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A one stop shop where the Microsoft Dynamics ecosystem can learn, share, connect and network with others within the Community. Peer to Peer discussions , product demonstrations, blogs & videos.

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    A selection of announcements from the Dynamics partner channel more

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    Dynamics 365 Business Central is an all-in-one business management solution that’s easy to use and adapt, helping you connect your business and make smarter decisions.  Built on functionality within Microsoft Dynamics NAV and adaptable to extend business applications to other Microsoft Cloud Services such as Office 365, Microsoft Flow, Power BI and PowerApps; Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Solution can grow as your business requirements change while taking advantage of the latest technology.  Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Subscription License Types are very simply and are on a named user basis. Business Central user subscriptions classify users into two types, “Full users” and “Additional users”.

    Full users are the users whose work requires use of the feature rich business applications functionality. Examples of full users are sales people, customer service representatives, finance employees, controllers and supply chain managers. These users have also been referred to in the past as "Power Users". These full users are licensed with a Dynamics 365 Business Central subscription.

    When licensing Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. There are 2 options for “Full Users” either the Essentials or Premium Licensing.  Companies are required to select just one of these licensing types for all for the named users and cannot mix and match. For example, 5 users for “Essentials” and 5 “Premium” users.  In this scenario in which a company required the premium version, all 10 users would need to have the premium user licensing.   The licensing types are further described below:

    Essentials:  For companies that need sophisticated processes yet simple enough to be managed in one solution across finance, supply chain, and project management and much more.

    Premium:   An end-to-end business management solution adding key functionality of manufacturing and service order management in addition to all of the functionality in Essentials.

    Additional users are an option to add to your existing full users subscription users that only require limited use of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. Additional users often represent a large percentage of users in an organization and may consume data or reports from line of business systems, complete light tasks like time or expense entry and HR record updates or be heavier users of the system, but not require full user capabilities. These additional users are licensed with Dynamics 365 Business Central Team Members.

    Team Members:  The Dynamics 365 Business Central Team Members subscription is a “named user” subscription designed for users who are not tied to a particular function, but who require basic Dynamics 365 functionality. This license includes read access as well as some write access for select light tasks across Dynamics 365 Business Central functionality for a given tenant.

    The Dynamics 365 Business Central Team Members Subscription License grants a user full read access to Dynamics 365 Business Central Essential and Dynamics 365 Business Central Premium for a given tenant. In addition, the Dynamics 365 Business Central Team Members Subscription License includes some limited use write access to Dynamics 365 Business Central Essential and Dynamics 365 Business Central Premium.

    Dynamics 365 Business Central Team Members users can do the following:

    • Read anything within Dynamics 365 Business Central.
    • Update existing data and entries in Dynamics 365 Business Central - existing data are records like customer, vendor or item records which are already created. Entries means entries on which it is specifically allowed from an accounting perspective to update specific information. (e.g. due date on customer ledger entries).
    • Approve or reject tasks in all workflows assigned to a user • Create, edit, delete a quote • Create, edit, delete personal information.
    • Enter a time sheet for Jobs.
    • Use PowerApps for Dynamics 365.

    Learn more about Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central

    Download the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Licensing Guide

    Posted by iCepts Technology Group, Inc., a Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Partner in Pennsylvania

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    As a follow-up to last week’s post on conditional action buttons, I wanted to dive a bit deeper into a very cool, but completely undocumented, feature that exists in the Dynamics 365 Portal product...(read more)

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    Quick Links: Featured News | Updates and Releases | Additional News | Training Corner

    Featured News

    Dynamics 365 Spring ’19 Release

    Dynamics 365 (online) delivers new capabilities and functionalities through two major updates a year in April and October. Release notes will be published months prior to each major release update to help customers and partners plan for the new capabilities.

    The next major update will take place in April 2019. Below are the details from the upcoming Dynamics 365 Release Calendar for Spring ‘19:

    Activity Date
    Release Notes available January 21, 2019
    Preview available February 1, 2019
    Release Notes updates February 21, 2019
    General availability April 5, 2019

    Starting February 1, 2019, customers can preview the new features by opting-in to enable them in the Power platform Admin Center of their production, trial and sandbox Dynamics 365 instances. For detailed instructions on opting-in, verifying your release version and how to prepare for the Spring ’19 Release, review Previewing April 2019 release functionalities and updates for Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement.

