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Quick Tip: Microsoft Dynamics CRM Spring 2015 - Immersive MS Excel

The release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM – Spring 2015 includes a helpful new feature; Immersive Excel. This functionality allows a user to manipulate Dynamics CRM data in MS Excel, without the cumbersome "Export to Re-import" process required in the past.

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Defining Failure? Stop Blaming Technology

AKTweet There is a big issue in business these days – blaming technology for people problems.Though it’s true that technology can be fickle and frustrating and even I have often restrained myself from sending my laptop sailing out the window, well…it’s a computer. Can we all just agree, collectively, to assert our human brain’s superiority and stop blaming technology? Here are a few ways to start bringing people back into the mix.

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The Components of a Successful Roadmap Engagement – Part Two

8b502c8a42e8fa0cff48581c8792678c[1]In part two of this successful roadmap engagement series, we'll look at Risk and Obstacle Evaluation, Business Case and ROI, Culture Change, Training, Adoption, and Future Planning.

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Getting the Most ROI and User Acceptance from Your Business Systems

You may have just made the momentous decision to purchase a new CRM or ERP system, or perhaps you have had your systems for some time. With many companies offering ‘Best of Breed’ business systems, one thing typically remains true: each of these systems are silos of data and information. This blog details real-world benefits of systems integration.

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Resolve Stubborn Missing Reusable Workflows in SharePoint Designer

imageHave you ever opened SharePoint Designer, clicked on Workflows, and saw nothing?  I sure did and was able to fix it.  In today's blog post, we'll do a quick primer of SharePoint reusable workflows, then I'll discuss the problem and all the troubleshooting I did to try and fix the issue.  Finally I'll review the magical steps necessary steps I took to actually resolve it.

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The Components of a Successful Roadmap Engagement – Part One

The idea of engaging in a road mapping exercise has gained in popularity in recent years due to the ever changing technology landscape and the pace at which new business process evolves. Contrary to popular belief, a roadmap is not just a pretty Visio! It is not one size fits all, so don’t let the expectations or results of others dictate the expectations for your engagement. This blog series will explore some of the most critical aspects of a road mapping project.t.

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Debugging Plug-in Made Easy for Dynamics CRM Online

imageIs Exception Handling one of the easiest ways to track values of variables used in C# plugin for Dynamics CRM Online? It was really helpful for me, when I found that developers can use the Profiler in the Plugin Registration Tool to debug a C# plugin. Here is a step by step guide for the whole process.

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Replace Tasks with Queues for Inside Sales Productivity

queueInside Sales teams are rapidly replacing traditional sales teams.  This approach to sales is resulting in significant productivity gains, improvements in responsiveness to prospects and customers, and cost savings.  It also introduces an ability to have a much tighter and more buyer-driven sales process.  But it also requires some rethinking of the tools used in CRM to support the sales function.

Activity planning and management is one of those areas. Learn how queues can boost the productivity of the Inside Sales team.

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Scribe’s 7.9 Release Multi-Threaded Integration Processes

clip_image004The new Scribe Insight 7.9 release offers multi-threaded integration processes for all four of the integration process types available within the Scribe Console, but, let’s clarify. Previous to the Scribe 7.9 release, only one thread was reserved for processing all File, Time and Query based integration processes. This blog discusses what you should know about the newest release.

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Single-Threaded vs. Multi-Threaded Translations


When performing a migration or integration of data, one consideration that should be high on your list is translation performance. Today's blog will discuss how to address the processing of multiple records simultaneously, as opposed to a single-threaded process.

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Application Publisher vs. Stored Procedure

When building an integration between business systems, or even simply performing a migration from a business system to a flat file extract, a great way to find and extract the data you need is using an application publisher. An application publisher is a purpose built tool that typically uses the API of the application to make available data from the systems objects or entities.

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Business Rule or JavaScript in Dynamics CRM…that is the question

With the advent of Business Rules beginning in Dynamics CRM 2013 we now have the ability to implement client-side business logic without having to write javascript functions. How can I determine whether to code my business logic using business rules, javascript or both?

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2 Easy Ways to Calculate Working Days Inside a SharePoint Workflow

I’m in the midst of two different major workflows for clients right now, one of them being an HR New Hire Onboarding request and approval process.  One small but critical requirement of the process was that each level of approval needed a two business day wait period. In this post I'll demonstrate 2 easy ways to be able to calculate working or business days inside a SharePoint workflow.

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Sales Rep CRM Quick Tip: Use CRM to Identify and Convert More Leads

Did you know it takes an average of 7 contacts to convert an unqualified prospect into a sales qualified lead?  And did you know that 60%-95% of sales leads are never worked at all?  That’s a huge amount of untapped potential!

In this article, we will look at the "3 C's" of lead management using customer relationship management.

