WebSan Presents: “Microsoft’s Power BI" Webinar

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On Thursday, December 17th, at 2:30 PM, WebSan will present a free webinar to give an inside look at Microsoft’s Power BI (Business Intelligence). The 30-minute webinar offers attendees the opportunity to observe this dynamic tool in action.

The webinar will discuss Power BI’s features and functionalities including how to create dashboards, reports, integrations and metrics. Attendees will learn how to publish and edit visuals on Microsoft’s Cloud, view and refresh custom metrics on any mobile device and use Power BI to monitor the most important information about your business.

The webinar promises to bring an insightful glimpse of Power BI’s extensive functionalities and show attendees that all the information they would need to make decisions is available through Power BI, all in one glance.

Register today and don’t miss out on your chance to take part in this new webinar!

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Steal Tips from a Pro: Customizing Dynamics CRM 2015 Webinar

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 Join us in part one of a free webinar series on customizing Dynamics CRM 2015! The webinar is tailored for those new to Dynamics CRM who are responsible for the customization and upkeep of their organization’s CRM environment.

The webinar will offer a behind the scenes look at the Customizations area and discuss the different components that make up an entity and how one can interact with each of them. The session will wrap up with a sneak peek of customizations in action.

This webinar will serve as a preview of part two, where attendees can submit questions specific to customizations that will be addressed by the webinar speaker.

Previously, our Dynamics CRM webinars have received extremely positive feedback and proved to have given valuable insights to help during CRM implementations.

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Unique Ways Companies Use Dynamics CRM: Part 2- Dashboards

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Part 2 is a continuation of the series of blog posts that will profile different customer’s unique approach to using Dynamics CRM and provide real-life examples of how the software is used to help improve business processes.

An engineering, construction, service and maintenance company that provides services for infrastructure companies approached WebSan to implement Dynamics CRM and maximize the Dashboards feature of the software.

Using the Workload Reporting of Dashboards allowed the company to do the following:

  • Break down by user the current status of Open Projects
  • Access the number of projects that have been created in a specific timeframe by Users and the status of those projects
  • Create a list view that depicts total number of created, cancelled and completed projects by user
  • Create a pie chart to show the number of open projects and order them by status

To add, an active activities Dashboard breaks down the many activities (tasks, emails, appointments, etc.) that are being tackled “this month” by all users.

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Unique Ways Companies Use Dynamics CRM: Part 1 -Inventory Management

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With over 4.4 million users working at 40,000 companies, Microsoft Dynamics CRM has long been used in a variety of sales, marketing and operational functions. For some, Dynamics CRM serves as an out-of-the-box tool to simplify operations, while others use the software to track client feedback, manage schedules and projects, and collect purchase information.

This series of blog posts will profile different customers’ unique approach to using Dynamics CRM and provide real-life examples of how the software is used to help improve business processes.

The first is a company that specializes in managing a loyalty card program and partnering with different retailers to offer students discounts and deals utilizes Dynamics CRM’s Inventory Management. This feature allows the company to use the newly released Rollup fields to create a running total for each product offering that has been sold.

Using the Business Management feature gives the company the ability to populate, change, show or hide a field based on the value of another field. Business Rules enabled the company to dynamically update Quantity on Hand for a product when a replenishment value is entered, while creating a workflow prompts members of the sales team of a reduced Quantity on Hand when a product is sold.

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New Features in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Carina’s Spring Release

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 Microsoft Dynamics CRM is set to see a substantial update this spring, with the release of Carina. This will serve as the first major update to the new CRM 2015.  Although an exact date for its release is yet to be determined, CRM users and partners are abuzz with the features and added functionality that Carina promises. Here are some notable features that can be expected:

1. Enhanced Excel Integration

The new update will allow Excel users to open their data in spreadsheets within CRM. This serves as a valuable feature for quick visibility and analysis of data, and eliminates any compatibility issues that may arise should you have a different version of Excel installed.

2. OneNote Online Integration

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Why Choose Microsoft CRM Over The Competition?

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Businesses looking for a Hosted Dynamics CRM solution are driven by key needs that include: Integration with third party marketing automation software, a holistic view of each customer on the go, and a need to increase productivity without increasing costs.