    Stay informed on the major updates for Dynamics 365 by reviewing the Business Applications Release Notes, the Release Schedules and the Dynamics 365 Product Road Maps.

    PowerApps Solution Checker

    The challenge of increasing the performance of PowerApps customizations and the pressure of ensuring a quality release when faced with new project timelines can be daunting when you’re not sure where to start. To help with this, the PowerApps team has rolled out a new Solution Checker, available now in public preview.

    With Solution checker, customers can inspect their code directly in PowerApps against a set of best practice development rules specific to customizing and extending the Common Data Service (CDS) for Apps platform. The outputs are rich detailed reports listing issues, severity, location, with some links to detailed prescriptive guidance on how to fix the problem.

    For more details on the Solution Checker and how to enable it, review Make higher quality Apps with Solution checker on the PowerApps Blog.

    Dynamics 365 Channel Integration Framework – Bring your own channel provider

    Microsoft is excited to announce the general availability of the Dynamics 365 Channel Integration Framework. Channel Integration Framework is a set of APIs (methods, events, and protocols) that enable developers and partners to build immersive communication experiences such that third party communication widgets running on the channel provider cloud can interact with Dynamics 365.

    Before the Channel Integration Framework (CIF), developers were required to create unsupported customizations and manipulations to embed their channel widgets in Dynamics 365. With CIF, customer enjoy some of the following benefits:

    • CIF is channel, web browser and operating system agnostic. Customers can build any channel with JavaScript based widgets and integrate any cloud-based channel of their choice.
    • Seamlessly integrate several providers by using the Channel Integration Framework administration configuration app.
    • The framework is extensible for the configuration of two-communication between the channel and Dynamics 365 Unified Interface Apps.

    For more information on the Channel Integration Framework, review this post on the Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement Team Blog.

    Back to Top

    Updates & Releases

    Dynamics 365 for Blackberry is deprecated

    As of December 3, 2018, Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Blackberry App is deprecated and will be removed from the iOS App Store on October 31, 2019. Microsoft will continue to provide security and other critical updates to the Dynamics 365 for Blackberry App until October 31, 2019, but will not release any additional features or functionalities within the app. After October 31, 2019, the Dynamics 365 for Blackberry App will be removed from the App Store, and support will end.

    For more information, review Important changes (deprecations) coming in Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement.

    Knowledgebase search powered by Dynamics 365 Relevance Search

    The Knowledge base (KB) search control in Dynamics 365 is now powered by Relevance search. This change allows administrators to fine-tune the KB search to meet their business requirements and empowers agents to find the most relevant KB articles quickly.

    Additional features include:

    • Highlighted search term matches
    • Search tuning on any knowledge article field
    • Search in notes and attachments of Knowledge Articles

    For more details review Improve Knowledge Article search results with Dynamics 365 Relevance Search.

    Microsoft Dynamics 365 Online Release

    The Service Updates for Dynamics 365 online version 9.1.0 are now available.

    Service Update 14 ( or higher) resolved issues include:

    • Tab names intermittently displayed incorrectly as "Tab" instead of displaying the appropriate label.
    • When synchronizing contacts from Outlook to Dynamics using the Outlook app, the street portion of the contact's address moved to Address 3. After synchronizing again, the street was deleted from the contact's address.
    • Custom filters on the Lookup field did not function in Unified Client Interface.
    • The Insert Hyperlink button in the email body of a workflow's Send Email function did not work and gave a null value.

    Service Update 16 ( or higher) resolved issues include:

    • Duplicate appointments were created in Dynamics and Exchange when the "Track Appointments From NonOrganizer" setting was used.
    • Documents uploaded to SharePoint online from Dynamics online were not visible in the sub-grid.
    • An error occurred when attempting to reactivate and qualify a lead.
    • Incorrect values appeared when hovering over the fields of a custom entity.

    Microsoft Dynamics 365 (on-premises) Update 2.3

    Microsoft Dynamics 365 (on-premises) Update 2.3 is now available.

