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Promo Codes for Dynamics 365 (CRM) -- Year End Savings and More

If you are purchasing Dynamics 365 as a new customer, or upgrading from an earlier version of Dynamics CRM, you may be eligible for some promotional pricing that will be available for a limited time. Your best source is your reseller or Microsoft partner.  If you have not been working with a Microsoft Dynamics Gold Partner such as InfoStrat in the past, you may want to enlist one just to help with this transition.

Because Dynamics 365 is more modular than Dynamics CRM, pricing is more complex.  Two editions, Business and Enterprise, are available, and a number of new products have been introduced along with bundled pricing if you need more than one. I have written about these changes in other posts which are listed below.

First, determine which type of customer you are.  Most enterprise customers purchase through a volume licensing agreement called an Enterprise Agreement.  Your reseller (a third party and not Microsoft) can help you add new users and products to your agreement.

Ne…

InfoStrat QuickStart for Dynamics 365

My company InfoStrat offers a Quick Start for Dynamics 365 service to help customers get up and running with Dynamics 365.  The service is completed in one week to help organizations understand the apps that make up Dynamics 365 and determine which ones make the most sense for them.

As I have written in other blog posts, there are so many new apps and features in Dynamics 365 that they warrant a new look even if you are a long term user of Dynamics CRM Online, Dynamics AX, or Dynamics NAV which predated the Dynamics 365 launch.

 Our customers have been excited to find new apps that meet some of their longstanding requirements that earlier would have required custom development.  In particular, the mobile clients for Dynamics Sales and Field Service provide a wealth of features that would be expensive and time-consuming to create from scratch.

Dynamics 365 Project Service is so new that not many customers have seen it.  Clients who choose InfoStrat's most popular Dynamics solution…

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Webinar Questions

Yesterday I conducted a webinar on Microsoft Dynamics 365, a family of Microsoft business products for sales, marketing, customer service, accounting, and more.

For those who were unable to join the webinar or who don't want to listen to the full recording, here are the top questions and answers:
Are these solutions all in the same place or are they separate solutions integrated seamlessly? -- Dynamics 365 is integrated with Office 365, so it is available in one place with the same login and administrative console. What about an xRM solution that might use very little in terms of in-the-box Sales or Marketing functionality? How would this translate and be licensed? -- Microsoft offers Dynamics 365 PowerApps for this scenario, at a lower cost than Dynamics 365 Sales and other apps. Does Power Apps still have accounts/contacts? -- Yes, it still has these shared entities but does not include those dedicated to functions such as Opportunities for Dynamics 365 Sales.Does Dynamics 365 F…

Send SMS Messages to Your Dynamics Marketing Lists with ClickDimensions

Most of InfoStrat's clients use Dynamics CRM (Dynamics 365) and ClickDimensions to automate email distribution lists for online newsletters, event invitations, and more.  But did you know that you can also use this software to send SMS (text) messages?

You can send messages to a group of recipients stored in a Marketing list, either using lead or contact records.  These messages can be triggered by an automated workflow or through a user action.  Just like emails, the messages may be personalized and can contain data from the CRM system.

Some target groups of people prefer SMS messages rather than email.  It also can make sense for sending alerts to users, such as service outages or emergency information, which attract more user attention.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Team Members Subscriptions

With the release of Microsoft Dynamics 365 this week, Microsoft has created a new option for less expensive software subscriptions called Team Members.  Microsoft previously offered restricted rights for Dynamics CRM users with their Basic and Fundamental subscriptions, but Dynamics 365 introduces several new twists.



For a primer on the two editions of Dynamics 365, see "Understanding Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business and Dynamics 365 Enterprise Editions"
http://blogs.infostrat.com/2016/10/understanding-microsoft-dynamics-365.html
Team Member for Enterprise Edition

The Enterprise edition of Dynamics 365 offers Team Members light use of several apps for $4-10/user/month:

Dynamics 365 for OperationsDynamics 365 for SalesDynamics 365 for Customer ServiceDynamics 365 for Field ServiceDynamics 365 for Project Service Automationand also Microsoft PowerApps with Flow
The Team Members subscription grants a user Dynamics 365 for Sales, Dynamics 365 for Customer Service, Dynamics 365 for…

Understanding Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business and Dynamics 365 Enterprise Editions

Microsoft recently released additional information on the new Dynamics 365 Business and Enterprise editions.  Dynamics 365 was announced on October 11 and will be available on November 1, 2016.  The Dynamics 365 brand will be the umbrella for customer relationship management (CRM) products, CRM add-ins, and enterprise resource planning (ERP) products.

