Tag Archives: Dynamics

Explore Dynamics 365’s ERP Functionality with PowerObjects [Video]

ERP Animation Still 800x600 300x225 Explore Dynamics 365’s ERP Functionality with PowerObjects [Video]

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is the perfect ERP solution for manufacturing, retail and CPG, property and housing management, and so many other industries. From its ability to readily share data with CRM workloads, now hosted on the same platform, to its flexibility in deployment options, Dynamics 365 is the ideal solution for enterprise resource planning software. Watch this video to learn how Dynamics 365 takes businesses to new heights.

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PowerObjects- Bringing Focus to Dynamics CRM

Row-Level Security in Power BI with Dynamics 365

row level security 300x225 Row Level Security in Power BI with Dynamics 365

Power BI offers a suite of security features to help restrict data. One way to do this is with Row-level security. Row-level security (RLS) with the Power BI Desktop can be used to restrict data access for specific users, filtering data at the row level, and defining filters within roles.

In today’s blog, we’ll go over how to set-up this feature in Power BI and an example of how you can use it in Dynamics 365.

What you will need:

  • Power BI Desktop
  • Dynamics 365 Organization linked with Power BI Service

In this example, we’re going to be using an Excel file composed of 10,000 fictional Orders, across multiple companies, located on the West and East Coasts. Our goal is to have a single Dashboard viewable within Dynamics 365 that displays the records appropriate per role.

Our starting point will be the image below, all orders put into a simple Orders Dashboard.

071618 1449 RowLevelSec1 Row Level Security in Power BI with Dynamics 365

Defining Roles within Power BI Desktop

1. Select the Modeling tab.

2. Select Manage Roles.

071618 1449 RowLevelSec2 Row Level Security in Power BI with Dynamics 365

3. Select Create.

4. Provide a name for the role.

5. Select the table to apply a DAX expression.

6. Enter the DAX expressions. This expression should return a true or false.

071618 1449 RowLevelSec3 Row Level Security in Power BI with Dynamics 365

7. Select Save.

Viewing a Role within Power BI Desktop

Once your role has been created, you can view the results of the role by executing the following steps:

1. From the Modeling tab, select View as Roles.

071618 1449 RowLevelSec4 Row Level Security in Power BI with Dynamics 365

2. The View as Roles dialog allows you to change the view of what you are seeing for that specific user or role.

071618 1449 RowLevelSec5 Row Level Security in Power BI with Dynamics 365

3. Select the role you created and then select OK to apply that role to what you are viewing. The reports will only render the data relevant for that role.

071618 1449 RowLevelSec6 Row Level Security in Power BI with Dynamics 365

Compared to the image we saw earlier; the difference is clear:

071618 1449 RowLevelSec7 Row Level Security in Power BI with Dynamics 365

We are now ready to assign the role to a new user.

Assigning Roles in Power BI

1. Navigate to the Power BI service.

2. Go to DATASETS and click on the ellipses to the right of the name.

3. Click on SECURITY.

071618 1449 RowLevelSec8 Row Level Security in Power BI with Dynamics 365

4. Enter the name of the user or group you want to apply Row-level security to.

071618 1449 RowLevelSec9 Row Level Security in Power BI with Dynamics 365

5. Click Add.

6. Click Save.

Now that we have a working Power BI Dashboard with Row-level Security applied, let’s look at how it renders in Dynamics 365.

1. From the Dashboard, add a new Power BI Dashboard and select the Dashboard you published to the Power BI service.

Note: if you are not presented with the option to create a new Power BI dashboard within Dynamics, you may need to enable Power BI on the Reporting tab in System Settings.

071618 1449 RowLevelSec10 Row Level Security in Power BI with Dynamics 365

2. Share the Dashboard with any user or team who will need access.

071618 1449 RowLevelSec11 Row Level Security in Power BI with Dynamics 365

That’s it! Maximizing the report in CRM as Power BI and CRM administrators, you’ll be able to view the Dashboard with the entire data set.

071618 1449 RowLevelSec12 Row Level Security in Power BI with Dynamics 365

If you sign in as a Standard User and view the same Dashboard, we get different results from Row-level security in Power BI. From this screen, we can also leverage Power BI to dig into the data appropriate to their role.

071618 1449 RowLevelSec13 Row Level Security in Power BI with Dynamics 365

Row-level security in Power BI gives you the ability to restrict data at the row level based on true or false statements for users or groups. Leveraging the compatibility of Dynamics 365 with Power BI, we can use Row-level security to show users within CRM only the rows appropriate to their role.

You can achieve the same results by putting your data into CRM and using CRM Security Roles, however, here are a few reasons you might want to use this method instead:

  • Not wanting to store data in Dynamics 365 due to storage space or business decisions.
  • Needing to manage one Dashboard instead of multiple ones per user/ team within Power BI.
  • Business doesn’t want to run an integration between the data warehouse and Dynamics 365.
  • Not wanting to modify existing security roles or business unit security in Dynamics 365.

