration to automate additional business processes.

The accelerator installation package contains all source code, customisations, workflows and documentation.

Please note that this is R2 of the PRM Accelerator – there are a number of new capabilities which are detailed in the documentation. There are also various videos around functionality, installation and configuration which will be posted over the coming weeks.

Please visit the Accelerator site on Codeplex at the link above.

Cheers, Ross

The new Customer Care Accelerator for Microsoft Dynamics CRM is now available

 
The new Customer Care Accelerator (CCA) for Microsoft Dynamics CRM focuses on delivering contact center enabling functionality, such as the ability to create a unified desktop by combining data elements from disparate line of business applications and displaying it in a single user interface. The core Customer Care business scenarios highlighted by this accelerator include the following:

  • Integrated desktop: Customers can aggregate information from diverse business applications into an integrated desktop providing employees with a 360° view of the customer interactions. Customer service representatives have immediate access to business critical information to serve customers quickly and efficiently, increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Eliminating Duplicate Data Entry: Organisations can streamline business processes by creating desktop automation workflows. Process automation eliminates the need for agents to re-enter the same data in multiple applications. Minimising duplication helps to reduce human error and ensures a consistent customer service experience.
  • Computer Telephony Integration (CTI): Organisations are provided with a consistent framework to connect CTI systems with key line of business applications.
  • Activity Reporting: Contact centre managers have swift access to agent desktop transaction reporting, helping them to identify process bottlenecks.
    As with all the other Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 accelerators, CCA is available as permissive shared source and is a reference example that can be adapted to fit the needs of a customer as well as additional business scenarios.

Cheers, Ross