CRMUG Dynamic Duo Series: Power Up Your CRM with Power BI

Join Me for this CRMUG Webinar

Thursday, November 19, 2015 (2:00 PM) to Thursday, November 19, 2015 (3:00 PM) (Eastern Time)
CRMUG Virtual Event

Sign up here: 

In this CRMUG OneSource Dynamic Duo series webinar, you will learn about the powerful out of the box integration functionality available with Power BI and Dynamics CRM Online. Expert Mike Hammons will show how you can analyze your CRM data with interactive Power BI dashboards and reports, providing you with quick self-service insights into the data you need to manage your business.

About the OneSource Dynamic Duo Series:

This CRMUG OneSource series dives into the robust functionality that comes from the Dynamic Duo of Microsoft Dynamics CRM + Microsoft Office/Office 365. Recent Dynamics CRM updates have deepened the integration of CRM and Office, making your experience simple, familiar, and immersive. Learn how to harness the great power and productivity delivered by this pair of heroes with the CRMUG OneSource Dynamic Duo Series!

Dynamics CRM User Group Summit 2015

CRMUGSummit 2015

Another important conference coming up is the Dynamics CRM User Group Summit 2015. This event just keeps getting bigger and better every year. LOTS of great learning content, networking and fun. Make plans to join us in Reno, Nevada, Oct. 13-16, 2015, for CRMUG Summit 2015, the ultimate Microsoft Dynamics® CRM learning and networking event! You’ll enjoy an incomparable opportunity to learn in a collaborative environment, share Dynamics CRM knowledge and take advantage of unrivaled networking opportunities.

Save Money with Advanced Pricing Discounts. Act Quick – Discounts End September 15

I will be presenting a few sessions at this great conference. The 3 sessions we will be presenting are:

Wednesday, October 14 • 1:30pm – 2:30pm The art and science of dashboard and reporting visualizations

  • You need to produce a new dashboard or report. What’s the first step? To have a lasting impact and support insightful decisions, slow down and document the requirements, consider the visual details, and plan how it will be delivered and used. We’ll walk through these critical preludes to actually writing the report.

Friday, October 16 • 8:00am – 9:15am  xRM For Newbies – Because We’re Not Dummies

  • New CRM Administrators are given a plethora of great features and tools to use at their fingertips with many out of the box features in Dynamics CRM. However, you may want to evaluate xRM offerings. So what is xRM? What can you do with it, and where should you go from here? This presentation shares some best practices in the “why” of xRM and when it should be applied outside of OOTB features already natively available to you.

Friday, October 16 • 10:30am – 11:30am CRM Form and Entity Customizations 201

  • This session takes the lessons learned in the form and entity customizations 101 class and discusses quick create forms, quick view forms, sub-grids, collapsing tabs, related entity navigation, and other form customizations and performance optimizations you will need as you take on more advanced CRM Administrator tasks.

If you are a Microsoft Dynamics user, and that means any of their products; CRM, AX, NAV, GP; this is a great event to attend.

Resco.Next Mobile CRM Conference

Mobile is a hot topic these days. According to a recent Aberdeen study, Best in Class organizations that provide their sales teams with Mobile CRM, a whopping 65% meet or exceed their sales quotas. In a similar study, Forrester found as high as 60% improvement in customer service. No wonder it’s a hot topic. To learn how you can increase user adoption, improve customer service and become a Best in Class organization, join me at the Resco.Next Mobile CRM Conference.

Take Your Dynamics CRM to the Next Level with the Resco.Next Mobile CRM Conference.

September 14-15, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts

Insightful Sessions from CRM Experts. Hands-On Trainings. Knowledge Sharing

Plan on attending Resco.Next – the educational conference designed for all mobile CRM enthusiasts. Over the 2 days with 3 parallel tracks consisting of technical & business sessions to choose from, you will gain in-depth product knowledge, new insights about the CRM market and learn how to mobilize your CRM solution to move your business forward.

I will be presenting a session titled “How to Win Deals, Create Raving Fans and Explode CRM Adoption”

In this session we will review a couple of case studies on how Resco was used to successfully differentiate from the competition and provide significant wins. We’ll look at case studies of how organizations get the greatest value out of CRM by creating compelling solutions with Resco Mobile CRM.

