Sonoma Partners Microsoft CRM and Salesforce Blog

MBS Leadership Transition

Doug Burgum

This news is just over a week old, but we wanted to weigh in with our $0.02.

I'm not sure what Doug's new role really means in the day-to-day operations of Microsoft Dynamics (formerly Microsoft Business Solutions). As a partner we obviously don't interact with him on a daily basis. However, I attended multiple Microsoft events where Doug presented, gave a keynote or handled a Q&A session. I always thought he was extremely sharp, and I'd rank him as one of the best public speakers in all of information technology. I hope Microsoft continues to leverage him in these industry events, because Doug is EXCELLENT at working large crowds. The only Microsoft executive who can compete with Doug Burgum at public speaking excellence is Steve Ballmer. He's fun too!

From Microsoft:

Microsoft today (11/17/05) announced a leadership transition in which Doug Burgum, senior vice president, MBS business group, will assume the newly created role of chairman of Microsoft Business Solutions effective spring 2006.

A Letter from Doug Burgum:

Nearly five years ago, Microsoft entered the business applications category with the acquisition of Great Plains, followed by the acquisition of Navision 15 months later. As the MBS organization nears its five year anniversary, the business is set to continue on its path of accelerated momentum.

We are seeing the rewards of hard work in our YTD numbers – 16% overall growth, 18% increase in software revenue, and 21% growth in license revenue. Microsoft Dynamics, our unified brand for ERP and CRM, has a clear product roadmap. We have strong momentum with the best partner channel in the industry, increased positive field execution and our strongest, most innovative product pipeline ever.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0, Microsoft Dynamics SL 6.5, and Microsoft Dynamics GP 9.0 have shipped and we are making solid progress towards shipping Microsoft Dynamics AX 4.0 and Microsoft Dynamics NAV 5.0. We have successfully launched Office Small Business Accounting and we’re on track for its next release in conjunction with Office 12.

Across all areas: brand, product, channel, field, operations and leadership team itself, I have never been more bullish on the future for Microsoft in business applications. Thanks to each of you for your contributions to our great start to the year.

Given the strength and momentum of our business, this is the right time to initiate a thoughtful and well planned leadership transition. So this week we will begin a formal search for a new business group leader of MBS.  The process will include a full external and internal search. We would expect the new leader to be in place by next spring.

Jeff Raikes and I are committed to finding the right person for this key leadership role.  Our primary focus will be a smooth and thoughtful change of leadership that maintains our business momentum and strengthens the confidence and trust of our partners and customers.

Throughout the search and during the full transition process, I will continue to lead and drive
the MBS business. I will also retain my full accountability for delivering on our FY 06 commitments and FY 06 financial results.

Orlando remains the MBS COO and SMS&P leader, where he will continue to bring his passion for sales, marketing and field execution. The roles of the rest of the MBS SLT are unchanged. Upon the placement of the new MBS BG leader, I will assume a new role as Chairman of Microsoft Business Solutions. 

This new role will allow me to assist in the on-boarding of the new leader and to focus on areas that I am deeply passionate about including evangelizing Microsoft “all up” solutions to business decision makers broadly and working more deeply with industry influencers, MBS prospects, customers, partners and ISVs throughout the world, including in markets where we have limited presence. 

For almost 23 years, including the last five at Microsoft, I have had the opportunity to lead this organization. I am humbled to have served so long in this role, and feel honored and privileged to have worked with such innovative team members and dedicated partners. My inspiration and energy continues to be renewed by seeing the caring, courage and commitment demonstrated each and every day in the great work delivered by you and our partners.

With the foundation for success and growth in place for us and our partners, and with the strong senior leadership team we have in place, I am confident that we will have a successful transition to the next MBS leader.   

Doug

Topics: Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Microsoft CRM 1.0 Support Ending Soon

For those of you still running Microsoft CRM 1.0...(not 1.2, but 1.0):

  1. 1. Why haven't you upgraded yet? Microsoft released CRM 1.2 years ago.
  2. 2. Microsoft CRM 1.0 technical support ends 12/31/2005.

