Archive for the ‘Microsoft CRM – General’ Category

New Blog Owner Added

May 7, 2012 2 comments

G’day everyone,

I’ve had a blast developing this Blog and serving the Australian community of Dynamics CRM enthusiasts. Life-to-date this Blog has had over 20K page views. So thanks! I’ve also enjoyed the years I have had working at Microsoft Australia. I recently left Microsoft Australia and have joined a leading Dynamics CRM ISV, CWR Mobility, to start their Asia Pacific operations. Full details of that news is here. I really look forward to that challenge. The exciting thing is that it allows me to stay involved with the growing world of Microsoft Dynamics CRM in Australia and across the region.

I have added Craig Steere, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Technical Specialist at Microsoft Australia as a co-owner to this Blog. He will keep us informed on important and relevant information about Dynamics CRM. Details are on the About page. You can follow Craig on Twitter as he operates the new Microsoft Dynamics CRM in Australia Twitter account,

Thanks for your support, readership, comments, etc.

Farewell, but not goodbye!



Microsoft Dynamics CRM Roadmap – Q4 2011 Service Update

September 23, 2011 3 comments


Microsoft has delivered significant innovation and value in customer relationship management (CRM) software over a number of years now. Earlier this year Microsoft released Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, a flexible CRM solution that provides the power of productivity through familiar, intelligent, and connected experiences for organisations of all sizes worldwide.

At the end of August Microsoft released a new "Release Preview Guide" that outlines the next wave of Microsoft Dynamics CRM innovation to be released soon and known as the "Q4 2011 Service Update".

The upcoming Q4 2011 Service Update represents the first release in Microsoft’s new program where additional capabilities for Microsoft Dynamics CRM (both cloud and on-premises) are delivered approximately twice yearly with releases targeted for the 2nd  and 4th quarter of each calendar year. The functionality detailed in the guide is completely optional for all customers depending on their business needs.

Quick Summary of New Capabilities in Q4 2011 Service Update

  • Unified Office 365 Experience: Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online will begin the process of transitioning customers to a common administration, billing and provisioning platform which Office 365 customers use today.
  • Enterprise Cloud – Identity Federation: more options to control user access with single sign-on via Active Directory.
  • Enterprise Cloud – Enhanced Disaster Recovery: Investments in additional data centre capacity across the regions and the ability for system fail-over to occur across data centres within a region (e.g. Europe, Asia, Americas).
  • Feature Enhancements:
    • Dialogs – extended to support lookups, dates and generate dynamic hyperlinks
    • Business Intelligence – configure multi-series charts and new chart designer features and new chart types
    • Extended de-duplication rule processing – more configuration and duplicate assessment rules.
  • Social Investments: Wave 1 of several waves of social technology innovation. This release will deliver Activity Feeds which simplify collaboration across internal communities. Additionally a new mobile client for Activity Feeds will debut and runs on Windows Phone.

I encourage you to read the whitepaper to preview new capabilities in Microsoft Dynamics CRM that will provide value for our customers around the world. The Microsoft Dynamics CRM Team and I believe you’ll agree that Microsoft Dynamics CRM is well-positioned to provide tremendous value to organisations of all sizes and industries going forward.

Regards, Ross

Twitter: @rossd_crm

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Offers a Better Overall Value for Customers

August 30, 2011 Leave a comment

Microsoft Dynamics CRM offers customers a strong ROI. A recent Microsoft-commissioned study by Forrester, “The Total Economic Impact of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011,” found that a 2,000-employee composite organisation with an initial deployment of 50 users would experience a three-year, risk-adjusted ROI of 243% over a payback period of 4.1 months, as well as streamlined processes and operations leading to lower cost of sales, marketing cost savings and productivity savings.


Overall this study concludes that the composite organisation achieved a three-year NPV of U.S. $665,086 as a result of deploying Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 for an initial team
of 50 users. The payback period was over four months with an average NPV per user of $13,302 over three years.


