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Improve Market Segmentation and Customer Profiling with Dynamic Marketing Lists in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

August 29th, 2011 Sandeep Walia No comments

A CRM solution is only as powerful as the quality of the data in it. More often than not, the weakest link for a marketer is the data and the lack of rich customer profiles in it. Having rich customer profiles and good customer segmentation allows you to tailor marketing efforts to individuals thus increasing your level of success in your marketing campaigns. That means higher quality leads and more revenue.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 brings in the ability to do rich customer profiling and customer segmentation automatically with the use of Dynamic Marketing Lists. In simple terms, Dynamic marketing lists allow you to set up the rules for adding a customer (business/account or individual/contact) on a list and automatically adding them to the list if they meet the criteria. This is pretty big jump from where you have to manually do the customer segmentation.

As an example, let’s say I wish to segment customers geographically by region and I had different regions, and based on those I create marketing lists. In my example, I have one list called California Customers that will automatically add into the list any customer with a California address. This includes when a customer’s address is updated or when a new customer is added. Let’s walk through this process on the use of Dynamic Marketing Lists in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011.

Let’s first create a Marketing List called California Customer Accounts. We specify this as a Dynamics Marketing List.

Dynamic Marketing List created called California Customer Accounts

Dynamic Marketing List created called California Customer Accounts

We then build the rules of adding customers on the list. In the screen below I’ve set the rule up that if the customer has any of its addresses in the State of California, then they will be added to the list automatically.

Configuration of Query for the Dynamic Marketing List

Configuration of Query for the Dynamic Marketing List

When we go to the list to check the members – it has automatically added all qualifying customers to this list that meet the criteria.

Dynamic Marketing List has automatically added all qualifying customers that meet the query criteria in to the list

Dynamic Marketing List has automatically added all qualifying customers that meet the query criteria in to the list

To test this Dynamic Marketing List we created, let’s create a customer –ABC Corporation, which has an address in Long Beach, CA. As a side note –that address is where we are moving our new Southern California office to.

Dynamic Marketing lists will automatically add new records to the list that meet the criteria

Dynamic Marketing Lists will automatically add new records to the list that meets the criteria

And we go to the California Customer Accounts Marketing list and Voila! The customer is automatically on that list.

Member List of the Dynamic Marketing list has been automatically updated to add the new record that we created since it met the query criteria of the list.

Member List of the Dynamic Marketing List has been automatically updated to add the new record that we created since it met the query criteria of the list.

Essentially, what used to be a very tedious and error prone task has now gotten automated so that the chances of human error have been eliminated, and you also get accurate demographic and well segmented data that helps you build targeted marketing campaigns.

For any questions on Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 for your organization, email us at crm@ignify.com.

Sandeep Walia is the CEO of Ignify. Ignify is a technology provider of CRM, eCommerce and ERP, software solutions to businesses and public sector organizations. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing business in North America for 5 years in a row by Deloitte, Inc Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine and ranked as one of 100 most innovative companies in the world in the Red Herring Global 100 in 2011.

Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 Word Templates and E-mail Capabilities

August 2nd, 2011 Edward Jose No comments

Dynamics GP 2010 has been out for quite a while, but one of the very cool features that it offers is the ability to leverage the functionality and ease of use of MS Word for GP Reporting needs, and the capability to then send the report via e-mail to customers or vendors directly from Dynamics GP.

With this feature, users can quickly and easily e-mail single documents, batches of documents, and/or multiple documents from a list within Dynamics GP 2010. This works mainly with the Purchasing and Sales Series where you can send the templates to your vendors/customers seamlessly.

Here are just a few of the supported documents that can be used and modified using the new MS Word templates:

  • Sales Order Processing Documents:
  • Sales Quote
  • Sales Order
  • Sales Fulfillment Order
  • Sales Invoice
  • Receivables Invoice
  • Receivables Return
  • Receivables Debit Memo
  • Receivables Credit Memo
  • Receivables Finance Charges
  • Receivables Warranty
  • Receivables Service/Repair
  • Purchase Order Processing Documents:
  • Standard Purchase Order
  • Blanket Purchase Order
  • Drop Ship Purchase Order
  • Drop Ship Blanket Purchase Order
  • Vendor Remittances
 

Here are some overview steps to get you started in using MS Word templates and using the send e-mail functionality:

I. Email Setup:

  1. Company E-mail Setup Window (Microsoft Dynamics GP >> Tools >> Setup >> Company >> Email Settings) First you need to set up e-mail options for the company in the Company E-mail Setup windows: Select which document formats will be used and how the documents will be sent in e-mail. Documents can be sent as an HTML, XPS, PDF, or DOCX attachment. You also have the option of having the templates be sent as attachments or embedded in the message body.

