The CRM Field Guide
Scroll down the page for details about The CRM Field Guide 2011
The CRM Field Guide 2013 - Chapter Overviews
Chapter 1 - Hello, I’m CRM 2013
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 represents a major upgrade and in this chapter we will explore some of the new features at a high level. For many of these features this chapter will simply set the stage for a much more detailed discussion later in the book where full chapters will be dedicated to a much deeper take on that feature.
Chapter 2 - Building the Foundation
There are a few common things across Dynamics CRM and some basic architecture to follow. All of this is explained in much greater detail throughout the course of this book, but this chapter is here for some base knowledge for reference. It is important to know what CRM can do right out of the box before you head off changing it, so let’s get a firm foundation.
Chapter 3 - Marketing Automation Best Practices
This chapter takes you through the process of creation and management of Marketing Campaigns and their components. Included are Marketing Lists, both Static and Dynamic, Quick Campaigns, Marketing Campaigns, and Tracking Responses. Sales Literature, Planning Tasks, Financials, Campaign Activities, and linking to Products in the Product Catalog, all parts of Marketing Campaigns, are covered as well.
Chapter 4 - Sales Automation
Sales Automation is a methodology that automates sales business tasks such as lead management, account and contact management, knowledge sharing, order processing and tracking, customer management, sales forecast analysis, and employee goals. Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 offers a lot of features out-of-the-box that already include a full sales-force-automation process that could be extended through simple and complex customizations.
Chapter 5 - Service Management
This chapter describes the out-of-the-box functionality provided by Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 for managing service. Service functionality falls into two broad areas, tracking customer issues, complaints or other requests for service and scheduling for managing customer appointments. All of the entities related to service management are described as well as how they are connected along with examples of usage. These include case, contract, subject, article, service, service activity, facility/equipment, resource group, site, user, queue, article template, contract template, and business closure records. After reading this chapter you should have a good understanding of the service management capabilities and whether it is a good fit for your organization’s needs. You should be in a good position to decide whether you need to invest in customization or development to extend the features for your requirements or if the out of the box functionality is sufficient.
Chapter 6 - Service Management Leo
This chapter explores The “Leo” release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 (Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 SP1 for on-premises and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Spring ’14 for online) which adds new customer service features that considerably extend the capabilities of service management.
Chapter 7 - Extending Service Scheduling
Consider you are working in a company where both mobile as well as desktop users are using Microsoft Dynamics CRM. You are expecting a modern, agile and flexible concept of working hours as well as service scheduling feature. That is what this chapter is all about. Find concepts and strategies for extending the out-of-the-box feature “working hours” and turn it from a static into a dynamic model you can use in your daily business – working in your office as well as being a mobile worker communicating and interacting with your office.
Chapter 8 - Building Process Flows
They are manual, nearly impossible to script and difficult to control in code. And yet business process flows are winning the minds of customizers and developers alike. Maps, guidelines, blueprints, visualizations – call them what you please; they take a swing at traditional data-centric CRM design and focus on outcomes rather than transactions. Learn how to build business process flow across multiple entities and how to use multiple business process flows per entity, as well as how to manipulate flows programmatically, how to secure and add additional flexibility to them with roles; how to package and export for re-use.
Chapter 9 - Customizing Entities and Forms
This chapter covers the new customization options available in Dynamics CRM 2013. CRM 2013 radically changes the customization options available to the system customizer. The user interface is flatter, with menus and navigation bars hidden by default, resulting in significantly greater amounts of form real estate. To optimize the user experience, the system customizer must know how to take advantage of the new form layouts and use the new form controls, like Business Process Flow, combined address control, and the activity/notes pane.
Chapter 10 - JavaScript for the BA
Out-of-the-box Dynamics CRM 2013 gives users more ways to view and change data than ever before. Even with all the existing tools like quick view forms, workflows and portable business logic you still might find instances where you need a little something more to get the job done. Client side scripting can work wonders but isn’t always the best solution depending on the circumstances. It can be even more confusing to those CRM administrators who don’t write code for a living. The goal of this chapter is to provide some background on appropriate use of JavaScript along with some syntax and troubleshooting fundamentals while wrapping up with some real world examples.
Chapter 11 - Designing a Great User Experience
Customizing CRM is not just about adding entities and fields or developing new technical features for the system. In order to drive user adoption for CRM it is crucial to pay close attention to how the users will interact with the system, what information is presented to them and how they can be guided through the processes that are to be managed via the CRM system. This chapter explores the key components of Dynamics CRM that are available to the system customizer and provides practical guidance on how to best leverage them for designing a frictionless user experience - without writing a single line of custom code.
