Summit Systems to Enhance Customer Experiences

Summit Systems has chosen Technology Management and Microsoft Dynamics to improve productivity, streamline processes & support its customers’ growth.

Keith Bailey, Finance Director for Summit Systems explains, “The integrated solution of Microsoft Dynamics NAV and CRM from Technology Management gives us modern, easy to use software to manage all our projects from initial quotation through to successful delivery and ongoing maintenance/support. Real time reporting and analysis will give us the information we need to make the right decisions for our customers”.

https://www.tecman.co.uk/Resources/Case-Studies/Summit-Systems

Summit-systems

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Career Connect Bootcamp

CRM Day at BCU

We are continuing to grow our skills in-house at Technology Management. Our graduate training programme is now in its third year and we are working hard to lock in the next generation of talented Dynamics Consultants and Developers.

Committed to supporting our senior professionals and to accommodate new growth within the company; we seek to acquire students that can work smart.

We know that employing graduates gives us a source for fresh ideas and opinions, and that’s why we attended the Microsoft Dynamics Career Bootcamp at Birmingham City University.

Coupled with Birmingham City University’s Innovation Day, the Microsoft Dynamics Career Bootcamp took place on Friday 15th May 2015 and Technology Management saw many
fantastic, future CRM and NAV Wizards.

Originally born in the US, the Dynamics Career Bootcamp is set up to train students and recent graduates, educating them on the exciting opportunities in a Dynamics career and connecting the potential CRM/NAV developers with trusted Microsoft partners.

We gave a presentation at the Career Bootcamp, a great introduction to the Technology Management culture for the graduates, before a series of interviews commenced with a select few.

Able to see an array of the young, upcoming talent in the arena, the day was a great success and it was encouraging to see the best up-coming developers and consultants in the field.

So suffice to say, thank you to all who came over to talk to us at the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Bootcamp on Friday – we were thrilled with the turnout and are excited to move forward with new candidates!

Top 15 features of Microsoft Dynamics CRM

What is CRM and why is it so important to any company, large or small?

In its simplest form, CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tools enable you to centrally track all your business interactions with your customers providing insight and adding value to your ongoing relationship with them and the sales and service experience your company delivers.

So, what is Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online?

This cloud-based, easy to use CRM business solution, which enables businesses of all sizes manage their customer relationships, anywhere, anytime.

Intrigued? See our 15 top features that help you get the most out of Dynamics CRM Online…

1. Complete 360 customer view – Capture a complete profile of your customer from first interaction through to post sale. Record customer data, understand their interests and preferences and then target them with marketing communications accordingly.

2. Omni Channel – Or Multi Channel as it’s commonly known, allows you to communicate with your customers across a range of channels whether it be online, social media, Skype or email.

3. Quick Create – Capture vital customer information without interrupting the conversation with your customer. Create contacts, accounts, tasks and activities then and there so you can save time and have the right information in your database at all times. 

Quick Create CRM

4. Outlook Integration –Create leads and contacts straight from your email. Tag related email conversations to easily transfer the vital information and customer data into your CRM database.

Outlook Integration

5. Appointment/Meeting Management – Schedule and manage meetings with your customers in Outlook and have these tracked in CRM to get a complete view of customer activity.

6. Click to Call – Dynamics CRM is fully integrated with Skype for Business (previously Lync) allowing you to have real time conversations with your clients, even face to face, all from within your CRM application.

7. Click to Email – It’s easy to send emails straight from Dynamics CRM – just click on the customer details and it will open up a new email to the customer. 

8. Create Marketing Lists – Quickly create marketing lists from sales and service information your marketing department can use to target and manage communications with your customers.

Create markeitng lists

9. Business Process Flow – See every stage in your sales process, what steps have been completed, and what you need to do to progress the deal. 

10. Export to Excel – Transfer customer records from your CRM database to Excel quickly and easily to allow for deeper analytics.

Export to Excel

11. Customer Data on Any Device – The CRM Mobile app provides a consistent experience across PC, phone, and tablet, letting you update activities, contacts, and opportunities and get real-time insight on the metrics that you need wherever you are.

Customer Data on any device

12. Document Collaboration – Attach documents, notes and images to your customer records. Automatically create shared workspaces where you can co-edit documents in real time.

13. Integrated with Office365 – See all documents you’re working on and seamlessly jump straight into editing them with Word / Excel / PowerPoint / OneNote online.

14. Dashboards, Charts and Views – Easy to use data dashboards to help you keep up-to-date with the health of your business, in an easy to consume and visual way.

  Dash Board

Charts and Views

15. Social Media Engagement – Hear what your customers are saying about you or your competitors, see the sentiment whether it is positive or negative, and understand what matters to them.

Supercharged CRM – Dynamics CRM 2015 Online just got quicker!

Microsoft have just released Update 1 for Dynamics CRM 2015 Online.

The update has included lots of new features… but tucked away in the announcement is a feature which will bring greater productivity and adoption to users of Dynamics CRM Online – a hidden gem.

