Entering Data Using Voice Commands in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

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Is CRM a voice enabled application? Is voice input really a CRM feature or a device feature? The answer is your device.

Introduction:

With CRM 2011, most users are entering data using the Web Client or the CRM Client for Outlook. Hence, they are adding data from their PC.

With Mobile Express, Microsoft CRM's browser agnostic solution, you can access Microsoft CRM from just about any browser on any device. If that device allows you to enter data using voice, you can enter data into Microsoft CRM using voice.


This article is meant to show how you can access the Microsoft CRM Mobile Express interface, navigate to Contacts, and add a Contact by using voice to populate the fields on the contact form.

Step by Step:

First things first, does your device allow voice entry into a text field on a web form? I haven’t checked all devices but I do know that my Android 2.2.1, the iPhone 4s, and the iPad 3 allow for voice entry into a text field. When in a field on a web form that allows for text entry, your devices keyboard will pop up. On the keyboard you should see a microphone icon. In the screenshot below, it is to the left of the spacebar.

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When are in any CRM Mobile Express form and click in a text entry field, your keyboard will appear. Simply touch that icon and start speaking.

Now that we have that out of the way, we will now move on to entering data in CRM via voice.

Mobile Express for CRM is enabled out of the box. If you are using CRM Online, just add “/m” to the url you use to access the full web client on your PC. If you are using Microsoft CRM on premise, you will need access to CRM from your device. An Internet Facing Deployment (IFD) fits the bill for that. The way to access CRM Mobile Express if you are using Microsoft CRM Online is to open a browser and enter this url, https://<mycrm>.crm.dynamics.com/m, from your device replacing “<mycrm>” with the organization name for your CRM implementation. Check with your system administrator if you cannot locate this information.

Note: Mobile Express can be easily customized so your Mobile Express screen may have different entities.

After entering the Mobile Express url, you may be prompted to login. Please do so using the same credentials you would use for your CRM web client. You will see a screen similar to this.

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Click on Contacts to display a list of contacts. It will look like the screen below.

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Click the “New” button to navigate to the form that allows you to add a new contact. It will look similar to the screen below.

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As you click in each field, your device will automatically show the device keyboard. Touch the microphone icon on the keyboard and speak the value you wish to enter. Once you complete all the fields you wish to complete, click “Save” to save the record.

Here is a screen shot of a contact I added via voice from my Android phone. Below that I have provided the values I spoke spelled the way I intended them to be spelled. You can evaluate how well the voice translated to text.

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Last Name: Burdell

First Name: George

Job Title: Vice President

Description: George is our champion and will be our main contact for CRM.

Role: Influencer (this is a pick list field in CRM Mobile Express).

Conclusion:

You can definitely enter data into CRM using voice commands if your device supports it. Entering contact data via voice may not be the best application of the voice for data entry. Imagine being able to enter meeting notes via voice to a phone call activity in CRM that you just finished. Perhaps your organization uses a custom entity named “Site Visit” to capture a synopsis of information from an on-site service visit you just completed.

Additional Comments:

The voice recognition quality is dependent on the device and software used to capture the spoken word. There are many other variables such as what is spoken. Technical specifications are not captured as well as normal words found in the dictionary.

Mobile Express is an html 4 solution designed to be a simple solution for accessing Microsoft CRM on mobile devices and it serves its purpose well.

With Release 8, other browsers may be used to access CRM as well as Microsoft Dynamics CRM Mobile which entails native apps for specific mobile devices (Windows, Blackberry, Android, and Apple). This now gives additional avenues with which to access CRM and use the voice capabilities of your device.

Post by: Mark Weilandt, Customer Effective

 
 
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