Our Free Dynamics 365 #CRMSaturday #MSDyn365 Bootcamp has been a great success – what a day!

We have just had our first CRM Saturday Bootcamp at Microsoft UK London Paddington offices this Saturday, 22nd July 2017. It has been a lot of hard work for everyone at CRM Saturday especially the trainers: Neil Parkhurst, Janet Rob, Raz Choudry and Baris Kanilca. As for me, I did 16K steps just walking between the various rooms ensuring all sessions are adhering to our agenda times. Personally, my sessions both overrun by few minutes and some of my track attendees missed part of their breaks as I got carried away! For this, I’m sorry 🙂 It has been a seriously fun event with some excellent attendees.

Not only we had 110 excellent attendees @ our free #MSDyn365 #CRMSaturday Bootcamp. We also raised ÂŁ1,421 for the London Fire Fund, British Red Cross.

We learnt Dynamics 365 together in 3 different parallel tracks. There was a lot of excellent networking as well as some great fun at the various breaks and the Raffle ticket awards.

Some of our attendees even went back home with an XBOX S One, an Amazon Alexa/Echo and other prizes. What a day!

However, I’ll have to name names in this post! Firstly, many many thanks go to: Microsoft’s Matt Fox and Bruce Nicholson Scribe’s Henk Adriaans and Steven Thornhill Nigel Frank’s Oliver Norton and Andrew Brownlie

Without our host, Microsoft, and our sponsors, such an amazing events wouldn’t have been possible. And of course special thanks goes to our trainers: Raz Dynamics, Neil Parkhurst, Janet Robb and Baris KANLICA

And our helpers: Lipi Sarkar (MBA), David Robertson and Samira Kadiri

And of course many thanks to our Dynamics Community colleagues and Professionals who attended the event and made the donations to make such an event a success!

Strategic Business & Technical Considerations for Dynamics 365 CRM Cloud Deployment – CRM User Group July 2017

I have recently presented at the UK CRM User Group event in Microsoft London Paddington offices (I know I now seem to spend more time @ Microsoft Paddington than in my own office).

Anyway, I have received requests to publish my updated slides about the Dynamics 365 CRM Online Cloud deployment considerations. Please find these below. The slides are high level as I go in details during the session (and I hate long text on presentation slides). However, the slide deck still covers many of the core principles and strategic considerations that I believe every business and every organisation should consider before making the decision to go Dynamics 365 on-premise or cloud. There is no “one answer” or “one model fits all” here and there will be many good reasons for an organisation to choose one option over the others – and that’s what I try to convey in these sessions.

While you are here, if you organisation would benefit from a short and quick assessment of Dynamics 365 cloud versus on-premises decision, I’ll be happy to help you with that. I have been delivering these assessment frequently lately and I apply all my lessons learnt and experiences onto these short assessments to help businesses make the right decision for themselves.

You can get in touch via the contact page or via LinkedIn.

 

Everything you need to know about the upcoming Free Dynamics 365 Training Bootcamp at Microsoft UK London Paddington offices

CRM Saturday and CRM Boutique Mentoring programme are arranging a FREE Dynamics 365 CRM classroom training delivered by a number of Microsoft MVPs and Dynamics Experts. The event will also be used to raise funds to the London Fire Relief, British Red Cross. 100% of donations go directly to the charity. Trainers are volunteering and dedicating their Saturday to give back to the Dynamics community through training and to raise money to a good cause.

Thanks to Microsoft UK and our sponsors, there will be free lunch and refreshments throughout the day!

