Organisations often request what is called a ‘Customer 360’ view within their CRM systems. This is unfortunately a term which has become overused, misused and actually quite misleading. Feel free to listen to why in one of my YouTube videos (this one) but in short, human beings are not owls, and we cannot consume a large amount of information at any one time.
The release of Dynamics 365 at the end of last year saw some new features available for public preview. One of the features in preview is the Cognitive Services integration, currently available in the US. The Cognitive Services APIs are a group of APIs that span across different categories such as vision or text analytics. A large number of them have a Machine Learning component where a model will be created and then adjusted over time based on the data that it feeds upon, however not all of them require this and instead perform computation without having the ‘learning’ ability.
November 2016 saw the release of Microsoft Dynamics 365, which technically includes version 8.2 of Dynamics CRM. With this update came some fantastic pieces of functionality, worthy of their own feature posts at some point in the future which will detail the granular nuts and bolts, instead, this post aims to begin with an overview of what that awesome new functionality is and how steps you can take to get started with each part.
Over the past month I did a video series which was intended to be a ‘Sales 101’ style experience, so for those who are being introduced to the amazing world of Microsoft Dynamics, they can use the videos as a learning companion to get to grips with the basics of the Sales functionality.
I definitely didn’t intend for them to be that long, but then the difficultly lies in the detail – I needed to go into more detail in some areas, so that reflects more in the Lead to Invoice videos for example, compared to the Sales Literature material.
I’ve linked all of the videos below (with #1 being linked above in the post also) I hope they are useful and if you have any questions, please put them in the comments below!
Sales 101 #1 – Accounts, Contacts and the Product Catalog in Microsoft Dynamics CRM
Sales 101 #2 – Lead to Invoice in Microsoft Dynamics CRM
Sales 101 #3 – Goals and Connections in Microsoft Dynamics CRM
Sales 101 #4 – Sales Literature and Activities in Microsoft Dynamics CRM
One of the most highly anticipated releases including in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Update 1 was the introduction of Project Service. The demos and introductions that Microsoft have given us glimpses of in the past 2-3 months have been amazing and really exciting. What is there not to be excited about when there is the pre-made solution available to Dynamics CRM users to be able to quote for and manage projects using tools that provide profitability insights, cost benefit analysis of performing a project at quote stage and resource management (including requests and a live skills matrix) within the system right out of the box?
There is quite a lot of literature regarding creating Word Templates around now, I touched upon it in my previous post, and the infographic here on twitter. When was I was recently researching a separate blog post, I came across a way to create a Word Template using an out of the box Action and a simple Workflow. From playing around with this, I’ve thought about loads of ideas and solutions that could utilise this functionality and how it can be extended to create things like auto-generated scheduled emails (which are unavailable in CRM Online as they are on Premise), things like Goal leader-board updates and things like that. I’ll be working on some of these in the future and they will feature in some posts coming soon.