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5 Best Things about the Unified Interface for Microsoft Dynamics 365

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Extending Grants Manager Plus

Grants Manager Plus provides grantors with an all-in-one, integrated solution that simplifies the grants process from initial solicitation through review, scoring, award, payment processing and post award. InfoStrat designed the solution to allow it to be extended and customized to meet the needs of specific grant programs.

Grant programs may be quite different from one another, and adopting grant management software for your grantor agencies requires flexibility and rapid development of solutions to meet program demands.  For instance, Grants Manager Plus is being used by local government for small grants of less than $1,000 to individuals for public safety initiatives and also large state grants for disaster recovery managed through sub-recipients. Some grant programs call for detailed invoicing on a monthly basis, with payments tied to achievement of milestones and performance metrics.

Grants Manager Plus may be viewed as a layered solution, as shown in this figure:


Grants Manager …

BPFs on steroids – Using Dynamics Business Process Flows to Implement a Fully Guided Lifecycle of a Record

This is a guest blog post from Dmitri Riz, the director of InfoStrat's Microsoft Dynamics Practice.

We are all familiar with Business Process Flows (BPF) in Dynamics 365 – they’ve been around for a while. The set of chevrons at the top of the single record form typically represents major phases in the record’s lifecycle.
The problemWhen starting a new project, we usually end up designing and building a set of BPFs for the most important records in our system. However, one of the first questions we often hear from users after the new project goes live is “Is there a way to hide BPF area of the form?”. The real-life usage of BPFs sometimes falls short of the promise to make users' lives easier by guiding them through a business process. The reason many users often fail to see much utility in BPFs is that a typical BPF is weakly connected to actual processes users go through when working with data and often fails to serve as an enforcer of institutional rules. A purely visual g…

InfoStrat Releases New Versions of Grants Manager Plus

This month InfoStrat released new versions and new editions of Grants Manager Plus to help grantors track the entire grant life cycle, from funding sources to awards, reporting, and closeout. This blog will feature a future post which provides detail on new features, but here are highlights:
New process flows for grants which pass through to sub-recipients and those which do notPlanning tools for top-down planning of spending based on action plansEnhanced payment validation rulesMilestone-based payment gatesUser interface improvementsPortal enhancements for Dynamics portal such as improved navigation for multi-page application formsDeeper project management functions such as budgeting New editions combine features appropriate to specific grant programs: Disaster recovery grants such as HUD CDBG-DR and FEMAVictim services grants such as VOCA, VAWA and SVAPPublic safety grants For more information on grant management and Microsoft Grants Manager Plus, see my posts:

Microsoft Grants Manage…

Internal Training Sessions at InfoStrat

One of the biggest challenges for IT services companies like my company InfoStrat is to stay current with the latest product releases and to keep learning new things even while we are engaged with demanding projects on behalf of our clients.
For this reason, we have created multiple ways to collaborate and share with one another.  This week we are conducting internal training sessions to allow a forum for our consultants to share what they are doing, the problems they are solving, and new things they have recently learned.
I thought that some of my readers might be interested in the topics that we cover, so here is a partial list of presentations from our agenda: Understanding Microsoft FlowBuilding a configurable framework for a complex website using Azure Service Fabric and SitecoreWorking on Agile projects with large offshore teamsCollaboration with Microsoft TeamsCreating advanced form navigation on Microsoft Dynamics Portal to allow skipping to specified sections in a long formUs…

Professional Direct Support for Microsoft Dynamics 365

Microsoft offers several premium support options in addition to standard technical support for Dynamics 365 subscribers.  One of the newest is Professional Direct Support.  This plan is available for customers with 20 or more users.

This support plan offers faster (one hour) response time and access to not only break/fix resources but help with " light advisory, upgrade and release readiness, case wellness, enhanced service incident
handling, and escalation assistance".

For more on Dynamics support options, start here.

See also Enhanced Support for Dynamics 365

5 Pitfalls in Choosing Cloud Business Software Such as CRM

Choosing a business software package such as Microsoft Dynamics, Salesforce, SAP or Oracle is a daunting task, and the process can lead you astray in making the best decision for your organization.

There is no shortcut to finding the right product.  Choosing the best selling or fastest growing software product does not guarantee you will be successful in your company with that product.

Software categories are complex, and many products are geared toward specific industries or to companies of a certain size.  If a small company tried to implement a product such as SAP enterprise resource planning which is successful with large global companies, it could easily find itself overwhelmed and the implementation price could exceed annual company revenue.  On the other hand, a large company with global subsidiaries, complex tax rules, and high number of users and transactions would not likely be successful with QuickBooks.

One of the approaches to choosing software is to create a list of des…