I wrote recent posts on Microsoft's vision for Dynamics 365Dynamics 365 pricing and implications of Dynamics 365 for xRM scenarios. Today I'm expanding the discussion on editions of Dynamics 365.

Enterprise Edition

The Enterprise edition of Dynamics 365 is optimized for organizations with over 250 employees. It includes Dynamics AX called Dynamics 365 for Operations as its ERP component. There is a minimum user count of 20 users for Enterprise edition plan 2 and Dynamics CRM for Operations (included in plan 2).

The Enterprise edition subscriptions include dual use rights allowing use of the on-premises software where applicable…

Dynamics 365 and xRM: What Comes Next?

Not long after Microsoft released Dynamics CRM, customers and Microsoft partners found ways to use the product beyond the traditional sales, marketing, and customer service functions which define customer relationship management.  Microsoft adopted the moniker "xRM" to describe these on-traditional uses of CRM in which "x" stands for other relationships such as citizens, employees, patients and much more. Some Microsoft partners even user xRM in their company names. Dynamics 365 moves in the direction of providing licensing options more appropriate for xRM.

The premise of xRM is that it takes advantage of a comprehensive and mature platform which is useful for many business applications.  It comes with a rich data model, a granular security model, mobile apps, cloud hosting and wide support by Microsoft and thousands of Microsoft services partners.  Compared to custom development, xRM allows more rapid solution development. Third parties also crank out apps and ut…

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Pricing: 6 Reasons Not to Panic

Last week Microsoft announced its Dynamics 365 family of products and pricing which will take effect on November 1, 2016.  The announcement received significant press coverage and I wrote a blog post on the vision behind this move.  The Wall Street Journal has written on how Microsoft is upping its game to compete with Salesforce, Oracle, and SAP for the enterprise software market.

Microsoft has de-bundled Dynamics CRM Online into modules for sales, customer service, and marketing, added several new apps, and made some Dynamics ERP products available under the Dynamics 365.

There is quite a bit to digest here, but Microsoft offered several reasons why current Dynamics CRM customers should not panic:

Current Dynamics CRM customers can continue their subscriptions or change to the Dynamics 365 apps and bundles.If you are using all the modules in Dynamics CRM, the Dynamics 365 Enterprise Plan 1 will include all these and more: Sales, Customer Service, Field Service, Project Service Auto…

Dynamics 365 Shows Microsoft's Bold Vision

With the release of Dynamics 365, the New Microsoft, under the leadership of chief executive officer Satya Nadella, has revealed its bold vision to not only embrace but to lead new trends in business computing.

Dynamics 365 is a collection of cloud apps and services for business, allowing customers to mix and match the features they need from a lengthy catalog including sales, marketing, customer service, field service, project management, accounting, and more.

Dynamics 365 hits all of today's top computing trends.  It is cloud-based (although customers may deploy on premises, unlike some of Microsoft's competitors). Dynamics 365 takes advantage of machine learning and artificial intelligence, weaving in elements of Cortana and other Microsoft AI work.  Dynamics Connected Field Service weaves in the Internet of Things (IoT) to feed sensor data from devices which triggers service calls and dispatches trucks with technicians if necessary. Microsoft has embedded analytics and B…

Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Contract Management

Many organizations, including government agencies, track contracts with vendors, grantees, health care providers and other parties, and need systems to keep track of the workflow associated with executing and maintaining the contracts.

InfoStrat has helped commercial and government clients implement online contract management.

For Microsoft shops, the first product to come to mind may be SharePoint.  SharePoint offers document management, check-in and check-out, version control as well as intranet and extranet capabilities.  All these are important for contract management, but they may not be sufficient on their own.

Dynamics CRM can augment SharePoint by providing its workflow engine, dashboards and reporting that make it easier to manage a larger number of contracts along with organizational contacts, automated emails and merged documents.  The Business Process Flow capability in Dynamics CRM graphically shows were a contract is in the drafting and signature process.  Record owne…

InfoStrat QuickStart for Dynamics CRM Frequently Asked Questions

My company InfoStrat offers a QuickStart packaged service offering to help clients quickly get up and running with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. We receive many questions on when the QuickStart is the best fit for your CRM project.  These are the frequently asked questions (FAQ).
How long does the QuickStart take? The QuickStart is a one-week engagement to get you and your users up and running with Dynamics CRM.  We provide templates for requirements and details such as user roles before the QuickStart begins. Why should I hire a Microsoft Gold Partner to help? If this is your first experience with Dynamics CRM, you can save time and avoid false starts.  Hiring an outside consultant can increase the priority of the effort and prevent the implementation from being stalled by competing priorities.  Which CRM module should I start with? We recommend you choose from sales, service or marketing based on your business priorities.  Who participates in the QuickStart? The most successful enga…