    Resolved issues include:

    • The Remaining Terms values failed to update when Entitlements were saved.
    • Users could not rename the "Case" button label.
    • SLAs created on non-working days (such as weekends and holidays) started immediately rather than obeying the non-working time.
    • The ribbon menu was displaying even when appointment were set to "Read-only".

    Overview and Release Details:

    Knowledge Base Article:

    Download link:

    Field Service Updates

    The latest update to the Field Service solutions for Dynamics 365 is now available. This release is compatible with Dynamics 365 9.x.

    Field Service enhancements (v8.3.0.255)


    • The Field Service module sitemap now includes Connected Field Service entities.

    Resolved issues:

    • Fixed: Upgrade Bug – Booking is updated with GroupId before the record is created.

    Feature updates include:

    • The Connected Field Service solution is now available out of the box with Field Service, eliminating the need to install the additional solution package.
    • There is a new Field Service Mobile application
    • Push notifications can be sent to the Field Service Mobile application using the Field Service Mobile Entity Push Notification workflow action.

    For more information, review Release Notes for Field Service Version 8, Update Release 3.

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    Project Service Automation Updates

    The latest updates to the Project Service Automation solutions for Dynamics 365 are now available. These releases are compatible with Dynamics 365 9.x.

    Project Service Automation (v2.4.8.47) Enhancements

    Improvements include:

    • Users can delete products lines from a Project Invoice when the invoice is in draft state.

    Resolved issues include:

    • Project Approval had overlapping command sequences for "Approve" and "Reject" impacting the Ribbon Work Bench.
    • WBS failed to open for empty projects when the project start date and end date was the same.
    • Javascript error impacting contract line and quote line filtering when Maplytics was installed.

    Project Service Automation (v2.4.8.52) Enhancements

    Resolved issues include:

    • Requirement Name in the schedule assistant demand panel showed the incorrect name when the name contained apostrophes
    • Issue when users tried to create a booking alert when they were assigned to a child business unit
    • Issue when launching the schedule assistant with certain time zone combinations, related to daylight savings time.

    To update to these releases, visit the Admin Center for Dynamics 365 solutions page to install. For details, refer How to Install, Update a Preferred Solution.

    Voice of the Customer Updates

    The latest updates to the Voice of the Customer solutions for Dynamics 365 are now available:

    Voice of the Customer version 9.0.1371.8 is compatible with Dynamics 365 version 9.0 and above.

    Voice of the Customer version 9.0.1371.7 is compatible with Dynamics 365 version 8.2.

    New and updated features:

    • Customers can now delete a file that is uploaded in response to the question type File upload by clicking the Delete File button in the command bar.

    Resolved issues:

    • When a respondent selected a smiley face in a rating question, all the preceding smileys were selected.
    • The survey scoring values reverted to their default values when saving the question.
    • When a respondent clicked on the text of a radio button, the radio button was not selected.
    • Survey did not open in the language specified in the survey email.
    • Respondent and case information was not associated with the responses if the corresponding invite was in the closed state.

    To update to these releases, visit the Admin Center for Dynamics 365 solutions page to install. For details, refer How to Install, Update a Preferred Solution.

    Dynamics 365 for Marketing Update

    The latest update for Dynamics 365 for Marketing is now available. This update includes several new features, performance and stability improvements.

    New and updated features:

    • Event Website: The fully functioning sample event website included with Dynamics 365 for Marketing can now be downloaded as an angular JavaScript project that can be customized and published anywhere.
    • CAPTCHA: The CAPTCHA can now be removed from the event registration form with a simple configuration setting update.
    • Member Count: An accurate member count for live segments is now available to replace the estimated member count.

    For more details on all the changes for Dynamics 365 for Marketing and how to get the update, review this announcement on the Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement Team Blog.

    Back to Top

    Additional News

    Dynamics 365 for Marketing Sender Reputation

    One of the fastest ways to lose sender reputation deliverability rates with email marketing is to generate a high number of hard bounces and spam complaints from your email blasts. Internet watchdog organizations keep an eye out for red flags in email content and sending behavior. They assign a sender reputation to each IP address that sends email. The lower the reputation the more difficult it is to land in an Inbox. Some of the key ways to maintain a good sender reputation is to:

    • Include an unsubscribe link
    • Include your organization's physical address
    • Include text-only content that matches HTML content
    • Don't send image-only messages

    Dynamics 365 for Marketing includes features that help customers meet these requirements. It can also check each message before it is published to make sure it conforms with the requirements. If any hard bounces are detected, Dynamics 365 for Marketing will stop sending to those addresses in the future.