So what makes Dynamics CRM stand out from the rest? Here are a few reasons why Dynamics CRM is right for your business:

  • Focuses on critical factors for building long- term customer relationships, such as Sales Automation, Customer Service and Marketing Excellence.
  • Familiar Microsoft interface that makes the system easy to use.
  • Native Microsoft Outlook client and embedded Microsoft Office features.
  • Access anywhere, anytime, using a web browser, a tablet or directly within Microsoft Office Outlook.
  • Customization options allow the system to adapt to your business needs and then continue to grow along with your organization.
  • Automation features, such as workflows, increase your employees' productivity and reduce errors.

If you are interested in viewing Microsoft Dynamics CRM in action, download our free interactive demo!

Natalie Williams, Marketing Manager, WebSan Solutions Inc. a 2014 Ontario Business Achievement Award Winner for Service Excellence.

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5 CRM Features Your Company Needs

Looking beyond the dozens of features that various CRM Systems have to offer, there are specific features which your CRM system must adequately provide to ensure your business is able to attract and retain customers successfully.  Here are 5 CRM Features your company needs and should look out for:

Remote Access

Your CRM System should give your employees access to customer information remotely from any location and device. Remote access is critical to obtain real-time information as well as provide your employees a way to update your CRM system with vital information on clients and partners.

Security

If you are a company where there is an overlap between departments in terms of roles and responsibilities, it would be easy for the wrong person to gain access to confidential information from your CRM system. It's important to put in measures which monitor what information is accessed through your CRM system. Additionally, encrypted access and a secure server is important if you're remotely accessing your company's real-time information from your CRM system.

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Email Templates in Microsoft Dynamics CRM

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One of the powerful marketing tools on Microsoft Dynamics CRM is an Email Template which will allow your sales team to mass email groups of contacts.

To create Email Templated within CRM, navigate to the Settings Tab, then Templates under the Business section. Select the Email Template button.

Note: The Outlook Client & Web Client will both look slightly different. However, both have the same options, so users should be comfortable using both.

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What does my CRM Data mean?

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Lead – This is the qualifier for a sales opportunity. Perhaps someone you met at a trade show that might not be a qualified lead, but you want to keep in touch with them.

Opportunity – Once you qualify your leads, you would convert them to an opportunity. For example, a lead that you have spoken to whom has shown interest in your product.

Account – Once you have closed business with that person, you would 'win' the opportunity and convert the person / company to an account.

Adam MacIntosh is the Manager of Client Services with WebSan Solutions Inc, a Microsoft Dynamics Partner firm.

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Ten Things to Consider Before Choosing a CRM System

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There are always plenty of things to consider before purchasing a new system for your business and CRM solutions are not an exception.

What is CRM?

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management and is used to refer to a system whereby a company's interactions with current and prospective customers are closely managed. It typically involves using technology to organize, synchronize and automate such disciplines as sales and marketing, tech support and customer service. Often CRM systems will be active and monitoring many different networks for marketing campaigns. Also, they can closely and accurately track customer habits and persuasions through customer clicks and traffic.

Physical places where customer relationship management is often and most heavily used include but are not limited to, banks, call centers, social media, operation centers and customer data query centers.

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How Can Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Benefit Your Business

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) has been a growing trend in the last couple of years. Any business owner knows that your sales team is only as good as the tools and the people it employs. Dynamics CRM is the right solution for your unique business needs because your sales team is able to market and sell your goods or services efficiently and effectively.

Sales people need a way to monitor, track and record sales force automation, marketing campaigns and funnel management. Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 focuses on 5 aspects of the sales cycle: Sales, customer care, marketing, social and technology.

Here is a list of benefits that Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 as to offer:

  • Easily configurable
  • Powerful tablet applications
  • Touch-optimized phone applications
  • Communicate with ease (Microsoft Lync, Skype, Yammer)
  • Real Time Workflow
  • Enhanced business processes

At WebSan Solutions, we offer robust, integrated end-to-end software solutions for managing your business.

Natalie Williams, Marketing Coordinator, WebSan Solutions Inc., a Canadian Certified Microsoft Partner

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3 Reasons To Choose Microsoft Dynamics CRM

If you are in the market for a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system or you are just not satisfied with your current CRM solution, then you should consider Microsoft Dynamics CRM for the following reasons:

One of the main advantages of Microsoft Dynamics CRM is its familiar look and feel. If you are using Microsoft Outlook and/or Microsoft Internet Explorer, then you will find Dynamics CRM's interface very user-friendly. Research has proven that employees spend a significant amount of time daily using their Microsoft Outlook account. Compared to other CRM vendors, Microsoft doesn’t have to worry about integrating Dynamics CRM to Outlook because this is an inherent feature of Microsoft’s CRM solution.