Sticking with their support lifecycle plan, Microsoft released version 1.0 on 12/26/2002 and they're ending technical support for that product on 12/31/2005...three full years (and two new versions) later.

Learn more about Microsoft's Support Lifecycle Policy, and UPGRADE right away!

CRM 3.0 license keys for Microsoft Partners

From today's Microsoft Insights Newsletter (Partner-communication):

PID Keys of Microsoft CRM 3.0 for Partner Use
Microsoft Partners enrolled in the Microsoft Partner Program will be receiving full production keys of Microsoft CRM 3.0 in December or January. If you are a Microsoft Certified or Gold Certified Partner enrolled in the MSPP Program or are an Action Pack subscriber you will be receiving “Not For Resale” rights to use Microsoft CRM internally. MSDN subscriptions provide test and development license use of Microsoft CRM. Please see table below:

  • Microsoft Action Pack Subscribers (10 CALs) – Expected deliver in January (Quarterly Action Pack)

  • Microsoft Certified Partners (25 CALs) – Expected delivery in December box
  • Microsoft Gold Certified (100 CALs) – Expected delivery in December box

  • MSDN (10 CALs) – Available today for “Test and Development” purposes only
  • Please note: We sincerely regret the PID keys sent in the November boxes for Microsoft Certified or Gold Certified partners did not work and were invalid. The December and January shipment will include correct keys and CD media of Microsoft CRM 3.0

    These MSPP program benefits for Microsoft CRM 3.0 will soon be posted.

    Microsoft CRM and the full moon?

    Another satisfied Microsoft CRM 3.0 customer, from ZDNet.uk:

    CRM throws spotlight on full moon's effects

    Colin Barker
    ZDNet UK
    November 24, 2005, 14:35 GMT

    Are police medical emergencies influenced by the phases of the moon? Apparently so — it's one of the more unusual discoveries to emerge from early UK testing of Microsoft CRM 3.0
       
    Essex Medical & Forensic Services (EMFS), a medical firm, has become one of the first UK users of Microsoft's CRM 3.0 to go public with its experiences, just days before the official full launch of the product on 1 December.

    EMFS began using CRM 3.0 in April, in conjuction with Aspective, a public sector software specialist. Speaking on Wednesday, company representatives revealed that EMFS — which organises medical cover for the police across Essex, Suffolk, Cambridge and Bedfordshire — has discovered some unusual facts.

    According to Steve Roberts, commercial director with EMFS, the peak times for demand for medics are "Friday and Saturday nights, as you would expect but we find that volume goes up at the full moon, which we didn't expect."

    But the ability to plan, even for the full moon, is, a big plus in using CRM 3.0, says Roberts. EMFS has been in existence for just a year, and was set up as part of the Government's plans to privatise non-core services such as medical care for people in police custody. It supplies doctors, nurses and other medical personnel when required.

    "When the police arranged medical care they only had to guarantee getting someone to see a prisoner within 12 hours," says Roberts. "Our contract says we have to do it in one hour, or two if special medication is required."

    The doctors and nurses working for EMFS all have other medical jobs, usually in the NHS, and only do occasional shifts. To set up the system Roberts avoided dedicated medical systems — "they are complicated and expensive", he said — and opted for a CRM system instead. Roberts agreed that managing the time of freelance medical staff doesn't appear to be a normal use of CRM.

    "With Microsoft we got it all together. The database, Outlook and all the other applications and the CRM," he said. As a new customer, Roberts took on Microsoft CRM 1.2 and got 3.0 included at the original price together with extra modules — an offer that is open until 3.0 launches next week.

    "We looked at the others including Saleslogics (from Sage), GoldMine and Salesforce," said Roberts. "They were too sales-y. We wanted something that was simple to set-up and was very flexible. Salesforce wasn't flexible enough."

