Forbes analyse CRM Implementations

As one of the most vital aspects for running any business, customer relationship management is something that should be taken very seriously.  However, a new feature in Forbes has argued that the implementation of many CRM systems suffer from an incomplete vision and do not live up to their potential.  The article looks at several ways in which the process can become more complete. Firstly, it notes that the amount of information that is collected from customers should increase substantially.  Rather than just looking at an order history, CRM should involve building up a more in-depth customer profile, of the sort that marketing would normally use. Secondly, it highlights the value of comparing an individual customer’s behaviour to the norm.  This will mean that it is easy to see what is unique about each one and can then lead to more personalised service. The reach of CRM should also be taken more seriously.  Currently, CRM is largely limited to sales, but the piece argues that almost everyone within a company – including customer service staff, repair technicians and even receptionists – should be able to access a view of the customer from CRM.  The expansion of the customer profile should be expanded using a combination of real-time data, big data and data from the internet.  Though not all of this information will be useful for a long-time, some of it may be able to become part of the permanent record. Finally, the article notes the importance of CRM apps being easily accessible on mobile devices.  According to the piece, “the ability to rapidly and affordably create custom mobile apps for each audience of the broader vision of CRM will become a differentiator”. What is not evident or highlighted as a major concern is the selection of the service partner, who can help enable the implementation of CRM for success.  It is key when addressing these type of issues to not lead the implementation of CRM as a technology project but as a process definition that leads to the adoption of a custom centric organisation. Most of the points highlighted in the full article are common and can occur in the implementation of a CRM systems or at later stages of acceptance, but the ability of the provider to help an organisation deliver a good CRM methodology and strategy and ongoing support for their business and for customer success is paramount. Working with a provider like MyCRM helps not only with the implementation of great technology using Microsoft Dynamics CRM, but the team can offer advice and knowhow to help with Sales, Marketing, Customer service and Support.  MyCRM has over 20 years’ experience in understanding how CRM as a technology and CRM as a business process can work in business and has therefore developed a number of off the shelf extensions like email marketing with eCampaign http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/eCampaign.aspx and location awareness with Bing Maps http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/eMap.aspx which can help reduce the cost of implementation greatly by using plug-in solutions. To find out more visit http://www.mycrmgroup.com To read more on the article at Forbes see here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/danwoods/2013/09/30/why-your-crm-implementation-is-quietly-failing/ To see why our customers like working with MyCRM http://www.mycrmgroup.com/customers.aspx  

eMap the next generation of CRM Mapping version 1.1.3 has been released

After many months of work and some great customer feedback from all of our customers using eMap for CRM 2011 we now have a new release with a range of new functionality which extends data visualisation and manipulation even further in the Microsoft CRM interface.  The new functionality includes 1.       Pivot Data through relationships 2.       View Selector at entity layer 3.       Default Pan and Zoom   Pivot Data and Pivot Rules though data relationships One of the great new features with eMap is the ability to pivot related data from a single pin, this means you can now select a single Account pin and show related data on the map for that account based on a configurable rule. Rules are created in the settings and can be used on different layers   You can create a rule that maps a relationship to the data that is requested for the relationship to display As an example you can see below the data for the Isle of Wight, this is where MyCRM is based and in the first screen shot you can see all related data    Now by switching the pivot view on you only see related data for the Account Record based on the rule    This is a very powerful option as it enable end users to identify single customers with related data and work directly with those records selected. View Selector at entity layer Another of the great new features for this release of eMap is the ability to switch on the view selector at the layer level, which gives end users the ability to quickly switch data views    By switching this setting on end users have access to system and personnel views that have been created on the CRM system for the data type.       This extend further the ability to visualize CRM data on a map interface and work directly with different view sets.  Default Pan and Zoom   The final new feature in this release of eMap is the ability to set the default pan and zoom when loading a Map in CRM   The map centre can be set to “All Pins” or “Form Entity”. “All Pins” is the current default behaviour and zooms and pans the map to fit all available pins.  New settings “Form Entity” only works on Form maps, and will set the centre of the map to be the location of the form entity. When this option is used, a default zoom level can also be set.    To get access to the latest version of eMap either view setting in the MyCRM licence manager where eMap is install or head to our application download centre to get a 14 day trial http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/eMap.aspx   About MyCRM MyCRM Limited is a UK based global seller of ISV extensions for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013.  We provide a number of extension products via our Application Download Centre and also offer a fully managed service for CRM to organisation across the UK and EMEA. Trading since 2009 MyCRM Limited has seen continued growth year and year with profits at an average of 28% of revenue. Please contact Alistair Dickinson for any clarification or further information Alistair@mycrmgroup.com  