This hands-on classroom based training has 3 Tracks:

  1.  Track A: Application Core for those looking to learn the basics of Dynamics 365 functional capabilities. The focus of this track is at professionals and individuals moving into Dynamics 365 who want to learn the core Dynamics 365 CRM Sales and Customer Services application from a functional, capability and features knowledge. If a consultant already knows Dynamics 365 application good enough, then they should look at registering an interest in Track B: Configuration and Customisations of Dynamics 365. There will be a hands-on project expected to be delivered by groups of attendees in this track.
  2. Track B: Configuration and Customisation with No Code or Custom Development: for individuals who know Dynamics features and capabilities but want to learn how to configure the platform without code or development. It’s specifically aimed at professionals and End Users who want to get a hands-on training on how to configure and customise the system using out of the box configuration capabilities. Attendees must understand the application functionality well to attend this track, otherwise please register your interest in track A. There will be a hands-on project expected to be delivered by groups of attendees in this track.
  3. Track C: Unified Service Desk Specialist training. This is a highly specialised Unified Service Desk training by Microsoft MVP Neil Parkhurst with a combination of lessons and labs to get everyone a hands-on experience on setting up and configuring Dynamics 365 USD.

Securing your place:

Places are limited so please register your interest here as soon as possible before we close down the registration of interest: http://crm.boutique/register

Please remember to fill in all details included under the options section of the registration page.

If you have registered with CRM Boutique before, then you only need to update your account page. Make sure you update the options to confirm your interest in joining the bootcamp and which track you would like to be considered for.

Registration of interest must have details on how you see this training can help your career.

Registration of interest without full information including why you should be allocated a place, will be disregarded.

Places are allocated by application NOT on first come first serve basis.

 

Fundraising and Donations:

To extend the benefit of this bootcamp training we are using the event to raise funds for the London Fire Relief, British Red Cross. Trainees are expected to make a donation to this cause via the following Just giving page:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/saturday-bootcamp

Please note that 100% of all donations go straight from Just Giving to the Charity directly. We do not take any donations and we don’t even process it.

Sponsors:

Thanks to our sponsors,

  1. Microsoft UK, our host
  2. Scribe Software, Platinum Sponsor, and,
  3. Nigel Frank International, Gold Sponsor,

Thanks to them, this training has been made a reality. Without our sponsors, we wouldn’t have a venue, food and refreshments all day and we wouldn’t have been able to cover all training costs. Our Sponsors are the ones who made this event free!

Any sponsorship money left after covering the event costs, will be donated to the same JustGiving page for the British Red Cross.

Featuring these exceptional experts and MVPs: Raz Dynamics , Neil Parkhurst , Baris KANLICA , Janet Robb and more!

Hands-on Projects and Labs:

Tracks A and B will have hands-on projects to be delivered by groups of trainees. Track C will have a number of Labs. For this reason, all trainees are expected to bring in their own laptops with them. All trainees will also need to register for a free 30 days trial Dynamics 365 instance ahead of coming to the training. This is very important as otherwise, trainees will not be able to participate and may not get the full benefit of the training.

Awards and Prizes:

In addition to all of this, our sponsors will be offering valuable prizes as awards to highest performing trainees in the bootcamp. There will also be a raffle with excellent prizes.

More details to be announced on the day!

Full information here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/free-dynamics-365-training-bootcamp-microsoft-london-offices-mostafa

CRM Saturday is a free non-for-profit Microsoft Dynamics 365 event held in multiple cities around the world from Europe to Australia which has been extremely well received globally with very positive feedback and excellent participation.

CRM Boutique is a free Dynamics 365 Mentoring programme which has gained a large audience and membership over the past few months.

Dynamics 365 Learning, Training and Resources Series: Partner Next Free Available training videos and material

In this series of post regarding Dynamics 365 Learning and Personal Development, I discussed some of the basics for learning Microsoft Dynamics 365 including an Introduction to Learning Dynamics 365, setting up trial Dynamics 365 Online instances and Creating your Learning Plans in Dynamics Learning Portal

In the last post in this series, I also talked about gaining access to Dynamics 365 Talent Portal through various ways.

In this post, I’d like to introduce Partner Next and its free training videos section. You can see the full list of Dynamics 365 training videos on this Partner Next section. The Videos cover various Dynamics areas including Customer Service, Operations, Sales, Financials and a lot more.

