CRM 2015 has been announced. Fall Release 2014.


Before you say not again!, CRM 2015 has been announced and should be available by years end. From my initial testing, I can tell you we have reached a very stable, almost turning point with our common CRM platform. Now, like the ERP systems, we are going to see functionality enhancements not system re-designs, while keeping the same interface with some small enhancements around performance and usability. Multi-entity search now available out of the box! 🙂

The CRM team has really delivered, and is keeping the momentum by delivering today. A great way to sum up this new releases to others, its like CRM 2013 R2, but since we had the time, we changed the name too! 🙂

Press Release:
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/press/2014/sep14/09-16crmpr.aspx
Bob Stutz’s Blog:
https://community.dynamics.com/crm/b/crmconnection/archive/2014/09/16/marketing-sales-service-one-cloud-for-all.aspx
Customer Center Get Ready Page:
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics/crm-customer-center/get-ready-for-the-next-release.aspx


Cloud Offerings: A Gartner Prospective and Concerto Recommendation!


Tribridge has been selected as one of the cloud partners doing Cloud Right. Tribridge’s Concerto Cloud has also won Microsoft Dynamics ISV of the year 2013!  Learn more about the report here!

[gview file=”http://cognettacloud.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/CloudOfferings-Gartner-Perspective.pdf”]

More about Tribridge’s Concerto Private Cloud..
http://www.concertocloud.com/
 


CRM 2013 Upgrade Flurry has Started! Upgrade Checklist


Microsoft has begun switching over many of our Microsoft Dynamics CRM customers to CRM 2013.

Here’s some things you should know about the overall process:

1. Ensure you have another environment (test/dev) that matches your CRM production setup.
This is a best practice by far. Not having a test environment, makes troubleshooting and changes in your production environment almost impossible to manage. This is no different for which deployment model you have choose: Online, On-Premise or Partner Hosted.

Ensure this environment has a copy of the latest customizations, solutions, ISV’s etc. Data can also be replicated from production, using tools like the CRM 2011 Instance Adapter or tool like Scribe.

If you do not have a CRM 2011 instance for test/dev. already, its now too late to create a new one as only CRM 2013 instances are available as of Nov 4th. You will have no choice but to create a test CRM 2013 trial and import your 2011 solution which if fully supported. This will provide you with what your system will look like after the upgrade.

You should also push out your production CRM Online date as far as possible. Today, the last date available to upgrade is 2/14/2014. For other implementations, you still have some time :).

2. Understanding your Environment
Ensuring that your understand all the components that have been deployed with your CRM system is critical to the success of your upgrade. You will need to review all your Solutions, Web Resources and Custom Code to ensure that your and your ISV’s are prepared for the upgrade.

Microsoft has provided a tool to help pin point this issues.
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30151

The information provided by the tool will be a roadmap for your upgrade. Check with ISV’s website’s for their plans in regards to CRM 2013.

3. Fixes Issues
It’s very important to record and fix your issues and test them fully before User Acceptance Training (UAT). Errors with the application can quickly kill your user adoption. If you’re not ready, wait! Once the issues have been resolved your ready for testing!

4. Testing your Upgrade
Once you have all the customizations, solutions and errors fixed in your development/test server, you can now perform your User Acceptance Training (UAT) and overall product training. Please note that even with no errors, your users will need training for CRM 2013’s completely redesigned interface.

Make sure you have a strong test plan, allowing users to fully test all of their daily functions. This should also include processes they don’t often run. This should include the Outlook and Web Clients as well as desktop versions Win7/Win8 as well as Office versions (2007/2010/2013) or the combination that is being deployed by your organization.

Once you have signoff, you will want to take the solutions and ISV’s files and you will need to deployment them in the production environment the night of Production Go-Live.

5. Planning your Upgrade
Once you have completed your testing, you can now select to move in your production upgrade date from the CRM Online System. This will allow you to choose the next available date. Once the upgrade starts, you will not be able to access the system for a few hours, and as long as 24 hours.


CRM 2013: Graphical Understanding of the New License Model


We have been fielding a ton of questions in regards to the new Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Licensing Model. I thought it would be helpful to share some licensing details:crmonlinelicensingdetails

So we have three new license types along with new costs.  Specially around costs, lets talk about two great new options INCLUDED with the new cost:

1. Mobility – Microsoft is going to give you mobility licenses for your Windows 8 and IPAD tablets out of the box. Q2 2014 Roadmap shows additional devices for Windows Phone, IPhone and Android devices.
** Note: Android devices might work out of the box, but will not be supported in the first release.

2. Free Instance – Microsoft is providing another free instance for development and test, which will be accessible by all your production user licenses. This is also following best practice to have an environment to develop, test and train in.

