D365 In Focus: Transform Your Organization with Sales Tool Belt [VIDEO]

In this Dynamics 365 In Focus video, Venkat walks through the Sales Tool Belt app created by PowerObjects. We love to create apps and add-ons based on customer feedback and functionality requests, and the Sales Tool Belt is no different! We created this app to give sales teams easier access to their CRM information while they are traveling. It has a host of useful and convenient features for those of you on the go. Watch this video to learn more!

Introducing Playbooks: How to use them and how they work

Released in the October 2018 update, the Playbook tool in Dynamics 365 for Sales is designed to enforce a series of defined activities that should be triggered in the event of specific scenario, or within the context of a process. Click here for a more comprehensive definition of playbooks. The tool enables the capability of automating sales activities, and this automation will help sales teams streamline their sales processes. Let’s take a look…

Requirements:

Once the two requirements are met, here’s how it works:

1. From the Sales Hub sitemap select App Settings.

2. Under Playbook Management heading select Playbook categories.

playbook

3. Next, we’ll create a Playbook Category. Playbook categories are used to classify different playbooks. For this example, we’ll create a category called Playbook Category Example.

4. Once the Playbook Category has been created, we return to Sales Hub > App Settings > Playbook Management. This time select Playbook templates to create a new template.

playbook

Playbook templates is where much of the configuration for your playbook will take place:

For the purposes of this walkthrough, we will leave this as Yes.

playbook

5. In the Select record types that this playbook applies to section, use the arrows to move your desired records from the Available column to the Selected column. Note that currently the Playbook feature is only available only for Opportunities, Leads, Quotes, Orders, and Invoices. In our example, we will select only the Opportunity record type.

playbook

6. In the Playbook Activities section, click on + Add activity > Appointment to open the Quick create: Playbook Appointment form.

playbook

7. In the Quick create: Playbook Appointment form, enter the following information:

8. Before Playbook Template Example will be available to users, it must be published. On the command bar, click Publish.

playbook

9. This playbook is now available to be launched from the command bar of any opportunity record, as shown below:

playbook

10. All of the available playbooks will be listed on the Playbook templates screen. Select the one you want to open and click Launch.

You’ll receive the following confirmation that the playbook launched successfully:

11. To view the activities created from launching the playbook, select the Playbooks tab on the Opportunity from which you launched the Playbook, as shown. (Alternatively, select the related tab and click Playbooks.)

playbook

12. On the Playbook Associated View screen, open the desired playbook – in our example, we’ll open Playbook Template Example.

13. This Playbook record displays all the details about the Playbook and its associated activities.

playbook

In the Playback activities section, all activities related to the playbook are visible. If you mark these activities Completed, that status will be visible here.

Note: You may be wondering why the activities are recorded against the Playbook record as opposed to the Opportunity record. Recall that this adjustable setting is determined by your Track Progress selection in Step 4. Had we selected No instead of Yes, activities would have been recorded on the Opportunity record and displayed on the timeline of the Opportunity record.

14. Once all activities are completed for the Playbook, it must be marked as completed using the Complete as button. In our case, we’ll select Successful.

playbook

The Playback will now be marked as successful and set to read-only.

As stated at the beginning, playbooks have a lot of potential to streamline sales activities. So, if you’re running Dynamics 365 for Sales, you’ll want to learn about them as soon as you can.

Happy Dynamics 365'ing!

Bridging Logic with IFTTT and Flow

In a previous post, we demonstrated how to set up an alert that would activate a pool light when Olympic superstar Michael Phelps sent us an email. In this post, we will find a way to be alerted when we receive an email from Mr. Phelps in a personal Gmail account. Not just any alert, though – we want all the lights in the house to turn on.

