8 Tips for Using Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Data Security to Its Full Potential

So you have decided to purchase Microsoft Dynamics CRM, congratulations! The next key step is to find a Microsoft CRM gold certified partner, if you haven’t found one already. Implementations are proven to be more successful with a knowledgeable, well-trained partner at your side. As you receive CRM consulting on your project, you will see that one of the critical items to determine upfront with any CRM project is how to structure the data security to meet your business requirements.

There are many different tools in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 to help accomplish your requirements. Below is a brief outline to help you and your CRM implementation team get started:

1. Organizations Do you have one or more than one organization within your company?CRM is multi-tenant where multiple instances of the CRM database can run side by side on the same hardware with users being able to log in to each instance with a single user licence. This may be useful for larger companies where different divisions run entirely separate business processes which can be installed as independent databases. This allows for greater security and ability to move organizations easily.
2. Business Units Does your company define business units within your corporate structure? You can think of Business units as a hierarchical structure setup to reflect the organization of the business, commonly it is set up according to business function (sales, marketing, customer service) for smaller companies and geographical/divisions for larger organizations. But these business units can be configured any way to meet your needs. Each user in CRM belongs to one business unit.
3. Security Roles Do you have certain roles within your company, regardless of who is in them? CRM roles group a set of privileges together that describe the responsibilities for a user. CRM includes a set of predefined security roles, each of which is a set of user rights aggregated to make user security management easier. You can also define your own roles to meet the needs of different groups of users. Roles help you define the level of access (organization wide, child business units, business unit, user, none, etc.) for each user.
4. Teams Teams are basically a grouping of users so you can manage security/visibility/etc. more easily. Some of the great new CRM 2011 functionality around teams:

  • Records can be assigned to both users and teams.
  • Teams can be created that include users from any business unit.
  • Teams can be assigned security roles making it easier to manage.
5. Sharing Records Individual records can be shared with other users in CRM if you have certain business scenarios where just certain records should be seen/updated by users.
6. Multiple Forms per Entity Now in CRM 2011, you can create multiple form layouts for an entity. For example your sales department could see one set of fields on the account form geared toward sales and your service department could see a different set of fields.
7. Field Level Security CRM 2011 now allows you to control access down to the specific field in CRM.
8. Custom UI Code (JavaScript) One final method sometimes used to control what users can see/update on a form is adding code. This allows for custom rules for the UI form for when they can see or update fields. Be aware this only controls the UI and no other access methods to retrieve data from CRM like reports or the web services.

As a Microsoft Dynamics CRM Certified Gold Partner we have helped over 100 customers recognize these benefits by taking a structured approach to design and implementation of Dynamics CRM, including their data security. You can read about their CRM customer success stories on our website.

By Ledgeview Partners – Wisconsin based Microsoft Dynamics CRM Partner serving the Midwest and Heartland regions

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