Category Archives: CRM

Learning From the Best: Jim McGeever, Rachel Zoe and Kara Goldin’s Top Strategies For Business Growth

By Barney Beal, Content Director

In today’s opening keynote at SuiteWorld, NetSuite Executive Vice President Jim McGeever outlined a series of product enhancements, innovations and a new media network to help businesses grow.

Addressing customers, McGeever said: “If you are Wonder Woman, we are the golden lasso giving you a single version of the truth.”

Preceded by a marching band and joined on stage by successful entrepreneurs Kara Goldin, CEO of Hint, and Rachel Zoe, stylist, designer and editor of the Zoe Report, McGeever’s opening keynote at SuiteWorld18 focused heavily on how NetSuite’s platform and its experience is helping customers succeed.

Goldin founded Hint while trying to overcome a diet soda addiction. While it may have been sugar free, it still wasn’t healthy.

“Mine wasn’t a sugar addiction so much as a sweet addiction,” Goldin confided.

Aspiring to drink plain water instead, Goldin found it too tasteless and began experimenting with adding fruit. Unable to find a similar product on the market, Goldin started Hint and within six months it was on the shelves of Whole Foods stores nationwide.

“Early on when we decided to focus on starting this company, I wanted to focus on the right product and brand,” Goldin said. “A friend we trusted said work with NetSuite and make sure you get it right from the beginning.”

NetSuite has supported Hint’s back office processes, helping it grow to a multi-million dollar business with a goal to reach $ 1 billion. Among its benefits, NetSuite inventory management has helped Hint ensure its products are manufactured as close to point of distribution as possible, sparing the expense of shipping water across the country. The company’s online operations have now grown to 40 percent of its business, a rarity for a beverage company.

And how has Goldin managed to grow her business so fast, McGeever asked.

“Enjoy what you do every single day, otherwise the days can be long and hard,” she said. “Also, have a purpose. We never started this company to be a beverage company but be an arm to bring out products that are good for our customers.”

McGeever%20Goldin%20tight Learning From the Best: Jim McGeever, Rachel Zoe and Kara Goldin’s Top Strategies For Business GrowthHint is not alone in its growth. NetSuite customers are already outgrowing their peers across a variety of metrics, McGeever said. Last year, NetSuite customers grew revenue an average of 17 percent. Business listed on the MSCI Emerging, an index of small and midsized businesses, grew 8 percent and the S&P grew 6 percent.

Getting to the next stage of growth can be the most difficult part, McGeever warned.

“These days, it’s not hard to start a business, venture capital funding has never been higher,” he said. “It’s becoming really hard to scale a business. “

McGeever’s essential tips for growing your business 

Successfully scaling depends on a wide range of factors, McGeever said. Every business has constraints on people, time and capital. Businesses need to focus on the ones that really move needle. An early employee at NetSuite, McGeever shared some of the mistakes he’s seen and the lessons learned.

1) Going Global

Expanding globally is an imperative for growth. In fact, NetSuite customers running OneWorld grow at an average of 19 percent, McGeever said. They’re twice the size of customers not on the global platform but still grow faster.

When NetSuite first expanded internationally into the UK in 2002 and into its first non-English speaking market in Japan a few years later, it went with a different focus on products in the UK and a different go to market strategy in Japan. Neither worked.

“You have to take the core of what made you successful and do that,” McGeever said. “It’s too hard to have a different business model or focus. Take core of what made you good and then localize it.”

Cloudflare, an internet performance and security company, knew it had to be a global company from Day One, Chris Merritt, Chief Revenue Officer, said from the SuiteWorld18 stage. It now has three subsidiaries and operates in 150 cities, but that growth presented some specific challenges.

“Keeping your culture the same is one of the most difficult things about going global,” he said. “Think about something simple. If you go into a new office and have new people sitting next to new people none of them really know how to do their job.”

Cloudflare makes a concentrated effort to sit experienced people with new hires to maintain its corporate culture.

NetSuite now operates in 199 countries and today announced localized product capabilities and in-country support for businesses in Germany, France, China, Japan, Brazil and Mexico.

“We’re going local to the core,” McGeever said. “Our goal is to be more German in Germany than SAP.”

2) Break down silos

As businesses grow, they come to find they have departments that are the same size as the whole company was a few years prior. Preserving collaboration between groups is vital, McGeever said. When NetSuite launched SuiteSuccess, “it was one of the most difficult things but also probably one of the most successful things we’ve done,” McGeever said.

He assembled a team of seven people from different departments and instructed them to create a new engagement methodology that would drive time to value faster for customers. And he made it their full-time job.

“If it’s important enough to move the needle, it’s important enough to make it someone’s full time job,” he said.

NetSuite today announced 14 new editions of SuiteSuccess.

3) Focus on the right things

Growth demands focusing on the things that contribute to growth, McGeever said. For Rachel Zoe, that meant learning from mistakes.

“Process is the most important thing as you’re growing a business and defining rules within a company are vital,” she said during a sit down interview with McGeever.

