Pub chain J.D. Wetherspoons has deleted its entire Customers emails database – Better for GDPR compliance!

Pub chain J.D. Wetherspoons has deleted its entire email mailing list. Not only that, the company has announced will stop sending newsletters via email.

Accord to a wired news article, the decision was announced on Friday June 23 in an email from chief executive John Hutson. In the email, Wetherspoons CEO said that “Many companies use email to promote themselves, but we don’t want to take this approach – which many consider intrusive,” “Our database of customers’ email addresses, including yours, will be deleted.”

The news comes after several UK companies have received fines for sending marketing messages to customers who didn’t explicitly consent to receive emails.

Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) fined airline Flybe, car manufacturer Honda and Morrisons supermarket amongst other organisations.

Many analysts regard these fines as a warning call to organisation not taking seriously the upcoming Directive of Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)

Jon Baines, chair of The National Association of Data Protection and Freedom of Information Officers, said: “On a risk basis, it’s just not worth holding large amounts of customer data which is bringing insufficient value,”

This is again part of GDPR expectations. Organisations should only capture and store information it requires for its operations and not just keep customers data without good business reasons or without proper protection.

If you have a Dynamics 365 solution or an in-flight Dynamics 365 implementation programme and you haven’t already considered GDPR considerations for your solution, please make appropriate arrangements as soon as possible.

You can read all my articles on GDPR considerations for Dynamics 365 CRM systems, solutions and implementation programmes here:

http://www.mohamedmostafa.co.uk/blog/category/gdpr/

Hope this helps!

 

Video of my Talk on Cloud Deployment Considerations @ Microsoft London UK offices

Hi,

I have uploaded a video of my talk at CRM Saturday London back in January at Microsoft UK offices in London. In this session I talked about considerations for implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365 Online versus on-premise and when it is more practical and suitable to choose one over the other.

I hope you like the content!

Using Office 365 Service Account for .Net MVC Portal connected to Dynamics 365 CRM

When you have a custom application such as a .Net MVC Portal (in my case) that you want to integrate with Dynamics 365 CRM Online, you should always use an non-interactive office 365 service account and not a normal CRM User account.

This might be a well known fact to many but I think there are still some who don’t know it.

To create a service account you must have at least one Dynamics CRM license available in Office 365 admin portal. Create a service account as a user and allocate an available Dynamics CRM license to it. You can call the account anything you like but you could consider something like crm_service@yourdomain.com if you have your domain setup in O365 or crm_service@yourdomain.microsoftonline.com if you don’t.

Once you have done that, you will need to go to CRM and allocate a security role to this users. The next very important step after that is to mark it as a “non-interactive” user in the administration section of the User form. Once you do that, you can freely remove the license from the user in Office 365.

This way you are saving on your CRM licenses and also you are following best practices by ensuring the use of non-interactive users for remote connection to Dynamics 365 CRM Online.

Hope this helps!

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Talent Technical Preview is now open

Microsoft Dynamics 365 has announced that the Technical preview for Dynamics 365 for Talent is now open. You can access it and get more information by following this url:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/talent

The application provides Talent acquisition capabilities, new employees onboarding and then HR experience and operational excellence.

More details to be announced as soon as it is available to the public on General Availability.

Docs.Microsoft.com is Microsoft’s new unified technical documentation & links repository including for Dynamics 365

Microsoft is now using their new unified technical documentation repository, http://docs.microsoft.com as a central location for links and pointers to all its documentation across various technologies. You will find on Docs.Microsoft.com URLs and links to MSDN and TechNet documentation about Dynamics 365, Microsoft Azure, Visual Studio .Net, Office 365, Xamarian, Bot framework and a lot more.

For Dynamics 365 documentation, you can find them all here:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/

Once you login, you will find two main tabs: Solutions and Developer resources.

Under solutions, you will find links to all Dynamics 365 modules: Sales, Customer Service, Field Services, Project Services, Customer Insights, etc.

