Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 | CRMUG European Congress 9-10 May

EC%20CRM_Solo_400pxFollowing the latest news regarding the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Spring Wave, customers again will benefit from the latest improvements introduced to provide a sophisticated and outstanding customer service using either Employee self-service, Field Service or Project services or a combination of them.

I´m excited to announce that during the CRMUG European Congress in Stuttgart, Siegfried Leiner and I are going to talk about our roadmap, visions and newly introduced improvements. Starting with the keynote by Siegfried on day one, followed by a series of topics build for users by users, I will talk about

Customer Satisfaction Made Easy

Tuesday, 10 May 2016 15:15 – 16:00

With the new capabilities Microsoft is introducing in the Spring wave to support field and project service, your organization will be provided with an easy to use toolset ensuring outstanding customer satisfaction; by allowing accurate and in-time scheduling, managing and delivering onsite service, whether it be their field technician who is supporting multiple customers on a single day, or complex, multi-day projects. Project service enables complex, multi-day engagements and optimizes resourcing with intelligent, skills-based assignments. And portal capabilities enable your organization to better connect with customers, partners and employees, and provide these groups with a streamlined way to access information, obtain assistance and perform tasks. And best of all – you´re using a multiple awarded service software. Join Carsten Groth from the Microsoft Business Solutions EMEA team talking about our latest improvements and your next toolset to raise your customer satisfaction into new levels.

If you´ve not already signed up for this event, please take a look at the agenda, build exclusive for you to get the best knowledge sharing experience and join us. Switching language…

Wer als CRM Benutzer noch nichts von der CRMUser Group (CRMUG) gehört hat: In dieser Community bieten sich dem interssierten Anwender oder Neuling eine fülle an Informationen – geteilt und zusammengestellt von Benutzern für Benutzer. Neben der Beteiligung an Diskussionen auf der Plattform, bieten sich ebenso zahlreiche Workshops, in denen stets spannende Themen geboten werden, um sein Wissen stätig zu erweitern. In Deutschland haben wir derzeit noch keine lokalen so genannten Chapter-Meetings, aber ich bin mir sicher, dass es im Rahmen der Veranstaltung auch hierzu Neuigkeiten geben wird. Also schnell anmelden und sich einen Vorteil verschaffen…

See you in Stuttgart.

Rückblick 2015 | Happy New Year

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Und wieder ist ein Jahr vergangen und ich darf mich der Statistiken meines Blogs erfreuen. Mit 321 hochgeladenen Bildern zeigt sich, dass die vielen Praxis-Beiträge mit reichlich Bildmaterial untermauert wurden. Mit 366 Besuchern war der 21. Januar der geschäftigste Tag des Jahres.

Unter den Top 5 Artikeln finden sich 3 Artikel zur Version 2011 von Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Was sich auf Messen als Trend bereits abzeichnete, ist also offenbar auch auf meinem Blog messbar – Die Zahl der On-Premise Benutzer mit früheren Versionen ist immer noch sehr hoch.

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Mit Deutschland, den USA und der Schweiz unter den Top 3 Besucherländern, haben die Schweizer den Österreichern knapp den Rang abgelaufen – wenn da mal nicht Social Engagement eine Rolle spielt?! Noch immer sind es knapp 100 Länder, aus denen ich Besucher auf meinem Blog begrüßen darf und dafür bedanke ich mich bei allen. Und auch, wenn der ein oder andere Artikel in diesem Jahr nicht in deutscher Sprache verfasst wurde, so sehe ich mich nach wie vor bestätigt, dass man auch mit der bewusst gewählten Muttersprache zahlreiche Besucher aus anderen Ländern mit guten Beiträgen begeistern kann – auf die Übersetzungsqualität kommt es halt an.

Und auch im kommenden Jahr warten mit der aktuellen CRM 2016-Version viele spannende Themen auf einen Artikel. Die ein oder andere Fachmesse auf einen Erfahrungsbericht oder der ein oder andere besonders aufgefallene Punkt auf eine besondere Erwähnung.

