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Microsoft to Change Dynamics 365 Subscription Plans

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When is a Sales Opportunity an Opportunity in Your CRM?

Sales force automation is one of the three biggest reasons to implement a customer relationship management system, but some of the business rules for tracking sales are not universal to all businesses.  For instance, CRM products such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Salesforce center on tracking sales opportunities.  How you define opportunities for your business may be different from how other companies track their sales.

A person or company alone is not an opportunity.  They might be a prospect for you, but to be an opportunity you must define what it is that they might purchase. 

Some companies do not enter opportunities into their CRM until they are qualified.  Qualification means determining a basis for projecting that something will be sold.  Usually it requires that you determine what will be sold, its value and the timeframe for the purchase.  Other CRM users enter opportunities before they are qualified and leave the estimated value and project close date blank until the oppor…

Gap Analysis for Dynamics 365 (CRM) Implementations

Gap analysis explores the differences between your software requirements and the as-is features of an off-the-shelf product such as Microsoft Dynamics 365. It is one of the most useful techniques in a customer relationship management implementation.

Determining software requirements is a challenging process, and requires guidance and facilitation to help end user identify their needs and priorities.  If you start virtually with a blank sheet of paper, as is typical in custom software development, it is hard to know where to begin.  Users can easily go astray in coming up with software requirements.

Gap analysis starts with a working system, and focuses on the changes that are necessary to make the system meet the functional and performance goals of users.  For instance, here are some gaps that we explore in implementing a sales force management solution with Microsoft Dynamics 365:

Look at the account form.  Analyze each field and determine whether you track this information.  Are the…

Grants Manager Plus for Victim Assistance Grants

InfoStrat's Grants Manager Plus supports the full lifecycle of grants for victim assistance, such as those under the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA), the The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and state victim assistance programs.

The goals of grants for victim assistance are to prevent violent crime, respond to the needs of crime victims, and educate the public on crime and victim issues.

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA; Title IV of P.L. 103-322) was originally enacted in
1994. It addressed congressional concerns about violent crime, and violence against women in
particular, in several ways. It allowed for enhanced sentencing of repeat federal sex offenders;
mandated restitution to victims of specified federal sex offenses; and authorized grants to state,
local, and tribal law enforcement entities to investigate and prosecute violent crimes against women, among other things. through a collaborative effort by the criminal justice system, social service agencies, research organiza…

Low Code Solutions Require High Knowledge

Low code solutions such as Microsoft Flow and PowerApps offer faster development of some types of software solutions.  These products allow non-developers to create solutions or apps for functions such as approvals, routing or even integrating data for multiple systems.

Writing successful solutions, even without coding, requires quite a bit of knowledge and experience.  Here are some of the fundamental areas which are prerequisites:


Understanding business processes. If you do not understand your business process, you cannot automate it.  This means a solid grasp of the data, the steps in the process, and how exceptions and errors are handled.  Normally this knowledge is in the domain of a business analyst.  Understanding data modeling. Most solutions involve some data storage, so you must understand field types, relationships, and concepts such as normalization to come up with an efficient data model. Mastering the low code tool. You must thoroughly understand the product you are usin…

InfoStrat Releases New Videos for Grants Manager Plus

Grants Manager Plus is one of InfoStrat's most popular solutions and is geared toward the needs of grantor organizations.  InfoStrat recently released a new version and also new editions.

Last week two new videos were published to help customers understand how Grants Manager Plus works. The first is background information on the concepts and design goals behind Grants Manager Plus, as well as the architecture of the solution:



The second is a demonstration of the grantee portal in action, explaining key functions and features used by grant applicants and grantees.


For more information on Grants Manager Plus, see my blog posts including these:

5 Ways to Ensure Compliance with Your Grant Management System
6 Things to Look for in Grant Management Software
Estimating the Cost of a Microsoft Grants Manager Plus Implementation
Extending Grants Manager Plus
Flexible Grant Management Software: Long Term Considerations
Grant Management for Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)
Grant Management…

InfoStrat Earns Microsoft Gold DevOps Competency

InfoStrat has earned the new Microsoft Gold Competency for DevOps as part of the Microsoft Partner Program.  DevOps is a key part of cloud computing, and helps organizations close the gap between software development (Dev) and operations (Ops).

The DevOps Gold Competency shows a commitment to mastering cloud tools for DevOps which relate to Microsoft Azure, not only Microsoft products such as Service Fabric, Visual Studio, Teams and GitHub, but products from other vendors such as Slack, Kubernetes, Jenkins, Chef, Terraform and others.

InfoStrat's clients are moving toward DevOps along with the transition to Agile software development methodologies.  Microsoft has not only maintained a position of leadership with its own offerings, but the openness of Microsoft to other vendors is fostering a strong DevOps ecosystem throughout the industry.