Tag Archives: Microsoft

The big 4 tech companies — my musings on two, Microsoft and Salesforce

A few weeks ago, I unveiled a part of the Watchlist evolution with the Emergence Maturity Index (EMI) (more on that coming) and at the same time was able to identify a near-breakout candidate with the EMI prototype (subject to change without notice) — Cogito.

As you probably also noticed, I spoke of four companies that I thought were “re-breaking out.” Now as a brief call it, year end effort, I’m going to give you a short summary of the state of the Big Four — and there will be some inclusive info about the 0.5 addition to it — Adobe — which remains 0.5, not at the level of a Big 5 yet.

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Today, I’m covering two Salesforce and Microsoft. Also two other smaller but as important parts. First, the announcement of yet another (but very different) award for 2017 that will be expanded upon in 2018 and then something else that I’m going to be up to next year that you may or may not be interested in. See this this post for those things.

Following this post, a post upcoming on a piece of work that Brian Solis just released on change and change agents, called “The Digital Change Agent’s Manifesto” that I think is both fascinating for its framework and important for its purpose — and within its covers, goes through some things I have literally never seen anywhere else and yet, are kind of duh, how can they not have been taken into account — and wow, he made the point of accounting for this. I’ll leave you in suspense about what the hell I’m talking about until the post comes out but in the meantime, follow the link above and read the thing and see if you can figure out what I’m saying.

Following that post will be part III of this post — the final part — which will cover SAP and Oracle, and a couple of other not-random subjects that I want to make sure you’re thinking about as we go to the new year — one full year into my four-years-&-out-plan. That post will round out 2017 in fine style.

Here we go, readers.

Salesforce continues to meteorically rise, incrementally improve

Salesforce’s Dreamforce conference is their annual bellwether. This is the place that Salesforce trots out its vision, mission, technology announcements and the underlying themes for the coming 12 months or so — at least for the foreseeable future. Sometimes its huge, sometimes not so big, almost never subtle yet even though not subtle, it can be sandwiched between the cracks.

Most of the time, my colleagues tend to (rightfully) focus on the announcements of the conference including what is coming in technology and what Salesforce is doing in the world of corporate philanthropy or social good — and all of this is good information. I do the same. I listen to the announcements and then assess what I think according to what I heard and sometimes what I saw.

But this year is different. While I am sticking to my promise of not writing a tome about Dreamforce or any conference or for the most part anything lengthy on any vendor, what happened at this Dreamforce between the cracks is significant enough to be a part of my actual discourse on company in these pages. So, I will do something here and how. Get ready for the not-as-obvious.

There is a reason why Salesforce consistently remains the market leader and retains mind share year over year. It isn’t their technology — which is very good but there are several competitors who are equally as good. It isn’t their sales teams — they are at times, far, far too many times, hyperaggressive in ways that lose them deals and thus can be a lot more irritating than helpful — and even damaging to the brand. It isn’t their thought leadership — though they are true thought leaders, SAP in a classic sense, has superior business specific thought leadership content production and distribution. It isn’t just their marketing — though, to their great credit, they not only have the best marketing machine I’ve ever seen, but also one that is, more often than not and certainly more often than anyone else, attuned to the customers’ needs, desires, wants, triggers and demands — without selling short their own contributions to the market either.

It is their culture — their ability to implement a “greater good” outlook at a company of their magnitude. No company — and I mean NO OTHER COMPANY on this planet that I’ve ever seen or found — has a stronger more positive active outlook on the world — and makes the attempts to actually turn that outlook to something actionable and as part of that inculcates it into their culture in a way that activates their own employees to do the good that they look to do. Without getting too effusive, it is a culture that, with some gaps here and there, supports the better nature of human beings.

That’s a huge statement but its also a true one. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t have blinders about any company of their size or Salesforce’s ambition to get to, I think the latest iteration is, $ 20 billion faster than any company in history. There are some not so wonderful things that kind of velocity tends to encourage. Nothing’s perfect.

However, Salesforce makes more than just a perfunctory attempt to be a company that is of value to the world and values the world too. They were built with a foundation of a force for social good as well as a company that does what all companies do — makes money. They are undergoing constant redesign to retain that status in a world that transforms by the minute. They have designed and more importantly, evolved their culture so that it encompasses the Good (with a deliberate capital G) as part of its mantra.

It started years ago with Mr. Benioff’s 1:1:1 philanthropical approach and his book in 2004 on what he called Compassionate Capitalism, was the announcement that it was meant to be more than something that just Salesforce did. It also reflected one other aspect of the Salesforce culture that drives the company to this day — its evangelical (in a non-religious) way — its desire to spread the idea of corporate social Good.

That was reflected in a somewhat overzealous statement that wasn’t reported on (until now) and was stated at one of the smaller (but significant) events at Dreamforce this year — the Trailhead Trailblazer Awards breakfast. Brent Leary and I had the honor of being two of the four judges for the awards, so we attended the breakfast where the winners were announced and honored. It was a truly nice small event with an enjoyable vibe.

