Category Archives: Microsoft Dynamics CRM
At PowerObjects, we’ve built an integrated solution that enables housing associations to reduce the total cost of ownership of their core business technology, while at the same time, improve the level of customer service and the operational efficiency within the organization. In today’s episode of The CRM Minute, hear from Greg about our integrated housing solution and the top reasons housing associations should be investing in Microsoft Dynamics 365.
Working with a partner like PowerObjects gives you the edge to deliver the cutting edge technology into housing that really drive innovative customer experiences. Want to learn more? Make sure you sign up to join Greg for his webinar on April 25, Dynamics 365 for Housing: Innovation and Service Optimisation, which will feature a LIVE demo of the solution in action.
Thanks for watching, The CRM Minute!
Do you have 40 seconds to spare for your favorite CRM blog? Voting for Discover CRM’s CRM Writers’ Awards 2017 is closing on April 23! We are super excited to have been nominated under the Best Vendor Blog category. If you have found value in the wise words of good ol’ Joe CRM through PowerObjects’ daily blog, please vote for us!
To vote, click here!
There are four categories to vote for and the PowerObjects blog is listed in the first category. Simply choose your favorite entry in each category, and click submit. Discover CRM has also included links to work by all of the nominated entries to help you decide who to vote for in categories where you may not be familiar.
Winners will be decided by a mixture of judges’ decision and public voting. Voting closes on Sunday, April 23. Winners to be announced on Monday, April 24. Gold, silver and bronze prizes are available in each category.
Discover CRM started this competition to “recognize the brightest, most switched on bloggers, writers and journalists working in the CRM industry.” The four categories that this year’s awards cover include, Best vendor blog (that’s us!!), Best independent blog, Best writer, and Best article.
Thank you for being part of the PowerObjects family. We love writing for you!
Most organizations want to present a corporate image when they communicate externally, so that all their communications are instantly recognized. The most common documents are quotes, orders, invoices, and service agreements. These documents are designed with Microsoft Word, and Emailed as PDF attachment to clients.
With Dynamics Docs and Dynamics PDF-Docs, CRM users can create impressive Word Templates and insert fields from CRM entities and related entities. With one click of a button the document is PDF and attached to Email or the record’s Note. This process can be scheduled with CRM Workflow, which will create the PDF file and attach it to an Email.
Think again: can you survive without PDF-Docs?
Image of 3 pages invoice converted to PDF:
The latest version of PowerWebForm has been enhanced to include a double opt-in option for web form entries. This blog will walk you through what double opt-in means, the benefits it offers your company and how you can implement double opt-in with ease using PowerWebForm and Dynamics 365.
To start, let’s break down the different opt-in options. When individuals are on your website and fill out a web form to subscribe to your newsletter or download the latest webinar on demand that is considered a single opt-in. With single opt-in, as soon as an individual fills out a web form they are immediately added to a marketing list. This means no validation checks are in place to make sure the email address was entered correctly, without any typos or extra spacing. There are some serious disadvantages to single opt-ins, including polluting your marketing lists in CRM with bad data and the increase of spam complaints from unwilling subscribers.
Double opt-in prevents these issues from happening by sending a confirmation email, immediately after a web form is submitted to potentials subscribers. The email includes an embedded URL link that must be clicked on in order for the individual to opt-in and agree to receive future digital communications. As a result, marketing lists that use double opt-in tend to have better engagement rates over time- Who doesn’t love that?
Double Opt-In Process:
Not only does having a double opt-in process in place keep your marketing lists clean, in some countries, it’s the law. The Canadian Anti-Spam Law (CASL) has forced many companies to make sure they are compliant with the new standards, including having proof of double opt-ins. With any sort of bulk emailing your company is doing, it’s always best practice to have individual opt-in to receive your emails, to ensure you are complying with anti-spam laws and so that your emails have a higher deliverability rate.
Now that we understand the importance of double opt-in, check out how to apply it to your web forms with PowerWebForm!
To require double opt- in on your web forms using PowerWebForm, start by navigating to the PowerPack section of your CRM and select PowerWebForm. Whether you are creating a new web form or updating an existing one, you will see “Opt-In Selection” as a field type under the General tab on the web form. To apply the double opt-in process on the specific web form, simply select yes.
The next step is to sit back and watch PowerWebForm do the work for you! If “Opt-In Selection” is set to yes, once a web form is submitted a double opt-in record is created in CRM, which fires off a pre-configured workflow that generates and embeds a unique URL link into a confirmation email. This email is then sent to the address that was entered in the email address field on the submitted web form.
When the URL link has been clicked on and the subscriber, agrees to receive future communications from your company the opt-in will be verified and the record will be updated in CRM. If a contact or lead chooses to opt-out of receiving future emails, the workflow will stop.