In the situations above, Row-level security with Power BI offers us an option to present the clearest information with reduced administrative overhead to Dynamics 365 Administrators. To learn more about Power BI, check out our Power BI Showcase.

Happy D365’ing!

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PowerObjects- Bringing Focus to Dynamics CRM

Dynamics 365 Monthly Update-June 2018

Quick Links: Featured News | Updates and Releases | Additional News | Training Corner


Featured News


Dynamics 365 Versions

As updates are deployed to the Dynamics 365 service, there are two separate versions that are tracked:

App Version: Application version represents the binary version that is deployed to the Dynamics 365 servers. These updates contain product improvements and bug fixes that are delivered through application code changes.

DB Version: Database version represents the version of the organization’s database. These updates contain customization changes to support new features, product enhancements, and bug fixes.

There are two primary scenarios where the App Version and DB Version will not match.

App-only Update: As Microsoft continues to increase the frequency of updates to Dynamics 365, it is common for a release to only include application updates with no database updates required. In such a scenario, the App Version will be incremented, but the DB Version will remain the same. On a subsequent release that involves both application and database changes, the versions will once again align.

Update Sequence: During the update sequence, application servers are updated first, followed by the update of the organizations themselves. Multiple organizations are batched together and updated concurrently to speed up the overall release. Depending on when an organization is picked up for processing, the versions may not match during this window of time.

What should customers do when the versions do not match?

As described in the scenarios above, it’s entirely normal for the App Version and DB Version to occasionally differ. The application is built specifically to support compatibility with previous database releases, so mismatched versions are generally not a cause for concern.


Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement Readme/Known Issues

Review the Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement Readme/Known Issues for important information on services and applications availability, security requirements, known issues and possible workarounds.


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Updates & Releases


New Application Feature: Activity Logging

Protecting data, preserving privacy, and complying with regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation are some of the highest priorities for a business. It is critical that organizations audit the entirety of data processing actions taking place to be able to analyze for possible security breaches. The Activity Logging feature in Dynamics 365 provides this capability for the use of Office and Dynamics 365.

How does this differ from past audit logging?

Audit logging covers enabling and viewing logging for specific entities and attributes. What is logged is largely based on the context of the activity. Open a record and activities such as who created the record, what values were entered and changed, who updated it, etc.…are logged for that particular record.

Activity Logging has two significant differences with prior Microsoft Dynamics 365 auditing:

  • Administrators can log user and admin activities across Office and Dynamics 365 apps.
  • Auditing occurs at the SDK layer of Dynamics 365 which means much more data is logged than just activities.

For more information on this feature and how to set it up, review Enable and use Activity Logging.


Portals Capabilities Release 9.0.6.7

Portal capabilities version 9.0.6.7 for Microsoft Dynamics 365 is now globally available for all customers.

This release includes Portal host version 9.0.6.7 and Solution Version 9.0.6.1 (for Dynamics 365 org version 9.x) and 8.4.6.2 (for Dynamics org versions greater than or equal to 8.1).

New solution packages will be available after portal host upgrades have been completed globally. The portal host will automatically be updated by Microsoft, but action must be taken by your organization to upgrade the solution packages. Until the solution packages are updated, some enhancements will not be available to portal administrators and/or users. For instructions on how to upgrade the portal solution packages, please refer to this Knowledge Base (KB) article.

New Features:

Dynamics 365 Portals app: The Dynamics 365 Portals app provides a new experience to configure and manage the online platform to communicate and collaborate with customers.

Reset a portal: Customers can now reset a portal if they plan to move to another geolocation or to another tenant, and don’t want to use the portal anymore. For more information see Reset a portal

Change the base URL of a portal: Customers can now change the base URL of a portal after it is provisioned. For more information see Change the base URL of a portal.

Resolved issues include:

  • Fixed: Global Search was ignoring special characters like double quotes(“) or ampersand(&) when Facets were enabled in the Portal.
  • Fixed: Entity list action buttons were getting rendered in the opposite direction.
  • Fixed: Create related record action didn’t work when invoked through Entity list and only worked within entity forms.
  • Fixed: Not all records were shown in Dynamic Lookup set filter when the selection mode was checkbox or radio button.

For more information, review this KB article.


Universal Resource Scheduling Updates

Requirement Calendar

Schedule anything in Dynamics 365 using Universal Resource Scheduling (URS). Customers can enable scheduling for any entity including custom entities. For example, customers can enable scheduling for the opportunity form and schedule marketing visits for the opportunities. This same functionality is available for the case form and scheduling time to work on cases.

URS also includes a requirement calendar to create requirement details. When creating a resource requirement, each requirement record is associated with a calendar. On the requirement form, there is a “modify calendar” option on the ribbon bar, which allows customers to modify the calendar for the requirement.

clip image003 thumb Dynamics 365 Monthly Update June 2018

For more information how to use this feature, review this post on the Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement Team blog.

