That is a one word description of my experience at CRM Summit last week in Tampa. The Summit is hosted by CRMUG, an international user group for Dynamics CRM.
To engage every individual and company using Microsoft Dynamics CRM in value-added networking and knowledge sharing and to be the single most important communication channel for Microsoft to seek guidance on future development of Dynamics CRM. Read more about CRMUG
As a first timer to the Summit and any event by CRMUG I wanted to share my experience. I was so impressed with everything that I saw and participated in. Today, I am going to share my experience from my perspective as a new comer. I will then follow up with some additional posts on what I learned.
CRMUG Academy Black Belt Training Series
Before the official start of the Summit, Academy Classes are available. The academy classes are priced very reasonable and I encourage you to take advantage of them or look for them on the CRMUG site. I decided to attend the Administrator Blue and Purple Belt classes from the Black Belt Series. I am looking forward to completing the series with the Brown and Black belt!
Both of the classes where instructed by Chris Weilandt, a Senior Solution Architect from Edgewater Fullscope. The series is designed to take in sequence, moving from Blue to Black Belt.
Monday, I participated in the Blue Belt Academy, this is the first in the Black Belt Series. Chris provided a foundation of CRM and Office 365 as it relates to CRM. Starting with user maintenance, settings, business units, teams, security, form and view configuration and closing with field level security. This was a great way to begin the journey and start learning the powers of CRM.
Key Takeaway: Hierarchy Security
Tuesday, I continued the academy with the Purple Belt and learned more. Chris continued with some advanced form configuration, multiple forms, custom entities, advanced find and closed with reports and dashboards.
Key Takeaway: Reporting and Dashboards
The keynote was so full of excitement. We walked from the Tampa Convention Center to Amalie Arena. Microsoft had people waving Dynamics 365 flags and some people on hover boards guiding us to the arena. I worked my way through the security gates to enter the arena and the excitement grew.
It was like a rock concert in the arena!
You won’t want to miss the official opening for Summit 2016! Microsoft joins in the celebration with an inspiring presentation of the Microsoft vision, including an exclusive first look at the all-new Microsoft Dynamics 365 by Microsoft EVP Scott Guthrie.
Dynamics 365 brings together the Dynamics products into a seamless suite of applications. Dynamics will have a CDM (Common Data Model) which will provide seamless integrations between the applications. Moving from opportunity to cash will be available with Dynamics 365 out of the box.
You can move between Sales, Marketing, Financial and Operations and the data is shared across systems! This is HUGE!
We have been building an Enterprise Service Bus to accomplish this bringing data from CRM to Oracle Financials. If you use Dynamics 365 Marketing, Sales and Financial you won’t have to build an integration, it is out of the box!
Microsoft also showed demos of Cortana Intelligence Suite and how artificial intelligence is used to help you make decision and relate records in CRM. This is then extended by adding actionable email with intelligence! Corresponding with your contacts has never been so easy and guided.
Key Takeaway: Common Data Model; Cortana Intelligence Suite; Actionable email with Intelligence
So Much Learning
One thing I found out quickly is there are a lot of very good sessions and I ended up starring them through the CRM Summit app, triple booking myself! I then went back several times trying to single out each time block for a session I will attend. I tried to attend as many session as I could and also moved across skill sets to get the most valuable information to bring back to share with my company.
Below are some of the sessions I attended and my thoughts about each of them. I am not going to go through what I learned just my impression of the sessions. I have added a Key Takeaway after each section for future posts. I added a new section on my blog for Dynamics CRM that will be a place to write what I learn and share information about CRM and Dynamics 365.
I also met with one of the leaders a of the local Pittsburgh Chapter and talked with him about my involvement with the local chapter. Bob, was very friendly and excited about growing the Pittsburgh Chapter. User groups only work if people become involved and I will be working with Bob and the others to help the Pittsburgh Chapter.
Key Takeaway: Webinars; Local Involvement
Introduction to CRM Development
My first session was a good start. A basic introduction to developing plugins for Dynamics CRM. Corrie Rands went over how to register a plugin as well as the tools that are available to get started. This was a great session for anyone that wants to get started with plugins, I worked on plugins but still left the session with some great tips and tricks from Corrie.
Key Takeaway: Tools! Debugging Technique
Power BI + CRM = Better Together
Mike Hammons presented on Power BI and CRM, this session was full of demos and how to use the content pack of PowerBI. Mike showed how to embed PowerBI dashboards within CRM as well as some of the limitations of using the provided content packs. Mike really showed how powerful PowerBI is and how using it with CRM there is so much that we can present to our users.
Key Takeaway: Embedding PowerBI in CRM & Content Pack Limitions
Advanced Techniques to be your Organization’s CRM Guru
Kylie Kiser and Patrick Wright jumped right into some of the great tips and tricks that can be used every day as a CRM administrator. So many wonderful tips provided in this session that I learned about.
Key Takeaway: Security, Data Management
How to Maximize Value with Dynamics CRM Presented by Avtex
Below is an affiliate link for Marc’s book.
What to say about this… Well, Marc Wolenik is the author of Dynamics CRM ‘Unleashed’series of books. I just purchased Dynamics CRM 2016 Unleashed before coming to the convention and was honored to hear him speak and talk with him afterwards. He presented 25 tips that are very good for anyone using Dynamics. I started reading his book on the flight to and from Summit and write my thoughts on the book once I finish.
Key Takeaway: Use Business Process instead of Code
Security Best Practices – the Basics (Part 1)
Gustaf Westerlund guided us through best practices on security. The differences between Position and Manager Hierarchy security. He continue with concepts of teams, users, roles and business units. Gustaf provided some very good best practices for designing your security system.
Key Takeaway: Hierarchy Security
Key Takeaway: Configuration over Code
CRM Real Time Integrations with Azure Service Bus
I was excited to see this session, we are using Azure Service Bus to integrate CRM and Oracle. Abraham Saldana started with the concepts of Azure Service Bus, explaining the differences between the different patterns:
– Publisher / Subscriber
Abraham explained a lot in the short time he had for this session. If you have an opportunity to watch this on a webinar I would put this on your list.
Key Takeaway: Enable Custom Workflow Activities
This was one of my longer posts, I wanted to provide my perspective of the Summit and I hope I accomplished that. While I was at the Summit I joined CRMUG as a member for my company. I am also excited to be an active member of our local Pittsburgh Chapter to help build our local community. I am also already excited about next year’s summit in Nashville!
Like I mentioned earlier, I will be added a special section to my blog on CRM to post information, tips, tricks that I learn and also information about the local Pittsburgh Chapter.