Creating a Custom Entity using Import Data feature

Imagine an exceptional scenario where in you have a requirement of creating a custom entity and have data of 1000 records to be imported into this new custom entity. For this we will begin with the creation of a Custom Entity named Stores. Following is the sequence that is usually followed:

1. Create a Custom Entity named Stores.

2. Create Fields that are required and are present in the excel

3. Form Customizations to place the all the fields.

4. Publish Customizations

5. Import Data Wizard

– Map Record Types: Map the source Data file to the newly created custom entity named Stores.

– Map Fields.

6. Customize the default active view to display the required columns and Publish.

To summarize the above 6 steps in 2 stages,

Stage 1: Configuration. This will include creating the Custom Entity and Custom Fields which will be created one by one.

Stage 2: Import Data. Once you are done with the configuration, run the import wizard and do the mapping of entity and fields.

Since we already have the data to be imported into the CRM, an alternate way of quickly shortening the entire process is to create a new entity and fields during the Data Import stage itself.

Following is the sequence:

1. Import Data

a. On the Map Data window, Create New. Type in the name of the Custom Entity once a new window pops up.

 

b. On Map Fields window, select Create New Field

c. Select the field type

d. Review and Submit

That’s it! Now, the custom entity as well as the entire data is brought inside the CRM, we have to now perform one last step.

2. Define the area of display and customize the view as required.

3. The form customizations process remains same.

PROS:

The configuration time is saved and all the hassles associated, as all the configuration work can be done at the Data Import Stage itself.

CONS:

1. More than 1 mandatory field cannot be saved during the import stage. By default, only the Primary field is set as a mandatory field. This can however be changed by editing the field window by changing the field requirement type.

2. For Field Type “Option Set” it will consider the Option Values that are present in the column. It will not allow adding any more Option Values to this option set during import stage. Hence, one has to make sure that the source file has all the option values listed in this column. We can add more option values manually by editing the field settings.

Fun with JavaScript

 In this post we pick some of the examples of JavaScript

Part 1 : Working with aliased value (getting attributes value from Link Entity) in JavaScript.

Most often we find that the content available on the web,  concentrate on how to retrieve  the aliased value in C# . Below is an easy way to get the aliased value in JavaScript.

For example : Fetch Xml is

 <fetch version=”1.0″ output-format=”xml-platform” mapping=”logical” distinct=”false”>

     <entity name=”pcl_EntityA”>

       <attribute name=”pcl_fieldA” />

       <order attribute=”pcl_fieldA” descending=”true” />

         <link-entity name=”pcl_EntityB” from=”pcl_EntityBid” to=”pcl_fieldBonEntityA” visible=”false” link-type=”outer” alias=”AB”>

           <attribute name=”pcl_fieldB” />

                      </link-entity>

                </entity>

             </fetch>

 Conventionally to get the value of field A : collection[0].attributes. pcl_EntityA.value;

To get the value of the field B from the Link Entity B : collection[0].attributes[‘AB. pcl_fieldB’].value;

Part 2 : Registering a JavaScript function on all CRM Entities

Usually we can register a plugin on all CRM entities but do you know we can also register JavaScript function on all CRM entities?

For example: Suppose there is a used case scenario where there is bulk update of records, which will take up considerable amount of time to complete. Now in an ideal situation, one wouldn’t want the user to wait till it completes and prompt the user once it’s done in which ever entity he currently is working on. For this the following steps can be followed:

1. Add the Application Ribbon to the solution and open the solution in the Ribbon Workbench.

2. Select a button which will be common on the required or all entities For example: New Button.

3. Add a new Custom Enable Rule and further add your logic to it and return true by default to enable the function.

4. Enable rule of a function fires on load of the form so the function gets called each time on load.

The post has been written by Chetan Khandelwal

Enhancing Business Productivity using Dynamics CRM

Productivity is an important component for any business applications offering, and that is especially critical for sales organizations where people need to quickly respond to customers’ needs.

In today’s market, customers have more options than ever when choosing the companies they choose to do business with. Because of this, it is essential for an organization to fully understand their customer right from the first interaction through the last interaction and it should be seamless across organization. The truth is, if you don’t meet your customers’ expectations, then they will take their business to your ‘competitors’.

You can avoid this unwanted situation and enhance your business productivity by using Microsoft Dynamics CRM implementation.

Customer relationship management (CRM) systems allow easy information tracking and sharing to ensure that each interaction with a customer is meaningful, productive and pleasant.

