Microsoft Teams: Tips to Change Date/Time Format

We, at Barhead has just started our Microsoft Teams journey earlier this month. One thing that we noticed is that by default of standard installation every date/time formatting are in US format. Below is a sample of conversation log between me and my colleague. The conversation was happening a few weeks ago, which is still in the month of April, but the one showing below seems to be reverse of Australian time format (dd/MM/yyyy) and showing US format (MM/dd/yyyy).

Chat Log

So, I found out the way to change the date time format is by changing the Language. To change the language: Click on the “profile” icon at the bottom left of the application, and click on Language:

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This then will open the selection of the language. Select your language. Note: in this window, Microsoft Team also specify that language will determine the date and time format.

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Click Save and Restart to see the changes being applied!

HTH!

 

Tips to Prepare for the Dynamics 365 exam – MB2-717: Sales

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Today, I passed the Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales exam (MB2-717). So, I just would like to share the preparation tips that I’ve done to get this certification nailed down. I came from technical background, so this exam is slightly tougher for me to prepare 🙂

Note: As usual, you will not find any question that related to the exam here and I won’t give you any of it. NDA! NDA! NDA!

Skills Measured

Before starting to prepare for the exam, always review the Skills Measured section from the exam link: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/learning/exam-mb2-717.aspx.

Below is the extract of the topics/measurements based on the official page:

Create a Customer Organizational Structure (20% – 25%)

  • Manage customer records
    • Create and maintain a current customer base organizational structure; identify potential sales opportunities by utilizing core records such as accounts, contacts and customers
  • Manage the sales process
    • Create and maintain sales transactional records; track the sales progression; manage the sales process from lead generation through quote, order, and invoice creation
  • Manage customer communication
    • Create and manage social engagement sources, identify opportunities and generate leads
  • Manage sales literature and competitors
    • Create and maintain a sales literature repository, create an organized methodology for identifying and tracking competitors

Manage Leads and Opportunities (15% – 20%)

  • Manage leads
    • Identify leads and track them throughout the conversion process, reactivate or delete disqualified leads
  • Identify and manage opportunities
    • Identify opportunities to track throughout the sales workflow, create opportunities with a defined status, create records within the opportunity form, assign opportunities to designated sales staff
  • Utilize opportunity functionality
    • Close and document opportunities as won or lost, use Quick Create to add new information, connect opportunities to other record types, apply connections to a data structure
  • Manage opportunity relationships
    • Analyze lost sales opportunities through resolution activities, utilize multiple opportunity views

Manage Relationship and Sales Analysis (10% – 15%)

  • Manage relationship intelligence
    • Provision and configure Relationship Insights to integrate with Exchange, create and prioritize actions and tasks, track interactions, manage sales communication
  • Manage relationship analysis
    • Provision and configure relationship intelligence, create actionable and productivity cards by using Relationship Assistant
  • Integrate email with Dynamics 365 Sales
    • Track interactions with a specific email; manage sales relationships through statistical analysis of email activity, untracked emails and performance activities; manage sales relationships with Email Engagement; use engagement analytics and Auto-capture
  • Manage sales by using sales analysis tools
    • Improve sales tracking by using Advanced Find, editable grids and built-in reports; export data to Excel in both static and dynamic processes; export Excel templates

Manage the Sale Process (10% – 15%)

  • Manage the business process flow
    • Manage the tasks required of each state in the Business Process Flow, create territories and assign them to managers and sales staff, configure currency and exchange rates
  • Manage Products by using the Product Catalog
    • Manage prices lists, discount lists and unit groups; create, maintain and clone products; manage the product lifecycle
  • Manage price structures
    • Create price lists, create discount list models, assign currencies to products
  • Manage product relationships
    • Identify product relationships, differentiate product relationships by family units, customize properties for all products, identify and bundle related products
  • Manage sales transactional records
    • Create price and revenue structures with inclusion of line items, currency rates, exchange rates, and write-in products; manage the quote lifecycle; create and manage quotes, orders, and invoices

Improve Sales Performance (10% – 15%)

  • Manage goals
    • Create manageable and measurable goals, delineate goals by fiscal periods, specify definitions and goal metric records, analyze individual and organizational progress by creating goal hierarchies, use rollup queries
  • Manage visual tools with Sales Analysis
    • Create documents and templates, integrate charts and dashboards

Manage Customer Information (15% – 20%)

  • Operate Dynamics 365 sales functions
    • Identify and define the functional areas of Dynamics 365 Sales, model relationships and records in Microsoft Dynamics 365, access Dynamics 365 Sales through various client access methods, utilize the help center
  • Perform data management
    • Create customers and contacts within 365 Sales, enforce customer relationship by using activity types, use views and global searches
  • Perform lifecycle management
    • Utilize leads, convert leads into customers in the lead life cycle, perform opportunity management, manage cases

Now, below are the sources that I used to prepare for the exam.