Another feature of the new license structure is to give the flexibility for different types of users. This allows the organization the flexibility to pick and choose licensing by user. This also introduces the most amount of questions! 🙂

Here’s the key – If the user is creating Sales Entities (Accounts, Contacts, Opportunities etc.) then they need the Professional License. If the user is a backoffice user only updating (Not creating these records), then they could use the basic license. (UPDATE: it appears creating account and contact records can be handled using the Basic License – Thanks Adam Vero for bring this to my attention). For XRM applications not making use of the main these records types can really benefit from the Essential license to access Customized Entities.

Here’s a great visual chart to determine what each of the licenses provide to help you choose which one. Once upgrade, the customer will be responsible to change the license types in the O365 portal after the upgrade.

crm2013licensebreakdown


License and Mobile Changes in store for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013


Some more details emerged today about CRM Online License Model and Mobile Options for CRM 2013..

We plan to offer the following competitively priced license options for our next release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online:

Professional ($65*) For the core CRM users, who need the full capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics CRM including sales force automation as well as marketing and customer care.  We believe most users will find this license best fits their needs.

Basic ($30*)  For sales, service and marketing users who need to manage accounts, contacts, leads, cases and access custom applications as well as for business analysts who require reporting capabilities.

Essential ($15*) For light-weight users who need to access custom applications developed in house or by our vast network of partners.

(*) CRM Online list price shown per user per month in USD, actual pricing might vary by geography. Other fees may apply for add-on services such as additional storage, testing and production instances. Prices are exclusive of any fees you may incur to procure Internet connectivity.

More details from the original blog can be found here:

http://community.dynamics.com/crm/b/crmconnection/archive/2013/07/08/introducing-a-more-flexible-and-personal-way-to-buy-microsoft-dynamics-crm-online.aspx#.UdriBPm1GZE

 

 

 


Gearing up for Orion.. Are you ready to take the plunge?


The Microsoft CRM Product Team has been hard at work getting ready to deliver CRM “Orion” to the masses. We have heard we will receive the preview releases to begin testing very soon – (NDA-Safe :). We have also heard that Microsoft support was also training on the Orion Release. From Convergence 2013, there’s a lot of items we need to consider when getting ready Orion!

Remember, if you’re running CRM 3/4 you will still have to upgrade to CRM 2011 BEFORE moving to ORION.

Here’s my short list:

1. CRM namespace (jscript with crm.XXX) will no longer work and has been fully depreciated.)

2. Design Considerations for implementing the Process Flow UI – have you seen the process flow
UI available with (CRM Online code name Polaris)? If not, setup a trial or review my Convergence
debrief for screen shots. Sales users absolutely love the new Process Flow UI, great performance gains,
auto saves and one place instead of navigating to leads, accounts and contacts when working on an
opportunity. But consider how your business process can be revised in your existing CRM solution
to take advantage of this feature and the new form design. I expect that new features would only
be available to these new forms similar to the previous CRM Online Polaris release.

3. Consideration for running on SQL 2012 – CRM 2011 supports both 2008/2012 but for your new launch
consider migrating your servers to the latest releases.

4. Consideration for Windows Server 2012 – CRM 2011 supports both 2008/2012 but for your new launch
consider migrating your servers to the latest releases. ADFS 2.1 is also provided for Windows Server 2012,
but be currently not compatible with Online to OnPremise ADFS Federation if needed. (Use ADFS 2.0).

5. Remember to setup your test and development environments first! You will want to completely test this
rollout before deploying to your production servers. Also keep in mind that you need support your existing
CRM installation so a new development environment would be a good choice while you work thru testing Orion.

Stay tuned for more exciting announcements, screen shares and updates as we get closer!


Microsoft Convergence 2013 is only 3 days away!


Microsoft’s Convergence 2013 is only 7 days away! Starting March 17, 2013 in New Orleans.

I’ve posted my schedule for those attending! You can always find me in the lunch room at the Tribridge Tables. I’ve love to meet with everyone following my blogs and posts! Please stop by and introduce yourself.

Monday:
11:00–2:00 Lunch (look for blue table cloths)
12:00 Best Practices in ADFS Claims Authentication – Chris Cognetta Tribridge Presenting room 265
1:30 CRM 2011 & SharePoint – Gus Gonzalez and Chris Cognetta
3:00 Technology Roundtable – Upgrades – Chris Cognetta
6:00–9:00 Welcome Reception
(Tribridge Customers Come by our Concerto Booth for goodie bag.  We will be wearing black shirts.)

Tuesday:
12:00–2:00 Lunch (look for blue table cloths and grey shirts)
5:00 Ask the MVP’s CRM – Chris Cognetta from Tribridge

Wednesday:
12:00–2:00 Lunch (look for blue table cloths and blue shirts)
2:00 Ask the MVP’s CRM – Chris Cognetta from Tribridge presenting
6:00-10:00 Tribridge Customer Only Party

Thursday:
11:00am-2:00pm Concerto Cloud Booth by Tribridge
4:00pm-5:00pm Improving Healthcare with CRM & HealthVault