    Flexibility is crucial to Roberts as he plans to expand his fledgling company into other areas, such as medical services for prisoners in gaol — rather than just those spending time in police cells.

    "A CRM system is complex. We wanted to have one that will grow without costing too much."

    Meanwhile, Roberts can also keep an eye on the phases of the moon. "It is very flexible. We can use the system for all sorts of things and get instant reports. It is no different from using Outlook, and we know Outlook."

    On a side note, you should know that none of Microsoft CRM 3.0 out-of-the-box reports include any information about the cycle of the moon and customer service cases!

    CRM 3.0, SBS2003 SP1, and ISA

    If you try to install Microsoft CRM 3.0 on a Small Business Server 2003 running ISA Server, you might experience some issues. This is not news, lots of people have been talking about it. Here and here for example.

    However, this is news. Microsoft released a document today that explains how to resolve these issues, and here it is:

    Issue:
    The following error appears in the Microsoft CRM V3.0 Environment Diagnostic Wizard:

    “The Web site for installing SQL Reporting Services was not found.  Setup requires the presence of the Web site configured to run at port 80 with an empty Host Header.”

    Cause:
    There are multiple identities that exist on the Default Web site.  This can be the result of installing Microsoft ISA Server on the Windows Small Business Server 2003 computer. 

    Resolution:
    Complete the following steps on the Windows Small Business Server 2003 computer:

    1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager.
    2. Expand the <server name> node and then expand the Web Sites node.
    3. Right-click on the Default Web site and select Properties.
    4. Click the Advanced button on the Web Site tab.
    5. Select the Identity with 127.0.0.1 as the IP address and then click Remove. 
    6. Select the SSL identity with 127.0.0.1 as the IP address and then click Remove.  There should be one identity and one SSL identity remaining.
    7. Click OK on the Advanced Web Site Configuration dialog box and then click OK on the Default Web site’s Properties dialog box.
    Note:  If you encounter the error in the V3.0 Environment Diagnostic Wizard before completing these steps, you must close the installation wizard and restart the install.
    8. Complete the steps in the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article:

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;896861

    9. After setup installs Microsoft CRM successfully you can add back the loopback identities to the Default Web site by completing the following steps:
    a. Follow steps 1-4 to open the Advanced Web Site Identification dialog box on the Default Web site.
    b. Click the Add button under the Multiple identities for this Web site area.
    c. Enter 127.0.0.1 for the IP address and 80 for the TCP port and then click OK.
    d. Click the Add button under the Multiple SSL identities for this Web site area.
    e. Enter 127.0.0.1 for the IP address and 443 for the TCP port and then click OK.
    f. Click OK on the Advanced Web Site Configuration dialog box and then click OK on the Default Web site’s Properties dialog box.

    More Information:
    The following error may appear if the installation of ISA Server creates a certificate on the Default Web site named publishing.<your domain>.<your domain suffix>:

    “Activating SQL Server Reporting Services failed.  Setup failed to validate specified Reporting Services Report Server https://publishing../ReportServer.
    Error:  The request failed with HTTP status 401: Unauthorized”

    Windows Server 2003 SP1 includes a loopback check security feature that is designed to help prevent reflection attacks on your computer.  The 401 error occurs because the name of the certificate does not match the name of the local computer.  For example:  The name of the Windows Small Business Server 2003 computer might be named MySBSServer.domain.local.  The certificate created on the Default Web site during the installation of Microsoft ISA Server will be named publishing.domail.local.  Following the Knowledge Base article in step 8 will resolve this issue.

    To be honest, very few of our customers use Small Business Server so we have not personally seen this problem ourselves. However, I hope it helps those who might have seen it.

    It's my understanding that Microsoft will publish this information as an official KB article at some point.

