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By Konrad Thiel on 3/13/2014 11:03 AM
Our first video blog about Microsoft Power BI generated questions about licensing and Microsoft Office version compatibility. We hope to answer those questions in this blog in detail for everyone. First we will break down the features of Power BI a bit more. Second we will discuss the licensing around Power BI. There are a few unpleasant surprises around power mapping coming in May and June for some Office users who did not read the fine print.

There are several Power BI features that are part of Excel 2013.

Power Query: This tool is most often the starting point for Power BI. From here you can connect to CRM 2013 on premise and online, publicly available databases, and local databases. In this example I have used the search function inside Excel to find two public databases Microsoft has indexed for everyone. The first is a list of state budgets, the second is demographic data. In this example I wanted to look at spending per person by state....
By Konrad Thiel on 2/26/2014 3:56 PM
This is the first of a series of blogs about Business Intelligence in general, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, and Microsoft Power BI for SQL, SharePoint, or Office 365. I hope you'll join us for the full series and the YouTube video companion.

Business Intelligence (BI) is all about taking the reports, spreadsheets, and data sets that make your eyes roll and putting them into a visually pleasing, easy to understand, and manipulate format.

Microsoft Power BI has been an add-on to SQL Server in the past, but now it's also available in Excel in either the stand alone Office...
By Jay Larsen on 10/16/2013 1:15 PM

Your website is the face of your company. It’s kind of like an always-available salesperson who can give potential customers the information they need with just a few clicks, any time of the day or night. An internet search is the first place most customers start when they’re ready to hop into the sales funnel. And your website is the first place they’re going to go when they’re looking for more information about you.

By Jay Larsen on 8/13/2013 10:25 AM

Social customer relationship marketing: it’s a step beyond traditional CRM—and some analysts even call it an enhancement or evolution. And a legitimate transformation in the CRM arena.

What is Social CRM?

Social CRM is the process of developing a connection with your customers via social networks and platforms, in order to engage interest, improve customer service, and build loyalty. When you take your social media strategy out of broadcasting mode and begin to interact directly with the people who are interested in your brand, whether they’re current or potential customers, you’re gathering the data you need for your CRM software, in order to leverage its power in the social arena as well.

By Ron Nielson on 4/12/2013 2:14 PM

The biggest problem with any new software implementation, especially with CRM, is company wide acceptance and use. Why is this? Because the 3 crucial steps to making a CRM implementation successful and productive thereafter are almost always overlooked. A CRM is a database geared towards sales, so it needs to be used for that. Let's get started:

It's all about the reports, you must have reports! A good sales manager will know what reports are valuable and be able to produce them from the CRM. The primary purpose of a CRM is to give you the reports that will make your company successful. If you make sure your sales team knows what reports are available, what those reports say, and how to use them correctly, your company will embrace your CRM and make it a success. There must be a dedicated CRM administrator! A CRM system is huge and if used properly will become surprisingly large. Even the small out of the box solutions have this potential to become very large. The successful...
By Scott.Papenfuss on 1/7/2013 1:15 PM
"Spray and Pray" is still a term used with derision among sales hands in describing the penchant of some in sales to vomit up features, functions, and related gobbledygook when they are desperate to sell to a customer but don't know what that customer is buying. Yet we're being told that "social selling" is the wave of the future when it comes to selling. Isn't this just the same old spray and pray, but this time using Twitter and Facebook?
By Scott.Papenfuss on 10/16/2012 9:55 AM
Gamification is becoming a hot topic in companies that use CRM, in part because the areas where CRM is frequently used lend themselves well to competitive environments, but also because CRM itself is an enabler of gamification.
By Sam Walker on 2/14/2012 5:02 PM

Often times it makes sense to have a development CRM environment where you can make changes without affecting users.

Here is an excellent resource that tells step-by-step how to backup and restore a CRM Organization:


By rhaden on 2/8/2012 1:43 PM
Microsoft is getting ready to roll out platform-native apps for Blackberry, Android, and iPhone, as well as its own Windows mobile.

