CRM 2011's Enhanced User Experience

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Rarely does an application have all of the look and feel that a company requires right out of the box. One thing I like to see from an application is what tool set is required when I need to make modifications to enhance the functionality for my company. Does the application come with the proper tools? Do I have to leave the application to use the tool set? What is the effect on upgrades? I classify ‘modifications’ as changes that can be made using the application tool set and those modifications do not need updating for each version upgrade. I classify ‘software development’ as having to go outside of the application tool set to enable the application to do something it will not do without additional code. This usually does require an update to the code, (or at least a tweak), when the application is upgraded.

Dynamics CRM 2011 has great functionality for creating various useful modifications to achieve the functionality we need.

Recently, our Support team asked if the default view of Cases could be set so that the first thing they see is Cases that are assigned to the logged in user. Fortunately, in Dynamics CRM 2011, I don’t have to leave the application or even the Cases entity to change the default view. I made the change on the fly and instantly made their jobs easier! Our Marketing Director wanted a report that showed leads that were converted to opportunities. I showed her the Dynamics CRM report which she used for a while. Then she came back with some enhancements she’d like to see. Since Dynamics CRM uses the SQL Server Reporting Service as a reporting tool, I was able to add the fields and the formatting for her quickly and schedule the report to arrive in her mailbox regularly. Our Sales Director needed a weekly export that he can use to discuss opportunities with folks outside of our company. I showed him how to create an Advanced Find and then save the view with the criteria he wanted to include in his report. He can include any criteria and filters related to any data in CRM . He can click on his newly created view to see his data, and click the export button in the ribbon to export his report to Excel and share with his colleagues.

Screen and View modifications, SSRS Reporting and Advanced Finds are just a few of the tools Dynamics CRM includes in its tool set to enable users to modify the look and feel of the application to make it work for my company.

by AKA Enterprise Solutions

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