I saw a link to this video on twitter and thought this was a really useful video from Zero2Ten. This is particularly relevent for CRM 2011 because Microsoft have added a number of new features to speed up the process of using CRM but using them isn’t that obvious and some of them are hiding (like the favourites functionality).
Ahh I’m kidding a bit because I don’t know when it will actually be released by I was reading the excellent blog Microsoft CRM “du jour”, he had a blog entry called CRM 6!! Well I thought I will have to check this out. I would also like to put my vote behind the futuristic name CRM 3000, now that sounds pretty good.
What the blog was actually talking about was the recently released Statement of Direction document, which you can read here (LiveId Login required)
Stephane Dorrekens (blog author) highlighted these dates/facts
A cross browser HTML5 based MS Dynamics CRM is confirmed. (not a real surprise, but still)
Next Update (let’s call it CRM 5.1 for the time being, as CRM2011 is technically CRM 5.0) is foreseen for Q4 2011; both for Online and On Premise
Next Upgrade (let’s call it CRM 6.0) is foreseen for Q2 2012; both for Online and On Premise.
What I found interested is the short amount of time before they have another big release. I think Microsoft really want to push on and become the leading CRM supplier.
Here are some of points I found interesting in the statement of direction document
Shorter development cycles.
Before Microsoft use to have a major release every 3 years but now Microsoft are going to plan to have 2 releases each year. It sounds like they are talking about slightly different things but the shorter development cycles mean we get to see the improvements quicker.
MULTI -BROWSER capability
yes I put that in capitals because it’s a biggy. Microsoft are hoping by utilizing HTML 5, CRM will be able to use different browsers and not just IE.
They want to bring in Micro Blogging, business activity feeds and more social intelligence. This sounds promising as the world does seem to be moving towards a twitter/blogging paradigm
I have worked on couple of CRM 4 projects where the users have complained about the lack of spell checking inside CRM, so it was with great interest that I saw this blog post Daniel Cai’s blog. On the blog post Dan has found a free spell checking add for internet explorer and the most important feature of the add on is it can spell check any fields in CRM.
I had also used iespell on a customer site and although it was better than nothing, I also felt it could be improved and so I was interested to read his post on a new add on called Speckie
This is another good post which shows why Daniel’s blog has had over 50000 page views recently
Add Spell Checker to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Application
In CRM projects, I often hear the complaints about the lack of spell checking feature in CRM application. Most business users tend to believe it’s the application’s fault for not having such important feature. In fact, spell checking should be something offered by browser. If you have ever tried any other browsers in the market, you may have noticed that most browsers (Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Safari) nowadays are offering spell checking feature out-of-the-box. IE has been pretty much the only exception among those modern browsers in this perspective.
I was previously aware of an IE addon called ieSpell which offers spell checking solution in IE. But it is far from being an ideal solution because it doesn’t instantly highlight any wrong spellings, which in my opinion makes it almost useless.
I happened to come across another free IE addon called Speckie this week which I believe provides a much better spell checking solution in IE. So I thought I should share with everyone here.
After you have installed Speckie, you may notice that Speckie doesn’t perform spell check for single line textbox field by default. If you want to enable this option, you can go to IE Tools menu, and click “Speckie Options“.
Then you can check “Enable spell check in single line edit fields” option, and click “Apply” button.
After you have done so, you should restart your browser in order for the option to take effect.
The following are a few screenshots in action.
Speckie spell checking for MSCRM4 textbox field
Speckie spell checking for MSCRM4 notes field
Speckie spell checking for MSCRM4 textbox field
I have only been using this addon for a couple of days, I cannot endorse the quality and reliability of this addon. But I am so far very happy with it.
You will have seen on various CRM blogs, videos featuring a series of interviews with Microsoft’s Brad Wilson and his thoughts on CRM and Microsoft’s strategy regarding CRM 2011. These interview were done by Software Advice and I thought this was a good way to raise the profile of their company, whilst also creating some interesting videos.
You will have seen the videos featured on many CRM blogs (mine included), how did these interviews managed to be featured on so many blogs I hear you say. Well Lauren Carlson from Software Advice politly told the various CRM blogs she had done a few interviews with Brad Wilson and would they like to feature some of the interviews on their blogs. Ha! it’s as easy as that.
Anyway they have finished released all of the interviews and I am linking to them all
So what portals have been released and you can find them in the Microsoft Dynamics Portal and they are basically an upgrade of the CRM 4 accelerators. Sticking to promoting the cloud, these portals work on all versions of CRM.
The one thing I have noticed is the Customer Portal has 4 review getting 3.5 rating (out of 5) and the partner relationship portal has no reviews which is quite surprising. Looking at the reviews of the customer portal, all of the people had problems installing the portal, so it might be worth waiting until some of the problems are smoothed out.
Customer Portal for Microsoft Dynamics CRM provides businesses the ability to deliver portal capabilities to their customers while tracking and managing these interactions in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
Functionality includes lead generation, service scheduling, case management, event calendar, product registration, self-help knowledge base and content management. Customers can turn this functionality on or off depending on their specific requirements. Note, this solution includes all functionality from the Portal Integration, eService and Event Management accelerators that were released for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0.
The Partner Relationship Management (PRM) Portal allows businesses to use Microsoft Dynamics CRM to distribute sales leads and centrally manage sales opportunities across channel partners. It provides pre-built extensions to the Microsoft Dynamics CRM sales force automation functionality, including new data entities, workflow and reports. Using the PRM Portal, companies can jointly manage sales processes with their channel partners through a centralized Web portal, as well as extend this integration to automate additional business processes.
I was looking at CRM 2011 and when I was in Settings/Customizations instead of clicking on solutions I clicked on Dynamics Marketplace. I then was suprised to find there were items in the popular and also a list of items in the newest.
This is quite a powerful piece of advertising for the companies and their Add-on’s/accelerators. They are beaming their CRM good directly to everyone who has CRM 2011 deployed!! Here is a picture of what’s on offer
It’s interesting because there are a few offerings like the Lead Management for Microsoft Dynamics CRM has 10 reviews all with a 5 star rating. Now I don’t really know much about Lead Management but this is quite an impressive review and if it works like Amazon or eBay then the recommendations will be a very powerful tool in getting customers to trust you.
I found this blog post at ISV Labs today and it had a good list of CRM 2011 videos. After the release of the CRM 2011 Developer videos I am now more interesting in videos featuring the front end, This list has a few good ones