eMap Release Candidate Now Ready for Beta Testing

LATEST UPDATE 6th December :- eMap is released via Download Centre http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/eMap.aspx LATEST UPDATE :- The new demo video is here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqLKpkrL3Ws&feature=plcp   It’s been a little while since I blogged about our forthcoming release of eMap which is a full integration with Bing Maps and Microsoft Dynamics CRM.  There are a number of reasons for this and below we cover off some of the points on why we decided to delay the release to improve on what was the initial proto-type.Originally we had built a solution in Silverlight that delivered some Bing Map functionality, but after further development we quickly realised that the adoption of Silverlight was probably not the best option for end users.  At this point we decided to hit the brakes and go with JavaScript and below you can see some of the results of how this looks in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.       The one thing we really wanted to achieve was a slick look and feel that complemented the way CRM worked, but extend the functionality of MAPS so that end users could easily work with data as pins on a MAP.    You can easily see from the map pin pop-up on the above screen shot that not only is the data that is shown in the pop-up configurable but there are a number of functions that enable actionsThese include:- 1. Add the pin to the route you are planning2. Create any standard or custom activities in CRM3. Assign a record to another CRM user In nearly all circumstances we have followed the standard design and reuse of Microsoft CRM components so if you wanted to create an activity from the pop-up then you would see the standard screen in CRM      If you then go onto create an activity as you would expect all the data from the record will come across to the newly created entity.      You can see from the side navigation tool bar that there are a number of MAP functions available for working with the data on the different layers. You can also see that you have the option to select different MAPS as within the eMAP solution there is the ability to create more than one map with one or more layers.  This means you could have a Customer map, or a Sales Opportunity Map by territory or a Service case Map, so the whole business can actively see where current activity is.      Currently in the eMAP solution there are 6 main functions to work with CRM data these are:-1. Map Section:- As stated before you can create more than one MAP and this part of the tool allows you to select which map you want to work with.2. View Type:- The view type allows you to select how you see the map either Aerial, Road or the standard Automatic setting.3. Quick Filter:- As the name suggest this allows you to filter the CRM data on the MAP layers  by typing In a name of a company or a contact or related record that is displayed on the Map4. Entity Distance Filter:- This filter enables an end user to quickly find records that are within a distance of each other and in the above example you can see contacts that are within 5 miles of an account record.5. Route Planner:- The route planner is a great way of creating a drive route  or visit plan for a number of listed customers and there a number of way to do.6. List Creator:- The list creator is a great feature for creating bulk actions and from here a user can create a bulk workflow job, add record to a Marketing list, copy data to the clipboard and bulk assign records from the selected list. One of the great features of eMAP is the ability to create lists containing data so that different actions can be taken, the screen shot below shows a range of data that has been selected.     You can see that the data is then displayed in a table and from here bulk jobs can be performed. These tasks include1. Copy the data from the table to the local clipboard so that it can be used in Microsoft Word or Excel or other applications2. Run a workflow against selected records3. Add selected records to a marketing list4. Add the data selected to use a quick campaign 5. Bulk assigns records to a new user or different team or Queue.So far we have only been looking at the Map capability from the left navigation but MAPs can also be included in individual entities giving additional functions The screen shot below shows a typical account with a map  Note that related sub accounts and contacts can be shown at the individual layer and easy to get navigation and driving instructions to a contact can be obtained by using the router planner and adding the contact to the route. This covers off most of the features available in eMAP with the first release with additional features like location sorting and data filtering coming in future releases. eMAP is a practical and easy way to work with Data in Microsoft Dynamics CRM and provides a great visualisation tool for Sales, Marketing and Service.There are many features and ways to combine MAP and GIS features into your business. For more information please register with the MyCRM Download Centre http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/ or email sales@mycrmgroup.com    

