Business Action Logo-CRM-Large This past week we presented the content we developed for the Business Action World Tour virtually via Live Meeting.  We had hundreds of people register and join us for these events.  The number one question people had was about getting access to the recordings for these events.  I now have all the recordings and will publish these along with the Questions and Answers we fielded along with the calls. 

On Day 1 (Monday, April 27) we talked mostly about the Dynamics CRM and how it can be used to build general purpose line-of-business applications (a.k.a. XRM).

I’ve provided the link to what I think is the best quality recording but have included an edited Q&A log combining questions from all 3 events.  We presented each session 3 times a day (2:00AM, 9:00AM and 6:00PM Pacific time).  Thanks to Trond Brande and Almut Tadsen for handling the 2:00AM calls.  Girish and I would have been pretty sleepy by the end of the week if they hadn’t done such a great job.  :)

Live Meeting Recording and PowerPoint Deck

I would recommend watching the High-Fidelity Recording available here

Update:  I’ve posted the PowerPoint decks for all the sessions on my SkyDrive.

 

Questions and Answers from Day 1

 

Question: Does the product provide analytics capability?
Answer: The Dynamics CRM product team have released numerous Accelerators including one that provides deep analytics capabilities.  These are provided free-of-charge and are available with full source-code from CodePlex. (http://crmaccelerators.codeplex.com/)

Question: Can you create word document templates to generate Invoices or does the mail merge only work for email?
Answer: The data in CRM can be used for pretty much anything you need it to do. In one of the other sessions later this week we'll show you how you can pull data from CRM into a Word document to build a status report. That will be in the “Familiar Skills” session on Wednesday.

Question: Our interest is in building a line-of-business application using the CRM (XRM) platform. What is the pricing model for ISVs and what type of pricing can we expect?
Answer: There are various licensing models for ISVs. This will depend on how you sell and how you deploy. This can span On-Premises, Partner-Hosted and CRM Online. Licensing can include discounts, royalty pricing or Service Provider Licensing (SPLA). I would suggest that you work through this with a Partner Account Manager or Developer Evangelist. Please contact me offline with more details (including your location) and I can get you in touch with the right person on the right team. <use the “EMAIL” link at the top of this blog site to contact me>  I should mention that we'll be going through the deployment options in the session on Thursday.

Question: I do not see how or where you can send HTML based Newsletters or email blasts. Do you have a WYSIWYG editor for html based newsletters?
Answer: That would be part of the basic end-user functionality in the Marketing module. In this case, Girish is talking about how you can build out new line-of-business applications. So as a developer you can design, develop and deploy a new application that builds on the functionality of Dynamics CRM or build something brand new. Either way you get your application built much quicker than if you started from scratch using ASP.NET, PHP, etc.

Question: Are there any pre-canned CRM applications that address an ISV process cycle => Similar to the Rational Clear Quest/ Clear Case process cycle with feature, development, support, and defect tracking.
Answer: There are ways of integrating with Visual Studio Team Foundation Server to handle some of those tasks. I don’t know of any pre-canned CRM (or in that case XRM) applications.

Question: Has CRM been used as an EMR with all the new healthcare IT funds out there? Can it be used as an EMR? EMR = emergency medical response
Answer: <answered verbally>

Question: Where can I get the hw specs used to develop the performance metrics he spoke about earlier?
Answer: Much more detail on this is available in the whitepapers published here:  http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=5852B14A-394C-4898-8374-CAF5E6479EB0&displaylang=en

Question: The mobile version of the pages wasn't available with CRM 4.0 RTM, have these been made available since?
Answer: Yes. Mobile Express for Dynamics CRM 4.0 is now available. More information here: https://connect.microsoft.com/site/sitehome.aspx?SiteID=624

Question: Will this virtual machine / crm database be available for download after the meeting?
Answer: This is using the standard Dynamics CRM VPC. We've only added a few custom entities. We could make those available if you think that might be useful. Email Girish or Ben offline

Question: One of the biggest stoppers for my company (the reason we moved away from CRM) was because getting invoices out of CRM was so difficult. Is there any plans on improving this simplicity?
Answer: I'm not sure what you mean by this. Invoices are straight forward to create in CRM. If that functionality is not appropriate for your organization, it should be relatively easy to customize that or integrate with an ERP system that could do that for you.

Question: Is the PSADemo system available?....we could use this!! We promise not to ask for support
Answer: Some of the demo has been posted to girish's blog. The plan is to release most of it over the next few weeks. Look for that on Girish's blog. http://blogs.msdn.com/girishr. you may want to email him directly to give him a nudge. ;)

Question: Can web services be used to retrieve custom entities?
Answer: Absolutely. Custom entities are no different than system entities. Custom entities are first class citizens in Dynamics CRM! :)

Question: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Performance and Scalability White Papers
Answer: Is available here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=5852B14A-394C-4898-8374-CAF5E6479EB0&displaylang=en

Question: Where do we get the developers ramp up kit ?
Answer: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc720132.aspx

Question: Can we please have these q & a's emailed? we can't copy and paste from them.
Answer: We will post Q&A’s when we post the recordings  (Done :) )

Question: Are you on twitter?
Answer: Yes you can follow us here: http://www.twitter.com/benriga and http://www.twitter.com/girshr