How to Update to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015

If you are a Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online subscriber, you may have noticed a curious new message appearing when you logged into your CRM organization recently: “Update scheduled Your update to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 is now scheduled for x/xx/xxxx. Please approve or reschedule.”

How to Update to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015

This message indicates that Microsoft has tentatively scheduled a window during which your CRM Online organization will be updated to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015. The Update scheduled message began appearing shortly after the announcement that Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 had been released to the public. Not only does the message let you know that your update to CRM Online 2015 has been scheduled, but it also gives you the option to reschedule your update by clicking the Manage Updates button.

How to Update to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015

Clicking the manage updates button will take you to the Manage your Dynamics CRM updates page in the CRM Online Administration Center. This page displays a great deal of information about your CRM organization, including the current version you are running, the date and time of your scheduled update to CRM 2015, and the status of your update.

There are three important points that you should know about this update. First, it must be approved before your CRM instance will be upgraded to CRM Online 2015. Unlike several previous updates, the CRM Online 2015 update is optional, and you are not forced to upgrade at this time. However, you will not gain access to the new features unless you approve the update. Second, Microsoft has removed support for Internet Explorer 8 and Internet Explorer 9 from Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015. Additionally, Microsoft has removed support for several JavaScript APIs. If you have custom code deployed in your CRM Online instance, you will want to verify that your code is compatible before you update. Third, you can reschedule your update to give your organization time to upgrade user workstations and update your custom code.

How to Reschedule Your Update to CRM Online 2015

In the screenshot below, you can see that our update is currently scheduled for 5/13/15, but we’d actually like to receive the update much sooner than that. Fortunately, we can click Reschedule update on the right of the screen choose another date for our scheduled update.

How to Update to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015

Clicking Reschedule update takes us to the Schedule your update page on which we have the option of choosing both our Preferred date and time and an Alternate date and time, which is a backup window during which the update will be performed in case the update is not completed successfully the first time.

How to Update to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015

Update windows for existing CRM Online subscribers begin in January 2015. At the time of writing, the earliest available date is January 7, 2015. Once you have chosen a date for your update to CRM 2015, you will notice that the earliest available slot for your Alternate date and time will be at least 14 days after your Preferred date and time.

How to Update to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015

The final steps in the update scheduling process are to verify that your scheduled update windows are to your liking and then to approve the update. Please note that your CRM organization may not be available during the scheduled update window.

Missing Update Scheduled Message

If you do not see the update scheduled message when you log into Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, you can still manage your update by visiting the Office 365 admin center. From the Office 365 admin center, click the arrow next to ADMIN in the navigation pane on the left side of the screen, and click CRM, which will take you to the CRM Online Administration Center.

Disabling the Update Scheduled Message

The Update Scheduled Message is controlled by a cookie that is stored in your browser. One easy way to disable the message is to click the Manage Updates button. Once you do so, the message should disappear.

Conclusion

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015 boasts a number of extraordinary new features and enhancements that make the update a no-brainer. These enhancements include global search, visual hierarchies, enhancements to the mobile client, branching Business Process Flows, improvements to the Product entity, calculated fields and rollup fields, and more. While the update is optional, you will not receive any of the new features and enhancements released as part of CRM 2015 until the update is completed. Just make sure that your custom code, if you have any, is ready for the update and that none of your user work stations are still running IE 8 or IE 9.

Finally, if you are looking for cost-effective training so that your organization can make better use of all the features of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, including the new features of CRM Online 2015, check out the Enhanced Training Package from xRM. The Enhanced Training Package features a cost-effective combination of live online training and on-demand training delivered by the Learning Management System hosted by xRM.

How to Update to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2015

Read More

10 Steps to CRM Implementation Success

Introduction:

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) deployments can be complicated endeavors. Large companies can afford to make big investments in strategic analysis, customization, and training, but smaller companies typically don’t have the budget for these endeavors. Instead, they try to deploy a CRM application on their own with limited guidance. But, with even a small investment of time and money, any company can boost its ROI and achieve a successful deployment.