Extensibility Documentation

Detailed documentation for URS scheduling extensibility is now available. For more information and additional resources such as sample walkthroughs and an overview video, review this post.


Field Service and Project Service Automation Update Release

The latest update to the Field Service and Project Service Automation solutions for Dynamics 365 is now available. This release includes improvements to quality, performance, and usability, based on customer feedback and requests.

Field Service enhancements (v7.5.1.37)

Resolved issue:

  • Fixed: Cannot add new line for revised service quote

Project Service Automation (v2.4.4.30) Enhancements

Resolved issues include:

  • Fixed: Unable to add any lines to the project contract if the contract has 2 lines for same project.
  • Fixed: After clicking update prices, the actual cost/sales of tasks become 0
  • Fixed: Resource Requirement is not taking project work template into consideration while creating generic resources
  • Fixed: Time entries refresh issue on importing bookings

Universal Resource Scheduling Enhancements

Note: Improvements and bug fixes for Universal Resource Scheduling apply to Field Service and Project Service Automation as well as to other schedulable entities in the Sales or Service applications.

Improvements include:

  • Display completely unavailable resources with Schedule Assistant
  • Search icon added to resource search bar on Schedule Board
  • Selecting resource in hourly Schedule Assistant loads booking panel

Resolved issues include:

  • Fixed: Changing settings on Schedule Board vertical view removed demand panel when in Schedule Assistant.
  • Fixed: Users can no longer create rating values outside specified range on rating model.
  • Fixed: Issue booking work order service tasks if the entity was enabled for scheduling.

For more details and to see previous release notes, review this blog post.


Microsoft Social Engagement 2018 Update 1.6

The Microsoft Social Engagement 2018 Update 1.6 is now available.

New and updated features:

  • When an administrator assigns a Social Engagement license to a user, this user will get Power Analyst and Responder permissions. This enables users to create search topics and engage in conversations with other authors.
  • The retention time for Social content has been reduced to 15 months.
  • Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocols 1.0 and 1.1 are disabled.

For more information review this blog post.


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Additional News


Microsoft + GitHub = Empowering Developers

Microsoft announced an agreement to acquire GitHub, the world’s leading software development platform. GitHub is a great resource for Dynamics 365 developers. From Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, “Microsoft has been a developer-focused company from the very first product we created to the platforms and tools we offer today. Building technology so that others can build technology is core to our mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.”

For more details on the why behind the purchase and the opportunities ahead, review this blog post from Satya.


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Training Corner


Removing records from the AsyncOperationBase/WorkflowLogBase table

When an async workflow is triggered in a Dynamics 365 organization, a record will be created in the AsyncOperationBase table to track the processing of the async job. Additional records will also be created in the WorkflowLogBase table to maintain logs for the workflow execution.

Business Process Flows also store BPF stage transition and action logs for the BPF in the WorkflowLogBase table.

For organizations that use workflows or business process flows heavily, these table will grow over time and eventually become large enough to introduce performance issues as well as consume excessive storage in the database.

Customers can leverage the bulk delete system job under Settings > Data Management > Bulk Record Deletion to delete unneeded records from these tables.

For details on how to setup the bulk delete system job, review this blog post.


Transforming Customer Engagement at Microsoft

With the rise of mobile and social technologies, customers are now more powerful than ever. Their always-connected status and ability to find information in seconds puts them in control of their own experience, and this trend has forced businesses of all sizes to rethink how they engage and connect with their customers. Businesses are no longer focused on “touch points” during the marketing, sales and customer service process, but instead find a need to engage in meaningful, ongoing relationships that involve frequent online and real-world interactions.

Your Roadmap for a Digital-First Business provides insight on how businesses can stay relevant as unprecedented processing power, revolutionary cloud storage, and continuous connectivity change the face of business. This e-book provides ideas on how Dynamics 365 helps businesses:

  • Reinvent productivity and enable a data-driven culture.
  • Optimize and enhance analytics and mobility.
  • Create new delivery systems and models for HR services.
  • Test new products and services at a fraction of the cost.

Microsoft Business Applications Summit

Microsoft is bringing together the Dynamics 365, Power BI, Excel, PowerApps and Microsoft Flow communities to connect and collaborate at the Microsoft Business Applications Summit. The summit takes place in Seattle, Washington, July 22-24. This is a perfect opportunity for Analysts, Business Users, IT Professionals and Developers to advance their skills, learn about applications that are critical to their business, learn how to simplify the management of data and identify key elements of the platforms to help drive innovation.

For more information and to register, visit the event website.


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Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement in the Field

How to Use Connections in Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales

using connections in dynamics 365 crm 2 625x352 How to Use Connections in Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales

In this video by our Dynamics 365 CRM support team, we’ll look at how to use Connections in Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales to create searchable relationships between entities.

