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Showing posts from July, 2015

Upgrading Dynamics CRM: Development Improvements

There are many reasons for you to upgrade your Microsoft Dynamics CRM to the latest version, and these extend to new features for development and customization. Understanding these new features can save you time and money on your upgrade, because they may allow you to skip rewriting code that was needed in earlier versions of the product.  For instance, each new version has brought increased customization capabilities “code free” ●2011 - Dialogs ●2013 - Business Process Flows, Business Rules ●2015 – Calculated and Rollup fields Dynamics CRM versions have also Improved the environment for extension coding ●2011 – Solution model, form subgrids ●2013 – Custom actions ●2015 – Mature Enterprise DB capabilities - Concurrency, transactions and trace. These are just a few of the new features that you may want to tap in an upgrade.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Upgrade: Time to Consider Deployment Change

If you are upgrading to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015, now is a good time to examine your deployment model as well. 

Moving from on premise to the cloud or vice versa may require architectural changes and programming, so an upgrade is the best time to make these changes since you will be doing some re-architecting of your solution anyway.

You can choose from four deployment models:

1. On premise -- traditional deployment in your data center
2. Dynamics CRM Online -- in the Microsoft cloud
3. Run Dynamics CRM on Microsoft Azure cloud infrastructure
3. Third party hosting -- hosted by another provider

The deployment model also affects your product licensing strategy.  Microsoft offers flexibility which may help with moving from one deployment model to another.  For instance, Dynamics CRM Online subscriptions may be used to cover on-premise licensing while you migrate from on premise to cloud deployment.   The InfoStrat Dynamics CRM cost calculator provides licensing and subscription cos…

Top Six Mistakes in Dynamics CRM Upgrades

Every two years or so, Microsoft releases a new version of Dynamics CRM, packed with features and performance enhancements.  To take advantage of this technological progress, you have to upgrade your Dynamics CRM solution.



Here are the top six Dynamics CRM upgrade mistakes to avoid:
1. Stay one version behind.  Ten years ago customers would intentionally lag behind a version or two.  This approach is no longer viable, so if you upgrade be sure to bring your system to the current version. 2. Keep only one CRM environment.  Whether you are deploying your solution on premise or in Microsoft cloud, you need development and test environments as well as production environments.  Microsoft includes non-production environments for CRM Online if you have enough user subscriptions, or you may purchase them a la carte.  3. Not using new features.  Each version comes with many additional features (usability, configuration, workflow and process management and developer extensions). Applying new fe…

Call InfoStrat to Make Things Right on a Software Project

More often than you might expect, InfoStrat is called to turn around a  software implementation which is in trouble.  After the client has consumed much of the budget and schedule for the project, it is falling behind and the client has doubts that it can be successful.



These turnaround projects are all the more challenging because they must be completed faster and at lower cost than the original project envisioned, and tension is already high at the beginning of the project.

How can we turn the project around?  Each case is different, but some common approaches are:

1. Reduce the size of the project team.  A large team can be a hindrance as time spent on communication increases.  A team is often slowed down by the slowest team member.

2. Use a team that has worked together before. Successful teams have strong cohesion and know each others' strengths and weaknesses.

3. Create a single client point of contact.  Conflicting requirements and feedback can paralyze a software project,…

Don't Use Email When Talking is Better

Email is great for so many things, but that doesn't make it right for everything. In many cases in business, meeting in person or even a phone call are much better than an email.

It's hard to get to know new people exclusively through email or social media.  I know that sometimes my attempts at jokes would come across differently in person than they do reduced to the written word (and I suppose other jokes might work better in written form). 
I am pretty sure that I have never sold a new client on my company InfoStrat without at least a series of phone calls, and in nearly every case, in-person meetings. 
Hiring, promoting and firing employees is best in person, although distance sometimes create the imperative for an HR phone call. This falls under the same rules about breaking up via text message.
After I know someone, an email can be a great way to provide information quickly.  I really appreciate emails with quick status updates, for instance.
So let the medium suit the me…