Following are the top 6 ways to enhance business productivity using Microsoft Dynamics CRM and meet your Customers expectations

1. Effective Time Management: Time is always a precious commodity at a workplace. Dynamics CRM prompts users to follow up on activities and automates alerts when important events occur, or if certain activities are missed.
2. Business Intelligence: Microsoft Dynamics CRM provides users with a multitude of business intelligence and data visualization capabilities that they can use to instantly get accurate up-to-date information including ‘sales forecasts’, ‘targets’, ‘quotes’ to drive sales growth. Some of the key elements of a good BI system include:
– Tracking of key performance metrics
– Employees targets Vs Business targets
– Actionable Information
– Fact based decision making
3. Empowering Sales/ Service people: with the right information at right time: CRM helps in tracking each interaction with customers thereby empowering your sales people.
4. Salesforce Automation:  Salesforce automation suite effectively and accurately manages your sales process. With the Sales capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, your Sales team can save time and sell more effectively in this era through seamless integration with Dynamics CRM.

What does this mean to companies using Microsoft CRM?

It presents sales teams with the accurate and consistent information required to effectively drive opportunities through the sales process faster and better. This process give businesses an opportunity to completely focus on the critical customer life-cycle (lead generation – acquisition – conversion – retention – loyalty), right customers and priorities, thus increasing the sales team’s productivity and sales revenue of company.

Data is available via the web or a smartphone both online or offline. Thus even when sales team are on the road they have 24/7 access to dashboards containing the real-time information they need to respond to changing needs of customer and organisation.

For example, it is quite valuable for sales representatives to know about issues that their customers have brought to the support team or marketing materials that have recently been sent from the marketing team. It is equally valuable for the marketing team to be able to understand where a prospect is in the sales process. Today’s CRM systems make it possible to share this relevant information.

5. Seamless Integration with different tools : One of the most powerful propositions of MS CRM is the integration with different tools such as – ‘Microsoft Outlook’, ‘Microsoft Lync’, ‘Microsoft SharePoint’, ‘Yammer’ and ‘Microsoft Social Engagements’. Integrating these additional Microsoft technologies into a CRM environment can provide the benefits to an enterprise’s whole CRM community, from the CEO to the end user and customer.

6. Mobility: Another key element of modern CRM systems and Microsoft Dynamics CRM specifically is that of mobility. Everyone is on the move and people need to access data beyond the walls of the office. CRMs have migrated from the office to the mobile world. Microsoft Dynamics CRM is available on all the major devices which mean a user can access information when and where they need it. Providing access on mobile devices ensures that the information is entered into the CRM and a manager can see reporting in real-time.

Below are the few additional features of Dynamics CRM, which helps to increase the business/end user productivity

Immersive Excel experience:  Now you can use Microsoft Excel Online to do a quick analysis right from Dynamics CRM Online, eliminating the frustration, time and effort required to switch between applications. Sales people can view their respective data in familiar Excel spreadsheets, perform what-if analyses and upload changes with one click, all while maintaining the sales workflow.

 

Microsoft Social Engagement: You can easily pinpoint leads from social media and understand social buzz around a product. You’ll instantly gain access to powerful social tools and connect with customers, partners and prospects on various social media sites.

Self-service analytics: You can effectively analyze customer data using Microsoft Dynamics CRM integrated with Power BI. Using the new out-of-the-box connector and templates for Power BI, Business can analyze sales performance, drive pipeline goals, prepare forecasts and efficiently manage account team activities.

Dashboards are another powerful feature in Microsoft Dynamics. It helps you to track the day to day activities and sales pipeline through various sales stages at a glance. The CRM Overview dashboard shown below displays the sales pipeline, Opportunities and open activity records.

This post is by Kishor Sanap

CRM Integration made easy with web service

Integration made easy with web service

(Single Plug & Play Solution to call Different web service (without adding Reference) like SOUP-UI)

CRM integration is a major challenge for organizations of all sizes. All businesses today are focusing more on customer and front office to be able to provide higher value-added services and support to them. The reason for doing so is obvious, as it helps them maximize their ROI, lead to greater customer satisfaction, ensures higher revenue leading to healthy bottom line.

Due to browsers’ cross domain restriction, you cannot have JavaScript functions executing on a CRM form event or when a ribbon button is clicked calling web services outside of the CRM domain. The issue is related to a security perspective.

In this article, we are providing an example of how Single Action can be used to make a request to different web services outside of the CRM domain from a record’s form event. For this you would need to provide only the web service URL and required inputs.

Scenario
In some CRM deployments we need to call multiple web services according to the requirement for different events and there is a possibility that the web service is hosted on an environment other than the CRM Domain. So there is need of Single Plug & Play Solution to call different web services.

Process Configuration
To overcome the problems in integration of web services, we can write a Single Action that would be enough to integrate multiple web services with required number of input & outputs.
Here is the process to implement this solution. The steps are really simple to understand and implement.

1. Create an Action of type process. This action would have say 4 input values and 1 output value.
2. The action would need a custom workflow activity which will work as bridge between CRM application and the external web service which could be either in same domain or different domain. This custom workflow will be responsible for fetching the required details by calling the expected web service.

Please refer to the attached dll of the custom workflow which you could use directly in any action to call web service by passing the input parameter only. Please note that you do not need to add any type of web reference of any web service.