What You Will Learn:

  • The steps we took to create a compelling vision
  • How Resco was configured to excite users
  • Open forum to ask questions and share ideas

Interested in attending? It’s not too late. Sign up here for a $230 discount. Special price of USD350 via this link.

Dynamics CRM 2015 Online Update 1

Dynamics CRM Update 2 coming soon.


It’s almost time again for the next Dynamics CRM Update. Technically called the CRM 2015 Fall Release, it’s more formally called Update 2 and is due probably in November. No official release date yet but it will be here before you know it. This will also be the formal rollup for on premise customers as well. So all the goodness from the CRM Online Spring Release will also be rolled into the Fall Release and made available for on premise customers. The NDA has not been lifted yet on what’s coming. IN the meantime, below are the major highlights from the Spring Release (Update 1).




You can now formally brand CRM!

Themes offer the option of changing the default colors and adding your logo to the top navigation bar. Match you corporate colors and even change the name to whatever you want.


New Form Rendering Engine – Faster Page Loads!

  • A new form renderer was built to provide better performance.
  • Forms will load significantly faster and more efficiently.

What will end users notice?

  • End users will not notice anything different, other than forms loading faster.


New Form Navigation

If you’re working in a complex form with lots of fields, the new form navigation drop-down list makes it easy to get to just the data you need.

Choose the drop-down list next to the form title, and then select the section of the form you want to go to.


Improved Menu Navigation

  • Faster and easier!
  • No more scrolling right/left.
  • The home icon has been replaced with a main menu option (hamburger icon)


Recently Viewed

  • Quick access to recently reviewed Records and Views.
  • Pin your favorite or most used records and views


OneNote Integration

  • Users can now easily capture meeting details using OneNote from within CRM Online.
  • This functionality allows the information to be available to other CRM Online users in the Social Pane.
  • Share your OneNote’s with non-CRM users as well.


Advanced Find – Older Than X

  • Advanced Find Adds Older Than option
  • The use cases for this option are many and empowers users to access the information they need more efficiently.
  • g. contacts with an activity Older Than 4 Weeks; All Open Cases Created Older Than 3 Hours (to meet SLA’s), etc.


Export to Excel Redesign

In addition to replacing the wizard with a single click to download feature (as if that was not fabulous enough), the record limitation for both import and export has been increased to 100,000 records or 32MB! Yes you read that correctly, this increased from 10,000 to 100,000 records!


Immersive Excel

Users on the go will love this functionality. When starting from a view, selecting Export to Excel and then Open in Excel Online you can quickly analyze or edit data in Excel Online.

That’s right, edit it online and you can even save changes back to CRM!


Folder-level Email Tracking

Exchange email users can establish a tracking folder so incoming emails can simply be dropped into the folder (manually or by leveraging Exchange Inbox rules) and automatically tracked in CRM.

Works with Outlook Web Access and Outlook client.

Works on phones too!

Note this requires server-side synchronization.


Mobile on Smartphones

The phone app has been enhanced to provide the same mobile experience as CRM for Tablets.

Available in respective phone app stores.


System Administrator and Customizer Platform Improvements

New functions on calculated fields: Now() and DateDiff are available

Rollup fields now support AVG operator, aggregating across related records (e.g. phone calls, emails, etc.)

Business rules: can now be set to null or removed

A date only field is now available

Create system rules that will automatically create or update a record based upon an incoming activity (such as an email)

The Importance of Mobile in Medical Device Sales and Service

A new generation of mobile savvy reps and customers are changing the landscape of how information is consumed and action initiated. A mobile technology enabled sales and service model are critical for medical device company success.

Medical Device Sales and Service Reps are always in the field. One key way to improve direct customer interactions is to use mobility—mobile tools and applications that provide real-time information and productivity-enhancing features at a lower operating cost.

Critical information that helps reps help their customers; whether they are surgeons, nurses, patients, lab techs or buying committees, include:

  • Product information
  • Patient indications
  • Outcomes data
  • Competitive information
  • Purchase history
  • Pricing
  • Inventory
  • And more!