Creating Surveys in Microsoft Dynamics CRM with the all New! eSurvey

Creating Surveys in Microsoft Dynamics CRM with the all New! eSurvey Soon to be released is the latest fully integrated solution for Microsoft Dynamics CRM from MyCRM.  eSurvey is a full functional Survey, Poll and Data collection solution that can be used for Customer and Prospect Surveys, Competitions and even has the option to be used for running online Quizzes and Training, resulting in response scores and total scores. Data capture has never been so easy, as all questions can be created in CRM and all responses to the questions asked if stored against the contact.We have taken the opportunity although there are other no so functional options available to extend Microsoft CRM Marketing even further.With a drag and drop flexible user interface creating surveys has never been so easy the screen shot details the main survey screen in CRM.       With the rise in popularity of Social media and platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and blogs, you now have the ability to track in CRM where the responses came from. So if you were running a Poll or a Competition on Facebook and LinkedIn you could record the success and data from the individual responses, and trend the response rates. All the Survey responses are recorded directly in the CRM and this is a great way to also record prospect data that has contributed to an individual survey or entered a competition.     Each of the responses is stored within CRM can be used in workflow, so if certain questions are answered in a certain way then a work flow could trigger a call or an activity in CRM, increasing return on investment and coherence  between Marketing and Sales functions within the organisation. Each Survey, Poll or Competition will create a landing page for recipients outside of the organisation, this page can be branded to you company colours and you can add a default logo directly from CRM    After configuration the page might look like this, although this is just an example of colour change and adding logo’s     eSurvey will be accessible for demo via the MyCRM Download Centre detailing current on-premise price points for 2012.Please email Sales@mycrmgroup.com for further information        

Event Invitations for Microsoft Dynamics CRM2011

Here is our latest Demo solution for Event Invitation tracking within Microsoft CRM This solution is designed to work with eCampaign to enable organisations to track Events and Event responses directly in #CRM2011 after send the related Accept and Decline Links via an email marketing campaign.    For more information on eEvent and Invitation tracking please contact sales@mycrmgroup.com or register with http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/ Thanks Alisatir

Creating Images Galleries and Selected Images in Microsoft CRM2011

What we need is an Image Gallery!! Having had the opportunity to work on a number of projects and see a whole range of requirements and needs for CRM, I thought I would share this one as this forms part of our new solution ePicture.I was recently working with a customer, who had a catalogue of images for products that they sold, these happened to be images of Telephone handsets and switches.  There was a requirement and a need to include these images into CRM so they could be used with Quotes, Orders and web site integration.  It was also made quite clear that there was no apparent budget or desire to introduce a SharePoint instance or integration into the organisation. As an organisation they wanted to keep everything in one please, one system and one over all solution with one technology, usually a difficult ask, but this is what we delivered to meet the need ePicture (Images Galleries for CRM 2011) First we thought about having an area in settings, which can enable the creation of image galleries so that we could easily add images to any record type or entity with in CRM This way the ePicture solution can be used through simple configuration, any entity in CRM can have an associated picture gallery and the example I use is Contacts and Products.  Let me explain Why Online Selling and Online shops is growing at a pace and the old adage “A Picture Paints 1000 Words” rings true, as when you shop online or request a quote you are always more interested when you have a picture of the product your thinking of buying.  With ePicture you can enhance the product library in CRM2011 and send your customers compelling graphical quotes, which are generated through the standard reporting in CRM 2011.The other use for ePicture here is the use of a solution like this to capture pictures of contacts on your CRM system. Why you might ask Well this is great when your organisation is inviting people to an event and you want to issue an ID card you can simple take a web cam and record at registration point the person’s photo for the event purpose, this said you can also use the same feature for leisure or club membership where it is important to capture an image of the individual.  ePicture comes with an additional resource so that you can add a primary picture to the top level record while you may capture more than one picture for the individual in the image library. ePicture will be release toward the end of May 2012 via the MyCRM download Site, Register here http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/ Thanks Alistair    

