Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step 2012 Lauched

Having recently passed the Sure Step 2010 certification, I was slightly worried when I saw Sure Step 2012 has been launched (not to mention we are still in 2011).

The most difficult part of using Sure Step is starting to use it, it takes a bit of time to get use to the document names and types but it is well worth the effort.

So it was with some interest I read about a new version of Sure Step, a future version.

I read about this on the this blog

The new functionality can be summed up here

  • Accelerated Proof of Concept with CRM Online service – Provides scripts, demos, Delivery Guide, and related content for building a quick proof of concept or demo for a customer using the CRM Online 30-day trial. This supports rapid requirements definition and solution decision-making. Find this in the Decision Accelerator offering.
  • Upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 – tools and templates to support the Upgrade project type, reflecting an Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 to Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 upgrade scenario.
  • Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Implementation tools and templates are updated to reflect an Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 implementation scenario, including Fit/Gap analysis worksheet, estimator tool, requirements questionnaire, security configuration requirements template, and other valuable templates.
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Updates – new CRM artifacts including Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Upgrade Assessment, Database Sizing Tool, and Design Best Practices.
  • Sure Step Optimization Offering – These services have been repackaged across all products to represent either discrete stand-alone services such as Developer Workshop or bundled services available to customers, such as Architecture Review, Project Governance and Delivery Review, and Upgrade Review.

You have to be a member of Partnersource but you read about it here on the main Sure Step page

You can Download and Install Sure Step 2012 and a word of warning, the download links are on the right side at the top. It took me quite a few minutes to find the link.

Also it’s pretty big at over 300 megabytes.

CRM 4 – eService Accelerator = CRM 2011 Customer Care Portal

A potential customer asked about the eService Accelerator and if it was available in CRM 2011 and had the bugs and problems been fixed.  I’m sure this is a common question, especially for those CRM 4 users who have use the eService Accelerator and are thinking about upgrading (brave people)

I hadn’t used the accelerator but I did recall a couple of Accelerators having been brought across sometime back in May.

I had a look but couldn’t see any accelerator called eService and then I found this forum post which explain things to me.

The eService accelerator was deprecated in CRM 4, with all of the functionality being replaced by the customer portal accelerator.  The customer portal was released last spring for CRM 4. The eService accelerator was not upgraded to CRM 2011, but the Customer Portal accelerator was upgraded and is now available in the marketplace at the following url:

http://dynamics.pinpoint.microsoft.com/en-US/applications/Customer-Portal-for-Microsoft-Dynamics-CRM-2011-12884910826

Support for the CRM 2011 version of the customer portal is available at this url:

http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/crmlabs/threads

The customer portal for CRM 4 is available at this url:

http://customerportal.codeplex.com/

 

So it seems it has been renamed to the customer care portal.  The first thing I noticed is that on the Dynamic Marketplace not one person has reviewed it? have a look here.  I know not many people use the marketplace but this seemed very odd.

I then had a look on codeplex and found this http://crmcca.codeplex.com/ but it had only been downloaded 60 times.

I have tried to install one of the accelerators before and even working through the instructions line by line I couldn’t get it to work and then gave up but maybe the documentation has been improved.

I found this blog which seems to be a decent guide to getting started

http://gtcrm.wordpress.com/2011/07/14/installing-the-customer-care-accelerator-cca-for-crm-2011/