We thought it would be great to do this codeless and use Microsoft Flow and connect it to a Wink Hub at home. However, Flow does not currently offer a service to connect to Wink Hub; however, IFTTT does provide this service. However (again), IFTTT and Flow do not directly connect. Fortunately, they both play well with Google Sheets (Sheets). So, to address this challenge, Sheets will be the bridge between IFTTT and Flow. To achieve this, we will build an IFTTT Applet and a single Flow to both work with the same Google Sheet. One will listen for changes to the Sheet and the other will make the change to the Sheet.

To summarize the challenge:

To make it happen, my prerequisites are as follows:

1. Gmail and Google Drive Accounts (free version)

2. Microsoft Flow Account (free version)

3. IFTTT Account (free version)

4. Dynamics 365 Sales (paid service)

5. Wink Hub (hardware investment)

To make it happen, my prework is as follows:

1. Create a Google Sheet to work with

2. Connect Google Sheets to Flow and IFTTT

3. Create a Wink Shortcut that turns on a group of lights

4. Connect Gmail to Flow

5. Connect Dynamics 365 Sales to Flow

IFTTT Service Steps: Creating the Listener for changes to the Sheet

1. Create "New Applet"

2. For "If," search for and select Google Sheets as Service

ifttt

3. Choose "New row added to a sheet" as a Trigger

ifttt

4. Enter the Folder and Filename of the Google Sheet

5. For "That" Search for and Choose "Wink" as Service

ifttt

6. Select "Wink Shortcuts" as an Action

7. Select "Activate Shortcut"

8. Select your shortcut that turns on your lights

9. Click "Create Action"

10. Click "Finish"

Now that the above is in place, it's time to manually test adding a new row to our Google Sheet and watch all the lights in the house turn on. From there, we need to create our Flow to listen for a new Gmail Message and trigger a row insert into our Google Sheet. In addition, we also want to create a Lead in CRM based on the sender of the email (just to ensure we capture this hot lead).

Flow Service Steps: Creating the change to the Sheet and Lead in D365 Sales

1. Create a "New Flow from Blank"

2. Search for and select Gmail in Triggers

3. Within the Trigger, select "Advanced" and enter Michael's email in the from email (or some other unique way to identify Michael Phelps)

ifttt

4. Click New Step > Add an action

ifttt

5. Search for and select "Dynamics 365"

6. Click Create a new record

ifttt

7. Select your:

ifttt

8. Click New step > Add an action

ifttt

9. Search for and Select "Google Sheets"

10. Enter your:

ifttt

11. Click Save

Now we will trigger a test to ensure the Flow executes correctly and inserts a row into our Google Sheet. To do so, click on "Test" within the upper right corner of the Flow. (Note: I updated the email address clause to use my work email during this test.)

Below is the successfully completed test in Flow:

ifttt

Below is the outcome within the Google Sheet, resulting from the Flow test:

ifttt

We did it! Flow will listen to my Gmail "from" and update the Google Sheet. The IFTTT service will then listen for a row to be added to my Google Sheet and, when it happens, turn on all the lights in the house no matter the time of day.

In conclusion, we think we can agree that this scenario is not likely: Michael probably won't email (but if he does…) However, let's not allow the unlikeliness of this scenario take away from the key learning point: we can overcome any challenge using the technology we have on hand. We were able to connect Gmail to D365 Sales for lead generation, link actions between disparate logical systems, and have fun along the way – all at a low cost and without custom code. Flow and IFTTT are indeed great tools alone, but in this case, they are even more powerful together.

Be sure to subscribe to our blog for more tips and tricks!

Happy D365ing!

Dynamics 365 Predictive Lead Scoring

If you're using Dynamics 365 for Sales, you may be familiar with the Predictive Lead Scoring (PLS) feature. It scores all open Leads based on an administrator-configurable model that helps salespersons prioritize and qualify potential Leads, thus hopefully increasing conversion rates. If you're not yet familiar with this feature, today's blog is for you! We're going to describe this feature and show you how to configure it and interpret the results. Enjoy!

