Does your company have a complex inventory model with product and service dependencies that have corresponding business rules, dependencies or other characteristics that are challenging to remember or change? Do your Opportunities, Quotes and Orders require your users to add several products and / or services from product inventory? If so, I highly recommend that you take a look at Experlogix .
As your CRM users are probably aware, it can take up to 5 mouse clicks to add an inventory line item to an Opportunity, Quote or Order. If users need to add 10 items, that equates to 50 mouse clicks or more, plus searching through inventory, remembering to add dependent items, doing manual calculations to identify correct quantities, etc. What if I told you that your users could generate that same Opportunity or Quote in just 5 clicks or less with no manual calculations required, and users do not have to remember to add the inventory dependencies. Have I captured your attention? If so, then read on because that is exactly what this product did for the company where I previously worked.
VisionAIR is a software development company for the Public Safety marketplace. Their Opportunities and Quotes can often be complex due to product / service dependencies and the various calculations required. Order related CRM records (Opportunities, Quotes, etc.) can contain upward of 50 line items and for more than a year their Sales Team had to manually add all those line items to Opportunity records. Yes, it is true, the Sales Team generated those records, remembered the line items needed and submitted their quotes for review prior to delivery so calculations could be checked, inventory added if needed, etc. As you can imagine it was a time intensive task.
Then along came Experlogix and their Sales Staff now generate the same record in CRM with sometimes 10 or less mouse clicks. Yes, it’s true, from potentially 250 mouse clicks down to 10 ish. Talk about a nice return on investment, happy users, reliable calculations, more time available to do what Sales people do best, Sell.
Add to the above, a company whose products are Microsoft Certified, fully integrated with Dynamics applications, and you have a winning combination. Oh and one more thing, the product support team is responsive and provides outstanding service.
You may be wondering why I took a few minutes to blog about Experlogix. My reason is that I’ve seen Experlogix in action. I’ve witnessed times where Experlogix made the difference and was a critical part of the CRM implementation project success. Over the years, I’ve heard stories from other companies who struggle with generating Opportunities and Quotes from CRM so I wanted to share this information in the event that it might help if you are faced with similar challenges.
Need help improving staff productivity, take the effort out of generating Opportunities, Quotes, Orders and / or Service Contracts, give time back to your Sales and Finance team and significantly reduce the possibility of errors on sale’s related deliverables then Experlogix is worth a look.
Online, Offline, Portals
Update Rollup 5 is available. Update Rollup 5 is the first release for Microsoft where additional capabilities and features for Dynamics CRM (both Online and On-premises) will be delivered. This Update Release is a part of a new program where Microsoft plans to deliver new functionality in two releases a year. See what Brad Wilson, General Manager of Microsoft CRM has to say about this release. The next release of this type is targeted for the the Spring (Q2) of 2012 with another to follow in the Fall (Q4) 2012.
There are some good fixes and terrific features included in UR 5 that you might want or need. However, before applying UR 5 to your production environment, you will want to note that once installed, you can not uninstall.
As with all Updates, you should first apply this Update to a test environment, after backing up your database, and fully testing it before installing to production. Also, before applying to production, ensure that you create a restore point for your production environment to include database, reporting server, and all application or other servers that are part of your production environment. This is even more important for Update Rollup 5 as once installed it can not be uninstalled. The only remedy for removing Update Rollup 5 is to restore to a point in time prior to when the Update was installed.
As always, Update Rollup 5 is a cumulative update which means it includes Update Rollup 1, 2, 3 and 4. Here are a few highlights of the release:
- New Business Intelligence Capabilities
- multi-series charts
- multiple category charts
- new chart types
- Dialogs & Workflow Enhancements
- lookup and date field types supported for Dialogs
- dynamic record hyperlinks for Workflows & Dialogs
- Enhanced Data Management
- Audit User Access
- Ignore null values in duplicate detection
- Exclude inactive records in duplicate detection
- CRM Outlook Client Enhancements
- reading pane improvements to include hyperlinks to CRM records, compose e-mail and Lync presence
- Performance Enhancements to E-mail Tracking
- Activity Feeds
- enable a user to follow important activities related to people, accounts, contacts, leads, sales deals (opportunities) and more
- new CRM Online Organizations will come with the Activity Feeds installed. New CRM OnPremise installations that have Update Rollup 5 included in the server download package will also come with Activity Feeds installed. Existing CRM Online and OnPremise installations need to download the Activity Feed solution from the Dynamics Marketplace and import it.
- The CRM Server downloads will be updated to include Update Rollup 5. If you are downloading the package, from this point forward, you do not have to apply Update Rollup 5 after the installation.
- CRM Online customers will have Update Rollup 5 applied to their environment by no later than October 25, 2011.
- Update Rollup 5 will be available on Windows Update service on November 8, 2011. You should be able to use the Windows Update service to find and install the update on or after that date.
- You must have Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 build 5.0.9688.583 before installing UR 5
- CRM Outlook Client view fields display date and time even though only date is configured to display
- Selecting F5 to refresh a record view creates a new record rather than displaying the current record with updated data
- Custom Option Sets do not display as expected when creating dialogs and attempting to assign values from the Option Set
- Workflows do not behave as expected when upgrading from CRM 4 to CRM 2011
- Some navigation changes cause IE 9 to crash or fail to perform as expected
- Time stamps on reports are one-hour behind the expected time
- Time zones and daylight savings time are incorrect for multiple countries
Visit the November 2011 Service Update site to learn more about the features included in Update Rollup 5. You can also register and attend the Dynamics CRM 2011 Online “Ask the Experts – New features in Update Rollup 5” session planned for November 1st.
The CRM 2011 Beta is due for release tomorrow and the activity is heating up. Yesterday, several hundred people watched a live demonstration sponsored by the XRMVIRTUALUSERGROUP and presented by Senior Technical Product Manager Eric Boocock. Words used to describe the session include; Awesome, Terrific, Exciting, WOW, Amazing……..
If you missed the session, no worries, as you will be able to view the recording as soon as CRM 2011 Beta is released. Just watch the CRM 2011 Discussion Board on the XRMVIRTUALUSERGROUP web site for more details or follow Julie Yack on Twitter for the announcement. It was a terrific web cast so I definitely encourage you to take the time to view the recording. It is very exciting to see all the great and productive changes included in the product.
Additionally, Microsoft created a new CRM 2011 Beta Forum for posting questions and issues. The forum is live now and available to everyone. The CRM 2011 Beta Forum will be monitored by the ‘usual suspects’; Dynamics CRM MVP’s, Microsoft Staff, Community Supporters, etc., who are looking forward to helping you with any questions or issues you encounter with the product.
I know we are all excited to see and experience the changes that the Microsoft Team has worked hard to include in the product and, based on what I’ve seen so far, the product is going to exceed our expectations so be prepared to be “Wowed’’ and “Amazed”!