So widme ich mich in den letzten Tagen des alten Jahres einer guten Tugend – der Familie, der Erholung und dem Schöpfen neuer Kraft für ein aufregendes neues Jahr.

Ich wünsche euch einen gesunden Rutsch und wir sehen uns hoffentlich auch im nächsten Jahr wieder – bis demnächst… 

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 | FieldOne Config finished (Part VII)

FieldOne_SettingsAreaAfter finishing the basic desktop application configuration described in Part IV, Part V and Part VI we are now ready to use FieldOne Sky inside Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 though we haven´t configured all parts that are listed inside the FieldOne Sky Settings area. To ensure you can correctly understand and implement the other topics you can should ask for support from an implementation partner – as I said: This is not a solution that should be installed and configured during weekend and on Monday morning everyone uses it and et voilá – a new customer service experience was born and everyone is happy.

The mobile app

Basically this is because of the mobile application that needs to be installed and configured as well after finishing the setup and configuration steps of the desktop experience. FieldOne from Microsoft currently uses the Resco Mobile Client configured with the help of the Woodford solution installed as either a managed solution inside your CRM (recommended) or as a standalone application.

Setup and Configuration of the Mobile Experience

SolutionsArea_w_RescoWoodfordThe Setup and Configuration comes in three easy steps – assuming you´re familiar with the Resco MobileCRM Woodford solution and the configuration within. Otherwise you should either take the training first from the FieldOne LMS (Learning Management System) or ask an Implementation Partner for support.

First – install the Resco MobileCRM Woodford solution into your CRM Organization.

Second – import the FieldOne Sky Woodford Project Template

Third – Publish the mobile Project Template

ImportingWoodfordMobileTemplateYou´re now ready to configure the mobile application and adjust it to work the way your field service engineers want to work with and/or you´ve adjusted the business process.

After importing the template provide a name, set the priority (which is important if you´re rolling out versions or releases of your template) and then assign it to the four out-of-box provided security roles for FieldOne, from Microsoft and the System-Administrator.  Then open the template and publish it. Otherwise you´re mobile devices won´t get it.

Note

Keep in mind that the main goal of using a field service management application is that field service engineers and dispatchers love to work with it. It must simplify their daily work, support them during reporting and ensure a simple way to use it in many different situations.

If you´ve copied the four out-of-box FieldOne Security roles and adjusted them, make sure you selected these roles as well while importing and publishing the mobile template.

After Installing and publishing the Resco MobileCRM Woodford solution and start opening the administration from the settings area, you´ll be prompted for a one time registration with Resco for a better service experience.

Resco MobileCRM Woodford still uses Silverlight – so you would need to have a browser installed and extension installed to use the configuration engine.

You also need to ensure to assign the newly Resco Mobile Administration Security Role to at least one responsible user taking care of the configuration and management.

There´s currently no Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 solution offered by Resco – you can install the 2015er edition without having issues though.

Conclusion

RescoMobileCRMAfter being forwarded to the Resco page downloading the Resco MobileCRM woodford solution and installing it in version 8.3.0.0 – I wasn´t able to use the FieldOne Sky provided mobile project template. So I returned to the 8.2.2.0 managed solution I was provided from my training course and tried again without downloading the update.

If you´re already familiar with Resco Mobile client and Woodford configuration or you played around a couple of times it doesn´t take too long to understand the concept of configuration and rolling out project templates to mobile devices.

As I´m closing my configuration part series – next time I will take some notes out of working with FieldOne, from Microsoft and when you should consider using it. See you…

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 | F1 Config Continued (Part VI)

Still a couple of configuration steps needs to be finished, before using the FieldOne Sky solution. So today, let´s cover our next steps and start by creating Price-Lists.

Price Lists

FieldOne Sky makes use of the out-of-box available Price Lists. A Price List is a required field to create a Work Order, so you have to create at least one. With Price Lists you define the prices for services or parts that are offered and sold within a Work Order.

Tip: Beside customer based price lists or price lists defined by SLAs, you should have at least a Standard Price LIst that can be used as default.

