So you wonder where I’ve been? I’ve been doing many many things I can’t yet share. But something I CAN share is the new book!
First, the important stuff:
Discount: JulieYackCRMQuickStartEBook (20% off the ebook)
We decided to launch this one in phases, first Kindle and ebook, then soon after full color print version. No need to make folks wait if they want to start right away. There are so few book out for CRM 2013 as it is (I think one more right now?).
All of the authors (and the editor) are current Dynamics CRM MVPs. Some have written with us before, a couple of new faces join the group.
Learn from David Yack, Joel Lindstrom, David Berry, Richard Knudson, Dylan Haskins, Jukka Niiranen and Julie Yack
(for those that have been wondering, The CRM Field Guide 2013/2014 is THIS close to done also, keep your eye out!)
Chapter 1 - Hello I’m CRM 2013
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 is a major release building on the strong foundation of CRM 2011. From the user experience to platform capabilities CRM 2013 has changes that are targeted for everyone as users, customizers, IT Pros, and developers. In this chapter we give you a 50,000 foot tour of what’s new.
Chapter 2 – The User Experience
Before you can build solutions in CRM 2013 you should learn how the new user experience works. In this chapter we will dive into the new experience and break down all the key changes so you are ready to start thinking about customizing it.
Chapter 3 – Customizing CRM Forms
The 2013 user experience requires rethinking how we customize forms. From the new layout options, new controls and even new form types we have a lot to talk about. We also can’t forget you might have CRM 2011 forms and want to know how to move them forward into this release.
Chapter 4 – Security Model Changes
Today’s global business challenges the traditional organization structure as people form dynamic teams to work on individual opportunities or other data in CRM. CRM 2013 addresses that with Access Teams which challenge past thinking of how to handle these types of needs. In this chapter we will explore the new feature and discuss how and when to use the different CRM security concepts.
Chapter 5 – Building Business Processes
To consistently bake good cookies people often times use their favorite recipe. The Business Process feature of CRM 2013 brings that to CRM allowing you to bake in a business process into the life cycle of a CRM record. In fact you can even blur the lines of multiple CRM entities and have a business process cross the entity boundaries reflecting more real-world business processes. In this chapter we look at the features and how to leverage them to improve user productivity and consistency.
Chapter 6 – No Code Business Rules
Portable Business Rules, or PBL for short, offer a declarative way to define business rules. This new feature represents the start of a journey to a common need of having simple rules like “This field is required”. In this chapter we will explore the capability of PBL and when to use it versus other concepts in CRM that can enforce business rules.
Chapter 7 – Real Time Workflows
Workflows offer an easy way to compose flexible business processes that can optionally include custom code created by a developer. Prior to CRM 2013 these had to run asynchronously in the background and never could happen in real time. This caused a lot of plug-ins to be built to handle the requirement. New in CRM 2013 is real time workflows that can allow processing of events real time. In this chapter we discuss when and how to use the new feature.
Chapter 8 – Upgrading to CRM 2013
Next, Next, Next…Done… If it was only that easy it would be an automated upgrade. In this chapter we explore what you should consider before you upgrade and how to prepare.
Chapter 9 – Solutions going forward
As the pace of CRM releases increases, understanding how to package and deploy solutions becomes increasingly important. In this chapter we will discuss changes to the Solution Framework and how to prepare for the bold new world of frequent CRM releases.
Chapter 10 – Taking CRM on the Road
There is no question Microsoft was behind in mobile applications for CRM but came back strong with the introduction of the new tablet application for IPad and Windows. Learn how this fits in with the customizations you are doing to CRM and limitations you should be aware of in this first generation release. This chapter will also cover Outlook enhancements and Server Sync that in many scenarios will free the deployment from having an E-mail router.
Chapter 11 – Developers, Developers, and Developers
This release doesn’t have huge new API changes but it does have a lot of small useful changes across the different parts of the developer features. In this chapter we will explore from oAuth authentication support to Custom Actions and all the little changes between them.
One of our biggest rights and obligations as Americans is to be heard. We have an absolute obligation to make sure our legislators hear what is important to us, they represent us. Sure, we do it all the time with votes. But, the real power we have is truly our opinions and the expression to those that have the decision-making power that we have given them. Even if you didn’t vote for them, make them listen to you. They represent all of their constituents, not just the friendlies.
I have been fortunate (very very fortunate) to have been invited to attend a fly-in sponsored by ACT. (I’ve done this magical trip three times and will continue to go as long as I am invited) What’s a fly-in? In this case, an opportunity to brush-up on specific issues that affect me and my (business) world. ACT shares many of the same concerns that I face but they have the staff and resources to have done much more research than I, they also love to share that info. They help us look much more smarter when we take our meetings.
