Archive for the ‘CRM 2011’ Category
I have created a CRM 2011 Training Curriculum based on the CRM Field Guide.
The CRM Field Guide was published in October 2012. It is collection of contributions by 19 Microsoft Dynamics MVPs. The book is an essential guide to Microsoft Dynamics CRM that everyone should have on their bookshelf. The Field Guide offers you details not only on CRM fundamentals and extensibility points but also the tried and true best practices and strategies of the combined experience of some of the most recognizable global experts in the CRM industry.
The curriculum guide is based on six personas and one environment. The most relevant chapters for each discipline are organized in recommended reading sequence. It ranges from about 8 chapters on the low end to 16 on the high end for each group. Can you read other chapters that weren’t highlighted in the curriculum? Absolutely! Depending on the way your organization uses the CRM system there may be other chapters that were not in the recommended sequence that could complement your learning program.
The Curriculum is free and can be downloaded from the CRM Innovation site - A Curriculum Guide for CRM Enthusiasts Based on “The CRM Field Guide”
The audiences are:
- CRM Admin – This is the person(s) in the organization that is responsible for guiding the implementation and general support of the CRM application. Depending on the size and structure of your organization you may be either a coordinator, process manager, or actual ‘doer’ for the CRM system.
- Power User – Typically a technology enthusiast that loves to understand a computer program’s functionality and push it to the limit while maximizing how that helps them in their daily work.
- Business Analyst – The interpreter and translator that sits between the business users and the technology team to guide and define how the out of the box features and functions will be customized to work the way the business works.
- IT Support – You are the owner of the network, infrastructure, servers and the devices at your company. Anything that touches the hardware or operating system requires your oversight and involvement.
- Developer – The coders. You take the specifications from the business analyst and customize or extend the application with your programming skills. You also educate the rest of the business with things they should know and consider as they work to craft the solution to support the business.
- New User – You’re the person that has been using some other contact management system or pen and pencil, Excel, Outlook, or Access to help you manage your customer information. You now will be using Microsoft Dynamics CRM and need to understand its features, functions. As you become more informed you will be more proficient with the application and be able exploit its features to organize your customer information and support your activities.
- On-Premise Environment – this is a collection of chapters that are of interest to a cross section of users that need to understand the implementation and support process for the CRM On-Premise application.
Footnote: Is this book still relevant when CRM 2013 is just around the corner? Most definitely.
Packt Publishing asked me to do a review of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Applications (MB2-868) Certification Guide.
What I like about this book is:
1. I couldn’t find any obvious technical errors in it when I read through it. So that makes it a reliable reference and training manual.
2. It has a nice ‘conversational’ tone to it. While it is mostly step by step point and click (which it should be), it does interject some additional insight into the processes that you might get if you were in a class room environment.
3. It is very thorough. It appears to cover the breadth and depth of the knowledge you will need to get positioned to sit for MB2-868 exam. Although, don’t expect that reading through this book or for that matter any similar Microsoft exam material training publication to get you 100% ready by itself. I would recommend that you read through the book cover to cover and then go back and actually step through each activity with a real CRM system.
4. The book includes 75 sample test questions, plus quiz questions at the end of each chapter. But one thing this book does that most don’t is in the answer key it expands on just identifying what the correct answer was by giving more information on what makes the wrong answers wrong and the right answers right.
Overall, it is a worthwhile purchase to make as you pursue the CRM 2011 Applications Exam – MB2-868.
It is week 23 in the review of the CRM Field Guide chapters from the book – The CRM Field Guide – How to CRM Like an MVP with Microsoft Dynamics CRM. This week it is the 44 page Connector for Microsoft Dynamics chapter.
This chapter takes us through a practical review of the possibility of using the Connector for Microsoft Dynamics as the integration mechanism between CRM and the Dynamics ERP products. The Connector was developed by Microsoft and it’s ‘Dynamics aware’. This means you do not have to worry about writing your code for the integration and you can rely on what Microsoft developed in regards to supportability and extensibility of your integration solution.