That goes not just for the business, but personally.

“Know what you’re best at and not best at and empower the people around you to fill those voids,” she added. “NetSuite is making it so much better and easier for all parts of the business to be streamlined.”

NetSuite today released a host of enhancements across industries and departments to help business streamline operations and focus on the things that matter.

SuiteWorld18 is currently taking place at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas from April 23rd to 26th. Follow @NetSuite on Twitter for live updates. For more information, visit

Posted on Tue, April 24, 2018
by Barney Beal

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The NetSuite Blog

BPM LLP helps clients achieve rapid growth with NetSuite

og image BPM LLP helps clients achieve rapid growth with NetSuite

Top 50 Accounting Firm Joins NetSuite Business Process Outsourcing and Solution Provider Program

SUITEWORLD18—LAS VEGAS—April 23, 2018—To address fast-growing demand for cloud business management software, Oracle NetSuite today announced that BPM LLP, one of the largest California-based public accounting and advisory firms and a top 50 firm across the U.S., has joined the NetSuite Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Program and Solution Provider Program. Founded in 1986, BPM combines its technological expertise in financial advisory/ERP with its long history of leadership in tax assurance and advisory services to deliver NetSuite solutions that equip small and midsized organizations to achieve rapid growth.

“NetSuite’s flexible, cloud-based platform has become the choice for organizations seeking a solution that can scale with their growth, while streamlining processes and delivering real-time information for informed decisions,” said Bryan Rhody, Director of BPM’s Technology Solutions Practice. “We wanted to partner with the leading cloud ERP solution that gives us the flexibility to deliver rapid implementations and agile solutions that scale as our clients grow.”

BPM handles NetSuite financials/ERP, CRM, ecommerce, HR and PSA, with industry-specific implementations based on the NetSuite SuiteSuccess methodology. For businesses executing carve-out transactions and other M&A-related activity within the private equity/venture capital sector, BPM is developing NetSuite solutions to provide rapid implementation, accelerate value and streamline transitions. In addition, BPM implementations of NetSuite OneWorld equip fast-growing businesses with the scalability and functionality needed to expand through new subsidiaries and geographic locations far faster than would be possible with on-premises systems.

“BPM delivers a compelling combination of accounting, strategic and technology expertise to help midmarket organizations achieve their growth objectives,” said Craig West, NetSuite Vice President of Alliances and Channels. “We look forward to a close and prosperous partnership that helps joint customers capitalize on the power of cloud ERP to transform business performance.”

Designed for companies that provide Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) or Business Process as a Service (BPaaS), the NetSuite BPO program is the industry’s first and only BPO program that provides partners with a unified cloud-based ERP solution to support clients of any size ranging from small businesses and fast-growing start-ups to mid-market organizations and beyond. As a NetSuite Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) partner, BPM provides outsourced accounting and C-level strategic advisory services to clients. To learn more, please visit:

Launched in 2002, the NetSuite Solution Provider Program is the industry’s leading cloud channel partner program. The program delivers unprecedented benefits that include highly attractive margins and services that range from business planning, sales, marketing and professional services enablement, to training and education. As a NetSuite Solution Provider, BPM gains new flexibility to provide a full range of services that address diverse needs of clients in industries that include technology, financial services, fintech, life sciences, consumer goods and private equity. For more information about the NetSuite Solution Provider Program, visit

Founded in 1986, BPM is one of the largest California-based public accounting and advisory firms and ranks as one of the 50 major firms in the country. With six offices across the Bay Area – as well as offices in Oregon, Hong Kong and the Cayman Islands BPM serves emerging, mid-cap, and closely-held businesses, and high net worth individuals in a range of industries. From financial services, technology, life science and consumer business to real estate, nonprofits, wine and craft beverages, BPM is committed to the success of its clients. To learn more, please visit

About Oracle NetSuite
Oracle NetSuite pioneered the Cloud Computing revolution in 1998, establishing the world’s first company dedicated to delivering business applications over the internet. Today, it provides a suite of cloud-based financials / Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), HR and omnichannel commerce software that runs the business of companies in more than 100 countries.

For more information, please visit

Follow NetSuite’s Cloud blog, Facebook page and @NetSuite Twitter handle for real-time updates.

About Oracle
The Oracle Cloud offers complete SaaS application suites for ERP, HCM and CX, plus best-in-class database Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) from data centers throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. For more information about Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), please visit us at

Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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NetSuite's Latest Press Coverage

Zuora Takes It to the Big House

By now you’re likely familiar with the rough outlines of the story. After nearly a decade of company building, Zuora last week went public, valuing itself on the open market at roughly US$ 2 billion after gaining 43 percent on its first day of trading. Those outlines don’t reveal the importance of Zuora generally, and subscription billing systems in particular, to the rapid evolution of the subscription economy and CRM.

During Siebel’s heyday, Salesforce re-made CRM into a subscription service and stole the market. Siebel represented the last of the big on-premises enterprise software systems, and after nearly a decade of enterprise resource planning trials and tribulations, few organizations wanted much to do with another deployment that potentially could crater their business.