    Company E-mail Setup – you can choose the preferred formats for your reporting needs.

    Figure: Company E-mail Setup – you can choose the preferred formats for your reporting needs.

  2. Click on the hyperlink of Sales/Purchasing Series from the Company E-mail Setup window and this opens up the E-mail Setup window of the module selected where one can set which type of documents can be emailed. A Message ID can also be selected from here which will be used as the email message content that will be used by GP when e-mails are sent.

    Users can setup the messages from (Microsoft Dynamics GP >> Tools >> Setup >> Company >> E-mail Message Setup window). You would also want to enter an e-mail address that a customer/vendor can use to send a reply e-mail for the document type. The address you enter in this field is the default reply-to address if you create a new message for the sales/purchasing series.

    You can mark the available documents that can be printed with Word Templates in SOP

    Figure: You can mark the available documents that can be printed with Word Templates in SOP.

    You can mark the available documents that can be printed with Word Templates in POP

    Figure: You can mark the available documents that can be printed with Word Templates in POP.

    From the Sales and Purchasing E-mail Setup windows, there are the buttons for ‘Customer Setup’ and ‘Vendor Setup’. When you click on these buttons, it opens up the Customers or Vendors list from the Navigation Pane and you can update multiple customers or vendors to enable e-mail options. You can mass select customers or vendors in the list and select E-mail Settings from the Modify group's overflow menu to open the Mass Customer or Vendor E-mail Settings window.

    Multiple customers can be easily enabled for e-mail settings using Navigation List for Customers

    Figure: Multiple customers can be easily enabled for e-mail settings using Navigation List for Customers.

  3. Setup/Enter e-mail addresses for customers or vendors in GP via the Internet Information window (Microsoft Dynamics GP menu >> Tools >> Setup >> Company >> Internet Information). Another way of also doing this is you can enter directly the e-mail address of the recipient of the e-mail from the i.e. Sales Transaction Entry window and use the E-mail Detail Entry window. Below is a sample screenshot of where it is located.

    Setup e-mail addresses for Customers and Vendors via the Internet Information window

    Figure: Setup e-mail addresses for Customers and Vendors via the Internet Information window.

    E-mail addresses entered from the Internet Information window defaults for the transaction. If there is a need to change an e-mail address on the fly, use the Email Detail Entry window

    Figure: E-mail addresses entered from the Internet Information window defaults for the transaction. If there is a need to change an e-mail address on the fly, use the Email Detail Entry window.

  4. Start sending e-mails. One way of doing it is by using the Navigation List to send e-mails to a list of customers/vendors, or you can also do it per document. Below are screenshots showing this.

    You can immediately e-mail this document to the customer by just looking it up from the Inquiry window and using the ‘Send Document in E-mail’ button

    Figure: You can immediately e-mail this document to the customer by just looking it up from the Inquiry window and using the ‘Send Document in E-mail’ button.

    You can select and send e-mail for multiple documents and customers, and also use filters to narrow down results within the Navigation List window

    Figure: You can select and send e-mail for multiple documents and customers, and also use filters to narrow down results within the Navigation List window.

II. Using MS Word Templates: The Word template forms in GP 2010 have some nice advantages to the Report Writer (GP Report Modification Tool) forms, such as increased graphics capabilities.

  1. The first thing to know is that when installing a GP 2010 client for a user who needs to modify Word templates, you need to also install the “Microsoft GP Add-in for Microsoft Word” found under additional products in the installation media.

    The Add-in is required to be installed for the user who is printing the MS Word templates

    Figure: The Add-in is required to be installed for the user who is printing the MS Word templates

    This Add-in will add access to Great Plains fields from within Word. Once installed, you will find a “Field List” icon on the Developer tab of Word. This will enable you to add in fields from tables used by the original report into the Word template.

    If you don’t see your Developer tab in MS Word, you can enable the Developer tab in Word Options >> Popular >> Show Developer tab in the Ribbon.

    Screenshot may vary depending on the version of MS Office where the Developer tab is being enabled

    Figure: Screenshot may vary depending on the version of MS Office where the Developer tab is being enabled.

  2. Go to Template Configuration Manager (Reports >> Template Configuration) to enable which templates will be used in GP 2010. The Template Configuration Manager window has a tree view that you can use to select the companies, series, and Word templates you want to use. If you don’t want to use the Word template functionality, you can use this window to disable Word templates.

    It is suggested to only enable documents that will be required to print the MS Word templates. Unmark reports that will not be required to use templates

    Figure: It is suggested to only enable documents that will be required to print the MS Word templates. Unmark reports that will not be required to use templates.