But in the course of it, one of the senior executives of Salesforce who presented there said “Trailhead is a movement,” which I made note of far more “loudly” than it was actually meant to be heard. While I think that’s more than a bit of hyperbolic stretch — I’ve been a participant very actively in movements over my life and Trailhead and all that’s being done around it doesn’t even come close to qualifying as a movement — the sentiment and the thinking behind it is important to understanding the current psyche of Salesforce and its business culture.

If you were at Dreamforce, think of the environment. The built-for-the-conference architecture including the entrance arches, the atmosphere, the scenery, the artwork, the tone were all geared toward a strongly-contemporary-fun-to-be-part-of-and-with-a-true-mission-in-life, culture. The net effect and the network effect is that any person attending the conference, employed by Salesforce, or observing from afar felt what was effectively a cool rhythm with a purpose. That purpose was both making Salesforce a successful business and equally as important, making Salesforce a successful company.

Salesforce spends as much time working on their culture as they do selling stuff. They are in this for the long haul, have a proven record of major success, have become the 800-pound gorilla of the industry, but its an 800-pound gorilla who can dance with determined abandon. This leads to buy in from internally and externally facing human beings in the orbit of the company — and it is why they, unlike any other company in the industry are as close to a force of nature as a company can be.

It’s all about the culture — and how that culture makes the people associated with it feel. And, man, Salesforce does that really, really well. Do they have problems to address? Oh yeah, they do — see the earlier parts of this — but all in all, they are on a path to long term success — and mindful all the way along it.

Microsoft remains a puzzle unsolved but at least the pieces are now clearly in focus

Tech Pro Research

I spent a full day (not counting travel) in early October at Microsoft’s Business Forward event in Chicago to try and get a handle, which to be honest, I had lost, on what Microsoft thought it was doing with Dynamics 365 in particular and of course, to see at least a portion of whether or not it was executing on the company’s rather expansive vision.

I came out with some idea and some answers — all in all I felt it was tentatively not too bad — but, due to the lack of any subsequent either interactions with them or even seeing any announcements or hearing anything via the grapevine or finding much new about them that I hadn’t seen for months preceding or following, I’m now back to the level of “I’m really not very clear on where in the world Microsoft (a.k.a. Waldo) is.”

So please be aware that what I am about to say is actually inconclusive but the best I can do with a lack of communication and little news in the Dynamics 365 universe — at least news of any real significance. Given that, I’m going to let you know what I do know, and you can draw your own conclusions.

To frame all of this. I have been an retained adviser to Microsoft for the last 14 years — which is not the same as being an analyst. I bifurcate the two roles. My role as an adviser, as it is with other clients in the same world Microsoft is, is to help them be better than they are or were even if they are good or even great.

I’m not there to expose their competitors’ weaknesses — due to both an ethical repulsion to the idea of tearing down another company as an advantage and also, on a more practical level, there is a VERY likely chance that their competitors — at least some of them — are my clients as well.

So, I work to build strengths — which sometimes means tough love. I’ve had nothing but respect for Microsoft all this time but at the same time saw some things that I was clear, at least in my opinion needed to change. All of those suggestions were kept in house. There was no need for the public to be aware of them.

As an analyst, my mission is different. I need to present to the world at large — or at least that very small piece of the world that gives a crap about what I think of things — what I think is the status of a company — client or not — in the customer-facing technology markets and the value of their technology and their company to its potential buyers. That means that I sometimes have to say things that aren’t terribly nice about companies that might well be my client — and I will say them despite the possible onus to me — i.e. the loss of a contract. There is enough of a body of work out there to support that I’m not just blowing hot air about this.

As an analyst I do expect some things that I don’t expect as an adviser — chief among them regular (to whatever extent that means) interactions with the company based on what they feel — and this is entirely up to them — I need to know. Getting that regular information gives me the ability to make some judgments that I can present to those who read my posts, articles, stuff all in all.

To be clear, thus, in this post, I’m speaking as an analyst and as of this post, I have no contract of any kind with Microsoft. Also, caveat here, because I have limited knowledge, I’m musing, not providing any kind of solid guidance or direction. So call this a disclaimer.

So, what does this mean in terms of my assessment of Microsoft? To be entirely candid, I’m not clear on where Microsoft stands when it comes to Microsoft Dynamics. I’ve heard repeatedly from them they are deeply committed to it. I’ve heard this from two people who work there that I truly trust and a few that I know are supposed to tell me that so they do. Because of the people I trust, I’m inclined to believe them, but not absolutely certain, either.

When I was at Business Forward, I saw Microsoft via the new Dynamics 365 chieftain, James Phillips show what was a very capable suite of sales and especially customer service applications and, during the same presentation, saw Adobe Digital Marketing Suite highlighted as the Microsoft Dynamics 365 offering, with literally no mention of what used to be Marketing Pilot — all in all a move that I can’t say was the wrong one — in fact, let me be more positive — it’s the right one.