Hidden in the promise of what would become cloud computing — including easy installation, modification and upgrades — lurked a painful secret. With so much flexibility in the business model, running a subscription service at scale represented a major challenge.

Over the Hump

Vendor businesses adopting subscriptions had to accommodate new technology and billing models that stood for such a departure that subscription vendors almost couldn’t pull it off.

At the end of a month, small subscription companies had to marshal resources from every department to create accurate bills for customers — especially those that might have added or deleted users.

Incorrect bills didn’t get paid on time, and resources dedicated to billing weren’t available for building and maintaining products. Where billing was concerned, some subscription companies became victims of their own success.

Zuora led a revolution that changed that dynamic and enabled subscription vendors of all kinds to run their businesses with the billing function under control, which enabled subscription vendors and their unique economy to flourish.

Today, the subscription model is well understood and thriving. In addition to leasing cars and subscribing to phone services, which Zuora had less to do with, customers can subscribe to monthly deliveries of foods, clothing, software, and a good deal more.

Even hard core traditional businesses, such as earth moving, have begun selling subscriptions to moved earth rather than the bulldozers themselves.

Getting Better All the Time

Subscriptions represent a wave of commoditization and automation sweeping across all industries from the tech sector. They are a neat sidestep substituting the high cost of products for a much lower pay-as-you-go model. They are thus opening economies and expanding their addressable marketspace.

For vendors, subscriptions have made planning and forecasting easier and more reliable. Today’s subscription model might bank several years of revenue at once, only decrementing the total when it is used, typically monthly.

Terms like “annual recurring revenue” (ARR) have come into popular use. When planning the year ahead, managers must focus on ARR, customer retention, and the incremental increase needed for growth.

Finally, subscriptions, the data they generate, and the systems used to manage it, also have been a big part of rapidly improving customer outreach.

You can say what you want about analytics, machine learning, and multichannel connections in the sales and service processes for which CRM is justly famous. However, it’s also true that the attention we’ve all had to pay to monthly customer churn and attrition due to billing systems has spurred the development of CRM systems that make vendors better.

My Take

Zuora’s IPO is important for its own sake. Founders and venture capitalists have reaped justifiable rewards for a decade of hard work and risk taking. It’s not hyperbolic to say that without subscription billing, the world of CRM would be different, and so would our consumer society.

What’s next is interesting. Beyond organic growth, as the market for subscription services continues to expand, there are new areas and industries that will make use of subscriptions. Perhaps the greatest emerging area is the Internet of Things, or IoT. Conducting business in the IoT requires razor-thin margins, which means that human mediation of complex processes must be kept to an absolute minimum.

Today machines talk to machines, ordering supply replenishment and other things that effectively conduct business and make purchases without people. This trend will continue and expand, and we will find that all the learning from the early days of the subscription economy will come in handy as we grapple with marketplaces that contain more machines than humans.
end enn Zuora Takes It to the Big House

Denis%20Pombriant Zuora Takes It to the Big HouseDenis Pombriant is a well-known CRM industry researcher, strategist, writer and speaker. His new book, You Can’t Buy Customer Loyalty, But You Can Earn It, is now available on Amazon. His 2015 book, Solve for the Customer, is also available there.
Email Denis.

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CRM Buyer

Demonstrating Dynamics 365 Web Portals

Self-service Dynamics 365 web portals extends CRM reach enabling customers to log issues, find solutions and update information online.

Each web portal is housed, maintained and integrated with D365. Entitlement to deploy a Dynamics 365 web portal is available at no additional cost for every customer with 5 or more full user licences.

Preact has successfully helped many of our customers take advantage of this entitlement by implementing portal as a fixed price service.

If you aren’t already benefiting from this entitlement to create a new service channel, why not join our free webinar on 17 May to see a live demonstration of Dynamics 365 web portals?

We’ll discuss how end-users can access self-service portals to create cases, access knowledge posts and post web forms that write data back to Microsoft Dynamics 365.

In this session, we’ll cover:

  • An introduction to Dynamics 365 web portals
  • Overview of portal templates & functions
  • Demonstrating customer web portal
  • How portals integrate with CRM
  • Customising & managing portals
  • Q&A

[WEBINAR] Demonstrating Microsoft Dynamics 365 Web Portals – REGISTER NOW

  • When: Thursday 17th May at 2:00 PM (BST)
  • Duration: 45 minutes including Q&A
  • Cost: Free (limited places available)

As part of our work to deploy a Dynamics 365 web portal at a fixed price this will include: customizing the portal to reflect business branding and logos, setting up security roles, configuring D365 cases integration, displaying custom entities, configuring integrated knowledge, enabling portal users to update data and configuring portal forum.

Join this online event to learn more about how Dynamics 365 help businesses increase service quality and customer satisfaction.

About Preact

Preact is a Microsoft Gold Partner implementing and supporting CRM solutions since 1993.

Check our blog for more information about Microsoft Dynamics 365 and CRM.

