Browsing articles in "IT"

Dynamics CRM 2015: My light at the end of the tunnel

While I have been busy working on other projects which are not related to Dynamics CRM, I have been eagerly following the development of Dynamics CRM 2015, which is scheduled for release this fall (Q4/2014).

When version 2015 was initially announced, I was not as enthusiastic as I were as in previous versions due to some recent disappointments, which I have ranted on about before. However, Microsoft has made some announcements for this upcoming version that really made me see the light at the end of the tunnel.

In this short post I would like to share with you my feelings about some of these features that have been announced. Read more >>

Windows 8.1 and Microsoft Account: How to alienate people

Microsoft has been doing a lot of work recently to make amends with their customer base after the introduction of Windows 8. The first update (Windows 8.1) brought back the start button, the second update (Windows 8.1 Update 1) made the Metro interface (yes, “Metro” I am sticking with the name) more mouse and keyboard friendly, and they recently announced they will be bringing back the Start Menu in an upcoming update.

All the signs are pointing that Microsoft is listening to their customers and willing to provide them with a choice. Choice: The not-so-secret ingredient that makes a system competitive and flexible across different user bases and segments. The ingredient that Microsoft decided to leave out in Windows 8 for reasons nobody knows why (and I bet this includes people in Microsoft itself), which is as bad as a pasta dish with no sauce, or a paella without saffron.

All well when it ends well, right? Well, not quite. There is one particular “feature” that Microsoft has been silently pushing into Windows, making it more difficult to avoid with every update: The Microsoft Account (previously known as Microsoft Wallet, then Microsoft Passport, then .NET Passport, then Microsoft Passport Network, and most recently Windows Live ID). With Windows 8 Microsoft provided users with the choice to integrate their user account with a Microsoft Account, which allow users to sync their settings across multiple devices. Read more >>

Dynamics CRM 2013: Diving into the sales pipeline – Part 3

In my previous post of this series, we discussed how to implement ACME’s sales pipeline through the creation of a business process flow (BPF) considering both the Lead and Opportunity entities. We created two business processes, one for opportunities that originated from leads, and another for opportunities that did not originated from leads.

In this post we will discuss how to implement ACME’s opportunity probability matrix through the creation of business rules.

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Dynamics CRM: Microsoft aquires Parature

Jan 7, 2014   //   by Pedro Mac Dowell Innecco   //   Dynamics CRM  //  Comments Off on Dynamics CRM: Microsoft aquires Parature

If there is one module of Microsoft Dynamics CRM that always leave me with the bitter taste of I wish I could, is the service module.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I reckon the service module provides good value, and I have deployed Dynamics CRM solution around this module in past which clients were happy with; but Dynamics CRM isn’t a full fledged service management system such like Remedy or Peregrine. The problem is that it doesn’t have much space for growth, particularly for organisations willing to provide service level agreements (SLAs) slightly more complicated than the default, over-simplistic examples.

The good news is that Microsoft announced today the acquisition of Parature; a customer self-service company based in Virginia, USA. Parature provides a bunch of products and services around service and support including a customer self-service platform, multi-channel customer service and social customer service.

I think it is fair to speculate that Microsoft is willing to provide their Dynamics CRM customer base with the ability to easily create their own support portals. The question at hand is whether this will be an offering only for Office 365 customers or if customers with on-premises Dynamics CRM should also expect to enjoy the benefits of this acquisition.

However as a Dynamics CRM consultant, what I am really looking forward to is the expected enhancements in the service module. Read more >>

Bring your own BS to work

Bring Your Own Device (or BYOD) is a trend that really started a little more than a couple of years ago, but I have noticed a significant hype in the overuse of the term in 2013. The concept is nice and I agree it does make sense… If you run a small, hipster company and you have long brainstorming sessions with your R&D team at your local Starbucks. The concept of BYOD for the enterprise is absurd, to say the least. And here is why.

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2014: Goodbye marketing hypes, welcome reason

2014 is finally here, and there is a lot of talk about on what to expect in the IT and technology sector for this year. Yet, I was hoping that we could take a break from marketing hypes, fads and other coolhunting nonsense that the media insisted on talking about in the past year. In this post I cover two topics that are at the top of my hype list: BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and big data. Read more >>

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.

Read more >>

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.

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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 WeGotServed.com.

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 >>

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