Each module comes with 4 different sections: Get Started, What’s new, Setup & Administration and Onboarding.

Under the developer resources section, you will find the same list of modules with 2 different sections for each module: Developers Centre and what’s new for developers.

I believe the overall aim is to make docs.microsoft.com the starting point for links to all the standard documentation across all Microsoft technologies.

Hope this helps!

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Centre

A good place for everyone starting with Microsoft Dynamics CRM or who wants to move into Dynamics 365 domain is the Dynamics 365 Customer Centre. This is aimed as Dynamics 365 Customers including users and advanced users. This is not a Technical or IT professionals focused site as there are other sites dedicated to these subjects.

You can find Dynamics 365 Customer Centre here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-US/Dynamics/crm-customer-center/default.aspx

The Customer Centre is literally filled with Dynamics 365 user guides, Dynamics 365 ebooks, Dynamics 365 videos and more.

I strongly encourage individuals at an early stage of learning Dynamics 365 to have a look and review the customer centre.

Hope this helps!

The world after WannaCry ransomware attack: Is the Cloud secure enough for your data?

With the most recent WannaCry ransomware attack on more than 99 countries with thousands of locked down machines globally, many organisations are asking if their data is more or less secure in the Cloud?

It’s a valid question and I personally never try to supress or trivialise clients concerns even if the concern seemed unwarranted or doesn’t have factual basis. On the contrary, I felt that my clients concern about how secure their data in the cloud is very relevant and requires addressing.

If we look at the WannaCry ransomware attack on the UK National Health Services (NHS), you will find that most computers affected where machines running old versions of Microsoft Windows, namely Windows XP and some Windows 7 ones. First question that comes to mind is why these machines were not upgraded especially that Microsoft offers significant discounts to the UK public sector organisations. But then to answer this question, we have to go into the politics of the UK government and its spending approach, which is something we won’t cover as I never talk politics on my blog.

However, the effect of the WannaCry ransomware attack, has meant that data stored on computers were lost. These could be some simple working files of no significant values but I am sure there were some computers that had information and files of considerable value and only stored on these computers. Now imagine if every one of these machines had a Microsoft OneDrive for Business account (or equivalent cloud storage) where all files stored on the computer were copied instantly to the cloud. In this case, the loss would have been probably nil. The cost of a OneDrive for Business account for a Public or Government organisation is next to nothing (~£1/month). With a copy of all your files are in the cloud, so whether it is a hack, ransomware attach or simply a hardware malfunction, you will always have your files in the cloud.

This is a simple example but explains to the regular non-Techie reader how the cloud could have helped in this case.

Another example to show the power of the cloud. For any organisation to setup an adequate backup services, disaster recovery and a complete data centre with appropriate data security and unauthorised access protections, it will cost them a lot. It will vary depending on the size of the organisation but for a medium to large organisation, the cost can easily reach the millions of pounds. Now compare that to the assurance and reliability as well as the cost reduction and savings a public cloud offering can deliver to this organisation because of the economies of scale. You will find that organisations are not only saving money, but they are “outsourcing” their data centre to a Cloud Provider, such as Microsoft’s Azure Cloud. In this case, organisations do not have to worry about penetration testing, unauthorised data access precautions or complex data centre security measures, over and above the standard security measures applied by all organisations.

So to summarise, my view is that having your organisation in the cloud will save you money and save you a headache of security your data centre from various data security threats by “outsourcing” these responsibilities to your reliable provider who is investing millions to secure their massive Cloud and applying security measures that many organisations cannot afford or would not be able to undertake.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator Integration with Dynamics 365 for sales from the Dynamics 365 Public Roadmap