Another reason to consider Microsoft Dynamics CRM for your business needs is flexibility. Not only can the system be customized to support your tailored needs but also the total cost of ownership (TOC) provides the best value in the market.

Last but not least, Microsoft Dynamics CRM offers a unified customer experience, connecting your employees around the world and empowering them with an integrated yet localized set of tools for success.

WebSan Solutions offers a robust hosted Microsoft Dynamics CRM solution along with other integrated, end-to-end business solutions.

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Microsoft Dynamics CRM embraces the NFL

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With the 48th NFL Super Bowl around the corner and the teams competing for the big prize, let’s take the chance to find out how Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 can relate to this sports event.

Microsoft successfully introduced Dynamics CRM 2013 to the sports industry by releasing special industry standard templates for free including a sports management template. The Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 sports management industry template has been developed particularly for helping sport clubs in their efforts for recruitment, ticket sales and various opportunities.

Following is a list of the template’s features:

  • Dashboards for performance management by athlete and/or team, ticket sales, recruitment status and team standings
  • Business Processes to manage recruitment, opportunities and ticket sales
  • Business rules, workflows, and security roles to support the business processes.
  • Custom entities including drug tests, event management, merchandise sale, profile album, injuries, results, scout reports and ticket sales
  • Sports demo to experiment with the different capabilities of the solution

Notice here that this solution is only a template for customizations in Microsoft Dynamics CRM. WebSan Solutions offers a hosted Dynamics CRM solution along with other integrated end-to-end software to improve your company’s efficiency. We simply provide you with peace of mind by taking care of all your business needs so you can enjoy the Super Bowl game. Take advantage of Dynamics CRM’s versatility and contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to learn more.

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Creating Entities and Fields on the Fly Whilst Importing Data

If you have a lot of data that doesn’t quite fit into one of Dynamics CRM 2011’s existing entities, you may decide to create your own custom entity and fields to house that data of yours.  If you take this route, don’t waste your time building the entity and creating all of your fields ahead of time!  Instead, you can use CRM 2011’s Import Data Wizard, which allows you to create entities and fields on the fly as you import the data for this new entity.

After selecting the file you want to import in the Import Data Wizard, you will reach the Map Record Types step of the Wizard – here, you can select to “Create New” Dynamics CRM Record Type, which will prompt you for more information to create the new entity within the Wizard.  Next, you’ll reach the Map Fields step – here, you can dynamically create new fields for each column in your import file (or ignore fields that you don’t want to bring into CRM).  While doing so, it even defaults the Field Name to match the column header from your import file, so all you really have to do is select the type of field that it is.  And if that wasn’t enough – if you select “Option Set” as the field type, the Wizard will automatically create values for your option set based on the unique values in that column of your data file!  The only thing left to do at this point is to set any additional options on your new entity as necessary and configure the entity form that will be used to manage the data – both of which can be done through the usual customizations window.

So if you find yourself needing to create a new entity along with having to import your data into this new entity, save yourself some time by combining both steps into one using this helpful trick in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Import Data Wizard.

Rahim Jiwani is an Implementation Lead at WebSan Solutions Inc, a Microsoft Dynamics GP Silver Partner & 2012 Microsoft Impact Awards Finalist. Rahim can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 416-499-1235 ext 217.

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To CRM or not to CRM, that is the question!

There is much heated debate about CRM systems in the marketplace. Many companies have invested thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars into a new CRM system that the sales reps won't touch with a 10-foot pole.

The funny irony is that all companies have customers and all companies have some way of keeping information in a spreadsheet or accounting system of who their customers are and some characteristics of that customer. So why is it so difficult for companies to make the quantum leap forward to formalize their CRM processes?

What companies need to keep in mind when looking to formalize their CRM practices with an investment in technology is that the technology should facilitate their sales process and improve key sales metrics like:

  • suspect to lead close ratios
  • sales revenue per rep
  • more effective use of marketing $

We specialize in both Salesforce.com and MS Dynamics CRM. Both are very capable systems, but what makes the difference is how the system is implemented and how it is inculcated into the organization to maximize adoption of the new system.

Contact us if you're thinking about an investment in CRM and we can help!

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