Work Order Types

FieldOne_WorkOrderTypes

Next define Work Order Types, which are also required within a Work Order. They help filtering the amount of Work Orders that are generated. You can associate a Price-List with each Work Order Type and you can also define if an Incident will be needed in relationship with a Work Order.

Service Task Types

ServiceTaskTypesNow think of a typical field service where a service is splits into multiple tasks – let´s assume a printer maintenance. FieldOne Syk solution supports such services by setting up Service Task Types. Each type has a specific duration and order of service task types can be defined. Think of it as having a checklist during providing the service and no item will be missed.

Products

Products are parts that are used for a Work Order and maybe sold to Customers. They can be converted into Customer Assets once used automatically and Products can be of category Inventory or Non-Inventory. Again the default customized Product Entity is used to record Products.

Incident Types

IncidentSkillsLast but not least – for todays configuration part – we can setup Incident Types. Incident Types are common jobs a company performs. They may contain one or more Service Tasks, Products and Services. Skills associated to an Incident Type might define Skills needed to perform the job. Think of Incident Types as a convenient way to define common jobs and once an Incident Type is added to a Work Order all related Tasks, Products, Services and Skills will be tagged within that Work Order. So for instance our Printer Maintenance can be an Incident Type containing several Service Tasks, such as

  • Check Heater Unit
  • Check Printer Unit
  • Check Paper Trays

and Parts (Products), such as

  • new Heater Unit
  • new Toner

As well as all Skills needed to perform that Incident Type.

Conclusion

Not yet finished, but we´re on our final way to complete configuration tasks of FieldOne Sky solution after installing it in a fresh environment. Because of reusing a couple of Out-Of-Box Entities, such as Products, and Price-Lists, Customers already working with those have to think about a concept of re-using – specially if they already customized these themselves.

Stay tuned for another part of Configuration – see ya…

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 | F1 GeoCoding (Part V)

positionReady for “take two” of configuring FieldOne, from Microsoft? Today I´m going to introduce you to another important step in configuring FieldOne Sky solution – Geocoding addresses.

This important step is needed not only to benefit from the map view features build inside the solution. It is also a required step for the FieldOne Sky service used by the Scheduling Assistance or Auto Route feature.

All addresses such as Start-Location, End-Location, Service Accounts, Billing-Accounts, etc. can be geocoded using the build in function.

Introducing Geocode Dialog

Geocoding_Account_AddressLet´s start by taking a look from an account list view. After selecting a record you get a new custom command offering to geocode the selected address. After confirming the request, you´ll be presented with the following dialog.

Geocoding_Dialog

Notice that if you´re using sample data like me, the system won´t be able to find the correct Latitude, Longitude information and therefore presents “a pin inside water”. You can manually change the data, for instance providing the correct name of the street and the engine starts to check for a valid address and provides the equivalent Latitude and Longitude information inside the status bar.

A click on “Change” will then update the address information inside the account and also adds the determined Latitude and Longitude information.

Multiple Addresses

Geocoding_MultipleAddresses_FoundWhat happens, if the information you´ve provided doesn’t´t lead to a single hit? You´ll see another dialog window presenting the addresses found with your provided information and you can then select one of them by clicking on the auto-number icon.

 

Working with Addresses

WorkOrder_GeocodedServiceAccountAddress_AssociatedOnce geocoded, by creating a new Work Order and selecting the Account as Service Account, all the address information will be automatically copied inside the Work Order. You´ll find the information inside the Address section (subordinated you haven´t customized the Work Order form yet). And inside the Location section you´ll be presented with a map providing a closer look at the Latitude-, Longitude-Position once expanded.

Changing Work Order Addresses manually

WorkOrder_ReGeocode_AddressEven though the address information has been copied you can use the command bar option inside a Work Order to reallocate the address the service should be provided.

By clicking “Change” again the address information will be updated.

Notes

Inside List Views you can geocode a single selected record. Once you selected more than one address, the dialog starts with the first record you´ve selected and continues with the next. At the end (max. 250 selected records) you’ll be  provided with information how many could be found based on provided record data and how many couldn’t be found.

The dialog layout might be subject to change, once the FieldOne Sky solution was reviewed and adapted to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016.