What was noticeable was the lack of any demos of back end Dynamics e.g. Nav or AX at all. What I saw was Dynamics 365 CRM or Intelligent Customer Engagement as they used to call it — or maybe still do, I don’t know for sure. Which I find interesting if not particularly conclusive. From what I gather, what I saw was the last iterations of what Jujhar Singh built before his departure to Salesforce. Which is fine. Doesn’t really matter. I just find it interesting.

I also saw the evidence of an extraordinary partnership in the making with Adobe — one that goes both very deep in the joint go-to-market efforts but even deeper in the technical integration of the Adobe Marketing associated stack with Microsoft from Azure as the infrastructure down to the architectural nooks and crannies. It was so prevalent it makes me think that someday Microsoft will entertain acquiring Adobe though I heard nothing about that nor have I any evidence of even a discussion about it. But it wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world. Just my two cents or 2+ billion dollars.

I also saw evidence that Satya Nadella’s vision of making Microsoft the centerpiece for all 21st century business infrastructure is still intact. This wasn’t overt on the stage — after all this was a discussion of Microsoft business applications. But his vision was intact with the peripheral (to the event, not to the company) evidence of the growth of Azure as a trusted business cloud infrastructure at the enterprise level, the bulking up of PowerBI, which is now more competitive than it had been with some of the larger analytics suites such as SAP’s (from the outgrowth of Business Objects and HANA), though probably still not quite there yet; and with the evolution of Office 365 from a productivity suite to an industry leading unified communications hub — with the subsequent integration of multiple products in and around the suite.

It also was in evidence with the extension of the ecosystem with the Adobe partnership and several other smaller partnerships It also became evident with the release of several products geared to the consumer business market such as the hardware in the Surface line such as the Surface Studio and the Surface Pro hybrid, both of which received giant kudos for their work power and their style in 2017. Plus multiple other things that are not the subject of this post.

But business applications, with the Adobe Digital Marketing component added and the completed integration of Parature as the core customer service component, while eminently capable of standing alone and competing with anyone, seem to be the bastard child probably because it’s a small piece of Microsoft’s overall business. It doesn’t get more than a lot of lip service and assurances that there is a commitment to it. Business Forward was valuable to me because it showed me that they have those capable apps, but the followup and subsequent lack of visibility since them makes me think that the commitments are just not there.

The reason I find this distressing is that how can you be an integral part of all of 21st century business infrastructure without a commitment to business apps beyond a lot of chapped lips?

As I stated in the beginning of this piece, and in the title of the post, this is a musing, not a piece of deep analysis. The reason? I don’t really have any interaction with Microsoft, for reasons that I thought I had the answer to, but as it turns out, I remain unaware of. I had some hopes that, post-Business Forward, that I’d be part of their analyst cadence again, but apparently I’m not, since my interaction since that event is once again back to none. I’m not complaining really. That’s their choice. But it does leave me with a lack of information that I would otherwise need.

Thus, this Microsoft discussion not does rise beyond more than my speculative observation. That said, I think I’m pretty sound in my thinking. I’m simply not claiming to as be definitive as I ordinarily am — but until I hear or see otherwise, this is and will be my working hypothesis. Business applications for Microsoft are seemingly being reduced to a peripheral piece of their business despite their protestations — and whether they intend that to be the case or not.

I hope that I’m wrong. I hope that they are smart enough to see that they have a highly competitive product suite at highly competitive pricing — and with Adobe in the mix can compete with anyone — and that their vision isn’t ever going to be complete without not just a reversal of their reduction of business apps importance, but an elevation of it as a mission critical part of the ecosystem needed to complete their vision.

But then, what do I know?

The Best and Favorite Personality Awards, Part Deux

For a long time, forever in fact, I have been dealing with senior management at multiple companies, most of whom I have found to be standup human beings — partially because I get to choose who I want to deal with, partially because most people are fundamentally good, not venal and it is not dictated by their position. What is somewhat dictated by their position, however, is the kudos, the lauding over their goodness, because they have such visible public postures and faces. And that’s fine and dandy. They are public, they have earned their position more often than not, though occasionally not and they have maintained their good nature in a broad public market, to their credit.

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mapping industry cloud thumb The big 4 tech companies    my musings on two, Microsoft and Salesforce

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Coud computing has engulfed lots of IT, but one of the untapped regions of the tech and business world is the industry cloud, focusing on vertical industries and more specialized applications.

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However, there is a much larger group of human beings who are equally as good — or even better in individual cases — who don’t get any recognition because they are not senior executives in the public eye. This group isn’t limited to a single job description or type of person. It is all those, the vast bulk of the human population who aren’t senior executives and who in specific aren’t necessarily public figures.

Yet, they work every bit as hard and are every bit as good in their own ways as the senior execs are. The difference is that nobody really publicly recognizes them for that.

