Browsing articles in "Blog"

Big data – bad, bad data!

Ah, big data! Cloud computing is so 2012! Last year’s [2013] buzzword was big data, and there is a lot of use (and misuse) of it in the media. Consequently there are a lot of organisations interested in the subject and how it can help them improve their businesses. The problem is, the vast majority of people that I came across who talk about big data have little to no merit to discuss the subject.

Last year I read two articles in particular, both the cover of important international publications, on the subject of big data. One article was the cover of Foreign Affairs, and the other the cover of VEJA. While both articles have their merits, they also helped to perpetuate a lot of misconceptions, which I am tackling in this post.


Dynamics CRM 2013: Diving into the sales pipeline – Part 2

In my previous post of this series, we discussed some fundamental concepts of the sales pipeline and how Dynamics CRM handles the sales process. While considering the requirements of ACME (a fictitious company), we defined the stages of their sales pipeline, and started to outline the functional specification of the opportunity entity, including the elaboration of an opportunity probability matrix.

In this post we will discuss how to implement ACME’s sales pipeline through the creation of a business process flow. Read more >>

Dynamics CRM 2013: Diving into the sales pipeline – Part 1

No matter how orthodox and customisation-free you want your Dynamics CRM implementation to be, there is always one aspect of Dynamics CRM that must be customised: The Sales Pipeline. Such customisation is required if you want the default sales pipeline to work properly, as well the sales pipeline report.

The issue at hand is, how can we set-up a functional sales pipeline with charts and reports, yet keeping Dynamics CRM as close as possible to its out-of-the-box functionality?

In this series of posts, we will be covering the implementation of a sales pipeline based on the requirements of a fictional organisation, called ACME. Dynamics CRM 2013 provides new tools and functionality that enable us to create a streamlined business processes, including a sales pipeline.

Because there’s so much to discuss here, I’m going to break this up into multiple parts. And in this first part of the series, I’d like to address the fundamental concepts of the sales pipeline and introduce some key points on how to conduct a requirement assessment.


Opportunity entity changes in Dynamics CRM 2013

Last week I wrote a post about the changes in the Lead entity introduced by Dynamics CRM 2013. Following the course of the traditional Dynamics CRM sales process, the next entity to tackle is the opportunity entity.


From Windows Server 2012 to 2012 R2: A storage pool nightmare

Earlier this year, I decided to give me ageing HP MediaSmart EX470 some extra life by installing Windows Server 2012 Essentials in it — a process that I documented in this post of

Now that Microsoft release windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials, I decided to do the upgrade, thinking that it would be a simple and streamlined process. Boy, was I wrong. Besides some issues with the setup of the new OS, I had to crack my head with a storage pool that was refusing to play ball, while Windows was returning little to no information to help me troubleshoot the problem. I was about to wipe the disks until I decided to have another go and I fixed the problem. I hope this post will help those out there with the same or similar issue. Read more >>

Lead entity changes in Dynamics CRM 2013

In Dynamics CRM, no entity tends to cause more confusion to like the Lead entity. I do get that newcomers to CRM might be confused, and after many training sessions and constructive feedback I reckon I came up with a nice approach to explain the importance of this entity. Most people get it, but some companies still decide not to use the lead entity. Sometimes they genuinely don’t need to use it; but quite often then don’t use it because they don’t understand the true potential of leads.

For Dynamics CRM 2013, Microsoft has performed some significant changes in the Lead entity with the intuit to address those issues, which I will be covering in this post.


Sérgio Vieira de Mello: 10 Years

Ten years ago today, the world lost Sérgio Vieira de Mello; a unique and wonderful human being who dedicated all of his adult life for the well-being of others.


Cloud storage – The good, the bad and the ugly

During the release of Windows 8.1 public preview last month, Microsoft announced that SkyDrive will be even more pervasive in Windows 8.1, not only being the default save location for users’ documents and pictures, but also storing system settings and user profile.

More recently, Forbes reported on a story that Dropbox is moving beyond the typical cloud storage business model of file sync, to a broader data store API that will allow people to sync contact lists, settings game sales and all other sorts of data.

While I welcome innovation, I will stay away from public cloud storage as much as possible. And here is why.


Dynamics CRM: Almost xRM

I’ve been getting some emails from readers praising some of the tutorials I wrote round Dynamics CRM customisation and wondering if I have any further tutorials planned. As a matter of fact I do – or perhaps I did. Upon examining some of the topics I was hoping to write about, I came to a poignant realisation: The vast majority of subjects I was hoping to write are about how to circumvent limitations of the Dynamics CRM platform.

As I investigated these limitations on forums, blogs and other sources about Dynamics CRM I can only conclude that Microsoft is doing little to nothing to address most of these concerns. I’ve been working with Dynamics CRM for years and I’m starting to feel as if Microsoft might be in denial about some of the feature requests they receive on Microsoft Connect website.

With all that in mind I feel that before I write any further articles about Dynamics CRM, I should write one article about the Dynamics CRM limitations I find intolerable. In case you’re wondering, I agree that this post has a “ranting” connotation. However I’d like readers to see beyond my frustration and consider the points I am raising as a way to encourage further enhancements on the xRM framework. I truly believe that if Microsoft follow-up on these issues, it will greatly increase the competitive advantage of Dynamics CRM to the point it will become the de-facto market leader. Read more >>

The entertainment industry’s war on consumers II

A year ago I wrote a post in this blog about my concerns around digital rights management and how companies like Microsoft and Sony are looking into ways of blocking users from buying and playing used games. This is a move that, in my view, is paving the way for the entertainment industry to transform consumers in a money-making battery farm through the introduction of such limitations in their upcoming consoles.

There’s been a lot of uproar in the comments section of technology news and information websites about this issue recently, and some people saw with optimism the statements by some Sony executives that PS4 will not block used games. Well, I don’t share such optimism. Read more >>