The composite organisation achieved the following benefits that represent those experienced by the interviewed companies:

  • Increased sales productivity of 5% with the ease of use of Microsoft Dynamics CRM software and integration with Outlook leading to higher adoption, improved opportunity and lead tracking and routing, and a more accurate picture of its sales pipeline. The interviewed companies improved their sales reporting and better managed their customer database and achieved faster and more efficient processes for sales
  • Customer service productivity savings from a better UI and documented processes. The composite organisation avoided hiring 1.5 full time equivalents (FTE) for its 10-person customer service team even as its division grew. Customer service agents improved issue resolution as new processes were implemented, and agents had access to all the customer information they needed to resolve cases quickly and with precision.
  • Streamlined processes and operations leading to lower cost of sales as Microsoft Dynamics CRM enabled the composite organisation’s technical consultants to shorten time spent on the proposal process by 10%. The interviewed organisations saw process improvements for their account management, engineering, order taking, and project delivery teams, which led to lower operational costs and improved customer responsiveness.
  • Acceleration of sales conversion cycle by 50 percent and corresponding revenue gain as teams worked better together across different business systems, processes, and geographies.
  • Marketing cost savings of more than $200,000 (risk-adjusted over three years) due to more real-time insights and improved campaign management from better analytics.
    o Productivity savings of 16 man-hours per month due to the better reporting tools in Microsoft Dynamics CRM with data consolidation, reporting automation, and richer dashboard capabilities.
  • Improved customer service delivery with quicker response times, dialog boxes, and segmented levels of customer service through insights from Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
    o Improved cross-sell collaboration within sales and customer service teams by providing access to reporting tools and other collaboration software such as Microsoft SharePoint® Server 2010.
  • Lower costs and effort to customize the solution to unique requirements, including extended CRM scenarios.
  • Ease of integration with other business technology systems, improving process efficiencies.
    Get the full report here.


Regards, Ross

Twitter: @rossd_crm

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Virtual Machine

June 6, 2011 4 comments

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Virtual Machine (VM) is now available for Microsoft Dynamics CRM partners to download from the PartnerSource extranet.

This VM is intended to address these main objectives:

  • Accelerate customer-facing demonstrations by providing baseline infrastructure, enhanced data, and rich scenarios.
  • Enable development and testing of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 demos and solutions in an offline environments where an Internet connection is not readily available.

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 VM bill of materials consists of two separate VMs:

  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 VM-01: DC, SQL, CRM
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 VM-02: Exchange (optional)

Included in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 VM-01 are the following deployments:

Microsoft Dynamics Core CRM 2011 Environment
A basic CRM environment that contains sample data and preconfigured SharePoint integration.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Demo Scenarios Environment
More comprehensive demonstrations illustrating core CRM capabilities in expanded scenarios.

  • Marketing, Sales, and Service scenarios
  • Enhanced data, dashboards, customisations, processes (workflows, and dialogs), SharePoint integration, and customer and partner portals
  • End-to-end script that ties each scenario together

xRM Environments
Configured examples of how Microsoft Dynamics CRM can be extended to vertical solutions.

  • Facility Management
  • Employee Management
  • Vendor Management

The VM can be downloaded from here:

Regards, Ross

Twitter: @rossd_crm

Power of Productivity and Convenience of Cloud

April 13, 2011 Leave a comment


A new document explaining the cloud service infrastructure Microsoft uses for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online is now available. I have saved it as a PDF and posted it on my Windows Live Skydrive. Here is the link:

Microsoft is deeply committed to cloud computing and has made a multi-billion dollar investment in the infrastructure and tens of thousands of software engineers are working on cloud computing projects.

With the global release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online customers in 40 markets around the world can get comprehensive CRM capabilities delivered from world-class infrastructure with multi-level security. All this while preserving individual tenant administration, broad mobile device support and many features to support regulatory compliance.

The document covers the following topics:

  • Datacentre Facilities and Connectivity
  • Scalability and Performance
  • Security
  • System Monitoring
  • Release Cadence and Maintenance
  • Backup, Recovery and Data Management
  • Disaster Management and Business Continuity
  • Certifications, Audits and Compliance
    If you have ever heard a Microsoft person talk about Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and they started babbling about scale groups and pods then this document is for you. It even includes my favourite diagram, enjoy.


