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Is your CRM flexible? MS Dynamics CRM vs EnterpriseWizard

February 27th, 2009 by Pat Rundall in CRM, EnterpriseWizard, Microsoft Dynamics

When choosing a CRM package, customers often overlook the effort required to make changes down the road. After all, a customer is rarely satisfied with the default “out of the box” functionality of their package – so CRM functionality change is inevitable. But what effort is required to make that change?

Changing Microsoft Dynamics CRM to meet your needs

Recently, I stumbled upon a blog about the Microsoft Dynamics CRM. In it, a consultant was describing what he had to do in order to solve a frequent request of his clients… Here is a snippet:

A typical customer request is for email created from a Case to default to send to the Responsible Contact instead of its default behavior which is to send it to the Customer.

Sounds reasonable enough right? You’d like to make some seemingly minor change to your CRM package from the default (sending email to the customer) to your desired operation (sending email to the responsible contact – perhaps your sales manager or a customer support person). Ok, let’s see what this consultant has to say about the MS Dynamics approach:

This is actually something very easy to change.

Well – that’s good to hear. I certainly want a CRM package that will easily adapt to my needs.

Please Note: This is an unsupported modification, and any patch could overwrite this.

This doesn’t look good. You mean that every time I upgrade my CRM version I have to worry whether this functionality will revert back to the Microsoft CRM defaults? Ug…  Let’s read on…

There is a JavaScript file, cases.js, in the following folder.

C:\Program Files\Microsoft Dynamics CRM Server\CRMWeb\_static\CS\cases

It contains a function called locAddActTo that fills the To: activity party variables that are sent in the QueryString to the activity like the URL below.

http://crmserver1:5555/MicrosoftCRM/activities/email/edit.aspx?
pId={E0F2E676-7FE2-DD11-9AE8-0003FF517B20}
&pType=112
&pName=CaseTitleGoesHere
&partyid={0EDF3D7E-E3E0-DD11-A5F9-0003FF517B20}
&partytype=1
&partyname=AccountNameGoesHere
&partyaddressused=&contactInfo=

What we care about are the partyid, partytype and partyname arguments.

You can read the rest of his post (or many similar posts on his site) with the required code changes for this and other “easy” modifications to enable you to make simple changes in MS Dynamics CRM.

Unless you have a 12th degree blackbelt MS Dynamics CRM guru on staff, you’ll be spending a great deal on consulting in order to make a simple change like this.

Changing EnterpriseWizard CRM to meet your needs

Within EnterpriseWizard, there are several ways you can configure your CRM to automatically email your staff based on a new case… no custom code required. Let’s take a look at one possible method using the EnterpriseWizard Rules system.

Step 1: Create the new rule.

Login as an administrator and open the Rules system under Setup. Click New.

Step 2: Walk through the rule wizard. Name your rule, pick your table.

Simply walk through the Rule wizard to create a rule to do exactly as you’d like. In the first tab, name your new rule and select the appropriate table. Let’s say we’d like our CRM to automatically email a sales manager when a new Lead is created.  Select the Leads table.

CRM Rule Wizard - Select a table

CRM Rule Wizard - Select a table

Step 3: Define the type (frequency) of the rule.

Apply this rule:

  • When a Lead is created/edited/deleted
  • At selected time intervals
  • When some summary condition based on multiple criteria has/hasn’t been met

In our case, let’s choose the first option… when a Lead is created/edited/deleted

Step 2: Define how the CRM will apply the rule

Define how the CRM will apply the rule

Step 4: Further define the rule type using the Condition tab.

Choose exactly when this should occur.

Step 3: Define the conditions of the rule

Define the conditions of the rule

Step 5: Schedule (if necessary) when this should occur.

In this step, you can decide if you would like to have this rule run at all times or be restricted.

Step 4: Schedule your rule

Schedule your rule

Step 6: Create the email action to occur for this rule

On the final rule tab, click on the Create Email Action button. If you would like to have your CRM perform multiple actions based on these conditions – simply create and select additional actions within the rule.

For example, if you would like to setup your CRM to email your sales manager when a new Lead is created and you’d like to automatically update a value in your Campaigns table such that your marketing department can monitor the effectiveness of their campaigns – just add that action to your rule.

Create the email action associated with this rule

Create the email action associated with this rule

Once the action has been created, you need to select an email template to be associated with that action. If one does not already exist, create one as shown below.

Create email template

Create email template

You can choose to have your CRM email the sales department manager, a list of people or perhaps an entire team. The possibilities are endless.

Flexible CRM? Advantage=EnterpriseWizard

The choice is obvious.  Choosing a flexible package is critical to the success of your CRM deployment. EnterpriseWizard is vastly superior to competing packages such as Microsoft Dynamics when it comes to flexibility without having to make expensive/custom coded changes.

Even if you are uncomfortable making the changes described above on your own platform, a CRM consultant like Adapt Data Solutions can help you through changing your system at a fraction of the time/cost/risk because of the underlying adaptable framework found in EnterpriseWizard.


Adapt Data Solutions is Moving!

February 18th, 2009 by Pat Rundall in Adapt Data Solutions

We’re moving into a new office space to better Adapt Data Solutions Headquartersserve our customers.

Our new facility is located in the beautiful building shown here within the ISU Research Park in Ames, Iowa. We now have extremely fast and reliable internet access and will be able to better manage customer projects from this site.

Our new address:
Adapt Data Solutions
2321 North Loop Drive, Suite 110
Ames, Iowa 50010

Shoot us an email if you have any questions about this move.


Free upgrade offered to Entellium customers

February 1st, 2009 by Pat Rundall in CRM

EnterpriseWizard recently announced that it offer Entellium’s clients a free upgrade to EnterpriseWizard including data migration.  On the surface, this offer is a chance for EnterpriseWizard to grab some additional marketshare from Entellium.

Entellium’s recent downfall was well publicized. Now that Intuit is picking up the pieces of the company, customers have to be wondering if they will be able to make good on the promises of the former management (arrested by the FBI).

Meanwhile, EnterpriseWizard has a product that is more than able to deliver on the promises of hosted/hassle-free CRM.

Many small to mid-sized businesses really need a such a solution. They don’t want to bother with installing and maintaining CRM packages, making changes, etc.  However, they also need to be able to trust their hosted (Software-as-a-Service) solution vendor… a lesson learned the hard way by Entellium’s customers.