Here is a list of each Video on this page:

Module 1: Getting started with Dynamics 365
Module 2: The market opportunity with Dynamics 365
Module 3: Dynamics 365 workload 101 – Customer service and sales
Module 4: Dynamics 365 workload 101 – Operations and financials
Module 5: Dynamics 365 workload 101 – Customer insights and marketing
Module 6: Dynamics 365 workload 101 – Field service and project service automation
Module 7: Building a Dynamics 365 practice
Module 8: Key industry scenarios for Dynamics 365
Module 9: Dynamics 365 transactional options
Module 10: Next steps

Finally, Talent 365 Portal has an interesting Dynamics 365 Readiness guide, and you can also review their current Dynamics Learning Portal course catalogue for Dynamics 365

Hope this helps all new Dynamics 365 Learners! Always remember you can join the CRM Boutique Mentoring programme if you want a Mentor to support you through your career development.

Introduction to basic and essential Dynamics 365 Learning & Studying material and content – Part 2

This is the second article of my series on the introduction and first steps to study and learn Dynamics 365 if you are new to the technology and platform. If you have missed the first post, then I suggest you read it first please to ensure you keep up with the flow.

Now that you have a Dynamics 365 instance, you need to start following a step by step training or guide to learn Dynamics 365 functionality. I strongly suggest using Microsoft Dynamics Learning Portal as it has training videos, virtual sessions, live online training and training guides and content for Dynamics 365 across the various modules: Sales, Services, Field Services, Project Services, Marketing, etc. This is all delivered through what is called “Dynamics Learning Plans”.

In summary, the Dynamics Learning portal offers two types of learning plans:

  • Readiness Learning Plans are recommended, product-specific, role-based, sequentially ordered and category-driven plans that prompt users through the curriculum, while highlighting certification and specialized topics.
  • My Learning Plans have an intuitive, user-friendly UI that provides more flexibility and customization without sacrificing current features. My Learning Plans are offered in two views:
    • Tracks and Capabilities view offers users the option of viewing a taxonomy-driven format that displays the training assets in your learning plan alphabetically by track and capability. While users will not be able to edit from within this plan, they will have the ability to track progress, print, export and apply filters.
    • Customized view offers a taxonomy free, cross product, sequentially ordered format, enabling users to organize their unique plan, while providing the flexibility that is required to fit partner’s business model. Users can select this view to create new plans, add assets, edit the plan, reorder groups or training assets, create, add or rename groups, apply filters, track progress, share, print and export.

My suggestion is that you choose the Readiness Learning Plan, select levels 100 and 200,

select “Application Consultant” role

and then select the business application you are most interested in (Sales, Customer services, etc.)

Here are the results that come back from these selections:

Once you got the results, you can start adding these results to your learning plan using the “+” under my learning plan in the bottom right hand corner.

In my next blog post, I will discuss more about how to gain access to Dynamics Learning Portal if you don’t have it through your Microsoft partner or customer account. I will also cover the next learning and development areas and options available to progress your career in Dynamics 365.

Dynamics 365 CRM Business Process Flow new data model structure and Security considerations

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Process Flows (BPF) have seen a major upgrade recently since the move from Dynamics CRM 2016 (version 8.1) to Dynamics 365 (version 8.2). The change is not only to the new Business Process Flow designer but it is extended to adding few more capabilities are particularly useful for many situations. For example, you can now add a workflow to a Business Process Flow and you have few more actions to steps.

The major enhancement that happened to Business Process Flows are around its data model. Business Process Flows are now an entity with each instance of each BPF created as a record (otherwise you couldn’t have had a BPF firing a workflow).

However, this comes with additional changes that you need to be aware of. For example, you now have a tab on every Dynamics Security Role which is called business process flow. This tab lists every BPF available in the Dynamics CRM instance so you can apply the various CRUD privileges to each BPF as part of each security role.

This also means that when you go to the Business Process Flow designer, you can no longer select specific security roles assigned to your BPF. This is now done inside your Security Role. It’s an important change that may confuse old timers who lived inside Dynamics CRM for so long!

Please also note that this means if you migrate a custom security role from Dynamics CRM 2016 (v 8.1) to a Dynamics 365 (v 8.2), your security role may not have the required privileges assigned.

So in summary, rather than assigning security roles to a Business Process Flow from within the Business Process Flow designer, you apply these inside each one of your security roles.