Chapter 12 - Display Your Data
One of the main goals of a CRM system is collect data but more important is how you can read and analyze that data. This chapter gives some basis on how to communicate data in a visual way with Dynamics CRM. It starts from the standard capabilities for dashboarding and reporting then moves on to exploring advanced topics with Power View and Power Pivot and discusses concepts of data warehousing. This chapter is a guide for the reader from basics to much more complicated examples.
Chapter 13 - Report Development
Reporting and visualization of data within CRM is crucial to give users tools to view and understand data from within CRM. This chapter identifies the various tools available within CRM for reporting as a context for understanding where custom reporting using SSIS provides unique value. The majority of the focus is on setting up and building your first SSIS – both as an on-premise CRM user with access to CRM’s SQL database and the filtered views or as a CRM Online user developing reports using CRM’s native data query language, FetchXML. The chapter wraps up with deploying the report and a discussion on security – along with simple enhancements that allow your report to work with Advanced Find and hyperlinks to make it interactive.
Chapter 14 - Social CRM
This chapter address the differences between internal and external social and the role that Yammer plays in addressing the internal social of an organization. It answers the question, “what is Yammer?” and the elements that are included in the application. Step by step setup and configuration of Yammer and Dynamics CRM is covered as well as the setting up of “rules” and how they work with auto posting. The chapter then moves on to using Yammer with Dynamics CRM 2013 and gives examples of its application across department. It stress the importance of company culture with the implementation of Yammer in an organization. The chapter concludes with a list of resources in the SDK and also a code example of embedding external Yammer feeds into a CRM dashboard.
Chapter 15 - CRM Server Optimization and Maintenance
This chapter covers a wide range of optimization, maintenance and monitoring topics that should help you towards understanding the scope of managing a Dynamics CRM infrastructure, as well as its related technologies such as Microsoft SQL Server and Internet Information Services (IIS).
Chapter 16 - Upgrade 2011 to 2013
In this chapter we explore upgrading to Dynamics CRM 2013 from an earlier version. CRM 2013 is a major upgrade, and we cover what you need to do to upgrade your configuration to take advantage of new functionality, and how to make your upgrade as painless as possible.
Chapter 17 - Security Model
Today’s global business challenges the traditional organization structure as people form dynamic teams to work on individual opportunities or other data in CRM. Securing data is a key requirement in virtually all CRM projects. Data security requirements often cover a broad spectrum of needs from just keep non-users from seeing it, all the way to complex rules that are challenging to implement in a non-dynamic security model. Architecting a security model is all about trading off and ensuring the right level of protection with the least amount of friction that slows down the user from doing their job. And of course ensuring the security design implemented doesn’t slow down the system any more than necessary.
Chapter 18 - Taking CRM on the Road
Microsoft Dynamics CRM has seen quite a transformation over the past few years. It used to be that Dynamics CRM was wearing a business suit and used only the inside of an office. Then with CRM 4.0 and 2011 it took off its necktie with IFD, but you still had to use it on a laptop or desktop computer. Now it can be used on virtually any device, including computers, both Windows and Mac, tablets like iPads and Microsoft Surface, and smartphones. CRM has traded its business suit for hiking boots and has hit the road. You can now use it from wherever you work and on virtually any device. In this chapter we are going to explore the ways to use Microsoft Dynamics CRM on modern devices, and what you should do to get the most out of CRM on these devices.
Chapter 19 - Emails, Appointments Synchronization Overview
This chapter explores how CRM and its spin-offs in the xRM realm deal with trying to understand an organization’s relationship with their customers, members or other external parties. Part of this is of course the structured data in the form of fields that are contained in the account and contact forms. However, a large part of this is also trying to understand and store the communication that people in these organizations have with all these external customers, members etc. and their respective contacts. For this reason many activities have been created in CRM that allow for storing of this data, most notably email. The purpose of this being to create transparency within an organization of who is communicating with whom, in regards to what, and what the message is.
Chapter 20 - Server Side Sync
As discussed in the previous chapter, the synchronization of activities between Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft Exchange (and other compatible email servers) is one of the most important features of a CRM system. The focus of this chapter is to explore the new email profiles capabilities in detail as well as Server Side Sync, a functionality that we have all been waiting for for years. In this chapter we will tackle the subject from multiple angles, we will focus on the why, the what, and the how, and we will cover common Server Side Sync troubleshooting techniques.
Chapter 21 - Data Management
This chapter explains different approaches to Data manipulation (initial loading, synchronizing existing data, updating existing data looking for criteria, etc.), with real examples and time analysis to understand where the improvement points are. Based on a data example of 100,000 records and using the standard features and Dynamics CRM SDK you can understand time differences between CRM Online and On-Premise, and loading system or custom entities. It concludes with learning which solution to adopt for any scenario you need in the real world.
