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Showing posts from February, 2017

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Social Selling Assistant: Finding Content to Share on Social Media

Microsoft recently released a new app for Dynamics 365 (formerly Dynamics CRM) called Social Selling Assistant, to help sales and marketing professionals find and share content on social media.  The product is a free download from Microsoft Appsource and installs in your instance of Dynamics 365 Sales.



Once you install Social Selling Assistant,  you configure your social media accounts and then search for content to share.  By consistently sharing content in your industry, you can build your following by attracting new followers as well as keep your followers engaged with fresh content.

I have not used the system long enough to determine the quality of the content or compare it to the results I would achieve using a search engine to find interesting news.  The advantage over posting manually is to have all your social outlets connected to simplify posting.

Microsoft Social Selling Assistant adjusts search results based on which articles you choose and reject over time.

Other product…

The Rise and Fall of Microsoft SharePoint

I have been working with SharePoint since it was Microsoft Tahoe Server in 2001, and I have a soft spot in my heart for this software.  My company InfoStrat has been a Microsoft SharePoint Gold Partner, and we have implemented SharePoint at small companies, large federal agencies, and many clients in between.  I even wrote a book on SharePoint a long time ago.

SharePoint has risen in popularity over the years and may be more popular than ever today, even as its relevance and importance to Microsoft are declining.  Few products have endured as long as SharePoint, or had so many facets.  SharePoint is so many things -- document management, records management, portal, intranet, collaboration, workflow, search engine, business forms processing, even private social network, business data catalog and business intelligence tool.

Some of these have been quite successful and relatively stable throughout the life of the product. Others have come and gone, or been re-architected. Let's take…

Dynamics 365 and the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM)

My company InfoStrat has developed a number of public sector solutions which include case management for justice and public safety as well as social services, such as SAVIN360 victim notification.  We have adopted a reference model for the data elements called the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM).  This standard helps software architects standardize their data definitions so that they use a common language to track the people, things, cases, and other actions which are central to their automated systems.

NIEM is a useful companion to Microsoft Dynamics 365 (formerly Dynamics CRM) because Dynamics 365 make it simple to standardize your data model and to rename objects such as entities, attributes, and field labels without programming.  By using Dynamics 365, you have a mechanism to efficiently enforce naming conventions and update your data model as your solution evolves.

NIEM is available in XSD and Microsoft Excel formats, as well as in Unified Modeling Language (UML) tool…

6 Tips on Getting the Most from Microsoft Consulting Services

Microsoft offers a range of professional services to help enterprise organizations with their implementation of Microsoft products and technologies. This organization is called Microsoft Services, and consists of a support organization as well as a professional services consulting organization.  The services arm was formerly called Microsoft Consulting Services and is still often referred to as MCS so I will use that shorthand in this blog post as well.

MCS has grown to the point that consultants outnumber other staff in the field sales offices in many locations. Microsoft has global reach, so you can find MCS people around the world.

Except for this article in Redmond Channel Partner, not much is written about MCS.  Therefore I am sharing my experiences and feedback I have received from customers on how to get the most out of MCS for your implementation.

Here are six tips:

Use MCS when you need "reachback" to the product team.  MCS offers a unique value due to the close ties…

Microsoft Grants Manager Plus Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

As creators of Microsoft Grants Manager Plus for Dynamics 365, we receive many questions on the solution.  Here are some of those we receive most frequently:
Does Grants Manager Plus work on my version of Dynamics CRM or Dynamics 365? Yes, the solution has been available since version 4.0 and we publish new versions on CodePlex for each new version of the product as they are released by Microsoft. Does the Grants Manager Plus solution include a portal for grantees? No, the solution files do not include the portal as you have several options for the portal depending on your preferences for features and the deployment model.  This blog post has more information. InfoStrat also offers an optional portal: http://www.infostrat.com/solutions/GrantsManagerPortal Is there a video demonstration I can watch?  Check out the Grants Manager Plus channel on YouTube. How much does Grants Manager Plus cost?  The solution is a free download, but you will need Microsoft Dynamics to run it.  InfoStrat has…

InfoStrat's Quick Start for Dynamics 365 for Government Contractors (GovCon)

My company InfoStrat offers a special version of the Quick Start for Dynamics 365 service to help government contractors get up and running with the InfoStrat Dynamics 365 for Government Contractors (GovCon).  The service is completed in one week to help companies gain initial operating capability for their government capture management system.

We install the InfoStrat Dynamics 365 for Government Contractors (GovCon) solution in your instance of Dynamics 365.




Dynamics 365 for Government Contractors simplifies the capture process by allowing users to follow opportunities through the sales process from proposal and review phases to the final award phase. Dynamics 365 for Government Contractors is built on the Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform to facilitate integration with ERP, accounting, and document management (SharePoint and Office 365).

The Quick Start includes initial customization and training to get you going with your capture process.  We have found that one of the benefits of …

Microsoft FastTrack for Dynamics 365 for Sales, Field Service, Customer Service, and Project Service Automation

Dynamics 365 introduced a number of new Microsoft products as well as new subscription bundles which combine Dynamics 365 apps for Sales, Field Service, Customer Service and Project Service.   Microsoft has expanded its successful FastTrack program for Office 365 to include Dynamics 365.  Qualified customers can receive Microsoft Dynamics 365 onboarding services, consisting of workshops and tech talks to learn more about the power of Dynamics 365 and how it fits with the business requirements of your organization.

Microsoft engages with customers throughout the migration and adoption process to increase the success of Dynamics 365.

Here are the eligibility guidelines for this program:


If you don't meet the FastTrack minimum seats to qualify, consider InfoStrat's QuickStart services for Dynamics 365.

Dynamics 365 FastTrack services include:

Initiation ServicesGetting the Most from Dynamics ServicesTenant Administration & Operations ServicesFederation ServicesPerformance Opti…

Customer Experience - Nurture Marketing Campaigns

If you have been in the market for a new car or a mortgage or even some electronics products, you have likely experienced nurture marketing - an automated set of processes to provide information at each step in your journey as a customer. For instance, when you search on a car website, such as cars.com or truecars.com, you will start receiving emails based on your searches.  After you test drive a car, the dealer will follow up with emails or text (based on your communication preference) with special offers and car availability.

According to lead nurture software company Marketo:
On average, 50% of the leads in any system are not yet ready to buy (Marketo).Almost 80% of new leads never become sales (MarketingSherpa).Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at a 33% lower cost (Marketo).Nurtured leads makes 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads (The Annuitas Group).
Setting up a nurture campaign is usually centered around a customer relationship…