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

Event Invitation tracking in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

We have recently been working with a number of our eCampaign customers to develop a complete solution for Event Invitation Tracking in CRM. So what is Event Invitation tracking, in some circumstances your organisation many want to send customers an invitation to attend a webinar or an event that is being held, and track the responses in CRM to create a list of contacts that wish to attend, We have done this in the following way by adding new entities to CRM for Event and Event responses PIC EV 1   On the creation of an event in CRM, two URL’s are created for the Accept and Decline process and these can be used in eCampaign to send a bulk email with event invitations. When a recipiant recieves the email they will have two options, below is an example of an email for an event in eCampaign PIC EV 2     When a recipient selects the Accept button from the email they will be taken to your event page which details the event and will display a message saying they have opted to attend PIC EV 3   Likewise if the recipient Declines a similar page is displayed with a message saying they are not attending. PIC EV 4    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    

Making User management easy in Microsoft CRM 2011

A number of our larger hosted and on-premise customers all seem to report the same problem in that they are not able to manage CRM user information effectively.   In many cases the CRM administrator from the organisation has had to remote into end users laptops or desktop to change personal settings and this increases the work load of many System administrators. We took the suggestions made and created a wish list with the intention of creating a better user administration experience in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Our goal was to enable System administrator to have extended user settings for CRM and expose additional features that have been excluded from the standard Microsoft CRM admin area.   Introducing eUser – Extended User Settings eUser from MyCRM Extended is an extended solution for User Management and administration of end system users which becomes a valuable add-on post a hand full of CRM users. There are two main features sets with the new functionality and these are extended end-user settings and bulk end user settings First we take a look at some of the end user extended record settings.   As you can see from the screen shot below we have exposed a number of the options that end users can select for themselves so that an administrator can set these when adding a user account The General tab shows how to set among other things dates and currency for the end user      If we now take a look at the extended activities tab you can see that extra setting have been created to allow an administrator to day and times      On the final extended user tab you can see a number of exposed features under formats, Email and Privacy       These final settings will enable administrators to set language, tracking and error responses. We now go on to look at the new bulk setting features of the new user setting solution. Introducing eUser – Extended Bulk Settings In this part of the solution we show the new features for bulk setting user permission in CRM 2011  Here an administrator can bulk set how many records a user sees by default, the advanced find mode, the default tab and default pane for selected users.   On the email tab as before the administrator can see options around email setting for the selected users.   The advanced find has also been configured to easily add selected users across the enterprise, so that an administrator can change setting on bulk          The new eUser module will be released via the download centre in March 2012 and will have a full 14 day trial. To find out more about MyCRM Products and services please visit http://www.mycrmgroup.com To register for a free download account please visit http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com   With kind regards   Alistair  

New Hosted CRM 2011 services launched – Professional CRM



• Full CRM License for access to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011
• Unlimited telephone and email support
• 5GB storage per CRM user
• Data Backups – Nightly
• Data Backup retention for 7 Days
• Monthly Backup Download on request
• 95.95% Network Uptime Guarantee
• 16 hours service time free for setup and configuration
• Fully Integrated Email Marketing with unlimited emails
• Integrated Document Creation with ePDF
• Integrated Number and form auto population with eNumber
• Integrated Tax calculation for key entities including product line override
[More]

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)