Archive for February, 2017

Dynamics 365 CRM (CRM 2017) – Synergy Software Systems update

February 11th, 2017

Microsoft released Dynamics CRM 2017 this month as the Dynamics 365 Enterprise customer engagement apps.

Significant new features include:
– customer Insights generated from Azure machine learning,
– a new visual workflow design tool,
– improved enterprise business intelligence capabilities,
– more telemetry for health and performance monitoring, inline editable grids.

Dynamics 365 for Customer and Relationship Insights are services to aggregate customer data both from the CRM software and form external sources such as social media, in order to draw inferences which influence relationship health scores. These apps use connectors social media data streams,and integration with other apps such as: Exchange and ERP systems, algorithms from the Cortana Intelligence suite, Azure machine learning and Power BI to harvest, correlate and display analytics and KPIs.

Relative sized and color coded circles show the health of customer relationships based on: the volume, recency and interaction of email exchanges

Insights are extensible to deliver more customer-specific guidance, suggestions or next best actions. For example, when an email from a customer mentions a competitor name, the system may trigger an alert, create an activity, or modify the sale opportunity.

The new visual workflow design tool replaces a table and the row workflow interface which worked okay, but often confused business analysts and administrators. The new tool uses a drag and drop designer on a visual canvas. This tool was previously part of Microsoft Dynamics Marketing (MDM) and is extended to the CRM suite. (Interestingly, Microsoft recently discontinued Microsoft Dynamics Marketing)

The workflow designer is extensible using Portable Business Logic (PBL) and includes some new, in-line, contextual user tips, and also process measurements such as elapsed time between steps. The new workflow tool however, still does not accommodate the need for routing and approval processing.

Data warehousing and enterprise Business Intelligence (BI) capabilities. Data can be more easily replicated to external data stores – be it on-premise or to an Azure SQL data warehouse – for online analytical processing or Power BI viewing. This approach incurs some minimal latency, but protects the CRM system runtime performance and scalability.

Additional Dynamics CRM features include the following:
•Process Guides have a new designer and permit improved child branching, embedded tasks and workflow automation.
•The Field Service software includes a Connected Field Services function (with Internet of Things integration), Resource Scheduling Optimization (for mass scheduling using an algorithm), map updates and a Field Service Mobile app (however this app doesn’t support offline operation as does the rest of the CRM software.)
•The Project Service Automation now integrates with MS Project and Dynamics 365 for Operations (previously Dynamics AX).
•Social engagement has been extended to include automatic tags, sentiment analysis for Chinese and Japanese languages, and social listening for Instagram.
•Mobile CRM has a stepped-up user interface that now includes stacked components (for tablets) and more native device support. An offline data API offers access to the mobile offline database.
•Power BI (finally) works within CRM and supports drill-through to forms and grids. It also includes some new content packs and multi-language packs.
•Gamification has an upgraded user interface, Azure AD identity integration and new mobile support. To date, gamification has not gained much traction and I don’t suspect these new features are significant enough to change that.
•A new generic scheduling engine can consider any concept of demand, such as work orders (with SLAs), cases and sales activities, and apply a scheduling algorithm to improve resource capacity. This provides a central view for project, field and internal bookings, and is extensible to include objects from any CRM entities and custom entities.
•A Relationship Assistant offers proactive insights such as news and what’s going on with a customer. Like the Customer Insights and Relationship Insights services, the Assistant is built on machine learning and Cortana intelligence algorithms.
•There is a new email context extraction function. This is essentially a bridge between the users’ email productivity world (where they spend their time and interact with customers) and the core customer system of record.
•Search has been improved. It now uses Azure Search, examines any field or entity, searches documents stored in CRM and displays a single comprehensive list along with facets (which are search results segmented by entity, such as accounts, opportunities and cases).
•The Learning Path tool now supports editing help content. This can deliver contextual instruction using sidebars, guided tasks and videos.
• A new backup and restore function allows the online database to be copied to Azure storage, and downloaded to an on-premise location. Prior to this function, customers had to call Microsoft and request this service. This could be helpful for data analysis, or to apply a database profiler for testing or performance analysis.
•New inline grid editing of records is now available in the web client and mobile app for both home grids and sub-grids.
• This new version includes more telemetry. Microsoft has instrumented more of the code for online system health and performance monitoring. This also aids error resolution as users just need to report the time of the error, and no longer need to describe how to reproduce the error.
• There are three new platform tools designed to work with CRM.
– Flow
(a business process engine),
PowerApps (a visual mobile app builder intended to be used by BA’s and power users)
– Common Data Model (intended for shared services among multiple applications)

These apps are still in early stages but have huge potential.

With this Microsoft CRM software release, the company has achieved 48 quarters of consecutive double digit growth and 2X year over year growth for CRM Online seats. 80 percent of new CRM buyers now choose CRM Online. The CRM software growth strategy appears to be two-fold – offer a strong CRM suite which continues the existing growth momentum and better embed CRM with ERP as part of Dynamics 365 for a tighter enterprise-wide business software solution.

