CRM 2011 now even better with added BING

  One of the things we have toyed with for a little while is creating map integrations for CRM 2011 and after some recent conversation with the Microsoft Bing Team we have an approach to move forward on and to give an integrated experience with content and Maps. A couple of the features we wanted to include in CRM 2011 were In CRM 2011 Phase 1 On the left navigation you will have an eMap Icon this will present a Map, that will show all active Account, Contacts and Leads. 1. From the map you can navigate to open any of the displayed CRM records  2. You can use the search capability to find areas and related CRM Records i.e. Search ABC company   3. You can select to use Advanced find for supported record types and display the returned search criteria on the Map   4. You can draw an area on the map and create marketing list or export to Excel  On each contact, lead or account record 1. A map is added to each of the above record types 2. Additional GEO data is added to the individual record 3. Driving instructions are available from a post code you enter to the contact record along either estimated travel time 4. Additional views for birds eye view and street level will be incorporated   Additional features have also been implemented and are currently in design to see if they make the first version or if these are to be included in the second product development phase. Remember that integrating Microsoft Bing into a line of business application requires user licences and this is not a free integration, eMAP will be fully licenced with built in Microsoft End user licences for Bing Maps. If you would like more information please email sales@mycrmgroup.com or register with the MyCRM Download centre http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/default.aspx          

Right I have created my Quote in CRM now as a Sales person where is the button to email it to the Customer

So even with the launch and subsequent rollup’s from Microsoft there is no easy way to send a quote or order confirmation out from Microsoft CRM 2011 with the click of a button.  I thought I’d take the time to document the process and then suggest some of the benefits of the ePDF solution from the end user. The functionality to do this is in CRM but if you want to go from creating the Quote record to getting an email to send with the quote or order attached this would be the process Create E-mail and Attach Quote PDF or Order PDF The CRM 2011 Way 1. Click Run Report Dropdown 2. Select the report to run 3. Click „Export‟ button 4. Select Acrobat (PDF) file 5. Select where to save report 6. Close Report Screen 7. Click on the „Add‟ tab 8. Click on E-mail 9. Click on Save 10. Click on Attach File 11. Click Browse 12. Find where you saved PDF and click Open 13. Click Attach  As you can see from the 13 steps not exactly time efficient or best use of a Sales Persons time.  I then looked for another approach, and this would be to use the CRM mail merge functionality which when I did, I ended up with about 18 different steps to get a word doc attached to my email and to be honest found this quite confusing.   In projects gone by and that sounds really bad but I have seen a range of solutions offered most involving the purchase of more licences for another 3rd party tools that would integrate in CRM, which from an end user point view is not ideal as you then working in several different interfaces.So after much investigation and not being able to find a solution I set about working with the team here at MyCRM to see if something could be done, not only for our customers but for me, as I use CRM 2011 all day long. The Solution Building on what we had learnt with CRM 4.0 we successfully, after a few updates released a solution called ePDF        The ePDF solution is an addition or extension to the way CRM works and extends the following record types in Microsoft CRM 2011.The ePDF solution allows the creation of a PDF attached files on an email to be created through a very simple process and extends the following record types. 1. Quote 2. Order 3. Invoice 4. Account 5. Contact 6. Service Activity 7. Contract 8. Lead Working with the team I wanted to help make the process as easy and as straight forward as possible and to be honest anything that reduced the 13 steps above had to improve my working environment, so this is what we got the process down to The ePDF way 1. Click Create PDF Report button on the entity tool bar2. Select the report to run from the pop up screen3. Click Create E-mail and Attach PDF from the pop up screen4. Email window opens with PDF attachment of related quote or report generated. So in a nutshell that was the reason behind ePDF and you can find more from the link below and download a trial for 14 days if you, like me, need to send quotes quickly. http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/ePDF.aspx Alistair (mycrm)    