Empower Your #Microsoft #CRM2011 Workflow with 36 New Workflow Functions

We are pleased to announce our first Workflow Function Library for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, in this release we have added 36 new function calls for CRM Workflow that extend the business logic for Business Automation and processing of Data eWorkflow – Marketing                     Function – GetLastCampaignForMember                    Function - GetLastCampaignResponseForMember                    Function – MarketingSubscribeUnSubscriberMember                    Function – UnsubscribeMemberFromAllMarketingLists                    Function – IsAMarketingListMember  eWorkflow – Calculations                     Function – BasicMath                     Function – ConvertTextToNum                    Function – EquationSolver/SumUp                     Function – CalculateMaximum                     Function – CalculateMinimum  eWorkflow – Dates                      Function – AddBusinessDaysToDate                     Function – AddToDate                     Function – DateDifference                     Function – DateDifferenceBusinessDay                    Function – GetDayNameAndNumber                     Function – PareseDateFromString                     Function – SubtractBusinessDaysFromDate                     Function – SubtractDaysFromDate  eWorkflow – RegEx                       Function – RegexMatch                      Function – RegexRelpace                      Function – RegexReturnMatch                      Function – RegexStringFormat  eWorkflow – Strings                       Function – CapitiliseString                      Function – PadString                      Function – RemoveWhitespace                     Function – ReplaceString                     Function – StringLength                     Function – SubString eWorkflow – Web                       Function –WebURLDecode                     Function –WebURLEncode eWorkflow – Sales                       Function – CountRelatedRecords (Entities)                     Function – TotalValueOfInvoices                      Function – TotalValueOfOpportunities                      Function – TotalValueOfOrders                      Function – TotalValueOfQuotes  eWorkflow – Other                       Function – CustomerType   We will be working on a release 2 and release 3 of the eWorkflow Library and will continue to extend the Library functionality, with community and customer feedback. For further information please contact sales@mycrmgroup.com   Release 11th May 2012, Pre-Register Here http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/  

