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February, 2012 - Education - Site Home - MSDN Blogs
The Australian Education Blog
Ray Fleming's take on what's interesting in Education IT in Australia

February, 2012

  • Education

    Microsoft Dynamics CRM adds wide mobile device support


    If you’re used to the normal release cycle of big products - like Windows and Office - you’ll have become conditioned to a release cycle that is typically every 3 years, with a few Service Packs in the middle. Overall though, release cycles are getting quicker - for example, with cloud services they can be every few months. This is great, because it means you can have additional features added to the products you are running on a more regular basis.

    One of the products to especially benefit from this, is Dynamics CRM - and it’s especially useful as end-users of these systems tend to be amongst the most demanding. They come up with questions like “How do I get social media in the CRM system?” or “Can I see my student recruitment prospect list on my phone?”. At the end of last year we released the 2011 Q4 update, which added enterprise social media integration. And we’ve just announced details of what is coming in the Q2 2012 release:

    Mobility for Dynamics CRM

    Microsoft Dynamics CRM on iPadThe update will include a new cloud-based, cross-platform native mobile client for Windows Phone 7.5, iPad, iPhone, Android, and Blackberry devices called Microsoft Dynamics CRM Mobile. If you’re using Dynamics CRM for student recruitment, it means that you can enable your recruitment co-ordinators and agents to access your systems online from anywhere on- or off-campus. So, for example, when you are hosting your university of TAFE Open Day, you could ensure that all your staff around the campus can look up students on their phone directly in a conversation, rather than having to hide behind a laptop screen, or scribbling notes and waiting until later to update or look up info. Or if you are using CRM for service desk management, you can ensure that your team can update their case histories in real time wherever they are on campus.

    Cross Browser support for Dynamics CRM

    Dynamics CRM already has a web client that works across multiple versions of Internet Explorer, and in the Q2 update, we’ll be adding support for Safari (on desktop, laptop and iPad), Firefox and Chrome. This is especially important in universities, as you expand your use of CRM out to faculty and more staff, as I know you have a lot less control over the devices and software that these staff choose to use.

    Enhanced Self-Service Business Intelligence for Dynamics CRM

    If “Business Intelligence” was the buzzword of 2011, then I’ve noticed that “Self-Service Business Intelligence” is likely to be the buzz phrase for 2012. And with CRM it’s pretty critical to get it right. Because we’re locking tons and tons of useful data away in our CRM systems, and the poor users who spend their time contributing data to the CRM system need to get quality information out. So the ‘self-service’ aspect is the bit that hands the control over to your users - to let them get the information they need, and mean that it doesn’t increase the workload exponentially for your analysts!

    Learn More



    Two places to learn more

  • Education

    Mathematics Add-in for Word - free software for teachers in February


    Find all 'Free Downloads' on this blog

    Some Free February Appy-ness with a new piece of free software for teachers from Microsoft every day in February. Many of these items are unknown heroes, but they all share two things in common: 1) They are useful for teachers or students and 2) they are free.

    Mathematics Add-in for Word

    Office logo

    Microsoft Mathematics Add-in for Word and OneNote makes it easy to plot graphs in 2D and 3D, calculate numerical results, solve equations or inequalities, and simplify algebraic expressions in your Word documents and OneNote notebooks.

    It works with Microsoft Word 2010, Microsoft Office Word 2007, and Microsoft OneNote 2010. With this add-in, you insert an advanced math problem (from algebra to calculus, physics, or statistics) and then click to simplify complex expressions or to solve. Use these advanced math computational and graphing capabilities to: Plot a function, equation, or inequality in 2-D or 3-D, and save the results, solve an equation or inequality, calculate a numerical result, compute the inverse of a matrix, matrix operations, list operations, and integrals.

    Mathematics Add-in in detail

    With the Microsoft Mathematics Add-in for Word and OneNote, you can perform mathematical calculations and plot graphs in your Word documents and OneNote notebooks. The add-in also provides an extensive collection of mathematical symbols and structures to display clearly formatted mathematical expressions. You can also quickly insert commonly used expressions and math structures by using the Equation gallery.
    The Microsoft Mathematics Add-in can help you with the following tasks:

    • Compute standard mathematical functions, such as roots and logarithms
    • Compute trigonometric functions, such as sine and cosine
    • Find derivatives and integrals, limits, and sums and products of series
    • Perform matrix operations, such as inverses, addition, and multiplication
    • Perform operations on complex numbers
    • Plot 2-D graphs in Cartesian and polar coordinates
    • Plot 3-D graphs in Cartesian, cylindrical, and spherical coordinates
    • Solve equations and inequalities
    • Calculate statistical functions, such as mode and variance, on lists of numbers
    • Factor polynomials or integers
    • Simplify or expand algebraic expressions

      Where can I find out how to use it?

      In addition to the step-by-step tutorial document for to the Mathematics Add-In, there is also a handy Teachers Guide to the Mathematics Add-In.

      And finally, there’s a video demo tutorial below, which walks you through the software and how to use it.