Laptops were the first big leap in productivity. These tools are great but they have their limitations—including weight, portability, and expensive hardware and software support. On cost alone, laptops and can cost $2,000 or more, whereas mobile devices (tablets and smartphones) range from $400 to $800.

Enabling mobile devices for medical device reps helps them become more responsive to customers and boosts top line growth. Apps that utilize information from CRM and ERP systems and deliver actionable, relevant data can improve the efficiency and productivity of reps significantly. Here are a few benefits for enabling mobility for medical device reps:

Product/Pricing Information: Instant product availability and pricing information are important to reps and customers. This provides them both with critical information in the field as they make their sales and service calls. They can save time on inquiries that clients may have about a product; whether purchasing a new item or repairing an existing one. Customer service and responsiveness is key in a very competitive environment. Mobile apps can provide instant information and ideally the instant ability to respond to requests.

Collaboration: Mobile devices and apps provide great opportunities for access to subject matter experts that can be critical to servicing a customer. Physicians and technicians are often hired by medical device manufacturers as medical science liaisons (MSL) or key opinion leaders (KOL) and are employed to answer questions that doctors may have about specific devices or procedures. Because both the physician and the liaison tend to have busy and unpredictable schedules, this often means a game of phone tag that can take days. With mobile, they can have a quick chat over video or even instant message, getting the physician quick answers to important questions.

E-detailing: E-detailing or detailing, uses highly visual images and content to make complex information easier to understand. Think of it as PowerPoint on steroids. It’s used quite heavily in pharma sales, and we see it starting to be used by medical device companies. Consider a company that manufactures a knee or hip joint and needs to teach physicians how it’s used. Or, a complicated diagnostic instrument requires service. A mobile e-detailing app can present information in 3-D renderings, product details, schematics and graphically demonstrate how to use the device can be used to aid in understanding or resolving issues more quickly.

Collateral: Rather than carry around loads of paper materials, brochures, service books, diagrams, and maintenance checklists; providing this information on mobile devices and apps save serious money on printing costs and distribution. And, unlike paper collateral, this information can also be instantly updated and distributed to reps and customers. More sophisticated systems can even track when materials are opened, when they are read, or provide customers and prospects the ability to comment on their contents.

Eliminating Paperwork: While forms and signatures are a fact of life in this business, making them digital both increases productivity and enhances regulatory compliance. A two-for-one. Antiquated paper forms that can easily get lost or damaged can quickly and easily be turned into digital forms. A few taps of your finger and data can be quickly logged. Use that finger to make a digital signature and the rep is on their on their way to the next call.

Cameras/Video: Cameras and videos in mobile devices can be important tools for servicing customers. If a product is shipped to an organization and a part is missing or broken, reps can communicate with field technicians to send a picture of needed parts or scan a barcode to make sure the right one is shipped to their customers. Customers can also use an app to collaborate with sales and customer service teams, sending photos or videos to help describe problems they have with the device. This can help eliminate potentially confusing and frustrating email or phone conversations and improve customer satisfaction. Isn’t that easier than trying to describe “the blue thingamajig underneath the round tray”? Those types of conversations are frustrating for both sides, and a problem that’s essentially eliminated by mobile technology.

Mapping/Routing: Think about a rep who has a new territory (because territory realignments never happen in this industry) — no more fumbling with paper maps or gps devices. The latest advances in mobile apps take full advantage the mapping and routing capabilities built into these devices. A rep can all of his appointments, hospitals, physicians and related data visually on a digital map and with a tap or two get instant driving directions. How’s that for increased productivity!

Voice recognition: Some have considered this the Holy Grail and tech companies have been pursuing useful voice recognition for years. With updated technology like Cortana and Siri we are literally on the verge of having good voice recognition that actually works! “CRM make an appointment with Dr. Jones at 2 p.m. next Tuesday”. Yeah, that’s possible!

Are you ready to jump on the opportunity to increase productivity and top line growth with mobile devices and apps? With the above capabilities, medical device sales and service teams can fully utilize all the benefits mobility can provide.