Extending Microsoft Dynamics CRM2011 with Custom Workflow plugins

Since the release on Microsoft CRM 2011 and the release of the Microsoft Online platform we have had many prospects and customers come and ask the same question and that is Oh can I do that in Workflow? To date the answer has been you can if your deployment is on-premise but not if you’re online, which usually starts of a conversation with the words “Are You Sure” and the “Sales Person told us it was exactly the same software”So to clear that initial question or statement “Yes it is the same code build or same software” but and there is always a but, till now or until R8 is released you have not been able to run what are “Sandboxed” custom workflow plugins within CRM online. Enter R8, R8 has many changes and support for different things but one little snippet we really liked was:- "CUSTOM WORKFLOW ACTIVITIES IN CRM ONLINE With the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Q2 service update, developers can build custom .NET Workflow activity assemblies for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. These custom assemblies can be developed and deployed as part of a Microsoft Dynamics CRM solution package. Once a custom workflow activity has been deployed, it can then be utilized within the workflow engine for business process management. These new capabilities ensure parity in the developer experience between Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and on-premises. It also empowers organizations to bring external data, custom actions and integrations into their standard CRM business processes." This means you will be able to run custom workflow plugins as part of a solution.  This really does bring in line the capability and functionality of CRM 2011 regardless of deployment type.So why the blog post, well as expected we are now seeing customers come to us with requests for custom workflow plugins and to be honest we could build this on a one by one basis or a bespoke basis, but we have opted to release our full library of workflow extensions for CRM 2011. eWorkfloweWorkflow like all our other products and services starts with a download licenced install of a CRM2011 solution, once deployed you can start building extended workflows with the following additional functionality MarketingMarketing List Subscribe (/unsubscribe)Marketing List Remove (all)Get Last Campaign For MemberGet Last Campaign Response For Member SalesGet Total Value Of OpportunitiesGet Total Value Of QuotesGet Total Value Of InvoicesGet Total Value Of Orders General FunctionsEquation SolverBasic MathConvert ValueMaximumMinimumAdd Business Days To DateAdd To DateParse Date From StringSubtract Business Days From DateSubtract From DateRegex String FormatRegex MatchRegex ReplaceRegex Return MatchCapitalize StringPad StringReplaceString SubstringRemove WhitespaceURL DecodeURL Encode See all the new Workflow Helpers   So as you can see from the list above we have introduced a number of additional functions that can be used in CRM2011 but more importantly these are tested and supported to use straight from install. We anticipate that on release there may be other functions that get added, but this includes the first release. The eWorkflow Helper Library will ship with a number of tested workflow functions for #CRM2011 for both on-premise or hosted either online or partner hosted and can add a new level of automation to the implementation of CRM. You can register for a free download account with MyCRM at http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/ Or email sales@mycrmgroup.com Regards Alistair  

Turning CRM into a Prospecting and Location tool with Bing Maps and Bing Search - SEE DEMO

As promised we have now created a full video demo which can be watched below of the new eMAP Bing Map and Bing Search integration with Microsoft CRM 2011. The video is about 16 minutes long but does cover all the integration points for data directly in CRM.       As this is pre-release and if you have any suggestions of what great additions could be added please let me know as a number of people from the dynamics community have already contributed with great affect. We are also working with a number of partner data providers to enhance the experience and deliver more data and prospect information directly into your CRM, from the mapping tool. You can email us on sales@mycrmgroup.com Quoting eMAP.

MyCRM Product Release for Q2 – 2012 Update (eMAP)

We are working towards the release of a number of New products for early Q2 (April) for Microsoft CRM 2011.  The first of which is the eagerly awaited subscription product that enables the collaboration of Microsoft CRM 2011 with Bing Search and Bing Maps.eMap The integrated GIS solution for Microsoft CRM 2011 will be named eMap  and be MyCRM’s first monthly per user subscription product.  The eMap solution will bring together  key Microsoft technologies and deliver a range of new functionality directly within Microsoft CRM, included in the first release will be Workplace View: - Generate Geocode information from Accounts, Leads, Contacts addresses- Display Accounts, Leads Contacts on map- Quick filter displayed Accounts, Leads Contacts by name- Advanced find (single entity type) and display on map- Draw a box around entities on map and add to marketing list (for a single entity type)- Calculate a route and display entities along that route, with a set diversion distance- Business search at current map location (Bing search) Display map on Account, Lead, Contact forms: - Set location manually by placing pin in the map (updates latitude and longitude on the entity)- Get driving locations to entity address (from a searched start point ie. postcode)- Find nearby businesses (Bing search)- Display other entities near this entity In the future/for release! - Any entity support- Configure which address fields eMap uses per entity- New interface for both map displays, and for the configuration page- Export box-selected entities to Excel- Create a detailed multi-customer driving route complete with appointment scheduling based on travel times and meeting lengths- Real-time map updating - Metric/imperial settings If at this time you require more information about  the pending release of eMap for Microsoft CRM 2011 please email sales@mycrmgroup.com or register with the download centre for future updates http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/