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CRM Software Blog | Dynamics 365

Hybrid Messaging Key to Upselling Success: Report

Companies that aim to upsell their existing customers should develop a hybrid message that reinforces their existing relationships while providing an incentive to break the status quo, suggests
a new study commissioned by
Corporate Visions.

The study was conducted by Nick Lee, a professor at Warwick Business School, in partnership with the International Journal of Sales Transformation.

Corporate Visions previously has commissioned studies on how to shake prospective customers’ status quo bias to persuade them to consider your products or services, noted Tim Riesterer, chief strategy and research officer at the company.

The firm also has explored how to encourage existing customers to renew their relationships, which requires reinforcement of their bias toward the status quo, he noted.

“The latest round of research shows that the upsell dialogue is different, yet requires some of each from these two message types,” Riesterer told CRM Buyer. “There’s most importantly a relationship or partnership reinforcement aspect to the message, but there’s also some provocation involved with getting existing customers to make the change to upgraded solutions.”

Not Quite There

Upselling to existing customers was “important” or “very important” to their ability generate more revenue, said 87 percent of the participants in a recent Corporate Visions survey. Only 60 percent were satisfied with how many customers they were able to sway and how fast they could convert them.

A winning message, according to the report, centers around five pillars:

  • Document results
  • Highlight evolving pressures
  • Share hard truths
  • Explain risks of no change
  • Showcase upside opportunities

“The best upsell message — as validated by our research — employs some components of a customer retention story, that it looks to affirm and solidify the partnership by documenting the success to date, and identifying the deep relationships that have been estalished,” Riesterer said.

“This provides the positive, relational foundation for sharing evolving pressures and hard truths that are creating the need to evolve, as well as identifying the risks associated with not making a change,” he explained.

These types of messages are environment neutral and would be effective both in a traditional people-to-people selling environment and an e-commerce transactional environment, noted Riesterer.

The study did not involve live salespeople, he pointed out. The participants simply responded to a variety of messages. The study participants included 426 individuals placed in hypothetical business-to-business decision-making scenarios.

Relationship Building

The ability to drive sales to existing customers is critical, because of the difficulty in constantly having to build relationships with new prospects.

“It’s always less expensive to serve existing customers than acquire new ones,” noted Paula Rosenblum, manager partner at RSR Research.

“That’s a pretty standard rule of thumb in just about any industry,” she told CRM Buyer.

It can be up to 25 times more costly for a company to acquire a new customer than to sell to an existing one, based on earlier research from Harvard and Bain, noted Cindy Zhou, principal analyst for digital marketing transformation at Constellation Research.

“Existing customers are familiar with the company’s brand, [have built] relationships, and have the process in place to continue to do business,” she told CRM Buyer.

“The key is to build and demonstrate value to the customer, providing them with a reason to continue to work with the company,” Zhou said, adding that upselling a product has to fit the customer’s need.
end enn Hybrid Messaging Key to Upselling Success: Report

David Jones has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2015. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, e-commerce, open source, gaming, artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles. He has written for numerous media outlets, including Reuters, Bloomberg, Crain’s New York Business and The New York Times. Email David.

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CRM Buyer



MBO, CPQ, CRM. Salespeople L.O.V.E. acronyms!

That’s probably because we know time is short. But when an organization truly needs to save time and speed throughput, it automates as much as possible.

And nowhere is automation more critical or more impactful than in the sales proposal process. Enter configure, price, quote; a.k.a., CPQ.

A fully automated CPQ solution integrated with your Dynamics CRM (ideally, via single sign-on) can:

  • Allow sales reps to deliver more compelling proposals more quickly
  • Ensure uniformity in the look and feel  of quotes presented to clients
  • Empower management to track quotes the same way they can track calls in Dynamics

Here are five basic benefits of rolling CPQ into your CRM – benefits that speed throughput, drive new revenue, and deliver quantifiable ROI for any and all Dynamics users.

1: Make the most of existing CRM skill sets

When you integrate a CPQ solution into your Dynamics solution, you’re not asking staff to start from scratch, but simply putting a new tool in their tool box.

Sales proposal automation is not a new system, per se, but a next step in an existing system. That is,when you integrate CPQ with CRM, you’re not asking salespeople to learn how to drive — they know how; you’re simply helping them drive faster (and with fewer accidents to boot).

2: Sales reps in lockstep

Automating proposals means streamlining how your proposals read and look, and — most importantly — ensuring every rep is in lockstep, using the same tools and processes.

An automated, integrated sales proposal tool allows you to more easily measure and track the effectiveness of each quote, and can be extremely useful for  helping new hires get up to speed quickly. As anyone in sales can tell you, high turnover is standard. So while Monday’s rep may not necessarily be Friday’s rep, an automated, a unified proposal platform can help ensure a seamless experience for customers every day of the week.

3: Clearer communication between marketing and sales: dare to dream

Marketing: “Why aren’t you closing the leads we’re giving you?”

Sales: “The leads you give us stink.”