    For more information on how Dynamics 365 for Marketing can help implement good data quality for your marketing campaigns, review this post in the Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement Team Blog.

    Dynamics 365 App for Outlook Blog Series

    With the release of the new version of Dynamics 365 App for Outlook along with v9.0 and the new unified interface, organizations are transitioning from the legacy Dynamics 365 for Outlook client. There have been many questions about the new features, so to help our customers we’ve created a Dynamics 365 App for Outlook multi-part blog series.

    The content will be based on a Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement (online) to Exchange Online environment, but much of the information will also be valid for hybrid and on-premise environments.

    Part 6 – Working with Contacts:

    • Where do I find Contacts in the App for Outlook?
    • Modify the Contacts View
    • Create, Track and Link Contacts
    • Search Contacts

    Part 7 – Helpful Tips:

    • Set Regarding and Track records
    • Access Views
    • Modify the App for Outlook Sitemap

    Part 8 – Email Governance:

    • Options to restrict or filter email information

    The series is posted to the Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement in the Field blog.

    Dynamics 365 Reports: SRS Data Connector Error

    Have you ever received this error after attempting to run a report in Dynamics 365?


    Maybe you’ve tried removing and reinstalling the Connector, but the error remains. Before submitting a support case, check out this article from one of our Dynamics 365 Premier Field Engineers with guidance on how to troubleshoot and resolve the issue: Dynamics CRM Reports complaining Reporting extension(SRS Data Connector) is not installed.

    Back to Top

    Training Corner

    Better Together: Office 365 + Dynamics 365 + LinkedIn

    As part of an ongoing effort to accelerate sales with OneMicrosoft, a video demonstration of Microsoft’s relationship analytics is now available. The Better Together video showcases how Office 365, Dynamics 365 and LinkedIn Sales Navigator are better together and empower customers.

    The video showcases how Microsoft business applications give sales teams an advantage to close sales using:

    • Office 365
    • Dynamics 365 App for Outlook
    • Dynamics 365
    • Power BI
    • Relationship Analytics
    • Relationship Health
    • LinkedIn Sales Navigator

    Dynamics 365 AI for Sales Demo

    The Microsoft Dynamics 365 AI for Sales service includes a user on-boarding video that highlights how Microsoft is democratizing data science and infusing machine learning to improve sales outcomes. Learn more about the features of the Dynamics 365 AI for Sales service and check out the on-boarding video here in the Dynamics 365 Community site.

    Back to Top

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    Are you tired of underwhelming results from your business reporting tools? Did you think you were getting a dashboard, when all you got was a web based list? Microsoft Power BI is here to help! Microsoft...(read more)

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    Originally posted on Debajit's Dynamic CRM Blog : Registering an event handler for your form events or field events – Probably the most mundane stuffs that you would perform everyday if you a CRM...(read more)

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    Data. Data. Data. Warehouses and lakes and packs…oh my! You’re likely hearing terms like these and thinking “What are we supposed to be doing?” Does your organization actually need any or all of these things, and more importantly, what do they even mean to you?

    Let’s start by clarifying the terminology. Data packs are, quite simply, sets of data from intermediaries. Those data packs are then put into a data lake, a vast pool of undefined data, or into a data warehouse, for more filtered and structured data.

    There is little doubt that data rules the roost in just about any industry. There is a plethora of data to be had. The problem does not lie in the data itself, it’s having the know how to get to it, manage it, and mold it into useful form. Though this has always been an issue, as the amount of available data and the need for it has increased, the issue has become a more serious problem. Existing software or databases just don’t cut it and without a deliberate, actionable data strategy, you are missing out on the ability to use an extremely valuable asset, and you are losing opportunities, big and small.