 

Calling Action from JavaScript

This is the last piece of the puzzle. At this point, we simply need to call the action created
from a web resource library on any event ( e.g. Ribbon button click, OnChange of a field value etc.).

To call action from web resource library you need to write a function that is triggered when the expected event occurs at client side.

This function will trigger an action in effect and consume the values returned by action, read the output values and use the same as required.

Alternate Solution

To call web service in other domain, another solution is needed to deploy intermediate web service in same domain and call this service from CRM web resource library. This approach has its own side effects. E.g. Fluctuating results, Performance issues, maintenance in future in case of additional web methods to be added etc.

Conclusion

With the solution of using actions to call web services in this blog we get benefited in terms of:
1. Plug and Play Solution
2. Improved Performance
3. No Fluctuation in Results
4. Very Less Maintenance
5. One Time Efforts

This post has been written by Pradip Jadhav

9 Steps to Implement an Effective MS CRM System for your Organization

Running a business is not easy. Even if you have the best teams in place with all the knowledge and skills you need, it still takes a lot of time and effort to have all aspects of your business in place. The best way to tackle that is to have an effective MSCRM is place. Following are the 9 simple steps to implement an effective MSCRM system for your organisation:

  1. Qualify: This stage defines the bench-marking of all processes, responsibilities and business strategy alignment to outline the organization’s understanding of the MSCRM system concept and bring to light any business issues that needs solutions through the MSCRM.
  2.  Initiate : This stage creating an efficient project team and an overall framework of plans. This is critical because based on this, the  outline of the project is developed and an understanding of how the project will be managed and the goals achieved will be derived from here.  The key elements to be considered are :
    • defining the development processes
    • clarifying roles and responsibilities
    • ensuring one common source of all customer information.
  3. Define: Usually a series of workshops are conducted to understand and analyse the organization’s current business and IT strategies w.r.t the defined project goals, to ensure the business Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) and project are properly aligned.
  4. Design: The design phase targets the customer’s business processes and redesigns them to function more efficiently in accordance with its objectives and KPIs. The organization’s various stakeholders also get to see how the mscrm solution would be aligned to the business plan, including specific requirements that would have come up from various departments.
  5. Build: Post the design phase, the prototype of the conceptual design with the standard system starts taking shape. All functionalities including reports, interfaces and programs/ applications specific to the customer can be seen here.
  6. Prepare: In this stage the solution is compared with the situations discussed during the ‘define’ and ‘design’ stages. Changes as required are made along with the data population, post which the migration take place.
  7. Transfer: This stage is the key. Usually the consulting company runs through a series of workshops with organization staff to ensure they are trained in the new solution and can carry out their day-to-day activities in the most efficient manner.
  8. Sustain: In this stage  the consulting company does more hand-holding and provides with additional support as required during the business cycle, for smooth flow of activities.
  9. Review: This stage involves a review of how the business and system are aligned, including how business changes, process updates and new staff training are being managed within the system along with new requests  that may crop up from the organization’s point of view.

Top 5 Steps to a Successful CRM Initiative for CEO’s

Stakeholders in any business, while implementing CRM, must completely own the project. This begins from identifying the goals to documenting the different business processes and tangible metrics. Eventually the success or failure of any CRM implementation will depend on the buy-in from the senior management.

Following are the top 5 checklist pointers for CEO’s to have a successful CRM initiative

Identify and evaluate all the processes that demand change, the current bottlenecks, work-around and simultaneously put together all the tangible metrics to measure performance.

Establish a customer focused culture along with implementing a scalable system, keeping in mind, that all information, resources will grow/increase with time. Also, it is essential to have a go-to-guy within the organisation, responsible for integration with your other applications to provide a complete overview of the customer.

Identify the businesses most profitable customers and provide timely/ customised products, services, and promotions that keep them updated and valued.

Recognize the ever changing dynamics between individual department needs like between sales and marketing teams. The need to know the details and results of marketing campaigns, customer interactions is the order of the day. It is good to have sales, marketing and customer service team communicate over a common platform like CRM to avoid misunderstandings, customer side errors, interaction history tracking, etc.

Understand and review reports that can be customised depending on the organization need to understand the success of a CRM implementation.

Microsoft Partner Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Results

The results are out of the recently conducted Microsoft CSAT survey.

With more than 150 partners in the Asia/Pacific region who have competency in Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Pragmasys Consulting has been recognized as the Best Local CRM service provider in India in the Financial Services and Manufacturing Sectors. The CSAT conducted by Microsoft reiterated our clients faith in us, that we have been able to achieve 100% satisfaction across our customer base.

The parameters that we were evaluated on were, technical expertise, quality of deliverables, ability to meet clients’ needs, satisfaction and overall recommendation. We feel proud in publishing that Pragmasys Consulting achieved 100% on the KPIs Recommend and Satisfaction and 91% on Technical Competency of Staff.