PLS comes as a part of the Sales AI offering that is fed from a cloud-based predictive machine learning model from Dynamics Customers Insights. A business administrator can define scoring ranges in the model and apply the model to the get scores for all open Leads in the system. And just in case the business administrator prefers to re-score the Leads with current data, the Retrain Model option will help obtain updated scores. Yep, they thought of everything.

Configuration prerequisites

Configuration steps

predictive lead scoring

predictive lead scoring

predictive lead scoring

Lead scoring – output

predictive lead scoring

Lead ScoreRepresented value of the Lead where highest value symbolizes the highest likelihood of successful conversion.
Lead Score TrendSpecifies the Lead trending direction, such as Improving (up arrow), Declining (down arrow), Steady (right arrow), or Not enough info. These trends are displayed by comparing the present lead score with the previous score.
Lead GradeRepresented grade of the Lead (Grade A, B, C, and D) where Grade A symbolizes the highest likelihood of successful conversion.

predictive lead scoringpredictive lead scoring

Basic InfoBasic details: Lead Score, Lead Trend, and Lead Grade
Top ReasonsTop 10 reasons for the Lead being scored as it was scored, which allows for further analysis to improvise the scoring.
Give FeedbackProvides the ability for a User to provide feedback on the current score by indicating Expected score and associated comments.

Points to note

Hopefully, you can see how this will benefit your organization. After all, pretty much every organization in every line of business has Leads – the trick is getting valuable insight into the quality of those Leads. And the Predictive Lead Scoring within Dynamics 365 gives you just that.

Don't forget to subscribe to our blog for more Dynamics 365 tips and tricks.

Happy Lead Scoring and Dynamics 365'ing!

Q&A with Construction Company New to Dynamics 365

The Christman Company (Christman) is one of the largest construction contractors in the US, with ten office locations across the country and over 500 employees. As the company grew, the use of spreadsheets and multiple digital platforms was not providing a complete 360-degree view of customers, sales processes, or ongoing projects. Christman identified a need for a centralized platform to provide complete visibility into opportunities and data assets as well as capabilities to track sales processes and manage contacts.

We recently sat down with the team at Christman, including Angela Bailey, Vice President of Brand Strategy and Communications, and Russell Knorp, Application Developer, to hear how Microsoft Dynamics 365 has transformed their business processes [read the full case study here.]

dynamics 365

Why did you seek out a CRM platform?

"We knew we had data in different silos spread across multiple platforms, but we didn't have a centralized way to manage our contacts or opportunities, so we did our research and knew we wanted a CRM product."

How did you choose Dynamics 365?

"One thing about Dynamics 365 that I've appreciated so far has been the ability to integrate data from other systems. The fact that it has the API well defined makes integrating easy. One of our core values is creating lasting relationships, and Dynamics 365 helps us manage those relationships, long before a project actually emerges."

How has Dynamics 365 impacted your business?

"We're able to capture the history of an opportunity and the progression to close a lot better than we used to. We have also been able to integrate and eliminate one of our silos of data in order to look at all of our information and see where we are at with our open opportunities list. We can quickly sort by region and pull out highlights of what's happening."

"From the management perspective, it's been really great to have a dashboard of information that our business development leader can bring up for us to review together. We have company-wide management team meetings where we can look at what we call our 'grow dashboard', which surfaces information about what we have in our sales pipeline and the active milestones for our open opportunities. Additionally, reporting on our sales activities and progress used to be a manual process for us and that's where Power BI came in. Our reports are now automated and much easier to process."

How did you choose PowerObjects as your partner?

"One reason that we came to PowerObjects was their specialization in CRM. It being PowerObjects' primary line of business and focus was huge for us. I don't think we could have gotten through the last development without the expertise of the two PowerObjects analysts that worked with us and our sales representatives' expertise in guiding us towards the right overall solution for our business."

To learn about the next steps The Christman Company wants to take with Dynamics 365 and to read their full case study, click here. For more customer success videos and stories, be sure to explore our Customer Success page.