For more information about Infinity’s mobile CRM solutions for Medical Device professionals, contact Infinity Info Systems at …

Microsoft Convergence 2015

Well, it’s over; another successful Microsoft Convergence event has wrapped. This year Microsoft Convergence 2015 was held March 15-19 at the Georgia World Congress Center in downtown Atlanta.

Satya Nadella kicked off the opening keynote on Monday morning to a packed house at Philips Arena. In a surprise visit, Russell Wilson, the quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks made an appearance on the stage and discussed how he uses technology for his work and personal life.

Convergence 2015 - Satya

Kirill Tataroniv took the stage after Satya and discussed the new age of the customer we are living in and how “the customer is the most important business process”. The Age of the Customer has created a shift in how customers interact with and buy from companies. It’s the Age of the Customer—the rules have changed. And if your business is not changing with it, there could be trouble ahead.

This is the first year Infinity Info Systems had a booth presence and we did it in pretty grand style, as one of the Gold Sponsors for the event.

It was an awesome even for our team and we had a near constant stream of visitors throughout the week. It was great to catch up with our customers, partners and potential customers. In addition to the great meetings and conversations a few product highlights include:

CRM Online Spring ’15

Codename “Carina”, the next CRM release scheduled for this spring was officially revealed at Convergence 2015.

One of the best new productivity improvements is the new Navigation Bar. Finally we get a single screen view of all entities…no more scrolling right and left to get to an entity.

Dynamics CRM 2015 Navigation

A few other areas of interest are:

  • Business Process Flows – you can now go backward when using other entities for stages of your sales process.
  • OneNote integration – Super cool! Finally can easily link your notes from OneNote to CRM and vice-versa.
  • Excel Improvements – Faster and easier imports and exports. Drag and drop a file to attach it to a record…woohoo!
  • Exchange folder integration – drag and drop contacts and emails to an Outlook/Exchange folder to have it sync CRM. Works great for mobile devices!

A whole lot more info will be coming soon as Microsoft starts communicating those details. Stay tuned!

A closing note, Microsoft Convergence 2016 will be held April 4-7, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana. A great location and a great time of year to visit NOLA. I can tell you from our experience that Microsoft has been firing on all cylinders. We are seeing some exciting things coming and a lot more on the roadmap.

If you would like to learn more about what was announced at Convergence give us a call.

Quickly Create A Personal View – Dynamics CRM 2013

Friday Tip! How to Quickly Create a Personal View in Dynamics CRM 2013

This tip is courtesy of a fairly recent feature in Dynamics CRM 2013. A personal view is a list or group of records that can help you target and segment lists of your CRM records. Most users know they can create a Personal View in Dynamics CRM 2013 using Advanced Find. Nothing wrong with creating personal views using Advanced Find, it just takes a few more steps than what I’m going to show you.

Let’s say you have a field for that ranks your customers and prospects, e.g. A, B, C, D, etc. Now you want to create a list of all your A and B current account records. Here are the simple and fast steps to create an AB Current Accounts list.

I’m going to start with my All Accounts view to make sure I get all the AB Current accounts in my list.

  1. Start by selecting the Filter button on your list.

View Filter Button

  1.  Now we can enter our filter criteria. In this case I am going select the Rank field and simply check A and B


View Rank Filter


  1. Let’s also select the Account Status field and check Current.

View Current Filter

  1. Once all your criteria is added, select the View drop down, then scroll down and select “Save Filters as New View”.

View Save Filters as New View


  1. This will display the Save as form, in this case I’m calling the view AB Current Accounts…name yours as you need.

View Save As


  1. That’s it! You have your new view. Now you can share it with others as well!

View New AB Current View

Pretty sweet right. This approach saves several steps and who doesn’t like doing things faster and more efficiently.


Yammer Document Conversations Rolling Out

Yammer Document Conversations in Office 365, OneDrive and SharePoint

Yammer conversations is the next step in Yammer integration with Office 365, OneDrive and SharePoint. It brings in-context Yammer conversations along-side documents. And not just Office Online docs like Excel, PowerPoint or Word, but over 30+ file types like .mp4, .gif, and others.