10 Steps to CRM Implementation Success

Successful CRM Deployment Steps

1. Ensure that you have the support of senior management and IT. Without their support, your deployment will never get off the ground. The rest of the company will typically fall in line once leadership has declared its intention to adopt a new CRM solution.

2. Gather requirements. Make a list of business requirements that your CRM system needs to meet and prioritize them. This effort will help you determine which requirements are absolutely necessary and which fall into the wouldn’t-it-be-nice category. Ideally, a CRM consultant will help you gather requirements as part of a Strategic Analysis (SA) effort, but if SA is out of the question due to budgetary concerns, you can complete this process internally.

3. Identify and document all existing processes. All companies rely on a set of processes that help move business forward. Part of initial deployment process will consist of asking yourself a series of questions:

o How do we collect leads?

o How are deals guided through the sales process?

o How do we maintain relationships with existing customers?

o How do we identify our most important clients?

o How are customer service inquiries handled?

o How are contacts stored and shared?

The answers to these questions and others will help you gain an understanding of your current business processes, and allow you to begin to imagine how a CRM solution can improve and automate portions of these business processes.

4. Conduct a Gap Analysis. Even in completely stock form, a CRM application is a tremendously powerful tool. It is important however, to identify any gaps that exist between a completely stock CRM organization and the requirements that you gathered as part of step 2.

Unless you have a CRM expert on staff, you will likely need the assistance of an expert CRM consultant to perform this analysis for you. While such an effort is usually part of an SA, more affordable options are available, such as the QuickStart Blueprint service from xRM.

5. Draft a configuration plan. Once you have identified any fit gaps, it’s time to create a configuration plan that details any custom entities (record types), fields, workflows, dashboards, reports, and code that need to be created in order to deploy a CRM system that precisely meets your unique business needs.

6. Configure the system. It sounds cliché, but every business is unique. Every industry has its own terminology and requirements, and every company has unique processes honed over time. No CRM application can address the needs of every conceivable organization out-of-the-box. Some configuration and customization will likely be required to address the fit gaps. One of the reasons that we like Microsoft Dynamics CRM so much is that is an extremely flexible platform that can be configured in a myriad of ways without the need for custom coding.

7. Collect and migrate data. Depending upon your current processes and the tools you use to store your data, data migration can be the most challenging and expensive part of the entire deployment. The cost of your data migration effort can be affected by a number of factors, including the size, complexity, and format of your existing backend database, as well as any configuration that must be done to CRM to support the data migration. Depending on the size and complexity of your database, you may be able to simply use spreadsheets to import data into your new database, or you may be looking a more extensive data migration effort. A CRM consultant with experience in data migration can help you understand the challenges and costs involved in migrating your existing data to your new system.

8. Test. The next step in the deployment process is to test the system before it enters into production. It is absolutely critical to budget the time and resources to test thoroughly before you go live to avoid the heartbreak of a production system that doesn’t function the way you expect it to. Once testing is complete and any issues rectified, you can throw the “go-live” switch confidently.

9. Train. You can threaten your end users with all kinds of heinous tortures, but they will be reluctant to adopt a new CRM system unless are comfortable using it. Give them the information they need to succeed. Take the time to show them how the new CRM system makes their jobs easier and consider providing them with both video and print resources that they can refer to as needed while they adjust to the new system.

10. Evaluate. The final step in a successful CRM deployment is to evaluate the system’s effectiveness. Evaluation is a critical and ongoing process that should continue for as long as you are using the system. At set intervals, you will want to ask yourself, “Is my CRM system still meeting my needs?” and “Am I getting the ROI that I expected from my CRM system?” If the “no” is the answer to either of these questions, you will want to investigate the reasons behind the shortfall.

About xRM

At xRM, we live to help organizations deploy CRM solutions that precisely meet their business requirements. We have worked with Microsoft Dynamics CRM since its inception. In that time, we have assisted companies in every industry deploy innovative solutions that increase sales, improve customer service, and boost efficiency. Read about some of our customers’ success stories here.

Our Professional Services run the gamut from Strategic Analysis to Data Migration, Customization to Training, and more.

Every xRM customer gains access to the Success Portal, a free online video training library dedicated to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online.

Read More