Connections add valuable layers of relationship information to your records. For example, you can connect a contact to multiple accounts, which is highly valuable for companies that deal with agents or brokers who represent multiple organizations.

Connections also allow Dynamics 365 CRM users to track old relationships if a contact moves to a new organization. You can simply create a connection between the contact and their old account.

But these are just two common examples. Connections enable Dynamics users to create any number of relationships between any entities.

Once those Connections are in your system, they can be searched in Advanced Find, so your connections also improve user navigation through your records.

See below for video and instructions on setting up Connections in Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales:

1.) Open the record you wish to make a connection from.

2a.) Click Connect on the command bar.
OR
2b.) Click the down arrow ∨ next to the record name, then click Connections > Connect.

You’ll see a Connection popup:

New Connection Window Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales CRM 625x584 How to Use Connections in Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales

3.) Click in the Name field, then scroll to the bottom and choose Look Up More Records.

4.) Choose the entity type you want to connect to in Look for, then select a record and click Add:

Lookup Record Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales CRM 625x585 How to Use Connections in Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales

5.) Add a role and/or description to your Connection.

6.) Click Save & Close.

Voilà! Your connection has been created.

By Peter Wolf
President, QuantaCRM

Follow me on Twitter @CRMWolf

About QuantaCRM

QuantaCRM is a Microsoft Gold partner out of Chicago, IL with nearly two decades of experience helping small and medium-sized businesses implement and succeed with CRM.

Our OnTrack CRM Success System enables CRM success from implementation to adoption and beyond, and our top-notch Dynamics CRM support team ensures you get the most from your CRM!

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CRM Software Blog | Dynamics 365

Important Change to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Update Policy

CRM Blog Important Change to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Update Policy

Microsoft is revising its Dynamics 365 update policy resulting in some important changes for existing customers.

In a recent blog post it announced:

  • Two major D365 cloud releases each year will deliver new functions and capabilities
  • Updates will be available from April and October each year
  • Release notes will be published on July 23 for the October 2018 update
  • Updates will be backwards compatible so apps and supported customizations remain operational post-update
  • New features involving potentially disruptive changes will be disabled by default enabling prior testing
  • Revised update timelines to help administrators validate the impact of major updates in a sandbox environment
  • Continuous delivery schedule means that customers running an older version will need to update to the latest edition
  • Revised update process applies to the D365 apps and underlying platform (Common Data Service for Apps)

What this means for Dynamics 365 users

In practice, Microsoft has consistently shipped two main updates each year but the major change for existing customers is the removal of the option to skip a cloud release.

Until now, D365 admins have been able to remain up to one version behind the latest version but this will now require all to be on the latest available version.

With all users on one version, Microsoft will be better able to focus its resources on adding new features and making Dynamics performance improvements.

As a result, customers running Customer Engagement apps (Sales, Customer Service, Project Service & Field Service) should plan to be on the latest version by 31 January 2019.

D365 v9.0 users are already using the latest version but this change in policy will require v8.2 users to complete their cloud update before Feb’2019 to avoid having an automated update being scheduled by Microsoft.

Many admins already use a sandbox environment to test updates before applying to their live environment. From April 2019, Microsoft has signaled that it will provide a separate timeline specifically to test new capabilities and train users in advance.

As well as its two major updates each year, Microsoft promises a continuous set of updates for reliability and performance. A recent step up in the frequency of its update cadence has been evident with new updates arriving most weeks.

To find out more, Microsoft has published FAQ’s about its new Dynamics 365 update policies.

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

Dynamics 365 Client vs App for Outlook

CRM Blog Dynamics 365 Client vs App for Outlook

How many times have you checked your eMail today? I’m willing to bet that you’re monitoring at least one of your eMail apps while you’re reading this blog. The fact that most of us are glued to our eMail makes apps like Outlook an attractive destination to plug in new functionality. Microsoft offers many different flavors of Outlook plugins, including two that extend Dynamics 365 functionality: the Dynamics 365 Client and Dynamics 365 App.

Dynamics 365 Client vs App for Outlook

Both work with Outlook, but they have different functionality and footprints. The Dynamics 365 App for Outlook is a Microsoft Office add-in that provides a Dynamics 365 assistant for Outlook desktop, web or mobile. The Dynamics 365 Client for Outlook is a Windows application that provides all Dynamics 365 core functionality directly from Outlook. Here’s the pros and cons of both, which should help guide you to the right solution for your scenario.

Dynamics 365 Client for Outlook Pros

The client allows a user to access Dynamics 365 exclusively from Outlook. This is a big win for organizations fighting with user adoption, because they don’t have to introduce a “new” app. Instead, the client is presented as an extension of Outlook, which is an application most users live in. This creates the illusion of adding value to an application that is always open, and not introducing the overhead of checking yet another app. The Outlook client also offers the ability to go offline. This is key for users who don’t always have access to high speed internet, especially ones who find themselves traveling often. The client also allows developers to programmatically create offline filters, which can manage the size and content sent down to the client.

