Summary of our Dynamics 365 Saturday event with special guest James Phillips @ Microsoft London Jan 2018

We had a fantastic two days at Microsoft London Paddington Offices on Friday 26 and Saturday 27 January. It was the first time we had our event across the whole Microsoft Business Solutions platform and over 2 days, Friday afternoon and Saturday.

This time, we had a very special guest: James Phillips, Microsoft Corporate Vice President and the head of Microsoft Business Solutions (including Dynamics 365) Globally. He flew from the US to attend the event and show his support to the community.

Q&A with James Phillips

To check all the photos and a chronological report on the event, please read my LinkedIn article here:

James Phillips supporting our Dynamics 365 Saturday community

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.

Gaining access to Dynamics Learning Portal: Essential Dynamics 365 Learning & Study material – Part 3

In the past 2 articles, 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 this article, I’m trying to give some guidance to new Dynamics 365 learners on how to gain access to the essential Dynamics Learning Portal (DLP). You can access DLP through this link:

However, you need to make sure that you are using Microsoft logins that are associated with a Dynamics Partner or Customer who have access to the Dynamics Learning Portal. Otherwise, you will not be able to access DLP.

Alternatively, if you do not have access to DLP via your employer, either as a partner or customer, then your next best option is to register as a consultant at Talent 365 Portal can give you access to DLP as a signed up consultant with them. Please talk directly to them if you require further guidance.

Once you gain access to DLP, my advice is to build up a learning plan (as per my previous post) that can help you learn Dynamics 365 step by step through video tutorials, live sessions, etc. You should always start with the “Introduction to Microsoft Dynamics 365” video (level 200) and then move to the value proposition.

Hope this helps! Feel free to comment below if you need help accessing DLP and I’ll see what I can do. You can also register for the Free Dynamics 365 Mentoring Programme on the CRM Boutique:

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.

Introduction & First steps to Learning Microsoft Dynamics 365 for those who want to move to the Dynamics Domain & Market

This is my first post in a series of articles I’ll be publishing to help new comers into the Dynamics 365 domain learn the technology and the platform to become Dynamics 365 consultants, developers and Architects. This series is aimed at graduates looking to study and learn Dynamics 365 so they can become consultants or analysts in this striving and growing market. It is also aimed at other IT consultants who are moving into Dynamics 365 from other CRM and ERP platforms such as SAP, Oracle, SalesForce, etc. The series might also be helpful to junior consultants at the early stages of their career in Dynamics 365.

So, if any of the above applies to you, you must have wondered what are the first steps to learn Dynamics 365 so I can sell the platform, implement it or even just talk confidently about it.

My recommendation is that you should always focus on learning the functionality and studying the capability of the solution before trying to learn how to extend the platform with custom code and custom development, even if you are a seasoned .Net developer. The reason for this is that you should always try to use Dynamics 365 built-in functionality and features to its maximum (and there is a lot to utilise here) before you consider writing any custom code or extending the platform with .net plugins, custom workflow activities, custom actions or even JavaScript web resources. The organisation that has acquired Dynamics 365 licenses to utilise the platform is expecting to be get the best out of the built-in functionalities and capabilities before paying for expensive custom development that would require even more costs in the future to maintain, support and upgrade. Finally, with the Dynamics 365 Cloud has now become the norm, as opposed to Dynamics 365 on-premise option, you have twice a year upgrade to your Dynamics 365 instance so it’s best practice, Microsoft’s recommendation and for the benefit for everyone that your Dynamics 365 solution sticks to the out of the box capabilities and utilise built-in features as much as possible.

This is a long but really important introduction as the above could literally shape your career in Dynamics and you should start on the right foot by following the best practices and Microsoft recommendation for implementing Dynamics 365 solutions.


Now, the first ever step you should do to start learning Dynamics 365 is to get yourself a Dynamics 365 CRM Online (Cloud) instance. You can get this from your organisation / company where you work, or alternatively if this is not available, then you should subscribe to a free 30 (or 90) days trial Dynamics 365 instance. The simplest action is to get the 30 days free trial using the following link:

Dynamics 365 Free 30 days trial

If the above link doesn’t work, you can search online for Dynamics CRM Online Free trial and get the relevant page for the free trial in your country. If all of this doesn’t work, please comment below and I can send you an invitation for a 30 days free trial (subject to availability) from my Microsoft partner account.