Source #1: Dynamics Learning Portal

DLP always been my go-to source to prepare for Dynamics 365/CRM exam. So, for Sales exam, run through these courses:

Source #2: Revision Notes

Again, Neil Parkhurst has provided a good exam revision on Dynamics CRM 2016, the contents here are great. Since the core concepts for Sales has not been changed that much, this article is really recommended!

https://neilparkhurst.com/2016/06/01/mb2-713-certification-microsoft-dynamics-crm-2016-sales-revision-guide/

Source #3: Hands-On

As usual, to prepare for an exam, some hands-on experience is a must.

Try out the Sales-related scenarios, such as Lead qualifications, Opportunity management, Quote, Order, Invoice, Goal, Metric, Rollup Query. Get the understanding of the options to do data analysis: View, Report, Excel, Dashboard, Chart and Power BI.

One thing that I noticed quite interesting for the Skills Measured here for the Sales exam is around the Relationship Insight. At this moment, this feature is only available in Preview for North America region. This is a bit hard for us that are based on the other regions to have hands-on experience.

To prepare on the Relationship Insight topic, Microsoft Dynamics team posted a great blog on this instance https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/crm/2016/12/05/now-in-preview-relationship-insights-for-dynamics-365/

Below are the curated links from the above blog post and try to get the understanding of what features do what would be helpful as the preparation for the exam:

HTH!

Melbourne Dynamics 365 User Group YouTube Channel

Melbourne Dynamics 365 User Group - YouTube Channel

After a few weeks of planning, from the UG Committee, we are pleased to have our Melbourne Dynamics 365 User Group YouTube channel up and running. Special thanks to Sahan Wijayasekera who recorded and provided the equipment during the day!

Our YouTube channel will consist of the recording of the UG sessions and we hope this channel can be helpful for the wider audience and/or for those that missed the session due to other commitments.

Below is the link to the YouTube channel, please enjoy and subscribe 🙂

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5wkeMjj8bi98iB1mVSvxpQ

Regardless of the recording, it’s still the best way to get the fresh presentation, chance to ask the questions to the presenters or other experts, as well as the networking opportunity by attending the UG yourself. So, please sign up and RSVP on our Meetup site for the next session: https://www.meetup.com/MelD365UG/

 

Tips to prepare for the Dynamics 365 exam – MB2-716: Customization and Configuration

Recently I passed the Microsoft Dynamics 365 exam on Customization & Configuration (MB2-716). I just would like to share the preparation tips that I’ve done to get this certification nailed down.

Note: You will not find any question that related to the exam here and I won’t give you any of it, as it is part of the NDA.

Source #1: Dynamics Learning Portal

This exam is considerably new (released 1-2 months ago). When I was preparing for the exam, the only official material that is available is from Dynamics Learning Portal:

If you have worked with the previous version(s) of Dynamics 365/CRM, these DLP courses can be used to refresh most of the concept of the subject. But for the newcomers, these learning modules are really recommended!

Source #2: Revision Notes

Another source that is really helpful to help me passing this exam is Neil Parkhurst’s revision notes: https://neilparkhurst.com/2016/07/14/mb2-712-certification-microsoft-dynamics-crm-2016-customization-and-configuration-revision-guide/. The content is for Dynamics CRM 2016. However, 80-90% of the content is still applicable for Dynamics 365.

Source #3: Hands on Experience

 Mistakes are the best lessons ,   While experience is the best teacher

Image taken from: http://boardofwisdom.com/togo/Quotes/ShowQuote?msgid=607004#.WOHvozuGNPY

As the wise man says “Experience is the best teacher”, hands-on experience with the system is a must!