Dynamics 365 Client for Outlook Cons

The client requires the FULL version of Microsoft Outlook, so it doesn’t work on the mobile or web versions. It must be manually installed on every computer, which creates a lot of overhead for your IT staff. Anyone who has installed \ uninstalled it knows about the angst that comes along with this task. My biggest complaint is the client causes my Outlook to perform slow, and at times brought it to a halt. Microsoft recently deprecated the client, then quickly reinstated it after the backlash from the Dynamics community. Microsoft clearly recommends that you chose the app over the client.  All of this indicates that Microsoft will continue to support the client, but stop all future development and enhancements.  

Dynamics 365 App for Outlook Pros

The Outlook App supports all versions of Outlook, including the full client, outlook web access and mobile. The install is super easy, and is pushed out directly from within Dynamics 365. It’s automatically available from all modern versions of your Outlook, with no local install on any of your devices! My first experience with the interface was very easy and intuitive to use. With just a few clicks, I can regard an email from a prospective client, create a lead, contact or activity associated with Dynamics 365 records. Above all, it performs incredibly fast, utilizing the Dynamics Web API to retrieve data in real time.

Dynamics 365 App for Outlook Cons

Server-side synchronization with Exchange is required, so you will not be able to use the app if your environment does not support it. This is very easy to setup if you are utilizing Dynamics, Active Directory and Exchange all in Azure. The app is a Dynamics assistant, and not a full-fledged application. While you can customize forms and lookup custom entities, your users will need to fire up the Dynamics 365 App for full functionality. I feel the biggest barrier to successfully implementing the app is weening your users off the old client. Despite the speed and flexibility provided by the app, they are going to revolt when you try to change their daily routine. Maybe the best time to introduce the app is when your users complain about Outlook performance 🙂

Beringer Technology Group, a leading Microsoft Gold Certified Partner specializing in Microsoft Dynamics 365 and CRM for Distribution. We also provide expert Managed IT ServicesBackup and Disaster RecoveryCloud Based Computing and Unified

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CRM Software Blog | Dynamics 365

How to Prepare for a Dynamics 365 Global Data Migration

global migration 300x225 How to Prepare for a Dynamics 365 Global Data Migration

You have decided to implement Microsoft Dynamics 365 across your global enterprise. You know the value this will bring to your organization, but you also know there are going to be challenges, especially in a global implementation.

For data stewards, architects, and product owners, data migration can be a daunting task and just one pillar of a large global implementation. The migration will affect every part of the project, from end users and developers, to testers and trainers. There are lots of questions to ask and decisions to make. How much data are we going to bring from our legacy systems? Does Germany have the same data as the UK or Singapore? What languages are represented in my master data? Do all countries sell the same products? Are all the product names and numbers the same in each country?

Undertaking a large scale, global data migration can take months or even years. In order to execute this successfully, we are going to talk about some initial thoughts and questions to prepare for in a Global Data Migration.

Develop a Strategy

You know your destination: a single, consolidated, global system. Sounds awesome! It’s quite a path to travel in order to get there. Let’s put together a roadmap.

1. Survey Systems and People
It’s important to understand what systems, countries, and user groups are going to be part of the migration. If you envision a single global system, you need to start sharing that vision, and understanding all the pieces that will make up that system. Do we have three countries, ten, fifty? How many systems per country are we dealing with? Does everyone have their own customized system or shared systems? What users are going to be impacted? Just the sales team? Or are the call center, marketing, and IT groups impacted too?

2. Put Up Some Boundaries and Define Scope
You likely are not going to migrate every object and every field for every system part of your organization. If we do that, we will never be done. What are the critical data points that drive your business? What master data needs to be saved, what data is coming from other systems, and what data is garbage? If you ask these questions, you can identify the core data elements to focus on during the migration, saving time and money.

3. Define a Governance System
Already have a data governance group? Great! Don’t have one setup yet? Now is a good time to think about it. You are going to have many hard questions being raised by the business. “Why can’t we keep all this data?” “Why does France get to determine the values in the drop-down list?” “I absolutely ‘NEED’ this field to do my job.” All of these questions and more will be asked, and you need someone who is both informed and empowered to make these decisions quickly and definitively. Without governance, you can wind up bogged down in endless meetings, changes, and revisions with no end in sight to the migration.

4. Make a Plan for Old Data
What is your data warehousing strategy? Do you want to archive all historical data? Are you going to keep your old systems around? As previously mentioned, not everything will be migrated and you must determine whether to preserve historical data for compliance/legal reasons. Archiving can be expensive if not planned properly, but by putting some thought into this, you can potentially save historical data without breaking the bank and keep the new system lean and clean.

There are a thousand other questions that are going to be racing through your mind. This is just a framework to get started in thinking about your migration project. As we can see with just these basic points, you are going to need some help in order to get this project done.