Form Rendering Engine

The Form Rendering Engine is the part of CRM that presents you with your information within Dynamics CRM when you are looking at an Account, Contact or Opportunity.

There are 2 elements to this

-          The View Layer – This contains the structural elements of the form, the tabs, sections, fields and the overall layout

-          The Data Layer – This is the information that fills the fields and grids on the form.

The View Layer is now cached so that it loads from memory rather than the database server each time it loads resulting in much faster response times.

For the keen eyed, the user will also see status messages as the form loads, such as ‘Loading Business Logic’ and ‘Getting Data from CRM’. 

Pole Position

I needed to verify that I wasn’t just thinking it was faster because Microsoft said so, so I compared standard CRM 2015 vs CRM 2015 Update Rollup 1 and got the following ‘non-scientific results’

Version

Account   Form – First Load

Account   Form – Second Load

CRM   2015

5.36s

3.06s

CRM   2015 Update 1

4.65s

1.60s

So as you can see, there is a slight improvement in load times on ‘First Load’ but when you load the form again the load time is cut by almost 50%!

In both cases, I used Internet Explorer 11, the same sample Account and pressed start on my stopwatch when I clicked to open the Account and stop when the Form had rendered fully and the Posts were displayed.

I also removed the map from the CRM 2015 Account since this was not shown in CRM 2015 Update 1.

The Winner

Clearly CRM 2015 Update 1 takes the chequered flag in terms of performance and this will translate well for users of CRM.

In addition to the Navigational changes in this release users should be more productive and satisfied with the application.

I’d recommend that existing users of CRM Online update to as soon as possible and, if you are new to CRM, why not take a 30 day trial?

Contact Technology Management and we can assist you with this and demonstrate the power of Dynamics CRM.

For the Race Engineers (the technical bit!)

If you are upgrading from CRM 2015 to Update 1 and you have unsupported customisation such as jscript on your forms, you have the option of switching off the new Form Rendering Engine whilst you update your customisation.

This is seen as temporary option as you will very much want to take advantage of the new engine as soon as possible.

This option can be found in System Settings

Happy CRMing!

To see the full roll out of Update 1 to Dynamics CRM 2015 Online, check out our playlist at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLoS7gV-LINmnyJYOcf_yBSaQEC_w9tVbK 

Always striving to keep your business running wherever you go, Microsoft introduce Office 365 for Android tablets

Office 365 for Android

Microsoft are forever moving forward and endeavour to make the Office tools you rely on everyday available for every user, regardless of device. Now available for Android Tablets, this new release from Microsoft is simply another reason to trust the software you know and love.

https://www.tecman.co.uk/Software/Applications/Office-365

 

Bounce foods benefit in more ways than one…

Bounce Foods are thrilled with the benefits they have received from implementing to Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Dynamics CRM… 

Bounce have gained full, company-wide benefits from their integrated Microsoft software. Features such as Lync (Skype for Business), calendar share and reminders are delivering flexibility to their team internally and externally as they can share information quickly, see team members’ whereabouts and keep track of daily workloads. They also have real-time financial reporting, stock visibility and full P&L capability for each customer and full mobile working for the sales team using Dynamics CRM .

To see the Bounce Food’s directors take on the benefits of Dynamics NAV and CRM watch the video https://www.tecman.co.uk/Campaigns/Bounce-Foods#zone-benefits

Technology Management provide Microsoft Dynamics NAV and integrated eCommerce solution for start-up jewellery business Jadaro

Jadaro is an up and coming jewellery e-tailer and distributor, keen to become the recognised merchant for the contemporary jewellery market…

Established in 2014, Jadaro are currently the UK and Ireland distributor for Platadepalo Jewellery. As a small, independent company based in Wolverhampton, Jadaro owner Jamie Martindale is keen for the company to set off on the right foot to help ensure accurate business to business and business to customer growth for the first crucial few years.

A fully integrated software package, Microsoft Dynamics NAV with Additions eCommerce has been developed to work straight off-the-shelf; populated from Dynamics NAV and easily customised to reflect a brand’s colours and logos. This was ideal for Jadaro, as the software has enabled the company to monitor new retailer relationships and develop new business with no interruptions or limitations.

Real-time synchronisation with Microsoft Dynamics NAV means that the Jadaro eCommerce website will always now reflect correct items, pricing and real time stock availability.

For more information see https://www.tecman.co.uk/Software/Dynamics-Additions/eCommerce 

Jadaro

Technology Management provides £80,000 software and services contribution to Midlands Air Ambulance Charity

Image A - MAAC-Technology Management-010

Midlands Air Ambulance Charity’s commitment to continually building strong relationships with its thousands of charity supporters and donors, who help fundraise millions of pounds each year, is being strengthened by a significant contribution from IT firm, Technology Management.

As the charity finds it increasingly hard to raise much-needed funds, investing in IT not only improves operational effectiveness by saving time and resources so money goes further, the charity can communicate better to the charity’s supportive donors as information stored on each and every one involved is instantly available. This enables Midlands Air Ambulance Charity to easily adapt the information stored on the database to suit donors’ needs.