The author starts with a review of the three alternatives for providing an integration service:
- Use one of the many third party tools
- Write the Integration yourself
- Use the Connector for Microsoft Dynamics
There isn’t one best answer, it depends on the environment, integration requirements, skill sets and budget. However, at the end of the chapter you will have a good sense if the Connector is a possible fit for your needs and if it should be given further consideration in the mix of alternatives.
Regarding when the Connector is a good fit depends on part on how you will allow both systems to communicate with each with respect to the storing and ownership of data. Some refer to this as the Database of Record notion. In the case of the Connector the philosophy is as follows:
- Microsoft Dynamics CRM is used to manage relational data, ie. to manage contacts and leads, manage sales pipeline, track sales activities, perform marketing activities, manage service contracts and claims, prepare quotes and enter orders, manage any other records that might be helpful to build proper relationship with your business partners.
- Any Microsoft Dynamics ERP system is used to manage transactional data, ie. manage accounts and their structure, maintain vendor / supplier records, perform any accounting features, realize sales orders, manage stock and HR.
There are a lot of good resources online for the Connector including the community site on MSDN
|There is a section that covers the integration templates.|
|First run setup and configuration of the Connector is explained. With some very good cautions about which buttons not to click as tempting as they may look during the initial installation process.|
I was asked by Packt Publishing to do a review of their Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Application Design book, authored by Mahender Pal.
There are 8 chapters and two appendices in this 220 page book. The book will walk you through the learning process to understand the out of the box features provided by Dynamics CRM 2011. You will learn how to use these features to develop some custom applications.
Specifically the book will give you a solid, initial introduction in the development process for:
- Extending the business logic using plug-ins.
- How to use Web Resources – a Bing Maps application using Silverlight.
- Develop an External Web Application – Create and deployment process for a custom editable grid view
- Custom Workflow Assembly- create an AutoNumber plug in
The two appendixes provide info on the data model for the Account and Contact entities and the supporting information for one of the business scenarios – Hotel Entity- that is used in the instructional process.
At CRM Innovation we will be using this book with new .NET Developers that need to get an introductory view of the CRM coding world.
It is week 22 in the review of the CRM Field Guide chapters from the book – The CRM Field Guide – How to CRM Like an MVP with Microsoft Dynamics CRM. This week it is the 36 page Solution Management and Troubleshooting chapter.
This chapter is going to give you one big headache. It will also solve quite a few headaches for you at the same time. This is not a chapter to read and digest as easy reading just before you retire for the evening. Right off you will start the see that the solution management process – managed and un-managed – isn’t quite a simplistic as we envisioned earlier. I alluded to this in the review of Chapter 21 – Introduction to Solutions. This chapter is a good read for End User CRM Admins that desire to get a better insight into the strategies for administering the installation, customization, and removal of ISV IP (Independent Software Vendors Intellectual Property). For developers and product managers at ISVs this is mission critical knowledge that needs to be embedded into their minds.
It is week 21 in the review of the CRM Field Guide chapters from the book – The CRM Field Guide – How to CRM Like an MVP with Microsoft Dynamics CRM. This week it is the 32 page Introduction to Solutions chapter.
For those of us in the ISV community that produce commercial packaged solutions for the CRM marketplace when we first heard of the new feature called Solutions in CRM 2011 we were ecstatic. First off the question that came to mind is this a pretty complex task to accomplish and secondly this would solve all the issues we had been encountering with prior versions of CRM. Well it turned it out we were half correct. It has proven to be a very complex task and no it didn’t solve all the issues with distributing packaged Intellectual Property vertical and horizontal market solutions. But we are a lot better off than we were previously and it has been well used now that we understand when and how to use them. After you read this chapter you will have a better sense on how to use them.
Chapter 21 gives us an introduction into the process of successfully using solutions to publish customizations internally at your organization and build managed solutions for distribution to other end user organizations. Their is equal coverage to both managed and un-managed solutions, when to use which one, when not to use and documents other best practices for Solution use.
Each item that is placed inside a solution is considered a solution component. The following is a high level look at the different types of Solution components.