Assemble Your Team

You have your roadmap in your pocket, or at least the outline of one. Who is going to own this migration? Who is going to answer all the questions from the users and leadership?

The migration team is going to be as diverse as your organization. You will need representation from every country and every system. Here are some thoughts on the kind of people you might need:

  • Data steward/migration project owner – At the end of the day, you need someone in charge of this migration, one person empowered to make the final decisions.
  • Governance board – A group of 3-5 people who represent a cross section of the business (both business units and geographies), who are informed about the project and drive the vision of the future state of the system. This group is empowered to make decisions when users cannot decide, they also approve changes and set global definitions.
  • Migration tech lead – You need someone with the technical knowledge of the various systems to help coordinate the gathering of source data, can help determine the method and approach to migration, and can take responsibility for working with both the source and target systems.
  • Country leads – An individual per country who can elicit requirements from their country, but can make some decisions about what is critical and what is not. The first line of review for user requirements.
  • Country techs – These are the local tech folks who know the system, can answer questions about why things are the way they are and help pull data out of their systems.
  • Country users – The real source of knowledge about what the system needs to do, where data lives, and how they use existing systems. The key is finding a user or two that are real power users, and can be objective about what data they need and what they can live without. These will also be the folks responsible for validating the data once it has been migrated.

070318 1558 HowtoPrepar1 How to Prepare for a Dynamics 365 Global Data Migration

One of the key aspects to having an effective team is keeping them engaged in the planning process, and sharing the vision of the future system. Keep the team invested by keeping them informed and involved, and you will be able to drive towards a successful global data migration.

Be sure to subscribe to our blog for more Dynamics 365 content!

Happy Dynamics 365’ing!

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3 Ways to Access the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook

aaronback 3 Ways to Access the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook

Before We Get Started…

Microsoft made the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook available just a few months ago, and many folks have written excellent articles on the topic. I would recommend you review the Microsoft Documentation site for these articles “Deploy Dynamics 365 App for Outlook” and “Dynamics 365 App for Outlook User Guide“.

Once you understand how the app is deployed and how it works, the rest of this article will make more sense.

1 App – 3 Ways to Access It

Many people have looked at the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook as a way to replace the classic Dynamics 365 for Outlook (client). And, if that’s what you are looked to do, then by all means, go for it. But, I would like to highlight that it’s available in three places and not just the one place that most people expect.

What are those three places? Well, I’m glad you asked.

First Way to Access the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook

The first way to access the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook is the obvious way…within Outlook! After the app has been deployed to your Outlook client, you will noticed a Dynamics 365 button added to your Outlook ribbon.

Dynamics 365 App for Outlook Outlook Ribbon 625x51 3 Ways to Access the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook

You can click on this button to open the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook panel on the right-hand side of your Outlook application.

Dynamics 365 App for Outlook Outlook Panel 3 Ways to Access the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook

If you would like to understand how to interact with the panel, review the “Dynamics 365 App for Outlook User Guide“.

Second Way to Access the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook

The second way to access the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook is within Outlook on the web (OWA). If you have an Office 365 subscriptions that includes access to your email through the browser, then navigate to https://outlook.office365.com. You will be prompted to log in with your credentials. After logging in, select an email within your Inbox. You will then notice small “D” icon on the right-hand side as indicated below in the red box.

Dynamics 365 App for Outlook OWA 625x235 3 Ways to Access the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook

Clicking on this button will open the same panel on the right-hand side within your browser.

Third Way to Access the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook

The third way to access the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook, and one that not many people are familiar with, is within the Outlook mobile app. You will need to install the Outlook mobile app on your mobile device. Once it’s installed, you will need to set up the same email account that is used for your Outlook client and OWA.

After you have this set up, you can access the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook. Below are the steps to do so:

Once the Dynamics 365 panel is displayed, you will have the same options to track the email or to use the “Set Regarding”.

In Conclusion…

Hopefully, you picked up a useful tip today. And, you can see that the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook can be leveraged in more ways than one.

Until next time…

Aaron Back is Microsoft Certified Professional with many years’ experience with Microsoft Dynamics 365 (CRM). He is actively involved with the Microsoft Dynamics 365 UG (D365UG) (User Group) Community. His involvement includes: Serving as Chapter Leader for his local D365UG Chapter, serving on the D365UG Board of Advisors, and speaking at the annual D365UG Summit conference.


ACE Microtechnology, Inc. is a professional services firm committed to delivering Dynamics 365 (CRM) business solutions to small and medium sized organizations. Our focus is on delivering products and services that improve our clients’ business operations. ACE has developed specialties in serving the lite manufacturing, distribution and the hospitality industry.

Rather than just building technology or implementing software, we deliver real business value through industry knowledge and understanding each client’s business. We make it our business to know your business.

For more information or assistance with Dynamics 365 (CRM) contact ACE!

