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What can you do today to ensure that your acorn of a Microsoft Dynamics 365 project does grow to become a mighty oak?
The first steps of your Dynamics 365 journey can be daunting.
Start your project on the right foot, by ensuring that all key people receive the right education. Once everyone can speak the same language you can easily 'put your business before the technology while leveraging the technology - and not reinventing the wheel'.
How can you take action today - be that pruning, training, or something else - with your Microsoft Dynamics 365 to make certain that problems do not get any bigger?
90% of people who implement a technology like Microsoft Dynamics 365 (or Dynamics CRM) do not maximise on their investment. The biggest problem is often user adoption - users do not use the solution so the reports and metrics do not deliver.
The good news is, problem projects can be rescued - with training, or a health check to get them back on track.
What needs to happen today to enable your Microsoft Dynamics 365 to reach its full potential - to become a mighty oak?
Most Customer Engagement (CRM) implementations start with sales, but what about marketing and customer service? Or integration with websites, or your accounting?
True CRM gives you insight into your business profitability. Automation of repetitive tasks and integration with other systems enable information flow from the point of entry to everywhere it is needed - without rekeying. Getting this right gives you the real benefit of Microsoft Dynamics 365.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 was originally only Microsoft Dynamics 365 Online with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 used for the on-premise version. However, now both Online and on premise are referred to as Microsoft Dynamics 365.
To understand the considerations when choosing between Microsoft Dynamics 365 Online (Microsoft Dynamics 365 hosted in the Microsoft data centre) and Microsoft Dynamics 365 on-prem, hosted in your data centre or with us or with another hosting provider read "Choosing between Microsoft Dynamics 365 Online or On Premise?". From this release, Microsoft will release most new functionality for Microsoft Dynamics Online before releasing it for Microsoft Dynamics on-premise.
Since release in early 2016, Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 and latterly, Microsoft Dynamics 365 have had several hotfixes and updates. These are described below, and for the more recent, major updates I have written articles which you can access from links here or from our blog.
This update is the first of now official bi-annual updates. My blog about the announcement of bi-annual updates is here
My blog about this release is available here .
This update is the v9 release which adds a lot of new functionality and deprecates some widely used features. My free ebook about this update is available here .
Users have been using email signatures as a time saver for eons. But until now, that functionality was, at best, difficult in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
Now you can have signatures that recognise the user and even the queue that is sending the mail.
Relevance search will display all results of a search in a single list, sorted by relevance.
This service pack was released in May 2016.
This service pack changed how Microsoft Dynamics was sold, from a single product to several apps. The initial apps are
This has also led to a change in licencing.
The mobile app has been significantly improved, with a more compact layout, more device support, offline support and the ability to take notes while viewing the key information.
Dynamics 365 App for Outlook now uses server side sync so the synchronisation is much better. The app is now much faster, and it supports all Dynamics 365 and Exchange configurations.
The linkage between Dynamics 365 and Outlook information is vastly improved so you can see all email recipients, including groups, with a photo.
Relationship Insights appears as a preview feature. Like all preview features, this is not yet aimed for production use.
Relationship Insights continually analyses the vast array of information that builds up in your Microsoft Dynamics 365 and helps you better understand your business relationships and so make better decisions.
The new facet and filtering support allows much more sophisticted searching so you can refine your data quests much more readily.
Editable grids must be one of the most requested features since Microsoft CRM 1.0 days. Users found it very frustrating that they could see but not update data. This is now over.
Editable grids give you inline editing of data in views, subgrids and on dashboards.
Connected Field Service means that you can move from a reative break-fix model to a proactive servie model. This keeps your customers happier.
Resource Scheduling Optimisation looks at a job required and finds the most appropriate resources ased on location, skills and job priority and duration.
Common Scheduling Solution brings the ability to schedule to a new level. Scheduling can now be used with any entity, including custom entities. For example you can schedule marketing visits for an opportunity or schedule work to progress a case or work order.
Add-in for Microsoft Project brings Microsoft Project and Project Server Automation much closer together. You can now use Microsoft Project for your planning and scheduling, push it back to Project Server Automation, then if necessary take it back to Microsoft Project.
The Consolidated Calendar View gives you, in one place, information about personal appointments, project work bookings and work order assignments.
Copy functionality enables easy copying of information from opportunity, quote and project contract forms using a new toolbar button.
Estimated tax is now visible on quote products, order products and contract line records.
For full details of what is included in this update click here
To download the files for this update click here
This update appeared in February 2016. It provides fixes for issues in the CRM server, in CRM Outlook for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016, for the email router and for reporting extensions. The server and reporting extensions are only available in 64 bit, while the language packs, Email Router and CRM Outlook for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 are available in both 32bit and 64bit. It is available in all languages that Microsoft Dynamics 2016 supports.
This update fixes a large number of mainly small issues. There are more details here.
To download the files for this update, click here .
Gill Walker has been quoted in the media, she has had articles published in various magasines and she has spoken at various events. Some of these items are collected here.
Gill Walker speaking at TestingMinds 2018 Software Testing Symposium in Sydney
In this presentation, Gill Walker highlights how successful user acceptance testing, in CRM and other software implementation projects, can be achieved even when earlier parts of the project are lacking.
Successful User Acceptance Testing will help to reduce the high failure rate of CRM and ERP projects.
Gill Walker delivering
According to Gartner, 63% of CRM implementation projects fail to deliver on their investment.
Many organisations report CRM systems need to be re-implemented three times or more just to get it right!
14% of Managing Directors want to junk their CRM platform and start over! From our experience rescuing CRM implementations and projects, we’re surprised it’s not higher.
Why do so many businesses implement CRM so badly?
We’ve identified 6 key reasons why CRM projects fail. We see these again and again.
This exchange from Alice in Wonderland sums it up nicely!
Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
The Cheshire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
Alice: I don’t much care where.
The Cheshire Cat: Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go.
Alice: …So long as I get somewhere.
The Cheshire Cat: Oh, you’re sure to do that, if only you walk long enough.”
Sometimes the business has only the vaguest idea of what it wants to achieve from the project. All too often, the expectation is that ‘everything will be better once the CRM is in’, but no one defines what ‘better’ actually looks like. So when things are not perfect (and they never are!), CRM takes the blame for every issue.
One of our clients had to rebuild their solution twice - and they did not change the software within this timeframe. Their problems were in how they implemented the software, with too many badly done customisations. Their primary problem was very inadequate scoping, while tying their original vendor to a fixed price. They have now gone live, but with many fewer users than expected, much less functionality and a far bigger bill.
When scoping is discussed, the questions of whether users should be involved in the scoping, or just IT or senior people will be raised.
Opsis is an expert Microsoft Dynamics 365 consulting company. Our focus is your Microsoft Dynamics 365 success - not licence sales or billable hours. As Principal Consultant, Gill oversees all business operations and strategic planning and execution, yet she still believes in offering personal attention to each and every client, so as to understand their needs and offer tailored solutions. We are based in Sydney, with clients in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane and across Australia. We offer Microsoft Dynamics 365 strategy, Microsoft Dynamics 365 scoping, Microsoft Dynamics 365 implementation, Microsoft Dynamics 365 technical support, Microsoft Dynamics 365 advice and guidance, Microsoft Dynamics 365 training and mentoring.