Conclusion

Though the FieldOne Sky solution is provided in english version only (first wave), I was able to geocode a german based address once I provided “Germany” as Country. I was told “DE” should work either. I´m wondering what happens, if customers already work with the Country field inside their CRM and already provide information like “Deutschland” or “D-“, as I´ve seen a couple of systems trying to adapt their systems to postal usage for address fields.

I really missed an option of bulk-geocoding my addresses. Guess this is either a limitation build inside because of the current bing limitation in requesting mass data for free (otherwise you need to have a payed license for requesting more data). Though there’s an auto-geocode setting option inside settings area which works against newly created or changed address information. A bulk “service” might be found in the near future as not every customer will start from scratch not having addresses and wants a single bulk-geocode for all existing records.

Inside my environment I noticed that several Command Bar Options were just named as “CUSTOM” which makes it difficult to get the feature behind it. Though the world icon was quite obvious for Geocoding feature.

Having fun today? If not seen, take a look at my previous article around configuring. And stay tuned for the next round as Configuration Task has not been finished yet.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 | F1 Start Configuring (Part IV)

FieldOneCertLet me continue my blog series about FieldOne, from Microsoft – this time by start introducing the first steps of configuring the solution after installing it and trying to build up a short checklist for configuring FieldOne Sky solution.

Because of the Configuration Part will take more than one action – I decided to split topics into multiple articles and finally summarize it as a checklist that you can reuse while setting up your environment.

Resources

The very first task right after installing the solution is to configure your Resources. So what are Resources? Resources are anything that needs to be scheduled, such as:

  • Users,
  • Crews,
  • Service Centers,
  • Company Assets (Equipment),
  • Accounts or
  • Contacts

For  organizing and structuring your various Resources, FieldOne Sky is introducing Resource Categories. Examples could be: Operators, Trucks, Supervisors or a Technician.

FacilityEquipment_GeneralOnce you create a new Resource you actually notice that the Facility/Equipment Entity has been customized and will be reused for setting up your Resources. As this technique allows to setup multiple types for Resources, you will find a field called Resource Type.

A Resource Type can be either one per Record as of:

• User: meaning the resource is a member of your organization who has a license and access to FieldOne Sky

• Account or Contact: resources that are not directly a part of your organization, but that you subcontract to

• Company Asset: equipment

• Service Center

• Crew: any collection of Resources. Examples: two or more workers or a group of workers and equipment

If you select one of the above types, you will notice some modifications done in real-time on the form, where some fields become visible and others are hidden.

Addresses

While not a required attribute, you can select a start and an end location from an option list. Depending on the selected option this address will be used for FieldOne Sky service.

Working with Customer Equipment

If you´re working with equipment such as Spare Parts that you might sell in a maintenance scenario, make sure you also setup a Warehouse.

Skills

FacilityEquipment_Finish_Setup_with_SkillsAs the FieldOne Sky service – for instance the Scheduling Assistance needs to know about Skills that the Resource has it is mandatory to associate Skills to Resources once they are saved with a name and all the required fields. Skills are maintained in a Sub-Grid

Work Hours

FacilityEquipment_Finish_Setup_with_WorkingHoursDon´t forget to select the correct time zone this Resource should be scheduled in. And also make sure that if you selected a User as a Resource Type that you configure the Work Hours on the Resource entity as related entity. This sometimes can be confusing as a company could already work with Work Hours related to their User entity. But as a reminder, those are not used, when you list the Resource inside the Schedule Board.

Territories

FacilityEquipment_Finish_Setup_Issue_Multiple_Territories_NoNamingNotice that while setting up my environment – I might have found a bug inside the system where I was able to associate the Resource to multiple Territories not having a name. This was done by using the + sign and adding new Territories. The follow-up issue was, that I could have created the same Territory twice and therefore associated my Resource twice to the same Territory.

Notes

To optimize and calculate Routes, the system needs to have geocoded Addresses. So make sure the selected Address Type for Start- and End-Location on the Resource has been geocoded.

Keep in mind that a Warehouse can be a Truck or a Distribution Center as well.

