GDPR and October Update of Dynamics 365, that is what has been the main take away from today for me at CRM UG Summit, (UG is User Group for those who do not know.)
I have discussed GDPR a lot with a lot of different people here, some more in tune with what it is about than others and some not even realizing that it will affect all companies in the US having EU Citizens in their systems.
And of course the new release of Dynamice 365, called October Update or version 9.0 for those of us who like to be clear about what we are talking about.
I will come back to some of the details, for now I will leave you with some recordings I made.
As many of you probably have noticed version 9.0 has just been released. If you havn’t, spin up a trial by clicking here: New Trial
It has a very nice and shiny UI which I really think you should try and some very other very nice new features. However, you should be a bit wary of using it in production environments just yet as there seems to be a bit too many serious bugs as described in this document:
I am working with a customer and we have a specific non-production instance we call “sandbox” which we use to test apps and features outside of the ALM (application lifecycle management) process, so we installed v9 or July Update as it is called and tried it out.
What I found when trying to deploy our unmanaged customization with all the entities which we have changed in the project, was that I got the weirdest error, it complained that it was missing an internal Microsoft Web Resource with the name of: “CampaignActivity_main_system_library.js”
So, I opened up the customization.xml (yes, all you oldtimers from CRM 3.0 time remember it as the true export file) and searched for the guid and the web resource name in the file. I found that it was actually used on the main form of Compaign Activitiy, and if you look at the read-me document I have linked above, it mentions that the Campaign Activity is one of the entities which does not work. Hence, there is probably some old code in there that Microsoft have decided to remove, and havn’t had time to replace.
So, the temporary fix to get our solution to work in Dynamics 365 v9.0 (July Release), go into the customization.xml and then manually remove all <Event> tags which include that webresource, and if the <Events> tag was empty, remove that too. Then put the customization.xml file back into the solution file and reimport it.
The campaign activity still won’t work but at least our solution imported. Perhaps there are similar issues with other entities.
I will expect this issue to go away very soon.
And on the issue of if it is ok and supported to manually edit (hack) the customization.xml file I am under the impression that it is as long as it actually import into a system without any forceful shoehorning as it is up to Dyn365 to validate it.
On monday, I will be heading to CRM UG Summit in Nashville which is sure to be a great trip. I am planning to try to make some video there which I will post here and on my Youtube, and don’t miss my session on if it is really is a fair fight to compare Online with Onprem? Guess what I will say?
”Yeah, I am your go-to guy for the CRM project. But Joe, the CSO, makes all the decisions and has the money, but is not really involved, he won’t really be using the system either, neither will Jill, our CEO.”
How do you Think this CRM Project will turn out?
The stories are many of CRM Projects run by individuals or Groups in organizations with more or less just influential power. All real decision power in these situations reside in individuals that are not directly involved in the CRM Project.
The reason for this can usually be found in the the first stage of this process, if you have been unable to create a sense of urgency in the top echelons of your organization regarding the CRM implementation, the risk is large that none of the decision makers from these echelons will be involved as sponsors to the Project.
In CRM Projects, it is important to get people from both thte IT and the business side of the Company to buy in to the Project and be an Active part of the Project. The CIO and CSO (Chief Sales Officer) or what you might call them, might be involved as sponsors and they might assign people from their organizations to be part in the actual week-to-week Project Group with more limited mandate.
But, the better you do your work with step one the more attention you will probably get from the decision makers, so in smaller organizations, some of the decision makers might even find the Project so important that they will get involved in the nitty gritty. For better or worse.
Dr. John Kotter in his book, Leading Change, in this chapter on creating a guiding coalition also outlines some of the people that you should try to avoid having in your guiding coalitions. If you are interested, do read it!
I ran this presentation, on how to user the Kotter 8 step method in CRM implementations, again this monday on the CRM User Group Global Chapter Meeting in Sweden. It was a great meeting and I really enjoy seeing users meet Other users. For more information on the User Group, check out www.crmug.com. If you are a user of Dynamics CRM, I am sure you will like it and the more people we get to the meetings the more value it will bring to all participants!
This wednesday we had Another great meeting with the Swedish Dynamics CRM User Group. As an MVP I have the privilage of being able to join these meetings and listening and taking part in the discussions when all these different companies share their concerns, problems and successes with their CRM systems and implementation Projects. It is fascinating to see the bredth of companies that attend, from companies with 2 CRM users to companies with 3000 users. It is an amazing system that can fit that large a difference in what is needed. I sometimes Think that we Work so hard with our every day problems that we might not recognize this simple fact.
The CRM UG in Sweden is new and the Group is rather small, the last meeting we were about 12 people but you can already feel the Power that comes from users meeting other users and sharing their experiences. I am hoping to be able to go to the large CRM UG conference in S:t Louis which promises to be something else.
The next meeting will be on the 3:rd of september and the agenda is not set yet, but it will probably be about a member show case, probably one of the larger companies that is member, and we were also discussing having a presentation on popular 3:rd party Products, but that remains to be seen.
When users of CRM from different companies and organizations meet and talk about their CRM systems, it is often very interesting to hear the conversations and they usually end up getting lots of new ideas about what they can do with their CRM system. Their partner might also have suggested some of these Changes but the partner is not perceived to be fully objective from the users perspective why they are often more open to listen to other CRM users.
This is why User Groups are such a good idea. They bring great value to the companies that have invested in CRM, by creating a forum where they can discuss common issues with other users or just get a better understanding of how other users have chosen to implement CRM.
For partners this is also a great idea, to get their customers, the users of their CRM systems to engage in the User Groups will increase their interest in CRM as they will see what else can be done with the system.
As there is a global CRM User Group called CRMUG (www.crmug.com) and all MVP:s are granted a free membership and I also noted that there was no local chapter here in Sweden, I contacted them and a friend of mine, Fredrik Neiderud at TeraCom Group who used to be a CRM Consultant but now has changed sides represents the user side. We decided to start the Swedish chapter of CRMUG and have now also got the support of Microsoft representative Fredrik Wolbe. As I am only part of CRMUG as an MVP, and CRMUG is supposed to be by users for users, Fredrik will be the chairman of the chapter.
We have also booked the first meeting to be on December the 11:th 3 pm at Microsoft in Akalla outside Stockholm. If you would like to join us please sign up as a member on www.crmug.com and then register your attendance on this page: http://www.crmug.com/events/crmugsweden121113?date=2013-12. Do note that the time on the site is in East coast time and not CET why it might be a bit off. I will be having a presentation on CRM 2013 and there will be a round table on upgrading to CRM 2013. We will of course also talk about the future of CRM UG in Sweden.
There are several different membership options, if you are a CRM user, there is a free basic membership that is required for attending the meeting.
I hope we can all help in creating a vibrant user community in Sweden that will boost our Dynamics CRM usage!