Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from January, 2017

Digital Transformation with ClickDimensions and Dynamics 365

This is the second in a series of blog posts on digital transformation and the customer experience.  I'm going to illustrate concrete ways in which real world events and actions are transformed into the digital record.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 provides sales and marketing automation, tracking the customer experience. ClickDimensions is an add-on for Dynamics 365 that allows you to create rich email campaigns, communicate with customers via text messages, track clicks to web properties and much more.

Here is a logical map of how you can perform digital transformation on your marketing and sales activities, based on products that we use at my company InfoStrat:

Action / System CRM Email ClickDimensions Website Lead Score Whitepaper Download Stores contact information N/A Track clicks on website; creates contacts Ask for contact email<

Digital Transformation and the Customer Experience

Digital transformation, the reshaping of business activities and processes based on digital tools and technologies, is creating sweeping changes in many areas of life.  Startups have introduced disruptive approaches to such simple activities as how to buy a cup of coffee or how to find a tango dance partner while waiting on a flight in the airport.

While consumer sales have been the leading edge of digital transformation, we are now seeing similar innovation in business-to-business marketing.  In part, this is caused by new customer expectations which derive consumer goods to business purchasing.  Young people today are digital natives who are accustomed to access to digital information and communication.  If I can reserve a rental car from my smartphone, why can't I issue a solicitation to buy a new machine for my factory or medical office from a mobile device?  Why can't I get an instant estimate for my commercial office move emailed from the estimator's tablet?

A few y…

Dynamics 365 Implementation: Estimating Services Costs

In my previous post What does Dynamics 365 (formerly CRM) Cost?, we looked at the Microsoft subscription costs for Dynamics 365.    Now let's tackle the cost of customizations and software development.

The least expensive solutions usually are for the most common CRM scenarios, such as sales force automation, customer service, and marketing (or outreach).   These scenarios match the out-of-the-box functionality of Dynamics 365 well to begin with. 

Why Can't I Just Use Dynamics 365 with No Customizations?

Each business or organization that uses Dynamics 365 has some requirements that are not met with the product right out of the box.  Dynamics 365 is designed to allow configuration and customizations to make it work they way that you work. You are likely to require some additional data elements and reports, and nearly certain to need some workflows to match your business processes, but will not need too many new fields or entities.

For instance, if you are automating your sales…

Understanding Dynamics 365 Solutions

Microsoft Dynamics 365 allows a developer to package  a number of customizations as a solution so they may be installed and managed as a unit rather than individually.  By customizations, we mean new entities and fields, business processes, and other elements that are added to Dynamics 365 to make it better suite your business needs.  For instance, you could put all your custom entities and attributes as well as reports in a solution.  The solution may be installed into an instance of Dynamics 365 -- online or on premises.

Managed solutions are a type of solution which prevents unintentional changes to the customizations. You must start by creating an unmanaged solution and then deploy it as a managed solution in another instance of Dynamics 365.


Source: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg334576.aspx
There are many approaches to defining the scope of a solution.  You can make it modular by breaking it into multiple solutions.  One extreme is to put all customizations in a single…

What does Dynamics 365 (formerly CRM) Cost? The InfoStrat Calculator

The cost of a Microsoft Dynamics 365 implementation includes software licensing, internal costs of the time of your staff, and sometimes hardware and professional services from Dynamics 365 specialists such as a Microsoft Dynamics Gold Partner like InfoStrat.

Your reseller is best source for software pricing, and can create a quote based on your volume license agreement.  If your organization has an enterprise agreement for Microsoft products, it will offer the best prices.

The following flowchart shows the steps in determining which products you need and the ways to purchase or deploy.




1. What You Need

Start by determining which business processes you are automating and which Dynamics 365 apps you will need.  Do you need Sales, Marketing, Accounting, Field Services, Project Services or Customer Service?

Next, count you users and assign them to each app.  Dynamics 365 is most commonly licensed based on named users, so the first step in calculating costs is to count your users.  You nee…