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CRM Resources-R-us - Part III: Using Dynamics CRM

And we continue with yet another part of the long list of resources. This time all related to using Dynamics CRM.

  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 User's Guide (Document - Microsoft)
  • Microsoft CRM 4.0 User Handbook (Site - Redware)
  • Using Microsoft Dynamics CRM (Site - Microsoft)
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM Resource Center Video (Video - Microsoft)
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Resource Center (Site - Microsoft)
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Resource Center (Site - Microsoft)
  • Main Microsoft Dynamics CRM site (Site - Microsoft)
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM Forums (Site - Microsoft)

  • Dynamics CRM Online Video Gallery (Site– democrmonline.com | Microsoft)
    These videos will introduce you to Microsoft CRM Online functions and capabilities. Here is the list of videos related to using Dynamics CRM:

    After every link I mentioned the type of resource and the source. The descriptions below the links are taken from the actual resource. They are not my personal opinion or comments. ;)

    Coming up in the next part (part IV):: Administration / Management

    In these series:
    Part I: Introducing Dynamics CRM
    Part II: Demos, Show Cases and Case Studies
    Part III: Using Dynamics CRM (this part)
    Part IV: Admin, Management and Deployment
    Part V: Extensibility & Development
    Part VI: Tools & Add-ons
    Part VII: The Bits

  • CRM Resources-R-us – Part IV: Admin, Management & Deployment

    Here are the administration, management and deployment related resources.

    As usual, I mentioned the type of resource and the source after every link. The descriptions below the links are taken from the actual resource. They are not my personal opinion or comments. ;)

    Coming up in the next part (part V): Extensibility & Development

    In these series:
    Part I: Introducing Dynamics CRM
    Part II: Demos, Show Cases and Case Studies
    Part III: Using Dynamics CRM
    Part IV: Admin, Management and Deployment (this part)
    Part V: Extensibility & Development
    Part VI: Tools & Add-ons
    Part VII: The Bits

    It's the end of the world as we know it...

    It's the end of the world as we know it.
    It's the end of the world as we know it.
    It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine started a blog.

    How do you like that as a start? I really wanted to do something original. I didn't want to pollute the world with yet another "Hello World", so I kind of did the opposite. I polluted it with a "Goodbye World (as we know it)"!.

    I hope I'll be able to stay this *ehum* original for my next blog posts too. :) So what to expect? Expect to see stuff about the technologies I love and/or breath in my daily life as a trainer at U2U. These are Dynamics CRM, .NET, SharePoint, Office Business Applications (OBA), Business Intelligence  and who knows, maybe even some mobile development or a crazy combination of any of these.

    Finally, if the first three lines still seem strange to you:

    • hint #1: think about a very popular song and read those sentences again.
    • hint #2: I actually only prepared one hint... So if hint #1 was not helpful, just take the the time to listen to R.E.M.s song with that same title.
      You might also consider watching this clip. Since it's a clip made from the South Park episode Make Love, Not Warcraft, all the  South Park and/or World of Warcraft fans out there might also enjoy watching it.

    See you soon!

    Wim

    CRM Resources-R-Us - Part I: Introducing Dynamics CRM

    As promised in my last post: here is the first part of a very long list of CRM resources. It contains all kind of resources related to Dynamics CRM, what it is, how it integrates with other products and how it can be used in your organization.

    After every link I also mention the type of resource and the source. The descriptions below the links are taken from the actual resource. They are not my personal opinion or comments. ;)

    Coming up in the next part (part II): Demos, Show Cases and Case Studies.

    In these series:
    Part I: Introducing Dynamics CRM
    Part II: Demos, Show Cases and Case Studies
    Part III: Using Dynamics CRM
    Part IV: Admin, Management and Deployment
    Part V: Extensibility & Development
    Part VI: Tools & Add-ons
    Part VII: The Bits

    SharePoint List Web Part for CRM 4.0 Released

    I am so happy to announce that the List Web Part (LWP) for Dynamics CRM 4.0 is released to the public. You can download it here.

    A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to participate in the early preview for the LWP and I admit: I was excited and very happy with the result. While testing the LWP my expectations were to have an alternative to the MOSS Business Data Catalog. And although it has not all the same possibilities (which is normal since it is just one web part), I feel that the LWP really lived up to my expectations. On top of that, it is very flexible, so you can adapt it to your own needs (select CRM view, select the CRM or SharePoint style, create connections to other web parts, …).

    The big advantage is that no developer or BDC Application Definition file is required. All you need is the URL! So everyone can use it. Power Users/End users can configure them. To loan some words from another Microsoft campaign: Everyone Gets it! ;)

    So, what are you waiting for? Download it and try it out!

    I can’t wait to see if any of my feedback has made it into the final release. :)

    Dynamics CRM: an Enterprise Business Application Platform

    Since the release of Dynamics CRM 4.0 last year, we are seeing/hearing very often that Dynamics CRM is more than just an Of The Shelf product focused on Customer Relationship Marketing (CRM). Actually when we hear Dynamics CRM, we should think: XRM. With the X being whatever we want it to be. So that could be Employee Management, Disease Tracking, Recruitment System, Event Management and many, many more. X is the new C.

    So, this means that Dynamics CRM is much more that a product about the typical CRM areas like Sales, Marketing and Servicing. Dynamics CRM is a real Enterprise Business Application Platform which we can customize and extend to our own needs. With Dynamics CRM we don't need to think about buying versus building our own solutions: it is the perfect combination.

    This statement has two important parts: "Enterprise" and "Business Application Platform".

    Enterprise?

    The enterprise part really means that Dynamics CRM can be more than just a little product which is installed somewhere on a forgotten server and used by a few people we don't even remember working for our company. I know, I am exaggerating here, but you get the idea. Don't get me wrong either: if you want it to be that, then that is exactly what it will be. In that case you can also choose a Dynamics CRM online subscription. However, you can install it on your own servers too. Then it has the potential to scale to an enterprise wide/level application used by thousands of users and working on terabytes of data. That is partly what we refer to as the "Power of Choice"!

    The nice guys over at Microsoft, together with their friends at Unisys have done some testing and the results are outstanding:

    • Scale Users: 24,000 concurrent users; 1,051,920 web requests/hr --> Sub-second response times
    • Scale Data: 173 million Contacts; 512 million Contracts; 346 million Addresses; 1.2 terabytes of data --> Sub-second response times
    • Bandwidth improvements up to 94% compared to Dynamics CRM 3.0

    Check out the details in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Performance and Scalability White Papers.

    Business Application Platform?

    For the "Business Application Platform" part, I will limit myself to providing some useful links. Others have done a great job explaining the entire concept in detail. I will not walk that road again. Here are the links:

    • Microsoft Dynamics CRM as a Business Application Platform
      *This is my favorite.* Jason Hunt and Aaron Elder from Ascentium have done a great job writing this white paper. One thing that I will always remember and use in my Dynamics CRM presentations since then is: The key question is: "do I need to track the information and activities related to this entity?"  If the answer is "yes," Microsoft CRM deserves some serious consideration.  
      You can follow them on the Ascentium blog.
    • Microsoft Dynamics CRM as a Development Platform
      After introducing Line of Business Applications, this paper shows us how building a solution on top of the Dynamics CRM platform is better and faster then writing a custom solution. Written by Infostrat. 
    • Developing ISV Applications using Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0
      This is the most technical one and provides a good overview about development on Dynamics CRM. It explores how, with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, an ISV can quickly build, deploy, and manage line-of-business applications.

    Summary

    Dynamics CRM is:

    • about XRM
    • a platform
    • enterprise ready

    Make sure to leave your comments whether or not you liked this post!