There’s more…… Microsoft Dynamics 365 portal is getting a huge facelift this year, which include new entity filters to the portal’s global search box and a new navigation-friendly feature to result in pages.

In addition to the expanded search functionality, Microsoft has also announced that it will be expanding its roster of languages supported by the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Portal to 43 languages, allowing multinational organizations to reach more of their employees.

This capability will allow IT people to use the company’s translation technologies to create copies of their content in the desired language. It will also allow organizations to deliver business information across several languages while only having to maintain a single content hierarchy.

Microsoft is adding the Learning Path feature, a new Microsoft Azure Cloud platform service that delivers contextually-rich walkthrough, training, and videos.

Microsoft Social Engagement 2017 Update 1.1 – find out what’s new

February 11th, 2017

New features introduced in Microsoft Social Engagement 2017 Update 1.1

Social Selling Assistant

Microsoft Social Engagement introduces Social Selling Assistant, to empower your salespeople to sell more by leveraging social media. Salespeople get personalized and smart recommendations to share on their social networks to enable them increase their social presence, gain trust from their followers, and generate more leads.

Access Social Selling Assistant from within Microsoft Social Engagement and install it from the Microsoft AppSource into your Dynamics 365 for Sales application. The AppSource app adds a new dashboard that contains Social Selling Assistant. Salespeopleaccess this dashboardboth from the Dynamics 365 web client, and from Dynamics 365 for tablets. (Dynamics 365 for phones is currently not supported.)

Share a post to LinkedIn
Add your personal LinkedIn account as a social profile. Share any public post in Microsoft Social Engagement to your professional network on LinkedIn. Your LinkedIn social profile is available for the post action “Post Link“. When you share to LinkedIn, choose between two visibility options:
– show the post to everyone on LinkedIn
– or to your network only.
This post action is available across all Microsoft Social Engagement services, including the newly released Social Selling Assistant. Go to Settings> Social Profiles, click the Add Profile button, select LinkedIn Profile, and follow the steps.

Japanese & Chinese (traditional) User interface

Microsoft Social Engagement introduces the user interface in Japanese and Chinese (traditional) languages. Users can change the language of the user interface under Settings > Personal Settings > Your Preferences. The localization of the user interface also includes the respective calendars for Japanese and Chinese (traditional) languages.

Issues resolved in Microsoft Social Engagement 2017 Update 1.1

In addition to the new features, Update 1.1 addresses the following issues and improvements:
•Fixed an issue where RSS feeds based on a keyword search topic were only acquiring data when at least one full feed custom source search topic was set up.
•Fixed an issue where we were unable to process a high number of RSS feeds added to Microsoft Social Engagement.
•Fixed an issue with the description of the Facebook User account type.
•Fixed an issue to improve readability of posts with multiple sentences and paragraphs.
•Fixed an issue where content from Blogs was displayed in JSON format.
•Fixed an issue with truncated tool tips for domains and custom tag names in the Allowed Domains and Custom Tags settings pages. The full label is now shown in the corresponding tool tips.
•Fixed several issues to reduce execution errors and the resulting number of e-mail notifications for Automation Rules.
•Data exported to Excel from our app will now use Excel’s date format. This means you will see dates according to the localization settings of your operating system and can change them easily.
•Data exported from the widget “Sources history” now labels all sources as expected.

Windows as a Service – ask Synergy Software Systems, Dubai

February 6th, 2017

Windows as a service is a new concept, introduced with the release of Windows 10 which applies to:
• Windows 10
• Windows 10 Mobile
• Windows 10 IoT Mobile

Not sure what Windows as a service is? With Windows 10, Microsoft moved to deliver Windows as a service which introduces a new way for how it’s built, deployed and serviced. View this 5-minute video demo where Microsoft demystify the core components of the Windows as a service model will demystify the core components of the Windows as a service model , including the build release process and update cadence as well as rupcoming enhancements that further streamline the model.

Terminology you should know:
•Feature updates add new features to Windows 10, delivered in an agile manner
•Quality updates are released monthly and are cumulative.
•Servicing branches allow organizations to choose when to deploy new features.
•Deployment rings are groups of devices used to initially pilot, and then to broadly deploy, each feature update in an organization.

New feature update releases are initially considered Current Branch (CB) releases; organizations will use these for pilot deployments to ensure compatibility with existing apps and infrastructure. After about four months, the feature update will be declared as Current Branch for Business (CBB), indicating that it is ready for broad deployment.

Each Windows 10 feature update (which initially begins as CB and then is declared as CBB) will be serviced with quality updates for a minimum of 18 months after it is released. The total length of time can be longer, as there will be two CBB releases serviced at all times. There will be a minimum of 60 days advanced notice (a grace period) after a CBB declaration occurs before an older feature update is no longer serviced.

Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB is a separate Long Term Servicing Branch (LTSB) version. Each release is supported for a total of 10 years (five years standard support, five years extended support). New releases are expected about every three years.

Staying up to date

The process for keeping Windows 10 up to date involves deploying a feature update, at an appropriate time after its release. A variety of tools management and patching tools such as Windows Update, Windows Update for Business, Windows Server Update Services, System Center Configuration Manager, and third-party products) can be used to help with this process. Windows Upgrade Analytics, a free tool to streamline Windows upgrade projects, is another important tool to help.

Because app compatibility, both for desktop apps and web apps, is outstanding with Windows 10, extensive advanced testing isn’t required. Instead, only business-critical apps need to be tested, with the remaining apps validated through a series of pilot deployment rings. Once these pilot deployments have validated most apps and CBB has been declared, broad deployment can begin.

This process repeats with each new feature update, two to three times per year. These are small deployment projects, compared to the big projects that were necessary with the old three-to-five-year Windows release cycles.

Additional technologies such as BranchCache and Delivery Optimization, both peer-to-peer distribution tools, can help with the distribution of the feature update installation files.

Dynamics 365 launch event Microsoft Gulf

February 5th, 2017

Last week Synergy staff attended the Dynamics 365 regional launch day. This gave insights into the Microsoft Dynamics solution portfolio. Siegfried Leiner the Principal Program Manager, Dynamics CRM Microsoft gave a ‘deep dive’ key note speech.

The event was kicked off by Samer Abu Ltaif Regional General Manager, Microsoft Gulf and Karim Talhouk
Regional Director, Microsoft Business Solutions, Microsoft Gulf who presented how digital transformation is happening in the Gulf. Steve Plimsoll Chief Digital and Data Officer, PWC, and Harris Mygdalis Deputy CIO, Commercial Bank of Dubai gave further insights.

This well attended event attracted customers with a wide range of requirements. Mobility, analytics, and integration were common themes.

Healthcare Decisions – now available for the U.A.E. built on Dynamics CRM

February 4th, 2017

We offer a powerful patient relationship management solution, built on Microsoft Dynamics CRM/xRM that utilises accredited clinical content to facilitate best clinical practice, record keeping and auditing. It assists in decision making, for improved efficiency and safe, appropriate outcomes for patients.

– Connect people, information and systems.
– Enable your healthcare institutions to move away from isolated legacy applications and paper-based processes.
– Aid physicians, nurses and administrators to work as a single integrated team to improve clinical decision making and to co-ordinate the delivery of patient care.

Our clinical content suite is a proven set of symptom-based, algorithms developed by clinicians to support healthcare decisions. In the NHS, in the U.K., the NHS Direct software has benefited over 50 million people in England, Wales and Scotland as the largest, telephone-based, triage system in the world.

Accurate and up to date clinical information is the bedrock of safe healthcare applications. Our clinical content is well established and is constantly updated. Our content suite guides the user through questions and rationales to assess the severity of the situation. This ensures both an evidence based outcome, and an efficient and timely referral to appropriate care for the patient.

– Proven safety record in over 80 million patient encounters,
– Certified accreditations.
URAC Accredited
ISO Accredited
IS Accredited

Use structured clinical assessments both to promote best practice within staff groups, and to provide reassurance to patients, and thereby consistency and quality in assessment and outcomes.

Our customisable interface allows for adaptation of the content to meet local needs, from: Malaria, to Sickle Cell Anaemia, trauma, or snake bites.

Trusted, evidence-based, content minimises clinical risk, The content can be enhanced with user feedback, The content can be used within many applications, such as:
contact centres,
web and mobile applications,
face to face assessment
self assessment

Our supporting Decision Management System is an authoring and presentation software application that enables you easily: to write, to view and to publish clinical content, business processes and workflows.

Update your content in real time. The open API allows you to publish across multi-channels, multi-devices and to integrate with the HIS software solutions you use.

Multi-Lingual requirement? No problem – DMS can support any language.

Our system guides users through questions, to gather pertinent information, and provides reasoning, to quickly and efficiently reach an ‘outcome’. The system can be paused and resumed, at any time during this process. A user can break from one workflow, to enter another workflow, at any time during the assessment process.

On completion an electronic transcript of the complete transaction is stored for audit purposes.

Our Decision Management System supports decision making in multiple health environments.

Where DMS can help:
Nurse led contact centre environments – enable consistent, safe, assessment of a patient’s symptoms, and rapidly provide direction to the appropriate care.
Pandemic situations – rapidly guide concerned callers to the right level of care, and when appropriate, give directions for self care.
Social care – help decision makers on the eligibility and level of support required for a patient or service user.
On-line intelligent forms automate long and difficult paper based assessments.
SMS assessment triage patients via SMS.
Healthcare apps deliver health advice and information for patients via apps.