Today's guest blogger is Jacob Cynamon-Murphy, a Technical Specialist at Sonoma Partners.
I'm a big fan of Activity Feeds, the social CRM feature in Microsoft Dynamics CRM introduced with release 7 (R7) in November. Not only can users manually post to "record walls," but power users can use Activity Feed Rules or custom workflows to create auto-posts when meaningful events occur on records or in the system. Internally, we have updated the Sonoma Vibe desktop and iPad clients to use the new Activity Feed Post and Comment entities as well, making it very easy to share news and knowledge (not to mention fun) with the rest of the company.
As a technical specialist at Sonoma Partners, I am responsible for managing the demo environments that we use. Benefitting from a little slow time while everyone is on holiday, I decided the time was right to deploy the managed solution for Activity Feeds to all of our demo orgs that my colleague in IT had updated to R7. While deploying the solution and enabling activity feeds for the primary entities, I quickly noticed that the bit field to enable record walls sometimes remained at 'No' despite everything I attempted to set it to 'Yes'.
While this approach works fine if you have one or two forms to modify, I had dozens; several of our demo environments have managed solutions or manual customizations that use role-based forms. I decided to write a quick-and-dirty utility that prompts the user for a server name and an organization name (and saves up to 9 server/org pairs), credentials and an entity logical name and automates these form customization steps for each "Main" form of the entity.
If you have a complex implementation including entities with multiple forms, this utility - available for download - will save you time configuring and get your organization more social, and patch up record walls so your users can share information more effectively.
I am excited and proud to announce that our enterprise social networking application Vibe was a finalist for Microsoft’s Partner of the Year award in the Dynamics Marketplace Solution Excellence category (official press release here)!
When we launched Vibe to the Dynamics Marketplace back in January 2011, we decided to try something unique…we gave it away for free! We believed then (and still do) that the benefits of social networking are so great that we wanted to share it with ALL Microsoft Dynamics CRM customers worldwide.
Five months after the public launch of Vibe, we couldn’t be prouder of the results:
- Vibe is one of the top-rated applications on the Dynamics Marketplace
- Vibe has been downloaded from 61 (yes sixty-one!) different countries
- The Microsoft sales community frequently uses Vibe during their customer and prospect demos
- Vibe was featured at multiple Convergence 2011 presentations regarding Social CRM
- Sonoma Partners internal deployment of Vibe has had more than 20,000 posts in just 5 months!
We feel that this award helps formalize a lot of the success we’ve seen with Vibe, so we’re pretty pumped up!
5 Ways Vibe Can Make Your Business More Agile, Save Time, Boost Teamwork, and Generally Save the WorldPosted by Mike Snyder on April 19, 2011 in | Vibe Social Networking | Comments (1)
This isn't your dad's business. You have employees and partners spread all over the world and the information that makes your company successful is in their heads -- not on paper. Many of your employees work outside the traditional office and check in from home, their local Starbucks, and on-the-fly office spaces.
A worldwide presence and a dynamic work environment are a boon for your business, but there are some drawbacks too. Since some of your employees work from home, those vital water cooler chats to catch up on company news are a thing of the past. Moving fast is hard when your project team and your sales team are in different time zones (or even just in different offices in the same building). And your project and delivery teams have no clue what's in the sales pipeline, making it difficult for them to gear up for new projects.
Here are five ways that Sonoma Partners’ Vibe Social Networking application can boost your business by getting all your employees -- no matter where they are or when they work -- on the same page.
1. Vibe is as easy -- and fun -- to use as social media (minus the annoying Farmville updates).
You might already stay in touch with your friends and family using social media like Facebook and Twitter, which you can access from anywhere, anytime. Vibe is a social CRM platform for businesses where users can post information, subscribe to feeds, and more. Vibe helps your company take advantage of your geographically diffused workforce -- and the collective brainpower of all your employees -- through a technology that your employees are already familiar with.
2. Vibe lets your employees get help with projects, proposals, and more.
With Vibe, your employees can create their own feeds for each new opportunity, order, or case; post requests for help and get immediate responses from the entire organization; and deliver solutions based on other members' experience instead of starting from scratch with each new sale or proposal. Vibe also lets users search posts for information they may have missed so they don't duplicate requests, and receive daily e-mail digests so they don't miss important information.
3. Vibe lets you work like the wind.
The pace of business is getting faster by the day, so when you get a client request you need to marshal your resources and employees and get your clients what they need, stat -- which is hard when your employees (and the data in their brains) are scattered globally. With Vibe, instead of having to spend hours sleuthing out the right person or resource, employees can simply post a quick note that other subscribers to that feed can see and respond to pronto.
4. Vibe builds strong teams.
Employees work better together when they share a personal connection. Just for fun, feeds like @sports and @musicnerds foster an enjoyable work environment and help build loyal teams.
5. Vibe keeps you in the know.
Want to know what's going on in the trenches in your organization? Management can use Vibe to follow key conversations, keep abreast of new projects, and find out when someone needs help.
The result? We hate to use the cliché "well-oiled machine," but with Vibe that's what your diverse employees and partners will work like. Solutions are better, responses are faster, and key data -- from product fixes to who's following which sports team -- are where your employees need them.
Please contact us for more details on how Vibe can boost your business! If you’re already running Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, you can download the free community edition of Vibe from the Dynamics Marketplace.