    Here are four steps to constructing a dependable data strategy that delivers powerful benefits:

    Step 1: Develop a plan for automating the acquisition of the data

    Optimizing the data acquisition process is essential, because if you can’t get to the data to process it, it does you little good. This step is particularly critical for larger organizations that sift through large volumes of data—quite often a manual procedure. Not only is this extremely inefficient, but in most cases, it yields inaccurate data. Processes must be put into place that automate this function and pull that data in. We recommend that you not do a lot of “pre-processing” of your data up front. Pull data in in its raw format and store it in a form that you can access later. Step 2 will take care of the actual processing of the data properly.

    Step 2: Unify the data

    After you have acquired the data sets (also called data packs), the next step requires processing the data set so that it is more cohesive across the organization in terms of schema or layout. This includes file formats, fields, etc. This would also be the point in which you match the data against records already in existence or those that are related within the organization.

    Let’s take the asset management industry as an example. Asset management firms have existing relationships within the firm to individual brokers. These are represented as contact records. You have wholesalers who are then talking to those brokers and building relationships. That asset management firm needs to be able to match those records to each broker. What this means is that you need to match, at the field level, the contact to individual traits. This can then be digested within the organization, allowing you to see that information in context of that particular contact within your systems (ERP, CRM, analytics, data warehouses, machine learning analytics, etc.). At that point, all of these pieces merge together into a unified format within the organization. And that information can be used to achieve powerful insights.

    It would be a mistake to dismiss or undervalue these first two steps. Data packs (sets) consist of transactional data that is acquired from partners; but those data packs are all in various formats with varying levels of content and quality. Consequently, just the mere action of importing, processing, and matching up that data presents a major task for almost any organization. Unfortunately, there is typically not much discipline regarding how it’s done or how often. It is imperative that you understand the significance of getting these two steps in place and the major effort that is required to undertake this process.

    Step 3: Get the data into a digestible format

    Making the data digestible is the third step. Using asset management again as our example, the industry is grappling with how to go about getting meaningful data as it pertains to the actual trades that occur as opposed to the anecdotal information about activities, such as visits with a broker. That anecdotal part is simple for any CRM. It’s the ability to actually start matching that data with transactional data that allows for meaningful insights, like understanding the true value of an individual broker. With that kind of knowledge, you recognize the other trades the broker is conducting that are outside your portfolio. This could potentially mean you have the prospect to upsell that broker and inform them of additional products they are not currently purchasing from you.

    Step 4: Put the data into a usable format

    Once you have all of the data components in place within your organization, the final step is making that data usable and then deciding what it is that you want to do with it. As an example, if an asset manager is working with a specific broker with whom he or she has connected this trade data, they not only need to know how much business they’re doing with that broker, but also if there are any trends or changes of that data across the broker’s trade. It’s possible that the broker is changing attitudes regarding a specific asset class. Asset managers need to be able to recognize why they are changing and whether that change is having an impact on the trades within the organization. They need to be able to determine if there is a product the firm offers that the broker may not currently be aware of—one that is within the asset class that the broker is moving to. These specific, detailed types of insights can be discerned from data once it has been collected, unified, and put into a digestible format.

    A data strategy is cost effective for firms of any size

    Currently, many of the larger companies are using a data strategy, but the majority are not—and that is mostly because of cost. Obtaining data from partners is very expensive, and the overhead expenses of processing and making that data meaningful is so high that it is cost prohibitive to many. If the data was maintained in a consistent format across partners, however, then this would not be an obstacle. Unfortunately, in asset management, that is not the case which is exactly the reason that the right data management strategy can be a game changer.

    Want to learn more? Read about AKA Enterprise Solutions’ data visualization services.

    Looking for a partner who understands the challenges of making data useful inside your organization through strong ERP skills, with deep industry experience in financial services, life sciences, media, non-profit, and government? Contact AKA Enterprise Solutions.


    AKA specializes in making it easier to do business, simplifying processes and reducing risks. With agility, expertise, and original industry solutions, we embrace projects other technology firms avoid—regardless of their complexity. As a true strategic partner, we help organizations slay the dragons that are keeping them from innovating their way to greatness. Call us at 212-502-3900!

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    You have likely heard many data related terms being thrown around— data packs, data lakes, data warehouses— but what do they mean? And are they important to your business? If someone is telling you that your business needs one, or even all of these, then where do you begin?