So this leads me to my first bit of advice Find a sponsor group. It can be big or small. You could even start one. If your special interest doesn’t already have a group, I’d respectfully suggest you have an obligation to form one. Why a group? Doesn’t your one voice carry weight? Well, sure, but the more voices heard, the more constituents that speak up on an issue, the more it is in the brain of that ELECTED official.
Next bit of advice: Pick your issues, you can’t have them all at once. Sure we have opinions on loads and loads of things. But just like we coach our kids to make a targeted wish list to Santa, you need the same when you ask for change in DC. Pie in the sky is great. But, targeted issues that are before Congress TODAY will get you somewhere. Know the agenda for now, know of that what matters to you. Also, don’t be that crazy person that demands Constitutional level change that only improves their own life.
Also, go to DC. In person. Get on a plane, drive your car. However you do it, do it. Stay in the outskirts at a cheap motel and take the metro if you must. But, there is nothing quite like wearing a suit and taking a meeting in those historic buildings. It really almost feels magical. And when you are there you know you have their attention, they will be listening and taking notes. If you can’t make it to DC, a phone call is better than an email, an email is better than apathy.
It is ok to meet with staffers. They work hard, they do research on things, make recommendations, they get stuff done. If you do get time with your Congressman/Congreswoman/Senator know your elevator pitch for the issues. And yes, pull out your phone and take a selfie with them. Put it on social media.
Finally, follow-up. Send a thank you card. Get a nice plain card with a pretty picture on it, write some kinds words with a pen and stamp that baby and send it.
Rinse and repeat. Issues change all of the time. Once is not enough, make it a regular thing to be heard. It is your obligation.
Denver Dev Day will be Saturday, June 14th, 2014 at the Innovation Pavilion in the Denver Tech Center. The event leadership team includes many of the same talents that brought Trifecta to Colorado. This one-day event targets enthusiasts & professional developers. This year, Denver Dev Day focuses exclusively on ASP.Net. This is a call for speakers.
PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR PROPOSAL(S) TO: Ely Lucas at email@example.com
PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR PROPOSAL(S) BEFORE: Friday, May 23
Sessions will run between 9AM and 4PM. Each session is 60 minutes long. You may submit more than one session title. Please ensure your session is about ASP.Net (which includes WebForms, MVC, WCF, WebAPI, Visual Studio, client scripting, and more) and/or Windows Azure (in the context of web development only). If your session(s) is selected, we will reach out to you soon and make local arrangements and/or travel arrangements. Thank you in advance for your participation.
Now before you assume this doesn’t apply to you, I mean all booth staff, if the title makes you uncomfortable, then I’m not sure how you found your way here at all. I’ve been doing these conferences for a while and have picked up on a few good and not so good behaviors. And this applies to more than just a cookie cutter nerd fest event.
Today I met my first professional booth babe. To be fair, he gave me some fancy sounding made up job title, but at the end of the day, he’s a booth babe (or a booth abe?). He engages customers, partners and the like. Promises double the leads and so on. I am a little skeptical, but I like the idea. He inspired this post actually. So did the stalker badge scanner lady.
Do talk to people. How else do you know if there’s anything in common or business interests?
Don’t just stand (or sit) there. Engage. I walked all the way back across the expo hall floor to say hi to the vendor that tweeted to me. I needed to tell them they are doing it right.
Lighten up. Sure what you have is great, but same thing for everyone else in the expo. Your t-shirts may be cool today, but someone else’s is better. And at the end of the day it’s likely just going to be given to my kid or worn on a frumpy rainy sweats kinda day.
Do find that common thing to talk about, and it’s not always business.
If you want to scan the attendee badges (and who doesn’t), give something in return. Even if that something is simply a conversation. If you have fun swag, great, but that’s not required. Don’t be that lady that walks up to me and doesn’t say anything else except “can I scan your badge?” The answer to that is a big fat no.
I guess at the end of the day it’s about treating people how you’d want to be treated.
Software is easy, people are hard. I’ve said it many many times. Managing your customers take more than software, but software sure can make it easier. Good software. Good CRM that makes the customer confident but doesn’t go into the creepy stage.
I have no idea what software Safelite auto glass uses, and this is probably a better story because of that. I could totally build their CRM in my head in Dynamics CRM, but again, I don’t know (or really care) what software they use.
So, I have a chip in my windshield. Not sure how or when it happened, other than not long ago, this window is only a few weeks old (that’s Colorado for you). I call my insurance to make sure that I’m covered for chip repair and setup an appointment. This was a bit of a miserable call, the agent was obviously new and sticking to their script, and apparently I have little patience on Monday mornings. But, this was my insurance company, not Safelite. The good part of this is that they could directly schedule my appointment for the repair (yea, integration!).
Shortly after the call, I get an email confirmation. Simple, to the point and a little stylized (yea, email marketing add-on!).
