An Overview of Project services

Project services for Dynamics CRM has been released in the CRM Online Spring release. Project services will enable all aspects of a project to be managed in CRM from Pre sales opportunity management through to project planning, delivery and billing.

Project services will be delivered under an add on license to a CRM Online Basic or Professional sku. When trialing Dynamics CRM Online you will be able to load as a solution a trial of Project services.

The core capabilities of Project Services are:

  • Opportunity Management
    • Estimate, quote, and contract work, Plan and assign resources and Enable team collaboration
    • This great feature allows for a project quote to be created off the back of a work break down structure definition. As pre sales you will be create a draft project, start from a project template and adapt for the specific needs of the opportunity. Once the plan has been approved you can import in the project lines in to the quote and summarise the details by role or phase. Using the new word template functionality you will then be able to create a nice looking word document for your quote / statement of work.
  • Project-based contracts
    • Project contracts relate quotes and orders to project plans, financial estimates, labour pricing, and billing arrangements, like time and materials or fixed price. The contract highlights key metrics, including profitability and feasibility.
  • Project planning
    • Visual project planning and estimation includes predecessors, automatic task scheduling, and views of sales and cost information for time and expenses. You can use the resulting plan in quotes and project contracts.
    • WBSpic
  • Resource management
    • Resource information includes the skills and proficiencies of your workforce. You can view and filter resources based on skills and availability, so you can assign the right people to the right projects. You can also track resource utilization and forecasting metrics.
    • Resourcing of projects can be performed by a centralized user role or by the project manager depending on your organisation needs.
    • Resource Availability screenshot
    • ResourceAvailability
    • Resource Utilisation screenshot
    • Resource Utilisation
  • Time and expenses
    • Capture time, expense, and progress data for real-time insights and accurate invoicing
    • Team members can use the web or mobile apps to record time and expenses for multiple projects. Managers can easily approve new entries while understanding the financial implications of the newly-approved items.
    • Screenshot of the time recording grid view
    • timerecording
  • Project billing
    • Project invoices reflect the terms of the contract and the approved work and expenses. The financial impact of project work, including costs, unbilled revenue, and invoices, is recorded for use in analytics and integration into financial systems.
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Dynamics CRM 2016 Release Preview Information

Dynamics CRM 2016 in the name of the next release for Dynamics CRM expected this Fall (December / January), and what a release it looks like it will be.

I have listed some resources that share some of the new features and content:

Microsoft Blog by Bob Stutz

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 – Delivering the Next Generation of Intelligent Customer Engagement

YouTube Video on the new features

Youtube2016

Preview Guide

CRMPreviewGuide2016

Changing the Entity Tile Colour

Did you ever wish you could change the colour of one of the entity tiles like account from the Case from purple to say yellow?

Well in Dynamics CRM Online Spring 2015 Update 1 you now can and its really easy if you know your hex colours 🙂

So my scenario I want to change the Case Purple tile to Yellow, this is what it looks like out of the box:

Changingthe entity colour in the site map 0

To change it to yellow, follow these simple steps:

  1. Open up Settings->Customise the system
  2. Open up the entity you want to change in this scenario Case
  3. Now you will need to use a hex converter like http://www.colorhexa.com to identify the colour you want
  4. When you have the hex code simply update the field in the entity form labelled Colour, as below
  5. Changingthe entity colour in the site map 2
  6. Now save and publish the entity
  7. Refresh you CRM browser and now navigate to Case, you will see it has changed to the colour specified
  8. Changingthe entity colour in the site map 3

Happy colour changing!

Online vs On Premise the top level differences

The table below outlines some of the head line differences between CRM Online and CRM On Premise, hopes its useful.

Capability CRM Online CRM On Premise
Exchange Synchronisation CRM for Outlook, Email Router, or Server Synchronisation (if using Exchange Online/O365). CRM for Outlook, Email Router, or Server Synchronisation (if using Exchange on premise)
SharePoint Integration Server Side with SharePoint Online (if using O365). Client-side integration
Social Listening Included based on number subscriptions purchased (10+) and availability in region. Additional cost
Workflows/dialogs 200 Unlimited
Custom Entities 300 Unlimited
SSRS Reporting Fetch XML or T-SQL from a locally replicated reporting server. Import DLLs, Fetch XML or T-SQL
Power BI Reporting Yes No
PowerView Reporting Yes Yes
Upgrade/Update Process Office 365 admin approves the upgrade before it is installed, update rollups applied automatically. Upgrades and update rollups installed by your administrator.
Direct Server Access No Yes
Phone App Yes Yes if environment externally facing via ADFS.
Tablet App Yes Yes if environment externally facing via ADFS.
Storage Limited to the amount of CRM Online storage available when your organisation is created, additional storage can be purchased when required. Storage Utilisation is calculated based on Data Size and Index Size and is shared across all instances. By default an organisation is given 5gb of storage, additional 2.5gb of storage is granted in increments for every additional 20 professional licenced users up to a maximum of 50gb. Limited to the amount of storage available on your server.
Update Release Cycle Two releases per year. Spring release functionality exclusive to CRM Online, so new functionality available online first. Fall release released to both CRM Online and On Premises, includes the functionality released in the Spring release.
Migrating Deployments CRM Online customers can migrate to CRM On Premise at any time. SQL database can be provided to client at scheduled time that can be imported to an On Premise deployment using the “restore” process in compatible versions of SQL Server. CRM On Premise customers can migrate to CRM Online and customization for entities can be imported; however, the MSCRM database cannot be moved to Online data centre, so a data migration exercise would be required.
Sandbox environments CRM Online provides non production environments as part of your subscription that can be used for Dev/Test/UAT. The number of organizations received depends on the number of users. A free sandbox environment is provided for organisations with 25 or more professional licenses. Non production environments can be installed, depending on local server availability.

Dynamics CRM 2015 available for download, all links included

It is here CRM2015 has been released. Details below:

For CRM Online, provision a new trial and you are up and running with CRM 2015. If you are an existing customer you will be able to schedule your upgrade to occur via the CRM admin centre in the Office 365 Portal. To access, just log in to Office 365 and then select Admin -> CRM. See this video for more information https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7f3KTlFaQ64&list=PLRvH_Jgj96NlxvDPfoNw28caAHn0zU6dJ&index=13

For On Premise customers, you can download the new server components from here:

Exporting a Large Number of Records as an Excel Spreadsheet from CRM Online | Stephanus Natawardaja’s Blog

http://snataw.wordpress.com/2013/02/27/exporting-a-large-number-of-records-as-an-excel-spreadsheet-from-crm-online/