Happy D365'ing!

Business Process Flow Designer in Dynamics 365

Business Process Flows (BPF) in Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales are a powerful tools to guide users through their organization's processes. In this blog, we will discuss the Business Process Flow designer.

The designer helps system administrators/customizers/super users to easily create a BPF. The designer has a drag and drop UI, which is very helpful when needing to create complex Business Process Flows quickly.

Here is what the designer looks like! It has three main areas: the BPF canvas, Components Panel, and the Action Bar or Menu.

business process flow designer

The designer canvas also has some interesting features: the minimap and fit to canvas options. The minimap gives you the ability to see how complex or branched your overall business process flow is. Also, a dark grey box in the minimap area depicts the current part of the BPF as shown in the canvas.

The Fit to Canvas button is very helpful when you have created a business process which has numerous stages that don't fit into the current canvas view, but you want look at the whole process in detail. Fit to Canvas automatically fits the whole business process flow within the canvas.

business process flow designer

Creating and Editing BPF through the BPF Designer

When you click on a new business process flow, the BPF designer opens with an initial single stage already created. You can define the composition of this stage by adding a data step or a workflow and start creating a process that you need.

To add a data step or a workflow to the required stage, select the stage in the BPF designer canvas. Click on the required composition element block on the right-hand side panel and drag it into the canvas.

business process flow designer

Adding Components to the Business Process Flow

If you want to add more stages or conditions to the business process flow, then click on the required component on the right-hand side panel and drag it to the canvas. You will see "+" sign highlighted in the canvas. Drop the flow component at the required place and update the properties of this component.

business process flow designer

You can also add components using the Actions Bar at the top of Canvas. Click on "+ Add" sign at the top, and select your component that you want to add. You would see a highlighted area in the canvas with "+" sign. Click on the "+" sign where you want to place the required component.

business process flow designer

There are other buttons on the Actions Bar which help you edit or update the Business process flow effortlessly.

You can cut or copy the stage or condition from one place and paste to another in the same business process flow. This is often helpful when you are creating a multiple branched business process flow where some of the stages might be same.

Snapshot saves the whole business process flow in a picture format. This feature is helpful when you want to document your business process flow or share this process outside of Dynamics 365.

business process flow designer

Need more information on business process flows? Check out these blogs:

Happy Dynamics 365'ing!

The Center for Creative Leadership: Customer Success Story

PowerObjects partnered with The Center for Creative Leadership to implement Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales to better align their sales and marketing efforts. Learn more about CCL’s story and discover how they found success with Dynamics 365.

The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL®) is a top-ranked, global provider of leadership development. By leveraging the power of leadership to drive results that matter most to clients, CCL transforms individual leaders, teams, organizations and society.

CCL derives funding primarily from tuition; product sales and publications; royalties; and fees for services. In addition, CCL seeks grants and donations from corporations, foundations, and individuals in support of their educational mission to advance the understanding, practice, and development of leadership for the benefit of society worldwide. Through this funding, CCL annually serves more than 30,000 individuals and 2,000 organizations including more than 80 Fortune 100 companies across the public, private, nonprofit, and education sectors.

As the organization continues to grow CCL needed a unified platform that could scale with their organization and allow their sales and marketing teams to work more efficiently. With the help of Dynamics 365 for Sales, PowerObjects’ very own PowerPack Add-Ons and the Stack of Microsoft Applications, CCL was not only able to build a better process of tracking leads, but gained additional insight behind the data, helping them produce more qualified leads.

“I can't imagine embarking on this integration without PowerObjects as our partner,” stated Jennifer Bradley, Manager of Global Marketing Operations at CCL. “Because they understand us, they understand Dynamics, and they have experience with all our other systems as well, I am really excited about the prospect of what that's going to bring to our organization.”