Nine years ago, I did something about that to some degree and began what I called “The Best and Favorite Personality Awards” on my “other” blog, Pgreenblog (both here and here if you’d like to see who actually won) It recognized people who were either flying under the radar or simply didn’t get the good wishes they deserved and were (and are) truly good human beings for their warmth, kindness, empathy and also their business acumen. It recognized people in such categories as:

  1. Greatest Customer Advocate at Any Vendor (HOF-level)
  2. Best Interacting with Media & Analysts
  3. Most Gentlemanly Marketing Person
  4. Most Exceptional Executive Assistant
  5. The Secret Vendor IntellectualMost Under-the-Radar Exceptional Person at a Vendor
  6. They Get “It” Most Under-the-Radar Senior Management – Large Company
  7. They Get “It” Most Under-the-Radar Senior Management – Small Company
  8. Best Marketing Real Person
  9. The Incredible Decency Award (Vendor Version)
  10. Best Independent Analyst
  11. Best Corporate Analyst
  12. Analyst Who Walks the Walk
  13. Best Under-the-Radar Analyst
  14. Best Thought Leader in Her Own Right/Best PR Person to Deal With
  15. “Goodest” CRM Practitioner
  16. The “Charitable Heart” Award
  17. Best CRM Person in Academia
  18. Smartest Guy in CRM
  19. Most Under the Radar Good at What He Does

I spent a lot of time thinking through folks I knew and had worked with before and who really were great to work with and to know. And then… I didn’t really do much with it anymore and didn’t annualize the way that I intended.

So, starting in 2018, once again, I am bringing this back at the year end. Who are the good people that I know (and perhaps that you do) and who are the folks that can be publicly acknowledged to be the wonderful human beings they are. How I handle it is still TBD — only people I know; accepting nominations; working with a group of influencers/analysts to make the determinations?

I’ll figure all that out. But I have one person that I’m going to give the award to this year because I think that they (see how I keep you in suspense by making it gender neutral, though grammatically incorrect) truly should be applauded due to their exceptional work that goes noticed at their employer but is not known outside.

To do that and as a foretaste of things to come in 2018, I’m going to use the same three-judge panel I used in 2008. They are, in no particular order, but in conjunction:

  • My head
  • My heart
  • My hands

All eminently capable individually but are most capable when judging as a unit. So, as a taste of things to come, I’m announcing…

The Best and Favorite Personality Award for 2017 for Executive Assistant of the Year

Why this one? Because, as a group, executive assistants are perhaps the most underappreciated people — not usually at their place of employment — they tend to be recognized for the work they do there — but beyond that, not recognized at all — and that’s just wrong. Analysts like me, and all others who are involved in the outreach from vendors and others are always in touch — ALWAYS — with the EAs of many of the senior executives that we have to deal with. They are the lynchpin more often than not for the success or failure of a relationship between the analyst/influencer/journalist and the senior exec they serve — and often, thus, the company. That means that they are often the front office face of the company — behind the scenes — if that makes any sense.

There are a lot of very competent executive assistants. In fact, the bulk of those I deal with in a given year with any regularity — which means about 40-50 perhaps — are eminently capable of doing their job as well as the next person doing it. They all have ambitions too — most to be more than an executive assistant, which, they, in conversation, see as a stepping stone to their career ambitions.

But what makes the executive assistant who even qualifies for this award special is that they already exhibit enough maturity, skills, personality, knowledge, experience, and confidence to go beyond the job right away and already function in a capacity more like a chief of staff than the typical job description of an executive assistant. Meaning they stand head and shoulders above all those already very capable people who were among the candidates for this award.

It was a tough decision. There were three all in all, who showed me a lot more than being just excellent at their jobs — which is an achievement in itself. Of the three though, one stood out for their (see, still keeping it gender neutral but grammatically incorrect so I don’t give away the gender of the winner. How clever am I? (He stands patting himself on the nearly bald pate).

The one thing that they had that the other two candidates did not — a commanding presence and a level of confidence that smacked of “CEO of a company someday.” This person has all the chops to not only serve as an EA, not only be a chief of state, but could be, if that is their career interest, the leader of a company, because of the leadership qualities they exhibit in the role that they currently have.

So, without any further ado, the winner of this year’s Best and Favorite Personality Award for 2017 Executive Assistant of the Year is:

Kimberley Maddock of PROS!

While it might have been a tough race, Kimberley ultimately won hands down. What she (suspense over) does day to day at PROS is function well beyond her job description — more as a chief of staff than an executive assistant. That means that not only is she able to take care of what she is designated to be responsible for, but she also is able to take command in situations that demand it, be confident in her ability to tell the CEO, her boss, what he needs to hear and do — and engender the CEO’s trust to the point that he hears it and does it.

She also does this with grace, charm and good humor in a highly social position with responsibilities that tend to run to real time rather than long term — and thus have a constant pressure to have the tasks completed in the here and now — not an easy demeanor or workload to maintain day in and day out.

