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Cross Platform Support for Microsoft Dynamics CRM

For the second time, Microsoft has delayed delivery of their mobile CRM client for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and Blackberry. The problem as we understand it was that the code they came up with degraded the performance of Microsoft Dynamics CRM in Internet Explorer by about 30%. At Microsoft, they refer to that as a “compromised experience”.

The new plan is to deliver CRM capabilities on multiple browsers including IE, Chrome, Safari on PC’s and Macs as part of the December service update.

We are expecting HTML 5 and JavaScript native clients for Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, and iPad to be available  mid 2013. It is unclear if there will be clients for Android or Blackberry or if they will deliver support via Web Browser only.

Interestingly, these Dynamics CRM clients will be offered for free, rather than the $30 per user per month as originally announced.

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FieldBoss Mobile and the Microsoft Surface RT

Thinking about using FieldBoss with the new Microsoft Surface RT? Think again. The initial Surfaces that will be available October 26 will not run any Windows application beyond those bundled with the operating system. This means that it won’t run Outlook, Excel, or Word. This thing is more like an iPad. Yes it’s cool, but if you want to get better value for your mobile device dollar, we recommend you hang on for the Intel based Microsoft Surface that are expected to ship in early 2013. That’s what we’re doing.

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Office 365 and CRM Online…Better Together?

I have been working on setting up Office 365 and CRM Online for our internal use and to ramp up my knowledge for our clients.  Microsoft has packed an enormous amount of IT capability from their platform into one monthly subscription. For just a few dollars you get Office components like Outlook for email, SharePoint for managing documents, and Lync for communications and meetings.  If you don’t want to use the Office online apps, there is a subscription option that allows you to download the latest version of Office your PC.

In addition, you can now subscribe and administer Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online users from the same Office 365 administration portal.  It is now much easier for businesses either to manage these products online themselves or if they rely on their Microsoft Partner, they can reduce the cost for their partners to manage it for them.

You can literally get all this up and running in a couple hours and then start configuring the applications for the businesses specific needs.  I had Dynamics CRM Online, SharePoint Online, Outlook and Lync Online all talking to each other with little fuss, including accessing email and CRM accounts, contacts and a custom entity from my smart phone.  It was not very long ago that this would have cost companies a fair bit in consulting time from various individuals or multiple partners.  I am more of an ERP/CRM guy but was really surprised by how I could easily control and manage most aspects of Office 365 without the traditional IT support…cool!

Office 365 and CRM Online allows software partners like ourselves to build out an industry specific solution like FieldBoss and deploy right on top of this completely hosted platform.  One scalable IT platform with business applications and mobility has always been a bit of a dream, not to mention significant IT pain and cost for businesses, particularly the smaller ones. Business owners like those in our field service market can now move virtually all of their IT infrastructure and complexity to the cloud, and benefit from the industry specific application they have typically had to go elsewhere for, all in one packaged offering.  After 25 years of deploying ERP and CRM systems (and hearing promises from the big guys), I think we’re finally going to be able to let businesses focus on what they do best…running their own business.

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Elevator Show or Beer Show?

Shows over. It was awesome! Huge interest and lots of follow up to do when we get back home.

Never seen a bar above an elevator machine room before. If there is one thing we learned here, is that elevator people know how to “host”.

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FieldBoss for Elevator Contractors

We have designed workflows and screens within FieldBoss for elevator service contractors that will track elevators by site and location, modernizations, service contracts and more.  We are also members of both the National Association of Elevator Contractors and the Canadian Elevator Contractors Association. Our next stop is Atlantic City where we are exhibiting at United 2012, the gathering of elevator contractors, inspectors and safety authorities.

United 2012 - Field Service Management Systems for Elevator Service Contractors

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We Are FieldBoss

Field Service. Simplified.

That’s what we are all about. Microsoft Dynamics business solutions built for anyone with a team of technicians who every day, go out to service the things that make our world work, on a scheduled or an as needed basis.  We are here to help you do a better job with your customers, and with your staff, in ways that are practical and cost effective. We have a lot of ideas to share and are really excited to get started with our blog so here we go…

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