As a member of our PowerSuccess program, CCL has access to a dedicated CRM admin to assist in planning and supporting a long- term plan for success. Their PowerSuccess engineer worked with the CCL team from the beginning to understand the business needs specific to their organization and helped create a road map to ensure they got the most out of their Dynamics 365 for Sales implementation.

One of the many benefits of being a member of PowerSuccess is to access to our entire library of PowerPack Add-Ons at no cost. From PowerAutoNumber to PowerGrid and most recently PowerWebForm, CCL leverages many of our add-ons to further enhance the functionality in their CRM.

Read the entire CCL Customer Success Story now!

Happy Dynamics 365’ing!

How to Create a Doughnut Chart to View Campaign Leads

In today's blog, we are going to demonstrate how to create a doughnut chart in the Sales Hub that shows what types of campaigns produce the most leads.

Add Campaign Source to the Campaign View

1. Navigate to the Campaign Leads View.

doughnut chart

2. Click on View in the Command bar (it might be under the (…) more commands menu)

3. Click on Add Columns. In the Record Type drop-down select Source Campaign (Campaign). Click the checkbox to the left of Campaign Type. Click OK. Click Save and Close.

doughnut chart

Creating a Doughnut Chart

1. Navigate to Settings > Customizations > Customize the System.

doughnut chart

2. Navigate to the Lead entity, click on Charts and click on New.

doughnut chart

3. Click on Doughnut for the chart type, select the Campaign Leads View. Type in a name your view in the field with the "Enter chart name here" default text. (For example, "Number of Leads by Campaign Type").

doughnut chart
4. Navigate to the Leads section of Sales Hub. Select the Campaign Leads view. Click on Show Chart.

doughnut chart

5. In the chart view, select the Number of Leads by Campaign Type (or whatever you named your view). You can expand the chart by clicking the box on the corner.

doughnut chart

There you have it! For more information on customizing charts see The CRM Book or our blog.

Happy Dynamics 365'ing!

Spring Update Webinar Series for Dynamics 365

Dynamics 365 is an amazing tool, but that doesn't mean there's no room for improvements. The creative minds at Microsoft have once again found ways to make the platform even better! In this Spring Update webinar series for Dynamics 365, we're pulling in our Dynamics 365 experts from around the globe to showcase the most exciting changes. From user control setting to Dynamics 365 for Marketing (yes, it's finally here!), we're eager to show how Dynamics 365's improved ERP and CRM functionality will take businesses to new heights. Read on to learn about each session. To register, click each individual session's "Register Now" link.

 

What's New for the Admin?

May 10, 2018 | 9:00am-9:30am CST – If you are an Administrator or Developer within Dynamics 365 for Sales or Finance and Operations, the Spring 2018 release showcases a number of changes and new features that are sure to excite. Register now to learn about new features around Extensibility, Servicing, Deployment, and Compliance. This session will highlight some of the biggest changes and how to take advantage of them.

This session is in the past.  Click here to watch the on-demand recording.

What's New for Customer Service?

May 15, 2018 | 9:00am-9:30am CST – The Spring 2018 release of Dynamics 365 for Customer Service delivers investments in user experience, performance, developer productivity, and compliance across the Customer Service Hub, Dynamics 365 Portal, Voice of the Customer (VoC), and Unified Service Desk. This session will focus specifically on the case and knowledge management capabilities, portal experience, and VoC survey enhancements.

This session is in the past.  Click here to watch the on-demand recording.

Business Intelligence for Dynamics 365

May 17, 2018 | 9:00am-9:30am CST – We continue to receive enhancements monthly to the Power BI desktop and Service capabilities. Several pre-built app templates have been available through AppSource for Dynamics Sales and Service, Financials, Process analytics, and others. The Spring release is offering new templates and Analytics for Voice of the Customer, Insight Apps for Sales and Service, and the Common Data Service. Excel continues to play an important BI role with additional enhancements. This webinar will explore and demo many of these exciting new capabilities.

This session is in the past.  Click here to watch the on-demand recording.