It goes beyond that though. She is responsible for the CEO office’s logistics which means the logistics and tasks that involve the entire ecosystem around the CEO, Andres Reiner. For example, that means that when PROS puts on Outperform, their user conference, she is responsible for my logistics or any other analyst who deals with the company. At Dreamforce, because PROS is a Salesforce partner, she is responsible for the scheduling of the CEO’s meetings but also, in conjunction with others, the success of their Dreamforce-related events — something that goes well beyond the scope of the job description.

Andres and the rest of PROS senior staff are well aware of it. I asked a couple of them for a quote about her for this post and here is what I got:

PROS SVP Tim Girgenti: “Kim is an outperformer in every sense of the word. She helps ensure everyone around her is successful, while making her own job seem effortless. Kim genuinely has the best interest of others at heart. I couldn’t be happier for her as she wins this well-deserved award.”

PROS President & CEO (and Kim’s boss) Andres Reiner: “Kim is incredibly deserving of this recognition, and I’m pleased to offer my sincerest congratulations for this extraordinary award. Kim serves as an example for all of us and for PROS core values when it comes to creating positive experiences for people both inside and outside our company. Her passion and commitment to innovation and ownership in her role guide all she does to make PROS great. I’m honored to work with her. “

See what I mean. It was no problem getting those quotes. I had them without any hesitation on their part. They get her value.

In my dealings with her, when something needs to be relative to me as an analyst or as retained adviser to the company, the stuff gets done in time and never needs to be fixed ex post facto. And always with good cheer and a strong personal interaction.

But finally, another distinguishing feature, she has a future in mind that takes her to another level — meaning the kind of ambition that requires great character prior to achieving it. I’ll leave it to her to tell you what that is if she wants to but all in all, Kim is worthy of being singled out as the Best and Favorite Personality Award Executive Assistant of 2017, because she deserves to be known by more than those from PROS. So, I’m telling you.

CRM Watchlist Status and Media Plans

Finally, I want to close this post with a status report on the 2019 CRM Watchlist and some big plans that I have moving forward through the next 3 years. I’m going to be brief since this, as always, is a long post.

Here they are in brief:

CRM Watchlist 2019 Status

  1. New criteria that separate out the Watchlist qualifiers (mature companies) and the Emergent Maturity Index Award qualifiers (emerging companies) are now completed. Watch for them 1/2019.
  2. A couple of twists will be surprising but positive for the Watchlist submitters. Though not necessarily obviously there, trust me, they are.
  3. The questionnaire revamp is underway but not complete yet. It also will come out 1/2019 when the new registration forms are made available.
  4. Registration opening for the CRM Watchlist 2019 and the EMI 2019 will be most likely the last week in January not the first week as originally planned.

Digital 2018 Game Plan

I’m planning on opening up the 56 Group site. The game plan which may change dramatically by the time I actually do this is:

  1. Two blogs — one devoted to business stuff that wouldn’t be on ZDNet; the second will be anything at all — literature, consumer reviews, sports, science, art, pop culture, music, food reviews. Whatever I want.
  2. A community
  3. Forums
  4. Most interestingly — a learning management system (LMS) with courses on customer engagement. Based on the book, I’m looking into actual certification and what it requires — not just a claim that I am certifying you.
  5. A paid member only area
  6. A built-in loyalty program
  7. A marketplace
  8. The revival of my podcast which was called Experience on the Edge (EOTE) and may be that again but may not
  9. A home for CRM Playaz

Is this all definitely going to come to pass? Not necessarily. We shall see. I have to see what kind of time this will demand of me and also what it takes to build it in WordPress which is not an existing skill I have, though I’m learning. I have one offer of some help which may make this easier. More on this coming later. Launch looks to be midyear. Or some other time before or after that.

So, this is post 1 of 3 that will end 2017 and usher in a great 2018 which I am excited for. Very excited for and thankful for — that I get to do this for three more years. I’m a lucky person. That I am.

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Microsoft Dynamics 365 vs. SalesForce

Trying to decide whether to implement Microsoft Dynamics CRM or SalesForce may seem like a tricky decision at first. We are here to guide you through your decision-making process and present some advice our clients have found helpful in the past.

Logan Consulting is a proud supporter of Dynamics CRM, also known as Dynamics 365, for a variety of reasons. Dynamics 365’s overall cost, integration ability, development, deployment, and consulting options outshine the competitors.

Here’s why:

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CRM Software Blog | Dynamics 365

9 Ways Microsoft Dynamics CRM nurses Healthcare Provision to its full potential

With flu season in full swing, healthcare is at the top of everyone’s mind. Whether you’re a patient or a healthcare provider, there is no illusion that the healthcare system is perfect. Certain things can be streamlined and made more efficient, helping everyone involved.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions are a logical group to turn to in search for a remedy (yes – medical humor will be involved). But we’re here to make the case that Microsoft Dynamics CRM is an all-round ERP winner when it comes to healthcare.

Here are 9 ways that CRM can improve the quality of services of a healthcare provider.

  1. Patient history access

Avoid the all-time irritating experience of asking “So why are you here?” and having a patient stare back at you with dismay as they have to repeat their ‘journey’ for the fifth time. Microsoft Dynamics CRM allows access to a centralized patient profile with a list of previous appointments and referrals. You can now spend that time focusing on more targeted questions.

