Skip to main content

Posts

Evaluate Dynamics 365 with a Proof of Concept

Recent posts

Tracking Feature Deprecations in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement

Cloud solution providers such as Microsoft have stepped up the pace of innovation, and are releasing features continuously rather than their traditional pattern of major releases every year or two.  This fast innovation means that users see new features and enhancements often, and you must account for how to train them to take advantage of them.

It also means that some old features are eliminated or replaced - this is called deprecation.  Microsoft publishes deprecation plans to alert administrators and developers so they can make timely changes to their solutions before a new version makes a feature break.

The typical pattern is to announce a feature deprecation more than one version in advance, sometimes supporting the old feature and the new feature, then issuing an update which eliminates the old feature.

Deprecation affects many aspects of Dynamics 365:

Apps or plug-ins may be deprecated, such as the Outlook Add-in for Dynamics which was replaced with the Outlook Dynamics App, or…

Use Azure Machine Learning for Spam Detection in Email to Case process in Dynamics 365

The following is a guest post from InfoStrat's Dmitri Riz which is also available on the InfoStrat Tech Blog.

Major software platforms like Microsoft Azure are rapidly developing toolkits that simplify access to AI or Machine Learning technologies, making them available to a wider group of developers. This article shows how the new AI Builder tool on Microsoft Azure PowerApps allows for a quick development of a text classifier model and easy integration of the trained model in Dynamics 365 data processing.

I'll use the Dynamics 365 Email to Case process as a use case. Several of our clients are using this process to generate vast amount of customer support cases from incoming emails. Many of spam emails clear regular email filters and end up as cases in Dynamics, forcing Customer Service Reps to manually tag them as spam and close them.

The resulting set of spam cases represents a perfect training set for a binary text classifier model where feature text is represented by the…

Be Careful Deleting Users in Microsoft Dynamics 365

Deleting users and reassigning licenses in Microsoft Dynamics 365 requires some planning and consideration.  Otherwise, you may experience undesired consequences.  Deleting and deactivating users can be complex and involve multiple administrators.

For Dynamics 365 deployed on premises, you can disable a user, but online you need to remove the license to disable.

Here are some top considerations: Reassign records in CRM. Do you want to reassign record ownership for cases, opportunities, accounts, contacts and other entities?  If so, deleting a user will not do this automatically so you should update with Advanced Find or another approach. Does the user own workflows?  If so, new system jobs will fail when you disable or delete the user.  This is a good reason to use system accounts that are not subject to change as the owner for these processes. Deleting users in Dynamics is not the same as deleting them in Office 365.   Some organizations have different administrators for Dynamics and …

Automating Your GovCon Wins in CRM

Microsoft is rolling out a series of enhancements to the Dynamics 365 for Sales app which will make government contractors happy and which InfoStrat is incorporating into its Dynamics 365 for Government Contractors solution.

One of the best new features is customization of the Opportunity Close dialog box. Microsoft is opening up this feature so developers can treat it more like other CRM forms. 

Today, the options for what happens when an opportunity is closed (won, lost or cancelled) are limited.  You can create workarounds, but Microsoft's new approach makes it more straightforward. Here are some of the things you may want to automate at the time you close an opportunity:


Add new fields to provide insights on wins and losses.  At the time the opportunity is closed you may have information from the customer that will help you improve your sales strategy in the future.  You can capture these insights when the opportunity is closed.  This complements the opportunity scoring in the…

7 Factors in Choosing a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Package

Many business reach a point in their growth when they consider implementing their first customer relationship management system (CRM).  Some of them start by using Excel or SharePoint for tracking customer data, then reach a point when they need functions that these tools do not easily provide, such as reports and dashboards or integration with other systems.

There is a wealth of online information available to companies shopping for CRM, so this blog post provides a starting point on some key factors to consider:
Write down your requirements. A list of business needs will help you evaluate CRM options.  For instance, a requirement might be to allow customers to submit customer service cases online, or for sales people to track their performance for commissions. Find something geared toward your industry. Not all businesses are the same, and many CRM systems are available which are tailored to your specific vertical (industry). For instance, you can find a CRM for insurance sales, hea…

Microsoft to Change Dynamics 365 Subscription Plans

According to an article on ZDNetlast week and an earlier article in MSDynamicsWorld, Microsoft is planning to change the pricing and package of Dynamics 365 apps.  At present customers can purchase apps a la carte or buy a bundle or suite of apps.  For instance, the Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement Plan is listed for US$115/user/mo. and includes 5 apps which each are priced at $95/user/mo.

Microsoft may change their plans between now and October 1 when these changes were likely to go into effect.  Many customers only use one or two apps, and their pricing would not change under the new scheme.  You may want to keep an eye on the Dynamics pricing page for changes if you are planning on purchasing new subscriptions soon.