What's New in Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations for the Finance End User?

May 22, 2018 | 9:00am-9:30am CST – The Spring 2018 release of Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations delivers enhancements in system performance, servicing, reliability, and extensibility. It also offers new ways of integrating with other Dynamics 365 products and adds to the suite of business productivity tools. This session will focus specifically on changes to business productivity, integrations, and compliance as it relates to the finance end user.

This session is in the past.  Click here to watch the on-demand recording.

What's New in Dynamics 365 for Talent?

May 24, 2018 | 9:00am-9:30am CST – Take a look into new capabilities for Dynamics 365 for Talent, added during Business Applications Spring 2018 Launch. These updates help you engage, collaborate with, and empower employees while maintaining your organization's culture.  As we keep people at the center of digital transformation this session will focus on the updates to the Core HR area.  We'll also take a look at how HR professionals can lead the way as our workforce increasingly becomes more mobile.

This session is in the past.  Click here to watch the on-demand recording.

The Common Data Service and Dynamics 365

May 31, 2018 | 9:00am-9:30am CST – The Spring 2018 release brings about a significate change to Power Apps and more specifically, the Common Data Service - dividing them into two areas. The two areas have been named Common Data Service for Apps and Common Data Service for Analytics. This session will focus on what's new in the Common Data Services for Apps and the new integration touchpoints including Dynamics 365 for Sales, Finance and Operations, Talent, and Project Service Automation. Register now to learn more.

This session is in the past.  Click here to watch the on-demand recording.

What's New in Finance and Operations for the Operations End User?

June 5, 2018 | 9:00am-9:30am CST – The Spring 2018 release of Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations delivers enhancements in system performance, servicing, reliability, and extensibility. It also offers new ways of integrating with other Dynamics 365 products and adds to the suite of business productivity tools. This session will focus specifically on changes to Project Management improvements, Supply Chain enhancements, embedded Power Apps in workspaces and forms, and custom fields as they relate to the operations end user.

This session is in the past.  Click here to watch the on-demand recording.

What's New in Power Apps and Flow?

June 7, 2018 | 9:00am-9:30am CST – The Spring 2018 release brought about some big changes to the Business Application Platform including Power Apps , Flow, and the Common Data Service. This session will focus specifically on changes to Power Apps for Applications and Flow. Our speaker will dive into how these tools are modernizing business processes across Dynamics 365 applications while offering up low and no code solutions to help transform how people work.

This session is in the past.  Click here to watch the on-demand recording.

It's Here! Dynamics 365 for Marketing

June 12, 2018 | 9:00am-9:30am CST – This session will cover an introduction into the new Dynamics 365 for Marketing app. It will include Customer Journeys, Creating Segments, how this feeds into Voice of the Customer Surveys, and more! We will take a deep dive into Customer Journeys themselves and how to get insights from the customer interactions and behaviors. The session will also explore how you can grade your leads generated from Marketing activity feeding straight back into your sales life cycle within Dynamics 365.

This session is in the past.  Click here to watch the on-demand recording.

What's New in Dynamics 365 for Sales?

June 14, 2018 | 9:00am-9:30am CST – The focus of the Spring Release 18 for Sales is all about intelligence and analytics for your sales team. The updates allow them to stay better engaged with your customers, send the right messages at the right time, and increase their productivity. In this session, learn about the powerful embedded intelligence features of Relationship Assistant, Auto Capture, Email Engagement, and the enhanced integration with LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

This session is in the past.  Click here to watch the on-demand recording.

Happy Dynamics 365'ing!

Quotes: How to Display an Image Stored in Dynamics 365 on an SSRS Report

Many organizations use Dynamics 365 for Sales for creating Quotes and providing an emailed or hard copy document to their customers. Dynamics 365 for Sales has a robust Quoting functionality that is out of the box, but some organizations may want a tailored document that meets their unique needs and the needs of their customers. This is where SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) comes in! SSRS allows the creation of reports that can be generated from Dynamics 365 data using Fetch XML or SQL queries.