  1. Targeted educational outreach

You effortlessly improve the overall health of patients with automated messaging campaigns. For example, you can make sure your Diabetes patients receive newsletters with tips, or your Smokers are alerted to group meetings to help them quit. Something so simple and easy can lead to some results.

  1. Remote monitoring

Patients confined to their homes are always difficult to treat; you may not get there in time of an emergency, or spend a long time commuting away from other patients. Microsoft Dynamics CRM allows you to monitor at-home medical devices as well as receive alerts when vitals, etc. start to misbehave or fall into dangerous zones. Response time can this be heavily shortened.

  1. Patient profiles – not your average EHR

Say ¡adiós! to symptom-listing EHRs. Microsoft Dynamics CRM allows for the creation of a patient profile, which includes lifestyle choices among other useful details. These profiles are important because studies have shown that the quality of healthcare provided is not the only thing affecting patient health. When doctors are aware of these other factors, they can better tailor their treatment and healthcare plans.

  1. Building care plans

With all the patient data that a CRM can hold, it easily builds unique care plans that tailored to a specific patient’s requirements and needs. Additionally, it allocates tasks to each member on a care team. Coupled together, these make a patient’s treatment more effective and efficient.

  1. Better coordination and communication

Furthermore, Microsoft Dynamics CRM provides a platform for communication: the patient and all healthcare providers involved are updated with new tasks, notified to missing treatments, and can communicate in real-time. More efficient care and fewer mistakes are just a few of the positive outcomes of CRMs in the healthcare industry.

  1. Cohort analysis

Furthermore, this comprehensive conglomeration of data enables a number of insights to be drawn, not solely based on the analysis of a single patient, but on a whole population. This is a slightly harder point to describe, but analysis → insight → better action/diagnosis/treatment is the overall gist.

  1. Clinical trial management

Again, not an expert in the goings-on of a clinical trial, but Microsoft Dynamics CRM is noted to be able to streamline the entire process. From planning and implementation to tracking and analysis, data is centralized and easily accessible and manageable.

  1. Recruitment aides

Microsoft Dynamics CRM is also equipped with recruitment tools to assist in the hiring of highly qualified medical professionals. Ultimately, this can only help maintain a level of quality healthcare provision, if not improve it too.

Even if you just read the section headers, you can see that there are many benefits to adopting Microsoft Dynamics CRM if you’re a healthcare provider.

Want to find out more or a get a personalized demo – contact us.

John Hoyt, Technology Management Concepts, www.abouttmc.com

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CRM Software Blog | Dynamics 365

How to Fix Microsoft Dynamics 365 App for Outlook Add-In Error

Have you ever tried to install the Microsoft Dynamics 365 App for Outlook and were faced with the below error?

image thumb How to Fix Microsoft Dynamics 365 App for Outlook Add In Error

This is not only an un-useful error but does not suggest why this add-in could not start. Never fear, the fix is very simple! This error occurs because of a disabled security feature which the Outlook client requires when an add-in is installed. To enable this security feature do the following:

  1. Navigate to Internet Options.
    image thumb 1 How to Fix Microsoft Dynamics 365 App for Outlook Add In Error
  2. Navigate to the Security tab and ensure that the ‘Enable Protected Mode’ box is ticked.
    image thumb 2 How to Fix Microsoft Dynamics 365 App for Outlook Add In Error
  3. Press ‘OK’ and close Internet Explorer and Outlook.
  4. Re-open Outlook and press the ‘Dynamics 365’ add-in.
  5. You may need to restart your PC before the changes take effect.

There you have it, an easy fix to allow the Dynamics 365 add-in to work on your PC.

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Magnetism Solutions Dynamics CRM Blog

Webinar 12/7 -Using Microsoft Flow to automate a B2B approval process by Paul Schaeflein

Recently one of our Office MVPs, Paul Schaeflein, was asked how to automate a process to request and approve external users having access to content inside an Office 365 Group.   In this webinar Paul will go through how to use Microsoft Flow, Azure B2B and Microsoft’s Cloud services to solve this scenario.   Out of the box, Microsoft Flow allows you to connect to many cloud-services. But what about your line-of-business systems? With a JSON-capable web service, your employees can use Flow to automate their processes without development skills. Come learn how to connect Flow, APIs, Azure AD and Office 365 in this demo-heavy session.  Note: Note with PowerApps and PowerBI adoption of B2B this scenario will become mainstream.


When: 12/7/2017 10AM PST

Subscribe to watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIImcUZyP7U




Schaeflein Paul Webinar 12/7  Using Microsoft Flow to automate a B2B approval process by Paul Schaeflein


Paul Schaeflein is a solution architect/developer with more than three decades experience in architecting, designing and developing software solutions. This experience covers a vast range of technologies, languages and industries. Paul is an independent consultant, helping organizations of all sizes with their application development, ALM and SharePoint/Office 365 projects. Paul is a top-rated speaker, having presented at SharePoint Evolutions, the Microsoft SharePoint Conference and TechEd conferences, as well as user groups. In recognition of these community efforts, he is recognized as a Most Valuable Professional (MVP). Paul has a blog at http://www.schaeflein.net/blog, and is active on Twitter as @paulschaeflein. You can also reach him at paul@schaeflein.net.