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CRM Software Blog | Dynamics 365

User Design UX improvements in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Version 9 Customer Engagement Apps

These days technology system improvements are not only about practical new functionality. It is also about making enhancements that help you to enjoy using the system even more. This is a new emerging specialty called User Experience Design (UX).

UX is the process of enhancing user satisfaction by improving the usability, accessibility, and pleasure provided each time you use the product. Microsoft has made some nice UX improvements in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Version 9 Customer Engagement Apps.

These changes are consistent across Sales, Customer Service, Field Service, and Project Service Automation Apps. The changes apply to all the main application areas such as forms, dashboards, grids, dialogs, and the search screen.

Top UX improvements in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Version 9:

  • Customer data is grouped in easy-to-read containers that streamline data entry. The new style makes it easier to see empty fields, and the text wraps within fields to make it easier to read.
  • Unnecessary white space has been removed on forms and dashboards. Sections for content now have defined borders with consistent spacing between sections. Empty containers have a helpful message and icon.

  • New clipboard structure for the content is shown on all pages, such as forms, dashboards, and grids improves the visual hierarchy. You can customize the colors used for the clipboard on page and panel header.
  • Use of standardized fontsgive a more consistent look and feel.
  • Tabs, buttons, and input fields on forms have been redesigned to give a more intuitive user experienceand help users be more productive.
  • Long text labels and values are wrapped when entering data on a form.Admins can control word wrap in the system level settings.
  • Sub-grid header color can be customized at the form level.
  • Advanced find now has the option to build a NOT INquery with a does not contain data For example, users can query for all cases that do not have a related task.

Download the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Spring ’18 release notes.

Of course, something else that will improve your enjoyment of using Microsoft Dynamics 365 is having it set up correctly, by a company that understands your team and your unique requirements.

For over a decade the team at Crowe CRM has been helping companies to improve their CRM experience.

If you are ready for a better CRM experience, contact us.

By Ryan Plourde, Crowe, a Microsoft Dynamics 365 Gold Partner www.CroweCRM.com

Follow us on Twitter: @CroweCRM

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CRM Software Blog | Dynamics 365

Creating Customer Loyalty with Dynamics 365 for Retail

d365 retail 300x225 Creating Customer Loyalty with Dynamics 365 for Retail

Retailers are looking for the ‘Holy Grail’ to attracting and maintaining customer loyalty in their business. Loyalty today does not just mean those shoppers who may come into brick and mortar locations, but those customers that also shop online. Having the right solution to measure customer metrics and buying patterns is key to bridging the gap between these two channels.

In Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Retail, businesses have the capability to define how their Loyalty program(s) will work and how customers can reap the rewards of the Loyalty program (Fig 1).

070218 1439 CreatingCus1 Creating Customer Loyalty with Dynamics 365 for Retail

Fig 1

Before diving into the benefits that Dynamics 365 for Retail can bring to loyalty management, the retailer needs to carefully consider all aspects of their program and what it will entail from inception to termination. The program should include a plan for strong key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure whether the program is successful. The template below depicts a generic plan with objectives and KPIs to set up and measure (Fig 2).

070218 1439 CreatingCus2 Creating Customer Loyalty with Dynamics 365 for Retail

Fig 2

Just like any new introduction within a retail organization, the program rollout should be gradual with a pilot program introduced first. This pilot should last long enough for evaluation by the KPIs.

This pilot period also enables the retailer to easily tailor and make changes to the program due to the smaller scale impact to customers. The retailer will need to decide which market location to pilot in, as this will determine how the program will work when rolled out to other markets.

For example, consider markets that have a wide variety of demographics and ABC stores. ABC stores are categorized by their size and selling pattern – “A” for large stores and “C” for low volume stores.

Another aspect to consider are the financial costs to plan, implement, support, and maintain the program. Some financial considerations are shown in Fig 3 below.

1. Impact analysis performed by 3rd party
2. Customer focus groups
3. Marketing and promotional materials
4. IT expenses incurred to configure systems and support process
5. Store expenses to train and ongoing support costs
6. Margin expenses as discounts will impact overall profit margins
7. Incremental sales projections.

Fig 3

These financial numbers must be scrutinized to ensure the retail business can effectively make money with a Loyalty program. After all, the retailer’s incentive for driving a Loyalty program is to increase sales and to increase the number of times a customer comes into the store. The initial numbers should be reviewed and monitored against the KPIs to determine the effectiveness of the pilot before rolling it out to other markets.

Another method that retailers use to understand how to set up their Loyalty program is to compare similar retailers’ programs. As you can see in Fig 4, the grid represents how the Loyalty program will compare to other retailers in the same vertical.