Keep all your Contact Addresses in Sync with the Account

A customer that I was working recently commented on the way addresses are handled in Microsoft CRM 2011, and to be honest I’d never really thought of it as a problem. The Issue in More Detail.  Our customer noted that only one address could be created by default and obviously you could add address 2 and maybe even address 3 fields to the form but suddenly everything gets quite cluttered, they then where disillusioned to say the least that the address on the contacts did not stay in sync with the address entered at Account level.  Most consultants reading this will probably think as I did that is easy you just write some JavaScript and configure the form, but when the client has not budgeted for any configuration in areas like this it becomes a real issue for the project. The Requirement The requirement was really straight forward and after understanding what I was being told this made a lot of sense and made me think that this is the way CRM should actually work.  First off the customer needed the business address from the account to synchronise to all related contacts as a read-only business address on the contact form.Secondly be able to create multiple addresses that only displayed one address block on the form that could be filtered via a business type drop down or pick list field, and had an address for Business, Home and Other.Thirdly have the option to select a primary address on the contact i.e. one of the three addresses entered that would sync with the standard Address 1 fields in CRM so that when using mail merge on contacts you always got the primary address in the CRM Address 1 fields. The Solution I went away and discussed with the MyCRM team and a solution to meet the above requirement was created, the team created a number of plugins and JavaScript around the Contact and Account entity, to meet the requirement On the contact form we added the new 3 x Address Blocks    By changing the address selector the relevant information is displayed. You can also set the address to be the primary and this will copy the data to the We also took all the components that where developed and have created a solution called eAddress which can be found on the download centre http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/eAddress.aspx If you would like any further information re Addresses in Microsoft CRM 2011 then contact our sales team sales@mycrmgroup.com  

MyCRM Product Roadmap and Statement of Direction for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

Welcome to the first of our half yearly road map releases from Product extensions for Microsoft CRM 2011.Here at MyCRM we have a dedicated team of designers and developers that aim to deliver extended value for your CRM 2011 solution, you will see on the medium that we have various blog posts about our products and offering along with examples of how to do things.   Future Direction More recently MyCRM has been in a design and planning phase for product release in 2012, our end game to deliver a number of Subscription Services along with a number of new Products.  Our focus as a ISV is to deliver easy to use easy to install full document solution that add value to end users and organisation day to day activity. Quality is paramount and we will continue to offer maximum support cover for all products and solutions that are developed for CRM 2011.  Products developed for CRM 4.0 will be supported until the end of 2012, and then support on an adhoc per organisation basis as we fully understand that migration may need more of a business need.   New MyCRM Subscription Services Our focus for our new subscription services will be around extending the marketing capability for CRM which will include Email, SMS, Social, and registration management.  As an organisation we are going to focus on fixed price per month per module and unlike some providers will not charge for usage or volume or transactions.   New MyCRM Products We will continue to develop, extend and create solution for the Microsoft CRM 2011 platform for all deployment types support Online, Partner Hosted and On-Premise.  Our focus for the next batch of product will concentrate on Sales and managing data with an intention to offer better Product Management, Data Management Tools, and social integration for end users.

eView – a New way of working with CRM 2011

For the past 3 months we have been busily working on the first release of eView for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. So you may ask why change the way it works, why bother.  The answer is really straight forward, we love CRM, and CRM 2011 has re invigorated my use and need for this system in small, medium and enterprise business, but there are too many screens.  This is my opinion, I seem to be always opening and clicking and with 2011 there has be a move with the add tab on the ribbon, but we wanted more. So eView was born on a white board here in the office and as a team we um’d and argued about the functionality.  In a nut shell we wanted a single screen at record and workspace level that could search, display pinned records, display activities for a highlighted record and display notes for the same record.  We wanted a hierarchical view of related records so you could get a 360 degree view of the customer’s record you were working with    Above is the first draft release of the eView screen under workspace in CRM 2011, and the team and I think we have got most basses covered. Obviously you can open and edit records from this screen, but on the final release you will have the option to right click and add related records at each level, you can also Add / Edit notes and activities in the related activity or notes window. By selecting a record in the hierarchy view you will have the option to right click and select from a menu that allows you to add a related record, so on an Opportunity you could add Quote, Orders invoice, on an Account you could add contacts, sub accounts, opportunities, quotes. With eView our aim is to deliver a CRM working experience from a single page, and if you drill down to the Account, Contact or Lead you can see a summary view for that record from here     eView is also fully configurable from the point of which entities are displayed down to which end user can see which view,  the configuration page enables views to be created for Everyone User Role Team And in the same way the security roles work in CRM you can have multiple configurations that build up your individual view. As an example I may have the everyone view that gives me Account, Contacts, but I may have an additional configuration as I am the purchasing manager and this is based on a CRM role       We are now moving rapidly towards our release candidate at the end of November  and although there is still plenty to do to finesse for the final release, I’d be interested in hearing comments from anyone who works with or implements CRM2011 to hear if this is a valuable solution or not For many years now in the CRM market space there has been talk of the 360 Degree view of the customer, discussion about bringing all customer data together in a single view, so this is the MyCRM offering, hope you like it Also don’t forget to register from a free download account so you can test the products on release   Join Us  http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com Or join the App group on Linked in http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Microsoft-CRM-AppStore-Marketplace-1500-1803842?mostPopular=&gid=1803842   Regards Alistair