    For starters, let’s define the terminology. Data packs are sets of data acquired from intermediaries. These many data packs or sets are then stored in a data lake or a data warehouse, depending on what the information is and how it has been sorted.

    There is very little doubt that we are operating in a world where data is top dog in most industries. And there is data to be found everywhere you turn. The problem exists not in the data itself or the amount of it; it lies in the ability to get at it and manage and utilize it in a meaningful way that benefits your organization. While this is not a new issue, the seriousness of the problem has increased as the amount of available data and the need for it has increased. Current databases and software don’t have what it takes and without a dedicated, workable data strategy, you are losing out on a valuable asset and missing opportunities and insights that are crucial to successful business operation in today’s market.

    To build a reliable data strategy, start by incorporating these four steps that will help harness the potent benefits of meaningful data:

    Step 1: Automate the data acquisition process

    What good is that data if you can’t get to it? The first step is streamlining the acquisition of data. This step is particularly important especially for larger organizations that constantly cope with substantial amounts of data and are usually processing it manually. The manual processing of information is not only inefficient but also tends to deliver inaccurate data. Putting processes in place that automate the data collection is one key recommendation: Additionally, do not try to do too much pre-processing of the data up front. Simply pull data in in its raw form and in a format that you can access later. The second step of the process will take care of handling the data appropriately.

    Step 2: Unify the data

    Once you have acquired the data sets (also called data packs), the second step is to process the information into a data pack that provides a more unified schema, or layout, across the organization. This includes file formats, fields, and so on. At this point, you would also want to match any data you have against records that are already present or that correlate within your organization.

    For example: Within an asset management firm, there are relationships in the firm for individual brokers that are represented as contact records. You also have wholesalers that are interacting with those brokers and are building relationships. The ability to match those records against the broker is key. Matching, at the field level, the contact to individual traits, can then be assimilated into the organization. This facilitates the ability to see that information in the framework of that contact within CRM, the data warehouses, analytics, and within machine learning analytics. In the end, all of these pieces merge into an integrated format within the organization that can later be used to gain advantageous insights.

    These first two steps are key to an effective data strategy. Data packs contain transactional data that comes in from partners. That data is received in all different formats with varying degrees of quality and content. The basic action of importing, processing, and then matching up that data is a daunting task for any firm. There is usually very little discipline surrounding how this process is done or how often it’s done. It is crucial to understand the significance of getting these two steps in place, while understanding the effort it can take.

    Step 3: Put the data in a digestible format

    The third step is to make the data digestible—I’ve got it; now how do I use it. Following our asset management example, this industry constantly struggles with how to get meaningful data pertaining to the actual transactions that occur as opposed to anecdotal information such as visits to a broker. That particular part is easy for CRM. It is the ability to match that basic data with transactional data that provides meaningful insights into a market, like understanding the actual value of a specific broker. You may have knowledge of the other trades the broker is making outside of your portfolio, which means you then have the opportunity to “upsell” that broker by educating them on different products they are not, at present, buying from you.

    Step 4: Make the data usable

    Once you have all the data components inside your firm in place, the last step is to put that data to practical use. For example, when asset managers are working with individual brokers to whom they have linked certain trade data, they then need to know how much business they are doing with that broker, are there any trends, and what type of movement is occurring across the broker’s trade. Possibly the broker is shifting attitudes in the direction of a specific asset class. The asset managers need to understand why they are changing and if those changes are impacting other trades within the organization. They need to be able to determine if there is a product that they offer that the broker may not presently know about. Is there one they offer that is inside the asset class that the broker is moving to? Those very detailed types of insights can be ascertained from data once it has been cohesively grouped and made digestible.

    Firms of all sizes need—and can afford—a data strategy

    Data strategies are currently being used by much larger organizations, but most are not utilizing any plan due in large part to cost. Data is very expensive to obtain, and the overhead costs involved in processing the data and making it meaningful might not seem worth the price to some. If the data packs were in a consistent format across partners, this would not pose such a problem; however, within asset management, that is not the case. That could all change, and that is exactly the reason that the right data management strategy could change the game forever.

    Want to learn more? Read about AKA’s data visualization services.

