If you haven’t worked with CRM Online using Office 365 Global Admin rights recently, you might have missed the new delivery mechanism that Microsoft has created for additional CRM functionality not included in a new Online org by default: preferred solutions. Unlike the traditional solution import mechanism under the CRM application’s Settings area, these preferred solutions are both installed as well as updated (upgraded) via a miniature “CRM app store” controlled by and reserved for Microsoft exclusively. To access these preferred solutions you need to go to the O365 Admin Portal, open the CRM Online Administration Center, choose an instance and click the edit icon next to “Solutions”. You’ll be presented with a list like this one:
OK, maybe not exactly like this one, unless you work in the United States. You see, these preferred solutions are also targeted to preferred customers, meaning in practice CRM Online customers who use a tenant located in North America. Let me point this preferred region out to you from the Office 365 and CRM Online datacenter map:
The current availability of the preferred solutions is as follows:
- Insights for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online: powered by InsideView, this service is free for CRM Online US customers only. Presumably due to the fact that their database wouldn’t have very good coverage of companies in other parts of the world. You could of course buy the service from InsideView directly if you really must have it.
- FantasySalesTeam: acquired by MS in August 2015, this gamification solution is built on the concept of fantasy sports that’s apparently a huge industry in the US but less familiar in most other regions. Sales people all around the world surely are a competitive species but no one turns the competition into entertainment quite like the Americans do. Expanded availability of the preview is coming any day now.
- Voice of the Customer: built in the UK and acquired by MS in March, the solution formerly known as Mojo Surveys has been launched in preview mode for US customers only. Ouch. Well, don’t worry, this feedback management solution will surely come to other geos quite quickly (or MS will need to deal with some customer feedback of their own…)
- Office 365 Groups: not acquired from anywhere but rather an original Redmond design, this solution became available already back in CRM 2015 Update 1 (v7.1) time frame as a preview globally (yay!)and is now available in full production support mode to all CRM Online customers.
- FieldOne Sky: only the sky’s the limit for this solution that’s available to CRM Online users with Professional licenses, no matter where your field service personnel may roam. Acquired in July 2015, FieldOne is running mostly on Microsoft’s XRM platform, but the mobile client still relies on Resco and allows only access to a subset of CRM default entities, so for broader mobile use you’ll still need to buy a separate Resco license.
Although not a CRM solution in technical terms, it’s also worth mentioning that the CRM App for Outlook which was released as US only preview last summer is now available to all CRM Online users who are on CRM 2016 version. I haven’t seen any upgrade time slots being scheduled for existing CRM Online customers yet, so currently mostly newly provisioned orgs can access the Settings – CRM App for Outlook menu to enable users for this lightweight successor to the “heavyweight” Outlook client of the past. [Read more…]