The other option to the Dynamics 365 30 days free trial is to get a 90 days free trial Microsoft Dynamics 365 tenant with office 365 using the Microsoft Demos website. This option is only available for Microsoft Partners though.

In my next article, I will be taking you through the step by step guide on where to start your learning of Dynamics 365 and how to apply your learning onto a Dynamics 365 solution built on your new free trial instance you have.

Hope this helps!

Note: You can always register with the free Dynamics 365 Mentoring programme on CRM Boutique and get help from a Dynamics 365 expert as your career Mentor





the Free Microsoft Dynamics 365 Mentoring Programme home is now: CRM Boutique

The Free #MSDyn365 Mentoring programme now has a home in the CRM Boutique website:

If you are interested in joining the programme and you satisfy the above conditions, please register through CRM Boutique ( Alternatively, you can  connect to me directly on LinkedIn ( or via my blog: When you register, please include a summary of your current current status and what you expect to achieve from the programme, then I’ll be back with a proposed Mentor and more details on the programme approach. The programme is subject to availability and we do not guarantee all applicants a mentor.

Free Dynamics 365 Mentoring programme #MSDyn365 for IT enthusiasts interested in becoming Microsoft Dynamics Professionals

Have you ever felt that you need a career advice, guidance on learning resources or an expert opinion on which direction to take with your Dynamics 365 career?

As a way to give back to the Microsoft Dynamics Community, myself and few other Dynamics 365 veterans are starting a Microsoft Dynamics 365 Mentoring programme to help individuals move into the Dynamics 365 market and grow their skills and experience in the area. Microsoft Dynamics 365 (or Dynamics CRM until recently) is a rising star in the Cloud Technology market and is becoming more and more prominent amongst Digital Transformation Platforms. For more than 12 years Microsoft has been investing in the Dynamics platform and growing its market share regularly every year.

There are currently lots of opportunities for aspiring and proactive individuals who want to move into the Microsoft Dynamics 365 (CRM and ERP) domain. You may be a fresh/recent graduate, IT enthusiast or a consultant who has been focusing on other CRM or ERP technology platforms (such as SAP, Salesforce, Oracle, Sage, etc.) and you want to move to Dynamics 365 market and get a job in this field. If this is the case, this Dynamics 365 mentoring programme is especially designed for you. A number of Dynamics 365 industry leaders who have been working in this domain for more than 12 years in some cases, are happy to help and guide you, free of charge. Mentoring is a rewarding experience for both the mentee but also the mentor. Mentoring will be done remotely over a Skype call, emails, etc. or in some cases, a face to face meeting in a public café may be an option at a later stage.

At a high level, Mentors will be able to provide Mentees with the following:

  • Career advice on which graduate programmes, job opportunities or career path to pursue in the Dynamics 365 domain.
  • Learning advice. For example: Which sections of the Dynamics 365 Technology Platform are key to focus on or have shortage of consultants, etc.
  • Give Mentees Pointers towards resources for Dynamics 365 learning and development.

What the mentoring programme does NOT provide is:

  • Provide Technical or Functional advice on how to build a solution or resolve a problem – please use Dynamics forums to ask these questions
  • A way to ask Mentors for jobs in their companies. They will let you know if they have an opportunity for you but please don’t use the programme as a way to ask for a job.
  • This is not a free Dynamics 365 Training opportunity. This is a free career advice and mentoring provided by experienced consultants as a way to give back to the community.

The programme is currently only available for mentees currently residing in the UK and Europe who are interested to move into the Dynamics 365 CRM market and industry domain. Free resources and guidance on available training is provided as part of the programme.

If you are interested in joining the programme and you satisfy the above conditions, please register through CRM Boutique ( Alternatively, you can  connect to me directly on LinkedIn ( or via my blog: When you register, please include a summary of your current current status and what you expect to achieve from the programme, then I’ll be back with a proposed Mentor and more details on the programme approach. The programme is subject to availability and we do not guarantee all applicants a mentor.

Looking forward to your messages.