When planning your mobile rollout keep in mind who will be using the tool, how they will use it and the data they want to capture. Use Option Sets to make data entry easier, notes can be entered later. Pictures are a huge benefit of mobile – they can document a quality issue and send it off right then.
The Upgrade from CRM 2011 to CRM 2013 is a big Change Management project. You will need to revisit the form and processes to make it fit in to the new 2013 model.
Use this opportunity and “Re-launch” the tool. Make it exciting and showcase improvements and quick wins. Set up CRM’s position in the organization. Get buy-in early and have Executives promote the tool and the importance of the changes.
Techie Talk: Upgrading Complex Systems
Alex Fagundes (MVP, PowerObjects)
Jerry Weinstock (MVP, CRM Innovation)
This was an excellent session with lots of great information. If you have access to CRMUG Collaborate make sure you check out the slides when they are posted. The slides will include links to tools and blogs that were mentioned in the session.
2013 uses the same endpoints as 2011. These will probably change again but not as frequently. The 2011 endpoints are pretty efficient and flexible, so they will be supported at least through the next version.
Forms will be upgraded as classic forms. You will need to go to each form and use the “Merge Form” button to move it into the 2013 form. So every form in the system will need to be touched and updated.
You must be on Rollup 6, 14 or above to upgrade. A major change with the upgrade is combining the two tables per entity that currently exist into one table. This can be postponed and done entity by entity. This will need to be done before the next major release.
The transition for CRM 4.0 to CRM 2011 was fairly easy because of the similar experience. This is not true for CRM 2013. It is a big leap for users. Be prepared with lots of training materials – videos, quick reference guides (before and after), recorded webinars, etc.
Set up a full test environment for users to access. Consider using gamification or other incentives for logging in. Turn on auditing so you know that users are actually testing.
Start with baseline training and then do training specific for each group.
CRM Roll-up and Roll-out
Alex Fagundes (MVP, PowerObjects)
This was another great session full of information. This is just a quick summary, access the slides or search online for more information.
CRM Update Rollups
Rollups are Cumulative. UR 6 is the new base for server and OL Client, so all new media includes UR 6. UR 6 and UR 12 cannot be uninstalled. It is always good to stay one Rollup behind. Also, always try to keep everything on the same Rollup (Server, OL Client, Email Router, etc.).
Top 7 Server Optimizations
- If UR < 10, adjust the EnableRetrieveMultipleOptimization setting for your organization
- Enable SOAP and XML Compress for Faster Outlook CRM Client
- Tune Threads (if you have a dedicated machine) to use all the available resources, this is dependent on the number of CPUs.
- Follow SQL Server best practices – Set Max Degree of Parallelism to 1, look at Microsoft White papers, separate OS/Data/Log/Temp TB drives, and watch performance metrics.
- Create custom indexes
- Run the recommended scripts to clean up the POA table (every 6 months) and AsyncOperationBase Table (Workflows, monthly).
- Adjust the Email Router settings if you have a large number of emails (by default it grabs up to 1000 waiting emails every 60 seconds)
CRM for Outlook
- Minimum requirements = minimum performance
- Offline Client = Mini CRM System. This requires more power and more planning. Also keep Data Security in mind and consider encryption.
- Antivirus software can drastically slow down your performance if it has a URL scanner. To fix, whitelist your URL.
- Update the System Synchronization Settings. Change Address Book from 1 hour to 24 hours; change the other settings to an hour or greater.
- Turn off MapiCaching on low power machines.
- Keep up to date on your patches.
- Keep your inbox small. There are some ways to improve performance if you must have a large inbox such as some registry changes and keeping an eye on your OST Fragmentation.
- Update the Outlook Filters, Sync Rules.
- Use the Diagnostic cool to clear temp files and create log files when the issue can be reproduced.
- Download the Trace File Viewer from CodePlex to make reviewing issue log files easier.
Internet Explorer Best Practices
- Use AD Group policy to roll out changes
- Add CRM to local or trusted sites
- Want to make use of the temporary internet cache for images and Java Script. Adjust the SSL settings to cache files such as icons.
- Keep in mind common issues: different default browsers, multiple toolbars, etc.
Partner Showcase: Users Want a Great Experience
Jacob Cynamom-Murphy (Sonoma Partners)
There is a difference between User Interface and User Experience. The Interface is just what it is. The Experience is the process and how the user feels about it. Mobile applications can greatly enhance use experience. It is most cost effective to use the native functionality; you can start with this and then look for new options as needed. Keep in mind the new MoCA app is not offline capable. Also it requires your organization be Online or an IFD. Custom Mobile Apps can be created that do not require an IFD.
To improve your user experience, follow Microsoft’s lead with CRM 2013 in 4 key ways:
- Reduce code. This is easier for administrators and results in the same experience.
- Clean up your forms by hiding fields/sections as necessary or creating role-based forms.
- Streamline navigating but hiding sub areas that are not needed (look at visual site map editor in the Marketplace)
- Simplify Search – CRM 2013 now has the Multi Entity search for Mobile and Sonoma Partners has an add-in to enable this in the browser.
Techie Talk: Performance and Optimization Panel
Sarah Jelinek (Network Center Inc.)
Mitch Milam (XRM Coaches)
Matt Wittemann (ClickDimensions)
This was a panel session so some of the topics covered were specific to people in the room. Many of the tips covered were also mentioned in the earlier sessions. So I will try to mention the unique information.
Outlook Offline Client Sync Errors
Make sure to update to the CRM for Outlook Critical Update version if you are on a lower rollup. Then work on upgrading your server and Outlook Client to UR 15, this will enforce SQL 4.0 which allows users to pull more than 2 GB of data at a time.
Multiple JS Web Resources per form, should we consolidate?
If this is JS from an ISV solution you do not want to consolidate. If you do, then you will be responsible for ensuring all those files are updated when an update to the solution is released.
It is good to minimize round trips but maintenance is still a consideration. Instead of consolidating, check the IE settings that determine how long JS web resources are cached and enable IIS compression. Also review your role-based forms and ensure that only necessary scripts are included.
How to Handle a Large Activity Table
If your Activity table is becoming large you can clear out old Activities that you no longer need and perhaps save a backup for history. Also you can use SQL partitioning to migrate off to another table. This is supported by Microsoft, but they will not change the product if you have any issues.
If removing the Activities is not an option you can instead look at the Annotation table (notes/attachments) and the email attachments. Sometimes these are a larger problem than the actual Activities. At a minimum, you should turn on compression for those tables.
Script Issues in UR 12+
If you are having any script issues after upgrading above UR 11 it could be because the script load asynchronously. To fix this you can use HeadJS to set the order but this is not supported and will break CRM dependency tracking.
You should upgrade to UR 15 where it is fixed but not the same as it was pre-UR 12. The new style adds some complexity and needs to be debugged differently (see the CRM in the Field blog on this topic).
In CRM 2013 you can check for the namespace and use a timer to recheck if necessary. Then you will know when scripts are being loaded.