CPQ won’t entirely solve this challenge, but the consistency it delivers to your proposal process can eliminate a lot of the guesswork as you can track a prospect from proposal to customer.

And connecting closed prospects back to their source can help make the daily conversation a little more like this:

Sales: “The leads you gave us from campaign X resulted in 20% more proposals and 10% more new business.”

Marketing: “Great! We’ll increase the spend on that campaign and hit ‘em again!”

4: It’s about (wait for it…) TIMING

The second a sales proposal is sent, the clock is ticking. Maybe the price in it  is only good for a month… maybe the person who needs to sign is only available for the next week… maybe the end of the quarter is 10 days away and a bonus hangs in the balance.

The reasons for timeliness in your proposal process are endless, but the way to ensure deadlines are met is singular: CPQ. With an automated sales proposal solution fully integrated into your CRM, missed opportunities can become a thing of the past. You won’t skip a step or miss a deadline… because the system won’t let you.

5: The more you know…

How many proposals does a salesperson deliver in the average month? How long does it take to put a proposal in a prospect’s hands? How long does it take a rep to move a prospect from proposal to won/lost once a proposal has been sent? How long should it take?

The reporting in your CPQ system can give you these answers and more. And knowing the answers to these questions will help you find areas for improvement, and not just in sales proposals, but in your organization.

Because if everyone in your group is pushing through a dozen proposals a month, but Fred seems to only push through five, maybe the issue isn’t the quality of the leads, but the quality of Fred. That Fred…

Want to see how iQuoteXpress can work with your Dynamics system? Contact us.

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CRM Software Blog | Dynamics 365

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing vs ClickDimensions

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing vs ClickDimensions, an initial comparison. Microsoft has released their Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing module, this article is an initial review of the module and high-level comparison to ClickDimensions (the other mainstream marketing automation option for Dynamics 365).

Availability – There are a few different subscription options for the Marketing module. Let’s first compare the pricing models between Dynamics Marketing and ClickDimensions.

Dynamics Marketing is priced based on the number of contacts. There has been a lot of um let’s say feedback on this model. As a partner we work with many Dynamics 365 clients, we see even small businesses that have lots of leads/contacts in their Dynamics database. Often times there is a large number of leads/contacts that will never be marketed to, under Microsoft’s pricing model you are paying for these leads/contacts even if you don’t market to them. The upside to Microsoft’s pricing is that there are no upcharges for functionality, you get all the goodies with any subscription level.

ClickDimensions has two pricing/subscription levels, Basic and Advanced/Business, different levels of functionality. Also, the levels include certain numbers of email sends, Basic includes 50,000/year and 200,000 with Advanced/Business. An email send is each copy of an email you send, for example, if you have the contact Bob Smith in your database and you send 4 different email campaigns that include Bob that is 4 email sends. Basic is priced at $ 499/month, Advanced/Business is $ 699 per month. You can purchase additional email sends ($ 100 for 100,000, $ 200 for 200,000 etc.)

The Advanced/Business subscription level adds functionality – Automation, Landing Pages, Lead/Contact Scoring, Event Management, Surveys and Subscription Management. For a fair comparison with Dynamics Marketing you should use the ClickDimensions Advanced/Business subscription level.

ClickDimensions also offers Social Engagement that is an add-on, $ 250/month for Basic and $ 600/month for Business. Microsoft includes their Social Engagement tool in the base price of Dynamics Marketing. The Social components of each solution are different so look at each closely to determine which solution meets your Social needs.

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Pricing/Packaging

Standalone – The Marketing module is offered as a standalone option. This is a differentiator, ClickDimensions is only available as an add-on to Dynamics 365. The standalone marketing module also includes Microsoft Social Engagement, Voice of the Customer for Microsoft Dynamics 365, 1 Portal, Non-Production/Production Instance, and Storage. Pricing is $ 1500 for the base package with 10,000 contacts. You can add more contacts for $ 250/month for 5000 contacts.

“Attach” Plan – If you already have Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement plan licenses you can attach Dynamics Marketing to your subscription for $ 750/month, 2000 contacts included. Additional contacts cost $ 600 for 1st 8000, then $ 250 for each additional 5000. If you already have Dynamics 365 application licenses (like Sales Enterprise vs the full Customer Engagement Plan licensing) you can attach Marketing for $ 750/month, includes 10,000 contacts and $ 250/month for each additional 5000 contacts.

If you license the Marketing module standalone you get Microsoft Social Engagement, Voice of the Customer for Microsoft Dynamics 365, 1 Portal, Non-Production/Production Instance, and Storage. If you are a Customer Engagement Plan customer you get portals, Social Engagement with your Customer Engagement subscription. If you have the Sales app. licenses you don’t get Social or Voice of the Customer, they can be added on to your subscription.

Dynamics Marketing limits the number of emails you can send monthly, 10 times the number of contacts in your database each month. You can also have up to 100 active customer journeys.

To truly compare pricing you will need to know the number of leads/contacts in your database and the number of emails you plan to send annually.

Confused? We can help you determine the proper solution and subscription level.