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Bringing the Cloud Down to Earth


It’s your data. Don’t let great on-line transactional systems limit your analytics needs. Bring the cloud down to earth, then slice and dice to your heart’s content. This blog will discuss three ways to accomplish this.

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Sales Rep CRM Quick Tip: Weekly Planning

If you’re not using CRM as a tool to plan your day, week, month – or more – then you’re missing out.  You’re leaving valuable referral sources in the cold.  You’re letting opportunities slip through the cracks.  And you’re letting your competitors snap up your best customers.

This article takes a look at how to use CRM as a planning tool.

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CRM Deployment Options…How to Decide?

So you are ready to tackle that all-important CRM initiative for your company. You will need to consider multiple factors in making the initial deployment decision; however there is usually one factor that rises to the greatest importance in making the initial decision.

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Dynamics CRM Online - The User ID Associated With The Current Record Is Not Valid

A client recently found he could not enable a user he needed to use in one of our sandbox organizations. Every time he tried, he got “The user ID associated with the current record is not valid”. This blog explores the fix.

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Some ‘Gotchas’ To Deploying Code In Salesforce.com™

One common CRM challenge is keeping your development environment in sync with the production environment. Coding in a development environment that is not in sync with production can lead to many hours of frustration trying to find the ghosts in the code. I find this especially true working in Salesforce.

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Coding for Special Characters in SalesForce.com Javascript

clip_image002Recently, I was asked to create a button on a Salesforce.com form that would take data from the existing form and create a new Salesforce Lead record from it. Sounds simple enough, right? However, intermittently an error was being produced with a somewhat unclear message. This blog details the encoding function I used for the fix!

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Microsoft Ignite 2015–Day 5

imageIt’s been a packed week at Microsoft Ignite, and in this final post of my daily recaps, we’ll validate the awesomeness of Visio for dashboards and data-connected data graphics, review the common problems encountered when performing the initial configurations of Office 365 service for your organization, and finally share how search works in SharePoint 2013 plus how to scale it properly.

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Microsoft Ignite 2015–Day 4

imageAs we near the end of Ignite, day 4 was still filled with some great technical sessions.  I’ll give you a rundown of everything from SQL High Availability, best practices for branding and page design in SharePoint Online to scaling SharePoint 2013 search.  One of my favorite sessions that I’m excited to share dealt with navigating the landscape of Office 365 tools. 

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Microsoft Ignite 2015–Day 3

WP_20150506_08_20_14_Pro_smIf you’ve been wanting to get some more information on SharePoint 2016, today’s recap is for you!  I’ll briefly review some tips from the great duo of Todd Klindt and Shane Young on upgrading to SharePoint 2013, then I’ll dangle some awesome new not yet released tools for Dynamics CRM and Office 365 straight from the mouth of the great Girish Raja.  I then got some great insights from the master Spence Harbar himself on OneDrive for Business migrations, then rounded out the day diving deep in the new hybrid search service application for SharePoint 2013 / 2016.

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Microsoft Ignite 2015–Day 2


In today's tales from the field, I take you through each session of my day, but also give you a quick look back at something I omitted from the day 1 keynote.  The sessions cover the gamut from information architecture and governance, to search, to OneDrive for Business and best practices for farm solution development. 

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Microsoft Ignite 2015–Day 1 Recap

Spring in Chicago - Ignite 2015It’s still spring time here in Chicago, but it’s also time for Microsoft’s first ever all-in-one product conference named Ignite.  Throughout the rest of this week, I’ll do my best to share with you insights from the day, and highlight innovations or other content I thought was interesting.

What is Ignite?

This Ignite conference is the first (but not last I’m sure) time Microsoft is taking most of all of the other individual product conferences and bringing them all under one roof.  These include TechEd, Exchange, SharePoint, etc.  Content and information is being shared across all 5 days this week, ranging from the normal breakout sessions to hands-on lands, ask the experts sessions with the product teams, exam preparation and certification testing, live-streaming from Channel9, community theaters and of course the expo center.  New this year also is the MyIgnite mobile app, providing the same experience from the web to your mobile device with maps, session info, your customized saved calendar and other goodies. 

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Blog Topics

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CPR for CRM Study

The complementary paper includes over 12 years of research, recent survey results, and CRM turnaround success stories.

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SharePoint Readiness Assessment

This 60-second assessment is designed to evaluate your organization's collaboration readiness.

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CRM Self Assessment

Learn how you rank compared to organizations typically in years 1 to 5 of implementation - and which areas to focus on to improve.

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SharePoint Feedback Solution

This is a sandbox solution which can be activated per site collection to allow you to easily collect feedback from users into a custom Feedback list.

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SharePoint Upgrade Checklist

Whether you are upgrading to SharePoint Online, 2010, 2013 or the latest 2016, this checklist contains everything you need to know for a successful transition.