In my post yesterday, I discussed the LinkedIn Connector for LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms as highlighted in Microsoft’s public Dynamics 365 Roadmap website: http://roadmap.dynamics.com
Microsoft is presenting that the LinkedIn Sales Navigator integration with Dynamics 365 for Sales enables organisations to improve the performance of their sales processes by taking advantage of the information richness available on LinkedIn’s company and person public profiles.
As I’m sure you must have heard, LinkedIn data is the Golden Dust everyone wanted and only Microsoft managed to get (which made SalesForce really annoyed). This direct integration between Dynamics 365 and LinkedIn is surely just the first step in a number of enhancements, capabilities and features that will massively differentiate and advance Dynamics 365 over and above Saleforce and other competitors.
This capability is promising to bring LinkedIn data such as company and person public profiles across to Dynamics 365. You can imagine how many beneficial uses such feature can bring from data cleanliness to data enrichment to competitor advantage due to data and relationship knowledge that your organisation will have while integrating Dynamics 365 with LinkedIn.
Microsoft further explains the feature as follows:
  • Display Sales Navigator person and company information on every Dynamics 365 for Sales lead, contact, account and opportunity page. This is just the start but I guess everyone will agree there is a lot more expected including the ability to bring in LinkedIn information into custom Dynamics CRM entities as well.
  • Automatically perform daily updates between systems so the accounts and contacts sales reps are actively working on in Dynamics 365 for Sales are saved to Sales Navigator. In addition, sales reps can see in Sales Navigator what people and companies are already saved in Dynamics 365 for Sales, and vice-versa. Again an excellent feature that could make real difference to many organisations and sales teams.
  • With a single click, write select Sales Navigator activities (InMails, messages, notes and call logs) to Dynamics 365 for Sales providing better communication, connectivity and full 360 degree view of customers including your communication through LinkedIn messages and InMails.

Personally, I think this connector is a winner and will massively differentiate Dynamics 365 way above its competitors such as Salesforce. I have been in CRM selection meetings where clients are already finding it a “no-brainer” to choose Microsoft Dynamics 365 just for the sole reason of having LinkedIn data in their CRM system.

With that said, we expect a lot more from Microsoft when it comes into LinkedIn integration with Dynamics 365.

Full details and source can be found at the public Dynamics roadmap here: https://roadmap.dynamics.com/#area=#application=326f31ea-2992-e611-80dc-c4346bac0910

 

Microsoft positions Dynamics 365 For Financials towards Accountants to work efficiently with their clients

This in my view is a good move from Microsoft to start target small and medium size businesses by targeting their accountants directly. Microsoft is interestingly positioning Dynamics 365 for Financials towards accountants allowing them to collaborate efficiently and as a complete Microsoft accounting software platform for accounting professionals.

You can see all details about this offering at the Dynamics 365 for Financials dedicated page for accountants software solution:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/dynamics365/financial-insights-for-accountants

If you require any support on this package, please get in touch directly through the blog contact page or through my LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mohamed-i-mostafa

 

Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Cortana Integration – the way forward from the Dynamics 365 roadmap

The publicly available Dynamics 365 Roadmap is showing some interesting new features between Dynamics 365 and Cortana. This is an integration that we have always been looking forward to but have yet to materialise into a significant feature that differentiates Dynamics 365 over its competitors.

Microsoft is saying that they are taking their Cortana integration with Microsoft Dynamics 365 to the next level by embedding your typical Dynamics 365 sales activities, your customers accounts and Dynamics 365 opportunities all of them into Cortana. This will allow Cortana to surface the most relevant to your organisation’s sales people at any time – across both personal and professional sources. So instead of going to run a report (even if it is a nice Power BI report), you could literally be asking your phone / mobile device Cortana app for your latest Sales figures or to show the latest Sales performance and activities.

Microsoft has highlighted that this feature will include the ability for Cortana to present:

Microsoft has stressed that all experiences are released globally per Cortana’s availability in English-speaking countries. Release for other Cortana supported languages will be done once translations are finalised.

More details and source can be found on the Dynamics Roadmap here:

https://roadmap.dynamics.com/#area=#application=326f31ea-2992-e611-80dc-c4346bac0910

 

Hope this helps!