Technology Management’s generous software and service contribution, worth over £80,000 over three years, means Midlands Air Ambulance Charity now has a cloud-based Microsoft Dynamics CRM (Customer Relationship Management) solution to support and expand its fundraising activities. The solution will enable the charity to reduce its administrative time, continue to improve engagement with donors and charity supporters across the region, increase donations and ultimately save more lives.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM will enable the charity to:

  • More efficiently co-ordinate all fundraising meetings, phone calls, emails and other activity through Dynamics CRM’s integration with Microsoft Outlook & SharePoint
  • Streamline event management activities such as collection tins, merchandise sales and donation collection at fund-raising events
  • Easily track & report on all donations
  • Continue to improve communications with corporate sponsors, individual supporters and volunteers
  • Execute more targeted, thus cost-effective marketing campaigns – including email campaigns, events & direct mail

Reduce the admin involved in the management of gift aid claims, legacy & lottery registrations, online fundraising platforms and give as your earn schemes

Angela Watkins of MAAC explains, “Our existing system was a combination of cumbersome, rigid software and Excel spread sheets. With the planned expansion in our fundraising activities, we recognised we needed a much more integrated and user-friendly solution.

 “We also needed it to be flexible enough to be quickly tailored to our very specific requirements and work with our existing Microsoft Office tools such as Word, Excel & Outlook. Microsoft Dynamics CRM met all our needs and more.  Without Technology Management’s generosity in providing a substantial contribution towards the software, hosting, implementation and training costs, it just wouldn’t be possible.

“We are so grateful for their commitment and incredible support and we now have a system that’s easy to use and saves a huge amount of time.  It has been welcomed by all at Midland Air Ambulance Charity and means we can spend more time engaging directly with our extremely supportive donors, those that we really appreciate make our service possible.  We value everyone involved and updating our IT is just one part of our on-going commitment to continually improving the fundraising experience for all.”

Midlands Air Ambulance Charity (MAAC) is the UK’s largest air ambulance service. With no government funding, it needs to raise a minimum of £6.5m per year to keep its three helicopters manned and operational.

Covering the counties of West Midlands, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Shropshire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire, the charity performs over 2,000 missions a year, increasing a patient’s chances of recovery by ensuring they reach the most appropriate Trauma Centre within the critical first hour.

James Crowter, Managing Director at Technology Management, added: “We are delighted to be supporting Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, which saves so many lives in the region and be part of the charity’s IT improvement programme.  Microsoft Dynamics CRM is such a flexible solution and we have worked with the team to ensure that the software meets their specific requirements.  It is rewarding for us to see how our contribution has made such a difference to the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity.”

Bounce foods keeps going and growing

Bounce Foods provide bounce energy balls – a healthy and nutritious snack – into a growing health food market. With a rising demand for their produce, they needed to replace their existing software package to keep up with the trend…

Bounce chose to partner with Technology Management and selected Microsoft Dynamics software delivered in the cloud for a complete business solution:

  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV: for orders, stock, supply and accounts
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM: for a comprehensive view of all customer activities
  • Microsoft Office 365: for email, conferencing and document management

See why Microsoft Dynamics NAV and CRM were the best match for Bounce Foods https://www.tecman.co.uk/Campaigns/Bounce-Foods#zone-story

Skype for Business has arrived!

We can now announce that the new Skype for Business Online is rolling out as part of the April monthly update for Office 365 customers worldwide

If you currently use Lync Online in Office 365, the new Skype for Business user experience will appear for you in the coming weeks. We expect the roll out to be complete by the end of May.

For those that need a little more time to prepare for Skype for Business, Microsoft have provided the ability for administrators to switch between Skype for Business and the traditional Lync user interface. 

You can learn more here for Lync Online or here for the client experience with Lync Server.

Skype for Business is based on the familiar Skype experience that more than 300 million people use every month to connect with friends and family. It is built right into Office, so features like presence, IM, voice and video calls, and online meetings are an integrated part of the Office experience. And with Skype for Business, you can search for and connect with anyone in the Skype network–inside or outside your organization.

You can learn more about Skype for Business here.

Frequently asked questions

Q. What is Skype for Business?
A. Skype for Business (formerly Microsoft Lync) is a communications and collaboration platform that brings together an experience inspired by Skype with enterprise-grade security, compliance and control. It offers features including presence, IM, voice and video calls, and online meetings. It is built right in to Microsoft Office, so initiating chats, calls and meetings is an integrated experience within Office.

Q. Will Skype for Business automatically replace Lync Online for Office 365 customers?
A. Yes. Microsoft will automatically update the Lync Online service to be Skype for Business Online, and all customers are expected to be transitioned by the end of May.

Q. If I want more time to prepare for Skype for Business before upgrading, can I continue to use Lync?
A. Yes. Administrators for current Lync Online or Lync Server customers can control when the updated experience is rolled out to their users. Visit this page to learn more about how to configure the Skype for Business client experience.

Q. How can I learn more about the new client features?
A. More information about the features available in the new Skype for Business client is available

Skype for Business