by gustaf | Oct 22, 2018
For the first time ever 9 Business Solutions MVP:s will converge on Stockholm to share their knowledge! In the amazing Dynamics 365 Saturday event which will be held on the 10:th of November 2018 at the Microsoft Office in Kista, just outside Stockholm. As usual, the Dynamics 365 Saturdays are free.
As the main organizer, me, my company CRM-Konsulterna and the MVP Jonas Rapp, will also help out it is of course very satisfying to have so many talented people sign up to speak. A lot is happening, and version 9.1 was just rolled out today in EMEA if you didn’t notice. Hence there is a lot to talk about.
There will be three tracks:
- Application – sessions on configuration and usage of Dynamics 365
- Development – sessions on development and configuration that could be viewed as programming like Flow, LogicApps, PowerApps/CanvasApps etc.
- Business/Project Management – sessions on how to best run projects, businesses, your career and other softer issues but all related to Dynamics 365.
As the host, I really hope you are able to secure a seat, we are limiting the amount to 150 and we are getting signups by the hour, so be sure to book your seat now.
MVP, Founder and Principal Consultant at CRM-konsulterna AB
by Gustaf Westerlund | Oct 4, 2015
Just read a very interesting post by Wictor Wilén, a SharePoint MVP here in Sweden. He strongly argues that Yammer is planned for termination by Microsoft and lists several, very good reasons for this. Do read it.
|Is Yammer breaking up?
Why is this important for us working with Dynamics CRM? As you might know there is a built-in integration between Dynamics CRM and Yammer, where Yammer can be used to replace the Activity Feeds. This gives the organization using the Dynamics CRM system increased use of the feed functionality, as most of the features of Yammer Enterprise can be used directly from within CRM. It will create a thread for each record. For more information on how to set it up and how it works, read this Tech Net article: https://technet.microsoft.com/library/dn850385.aspx.
Recently, in CRM 2015 Spring Update (version 7.1) it is also possible to integrate CRM to Office Groups. If you read Wictor’s Post, you will note his referal to how this most likely is the informal successor to Yammer internally within Microsoft. The Office Groups integration makes the collaboration Picture in Dynamics CRM even more complicated as there now are Three different ways of collaborating;
– Activity Feeds
– Office Groups
However, if Yammer really is to be deprecated, then this Picture clears a bit.
Another interesting fact is that there has been nothing done to the Yammer integration in CRM for several versions. It was released for CRM 2013 and it still has a lot of basic features missing, like if it is enabled for an organization, it cannot be removed. (https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj945277(v=crm.6).aspx)
If Yammer was to be officially terminated, do note that Wictor (and I in this post) are just speculating, migrating the existing data from Yammer to ActivityFeeds or OfficeGroups is also a non-trivial issue. As Wictor mentions briefly in his post, the Yammer API:s have some areas which can be improved.
So, based on this. I would not advice any current CRM system owners to enable the Yammer integration unless Microsoft starts investing in Yammer and/or the CRM-Yammer integration.
I would also be more than happy to have a discussion on this subject in the comments section below.
MVP, Founder and CTO at CRM-konsulterna AB
by Gustaf Westerlund | Jul 1, 2015
And again it is the time of the year of waiting…
First of July has for the last three years been horrible. Have I been active enough? Maybe I should have blogged a bit more? Maybe written another book or presented at another seminar… and the clock ticks… and you know that the time in Seattle is a bit later than in Sweden so you just have to be patient, usually the mail doesn’t show up until late in the afternoon.
But I have got a trick, look at the MVP site and see if the profile has been updated, so I checked, and it did say that I now was on my forth year. But, the email. You need the email. Some loose it in their junkmail. The email is the final proof, The site might be wrong.
And the clock ticked. Tock.
4 pm. Maybe I’ll see more if I logg in to the MVP-site.
Aha, Award end date, next year! That looks good. Maybe I did make it after all.
Then. PLING. You have mail.
The feeling is just great every year!
Congrats to all my fellow MVP:s who got renewed and if there are any new CRM MVP:s out there, a hearty Congrats, renewing is great but the first time is best!