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Microsoft Power BI Blog | Microsoft Power BI

Microsoft Dynamics 365 vs Salesforce Webinar December 7th

Dynamics 365 vs Salesforce 1 300x297 Microsoft Dynamics 365 vs Salesforce Webinar December 7thMicrosoft Dynamics 365 (CRM) and Salesforce. If you are evaluating a customer relationship solution for your organization, odds are pretty good that you have come across the names of these two leading CRM platforms.

Just like Coke vs Pepsi these two technologies have many similarities.  But how do they really compare to each other?

If you have begun your research online you can find TONS of information on each of these touting their strengths and weaknesses.

Ledgeview Partners takes a unique approach and works with both of these solutions, which allows us provide you with an unbiased look at each of these leaders side by side.

Join us for our “Salesforce vs Microsoft Dynamics 365/CRM” webinar as we dig in and evaluate each of these solutions across multiple comparison points with a focus on sales that include:

  • Navigation
  • Dashboards
  • Pipeline Management
  • Sales Process and Account Management
  • Mobile and Portals

To round it out, we will be talking about what makes each solution unique beyond sales including marketing, customer and field service, community, social, third-party add-on solutions, and more.

Whether you have a CRM in place, or looking for a new solution, you will not want to miss the comparison of these two giants. If you cannot attend the live session, register, and we will provide a link to access the webinar on-demand after the live session.

Webinar: Salesforce vs Microsoft Dynamics 365/CRM
Date: Thursday, December 7th, 2017
Time: 11:00am – 12:00pm CST
Hosted by Ledgeview Partners

Salesforce vs Microsoft Dynamics 365 Webinar 12 7 17 1 Microsoft Dynamics 365 vs Salesforce Webinar December 7th

For more information on this webinar or business and technology services and solutions, please contact Ledgeview Partners at [email protected].

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CRM Software Blog | Dynamics 365

Released: Microsoft Kerberos Configuration Manager for SQL Server 4.1

We are pleased to announce the latest generally-available (GA) of Microsoft Kerberos Configuration Manager for SQL Server.

Get it here:Download Microsoft Kerberos Configuration Manager for SQL Server

Note : this replaces the previously released v4.0.

Why Kerberos?

Kerberos authentication provides a highly secure method to authenticate client and server entities (security principals) on a network. To use Kerberos authentication with SQL Server, a Service Principal Name (SPN) must be registered with Active Directory, which plays the role of the Key Distribution Center in a Windows domain. In addition, many customers also enable delegation for multi-tier applications using SQL Server. In such a setup, it may be difficult to troubleshoot the connectivity problems with SQL Server when Kerberos authentication fails.

Here are some additional reading materials for your reference.

Why use this tool?

The Kerberos Configuration Manager for SQL Server is a diagnostic tool that helps troubleshoot Kerberos related connectivity issues with SQL Server, SQL Server Reporting Services, and SQL Server Analysis Services. It can perform the following functions:

  • Gather information on OS and Microsoft SQL Server instances installed on a server.
  • Report on all SPN and delegation configurations and Always On Availability Group Listeners installed on a server.
  • Identify potential problems in SPNs and delegations.
  • Fix potential SPN problems.

This release (v4.1) adds support for Always On Availability Group Listeners, and fixes SPN format incompatibility with Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 (introduced in v4.0).

  • Microsoft Kerberos Configuration Manager for SQL Server requires a user with permission to connect to the WMI service on any machine its connecting to. For more information, refer to Securing a Remote WMI Connection.
  • For Always On Availability Group Listeners discovery, run this tool from the owner node.
  • Also, if needed for troubleshooting, the Kerberos Configuration Manager for SQL Server creates a log file in %AppData%\Microsoft\KerberosConfigMgr.

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SQL Server Release Services

How to Get 30 Day Trial of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Free

Microsoft allows us to sign up for 30 day Dynamics 365 trial for free. We can do this to test out new and up to date features that Microsoft Dynamics 365 comes with. This also allows us to use the trial instance for development purpose.

In this blog, I walk through the steps to get access to Dynamics 365 instance with 30-day trial.