Functional Differences

ClickDimensions leverages standard Dynamics 365 functionality (Marketing Lists for example). ClickDimensions looks and feels like any other area of Dynamics 365.

Dynamics 365 Marketing is deployed in the new Unified Client (if you try to access the functionality via the standard browser interface you will be confused as all the functionality is not there(at least not that we could see). There is no clear instruction on this, to access the Marketing functionality log into your portal –, click on Dynamics 365, then find the tile for Marketing, this will get you to the unified client.

MDM Capabilities 625x327 Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing vs ClickDimensions

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Capabilities

ClickDimensions Capabilities 625x555 Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing vs ClickDimensions

ClickDimensions Capabilities

I have used Microsoft CRM/Dynamics 365 for over 14 years, the Marketing module is different. Yes, it looks very new and fresh but that comes with a learning curve. When I first logged into the Marketing tool I could not easily perform simple tasks (like building a segment, more on that later). I had to revert to the documentation.

Things are different and the standard Dynamics 365 entities are not used in some areas. For example, Marketing Lists. If you have put a lot of time and effort into building Marketing Lists and try to use them in Dynamics Marketing you will likely be upset as you cannot use them unless they are set as a “subscription list” (not that we could see anyway). Here comes the new “fresh” functionality… lists in Dynamics Marketing are called Segments. Ok, no problem I go over to the Segments. You would think that Segments are built using Advanced Find right? Nope… whole new system for querying and adding Leads/Contacts to a segment. Again if you spent a lot of time and effort building Advanced Find queries you cannot use them (again not that we could find). Going to a Segment and then clicking on Definition will let you build a segment:

MDM Segment Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing vs ClickDimensions

Dynamics Marketing Segment

You can build your query one of 3 ways, Designer (point and click), Flow or Query. I cannot understand why the standard entities like Marketing Lists and Advanced finds are not used. Now users need to learn multiple ways of querying.

ALSO – I found the Marketing module not to work with Microsoft Edge…. I had to open it in Google Chrome.

You cannot just pull together a list and send an email, you must build a Journey even for one-off emails. The Journey functionality is nice and I think will ultimately prove to be a good tool. ClickDimensions has very similar functionality in their campaign automation (very similar UI for building Journeys/campaign automation).

MDM Journey Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing vs ClickDimensions

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing Journey

Pages, Forms and Websites are pretty nice in Dynamics 365 Marketing. Very visual and drag/drop based editing. LinkedIn lead generation is also built-in allowing you to create forms on LinkedIn to collect leads. There are some advantages in these areas over ClickDimensions in our opinion.

Reporting in Dynamics Marketing is good with some builtin dashboards. There is a PowerBI content pack also available however we could not get it to connect to our Dynamics Marketing instance. ClickDimensions also has builtin dashboards available as well as a PowerBI content pack, builtin views.

MDM Dashboard Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing vs ClickDimensions

Microsoft Dynamics Marketing Dashboard

All-in-all we are impressed with the Microsoft Marketing offering, especially for a V1 release. I like that it is available as a standalone application for businesses that are not ready for full CRM or just need a marketing application. I am not thrilled about the pricing model (based on leads/contacts), that will limit sales in a lot of accounts who are smaller but with large databases.

I admit I am biased having used ClickDimensions for a lot of years. I try not to let that sway my opinions. I am a Microsoft and Dynamics 365 evangelist, I love what Microsoft is doing with the Dynamics 365 platform but our job and first loyalty is to our clients and to help guide them to the best solution for their needs/requirements. From where I sit today we will need to spend more time with the new Marketing module and will be writing additional reviews on the solution.

If you would like guidance on selecting the best marketing automation platform for your business, a demo of Dynamics Marketing or ClickDimensions please reach out to us – 844.8.STRAVA (844.8.7282) or email me at [email protected]

About the Author: David Buggy is a veteran of the CRM industry with 18 years of experience helping businesses transform by leveraging Customer Relationship Management technology. He has over 14 years experience with Microsoft CRM and has helped hundreds of businesses plan, implement and support CRM initiatives. In 2017 he founded Strava Technology Group, a firm that is focused on helping businesses achieve success with Microsoft CRM and Dynamics 365. To reach David connect with him on LinkedIn. To learn more about Strava Technology Group visit

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CRM Software Blog | Dynamics 365

Here’s How to Give Back at SuiteWorld

Posted by Morgan St. Clair, Oracle NetSuite Social Impact Communications Manager

The Oracle NetSuite SuiteWorld conference isn’t just about growing your business. It’s also about giving back to our community. Here are two ways to give back at this year’s annual conference.

HackathonBlog one Here’s How to Give Back at SuiteWorld

Hackathon 4Good

Hosted by Oracle NetSuite Social Impact, the 5th annual Hackathon 4Good on April 23rd in Las Vegas brings together more than 100 developers, customers and partners to develop innovative prototypes to address the challenges posed by nonprofit customers Abilities Centre and Girl Scouts of the USA. Teams will present their challenges to a panel of judges at the end of the day and compete for prizes.