MVP, Founder and CTO at CRM-konsulterna AB
by Gustaf Westerlund | Apr 21, 2015
After a lot of work a huge amount of MVP:s have now managed to achieve the second CRM Field Guide. I have this time had the honor of being among the authors of this very comprehensive title which goes into details of many areas that very few other books do. At almost 1000 pages it is something that you just have to have with you if you are a CRM expert, or claiming to be one. As Bob Stutz, said in his keynote here at eXtreme CRM today, it is impossible to keep all this information in the head, so we have helped you out, we have tried to destill it poured it into this book.
The book is for CRM 2013, which might seem strange, now that CRM 2015 Update 1 is about to be released but keeping up with Microsoft’s cadance is not easy. The absolut majority of the things in the book are still true, yes, there might be some new features in CRM 2015 that can be revised in the book, but I guarantee you that if you know the book by heart, you will be one of the best experts in the worlds on Dynamics CRM, even CRM 2015.
And from our perspectives as authors, most of us, like me, are CTO:s, Techical directors, CEO:s, or senior consultants and developers, we take a lot of our time to write this book, as we partly like to share our knowledge, and partly, I guess to be totally truthful, to feed our pride a bit :). However, the CRM market for books is very limited, and the time frame a book is current is very short, making piles and piles of money off a CRM book is almost impossible, it is probably better to go about your daily job. I would hence say that the best way that you can encourage us to write the next version of this book, is to tell us, the people who made it what you thought of it. What is good, what can be made better? Tell us what is useful for you when you are working with a customer, tell us what you lack. The more people showing interest in what we do, the more we feel inclined to make the next version.
To buy your copy, click on the image below. I have 25 discount vouchers, to my readers, so the first 25 people can use the code “Gustaf2013”.
MVP, Founder and CTO at CRM-konsulterna AB
by Gustaf Westerlund | Jul 3, 2014
When working with CRM systems in non-English countries you often need to take certain aspects into consideration that might have very dire consequences if set incorrectly, one of these is the database collation.
The collation of the database is simplified how it orders characters. For those of you not used to working with multi-language installation with odd characters this might not be something you have considered. As I am Swedish let me give you an example. The Swedish alphabet looks as follows:
However using the collation that is default when using English as language in an on premise installation, which is “Latin1_General_CI_AI” (CI= Case Insensitive, AI = Accent Insensitive) the Swedish alphabet would be sorted as follows:
This is why when installing an organization that is to be used in Sweden, despite the fact that you might have chose to have English as base language, that you need to select the collation that sorts the Swedish characters correctly which for CRM is “Finnish_Swedish_CI_AS”.
|On-premise setup of CRM – ability to select Finnish_Swedish_CI_AS collation
despite using English as base language
When setting up an organization in CRM online, you cannot chose the collation explicitly which is regrettable and I hope there will be some advanced setting in the future which will allow for this when provisioning new organizations. Check out what happened when I provisioned a new organization in English indicating that I was in Sweden.
|The first pick list is for country – I selected “Sweden”, the last is for language and I changed from “Swedish” to “English”, which were the two only options.
After going through all the three steps you are shown a last instance configuration step.
|In the instance configuration screen you can select the base language but there is no selector for collation. I selected “Engelska”, which if you have any imagination, means “English”.
After, a few seconds, yes, the new installation process is great and really fast, my org is up and running and I jump in to contacts and create to contact and check out the sorting. Any bets?
|As you can see selecting English language will also implicitly select Latin1_General _CI_AI as collation which is incorrect from a Swedish perspective, I would have liked to see Östen Svensson at the end of the list, not sorted as “O”.
Collations are integral to the configuration of the SQL database and there are many features of the database like ORDER BY and indexes that depend on the collation why changing collation of a database is very very tricky. It is actually so tricky that it is not supported if you manage to do it with an on-premise, which I have heard rumours of that some people have managed to do. On an online you cannot request it. You will be recommended to migrate the data from the old org to the new.
So let’s hope Microsoft will enhance the provisioning experience for CRM Online so that it includes a selector for collation. In the meantime, if you need a special setup, like the one I tried to set up above, English with Finnish_Swedish_CI_AS collation on CRM online I would suggest contacting Microsoft Online support to get their assistance in setting up the instance correctly. Hopefully they can assist in this.
And on another note, I was awarded the MVP award for the third year! A great honour and this very article is dedicated to the very award as two of my fellow MVP:s Shan McArthur and Niel Benson provided with background information to this article. I extend to you a humble thanks!
MVP, CEO and owner at CRM-konsulterna AB