This morning I get the following email. Click on the image, open it up, look at it.
Let’s review this email. We’ll start at the image of the technician at the top and go clockwise.
Often these people would be coming to your home, for me it’s my office. But either way, YEA for giving me a picture of who to expect. Build trust. Maybe I’m a young mom home alone with a couple of small kids, super cool to help ease that adult version of stranger danger.
Around to the column on the right. Continue that trust building thing. Tell me about how you check your techs for criminal records, drug screening and driving records. Now you continue to tell me how skilled they are, not just trustworthy. Again, lots of points here.
For me the middle, the body of the email, is meh, mostly irrelevant.
Now that left column is full of winning.
Confirm customer contact info.
Confirm location details for service.
Confirm car that you are servicing.
Could it get better?
Well, yes, because it doesn’t stop there.
About an hour after the email, Joseph the technician calls me to narrow down the expected time for him to be here. The email gives a four hour window, on the phone that was cut in half.
Joseph carries a mobile device that shows appointment details. Comes in, confirms with me and gets the keys to my car.
After fixing the chip in the window, he comes back inside, tells me he’s all done. Is there anything else?
Before he’s even out of the building, I get the email with the survey link (my response is this blog post).
I know I am. I hope to see a few of you there. I will be one four panels this year; two for MVPs and two talking about new features in CRM 2013.
One of the most exciting parts for me of this year’s conference our user group, xRMVirtual, celebrating five years! It’s hard to believe that five years ago, on a bit of a whim Shan McArthur and I jumped off a cliff and started this great virtual community. We share a passion for the user community and love to bring the meetings to you every month.
Here’s the standard advice for any professional conference:
See you there.
When I got into the software development world by accident many years ago I was amazed at this professional community. Shocked that there were people out there that wanted to help others, their (gasp!) competitors even, to do better. To learn. To share. And then there were whole groups, a great big organized eco-system of people helping people just because it was the right thing to do, not because someone paid them. Wow. Just wow.
I had to be part of it.
I couldn’t watch, I had to DO IT too.
I co-founded and worked with my local .NET group (www.southcolorado.net) for many years. It was great to watch it grow from two or three people to several hundred. That group is still going strong and is a great resource for our local professionals. And with meetings at The Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, the group has the coolest meeting space that I know of.
From that group we met several other local .NET leaders and together worked to make what started as a code camp but wound up being the Rocky Mountain Tech Trifecta. The event was for coders, DBAs, server folks, SharePoint techies and more. It has been awesome. These free all day events each had over 500 attendees, giving up their Saturday morning sleep-in time to learn and to share.
Now my time is spent working with a virtual group for Dynamics CRM developers (www.xrmvirtual.com). We are about to hit our five-year anniversary with over two thousand members. With such a specialized technology family a virtual group seemed the way to go to get the audience we needed. We have had a handful of spin-off traditional groups in areas where there are enough developers to have those meetings.
It is my honor to be here to serve this community.
Please tell me no.
As I’m rushing out of the house this morning. Coat on. Purse, computer, keys and dog in hand and the phone rings. The landline at the house. Who calls a landline anymore? It must be important.
May I speak with Julie please?
This is she.
How are you today?
Fine thanks, and you?
I’m great, thanks for asking. This is so and so from such and such car warranty company. I’m calling about your 2007 blah blah car to see if you know it’s no longer in warranty and would you like to add an extended warranty for this car.
Seeing as that car was totaled in 2009, I’m pretty sure I don’t care if it has a warranty or not. Have a nice day.
Not even thanks for your time or goodbye. I try to recognize that this lady is just doing her job. But she was preventing me from going to my job. I had to find that happy medium between you’re a human too, but I know you’re wasting my time, so let’s just get this moving along.
Now let’s take this apart. I have no fantasy that my contact information is safe or secured or private in any way. I’m way past that.
The car, was a lease, in 2007. Seven years ago. How hard is it to write your query to say exclude if type equals lease? Or exclude if lease term has expired?
Add some simple integration to your CRM. This car has not been “mine” for FIVE YEARS. Can’t you run a quick check against current registrations and see it’s no longer registered? Or do a darn Carfax report to show titled type equals totaled? Then add that line item to your query for your call agents.
And why not add an item to their call script…once she knows I no longer have THAT car, why not start a conversation about what cars I might have now? Could she help me with those? This automation stuff is not that hard.
I just get frustrated when companies fail at the most basic parts of customer relationship management. I know how easy it is to make small and impactful changes. Sure, there’s some pretty big things we can do too, but save that for the big companies, I get it. But for me, this call this morning, came from a tiny call center. With one day of consulting from someone that knows a little about software and process automation and the differences could be huge. And heck, it doesn’t even matter what software you choose. Obviously if you’re here you know I’m building this in my head in Dynamics CRM, but really any of them could do this basic CRM.