Hope this helps!

Dynamics 365 Apps security roles and other security considerations

I have recently built a few Microsoft Dynamics 365 Apps for a Dynamics 365 CRM Solution. I personally found the whole Dynamics 365 Apps idea to be brilliant as it does remove a lot of the clutter / noise / unnecessary entities, buttons, etc. that users don’t need. These are then replaced with a single App that only has what a user requires for their day to day operations. For example, a CRM call centre user will have an App that only shows the entities, forms, dashboards, business process flows, etc. that they need and nothing more. This provides a greater customer experience and higher user adoption and engagement (I saw this first hand).

Back to the subject of the post! Dynamics 365 Apps security can be applied using security roles as follows (source: :

  1. Go to Settings > My Apps.
  2. In the lower right corner of the app tile you want to manage access for, click the More options button , and then click Manage Roles.
  3. In the Manage App dialog box, Choose whether you want to give app access to all security roles or selected roles.
  4. Roles. If you choose Give access only to these roles, select the specific security roles (Important: see point “a” below)
  5. Click Save and
  6. Finally, re-publish your App (the last step is optional).

Sounds simple, correct? Well, there are a couple of “Gotcha” considerations that you have to be aware of:

a. Any security role that you choose from the list of roles that can access an App, MUST (I repeat MUST) have the “Read App” privilege. You can check that by opening the required security role and navigate to “Customizations” and you will see the “App” privilege in the first line under security role -> customisations. This is really important:

b. You can hide the “Custom” app which is basically the original conventional Dynamics CRM standard access app to all security roles (except to administrators) by clicking on “Hide for all Roles” on the “Custom / Full” App. This makes this app disappear from the left hand list of available Apps to standard users. However, if the user types in the standard CRM url they will still be able to access it, yet with limited data access based on their security roles. For example, if a user typed in: https://yourcrminstance.crm4.dynamcis.com they will access the custom / full app. You should always make sure your users only use the Apps in this case so for example:

https://yourcrminstance.crm4.dynamcis.com/Apps/yourcustomApp

Finally, we all know that this great new features, Dynamics 365 Apps, is still a brand new capability so it will continue to evolve and improve in the upcoming releases – so watch this space!

Hope this helps.

 

#MSDyn365 Possible issue with Notes on Dynamics 365 CRM latest version

This post is a bit unconventional. I’m facing an issue on the new Dynamics 365 latest build that I’m not sure if it is a real issue or is it something on my side! Here is what I have:  a brand new CRM sandbox instance that I have reset to be built on version Dynamics 365. I create 1 custom entity called Test and I add only Notes to this entity – no activities, just notes.

I create a new record from entity Test and the record is created fine. Close this record and I try to reopen it, then I get the Notes section without the small rectangular area “Enter a note” which we use to create a new note! i.e. I cannot create a new note. I try to refresh the page few times but still doesn’t show (except with IE after few times – read further below)

This is what I get:

While what I should get is this:

The error shows on all browsers: IE, Edge, Chrome and Firefox except that with IE, after I click refresh (F5) several times it works, and I get the “Enter a note” box. I usually need to click refresh at least 3 times for it to work with IE. With all other browsers, the problem persist and I cannot create a new note regardless of how many times I click refresh.

To minimise the cause of the issue, I tried this again on a new and different CRM instance which is also a sandbox Dynamics 365 that I have just reset and then add a simple new custom entity with notes only.

The workaround I found so far is that if you add activities to the entity, so that the entity has notes and activities, then the social pane shows fine with the correct Notes box to create new notes. However, any custom entity that only has notes, you cannot create a new note from any browser except IE if you click refresh few times. Also when you first create the entity, you can create a note first time. However, try to close this record and re-open it and the problem starts to appear.

Finally, to minimise any other cause, I tried to access both instances from a completely different computer and it is exactly the same behaviour as above.

Is anyone else having the same issue or heard of this being reported to Microsoft?

I got some feedback confirming the same issue on the Dynamics CRM Community portal:  https://community.dynamics.com/crm/f/117/p/223202/601756

Any comments or feedback are much appreciated.