Apply Double Opt-In to your web forms using PowerWebForm today! For additional information on PowerWebForm and how to implement double opt-in on your next web form check out the PowerWebForm user guide. Not a PowerWebForm subscriber? Download your free 30 day trial of PowerWebForm to get started.
With the merger of ERP and CRM systems, we have seen technology make significant moves utilizing an app-centric model.
Before considering any change or upgrade in outdated technology with recent, cutting-edge solutions, it’s important to educate yourself on all of your options. All business technology is not the same and Dynamics 365 encompasses features that distinguish it from other popular technology. We have created a webinar series that delivers a deep dive into Dynamics 365 functions, features, costs and benefits. You will be exposed to information that you need to know and be able to see its capabilities in action as you compare your options to decide if upgrading to Microsoft Dynamics 365 is the right decision at this time for your company.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Deep Dive Series – Part 1
One thing that makes this app model unique is the licensing options offered within Microsoft Dynamics 365. Employees may only need access to certain apps and particular sets of data. You have three options for licensing Microsoft Dynamics 365:
1. By the app: License individual apps to be used by key staff. Purchase only what your business needs now and add as your business grows.
2. By the plan: Provide full access to all apps for less than purchasing each app individually.
3. Team Members: Take advantage of Team Member licensing at a significantly reduced cost. Great for ‘light’ users who simply need access for light tasks
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Deep Dive Series – Part 2
- Relationship insights
- Outlook enhancements
- Editable Grids
- Mobile Improvements
- App Modules
- Learning Paths
- Power BI
- Machine Learning, AML, and Artificial Intelligence
These, along with other options, deliver a competitive advantage taking you from mere information gathering to powerful data analysis. You will look at the data being generated through operations and customer interactions through new eyes. You will be able to transform that data into new understanding so that you work more efficiently, anticipate customer’s changing needs and project future operational or customer trends.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Deep Dive Series – Part 3
Connect to a growing network of data sources and services utilizing PowerApps. This includes Office 365, OneDrive, SharePoint and more. Utilize visual designer to create mobile apps that use cameras, bar code reader, GPS, and pen capabilities. Make it easier to create automatic workflows across applications and services using Microsoft Flow. Establish workflows for notifications, synchronize your files, capture key data or other common tasks. There are endless possibilities and, at the end of the day, your people will have an easier way to do their jobs, which increases productivity across your organization.
Microsoft Dynamics 365: Is it right for your business?
Check out this multi-part webinar series to get to know your options with Dynamics 365. And stay tuned for more:
Want to discuss your upgrade options?
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 introduced a handy feature which allows you to add subcomponents (or entity assets) to a solution. This means you can strip down your solutions to only include the subcomponents you need.
I recently needed to remove fields from a solution because no changes were made to those fields. I attempted to select multiple fields and use the Remove Component button but encountered the following warning:
It made sense to me that “same type” referred to the Type column in the screenshot above, i.e. the data type of the field. I tried to select multiple Single Line of Text fields and remove them in bulk but encountered the same warning.
It turns out that Type refers to custom fields vs system fields. This means that you can only remove fields in bulk if all the selected fields are custom fields or all the selected fields are system fields, but not a combination of both.
With the upgrade to Dynamics 365, Microsoft has doubled the basic data storage included with your subscription. Previously, Dynamics CRM Online Subscriptions came with a basic 5 GB that you could use across all instances, including production instances and sandboxes. That 5 GB could be used up pretty quickly and we helped clients to maximize their storage usage in many different ways. With Dynamics 365 CRM, the default storage limit was increased to 10GB across all instances within a tenant. In addition, Organizations can add more storage to their organization in 2 ways – They can purchase additional storage from the Office 365 portal at an additional cost per month. Today that cost is $ 9.95 per GB per month. The second way to increase Dynamics 365 is to add additional Storage – An additional 5 GB of storage is added for every 20 full user licenses. There is no limit to additional free storage (previously this was limited to 50 GB) up to the technical limit of 5 TB.
The Data Hogs
While 10 GB of storage seems like a lot of data at first, over the years that data will be consumed, sometime way faster than might be expected. We have identified several Data hogs that should be monitored
One of these factors is Auditing. Lots of companies turn on auditing for the entire CRM instance without thinking of the ramifications of Audit Logs. If auditing is turned on for too many CRM entities, the size of the audit logs quickly become very large. If you choose to use Auditing, then plan to audit only the most relevant entities and keep an eye on those audit logs.
Another factor leading to over usage of data is Workflows – Workflows lead to several situations – An incorrectly created workflow can result in thousands of workflows in a suspended state. These suspended workflows take up lots of storage as well as slowing your CRM system down. Also logs full of completed workflows can take up lots of data that can be recovered. .
However the leading factor that causes data usage is Attachments – both email attachments and attachments to notes – While we like to encourage users to attach their relevant emails into CRM, attaching too may emails with large attachments can quickly eat up the available storage. Monitoring large attachments and
What happens when you use too much storage?