Highlights

So, without breaching the NDA, below are the topics (not exhaustive and I’m not covering all topics here) that I hope would help you to prepare for the exam:

HTH!

Managing Dynamics 365 Online Encryption Key

Today, when I navigate to edit one of the Dynamics 365 Online instances, I just noticed a new section that is available on my trial instance: “database encryption settings”

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So, what can you do with this shiny new feature?

Based on the official documentation for this feature from Microsoft: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt492471.aspx

The manage keys feature lets you perform the following tasks.

  • Enable the ability to self-manage database encryption keys that are associated with Dynamics 365 (online) instances.
  • Generate new encryption keys or upload existing .PFX or .BYOK encryption key files.
  • Lock a Dynamics 365 (online) instance.
    System_CAPS_cautionCaution
    You should never lock an instance as part of your normal business process. While a Dynamics 365 (online) instance is locked it takes the instance completely offline and it cannot be accessed by anyone, including Microsoft. Additionally, services such as synchronization and maintenance are all stopped. An appropriate reason why you would lock an instance is when you move your database from online to on-premises. Locking the instance can make sure that your online data is never accessed again by anyone.

    A locked instance can’t be restored from backup.

  • Unlock a Dynamics 365 (online) instance. To unlock a locked instance of Dynamics 365 (online), you must upload the encryption key that was used to lock it. While a Dynamics 365 (online) instance is locked, it cannot be accessed by anyone.

 

One of the common request when I’m implementing Dynamics 365 (CRM) deployment, is the question around the security & encryption. One of the common ask is whether the platform allows customer-supplied encryption key or not? In the past, my answer is NO. It is all under Microsoft’s managed encryption key.

With this feature being made available, the answer is YES!

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Read through the TechNet article above for more details of this new feature and considerations when you are implementing this BYOK 🙂

HTH!

Dynamics 365 PSA – I can’t see WBS? What’s wrong with my security role?

This is another finding from deploying Dynamics 365 PSA. So, during the testing phase, I noticed the test user account could not see WBS link under project entity.

The copied security role assigned to the test user has complete (Create, Read, Write, Delete, Append, Append To, Share and Assign) to Project and Project Task entity. The security role was copied from Sales Person as the role is more specific for sales scenario.

Upon investigation, apparently for this role to be able to see the WBS is to add ISV Extensions privilege

ISV_Extension.png

HTH!

Lesson Learned from PSA Deployment

Currently I’m in a project where our team is going to roll out Dynamics 365 Project Service Automation for one of our customers. Throughout the project, we’ve learned a lot about this new cool kid on the block 🙂

PSA_Screenshot.png

Some gotchas/lesson learned when we are rolling out this to the customer:

  1. Choose Project Template carefully. Once created, the user can’t change the project template and need do it again from the scratch (not a big hassle, but definitely I mentioned this when during the training).

  2. This is for Admin/Customizer, PSA-related controls limitation. Time Entry & Expense, WBS, schedule board, etc. They are pretty much static (hard coded), it is not honoring relabel, adding more options and even can’t add any new field. Seems like we need to treat PSA in a similar manner to other ISV solution, such as Click Dimensions, (compared to Sales/Service/Marketing that have more mature customization and configuration flexibility).

  3. Do not mess with the OOTB processes or scripts. There are lots of processes coded in javascripts and plugins where the processes behind it are not really documented. So, my lesson on it, keep it out of the box, if a customization needed, I would recommend to not touching any of the OOTB fields and create custom processes or fields instead.

  4. Pay attention to “metadata” records (Resource Role, Resource Skill, Price List, Expense Categories, etc) during deployment. Similar to Adx/portal scenario, where records are stored as configuration. To have ALM for PSA correctly, will need to pay attention to those records as part of the deployment process.

  5. One of the biggest catch that I’ve got: can’t undo approval. Approvers need to be really really careful with their approval.

For this instance, I submitted an idea entry: https://crmideas.dynamics.com/ideas/dynamics-crm/ID0000986. From the feedback from the 2 customers that we have worked with, they need this feature to make an amendment to the entries, at least before it is processed for invoice (at least a flag or something to cater this scenario).

  1. Data migration is a bit tricky, for some scenarios, we’ve got to deactivate some of the validation plugins to let the data in (need to have thorough testing on this, as I consider this as touching the OOTB process that is not well documented).

Hope this helps!