1)    Go to https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics/free-crm-trial

2)    Click on “Get Started”.

image thumb How to Get 30 Day Trial of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Free

3)    Click on “Sign Up here”.

image thumb 1 How to Get 30 Day Trial of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Free

4) Enter your organisation details & click on “Next”.

image thumb 2 How to Get 30 Day Trial of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Free

5) Enter the details for creating a user ID, and then click on “Create my Account”.

image thumb 3 How to Get 30 Day Trial of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Free

6) Enter the details about your user ID and sign in page will be presented. Be sure to save these details somewhere. Then to finish the setup of 30-day trial, click on “Set up”.

image thumb 6 How to Get 30 Day Trial of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Free

7) Based on your needs, select the scenario that fits you the best. Also, you can change currency before completing the setup. After you click on “Complete setup”, you will be redirected to a 30-day trial Dynamics 365 online instance.

image thumb 5 How to Get 30 Day Trial of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Free

Additional Information

Since this is an online instance, you can manage the users form office.portal.com and access Dynamics 365 Administration Centre from here. The 30-day trial comes with 25 “Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement Plan Enterprise Edition” licences, which means each user can be granted access to following:

1)    PowerApps for Dynamics 365

2)    Flow for Dynaimcs 365

3)    Microsoft Social Engagement Enterprise

4)    Office Line

5)    SharePoint Online (Plan 2)

6)    Project Online Services

7)    Project Online Desktop Client

8)    Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement Plan

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Magnetism Solutions Dynamics CRM Blog

Microsoft Dynamics 365 ♥ Azure App Services

CRM Blog Microsoft Dynamics 365 ♥ Azure App Services

Microsoft Dynamics 365 ♥ Azure App Services

Peanut Butter & Jelly ….. Cookies & Milk ….. Han Solo & Chewbacca

There’s been some great pairings that have stood the test of time.  Individually they each have their unique strengths, but combining them makes an unstoppable duo!  I’ve been working in the Microsoft space for my entire career, and want to nominate another amazing couple:  Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Azure App Services

What is Dynamics 365 CRM?

Dynamics 365 CRM stands for customer relationship management. It’s a category of integrated, data-driven solutions that improve how you interact and do business with your customers. CRM systems and applications are designed to manage and maintain customer relationships, track engagements and sales, and deliver actionable data—all in one place.

Dynamics 365 is a very powerful platform, but one platform cannot do it all.

What if you need to run a consistent background process?

What if you need to build a custom web interface or API?

What if you need to present data or documents publicly across the internet?

No need to worry because Microsoft Azure App Services can handle these tasks.

What is Microsoft Azure App Services?

The Microsoft Azure App Service (MAAS) is a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offering from Microsoft Azure.  This service allows you to create WebApps for custom interfaces and Application Program Interfaces (APIs), and WebJobs to automate complex tasks.  MAAS runs apps on fully managed virtual machines (VMs), and are easy to scale when additional resources are needed.  Here are some of the reasons why the MAAS platform and Dynamics 365 complement each other:


MASS and Dynamics 365 run on top of the .NET framework, making it very easy to integrate the two platforms using their APIs.

Dynamics 365 assembly limitations

Dynamics 365 utilizes custom assemblies to execute custom code within a process.  These processes are bound to certain limitations, such as an execution timeout and the inability to include foreign assemblies.  The MASS platform is not bound to these limitations, and can execute any code that is required.


Dynamics 365 processes execute based on a data driven event. The MASS platform can execute based on a time driven event, which allows it the ability to perform repetitive automated functions based on the time of day.


All HTTPS web traffic between MAAS and Dynamics is encrypted using a sha256RSA algorithm.  The certificate implemented to encrypt the data is issued By Microsoft IT SSL SHA2.  You can read Microsoft’s issuers statement here. 


The MAAS platform is International Standards Organization (ISO), Service Organization Controls(SOC) and Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliant.  You can read Microsoft’s compliance offerings here.

Global scale with high availability

The MAAS platform can scale up or out manually or automatically. Microsoft’s global data center infrastructure promises availability as defined here.

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CRM Software Blog | Dynamics 365

How to Create Test Data with Known GUIDs in Microsoft Dynamics 365

When developing for Dynamics 365, there are times when it can be very handy to have test data with specified GUIDs, particularly when troubleshooting code that finds and returns or otherwise manipulates the GUIDs of entities, or entity references.

In such situations, it may make sense to create a range of test data with known GUIDs in Dynamics 365. This can be accomplished quite easily, using either a console application, or JavaScript.

Entities can be created with a specified GUID by specifying the GUID as part of the attribute set in creation, so it’s simply a matter of selecting an easily identifiable GUID for use. In the following examples, I’ll give a snippet of sample code demonstrating how to create an Account record with the Web API and using the IOrganizationService sdk, which is possible to obtain via a console app.

Creating via WebAPI

This can either be run from the console or as part of a web app. If you’re creating records, I’d suggest running it from the console.

image thumb How to Create Test Data with Known GUIDs in Microsoft Dynamics 365

For the purposes of this example, I’ve hardcoded all values except for the id, but it would definitely be possible to pass in additional parameters for variables such as api version, account name, or any additional attributes you may wish to set.

Creating via Console App (C#)

For information on how to connect to Dynamics 365 via a console app, sample console apps can be found as part of the Dynamics 365 SDK.

image thumb 1 How to Create Test Data with Known GUIDs in Microsoft Dynamics 365

The record is created as usual, using the IOrganizationService obtained from the Dynamics 365 instance.

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