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Showing posts from April, 2016

Dynamics CRM Social Engagement 2016

Microsoft Dynamics CRM capabilities have grown significantly in the 2016 version, and it's not easy to keep up with all the new products and features that Microsoft has bundled into Dynamics CRM Online.

With Microsoft Social Engagement, you can listen, analyze, and drive engagement all within Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Microsoft Dynamics Marketing, or standalone.  This capability enables you to learn more about your customers and find better ways to drive engagement and improve customer satisfaction.

Social Engagement supports 20 languages and covers a broad range of sources including Twitter, Facebook, videos, blogs, news syndication and RSS sources. Using the tool can help you spot trends, receive alerts and identify your key influencers.

Check out this video for an overview of some of the new features in Microsoft Social Engagement 2016:


Many organizations monitor Twitter for customer service cases, such as this tweet.




You can drive customer issues from social media to Dynamics C…

Big Data for Microsoft Office 365 -- Office Graph

Most people think that big data techniques are for organizations that churn out massive volumes of data, such as corporations and government agencies.  But it turns out that if you spend a significant portion of your life online, you are a miniature big data factory yourself.  Many us end up with a significant and constantly growing digital footprint including your emails, photos, phone calls, text messages, shared documents, social media electronic transaction records and more.

Microsoft is applying big data tools to help you understand patterns in your online network. Office Graph maps content and activity from Microsoft Office, including email, social conversations, and meetings, and documents in SharePoint and OneDrive.



Office Graph applies machine learning techniques to your data.  It offers a query language as well as developer tools.



Office Graph is in preview mode now and subject to change.  Watch for it and for related products from Microsoft and other vendors to tap into st…

Allotting Time for Cloud Migration

When planning your cloud migration, don't forget to allow time to move the data from your current provider to the cloud provider.  Email and document management systems grow significantly over the years, and your data may take longer to move than you think, even if everything goes smoothly.

We clocked these benchmarks on a recent migration:

Duration and Speed - Exchange on-premise to Office 365 Statistic Source Destination Active Duration 4 hours a day Passive Duration a day 2 hours Data Speed 2,453.15 MB/hr 364.72 MB/hr Item Speed 29,620 items/hr 4,404 items/hr

Duration and Speed - IMAP to Office 365

Statistic Source Destination Active Duration 3 hours 8 hours Passive Duration 5 hours an hour Data Speed 2,593.17 MB/hr 1,093.70 MB/hr Item Speed 9,666 items/hr 4,071 items/hr
Many factors go into the speed of the migration, such as the speed of all network connections you are using and the underlying hardware and network performance for on premises implementations.

You also should consider the time devoted to mon…

Create a Fast Track for Your Sales Process in CRM

When you automate a business process, it is easy to end up with a complex solution that addresses the greatest number of possible data elements and outcomes.  You can easily be drawn into spending an inordinate time trying to handle rare exceptions, with the idea of making your business process handle every contingency.

If your company has a complex sales process, consider creating a second, fast track business process. This way you can accommodate the large number of transactions that go quickly, often with fewer approval steps.  For instance, generating a quote for new products or services for an existing customer is often simpler than targeting a new customer, and competitive bids can be more complex than taking orders.

By automating more than one process, you can let the complex process be as sophisticated as it needs to be without creating extra steps for the fast track process which are not needed.

If you take this two track approach, you can later analyze how many sales used e…

Dynamics 365 (CRM) for Criminal Investigations

When you think of customer relationship management (CRM), you think of sales force automation, marketing, and customer support.  But many other solutions benefit from the same features of CRM, even those that are traditionally served by custom line of business solutions.

Criminal investigations, for instance, fit well in the CRM model.  They include tracking detailed information on people, relationships (such as known associates), organizations, and activity records such as emails, phone calls, and messages.

InfoStrat has developed a complete Investigative Case Management System based on Microsoft Dynamics CRM.


To track investigations, CRM is extended by building a more complete data model and business process workflows for assigning and tracking each of the steps of an investigation.  Dynamics CRM lends itself to integration with other systems, such as real time intelligence sources and geographic information systems.
Microsoft's research and development in CRM, as well as the a…

Startups: Please Disrupt the Public Sector

Startups have successfully disrupted many well entrenched business models, from the automobile industry to the food we eat and what we wear.  So far, startups have had much less of an impact on government.

When will startups focus their efforts on changing the way government agencies serve the public?

Many processes are ripe for disruption:
Government procurement is costly, slow, and inefficient.  Many of the processes designed to enhance competition and provide business opportunities to small companies have produced the opposite of the desired result, creating barriers to competition, rewarding unscrupulous contractors and saddling agencies with failed products and projects. Customer service and customer satisfaction have improved in many industries but not so much in government services. Wouldn't new approaches to customer service reduce cost along with better citizen satisfaction?New channels for customer service.  In a related point, while some government agencies are embracin…