“These may be the most interesting and evocative challenges we’ve ever had at the Hackathon 4Good,” said Peggy Duvette, Senior Director of Oracle NetSuite Social Impact.

The two participating organizations are enthusiastic about how NetSuite could be further “hacked” to address their unique uses.

“To be innovative as a charitable organization means finding fresh and collaborative approaches that increase our effectiveness. We’re thrilled to be a part of this year’s Hackathon 4Good,” said Matthew Shaw, Director of Revenue Development of the Abilities Centre, a community hub based in Ontario, Canada that delivers programs to enrich the quality of life and citizenship for people of all ages and abilities.

At the Girl Scouts of America, anticipation for Hackathon 4Good is building up.

“We attempted to create a challenge that truly challenges the contesting teams and results in interesting solutions,” explained Steve Welner, NetSuite Administer at Girl Scouts of USA.

Write a Card, Send a Smile

SuiteWorld attendees will be encouraged to stop by the nonprofit booth and participate in a charitable activity for Alex’s Lemonade Stand, a national childhood cancer foundation.

Attendees can take a break from the hustle and bustle of SuiteWorld to write notes to children living with cancer and learn about how the organization is changing the lives of children with cancer through impactful research and awareness.


While at Alex’s Lemonade Stand on the expo floor, attendees will have the opportunity to post about the booth to social media with the hashtags #GiveBack2Alex and #SuiteWorld18. If we reach our goal of 3,000 social media shares, NetSuite will donate $ 10,000 to Alex’s Lemonade Stand.

NetSuite is cloud accounting software for nonprofits of all sizes. Oracle NetSuite Social Impact offers software donations to eligible nonprofits of all sizes regardless of ability to pay. Key benefits include improved financial transparency, simplified reporting and compliance, and increased constituent stewardship.

To learn more about Oracle NetSuite Social Impact, check out our website or email

Posted on Thu, April 19, 2018
by NetSuite filed under

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Setup Inactivity Timeout in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Online

In Microsoft Dynamics 365 online, we have the option to set up an inactivity timeout, which automatically logs the user out of CRM after a certain period of time. The setup process is quite easy and in this blog, I will go through the steps to make such changes.

  1. In Dynamics 365 online instance, go to Settings → Administration → System Settings. Then click on General tab.
  2. Under the section Set inactivity timeout, we need to set “Enable session timeout due to inactivity” to Yes. This will allow us to set the duration of inactivity and how long before the warning is shown to the user.
  3. In my case, I wanted the user’s session to expire after 6 minutes of inactivity, and show a warning 4 minutes of inactivity. We have the option to set the values between 1 and 1440 for both fields.

    image thumb 2 Setup Inactivity Timeout in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Online
  4. Then click on OK once the changes have been made.

Following screenshot shows what a user can expect to see upon being inactive.

image thumb 1 Setup Inactivity Timeout in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Online

Note: Only users with the System Administrator security role can make these changes.

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Capturing Signatures in Dynamics 365

Capturing Signatures 300x225 Capturing Signatures in Dynamics 365

In our increasingly digital world it is important for businesses to have the ability to capture signatures without relying on printed documents. To make the signature process a breeze, Dynamics 365 allows for signatures to be captured on the spot with the Dynamics 365 for Phones and Tablets App. Today’s blog will teach you how to enable signatures in Dynamics 365 in addition to capturing signatures in the Dynamics 365 for Phones and Tablets app.

Part 1: Creating a Signature Field and Capturing Signatures

Creating a Signature Fields

First things first, we need to create a “Multiple Lines of Text” field. Multiple Lines of Text is the only type of field that allows for capturing signatures, and the number of characters should be modified to hold 15,000 characters. Without this high number of characters, the signature block will likely exceed the maximum character length of the field.

In this example, we have created a Multiple Lines of Text field named ‘Client Signature’ in the Contact entity and will be placing it on the Main Contact form as well as the Main Contact for Interactive Experience form. The Main Contact form refers to the main form users will see on the Web interface, while the Main Contact for Interactive Experience form refers to the form users will use on the Dynamics 365 for Phones and Tablets app.

A word of advice, make sure you have written down or remember the Schema Name of the field you have just created, in this case “po_clientsignature”, as this will be important for displaying the signature in the web interface on Part 2 of this blog.

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Navigate to both form editors where you want the signature field to be placed and drop the field in the desired location on both forms. Signature blocks usually play nicely with a wider section if possible.

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Once the field is placed in the desired location, we will want to enable Pen Control for the signature field located on the Main Contact for Interactive Experience form (or other mobile form you may be using).

To do this, first highlight the signature field and click on ‘Change Properties’ in the Home section of the ribbon, then click on the Controls tab on the far right of the Field Properties popup. Pen Control should be an available option to select and add click Add Control.

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Once added, enable Pen Control for Web, Phone, and Tablet by clicking on the radio buttons located next to Pen Control, and don’t forget to save and publish your changes.

