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Understanding Programs in Grants Manager Plus

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Victim Notification Software: InfoStrat SAVIN360

InfoStrat developed the SAVIN360 Victim Notification System to help agencies manage contacts and alerts when offenders are transferred or released. State departments of correction and county jails and related public safety agencies must deploy a system for notifying victims, constituents, law enforcement officials and other stakeholders when an offender’s custody status changes.

Today three states rely on the SAVIN360 solution, with another statewide implementation going live later in 2019.  SAVIN360 provides many options for notification, including notification by event type.  It uses a web portal powered by Microsoft Dynamics 365 for registration and management of notification preferences. InfoStrat implemented SAVIN360 for all interfaces, which include Court, Prosecutor, Law Enforcement, Jail and Corrections data sources. This provides a single code base for all exchanges, enabling the application of both source specific and global business rules for all incoming data. This also m…

Understanding Grant Management Data: CDBG-DR Programs

InfoStrat Grants Manager Plus is used for tracking many types of grants because the data model may be extended with new fields and entities.  For tracking Community Development Block Grants for Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the system tracks grants in ways that are different from typical grants.

CDBG-DR grants flow from a federal grant to a state, where they are broken into multiple grants to local entities which in turn are used to fund individual grants for such activities as housing repairs, infrastructure projects and remediation of damage such as erosion.

The grant management system must track funding at all stages of the grant life cycle.  As shown above, a CDBG-DR grant recipient develops action plans along with associated budgets and metrics.  Sub-recipients such as local government agencies apply for grants which ultimately become contracts when awarded.

After award, as projects are completed, grantees submit pay…

Coming Soon: April 2019 Release of Microsoft Dynamics 365

It is still winter in Washington, DC, but spring is just around the corner.  We can look forward to cherry blossoms, the Potomac shad run, and Microsoft's next release of Dynamics 365.

Microsoft has published the release notes for April '19 and there are many highlights.

Artificial Intelligence is still one of the hottest trends, and Microsoft has a steady stream of new AI features of Dynamics, such as

Dynamics 365 Virtual Agent for Customer Service provides AI-powered chat bots to optimize the customer experience.Dynamics 365 Customer Insights enables every organization to unify and understand their customer data to harness it for intelligent insights and actions.Dynamics 365 Fraud Protection enables the e-commerce merchants to drive down fraud loss, increase bank acceptance rates to yield higher revenue, and improve the online shopping experience.
Alysa Taylor, Corporate Vice President, Business Applications & Industry at Microsoft has written a blog post with more infor…

Handy CRM Views and Graphs for Government Contractors (GovCon)

If you use a customer relationship management (CRM) system for tracking government contracts, you will find yourself using some views, reports and graphs more frequently than others.

Here are some favorites from my experience and from users of the InfoStrat Dynamics 365 for Government Contractors solution.

The most fundamental chart is the sales pipeline funnel.  This is broken into the sales stages of your business process flow, such as unqualified, qualified, RFI, RFP, proposed and others.



The view that I use most often is Open Opportunities by Owner.  This is the view that helps coordinate sales meetings when you are reviewing open opportunities with your business development team.  Adding the Opportunity Owner to the standard Open Opportunities view makes it easier to sort the opportunities during the course of the discussion.  I like keeping the opportunity owner as the rightmost field in the view.

Using the Opportunities with Proposals Due view helps you focus on outstanding pr…

Microsoft Ignite: The Tour Visits Washington, DC

This week Microsoft took its tour of the Ignite conference to Washington, DC.  The initial Ignite conference was held in Las Vegas, Nevada, but the tour brings much of the content to a broader audience. 

You can access recordings of the sessions online. Because there were over 100 sessions and workshops in two days, it was impossible to attend all of them.  Here are the learning paths from the event:



For me, the most important overall message was the blurring of lines between Microsoft cloud products and the continual expansion and opening of the Microsoft platform. Cloud computing has allowed Microsoft and other vendors to introduce new products and product versions more quickly.  For Dynamics 365, Microsoft introduces continuous small fixes and significant versions every six months.  This is much faster than the product cycle ten years ago which offered major versions every two or three years.

The pace of innovation creates challenges for customers to keep up, so events like this a…

Export Reports from Dynamics 365 to PowerPoint

Microsoft Dynamics 365 now offers an option to export reports to PowerPoint in addition to the formats such as Excel, PDF and other file formats which have been supported for several versions.  Here is how the Export menu looks on a report:


The output of the report is converted into pages which become pages in the PowerPoint file.  By default the pages do not fit in a standard PowerPoint size, so the images are divided in two and placed on two pages:



The pages contain images of the report contents like this sample from the Account Overview Standard report:



Because they are images, you cannot edit them in PowerPoint beyond image editing tools.  To make them more attractive in PowerPoint, you can change the format of the Dynamics 365 report so it will fit better in the targeted PowerPoint format.
If you what you want is to render data from Dynamics 365 in a pre-built PowerPoint template, you may want to export the data from Dynamics 365 to Excel and use Mail Merge with a third party too…