For those of you who have yet to see or experience the new Dynamics CRM, it is quite simply a cleaner, faster, and more intuitive interface.

Dynamics CRM 2013Over the last several years, Dynamics CRM 2013 has been a product that Microsoft has invested heavily in. As we learned from senior Microsoft leaders at Convergence 2014 in Atlanta a few weeks back, “Microsoft is putting social, insights, mobile, and the cloud to work to help your organization compete and win” when it comes to CRM.

And the results are extremely promising. The new Dynamics CRM excels in driving productivity in three key ways: Continue reading

In the era of social customers, experience is the currency on which modern, dynamic businesses must bank.

The Rise of the Social CustomerAt Convergence 2014, Kirill Tatarinov, EVP of MSFT Business Solutions, told a crowd of over 12,000 attendees that all businesses today, regardless of their industry, are P2P (people to people) rather than B2B or B2C. People, he said, “are much more interdependent than ever before.”

In this world of interdependence, the key to success is a customer-centric organizational culture that creates great customer experiences for ‘social customers’ at every step. Because when you can integrate user experience, business processes, and data across applications, you can provide tremendous value to your business.

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What does Microsoft’s recent announcement that InfoPath is being retired mean for the future of forms and workflow in SharePoint? We think it’s a good thing.

InfoPathFor a while now, our guidance to clients has been to consider alternatives to InfoPath, such as Nintex. With this announcement, Microsoft has indirectly confirmed our guidance.

Even though their announcement may be vague, it’s safe to say that if you are planning your forms and workflow solution now, we recommend Nintex without hesitation. Continue reading

“Microsoft is putting social, insights, mobile, and the cloud to work to help your organization compete and win.”

Microsoft Dynamics

That was the keynote message delivered by Wayne Morris, CVP of MSFT Business Solutions, Marketing, and Kirill Tatarinov, EVP of Microsoft Business Solutions, at this month’s Microsoft Convergence conference in Atlanta. Convergence is that time of the year when the Microsoft Dynamics community comes together to share and learn about the latest features and updates brewing in Redmond. Continue reading

Convergence 2014Microsoft continues to build on its foundation and vision of abstracting (removing) the “technical” from CRM and putting design and execution in the hands of the business experts, which has been one of the goals of Microsoft CRM since its inception.

Each new release of Dynamics CRM has consistently built on this vision. And as was outlined in detail at Convergence 2014 in Atlanta, significant new milestones were hit with the release of Dynamics CRM 2013, including new features, a new focus on mobility, and implementation upgrades that open a new world of possibilities. Continue reading

SPC14You may not have had a week to dedicate to SharePoint Conference 2014 this year, and so here are the key messages that I lifted from the conference.

We’re planning to share a series of posts over the next few weeks that go into more detail, but this article should give you a good overview for now. Continue reading

Web AccessibilityAccessibility is one of the things that we try to focus on for all of our clients in SharePoint branding engagements for a public facing website. One of the metrics that we track against is to validate the SharePoint website against W3C Markup Validation Service.

Last month Steve and I collaborated on Accessibility Matters: Access for All in SharePoint 2013, which provides a high level overview of accessibility improvements in SharePoint 2013.

In this blog post, I will share some of the tips that I have for branding SharePoint 2013 with focus on improving accessibility.

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SharePoint 2013 on-premise is a different beast from SharePoint 2010. There are a lot of new features that you need to account for in terms of infrastructure, deployment, and performance.

I was at the SharePoint Conference 2014 in Las Vegas and attended an extremely useful session on key architectural decisions to follow when designing your SharePoint 2013 farms.

The session was called “SPC334: Real-world SharePoint Architecture Decisions” by Wictor Wilen. Two really interesting points that he made caught my attention:

  1. Performance of tiers when planning your topology
  2. Optimal way to deploy your search components Continue reading

I just came back from the SharePoint Conference 2014 in Las Vegas, and as you might have heard the conference might as well have been called the Office 365 / SharePoint Online Conference.

Photo Credit: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23SPC14&src=typd&mode=photos

Photo Credit: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23SPC14&src=typd&mode=photos

I say that in jest of course, but the key takeaway for developers was: on-premises will still exist, but cloud is a higher priority. Therefore, if you want to stay current as a SharePoint developer, you will need to adapt to the new methods of creating SharePoint applications.

On-premises is still alive and well and thus WSP farm solutions are not going to go away in the next year or two.

One of the most useful sessions that I attended was “SPC358: Developing future-focused, on-premises solutions” by Bob German. Continue reading

As I talked about in my previous blog post on the future of work, Enterprise Social is a defining factor in the future of how teams of people work together.

Enterprise Social Adoption

Image Credit: Adam Pisoni – SPC14 presentation – “A responsive organization stays ahead of the competition

But as anyone working in the Enterprise Social space knows, there are many skeptics.

I am better able to see these skeptical perspectives not as roadblocks, but instead as helpful guides that create a laser focus on delivering business value.

However for many organizations, identifying the use cases that drive business value can be elusive.

Where should you start and what does success look like?

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