In this blog post, we will cover a requirement to display the Quote owner's signature on the Quote document. Fortunately, this can be done using SSRS and notes/attachments in Dynamics 365. There are many resources online for using SSRS and Dynamics 365 together, so that will not be covered in this post.

Step 1:

Create an entity in Dynamics 365 enabled for Notes that has a relationship to the Quote entity or an entity related to the Quote. This entity will store the user's signature and show whose signature it is. To store who the signature is for, you can use the Owner field or create a new lookup field to the User entity. In the below screenshot, we use a new custom lookup field, po_userid.

SSRS report

In the example above, the entity used to store signature information is called "Report Localizations." We have an additional option set field to identify that this record is for storing a User's signature.

Step 2:

On your existing SSRS report, add a new dataset with FetchXML that queries this entity.

<fetch version="1.0" mapping="logical">

  <entity name="quote">

    <order attribute="quoteid" descending="false" />

    <filter>

      <condition attribute="quoteid" operator="eq" value="@CRM_QuoteID" />

    </filter>

    <link-entity name="systemuser" from="systemuserid" to="owninguser" alias="sysUser">

      <link-entity name="po_reportlocalization" from="po_userid" to="systemuserid" alias="l">

       <link-entity name="annotation" from="objectid" to="po_reportlocalizationid" alias="aa" link-type="outer">

           <attribute name="documentbody" />

       </link-entity>

     </link-entity>

    </link-entity>

  </entity>

</fetch>

The above example passes in the quoteid parameter of this example report. From the Quote entity, it links to the User entity through the Owner field on the Quote. From User, it links to the Report Localization entity and finally to the Annotation (Note) entity where the image lives.

Step 3:

Add an Image control to your report. The Name and ToolTip can be whatever you like. The Image source should be "Database" and the MIME Type should be the file type of whatever image you added as an attachment. The expression should be similar to:

=Lookup("Image_UserSIgnature",Fields!l_po_label.Value,Fields!aa-documentbody.Value, "LocalizationImages")

This expression will lookup Report Localization records with the Label = ImageUserSignature then display the attached image file.

Voila! Looking for more Dynamics 365 related tips and tricks? Be sure to subscribe to our blog!

Happy Dynamics 365'ing!

Tips for Organizing Workflows in Dynamics 365 for Sales

If you are using workflows to help control data and processes in Dynamics 365, you may end up having several workflows for a specific entity, like Opportunity. Also, you may have several workflows that are child workflows of a specific workflow trigger, for example, On Create of a record or On Change of a specific field.

It is a good idea to name the workflow in a way that describes what it does in broad terms like "Assign Opportunity to Owner of the Account." But what if this was a child workflow to a workflow that started On Create of the Opportunity that looked at other criteria before determining to assign the opportunity to the Account owner? In this case, we recommend using a naming and numbering convention to group Parent-Child workflows together so that when looking at a list of workflows the user can see which ones are related to each other and under what trigger.

Another recommendation is to include the entity name or an abbreviation of the entity name near the beginning when naming the workflow. This is because when doing solution deployments from a development environment to a test or production environment, the selection list for Processes (workflows) doesn't show to which entity the process is related, and when you have dozens of processes to look through this becomes very helpful.

Additionally, for entities that have multiple processes based on different triggers, including the event trigger in the name is helpful.

Finally, knowing the sequence within a group of related workflows is a good idea, so some form of a numbering system can help when included in the naming.

For example, let's say we have a set of steps that we want to happen within each stage of an opportunity. For each new stage, we could set the opportunity probability and perhaps assign some tasks and send emails. The tasks and emails may be broken out into child workflows called from a parent workflow.

This diagram shows how a set of parent-child workflows might be related.