Chapter 22 - Dynamics Connector
Become an integration hero without a single line of code. In this chapter you will learn what a Dynamics Connector is and how you can use it to integrate systems in your CRM deployments. We will cover the introduction to integration approaches and briefly discuss when you should consider using the Connector. Then I will delve deeper into Connector for Dynamics architecture and its components, as well as supported integration types. Once finished with the introductions we will get our hands dirty with setting up real integrations, customizing maps and customizing the Connector. Read this chapter to get deep knowledge of what the Connector for Microsoft Dynamics is and how to use it.
Chapter 23 - Workflow and Dialogs for the BA
The chapter introduces the reader to the concept of processes in Dynamics CRM 2013; automated routines used -to assist with a business’ work processes. The focus of the chapter is workflows and dialogs, with the other two process types: Actions and Business Process Flows, being dealt with elsewhere in the book. The steps involved in creating workflows and dialogs, the method in which they run and real-world examples are explored.
Chapter 24 - No Code Business Rules
At the heart of every CRM implementation is a boat load of business requirements, many of which are implemented by one or more business rules. Generically, a business rule is often one or more simple conditions that must be true and when they are one or more actions occur. CRM comes out-of-the-box with a number of business rules implemented that are expected to meet a large number of business needs. Many of these can be customized so they are tailored to fit more specific project needs. Beyond that, developers can use code to implement client side rules with JavaScript or server side rules with CRM extensions like plug-ins. This chapter explores the options, customizations and use of the out of the box features and gives scenario examples for their use.
Chapter 25 - Real time Workflows
Workflows in CRM have for a while been a powerful way to automate tasks that would otherwise be tedious for users or to ensure consistency in processes. Workflows however were limited to being able to run in the background. While this works great and makes sense for long running processes that could take months, it is not ideal when you desire the user to see results immediately. For these needs CRM projects turned to developers to create plug-ins that had the ability to run real time. While plug-ins are powerful, and still have a place for many small tasks, using a workflow to define the steps would be adequate if the workflow simply could run immediately. As of CRM 2013, workflows can now be configured to be Background (like they previously ran, asynchronously) or Real Time (synchronous like plug-ins).
Chapter 26 - Solutions
Life in the software world is changing rapidly as we now find ourselves in a paradigm driven by approaches like “Cloud-First” or “Online-First”, these approaches are being adopted by software vendors both large and small. The benefits of these strategies are vast, not least of which is the ability to be far more agile with product enhancements, in order to adapt and survive in today’s competitive landscape. Microsoft has been clear for some time now that “Cloud-First” is their approach of choice with Dynamics CRM Online leading the charge. We need to have a clear understanding of what is required to build and package Solutions in such a way that they can keep up with this rapid release cadence, as well as an understanding of what has changed to date in the Solution framework and what might change in the future, as the framework itself evolves to better handle the deployment of these changes.
Chapter 27 - Developers, Developers, Developers
Developers are integral engineers of the Dynamics CRM landscape. When our job is done best we are invisible. In this chapter, we'll look at the new and exciting enhancements in CRM 2013 and what they mean for us, and the relationship with consultants and other non-developers. From Real-time Workflows to jQuery, we'll cover everything you need to know to adapt to a changing development role.
Chapter 28 - Parature!
Turning your classic phone and email support strategy into a new social media friendly concept of offering support and services by adding and using features from Microsoft Parature – that´s what the chapter is all about. Find an introduction of Microsoft Parature and some of the new capabilities Microsoft Dynamics CRM can benefit from. Think of new service/support offerings your company can add by simply using the integration between Microsoft Parature and Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Read about Live-Chat, Social Network integration and new Knowledgebase capabilities and turn your customer care cost center into a customer loved profit center.
Chapter 29 - Curriculum Guide
The CRM Field Guide Volume Two 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 challenge with the book is that it is potentially overwhelming in the content it contains at 900+ pages in 28 chapters. This chapter answers “which chapter do I start with and in what order do I proceed?” The curriculum guide is based on eight personas and one environment. The most relevant chapters for each discipline are organized in recommended reading sequence.
The CRM Field Guide 2011 - Chapter Overviews
Chapter 1 – Building the Foundation
Building the Foundation lays the groundwork for understanding the various terms and parts of a CRM Organization. It includes helpful tips not covered elsewhere in the book.
Chapter 2 –CRM Server Installation & Configuration
CRM Server Installation & Configuration will help you learn the requirements, the planning steps, and the process for installing and configuring your CRM server.
