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Showing posts from April, 2017

Don't Buy Business Software Designed for the Wrong Business

Buying software for your business can be confusing due to the wealth of choices in nearly every category, from accounting to email marketing to customer relationship management (CRM).  Some categories of software are horizontal, that is they are applicable to nearly all businesses, others have a vertical focus that makes them suitable for certain industries but not all businesses.  Word processing or email, for instance, have comparable features which appeal to a broad group of customers.

Sales, accounting and marketing software are often customized for vertical industries, or for the size of your company.  QuickBooks is a leader for small businesses because it is affordable and easy to learn, but you would not expect it to be used by multi-national corporations, large manufacturers or national retailers. An industrial-strength software package such as SAP might make sense for an automobile manufacturer, but probably not for a carwash.

Marketing software has similar specialization.  …

Getting More Out of Dynamics 365 for Government Contractors

Dynamics 365 for Government Contractors (GovCon) is one of InfoStrat's most popular solutions, and it may be extended in many ways to meet the unique needs of government contractors. Here are some top hints on ways to take advantage of new features to get more from this solution:
Track email activities automatically with Komiko.  Dynamics 365 allows you to create emails from inside Dynamics which are tracked or to track emails by adding them to Dynamics 365, but Komiko goes further by crawling your email and automatically tracking those message sent to email addresses for your GovCon customers and prospects. Try the preview of Relationship Insights. This includes automated email track and a relationship assistant. Automate marketing with ClickDimensions.  Email marketing for events, newsletters, and other outreach is a great way for a government contractor to stay in touch with customers and prospects, and complements high touch in person networking and phone calls.Create a Partner…

Adobe and Microsoft Team for Online Marketing Offerings

This month Microsoft was featured prominently at the Adobe Summit in Las Vegas. What was announced and what does this mean for Microsoft and Adobe customers?  How will the two companies work together?

The alliance with Microsoft follows a string of product acquisitions by Adobe to gain dominance in the fragmented marketing cloud market.  Adobe, Salesforce, Oracle and IBM have spent significant sums on acquiring companies with products to flesh out their online marketing offerings, as show in the figure below from this TFM Insights blog post.


Here are the products sold as the Adobe Marketing Cloud that are most relevant to sales and marketing:

Adobe Target -- Helps you test the user experience on your website, such as alternative landing pages, to optimize for desired results, such as lead conversions. Adobe Analytics -- Suite of web analytics tools which may be extended and customized. Competes with Google Analytics. Adobe Campaign -- Marketing automation tools for email and offline c…

Microsoft Dynamics Employee Self-Service: New Version Released

Microsoft has released a new version of their Employee Self-Service (ESS) solution, updated to be based on  Dynamics 365.  Dynamics ESS is a knowledge management tool based on the Knowledge Base features of Dynamics 365 Customer Service. In December 2015, Microsoft released a prior version of Employee Self-Service based on Dynamics Parature, a product whose planned retirement in 2020 was announced in 2016.  The latest version incorporates significant enhancements based on Parature technology which has been incorporated into Dynamics 365.

Information technology departments are likely to be the first adopters of Dynamics ESS, to supplement their intranets and help desks in order to reduce the number of trouble tickets and provide 24-hour coverage when their help desk resources are limited.

Users can access the information in the Dynamics Knowledge Base through Office 365, such as looking up an answer directly inside Outlook when responding to an email inquiry, or even in Microsoft Word…

5 Tips on Moving from Dynamics CRM On Premises to the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Cloud

Many customers are moving their Microsoft Dynamics CRM from traditional hosting on premises in their server facilities to the Microsoft Dynamics 365 cloud.  Migration to the cloud can be challenging, especially if you are still using an older version of Dynamics CRM.  You will not have the same control over the cloud environment that you have of your servers, and your data import performance may be throttled down by the cloud environment.  For instance, you cannot schedule restores from a Dynamics 365 backup on the cloud or make backup snapshots in the same way that you control these on your servers. 
Here are InfoStrat's top hints to make the transition easier for your organization. Upgrade to the latest version of Dynamics 365 on premises. Microsoft doesn't provide a smooth transition which allows you to skip versions, so you will need to upgrade to each of the successive versions or consider your new solution a clean break and migrate only the data.Switch your licensing to …