Conclusion

While working with the Facility/Equipment entity inside the system you really feel the pain about the not upgraded form design. Again not the fault of FieldOne, from Microsoft – I wished this will be updated soon and it feels more natural in a CRM 2015 Update 1 Online or CRM 2016 Online environment to work with the Facility/Equipment entity.

I found some bugs inside the solution that can be solved by setting up a simple process for instance and setting the name of the Resource Territory correctly. And also to help manage that Administrators are not creating the same Territory twice like I did.

As I said there a multiple tasks of configuration – so watch out for my next article

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 | #CONV15 EMEA Take Aways

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Trying to wrap up Microsoft CONVERGENCE EMEA in Barcelona after 3 days I couldn’t attend in person this time, but was engaged with from a social media point – and it really felt like I´ve been there physically.

So what are my key take aways from this season?

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Obviously we´ve been introduced to the GA of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 by our new leader of Microsoft’s CRM Business Applications group – Jujhar Singh – and not being surprised, it is still around Cloud first and mobile first.

20151202_092107000_iOSContinues investments in productivity, mobility and Unified Service been made, this time – and I would say the very first time – we also see investments made in a more complex form of intelligence. This sounds crazy while writing it down, cause we did have Business Workflows, Business Process Flows and a modernized UI in the past (and the past was just yesterday). But honestly – we are truly on a new mission enhancing existing capabilities with the new offers and services from the Azure world.

Cortana Analytics

20151202_104100000_iOSNot only from mobility perspective using Cortana as a personal voice assistant, we will recognize Cortana Analytics helping us to see a better productivity with all the data that we captured inside Microsoft Dynamics CRM or other systems like ERP and external information storages like Sharepoint, Yammer or our File Servers and many more. Turning data into actions by analyzing millions of records within seconds and making suggestions based on algorithms, patterns and things that we did in the past – our future work with Microsoft Dynamics CRM will become much easier.

Azure ML

20151202_152742000_iOSUsing Azure Machine Learning as one component of Cortana Analytics we will see investments made in all typical CRM modules (Sales, Marketing and Service), but also allowing us to enhance modules like Project Management, Field Services and many more xRM scenarios, if you think of our xRM Framework. So with a first wave of seeing cross-sell recommendations being 20151202_152803000_iOSmade with the help of Azure ML and intelligent customer service offered by Azure ML supporting CSRs and support employees to find the best key words for searching kb-articles or creating predictive maintenance work order items based on existing machine log-files – we certainly will see a change the way we´re working today.

The bigger question around is: Are we ready for this?

It is not about creating loyal customers but about being loyal to your customers

Social Engagement

I think the best way we can all think about it, is the way social media changes our daily business – if we want it or not – it is effecting the way we think, the way we share, the way we engage and also the way we influence others’ daily work day. Think of a typical negative tweet you probably made after your flight was cancelled and your flight company wasn’t able to manage or assist you. Now that we are in Christmas season – think of the parcel service that you´re worried about to deliver the present in time before x-mas.

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With the help of setting up a sentiment algorithm, train it and again analyze and compare millions of records within seconds, you can now make a difference!

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By turning a negative tweet into action, follow up within CRM to enhance data, creating a follow-up action on the channel it started and finally creating a positive customer experience turning into additional positive reactions about what happened here – we are now able to not only start a sh…storm when something went wrong.

Conclusion

People don’t resist change. They resist being changed! – Peter Senge. The reason I took that quote to start talking about the costs (from my personal point of view) is – now that we´ve been introduced to all the capabilities (and congrats to the Microsoft Convergence Team for managing once again an amazing 3 days) – how do we start not being changed?

20151202_152510000_iOSMicrosoft Dynamics CRM 2016 is a big opportunity. I say thank you very much to Jujhar Singh and the complete product team not only enabling most of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Online seen features to On-Prem now. Instead – once again – enhancing the suite and setting up new toolsets we can play with.

I´m proud to be an MVP for Microsoft Dynamics CRM these days and love the way we´re moving forward with each release. I personally love the customer service area, I do love creating concepts and visions around creating a better customer service experience.