Browsing articles tagged with "dynamics crm Archives - Pedro Innecco"

A new beginning

I’ve been postponing the writing of this post long enough, but I think I owe the readers of my blog an explanation as to why there is so little updates on Dynamics CRM coming from me. So here is my long and overdue update.


Microsoft acquires Parature

Jan 7, 2014   //   by Pedro Mac Dowell Innecco   //   Dynamics CRM/365  //  Comments Off on Microsoft acquires 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.


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 >>

Dynamics CRM: The importance of the Address entity

Earlier this year I wrote an article about considerations when customising address fields. I was happy with the reception the article got, as it sparked some interesting discussions not only with some of my clients, but also with fellow Dynamics CRM consultants.

Today I would like to expand further on that discussion and talk about an often neglected entity in Dynamics CRM: The Address entity and its importance in every single Dynamics CRM deployment out there (yes, including yours).


Dynamics CRM: Set Title Case for a text field using JScript; but only once

Today I had to work on a interesting JScript for Dynamics CRM. When creating a new Contact record, the text values within the fields for First Name, Middle Name and Last Name should have a Title Case enforced to them. For example, if a user types “JOhN” in the First Name field, the case should be automatically corrected to “John”.

To make things more interesting, here is the second part of the requirement: After a case correction has been performed in a field, it shouldn’t be performed again. So if the user now proceeds to type “JOHN” in the First Name field after the first case correction, the system should leave the case as it is.

Now, I am not saying that I agree with this requirement, but it is a requirement nonetheless. I make no secret that I am far from having the JScript knowledge I aspire for, so this was a good exercise for me and I hope the community can benefit from it.


Dynamics CRM: JScript vs workflow – Caveats

JScripts in Dynamics CRM are a powerful feature to enhance the user interface in Dynamics CRM. We can use JScripts to perform calculations and validate fields in forms in order to introduce a better user experience. However, JScripts are a client-side based, and only work with the desktop-based (main) forms. In other words, if the user is accessing Dynamics CRM through a mobile device displaying the mobile forms, or using a 3rd party client for a tablet device, the JScripts will not be loaded at all. Workflows on the other hand are server-based, and they will execute no matter which device and client is used to access Dynamics CRM.

This often raises the question of JScript versus workflows when customising Dynamics CRM, particularly when designing a sales pipeline workflow. In this posts I explain how to combine the usage of both JScript and workflows in order to get the best of both worlds, and the most out of Dynamics CRM.


Dynamics CRM: Considerations when customising address fields

The perceived issue on customising address fields and how to store addresses in computer systems always fascinated me. Not because of any apparent complexity one might believe that exists when handling addresses, but mostly because of people’s undeserved anxiety around the subject. And in Dynamics CRM it is no different.

The issue tends to surround the myth that countries and regions with different subdivisions would require complex requirements for address handling. I came across a couple of clients who believe that they require such a complex solution that their Dynamics CRM deployments almost came onto a halt because of such hurdle. I the end, the solution relies not on complex customisation, but on standards compliance, a little bit of compromising, but most importantly: common sense.

Please note that while this post relates to address fields in Dynamics CRM perspective, the data management considerations presented here should be taken into account regardless of the applications. Read more >>

Dynamics CRM: Creating a radar chart

From all of the new features in Dynamics CRM 2011, the one that got me thrilled the most is charts. Dynamics CRM comes with a selection of charts for opportunities, leads, accounts and so on. It also allows users to create five different chart types straight from the Dynamics CRM interface: Column, Bar, Line, Pie and Funnel.

However, there is more to charts than it meets the eye. The charts functionality in Dynamics CRM leverages the ASP.NET chart controls, which means that we have at our disposal over 20 different chart types we could use. I decided to put the theory into practice and I created my very first radar chart for Dynamics CRM: Deals Won vs. Deals Lost by Territory. Read more >>

Dynamics CRM: The importance of the Lead entity

One issue I often come across with Dynamics CRM customisations is clients being puzzled about the Leads entity. I do have a share of clients that genuinely have no need for the Lead entity, but you’ll be surprised how many people turn a blind eye to Leads based purely on misunderstandings and incorrect assumptions. Then when we get to explain the real use of the Lead entity they would often go “oh, wait. We do want that!” So I decided to write this post about why I find Leads to be of such importance in Dynamics CRM. Read more >>

Dynamics CRM: From a smart CRM to a dumb ERP

Dynamics CRM is indeed a fantastic tool and one of my favourite products out there. Now with Dynamics CRM 2011 concept of xRM (“anything” Relationship Management), the application can be truly extended beyond the conventional “customer relationship management” model. However, one must not forget the core constant in which Dynamics CRM has been architected: Relationship Management.

What I am asserting is that Dynamics CRM is not an ERP system, accounting system or a service management system; and it was never supposed to be either of these. Yet I have seen a lot of companies out there trying to customise Dynamics CRM beyond the appropriate scope. Read more >>