Chapter 3 – CRM Outlook Client Installation & Configuration
CRM Outlook Client Installation & Configuration addresses the different choices and troubleshooting techniques for installation and configuration of Dynamics CRM Outlook Client.
Chapter 4 – CRM 4 Upgrade to CRM 2011
CRM 4 Upgrade to CRM 2011 you’ll learn the software and hardware requirements, develop an upgrade plan, prepare your database, upgrade customizations, perform and test the upgrade and train your users.
Chapter 5 – E-mail Router Installation & Troubleshooting
E-mail Router Installation & Troubleshooting covers the necessity of the e-mail router, the deployment wizard, the configuration manager, hardware and software requirements, installation and configuration and user settings for the e-mail router.
Chapter 6 – Security Best Practices
Security Best Practices covers the why and the how of security in Dynamics CRM, including the security tools already built in to CRM as well as a look at special case handling.
Chapter 7 – Sales Management Best Practices
Sales Management Best Practices examines critical success factors for sales management, activity and lead management, customer, opportunity and pipeline management, and workflows and sales processes.
Chapter 8 – Service Management Best Practices
Service Management Best Practices explains the optimal use of cases, contracts, articles, service scheduling and the service calendar.
Chapter 9 – Marketing Management Best Practices
Marketing Management Best Practices is a detailed look at the benefits of CRM’s marketing tools, including marketing lists and campaigns, as well as campaign reporting.
Chapter 10 – The Power of CRM & Outlook
The Power of CRM & Outlook explores the benefits of integrating and synchronizing CRM and Outlook and explains how to make it happen and make the most use of the combined tools.
Chapter 11 – Dynamics CRM Goal Management
Dynamics CRM Goal Management is an in-depth look at the foundations of goal management, ranging from Sales to Marketing to Service and beyond.
Chapter 12 – Processes
Processes delves into the power and scope of Workflows and Dialogs, how they work and how you can use them for maximum benefit.
Chapter 13 – Aligning Reports to the Audience
Aligning Reports to the Audience helps the reader understand and meet the needs of different users and stakeholders by exploring the varying needs and expectations of users and using the array of out-of-the-box tools.
Chapter 14 – Report Development
Report Development shows how to create the best (read: most useful) reports by utilizing SQL, FetchXML and other tools to build custom reports in CRM.
Chapter 15 – SharePoint & CRM: Better Together
SharePoint & CRM: Better Together discusses the benefits of SharePoint collaboration tools being integrated with CRM in order to provide the 360° view of the customer, including how to set up integration and how to access CRM from SharePoint.
Chapter 16 – CRM Outlook Optimization & Troubleshooting
CRM Outlook Optimization & Troubleshooting examines what you can do to optimize the performance of the Outlook client and how to troubleshoot CRM for Outlook.
Chapter 17 –CRM Server Optimization, Maintenance & Monitoring
CRM Server Optimization, Maintenance & Monitoring covers CRM server, IIS, and SQL server optimization, as well as maintenance and monitoring of the servers.
Chapter 18 – Data Management Best Practices
Data Management Best Practices explores using the Data Import Wizard, duplicate detection, and bulk deletion, plus best practices for ensuring high-quality data in your CRM system.
Chapter 19 – User Adoption
User Adoption shares key concepts and strategies for encouraging and improving user adoption within you organization.
Chapter 20 – Customization Strategies
Customization Strategies discusses a variety of strategies that can be used to customize CRM to fit your business needs and reviews the solution architecture and management.
Chapter 21 – Introduction to Solutions
Introduction to Solutions gives details on custom solutions and components, managed vs. unmanaged solutions, the importing and exporting of solutions, deleting solutions and managed properties.
Chapter 22 – Solution Management & Troubleshooting
Solution Management & Troubleshooting is a more in-depth look at solutions, covering import behavior, managed properties, layering strategies and tips and tricks to get the most out of your CRM solutions.
Chapter 23 – Dynamics Connector - From Zero to Hero
Dynamics Connector - From Zero to Hero, in this chapter, you will learn what some of the considerations are when combining CRM with other members of the Dynamics family, what options are available, how to choose and implement the best option or combination of options, and some helpful resources for reference.
Chapter 24 – Rapid Development Best Practices
Rapid Development Best Practices is an overview of the strategies of preparation, planning, execution and delivery of customizations in an efficient and effective way that meets the needs of the client without reinventing the wheel.
Chapter 25 – Community Resources
Community Resources is a plethora, a veritable cornucopia, of resources from the global community of user groups, users, MVPs, Microsofties, social media masters and blogs that can help you maximize your CRM skills and guide you to the answers you seek.