This is how one might name such a group of related workflows to keep them organized:

Parent Workflow that is triggered when the opportunity stage changes: Opp On Chg Stage 1.0

First child workflow called from parent: Opp On Chg Stage 1.1 – Stage 1 send email and set probability

Next child workflow: Opp On Chg Stage 1.2 – Stage 2 send email, assign task and set probability

And so on.

Your Process View List, when sorted on Name, might then look like this:
Opp On Chg Stage 1.0

Opp On Chg Stage 1.1 – Stage 1 send email and set probability (child to 1.0)

Opp On Chg Stage 1.2 – Stage 2 send email, assign task and set probability (child to 1.0)
Opp On Chg Stage 1.3 – Stage 3 send email, set probability, assign to closing department (child to 1.0)

Opp On Chg Stage 1.3.1 – send email (child to 1.3)

 

 

If you create workflows that update or "fix" records in Dynamics 365 manually (on demand) or perform other types of administrative functions, I call those "Utility" workflows and they are usually limited to a specific administrator user. To keep them separate from other workflows, prefix them with the word "Utility": or "Util:". For example: "Util: Fix Opportunity Probability".

You will find that if you put a little thought into how you name you workflows, it will make your work much easier whenever you or someone else who did not originally create the workflows might need to go back and research or modify them.

For more helpful tips and tricks check out our blog!

Happy Dynamics 365'ing!

FAQ: What exactly is ERP and how does it fit into the Dynamics 365 puzzle?

Most of our readers will know that for many years, PowerObjects has focused on CRM-related workloads of sales, marketing, and customer service within the Dynamics family (what was known as Dynamics CRM). As we've grown and the Dynamics product stack has changed, we've evolved along with it. We've added field service and project service capabilities to our CRM expertise. We've built up our knowledge and capabilities around business intelligence and PowerBI. We offer cloud bundles that include Office 365. And we've also evolved our ERP practice. Essentially, we've evolved alongside Microsoft's vision for the Dynamics 365 product to better serve the entire stack, end-to-end.

With that has come a lot of questions that we'd like to help answer. So without further ado, here are the top frequently asked questions when it comes to ERP, Dynamics 365, and the Finance & Operations workload that Microsoft offers within Dynamics 365.

Q: What exactly is ERP?

A: ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning. Enterprise resource planning is  integrated management of core business processes, often in real-time and mediated by software and technology. ERP is usually referred to as category of business-management software—typically a suite of integrated applications—that an organization can use to collect, store, manage and interpret data from these many business activities.

Q: Why is ERP important?

A:  An ERP implementation plays a vital role for businesses. It functions as a platform for streamlining business processes around ranging from Procure to Pay, Financial Management, Order to Cash or Human Capital Management.  When implemented correctly, it can save companies significant time and money, and free up valuable human resources by automating processes. It can also increase collaboration and transparency within an organization.

Q: What offerings does Microsoft have for ERP solutions?

A: For over 15 years, Microsoft has invested heavily to develop the Dynamics family of software.  Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics GP, and Microsoft NAV were all ERP solutions targeting different types and size of organizations within different industries.  Microsoft Dynamics CRM provided customer relations management functionality for customer service, sales and marketing.  Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations, Enterprise edition is optimized for 250+ employees and includes the capabilities of Dynamics CRM Online and Dynamics AX products that existed in market pre Q4CY16.

Q. Can I combine CRM and ERP solutions with Dynamics 365?

A:Microsoft provides a variety of licensing solutions, which enable you to have all the functionality you require, including both CRM and ERP within Dynamics 365, Enterprise edition licensing.

Q. What about Office 365—how does that fit in?

A: Dynamics 365 and Office 365 work together to provide seamless workflows, streamlined sales and operations, simplified collaboration, and access to a multitude of actionable insights, all from one application.  Using Office 365 functionality such as emails, tasks, Excel, Word or OneDrive with Dynamics 365 helps simplify ease of use and increase productivity by putting everything they need at their fingertips.

Happy Dynamics 365'ing!