Retailer Retailer 1 Retailer 2 Retailer 3
Fee No No No Yes
Soft Benefits Personalized emails
Personalized offers
Advance Notice Sales
Members only
Contests
Newsletter Fashion Newsletter
Advance Notice Sales
Monthly emails
Special offers
Hard Benefits Birthday Coupons
Min 4+ coupons
Free Shipping online
5% Discount
Points Based
$ 1=1pt
$ 5 for every 100 pts
5% payout
$ 1=10 pts
$ 10 for every 1200 pts
Retail Cash
Earn 15-30% during promotion periods
Published Tiers None Yes-Annual spend over $ 200 Yes-Earn 6,000 pts in calendar year No
Timing Instant Discount
Regular Coupons
Quarterly Earning Period 12 months pts expire after 36 months No expiration if shop at least once a year
Channel In store/Online In store only In store only In store/Online
Website Yes Yes Yes No

Fig 4

Now that the program is vetted, the next step is to work through a pilot and rollout strategy. There are many moving parts associated to the set up and execution of a Loyalty program. Since it involves retail field operations, it will be beneficial to work through any discount periods, special events, and holidays when setting up the rollout plan. The rollout plan shown in Fig 5 is a simple example of the steps to rollout across a national chain within 12 months – taking into consideration the blackout period for winter holidays.

070218 1439 CreatingCus3 Creating Customer Loyalty with Dynamics 365 for Retail

It is also helpful to understand some of the basic terminology used within Loyalty. The table in Fig 6 is has a few common terms you will hear.

Term Description
Reward Points Points or amounts gained when purchasing products or services whilst a member of a Loyalty Program.
Reward Schemas Defines the rules associated to point/amount rewarded and rules for redeeming points for purchases.
Reward Program Program that rewards customers for buying products or services.
Opt-In/Opt-Out Enabling a customer to be in a program or decline being in a program.
Tiers Elevating program that offers advancement based on volume of purchases. Sometimes identifiable as Silver, Gold, Platinum.
Loyalty Card Identifies and enables a customer to be part of a program.

Fig 6

Now it is time to run through a quick configuration using some of the Dynamic 365 for Retail screens to set up a basic Loyalty program that can be used in a brick and mortar location.

The first step is to define your program. You will see in Fig 7 that we have a simple Loyalty program defined that does not have tiers. If you wish to have tiers, you will have to set up tier rules as shown in Fig 8.

070218 1439 CreatingCus4 Creating Customer Loyalty with Dynamics 365 for Retail

Fig 7

070218 1439 CreatingCus5 Creating Customer Loyalty with Dynamics 365 for Retail

Fig 8

Once the program is created, the next step is to define the loyalty points offering for that program. There are a few different methods in set up.

First is to define the reward point type as an Amount or Quantity. When defining as amount, the point value associated to the reward will be in monetary value indicative of the currency code assigned to the reward point (Fig 9). When defining as quantity, the point value associated to the reward will be in numeric quantity value (Fig 10).

070218 1439 CreatingCus6 Creating Customer Loyalty with Dynamics 365 for Retail

Fig 9

070218 1439 CreatingCus7 Creating Customer Loyalty with Dynamics 365 for Retail

Fig 10

After establishing the reward points, next step is to create the schemas that will define the earning points and redemption rules as shown in Fig 11. It is important to assign the retail channels in which the schema will be permitted to operate. If you were to have multiple types of schemas and points in your chain, then it will be necessary to set up multiple loyalty schemes and associate them to the specific retail channels.

070218 1439 CreatingCus8 Creating Customer Loyalty with Dynamics 365 for Retail

Fig 11

If the program contains tiers, you will need to set up date intervals that depict the timings applicable to advance to the next tier level in Fig 12.

For example, in most airline and hotel loyalty programs, they base your tier classification on the flights or stays you make during a calendar year. This same method of handling tiers in Dynamics 365 is accomplished using date intervals.

070218 1439 CreatingCus9 Creating Customer Loyalty with Dynamics 365 for Retail

Fig 12

The last part of setting up a simple Loyalty program is to associate a card to a customer (Fig 13). This association will enable all the elements including program, points, and schemas to come together. This will enable the customer to collect points with purchases and to redeem for discounts or free products. The card is where the customer is assigned program(s) and contains the points summary, which includes issued, available, and used.

070218 1439 CreatingCus10 Creating Customer Loyalty with Dynamics 365 for Retail

070218 1439 CreatingCus11 Creating Customer Loyalty with Dynamics 365 for Retail

Fig 13

In summary, the Loyalty tools in Dynamics 365 are intuitive and allow you to quickly set up a Loyalty program from simple programs with no tiers, to more complex complex programs with encompassing tiers.

The largest effort to consider for any Loyalty program implementation are the prerequisites of whether a program benefits both the retailer and customer. It is equally important to ensure to pilot and tweak the program before rolling out to the chain. Any time changes are made to an active program, it will often impact the customer negatively. Getting it the right the first time is critical to ensure adoption by your customers!

You can learn more about Dynamics 365 for Retail here!

Happy Dynamics 365’ing!

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