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Personalize Your Sales Process with CRM

Sales force automation is one of the most popular apps of customer relationship management (CRM).  Whether you choose Microsoft Dynamics 365, Salesforce, or another CRM product, sales is likely near the top of your priorities. What makes a sales organization successful, however, varies significantly from one company to another based on the targeted sales segments and the position of the company within its industry.  Companies that sell direct to consumers online may receive a large number of leads through search ads or email marketing campaigns, and deals may be closed without labor-extensive interactions such as phone calls or meetings which may be appropriate for large-ticket items such as finding commercial real estate or purchasing expensive information technology solutions.   Large companies with dominant positions in their industry may take a different sales approach than startups trying to break into a new market. 
The differences in sales processes mean that optimizing your CRM …

Energize your Intranet with Microsoft Power Apps and Customer Voice

This is a followup to my earlier post "Replacing Microsoft InfoPath with Power Apps" which discussed the discontinuation of the InfoPath form tool which was previously used in conjunction with SharePoint for many internal corporate applications typical on an intranet. Since then, Microsoft renamed the Forms Pro product Dynamics 365 Customer Voice. This is not to be confused with Microsoft's Voice of the Customer product which was deprecated in July 2020 to be replaced by Forms Pro. Power Apps is the platform on which Microsoft Dynamics 365 apps, at least those apps derived from what was formerly called Dynamics CRM, are built.  You can use Power Apps to create two types of apps -- canvas apps which are designed in a drag-and-drop fashion for relatively simple standalone needs and model-driven apps which are based on the Dynamics 365 Unified Interface and which can support sophisticated workflows in the same way that they are handled by Dynamics 365. I feel that intranets…

InfoStrat Wins SAVIN Contract with State of Iowa

InfoStrat, a division of Serenic Software,is pleased to announce that it has entered into a contract with the State of Iowa Department of Justice, specifically its Crime Victim Assistance Division ("Iowa"), to implement and fully support its SAVIN 360 victim notification solution. The contract lasts through June 2024, and may be extended for up to two additional three-year terms at Iowa's option.Information Strategies Inc. ("InfoStrat"), which Sylogist acquired in April 2020, has developed the SAVIN 360 solution as a modern and extensible system for victim services, to help correction agencies manage contacts and alerts when offenders are to be transferred or released. SAVIN is built on the proven Microsoft Dynamics 365 and SharePoint platforms, which provide flexibility, scalability, integration capabilities, and powerful workflow features.Jim Wilson, President and CEO of Sylogist commented, "This is a significant achievement for Sylogist. Our SAVIN solut…

Grant Management Implications of New Accounting Requirements for GAAP - ASU No. 2018-08

While grant management may seem like a simple, mature process to the outsider, it is constantly changing to meet new regulatory requirements. Nonprofit organizations are implementing changes to Generally Acceptable Accounting Practices (GAAP) for gifts and donations which were originally released in June 2018 by the Financial Accounting Standards Board as Accounting Standards Update (ASU) 2018-08
The central topic of this update is to provide guidance on recognizing contributions made and contributions received.  Implementing the standard may require organizations that receive grants to track information they may not have tracked in the past, and to be clear about any contributions which carry conditions.  These conditions affect when the revenue is recognized, delaying recognition until conditions are met rather than recognizing immediately as would be the case with an unconditional gift.
The standards apply to private organizations including non-profits that receive and make contrib…

Microsoft Introduces Project Oakdale to improve the Microsoft Power Platform integration with Microsoft Teams

Yesterday at the Inspire event Microsoft announced a new product called Dataflex, subsequently renamed  Project Oakdale which is build on the Power Apps Common Data Service.   Project Oakdalesimplifies building and deploying apps and intelligent chatbots in Teams with Microsoft Power Apps and Microsoft Power Virtual Agents.  
The rapid expansion of remote working during the COVID-19 crisis has fueled adoption of Microsoft Teams.  Project Oakdale adds features to make Teams more competitive to products such as Slack.  The new functionality of Project Oakdale allows apps and bots to be created from inside Microsoft Teams. This means that organizations can access more data without leaving Teams for other apps. 


Adoption of Teams strengthens the appeal of Office 356.  Some companies that rarely used Teams or even maintained subscriptions to online meeting products such as Zoom, GoToMeeting and Webex have come to appreciate Teams for internal and external collaboration.  The enhanced securit…

Data and Documents for Grant Management

Managing government and non-profit grants usually requires a combination of structured data along with documents to track all the information required for applications, review, award and post-award reporting.  One of the more important design decisions you can make in implementing grant management software is to determine the proper place for structured data and documents, that is which information is stored where. By a structured database, I mean data that is divided into fields and records which is typically stored in a database.  Structured data lends itself to validation, such as restricting entry to defined data types, making fields required, or checking the data entered against a rule such as minimum and maximum values.
Documents are sometimes needed to capture less structured narrative such as a project description, or to print a well formatted paper document for a signature.  Online documents can have some validation rules themselves, and even some logic such as fields that are …