    Regards, Ross

Twitter: @rossd_crm

Organisations Transform Their Businesses With Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

April 12, 2011 Leave a comment

ATLANTA — April 11, 2011 — Today at Convergence 2011, Microsoft spotlights the successful and exciting year its Microsoft Dynamics CRM business has experienced as it completes the delivery of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 to all customers. More than 27,000 customers and 1.7 million users worldwide are now using Microsoft Dynamics CRM. This includes tens of thousands of customers that have signed up for the latest release since January 2011, including AuditMyBooks, BioMedix and Sandri.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 delivers features including point-and-click configurability, enterprise scalability, and easy interoperability to existing applications and databases. It brings productivity gains to organisations of all sizes through familiar, intelligent and connected experiences. These experiences are leading customers to choose Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 over competing products and helping them transform their businesses.

Full feature article on Microsoft PressPass here:

Regards, Ross

Twitter: @rossd_crm

New CRM 2011 Licensing Options Leads to Better Flexibility

March 21, 2011 21 comments

New software means new licensing which means new levels of flexibility. But with flexibility comes opportunity for confusion. So, this blog entry is about explaining what Microsoft has done with on-premises client licensing in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 release. Enjoy!

With Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Microsoft introduced the Dynamics CRM Limited CAL which is 30% of the cost of a CRM CAL. It has limited usage rights. Those rights, in Dynamics CRM 4.0, excluded write rights to any of the Dynamics CRM entities (built-in or custom). With the release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, Microsoft is extending the usage rights of the Dynamics CRM Limited CAL.

The name of the product (Dynamics CRM Limited CAL) and the price (30% of the Dynamics CRM CAL) have not been changed. So this is a good news story. Additionally, Microsoft is adding an entirely new CRM CAL, the Dynamics CRM Employee Self Service CAL which is priced at 10% of the Dynamics CRM CAL.

In reading the extensive available documentation, I have decided to summarise the CRM CALs here on my blog for clarity and brevity.

The CRM CAL functionalities supported for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Server 2011 are:

Dynamics CRM CAL

The CAL provides a user with full read-write access to all capabilities within Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 and provides full “Microsoft Dynamics CRM functionality” using Microsoft Dynamics CRM clients and using API access. “Microsoft Dynamics CRM functionality” means that users may view, manipulate, input, query or otherwise structure CRM ‘live’ data. ‘Live’ data is information that, via use action, dynamically writes to or reads from, or synchronises with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, whether it is accessed directly or indirectly.

Dynamics CRM Limited CAL

The Limited CAL provides a user with full read-only access and limited write access to “Microsoft Dynamics CRM functionality”. Users may view or query CRM data. The use rights supported for Limited CAL include:

  • Read-only access to “Microsoft Dynamics CRM functionality” using Microsoft Dynamics CRM clients.
  • For the built-in entities of Accounts, Contacts, Cases, Leads, and Activities, data privileges to Create using Microsoft Dynamics CRM clients and Append, Append To and Update records created by any CRM user using Microsoft Dynamics CRM clients.
  • For the built-in entities of Accounts, Contacts, Cases, Leads, and Activities, data privileges to Assign, Share, and Delete records created by the same user using Microsoft Dynamics CRM clients.
  • For custom entities, data privileges to Create using API access only and Append, Append To and Update records created by any CRM user using API access only.
  • For custom entities, data privileges to Assign, Share, and Delete records created by the same user using API access only.
  • There are no data privileges to Delete, Share, or Assign records created by other CRM users.

    Dynamics CRM Employee Self Service CAL

    The Employee Self Service (ESS) CAL provides a user with limited API only access to “Microsoft Dynamics CRM functionality” through any application/graphical user interface (GUI), other than the Microsoft Dynamics CRM client. The use rights supported for ESS CAL include:

  • Data privileges to Read, Create, Append, Append To and Update records from the built-in entities of Accounts, Contacts, Cases, Leads, and Activities as well as records in all the Custom entities.
  • There are no data privileges to Delete, Share, or Assign records.

Now, you may be reading the above, hopefully slowly, and thinking – this isn’t ‘brevity’ in action! But if you read the document I used as a guide to pull this together, you may be thinking ‘thanks, this makes sense’ – or at least I hope you would…

    Cheers, Ross