Wednesday, October 25, 2006

MSCRM Workflow
I am working on a demo and wanted to create a couple workflow processes to assign a new opportunity, and then fire a new sales process. So the first rule was a rule on the opportunity firing OnCreate and its tasks were:

When a new opportunity is created, assign it to Gail, our sales rep
Send Gail an email to alert her to her new opportunity

I also created a Sales Process to fire from the OnCreate event for the opportunity to carry out a number of steps. However due to the asynchronous nature of the MSCRM workflow engine, this refused to work. The first task in the sales process would not create, and when I checked the workflow monitor I noticed it paused, and if I clicked “retry” it would complete. This makes sense, I think the issue is that the sales process was firing and trying to create new tasks for the owner of the opportunity, but the opportunity had not been assigned by the previous rule yet.

So to solve this I changed the Sales Process to a manual rule, and then in the rule that fires OnCreate I put in a 1 minute wait timer, and then called the sales process as a sub process. Bingo, problem solved.

Monday, October 16, 2006

As we speed toward the release of Vista and Office 2007, I have been running the Betas of both products for a month or so, and naturally this gets me thinking about new and exciting users for these new technologies with MSCRM! So on Saturday night, another ROCKING night in the burbs, I decided to get into the world of Vista sidebar gadgets.

Below are a couple screen shots of MSCRM Gadget 1...please note this is a WIP which must now be put on hold whilst I build a demo for this Wednesday, but there will be more on this topic coming soon!

Screen 1: The Sidebar Gadget

Screen 2: Clicking in the gadget to load an account record
MSCRM v3 Article coming soon...

Ask several different people what Customer Relationship Management (hereafter referred to as “CRM”) software is, and you’ll likely get answers as varied as the physical characteristics of the people you ask. However out of such a poll, someone will probably give an answer such as “Sales Force Automation” or “a way to increases sales” or “a software tool to organize accounts and contacts”. While these views are not necessarily incorrect, let me illustrate what CRM truly is with an example.

I’ve just landed at La Guardia Airport in NY, and in the taxi on my way in, my favorite hotel, which recently put in a system to track flight arrivals of its preferred customers, sends me an email on my Windows Mobile device “Mr. Straumann, we see your flight has arrived and you are most probably in the taxi on the way to the hotel. You are checked into Room 1625 on our preferred floor, a single, non-smoking room with a king-sized bed, and we also assumed you would like the Tempur-pedic pillow you requested on your last visit here, so we took the liberty of putting one in your room. Please enter key code 1066 on the keypad near the door handle to enter the room, that code corresponds to your month and year of birth and should be easy for you to remember. We also note that the last time you visited us, you ordered a late dinner of a club sandwich. Would you like one sent to your room after you arrive? If so, please reply to this note and when you enter the code in the room lock we will be notified of your arrival and have your meal brought up right away. Thank you for visiting us again.”
THAT is an example of what CRM software is supposed to accomplish!

Read the full article soon....