  3. Now start creating/modifying your MS Word templates from the Template Maintenance window (Reports >> Template Maintenance). You can then assign templates to, or remove them from, companies, customers, or vendors as well.

    Once a template is assigned to a report, make sure to use the ‘Assign’ button and set a report as a ‘Default’ for the company

    Figure: Once a template is assigned to a report, make sure to use the ‘Assign’ button and set a report as a ‘Default’ for the company.

Some helpful tips on setting up these new features in GP 2010:

  • The Word templates are based on the standard reports in GP. If you want to get additional data into your templates, you will still need to modify the standard report using GP’s Report Writer so that the additional information is included on the modified version of the report. Also, make sure that security is granted to the Alternate Modified Forms and Report ID has been changed to use the modified report so that the new information can be used on the Word template.
  • On a client workstation, check in Add/Remove Programs and verify that the following two items are installed:

    * Microsoft Dynamics GP Add-in for Microsoft Word
    * Open XML SDK 2.0 for Microsoft Office (this should be dated 4/1/10 or later) – Ideally this should be initially installed with GP.
    Note: These two items are required to ensure MS Word templates can be modified and e-mailed.

  • If the client PC printing the MS Word template is using an IP Address in the DSN for GP, this causes issues printing the templates. This is a current Quality Report at Microsoft. It is suggested that the client PC printing MS Word templates has the SQL Server Instance name as the DSN name as a workaround to this. This is also fixed in GP 2010 SP2.
  • The user who is printing and sending e-mails using the MS Word template should be a Local Administrator on the workstation.
  • If using MS Office 2010 and sending documents as attachments using the PDF format and not ALL of the format options available (DOCX, HTML, PDF and XPS) are marked in the Company E-mail Settings window, e-mails will not be created and sent as the user will get the error “You must have the Microsoft Save As PDF or XPS Add-In for 2007 Microsoft Office installed to send documents”. It is suggested to have all format options enabled to fix this issue.

Now enjoy and start building your templates, and try out the e-mail capabilities.

Edward Jeff Jose is a Senior Business Analyst at Ignify. Ignify is a leading provider of Microsoft Dynamics ERP solutions to mid-market and Enterprise businesses. Ignify has been ranked as Microsoft Partner of the Year Winner in 2011 and 2010 and in the Microsoft Dynamics Inner Circle, Microsoft Dynamics Presidents Club in 2009. Ignify has offices and team members in Southern California, Northern California, Arizona, Tennessee, Illinois, Washington, Canada, Malaysia, India, Philippines.

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 now Generally Available

August 1st, 2011 Sandeep Walia No comments

Today, Microsoft announced the general availability of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 in 25 countries and 23 languages.

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 is “Powerfully Simple” because it has been designed to empower people to anticipate and embrace change, enabling businesses of all sizes to thrive and grow. Through Microsoft’s early adoption programs that Ignify has been part of there is already evidence from customers and partners on the incredible value they are realizing from this latest version. Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 delivers:

  • A powerful foundation of prebuilt industry capabilities and comprehensive, core ERP functionality for financial, human resources and operations management
  • A new level of agility through a set of tools like the Unified Natural Models, which serve as a library of business processes that reflect real-world situations
  • Simplicity across the board, allowing amazing flexibility in configuration and customization while lowering total cost of ownership to our customers.
  • Ignify has been implementing Dynamics AX 2012 for several customers and can attest to the power, agility and simplicity of the new version.

Core industry functionality is built directly into the solution supporting end-to-end capabilities for: manufacturing, distribution, retail, professional services, and public sector. Microsoft Dynamics AX supports global organizations by offering multi-site capabilities, country-specific functionality, and multi-language support on a central installation.

To get an overview of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 – please click here. You can view a Dynamics AX 2012 product demo here. To read about Dynamics AX 2012 features visit the Dynamics AX blog.

The full release, together with supporting documentation and tools is available for download here.
https://mbs.microsoft.com/customersource/downloads/servicepacks/MicrosoftDynamicsAX2012. For details on product availability, localizations and translations, please download the Product Availability, Localization and Translation Guide for Microsoft Dynamics AX available here.

Sandeep Walia is CEO of Ignify. Ignify is a leading provider of Microsoft Dynamics ERP solutions to mid-market and Enterprise businesses. Ignify has been ranked as Microsoft Partner of the Year Winner in 2011 and 2010 and in the Microsoft Dynamics Inner Circle, Microsoft Dynamics Presidents Club in 2009. Ignify has offices and team members in Southern California, Northern California, Arizona, Tennessee, Illinois, Washington, Canada, Malaysia, India, Philippines.