    Looking for a partner who understands the challenges of making data useful inside your organization, with deep industry experience in financial services, government, non-profit, life sciences, and media? Contact AKA Enterprise Solutions.

    AKA specializes in making it easier to do business, simplifying processes and reducing risks. With agility, expertise, and original industry solutions, we embrace projects other technology firms avoid—regardless of their complexity. As a true strategic partner, we help organizations slay the dragons that are keeping them from innovating their way to greatness. Call us at 212-502-3900!

    The post Create a Data Strategy to Get the Most from Your Data appeared first on CRM Software Blog | Dynamics 365.

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    Why Has the Role of Telematics Technology Become Vital in the Rental Sector?

    As many of you may be aware, telematics is that part of information technology, which helps in the transmission of digital data over long distances. This technology uses satellite GPS or Global Positioning System and is fast becoming a part of the hardware of the future. If a company is in the rental market, one can only imagine the possibilities that telematics can bring to the business. Tracking equipment regarding the precise location, a detailed analysis of the way it is being used, and the fault codes are some of the possibilities that the use of telematics can offer.

    Rental companies can leverage telematics to deliver equipment on time, increase the rate of utilization, analyze fault codes to improve operations and have live updates on the asset locations.

    A look at the rental market for construction equipment:

    The construction industry is a segment that uses the services of the rental companies for a substantial part of the equipment they require. The hardware they rent includes machinery of many types, tools, and specialized equipment for a certain period. In general, the market consists of entities who manufacture the equipment and those outfits who purchase the machinery and rent it to the construction outfits for the required time segments.

    Moreover, the increase in construction activities is evident around the globe. Not just in fully-developed countries but also developing countries. Because of the investments pouring into this industry, research into this sector, especially regarding the equipment is essential to ensure progress and improvement. Some of the factors that make research important are the safety and obsolescence factors. Outdated machinery needs to be continuously improved and updated, which is also the reason why the construction industry likes to rent instead of outright purchase.

    Telematics and ERP:

    Let us look at the way telematics ties in with ERP. The data that telematics collects can ensure that companies can not only track the information about their data but analyze and report their data on ERP. The data is obtained from the tracking elements in the equipment and collated in the ERP system to provide insights. The unification of data to draw inferences and come up with actionable insights is something that the optimum ERP can facilitate.

    You can easily track as many as 19 data points, and 42 fault codes, the notable among these include fuel levels, odometer data, location, count of loads, engine status, and much more. Additionally, you can only imagine the kind of planning and insights that such data from the ERP can help a rental company with.

    Leverage the telematics data within your ERP to:

    • Have an overview of all the equipment location
    • Tighten up logistics to ensure that you factor in transportation in your delivery schedule
    • Maximize the renting of expensive equipment with detailed and careful planning
    • Help meet customer’s demands on time without compromising on costs
    • Be proactive about maintenance and schedule it during slack times
    • Study the usage patterns and the effect they have on the equipment life

    With the right ERP, the use of the data and the subsequent insights from telematics are endless. It is an exciting time in the rental and lease segment with enormous scope for growth.

    Want to learn more? Send us an email at or download the free whitepaper here

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    James Novak's focus on xRM solution architecture and development in the government sector has provided broad exposure to Dynamics 365/CRM technology.

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    At times, you will find it useful to know which Dynamics 365 Processes (Workflows, Actions, Business Rules) currently reference a specified Subject(s) in the Subject Tree. This is especially true if you intend to rename the Subject(s) and want to keep the Process references accurate and up to date. There is a way to do this using the FetchXML Builder Plugin in the XrmToolBox utility. In today’s blog, we’ll walk you through how to do it.


    To illustrate how it’s done, we’ll walk through an example that is based on three important assumptions:

    1. You have the XrmToolBox tool with the FetchXML Builder Plugin already installed on your computer and have created a connection within XrmToolBox to your Microsoft Dynamics 365 Org. For information/documentation on downloading and installing XrmToolBox, connecting it to your Microsoft Dynamics 365 deployment, and adding XrmToolBox plugins, go to Download XrmToolBox.