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At this point, it should be noted that capturing signatures can only be done through the mobile interfaces including Phone and Tablet, but not the Web interface. When no signature has been captured, the Web interface will show a blank text field that could be typed in (which users should not do), but when a previously captured signature exists, the web interface will display the signature using base64 encoded format. In other words, the field on the Web interface will look like a long set of random characters but is a format that JavaScript can easily read and display. This means the Web interface can be customized to display the signature if desired. This process will be addressed in step 2 of this blog.

Capturing Signatures with The Dynamics 365 for Phones and Tablets App

Head on over to your phone or tablet, and if you haven’t already, download the Dynamics 365 for Phones and Tablets App. If this is your first time in the app you will have to configure it to connect to your Dynamics 365 environment first, then click on the appropriate hub.

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When you have properly accessed the Dynamics 365 mobile environment, navigate to the entity on which your signature field is located. In this example, our signature field is located on the Contacts entity. Create a new contact or select an existing contact and scroll down to the signature block where you should see a signature line with the field label on the left.

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Ready. Get Set. Sign!

Signature20video Capturing Signatures in Dynamics 365

Deleting an Existing Signature

We aren’t quite done just yet. By now you have likely noticed the clear button and circle checkmark icons that appear underneath the signature line after signing. The clear button will do just that, clear the signature to start fresh. The checkmark icon will save the signature. Once the signature is saved, it cannot be deleted or edited on the mobile device. In the rare occurrence that a signature needs to be removed (usually you should never delete signatures), this must be done by using the Web interface to delete the text string displayed in base64 format.

Part 2: Displaying the Signature Image on the Web Interface

Part 2 of this blog involves a slightly more technical component by utilizing a web resource to show the captured signature on the Web interface and involves HTML and JavaScript. If you have some understanding of HTML and JavaScript, this should be a breeze!

HTML and JavaScript

The first step in displaying the signature is to create an HTML file that uses JavaScript to take the base64 text string in the signature block and apply it to an image tag in the HTML. Go ahead and open up a text editor. Below you will see the HTML in both text and image format so you can copy and paste the HTML, but still see what it looks like inside the editor with some visual aids.

 Capturing Signatures in Dynamics 365

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We won’t go over all the details of what the HTML and JavaScript are doing, but there are a couple parts that may need to be adjusted to fit your specific setup. First, on line 13 with the yellow line, the variable named ‘clientSignature’ is being set to the value of the signature block field we created in Part 1 of the blog. Remember when it was mentioned you should write down or remember the field’s Schema Name? This is where we use it again and in our case, is ‘po_clientsignature’.

Second, notice lines 9 and 14 that are highlighted by the purple accents. All that needs to be said here is that the HTML tag ID should match the getElementByID script, in this case named ‘displayClientSignature’.

Make sure to save the file as an HTML filetype where it will be used as a web resource in the next step. My HTML file is saved as ‘customerSignatureDisplay.html’.

Web Resource

To create a web resource, navigate to the form where the signature block field will be display on the Web interface and click the Insert tab at the top of the page.

In the Web Resource Properties popup, click on the search icon for the field titled web resource, then click on Look up More Records.

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On the ‘Lookup Record’ popup click the New button found in the bottom left.

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You should now be able to create the Web Resource by naming it, giving the web resource a description (always good practice), and selecting HTML as the Web Resource ‘Type’.

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Click on the file selector and select the HTML file you just created in the previous step. Make sure to Save and Publish before closing the web resource window and add the resource in the ‘Lookup Record’ window that should have still been available in the background.

Finally, we need to finish the Web Resources Properties window. Do this by filling in the required fields inside the Web Resource Properties window in the General tab, then navigate to the Formatting tab to adjust the size of the web resource window on the form.

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We have selected nine rows for the ‘Number of Rows’ field and checked the ‘Automatically Expand to Use Available Space’ checkbox. Finally, make sure you select NEVER on the ‘Scrolling’ field so the user will always see the entire signature block.

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The formatting settings you end up using will vary based on your form’s layout and setup and you might need to play around a bit to get it right. After everything looks good, click the OK button. At this point the web resource is ready to rock. Just place it where you want on the form, save, and publish the form.

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Check Your Work

Using the Web interface of your Dynamics 365 environment, head over to the record that you signed in the signature field in part 1. Voila! You should see an identical signature displayed just like the signature taken on the mobile device!

Keep in mind this signature cannot be captured inside the Web interface nor can it be manipulated via the image. It should also be mentioned that there is little reason to have the actual signature field on the Web interface form and the only reason it has been display here is for demonstration purposes. Normally this field would be hidden as to make sure signatures were not accidentally deleted by Dynamics 365 users.

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There you have it, digital signatures right inside Dynamics 365! Having been initially released on CRM 2016, Dynamics 365 online truly makes the signature feature shine where your data is accessible anywhere, at any time.

Well that does it. Signing off for tonight here at PowerObjects, this is Joe D365. And remember, for more Dynamics 365 tips and tricks, be sure to keep checking our blog!

Happy Dynamics 365’ing!

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