    Another glowing review for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0

    In addition to last week's very nice review of Microsoft CRM 3.0 by ComputerWorld, InsightExec published an article about a customer who upgraded from Microsoft CRM 1.2 to Microsoft CRM 3.0...and how pleased they are with the new software. Among the highlights:

    • Improved customization options
    • Saving approximately 30 seconds on each customer service case
    • Much better look and feel to match Outlook
    • Stronger tool set and improved Outlook integration

    You can read the full review here...

    Google Analytics...the wait continues

    We signed up for the Google Analytics service this past Tuesday, and we had great expectations. From day one, Google made a name for itself because everything they did worked correctly and easily. We assumed that Google Analytics would maintain the high quality image of the other Google products.

    Wrong.

    It is now Saturday morning, and I'm still waiting for my first web log update...almost 5 days after signing up. Looking at their Help information, it says:

    After you first install the tracking code, it generally takes 24 hours for report data to appear in your account.

    Clearly, that's not happening. I also found this in the Help file:

    Update: 2:01 AM PST. Friday, November 18th, 2005

    Currently, report updating for Google Analytics is experiencing delays. As a result, you may not be seeing any data in your reports even after implementing the Analytics tracking code.

    We are currently in the process of updating all reports. You should be able to see these updates in 24 hours. While this is going on, you may notice different reports updating at different rates. Once this process has completed, all data should be restored to your profiles. Please be assured that this update process has no effect on data collection.

    We apologize for any inconvenience. This reporting delay is associated with unexpected demand for Google Analytics. Under normal circumstances, the data in your reports will be at most 24 hours old.

    Of course, that seems reasonable. The service is free after all, so that's why I'm trying to be patient and give them the benefit of the doubt. My problem is that they have posted this same message EVERYDAY since Tuesday (i.e. it will be up in 24 hours). And here we are at 7:00am PST Saturday, 29 hours later, and the website is still not updated despite the 24 hour claim they made yesterday. I'm willing to bet I will see this same message waiting for me tomorrow when I login ..."wait ANOTHER 24 hours".

    I wish that Google had launched this Analytics service the same way they launched Gmail where it was "invite only" for several months. This allowed Google to work out any kinks with the Gmail service and more accurately manage traffic.

    I still admire Google's products, but they really fumbled the ball with this Analytics launch. I assume they will get Analytics working correctly eventually and I'll love the service. Let's just pray they don't make this type of mistake again.

    Movin' on up to Gold Certified Partner

    We just received notification that Microsoft bumped up Sonoma Partners to the Gold Certified Partner status level (instead of just the Certified Partner level).

    We've been working with Microsoft CRM as a Certified Partner since early 2002 (when the product was still in the beta phase), so we're very excited to get the upgrade to Gold.

    On the downside, we just printed a new batch of business cards to list our new toll-free phone number (866) SONOMA1...but those cards don't have the Gold Certified logo!

    Were we the first to upgrade?

    We just finished our Microsoft CRM 3.0 RTM upgrade from Microsoft CRM 1.2! The process went smooth as silk, and everything is running great. Can we claim to be the first company in the world to upgrade from CRM 1.2 to CRM 3.0 using the RTM build? Yes, I think we just might be the first...

    Thankfully, we ran the CRM Upgrade Advisor before attempting to upgrade and it pointed out a few things we needed to correct before the upgrade (SQL SP4, etc.). We took screenshots of the Advisor and we'll post those later.

    Here's the official Microsoft CRM 3.0 RTM build number if you are curious: CRM 3.0.5300.0. It is only 5 build revisions higher than the EAP build number of CRM 3.0.5295.0.

    The wait is over. CRM 3.0 is here!

    Microsoft posted the RTM (Released to Manufacturing) version of Microsoft CRM 3.0 to the MSDN subscriber downloads website!  There are two discs of about 900 MB total.

    This means that MSDN subscribers can download the Microsoft CRM 3.0 software and start using it in production environments. Of course we will download and install the RTM software ASAP.

    Before you try to upgrade your 1.2 enviornments, please remember to run the CRM Upgrade Advisor first. This is a free utility from Microsoft that will identify any potential problems upgrading to CRM 3.0.