    2. The Subject Tree (navigate to Settings > Business Management > Subjects) is defined as shown below:


    3. The example Subjects are referenced in these Processes (Entity = Case) that have been defined and created in a D365 Org with conditions as follows:

    • Test Action Referencing Test Subject Tree (references the Parent Subject and both of its Children Subjects)


    • Test Workflow Referencing Test Subject Children


    • Test Workflow Referencing Test Subject Parent


    • Test Workflow Referencing Test Subject Parent and Test Subject Child #1


    • Test Business Rule Referencing Test Subject Child #2


    Now you want to identify all Processes that reference the highlighted Subjects from the Subject Tree.


    Assuming a Subject Tree and Processes as shown above for this example, follow the steps below to determine which Processes reference “Test Subject Parent” and which reference each of its two Child Subjects:

    1. First, in your D365 Org, open the Advanced Find tool.


    2. Create an Advanced Find query (look for Cases entity) where the Subject field is equal to Test Subject Parent and click the Download Fetch XML icon to generate a FetchXML file of type ‘XML Document’ in your Downloads folder.


    3. Find and open the downloaded FetchXML file with Notepad or another preferred Text Editor tool. In this file, take note of the Test Subject Parent‘s globally unique identifier (GUID) that is embedded in the FetchXML. Be ready to copy the GUID from this file for a later step.


    4. Repeat Steps 2 and 3 for Test Subject Child #1 and Test Subject Child #2.

    Test Subject Child #1



    Test Subject Child #2



    5. Now open the XrmToolBox utility and Connect to your D365 Org.



    6. Open the FetchXML Builder Plugin by clicking on Plugins, then on the FetchXML Builder icon, and then on the Continue button.




    7. Once FetchXML Builder is open, in the top left Query Builder pane, right click on the fetch top:50 query statement. In the bottom left Quick Actions pane, you can change the value for Top to indicate the maximum number of rows you want returned from the fetch, but 50 will work for our purposes, as the number of Processes we are trying to find is far less than 50.



    8. Next, in the Query Builder, click on entity. In Quick Actions, select workflow in the Entity name dropdown.



    9. In Query Builder click on entity workflow. In Quick Actions click on attribute.


    10. Now go back to Query Builder and click attribute. In Quick Actions select name in the Attribute name dropdown.



    11. Click again on entity workflow in Query Builder. In Quick Actions click on filter.



    12. With filter still selected in Query Builder, click on condition in Quick Actions.



    13. With condition still selected in Query Builder, return to the Quick Actions pane and select xaml in the Attribute dropdown and Like in the Operator dropdown. Now copy the GUID in the FetchXML file for Test Subject Parent (noted in Step 3). Place it into the Value field between two “%” characters.



    14. Select filter once again in the Query Builder query structure and again click on condition in Quick Actions (this is done just as shown in Step 12).

    15. With a second condition now placed into and still selected in the Query Builder structure, go to the Quick Actions pane and select type in the Attribute dropdown, Equal in the Operator dropdown, and Definition (1) in the Value dropdown.



    16. The query is now ready to run! You can use the Save button to save this query for future use – the Open button will allow you to browse to it and open it again when you reenter FetchXML Builder at a later time. At this time click the Execute button or F5 key to run the query and see results in the Result View pane to the right of Query Builder. Per our Process definition (assumption #3 above), the three Processes listed (one Action, two Workflows) all referenced the Test Subject Parent Subject.


    17. To also identify Processes with references to other Subjects (e.g., Test Subject Child #1 or Test Subject Child #2) you can build queries for each Subject by clicking New to start a new query, repeating Steps 7 – 16, and taking care to use the correct GUID (e.g., as noted in Step 4) for the Subject reference you want to find. However, at this point you can now just use this same query that has already been constructed, and, for each of the two Subjects, simply replace the Test Subject Parent GUID with the GUID for the Subject you want to find. Then Execute each of the new queries. Here are the results when querying the other two Subjects:

    Test Subject Child #1 (referenced in one Action and two Workflows)


    Test Subject Child #2 (referenced in one Business Rule, one Action, and one Workflow)


    Note that you can easily repeat these steps for any Subject for which you want to find the Processes that contain a reference to it.

    That’s it for today, readers. For more information on Dynamics 365 and other useful tips, feel free to contact us! Also, make sure you check out our blog weekly for the latest news and educational materials. Happy D365’ing!

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