While MS Dynamics isn't the first CRM to offer phone apps, it's the first one to go native with all the major mobile options. Word is they're also considering an HTML5 version that will work equally well on all phones. The next update of MSDynamics CRM will also work on iPads -- and for the first time on Macs. It's expected to support IE, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari.

What difference will it make?
By rhaden on 2/1/2012 2:22 PM
The choice between desktop software and keeping your office in the cloud is one more businesses face every day. More applications are available in the cloud, including MS Dynamics CRM, and the benefits can be significant: lower up-front costs, easier remote access, and improved security are just a few of the reasons to use cloud-based solutions.

As those choices increase, businesses also have to choose which provider they want to use for cloud-based services.

Microsoft got together with Wired Magazine to ask Wired readers, a particularly tech-savvy bunch, what they wanted in a cloud-based office solution.
By rhaden on 5/11/2011 12:41 PM
Industry estimates tell us that as many of 80% of leads are lost through inadequate follow up -- and most of those people buy from someone within two years after we lose them.

Your CRM can change those figures for you.
By rhaden on 3/29/2011 2:51 PM
You're upgrading to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Online, and you're going to love it! Out of the box integration with Sharepoint, multiple dashboards with complex reporting, and new customization options make the new version of MS Dynamics CRM as powerful and versatile as Salesforce or SAP. Yet it still lets you work in your own comfortable Outlook and Office work environment.

Here's what you need to do.

Upgrade the Outlook Client on each machine:

1. Uninstall CRM 4 Outlook Client

2. Download Link:

3. Choose appropriate version (64-bit or 32-bit) for installed version of Outlook.

Now upgrade the E-Mail Router (if installed) and any third-party add-ons (if applicable).

Training is the final step – make sure you don’t lose users to the new interface/design.

By rhaden on 3/16/2011 11:59 AM
You've met people like Sally. She knows exactly where that customer's order is on the shop floor, who is working on it right now, and just how much profit the company is going to make on it. When a new order comes in, Sally can gaze around the facility, calculate how fast the current jobs can be finished and where the next one can be fitted in, tell you whether the price the customer is asking for is feasible, and remind you about the problems that came up last time a similar job arose.

What if everyone in the company had that kind of knowledge available, all the time?

A customer calls, and everyone who answers the phone -- not just Sally -- can see where the order is. The likely outcome of a change can be forecast, approvals can be arranged quickly, and communication of the changes goes to everyone whose work is affected by it.

This is the beauty of ERP: Enterprise Resource Planning. For manufacturers, combining Visual Manufacturing (VMFG) with Microsoft Dynamics CRM brings everything...
By rhaden on 3/2/2011 12:46 PM
If you're doing without customer relationship management (CRM) software, you're missing some important benefits for your company: Automation of sales and relationship cycles ensures that all your customers are taken care of equally, even when you're busy or they're quiet. Data collection and report writing are simplified, so they get done, increasing both accountability and success. Continuity is assured, even when staff members leave, go on vacation, or change positions. Planning, time management, and team coordination are easier when you always have decision making data handy. Immediate access to client information increases responsiveness to customer's needs and increased customer satisfaction. The result is happier customers, lower costs, and better return on your investment in your staff. So why are you doing without a CRM solution? Some of the more common reasons are these: You're not ready to make a major capital investment in hardware and software. You've heard (or experienced for yourself) that people won't use a CRM solution....
By rhaden on 2/28/2011 12:23 PM
Our customers' business environment is changing, and so is ours. As our customers focus increasingly on “cloud” technologies and deployments, Customer Dynamics is making changes to keep up with the demands of our customer base.

We are making across the board changes from a traditional consulting arrangement with our customers.  In the old model, we would sell software licenses and contract with our customers for individual projects.  The customer would have large one time capital expenses for the cost of software and consulting services. This took cash reserves out of play that might be needed for other priorities. 

Another problem with the old model was that it put our CRM customers into a “project” mentality, where they believed that once the Project was finished the CRM system was complete. We have found, through our years working with enterprise systems, that CRM is not just a project but an overall company philosophy – one based on a culture of change and continual improvement. 

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