When your system consumes 80% of available storage, System Administrators will begin to receive frequent email notifications as well as nag screens when they access CRM. I have never found a way to shut these off and they do become annoying. The only cure is to reduce the storage used below 80% or purchase additional storage through the
So how do I reduce my database usage?
In our next blog we will talk through several tools and strategies for minimizing and controlling data usage. In the meantime, if you have any questions on managing your storage or licensing Dynamics 365, call our sales team at 1844-264-0729. We love helping You to make the best usage of your CRM system.
Workflows are the cornerstone of process automation in Dynamics 365. They are powerful, easy to use, and are shockingly flexible. Workflows streamline work, allowing your employees to spend more time doing the work you’ve hired them for, and less time clicking around an application.
For instance, say you have leads coming in from a webform that are then assigned to individual reps, and the first thing you want your reps to do is make a phone call. With Workflows, it’s easy to autogenerate a phone call record so that when the rep logs in, they can just grab the phone call right away.
Wonderful! And let’s take a look at that phone call, just to make sure that everything is in order…
Alright, let’s go ahead and set a Lead to status new and fire out our workflow!
So what happened? Why won’t the workflow fire?
Phone calls are very particular about how they are set up, with specific fields needing specific values put into them. “Invalid Party Object Type 9” means that one of those fields is getting a Team rather than an acceptable value. So let’s take a closer look at how we set up that phone call record.
Ah ha! When leads are coming in, they are owned by a Team, and when this workflow is activated, the team still owns the record. But teams cannot make phone calls! So what can we do about this? There are two easy solutions. The first is procedural – set the workflow to fire only after you assign records. But there’s a second, more automated way. Change the workflow so that it only populates the “Call From” field if the owner of the lead is a user!
And just like that, the automation works and your reps get their first phone call generated without a hitch.
Want to learn more about workflows? Check out these recent blogs:
One of our most frequently requested customizations is to add new views to the set of system views that come out-of-the-box with Microsoft Dynamics 365. It seems most of our clients are hesitant to play around with modifying these system views or adding new ones out of fear that it may be too difficult or complex. However, this could not be further from the truth. The ability to customize Microsoft Dynamics 365 is very easy to complete, and almost easier to learn HOW to complete these customizations.
Below are some simple steps to get you started in creating and customizing views for the Account entity. Using the below instructions as a framework, you will be able to come up with some pretty exciting combinations to fulfill your business needs – and therefore, conquer the world!
We will first walk through how to change the default view.
1.)In CRM, click on the module menu drop down, then click on Settings, then click on Customizations
2.)Click on Customize the System- this will open another window
3.)In the new Customizations window, expand the triangles to expand Entities, then expand Account and click on Views.
4.)To change which view is the Default View, click to select the Active Accounts view, then click More Actions, then click Set Default
As you can see, changing the default view is quite easy. It may be more challenging to decide which view you and your users want to be the default view.
We will now walk through the steps to create a new view. These options are available in the same area in Customizations from which we set the default view.
1.)To create a new View, simply click on the New button on the main action bar.
2.)In the New View window, type a name and optionally a Description. I choose to name my new view My New Accounts
4.)On the right hand navigation, click Add Columns
5.)In the Add Columns window, you can select which columns to add to your view by checking the boxes next to them
6.)You can rearrange the columns by highlighting one and click on the left or right arrows to move them
7.)You can also choose which data appears in the View by clicking on Edit Filter Criteria
8.)Since I want to show Accounts that I own and that were created in the last 30 days, I will update my filter criteria to reflect this:
- Click Select and grab the Owner field; the next filter part defaults to Equals Current User, so I will leave this.
- Click Select on the next line and grab the Created On field. Click where it says On in the middle and scroll down to grab Last X Days. Then click next to that where it says Choose Date and type 30.
- Your finished query should look like this:
9.)You are also able to choose which column to sort on by clicking on Configure Sorting in the right navigation
10.)In this window, you are able to sort based on two columns; I have chosen to also sort based on Account Name as well as Created On date
11.)Lastly, you can also adjust the width of your columns individually by selecting a column and clicking on Change Properties in the right navigation
12.)In this window, you can select from a variety of pixel widths for your columns. The default is 100; however, I wanted to make my date column more narrow
The most important thing to remember here is that your users will not see any of these changes until you click Save and Close and the Publish. If your users report that they are not able to see the view immediately after you published, just ask them to refresh their browser and it should appear.
You can use the above items to come up with infinite possibilities of different views for all of your different record types, as well as modifying the views after you have saved them. As you can see, there was no coding required. That is the hallmark of Dynamics 365: its ability to seamlessly match the technology with the needs of each business.
For more tips and tricks, check out these similar blogs: