Hosk’s Top CRM 2013 articles of the week 27th June 2014

I have had some interesting Milestones happen this week

I have published over 800 blog posts, yep that’s a lot

Highest weekly views of my blog 9624

Highest monthly views this month 36745 and I still have a few days to go!

The video below  has had over 1000 views

CRM 2013 – Create a simple plugin in CRM 2013 using the CRM Development Toolkit 

 

Anyway enough about the Hosk, lets move onto the great articles written this week, it’s a mighty fine crop I have for you but first

Extend those thumbs

point them Eastwards

Tilt and wobble

THRUST THOSE THUMBS TRIUMPHANTLY INTO THE AIR

 

Article of the Week

Great blog post from CRM MVP Leon Tribe on his first steps with Azure, I must confess I have not dabbled with Azure myself yet so found this very interesting, who know it was so easy.
Are You Azure-Curious?

 

The Best of the Rest

Taking a look at the Nigel Frank’s Salary survey to see what wages people are on and other interesting facts from the salary survey

CRM Wages in the UK 2013 – Find out How Much You are Worth in 2014

 

The CRM community is really getting grips with the Timer control and are now adding it to other entities at a rate of one per week based on my CRM articles of the week.

Adding Timer Control to Lead Entity in Dynamics CRM 2013 Spring release

 

Hosk’s CRM questions answered by the writer of the CRM 2011 Administrators Bible – Matt Wittemann, 9 times CRM MVP Award!

CRM MVP Question and Answer – Matt Wittemann

 

A great collection of CRM 2013/2011 videos, grouped and ordered to make it easy to find what you want from SlowXRM

CRM 2013 – Great Video resource knowledge base

 

Good blog post from CRM MVP Gustaf Westerlund
Some aspects of the composite address fields in CRM 2013

 

Hosk reviews the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Marketing Automation book

CRM 2013 Book Review – Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Marketing Automation

 

Entitlements are one of the new CRM 2013 SP1 features, read this blogs to see how they work and it shows you a good example

Entitlements in Dynamics CRM 2013 Spring release

 

I have updated one of my favourite lists – Hosk’s CRM 2013 Tools list, adding my own simple tool to the list

Hosk’s CRM 2013 Tools List

 

Going into a bit more depth with Business rules, nice tidy article

Creating If Then Else Logic in CRM 2013 Business Rules

 

Great post, showing you not only how to use the SLA timer but also change the colour of it.  Customers are licking their lips in anticipation of such wonders

How do I make the SLA timers change colour?

 

Clever way of creating a 1:1 relationship in CRM 2013

Tip #163: Create a 1:1 relationship

 

A list of 50 CRM blogs and Hosk’s blog is featured, whooohoo

50 Great Blogs CRM Professionals Will Love

 

Very detailed blog post on lead scoring and landing pages

Putting Lead Scoring Models and Landing Pages to work in Dynamics Marketing

 

CRM 2013 field notifications are one of the great enhancements and they easy to use and work well.  If you haven’t used them check them out in this article

CRM 2013 Field Notifications

 

Spring ’14 Wave Update: How to Create Holiday Scheduling in Dynamics CRM

Sonoma Partners highlight the potential problems you can hit when you upgrade your CRM 2011 code to CRM 2013 and odd things can happen, well the UI did change completely chaps.

Is your CRM 2013 Activities Tab disabled? It might be your fault!

 

CRM MVP Scott Durow shows you how to change business process stage using code, very useful

How to change process and stage programmatically

 

nice article on integrating CRM 2013 and Sharepoint
Dynamics CRM 2013 and SharePoint Server Based Integration

 

A new tool on codeplex to help you test you CRM 2013 JavaScript

Fake Xrm Page

 

A quick interview with CRM MVP Carsten Groth

Carsten Groth – Programmer, Script expert, Modern UI Tiler

Last Weeks Hosk’s Top CRM 2013 articles of the week 20th June 2014

Last Weeks Top picks

 

Hosk Stuff – Not CRM!

Networking will find you your next job

How to make things happen at work

Who do you work for?

 

Ted Talk

Malcolm Gladwell – Choice, happiness and spaghetti sauce

 

CRM 2013 Book Review – Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Marketing Automation

This blog will review the book Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Marketing Automation from packt publishing from the authors Alok Kumar Singh Sandeep Chanda 

It’s 128 pages and as you can guess from the title it’s about Marketing in CRM 2013.

To get an idea of what the books about Here are the chapters titles

Chapter 1: Getting Started with CRM Marketing

Chapter 2: Segmentation with Marketing Lists

Chapter 3: Marketing Campaigns

Chapter 4: Campaign Response and Performance

Chapter 5: Marketing Metrics, Analysis, and Goals

Chapter 6: Enhance CRM Marketing with Marketplace Solutions

 

Who is the book for

This book is targeted at people who want learn how to create successful market strategies using out of the box CRM marketing functionality and some Marketing Automation solutions such as CoreMotives and ClickDimensions. The book offers a step by step guide to using the marketing functionality inside CRM, it also covers some of the basic marketing concepts and ideas. The book would be useful for beginners to the world of marketing and those who are experienced in marketing but haven’t used CRM before. The book says Who this book is for This book demonstrates the capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 and the associated marketplace products for practical marketing. It is an excellent guide for marketing managers, business analysts, and CRM functional experts. As such, there are no specific skills needed; however, a prior understanding of the marketing domain and CRM concepts would be useful, along with the ability to use the basics of Microsoft Office.

Chapter 1

This covers a lot of the basic marketing concepts in theory and doesn’t mention CRM at all.  This would suggest it’s a beginners marketing book because most marketer would know these concepts.   In a book so small I’m not really sure you should spend so many pages on theory Close looping Close loop marketing is a practice of capturing and relating the responses to marketing messages in order to measure the effectiveness, constantly optimize the process, and refine your message to improve its relevancy. This, in turn, increases the rate of conversion and ROI. This also involves an inherent close looping between the marketing and sales teams who collaborate to provide a single view of progression from prospect to sale

Chapter 2 – Marketing Lists

We fire up CRM and head straight into one of the most well used parts of the marketing functionality, Marketing lists

  • creating marking lists
  • populating marketing lists
  • managing marketing lists

It goes through all the functionality with screen shots and descriptions, straight forward stuff.

Chapter 3 – Marketing Campaigns

Marketing campaigns has a lot more functionality, so this chapter is quite a bit bigger We will cover the following subtopics in this chapter:

  • Quick campaigns
  • Marketing campaigns
  • Creating campaigns
  • Planning campaigns
  • Campaign activities
  • Target lists
  • Sales literature, products, and price lists
  • Executing campaigns
  • Campaign templates
  • Related campaigns
  • Tracking campaign costs

Once again this basic Marketing functionality in CRM and there are lots of blogs on this subject, so far the book is ok but fairly basic in marketing terms. A plus side for the book is it has a lot of screen shots so you won’t find yourself getting lost in CRM  Chapter 4 – Campaign response and performance This chapter covers

  • Capturing a campaign response
  • Managing a campaign response
  • Converting a campaign response to a lead or an opportunity
  • Measuring a campaign response and ROI

Reading this book reminds me of the MOC for application exam because it covers all these areas and once again we are going through the basic CRM marketing functionality. The chapter is well done with lots of screen shots and it’s very functional without much theory.

Chapter 5 – Marketing Metrics, Analysis, and Goals

We will cover the following topics in this chapter:

  • Key marketing metrics
  • Marketing charts
  • Marketing reports
  • Marketing dashboards
  • Goals and Goal Metrics

I found this chapter interesting because I wasn’t sure what kind of things you should be reporting for marketing. The book covers the Lead Funnel, which I found intriguing because I’m not sure I would have associated it with marketing but when you think about it marketing can be responsible for generating leads It covers the out of the box marketing reports, charts and showing these in a dashboards.  It goes into using Goals and setting those up which I thought I was an interesting use of goals.

Chapter 6 – Enhance CRM Marketing with Marketplace Solutions

This chapter covers

  • Marketing automation with ClickDimensions
  • Marketing automation with CoreMotives

This is where things got really interesting because we were stepping outside of the default CRM functionality and into some third party solutions.  I think this is the best chapter and shows some information that is not easily found on the internet or other sources.  This chapter also show the user how to fill in the gaps of the out of the box functionality.

Summary

This is really quite a short book and it cost £9.34 for the ebook and £16.99 for the paperback.  I’m not sure it’s great value for money considering the first chapter starts at page 21 and last page (excluding the index) ends at page 122 (out of 128).  The first chapter is also theory. The book was easy to follow and with lots of screen shots it was easy to understand and follow along using CRM.   It does cover some marketing theory but mostly it goes through the out of the box CRM marketing functionality. I would say this book is aimed at people who don’t know much about marketing and what to use CRM for their company’s marketing needs and it does a decent job of covering all the aspects.  My one critiscm would be you could get this information for free on the internet there are many blogs going through the basic CRM marketing functionality. The last chapter shows a bit of something extra going through the Market solutions of CoreMotives and ClickDimensions

Video Review

CRM MVP Question and Answer – Matt Wittemann

Today’s CRM MVP is the Reverend Matt Wittemann, he is a deeply religious man and his religion is Microsoft Dynamics CRM.  Matt is based in the USA, I like to keep people informed of the location of the CRM MVP’s, just in case there is a CRM emergency and you need to contact your nearest CRM MVP.

The reason for my waffling on about religion is because Matt is the author of the book Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Administration Bible and here is a good review from fellow CRM MVP Leon Tribe

Matt has been using Microsoft CRM since version 1.2!

 

Matt Wittemann is a 9 times CRM MVP, here is his MVP Biography

Mr. Wittemann is an nine-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award for Dynamics CRM and the author of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Administration Bible (Wiley, 2011). As a Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University of North Carolina (Charlotte), Mr. Wittemann began his career as a web technologist with a focus on digital marketing and corporate communications. He has been working with Microsoft CRM since 2003 as a solution architect, developer, consultant and practice leader. In 2005 Microsoft recognized one of his first CRM projects with a national award for solution excellence, and in 2006 he received his first MVP award, primarily for his widely-read blog and contributions to the nascent Microsoft CRM community. Since that time his writings on CRM have been published in numerous periodicals and websites, and he has spoken internationally about using Dynamics CRM to support effective marketing processes. As the Chief Customer Officer at ClickDimensions, Mr. Wittemann oversees the customer and operations teams with responsibility for ensuring customer success from onboarding through training, certification, product planning, community development, and technical support.

Also looking at his CRM MVP page you can see he has some talks coming up this year

Recent activities

 

Thanks for Matt for answering my questions

If you want to read previous CRM MVP Q&A by clicking the link on the header – HOSK’S CRM MVP Q&A

 

QUESTIONS and ANSWERS

Name, current job title and social media links please

Matt Wittemann, Chief Customer Officer, ClickDimensions

@mattnc

Blog: http://blog.clickdimensions.com

http://mvp.microsoft.com/en-us/mvp/Matt%20Wittemann-33756

 

What does an average day at work look like

At ClickDimensions, I get to do all the things I have always loved about working with Microsoft CRM. I oversee customer onboarding, training, technical support, our certification program and a number of other projects and responsibilities. So a typical day is spent talking to customers and partners helping them understand how to use CRM and ClickDimensions to achieve their marketing automation goals, troubleshooting technical issues, helping to design and test new features, writing blog articles and product documentation, answering community posts on our forums, delivering administrator training, and more. It really varies from day to day, but is always challenging and interested. The best part of my job is that I learn new things every day, even after working with Microsoft CRM for 11 years.

 

What different roles/Job titles have you had whilst using CRM

I have been a CRM and web technologies consultant, a Solution Architect, then a Director of a CRM Practice, a short stint as a Chief Operating Officer, and now the best title yet: Chief Customer Officer. My roles have included everything from CRM implementation, solution architecture, pre-sales engineering, technical support, developer, trainer, business analyst, project manager and team leader, integration specialist, author, speaker… Sheesh, there’ve been a lot!

 

What job did you did before you starting using CRM

I started off as a web developer and designer. When Microsoft introduced CRM back in 2003, it was their first web-based, fully .NET business application. My existing customers had a need for something like that, and since it was a web-based technology, it was a natural progression to working with CRM full-time.

 

What was the first version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM you worked with and how long have you been using Microsoft Dynamics CRM

My first paid implementation of CRM was with version 1.2, eleven years ago.

 

How do you stay up to date with the CRM

I read constantly and always play around with different scenarios in test environments and usually have 4 or 5 trials of CRM Online going at any one time. I like to learn hands on, and when I hear someone in the CRM community has a specific challenge, it’s always fun to see if I can figure out a way to solve it. I also follow a lot of great people on Twitter, which is a great way to get links to the most relevant new articles and stay on top of developments in the CRM world.

 

How do you find time to contribute to the CRM community whilst doing your job

That’s always a challenge, but in the years since I’ve started working with CRM, the community has grown up and there are lots of channels where I can participate. I really enjoy when I have a chance to participate in a CRMUG or eXtremeCRM conference and present or take part in a panel discussion. It’s just become part of my daily routine to write, tweet, blog, and more. Of course, there are some times when there are too many plates spinning, so it’s hard to stay involved at the same high level with the community, but when my schedule allows, I always jump at the opportunity.

 

What advice would you give to someone who wants to have a successful career in Microsoft Dynamics CRM?

My advice is to be committed to continuing to learn. The technology we work with is endless, and the ways that businesses use it is similarly infinite. Find the things that excite your interest and start there. The best CRM professionals are the ones who are passionate about what they do and always learning how to do it better, whether that is a technical role like a developer, or a business-focused role like an analyst or consultant.

 

What where your first impressions of CRM 2013 and what do you think now.

My first impression was that the single-page app design was very attractive but also a big change. I like the emphasis on process in the UI, but honestly I still prefer 2011’s navigation. I may be an exception in that my work is not restricted to one area of CRM or even a small group of processes, so I tend to be all over the application and like to have several windows open with different parts of CRM quickly available to me, so the single-page app design is not a great fit for how I work.

 

What one feature would you add to CRM 2013

Sticky navigation. If I navigate to an area deep in the Settings for example, it would be great to have a breadcrumb type navigation to show me where I am, and make it easier to get to adjacent parts of the application without having to go back to a higher-level of navigation. (There are some nice solutions on codeplex for this, by the way!)

 

Most annoying feature of CRM 2013

The back button in the browser, or the “save and close” doesn’t always take you back predictably to the last thing you were working on. But I’m sure the CRM team will continue to iron out the wrinkles – 2013 was a huge change, so it will get better over time.

 

You favourite 2 CRM blogs (I have filled the first one in for you)

 

Hosks Dynamic CRM blog – Of course this was going to be my first choice!

It’s hard to pick a favorite. Jukka Niraanen’s “Surviving CRM” of course has emerged over the last couple of years as a great source, but there is also the Tip of the Day, and the Microsoft Premier Field Engineering (PFE) team has a great blog called “CRM In the Field” with tons of informative technical content.

 

What year will Microsoft Dynamics CRM have more customers than Sales force

One year after Salesforce finally gets acquired by Oracle.

 

Are you doing more CRM projects with CRM online?  Do you think it will all be online in the future

We are seeing a greater percentage of our customers opting for CRM Online. Online has definitely continued to grow in proportion to on-premise. However, I think it will be ten years before the technology addresses all the needs that on-premise can address. They are not just technical needs – mostly they are business, regulatory and integration needs that keep customers in on-premise scenarios. But eventually the cloud will answer those concerns as well.

 

What is the best tool/solution you have used recently

I’m guessing I’m not supposed to tout ClickDimensions here, right? Of course I love our solution, and use it every day. My favorite part is our GoToWebinar integration which makes my life easier in tracking and following up with people who have gone through our training academy.

 

As far as another solution that is my favorite, I’d have to say that I really like what the guys at North52 are doing. I wish their solution had been available on CRM projects I was doing 5 or 6 or 10 years ago – would have made my life a lot easier!

 

What CRM certifications do you have, do you try and keep up to date with CRM certifications

I have had many of the CRM certifications at one time or another: Applications, Installation & Configuration, Managing Microsoft Dynamics Implementations, Customizations, etc. I try to keep at least one or two of them current – but I’m a little behind right now!

 

How important is it to have good business analytical skills working with Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

I think it is critical to have good BA skills. A good BA tries to understand what value a business hopes to achieve from implementing a technological solution. Whether you are an architect, developer, support engineer, or consultant, if you can’t connect what you are doing to the business’s idea of value, then it doesn’t matter how brilliant your work is. At the end of the day, it is all about driving value to the business.

 

How useful is it to have programming knowledge to become a good Microsoft Dynamics CRM Professional?

Developers are essential, and the more familiar they are with the CRM SDK and the application, the better. But for me, I’ve always been just a hacker when it comes to programming. It has been more important in my career to understand coding and how it works and plugs into the overall solution, than to actually be able to write all the code myself. Of course, it’s always fun when I have the chance to do that!

 

What knowledge/experience do you have with software/systems which integrate with Microsoft Dynamics CRM e.g. (sharepoint, SQL Server, Scribe, Etc)

I’ve worked with all of these technologies over my career. That’s one of the best things about CRM, and one of the most challenging. We need to understand and be able to work with a very deep stack of technology, from Windows Server, to IIS, the .NET framework, SQL Server, Active Directory, firewalls, even Excel and Outlook. I was fortunate to spend several years early in my career working for a company that did managed network services and I learned my way around all of those technologies pretty well. That proved to be invaluable in my CRM work, where I did early SharePoint integrations, used Scribe for integration and migration work, and am always in SQL Management Studio.

 

How often do you travel as a Microsoft Dynamics CRM Professional?

I used to travel a lot more when I was a consultant and implementer. I’m fortunate to be able to work from home now in Charlotte, North Carolina, and visit our Atlanta headquarters a couple of times per month. Now I can enjoy traveling to Convergence, CRMUG Summit, eXtremeCRM, or the MVP Summit more since I’m not on the road for work all the time.

 

Can you see yourself not using CRM in your career in the future

It’s hard to imagine, but I recognize that the technology world does not stand still. The applications that businesses used in the ‘90s have largely vanished, and perhaps that will happen someday with CRM. But maybe I will be retired before then!

 

What is favourite part of being a CRM MVP

The best part is the camaraderie with the other MVPs. When I first became an MVP there were only a handful for CRM, and now there are dozens from all over the world whom I have the privilege of calling my friends. Since we all do similar work, we face the same challenges and experience similar triumphs, so there is an immediate rapport amongst the group that I haven’t experienced elsewhere.

 

What are your hobbies outside of CRM

I think I have heard this word “hobby” before. Is that something like golf or knitting? Maybe I will have to do some research J

 

What was the last book you read and what was the last film you watched

Reamde by Neal Stephenson. (Yes, that’s the right spelling. Neal Stephenson is incredible! You have to check out Cryptonomicon and Anathem, two of his best books).

 

I watch a lot of movies, but I’ve really been enjoying watching the History channel show “Vikings”. I think I have a lot in common with Ragnar.

 

Has CRM ever got you in trouble with your partner/family.

That’s a great question! Yes, I would definitely say that the long hours and travel have at times been, er, problematic. But I’m fortunate to have a very patient wife and kids.

 

Have you friends ever told you to stop talking/tweeting/blogging about CRM?
Well, the friends that have stuck with me over the last eleven years are probably used to it by now, or they have learned to tune me out.

 

What does your partner/family member(s) think of CRM
They think CRM is boring, but it has put food on the table for a decade, so I think they are grateful that I do this “boring” work! J

 

Tell me something interesting/unusual about yourself

My university degree is in Art History. This has obviously been very useful to me as a CRM professional!

 

Who is the first CRM MVP you remember reading/seeing

John O’Donnell (who’s now a technology evangelist at Microsoft) and Matt Parks were the two CRM MVPs I read and interacted with online before becoming an MVP myself. They’re kind of the grandfathers of the CRM MVP community, or maybe the uncles J

 

Tips for someone who wants to become a CRM MVP

Share what you learn and help people solve problems while being passionate about your work. That’s not only a great prescription for becoming an MVP, it’s a great way to have a happy and rewarding career.

Quickfire questions (choose one option and no explanation)

 

Steve Jobs or Bill Gates

Gotta be Gates

Javascript or .NET

JScript

Internet Explorer/Chrome/Firefox/Safari

Chrome

Wine/Beer/Soft Drink

Yes please

Certifications or Use CRM

Use CRM

twerking or tweeting

Tweeting. I’m not even sure what that other one is.

books or ebooks

Books

save or autosave

Save

OnLine or On Premise

Onpremise

Windows 7/Windows 8/Linux/Mac/Other

Win8

work from home or work from office

Home

Miley Cyrus or Billy Ray Cyrus

Absolutely neither

Vinyl/CD’s/MP3’s/Subscribe

Subscribe

Zero Inbox/Overflowing Inbox

Overflowing

Early Bird/Night Owl

Night owl

Do Today/Do Tomorrow

Today

CRM Developer/CRM Consultant

Consultant

Hot Weather/Cold Weather

Hot

Half Full/Half Empty

Half Empty

CRM 2013 – Great Video resource knowledge base

If you a twitterer and use it to find out useful CRM articles then you will have seen lots of tweets from SlowXRM who tweets a lot of great stuff.  It’s interesting to find out his proper name isn’t slowXRM

Christophe Djellal – Paris, France

Recently he asked me if I minded having some of YouTube videos from Hosk CRM Dev

Here is the link to the training resource/knowledge base

http://slowxrm.azurewebsites.net/Training.aspx

slowxrm knowledge base

The reason I am featuring it on my blog is because the information is stored in a great way.  On the left you some main sections and then in the middle you have lots of keywords.

When you click on either a keyword or navigation topic on the left it takes you to another page.  I click on development, then you get a link to more

 

Chapter 9: Development

Web Resource 4
JavaScript 5
Plugin 7
OData 1
FetchXML 1
TFS 1
SDK 5
Misc (Development) 10

Then I clicked on Plugin and it shows you the videos from youtube, views and likes.

slowxrm dev

SlowXrm has done a great job organizing the videos into logical areas and it’s a great tool to learn parts of CRM and the new functionality.

The only area it could be improved would be to have a search facility.

 

There is a section where he explains, it was interesting to find a bit more about him

For Those Who know my work in terms of SEO May know That I edited the last video compilations Few Years Devoted to learning Microsoft Dynamics CRM. With thesis Successes and Become (MCT certified Trainer) Between time, I started to create an ever more comprehensive and happy Especially more dynamic. And I published a knowledge base was web page (and not just a static list on my blog) Which Will Be updated over the water: new happy new listings, redevelopment … At the output of a whole bunch of new features ( SP1 / Spring’14), I propose a first version of this “Microsoft Dynamics CRM Knowledge Base Video”. Obviously I’m always taking all the comments to help me That May Improve the Service offert (almost 700 videos listed today).All this WAS the carried out work to Contribute to the democratization of this technology platform All which I never pulls Especially not me and to pay tribute to all creators happy.1000 times thank you to ’em Both community for sharing, it is Primarily thanks to Them That I have today Some knowledge on the subject (almost 8 years!)
It’s a great resource for CRM videos and a good job.  I recommend having a look at the knowledge base and finding the useful videos

CRM Wages in the UK 2013 – Find out How Much You are Worth in 2014

Nigel Frank are one of the larger CRM recruitment agencies in the Dynamics market place.  They do a yearly survey and persuade people to fill in the survey by offering the winner a Surface or some other gadget.

I remember one of my previous employers saying customers only ever replied to questionnaires if there was a chance of winning a gadget.

Nigel Frank sell the data with the tantalizing title

Find out How Much You are Worth

The data is collected fro 17636 Dynamics Professionals in 130 countries and does go into more detail than just salaries so I would recommend downloading the survey results from the link below

http://www.nigelfrank.com/en/surveyDownload

The results were taken from Feb 2013 to Dec 2013 and overall we saw an average rise in salary of 2.5% which sounds about level with inflation.

I am going to cherry pick what I think are the most interesting statistics and findings from the report.  The report is based on dynamics prefessionals, 2205 in the uk, a third of them in London, 20 percent in Midlands and East Anglia (that seems a slightly odd two to bunch together)

crm wages 1

Wages

Lets start with Juiciest bit first, here are the average wages in 2013 for Microsoft Dynamics CRM.  I like the way it has been spilt up into Junior, Mid and Senior.

crm wages 4

crm wages 5

 

Certifications

33.3% of respondents experienced a pay rise post certification.

So there is a good reason to get studying for the CRM 2013 certifications (check out my page here to help for the MB2-703).  So a bit of study for a 33 percent chance of a pay rise, it’s gotta be worth it.

 

On the Move

35.4% of global respondents plan to leave their jobs in the next 12 months; 45.1% in the UK.

It seems the fear of recession is receding and people are feeling they can move jobs more freely with almost half the dynamics workers in the UK looking to move in 2014.  I can hear the recruitment consultants licking their lips.

Below is an interesting table, showing you how long Dynamics people had been in their current position.  They don’t hang around long

crm wages 2

 

 

On the Bench

39.9% of Partner respondents in the UK spent more than 30% of their time
‘on the bench’ compared with a global average of 27.6%. However, these
same consultants expect to spend less than 25% of their time in 2014 not
working on clients’ sites.

I was suprised that in the UK dynamics workers spend 30% of their time on the bench, this seems like quite a high number.

 

Working from Home

This report had so many interesting snippets.

22.5% of UK Partner professionals work from home at least 3 days a week.
This compares with the US Partners, 40% of whom work from home a
minimum of 3 days a week. The US is the most progressive country with
respect to working from home, in recognition of the scarcity and wide
geographical spread of talent

 

Job Searching

So we know there are lots of dynamic workers on the move but how are they finding these new opportunities.    30 percent are personal contacts, so this should be some incentive to get networking in person and in LinkedIn if you want to move jobs.

I was quite surprised that recruitment consultants only contributed 27 percent but this must be bumped up through people using Job Boards because these are usually recruitment consultants posting those positions.

LinkedIn I should think is responsible for people contacting companies directly and I should think this will grow in the future as will companies doing direct recruitment

crm wages 3

Hosk’s Top CRM 2013 articles of the week 20th June 2014

Thumbs up people you have been fantastic from Monday to Friday and will be rewarded with two days off

 

Article of the Week

This is my article of the week because it’s a very useful new piece of functionality that has slipped under the radar of the CRM 2013 SP1 release.  It’s new functionality that’s easy to implement.

Custom State Model Transitions in Spring Release for Dynamics CRM 2013

The Best of the Rest

 

did you know you can add the timer control to other entities?  See how you use in the Case entity and then put it where ever you like

Add a timer control to the Case form to track time against an SLA

How to stop saves in Javascript CRM 2013

CRM 2013 – Client API: Save Event Arguments

Great answers from the CRM Master Adam Vero

CRM MVP Question and Answer – Adam Vero

I always wondered (but never actually had to do it) how to stop a workflow using code

CRM 2011: How to Cancel/Terminate Workflow Programmatically using C#

Test yourself with these questions on security for the MB2-703 – CRM 2013 customization and configuration exam

MB2-703 – CRM 2013 Customization and configuration exam questions

Good piece of Javascript best practice

JS Link: Avoid Polluting the Global Namespace

The Hosk creates his first tool and it will give a guid in the palm of your form

CRM 2013 Tool – Hosk’s CRM 2013 Guid Getter

Javascript best practice, create a common library.

Improving CRM JavaScript Code with an Xrm.Page Common Library

Learn about the different system job views

Microsoft CRM System Job Views Explained

Who are these mysterious users who update things in CRM.

Explaining the built-in SYSTEM and INTEGRATION users

 

Logging and handling, handling and logging

Logging and Handling Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Exceptions – Part 2

 

A new ebook from Microsoft on their new marketing functionality

New eBook: Increase your impact with Microsoft Dynamics Marketing

 

Videos

A review of Hosk’s new tool

CRM 2013 Tool Video Review – Hosk’s CRM 2013 Guid Getter

 

 

Some quick fire test questions and explanations

CRM 2013 – MB2-703 – Quick Fire Security Test Questions

 

Some exam like questions and explanations

MB2 703 – CRM 2013 Customization and Configuration Security Exam Questions 

 

Last Weeks Top picks

https://crmbusiness.wordpress.com/2014/06/13/hosks-top-crm-2013-articles-of-the-week-13th-june-2014/

 

Ted Talk

Some quick tips, do you know space bar jumps down internet pages!

10 top time-saving tech tips

 

Jamie Oliver Ted talk about teaching children about food

Teach every child about food

 

Hosk Stuff – Not CRM!

You can fail but you are not a failure

Hello Monday – Nice to see you again

This one change would make LinkedIn Awesome

Father’s Day is all about drawing dinosaurs

 

CRM 2013 Tool – Hosk’s CRM 2013 Guid Getter

Inspired by the Advanced Find on record forms for CRM 2013 tool on codeplex, I thought I would also add a tool of my own which would get the guid of a record.

Getting the guid of a record is one of the boring manual jobs I have to do when testing my plugin code and there are many ways to do this

Quick way to get a guid in CRM 2013

video of getting guid

but I wanted an easier way and I was also interested in creating a project on codeplex to see how that process worked.

So here is the project

https://hoskscrm2013guidgetter.codeplex.com/

 

Basically the tool doesn’t do much apart from show the guid in the form notification area of the record.  To use it you install the managed solution

hoskguidgetter1

 

Then you will see the option on all default and custom records.  To find the button click the 3 dots

hoskguidgetter

 

Then when you have clicked the button the guid shall magically appear

hoskguidgetter2

 

The hardest part of the whole process was getting GIT to work so I could upload the source files.

So I can proudly say I have created a tool, now all I have to do is create a tool which does something more useful.

 

 

CRM MVP Question and Answer – Adam Vero

This week we have another of the new CRM MVP’s and today it’s Adam Vero from the UK.

Adam Vero has given himself the grand title of CRM Master and he has a blog called CRM Guru, so it’s good that Adam is CRM MVP and has the knowledge to back up his titles.

here is Adam’s explanation

Why CRM “guru”?

There are various definitions of the term”guru”. The common themes are that a guru should be a teacherone who imparts wisdom and knowledge to others, or in some cases a leader as well. One possible etymology is that a guru is “one who dispels the darkness of ignorance”. Through the articles in this blog I certainly hope to use the experiences I have gained as a Dynamics CRM consultant and trainer to enlighten others, and to shed some light on features available and best practices of using the software to get the most out of it.

I am certainly not using the term “guru” to claim that I am the greatest expert on the subject (that is for others to judge), but that I intend to use my knowledge to help others, just as I have learned so much from those who have done things before me.

 

I did say to Adam I was jealous of his title and I wanted a simliar title for myself but Adam like the great teacher he is informed me I already have a grand title

The Hosk

and that ladies and gentlemen is why Adam is the CRM Master (of the universe)

Adam has contributed more comments on my blog then any other person and his comments I usually find very insightful because it’s usually pointing out something I have got wrong or adding some additional information.  Sometimes the hole’s in my blog post can force Adam to write whole blog posts on stuff I missed.

like this excellent blog post, which is a classic example of a CRM MVP doing a deep dive on a subject

Why use access teams in dynamics CRM 2013

talking of Adam’s blog he recently wrote another really useful one

Workflow OR conditions in CRM 2013 SP1

 

An interesting fact about Adam is he helped write some of the excellent MOC material for CRM, so when you are studying for the CRM 2013 certifications, remember to thank Adam for writing excellent documentation and then curse him for making it so long.

Adam organizes the UK CRM User Group (CRMUG) meetings!

here is some Rockstar 365 highlightsadam1

 

Thanks for Adam for answering my questions

If you want to read previous CRM MVP Q&A by clicking the link on the header – HOSK’S CRM MVP Q&A

 

QUESTIONS and ANSWERS

Name, current job title and social media links please

Adam Vero

Owner of Meteor IT and co-founder of CRM Masters

http://blog.crmguru.co.uk/

http://twitter.com/AdamVero

http://linkedin.com/in/AdamVero

http://rockstar365.com/AdamVero

 

What does an average day at work look like

It can vary a lot, from on-site meetings for discovery and business analysis, to working remotely on customer systems to customise and build out their CRM environment. I spend some time writing training materials, and other days I will be in the classroom delivering Microsoft Official Courseware (MOC) courses for learning partners as an MCT.

 

What different roles/Job titles have you had whilst using CRM

Consultant, trainer, project lead, depending in the project and the requirement – often all three at once.

 

What job did you did before you starting using CRM

I’ve been in IT for 20 years: teaching school-age kids, programming (we didn’t call it development in those days!), technical sales and service delivery for blue chip customers, systems administration and IT management for a large law firm.

Along the way I picked up various skills around process re-engineering and specification of software to manage these processes, which later I came to fall back on when I started working with CRM.

As an IT manager and later in my consultancy practice, I worked on many projects involving substantial change management and user training, especially during company mergers (always a political minefield). This has helped me to figure out how to ask the right questions and propose pragmatic, workable solutions using CRM that users can easily and willingly adopt.

 

What was the first version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM you worked with and how long have you been using Microsoft Dynamics CRM

CRM 4.0, about 6 years ago now, when it was just out. My first project was for 120 users across marketing, sales and service, so a pretty complex system with lots of ongoing incremental changes to rollout over the best part of a year – talk about being in at the deep end!

 

How do you stay up to date with the CRM

With difficulty, given the rapid pace of changes and new releases. I have over 70 blogs in my Outlook RSS feed, which I try to keep on top of using saved searches to show me the most recent, unread posts only. This is also useful as an offline archive so I can easily search for something I know I have skim read once before, when I get to a situation where I need it.

I try to travel by train when I can and this gives me a chance to catch up again, but usually leads to me opening loads of links to further reading.

Twitter is great for pointing to even more stuff to read. When I have fewer deadlines to meet, I can spend as much as 10% of my time reading up on new features or neat ways to “out think” CRM to achieve interesting results.

 

How do you find time to contribute to the CRM community whilst doing your job

I’ve always given back to the community in different roles – in the past I have done loads of stuff with Windows security, active directory and group policy and was active in that arena, I am a MS Office Master Instructor and spend a lot of time in the Office forums too.

In particular in my early days with CRM I could not have dealt with some of the challenges I had without other people’s efforts in forums, blogs and other ways of sharing information. That stuff meant I could do the job and at least get to go home on time sometimes. So now I make a point of trying to do the same to give something back.

Luckily as my own boss, I get to call the shots and spend time online, as well as organising the UK CRM User Group (CRMUG) meetings, which run as whole day events, three times a year now.

 

What advice would you give to someone who wants to have a successful career in Microsoft Dynamics CRM?

Choose a path that plays to your strengths. If you are a people person, look at the business analysis and functional consulting end of the spectrum, if more technical then maybe you want to spend more time installing, customising or supporting. And of course if you have a beard and sandals then stick to writing code.

 

What where your first impressions of CRM 2013 and what do you think now.

“This will really upset some of my customers” – it’s a lot of change to take in all at once. I do lots of migrations and people were just getting nicely used to CRM, to the point where they would not want to go back to their old systems (in a “Daz doorstep challenge” kind of way), then they had to start all over again.

I still think this is the case, but there are lots of compelling reasons to upgrade (for me, Quick View forms alone is a huge one). For new customers this is much less of an issue, and I think the learning curve is possibly slightly less than for 2011. This assumes you have built a well thought-out system – including customising the SiteMap to optimise where things are, and maybe reached for Ribbon WorkBench to prioritise the buttons shown in the Command Bar for some entities.

 

What one feature would you add to CRM 2013

Off the top of my head, either field level security for at least some system fields, or the ability to customise the behaviour of composite address fields (for example to include custom option set fields or lookups that are often used to replace things like country and state).

 

Most annoying feature of CRM 2013

The big change of emphasis to how Leads are used, how Leads are qualified (and the lack of control and customisability of that process), and the fact that there is a strong shift towards B2B scenarios.

 

You favourite 2 CRM blogs (I have filled the first one in for you)

 

Hosks Dynamic CRM blog

Probably Jukka’s Surviving CRM at http://www.niiranen.eu/crm/ for all round range and depth of topics.

 

What year will Microsoft Dynamics CRM have more customers than Sales force

I don’t know, and genuinely don’t care. Don’t get me wrong, I love Dynamics CRM, but in a growing market I think Microsoft should be more focused on growing the customer base by delivering a quality product so that the vibrant ecosystem of partners and ISVs can deliver great end-user experiences, and not looking over at what “the other guy” is doing all the time.

 

Are you doing more CRM projects with CRM online? Do you think it will all be online in the future

I’ve been doing a mix of online and on-premises over the last few years. I think there is a shift to online for some new customers, but many conversations I have are with people that for one reason or another just won’t move into the cloud. The lack of control of the ever faster release cadence and the need to constantly test, retest and retrain users is usually the biggest perception problem.

 

What is the best tool/solution you have used recently

I probably could not do my job without http://XRMToolbox.codeplex.com/ – I can do things that would otherwise take way too much time and effort, and in budget conscious projects would probably therefore get pushed out of scope. There are so many great tools in there it’s probably cheating though, like claiming a Swiss Army knife or Leatherman as you favourite “single” tool.

 

What CRM certifications do you have, do you try and keep up to date with CRM certifications

I passed exams for CRM 4.0, then 2011 and now have two of the core three for 2013 under my belt. For me it is a way to validate my own skills to make sure that when I sit in front of a client and propose a particular solution I am comfortable it is the right way to go.

I have to stay current because as an MCT I can only teach Dynamics MOC courses for which I have passed the related exam (there is a grace period of six months after each exam comes out where prior versions count).

Preparing to train people I find is always a good way to learn a subject thoroughly. Last year I was lucky enough to be the lead author on the Customisation course for 2013 which was a great way to force me to really get to grips with the new release and investigate how features worked which at that point were not even fully documented (although the Implementation Guide now has some great topics from a customisation point of view).

 

How important is it to have good business analytical skills working with Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Very important. Even if you are not involved directly in the customer-facing, discovery part of a project, I think you need to be able to understand the business drivers behind a set of requirements. This may help you to propose a more practical way to achieve an objective, or at least to understand why that pesky functional consultant has requested that you customise or develop something in a particular way. Equally you may be able to ask the one question that makes a big difference in the approach you take, and avoids you developing down a blind alley that later need a complete redesign to take into account a change of direction that you might have been able to anticipate.

 

How useful is it to have programming knowledge to become a good Microsoft Dynamics CRM Professional?

It depends on the role.

As a lead consultant I have often worked closely with developers, although I don’t write code myself. I can usually ask them the right questions, and equally answer theirs to get the best out of what they can bring to a project. I try to encourage dialogue to avoid them simply developing whatever I first suggested – if they can see a roadblock, or suggest a different angle, I want to understand their reasoning and work out the best approach. So I find it useful to at least understand some of the limitations they are working with, and know in advance what I think is feasible and what will be inherently difficult or complex, even though I can’t actually do what they do.

I also find that having done some programming in my dim and distant past (as a hobby, then as a job), the discipline of breaking something down into small logical parts and building them back together to a whole solution is a useful skill in analytical thinking. I often find the edge case or corner case in a scenario to ask the customer “so what do you do if this comes up…” because I am thinking about all the logical paths in a process and see the gaps in what they have defined, just like learning to trap errors.

In other roles, I am sure you could be a great business analyst, or trainer without knowing any of this dirty “code” stuff, as long as you have someone on the team to broker that conversation.

 

What knowledge/experience do you have with software/systems which integrate with Microsoft Dynamics CRM e.g. (sharepoint, SQL Server, Scribe, Etc)

I spend a chunk of my career in systems admin, so had to look after Windows, Exchange, SQL and so on, as well as network infrastructure. Of course, this knowledge gets out of date as new versions come along, but again, as with programming, it allows me to ask the right questions of the right people when I need to, and to understand their answers (and questions) too. This kind of background helps with things like ADFS / IFD since there is so much reliance on basics like certificates, split DNS, and so on, whereas someone coming from a DBA or development background may struggle more with this.

I wish I had more in-depth knowledge of SQL server to be able to do a better job of optimising performance for high-volume environments, but there is only so much time to become expert in so many things.

 

How often do you travel as a Microsoft Dynamics CRM Professional?

Every month, but not every week.

 

Can you see yourself not using CRM in your career in the future

I guess “never say never”, but right now I see no reason to want to move away. I like the variety it brings, since every customer’s business is different and every project is a fresh start, but using familiar pieces.

 

What is favourite part of being a CRM MVP

Knowing that I will get a chance to voice my customers’ feedback directly to the product team, and hopefully getting a slightly longer lead time on seeing new features coming down the line to get up to speed ready to use them in the next project, or be able to write training materials to help others keep up with the release cycles too.

 

What are your hobbies outside of CRM

I like to cook, and I do a bit of home improvement here and there, but with two young kids they keep me busy enough.

 

What was the last book you read and what was the last film you watched

I’m currently reading “:59 Seconds” by Richard Wiseman, and last week took the kids to see the Lego Movie.

 

Has CRM ever got you in trouble with your partner/family.

Not CRM itself, but when project deadlines approach and the hours spent on final snagging lists go up, this can inevitably put a strain on others in the house.

 

Have you friends ever told you to stop talking/tweeting/blogging about CRM? What does your partner/family member(s) think of CRM

No, I realise that most of my friends and family are not in the slightest bit interested. My wife is very generous at letting me talk at her sometimes if it will help me figure out the answer to a problem.

 

Tell me something interesting/unusual about yourself

I came 8th in the Cub Scouts district chess championship when I was 8. I was really pleased because reaching the quarter finals that meant I got a certificate, which I still have to this day. Maybe this set me on the path of wanting to validate my skills and get certificates for it. (By the way, I am not a very good chess player, and much prefer backgammon.)

 

Who is the first CRM MVP you remember reading/seeing

Probably Richard Knudson is the first I remember avidly following, and I learned a great deal of what I know about Workflows from his DynamicsCRMTrickbag blog.

 

Tips for someone who wants to become a CRM MVP

Visit the forums, and find a “how do I…” question you don’t immediately know the answer to (especially one that is unanswered after a few days). Reproduce the scenario, build a working solution, and test it out for yourself. Write up the answer, and if it merits it, turn it into a more detailed article on your own blog. Repeat.

Write about things that others are not covering, look in more depth at a feature, and give people a step-by-step guide on how to do something unusual.

Carve out a niche. Become the “go-to” guy or gal for ADFS, or Workflow, or security, or Business Process Flows, or the new 2013 sales process, or the Dynamics Connector. This will get you noticed without you having to make much noise.

 

Quickfire questions (choose one option and no explanation)

 

Steve Jobs or Bill Gates

Bill

Javascript or .NET

Javascript

Internet Explorer/Chrome/Firefox/Safari

Firefox

Wine/Beer/Soft Drink

Real Ale

Certifications or Use CRM

Both

twerking or tweeting

Tweeting (in Yorkshire, t’werking is what you do at t’office)

books or ebooks

ebooks

save or autosave

Autosave

OnLine or On Premise

On Pemise

Windows 7/Windows 8/Linux/Mac/Other

7

work from home or work from office

Home

Miley Cyrus or Billy Ray Cyrus

Billy Ray

Vinyl/CD’s/MP3’s/Subscribe

MP3

Zero Inbox/Overflowing Inbox

No comment!

Early Bird/Night Owl

Night owl

Do Today/Do Tomorrow

Do tomorrow

CRM Developer/CRM Consultant

Consultant

Hot Weather/Cold Weather

Hot

Half Full/Half Empty

Half full

MB2-703 – CRM 2013 Customization and configuration exam questions

I have been working on creating some questions for all the security section for the MB2-703 -CRM 2013 Customization and Configuration certification.

I have created some exam type questions to test your knowledge on the security section of the certification.

I have already created some questions for Solutions which you can find on the link below

Blog – Solution Test Questions

Video – Solution Test Questions

and here is the blog with the Security quick fire questions

 MB2-703 – CRM 2013 Customization and Configuration quick fire questions

I have uploaded a power point file into slide share because this is a really easy and quick way to do the question. There are 13 questions and doing these should take you 5  minutes, more if you really concentrate.  So come on test your knowledge and see if you are ready to take the real exam

Here is the video where I go through the questions and explain the answers

 

 

 

Don’t forget all the MB2-703 studying information can be found here

https://crmbusiness.wordpress.com/mb2-703-crm-2013-customization-and-configuration-certification/

CRM 2013 – MB2-703 – Quick Fire Security Test Questions

 

I have been working on creating some questions for all the security section for the MB2-703 -CRM 2013 Customization and Configuration certification.

I have created some quick fire – True or False questions to test your knowledge on the security section of the certification.

I have already created some questions for Solutions which you can find on the link below

Blog – Solution Test Questions

Video – Solution Test Questions

 

I have uploaded a power point file into slide share because this is a really easy and quick way to do the question. The security section was so large there are 27 questions and doing these should take you more than a few minutes.  So test your knowledge

 

 

I go through the questions with some explanation in the video below

 

Don’t forget all the MB2-703 studying information can be found here

https://crmbusiness.wordpress.com/mb2-703-crm-2013-customization-and-configuration-certification/