Team collaboration very often focuses on documents. How often have you had to have multiple calls and conversations about document edits, updates and changes? Well, it is a whole lot easier to communicate about those documents outside of email and standard (sometimes confusing) document track changes features. Not only that, many document types don’t have any change tracking. Having conversations about documents from within the documents themselves, not only enhances communication, it also improves employee engagement.

This is a pretty sweet addition to improve collaboration. If you were at the recent SharePoint Conference you might have caught a demo of this. The feature is slowly being released to all Yammer & Office 365 customers so expect to live in your Office 365 and Yammer network soon.

With document conversations users can share their ideas and expertise from within the content they are editing or reviewing. I think this is awesome. I can work from SharePoint Online, OneDrive, or Yammer and have access to my content and all of my conversations.

Check out more details here at the Office Blog – I have included a short video on this new feature below.

Yammer Document Conversations

Dynamics CRM Spring Wave 14 Rolling Out

The Dynamics CRM Spring Wave 14 is rolling out.

The notifications started hitting administrator’s email in-boxes early this week. So, the release is actually a little early! Fine by me as I like nice surprises like this.

You can find more details and getting ready steps here:

As a Friday Tip the following is what you can expect as part of the upgrade notice. This update isn’t exactly following the previously communicated process of CDU’s (Customer Driven Update). Microsoft was going to provide 90, 30, 15, and 7 day notices of upgrades once they were scheduled. In this case, the notifications just started showing up in email inboxes. Technically Microsoft applied a UR (update rollup) and you have the option of completing the steps for the actual CDU.

As a refresher, going forward a UR will be bug fixes and performance improvements, and will be automatically applied. A CDU will have functionality improvements and notifications and potentially additional steps are required from the customer/user.

In any case here is what the email will look like. if you haven’t received yours already.

Spring Wave Email NotificationOnce you receive your notification, login to your CRM application and go to Settings, Administration.

Spring Wave AdministrationStart with selecting the “Install Product Updates” link. This will take you to a nicely done additional details screen. Check out the materials here as Microsoft did a nice job.

Spring Wave DetailsHere is what you find if you click the More links on this page.

Spring Wave Fine Print and Resources

Now it’s time to click the Update button; you will get a chance to back out of your don’t want to start the process just yet.

Spring Wave Last ChanceOnce you click OK on this page though, it’s too late. The upgade begins but you get to watch a nice little video while you wait. The update time varies, most are taking between 10-20 minutes.

Spring Wave InstallingThat’s it! You are done.

Spring Wave Ready Rock and RollAfter the upgrade is complete you will see the following changes to your system.

Spring Wave Customer Service 1

And here are the admin settings for configuring all the new Customer Service capabilities.

Spring Wave Customer Service Admin

You are now ready to enjoy the Dynamics CRM Spring Wave 14 Updates.

Next tip I’ll cover the Social Listening and Marketing updates that are also included in this wave. There are a few more steps required to add those capabilities.

Dynamics CRM Mobile Apps Updated

Dynamics CRM Mobile Apps Updated

Good news for those of you that are using the Dynamics CRM 2013 Mobile Apps. Microsoft just posted an update that includes the ability to reconfigure the apps to different URL’s and organizations.

Those of you using these apps may already know, it’s been “challenging” to switch the apps to a different URL, e.g. a test instance and production instance. The only option was to delete the app from the device, then re-install it. Yeah, not pretty or friendly. If you haven’t been using the Mobile Apps, stop what you are doing right now and go download the apps. This is a free option and a great addition to easily access your Dynamics CRM data and applicaiton while on the go.

Mobile Features Include:

  • Access to your activities, accounts, contacts, leads, and opportunities
  • Easy-to-use interactive dashboards
  • Simply tap to quickly enter customer data
  • Access your personal views to see your most important data
  • Pin records as tiles to your Start screen to instantly access your most important information

Reconfiguring the Mobile App

To reconfigure your app, start the app on your device. From any screen, swipe up or tap the ellipses … to find the reconfigure option.

CRM Mobile Configurable App Reconfigure

This will take you to the initial screen where you can enter a new URL.

CRM Mobile Configurable App Login

Thank you Microsoft. This makes things so much easier!

The apps are available now in the respective app stores.