Dynamics 365 for Marketing Public Preview

Few days ago, Dynamics 365 for Marketing Public Preview finally has been announced. For those of you who already attended on some of Dynamics events, this was expected moment.

If you want to try it, go to this URL: https://trials.dynamics.com/Dynamics365/Preview/Marketing and you just need to use work email and phone number for verification:

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The second step will be accepting trust to the Microsoft CRM Services as publisher…

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When you finish registration, you will get the main Dynamics 365 for marketing landing page:

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Now, you have possibility to run ‘First time setup’ and finish this configuration and continue to work with this app after that. In the following texts, we will write more about them.

The main features covered with this App are:

  • Multi-channel campaigns
  • Lead management
  • Sales and marketing alignment
  • Marketing analytics
  • Event Management

Marketing Campaign Automation in Click Dimensions – Step by step

In my previous blog about making marketing campaign automation in Click Dimensions, I just wanted to cover top processes and share an idea how I solved this requirement. But when you know what you want, creating Marketing Campaign Automation in Click Dimensions is not so complex, and now I’ll show you how to do it, but this time step-by-step.

Marketing List

I prefer to start with creating Marketing List, because you will use it in creating automation, and it won’t be a good idea to forget it.

So, everybody who has ever used Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales knows how to create marketing list, but I will explain it in a few sentences. First you are going to the Marketing card, and in the row Marketing you will see Marketing Lists. After entering the marketing list, you need to fulfill what is necessary in creating marketing list.

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I will not be so long on this, but everything is shown on pictures, so if somebody is doing this for the first time please follow the pictures.

Email Templates

Now we are coming in to Click Dimensions, so who have not ever used Click Dimensions I will explain everything step by step, and for those who already use Click Dimensions, maybe you will learn something new.

So, Click Dimensions is located on Marketing card, so you are probably figuring that we won’t go out of Marketing card in creating this automation. Let’s go back on creating, first we have to create Email Template. We are going to row Email Marketing, where we will find and enter it to the Email Templates.

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After we entered this, we are starting with creating an Email Template, so we first have to fulfill necessary data, and then click on Save (as creating everything in Dynamics 365 for Sales). After saving your data you have to enter this in the editor to really create template.

In editor, way of working is ‘drag & drop’, so it is easy and intuitive. So, you need to choose what you will put in your email, and just save it.

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Depends on how many emails you want to send in one automation, you have to create as much email templates.

Campaign Automation

As you see this is going pretty easy and fast. So, we’ve came to the main thing in this step by step explanation. So, we are still on Marketing Card, and this time we are going in row Marketing Automation where we have to enter only one thing we have in this row, and that is Campaign Automation.

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After entering it you just need to begin with creation of regular New Campaign Automation. After you open a Campaign Creator, you will see that the only thing that is mandatory to fulfill is the Name of this Campaign, and after typing the name we just must save this, and to be prepared to go into the Builder where we will create the campaign.

Builder

Builder is placed on the ribbon inside of Campaign Automation you’ve created, and you have to enter it from the start with creating with your automation.

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The Builder is intuitive created, and you can work easy through this process. It has ’Triggers’, ’Actions’, ’Timers’, and ’Series’. In this text I will explain how to use only some of the triggers, and actions.

So, we will start with trigger ’Added to List’ and this works as drag & drop, so you just have to choose what you will use and to move it to white background. And after starting with our trigger, we will add the next one as action, and in this example, this action will be ’Send Email’.

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After doing this, we will again use one trigger, and not this is an ’Email Interaction’. And just to know, when trigger is not used on the beginning of the whole design it will have ’yes’ and ’no’ conditions sides. It is important to know that you can’t finish with opened any of these sides of trigger, without actions. So, it is better to have the trigger on the beginning (to avoid thinking what actions to put on both of sides). After we add our second trigger, we will first focus on our ‘true’ side. Because it is some email campaign we will use in ‘true’ side action ’Assign Owner’ and in ‘false’ side ’Remove from List’. Now we have just created what campaign will do, and you just have to fulfill some more information and we have finished.

First by clicking on first trigger ’added to list’ you will see on the right side that instead of triggers and actions something new appear, and in that place in first trigger, you just have to bring your marketing list which is mandatory, and to check check-box for ’Run on entire list’. That means that this automation will collect all your contacts from your marketing list, but if you type in some new contact, this automation will automatically add it to list.

After this is finished, we are going on our action in the same way by clicking on it. Now you will have to type some more information, but not so much. Mandatory is to select which email template you want to use in this automation, so you will use one you have created on the beginning. After that you have to type in subject, and to choose from which name and email address this mail will be sent.

After that, you have to go on the next trigger, and you have to choose from which series the email will be sent, and in can be only that you’ve used in a step before. After that you have to choose what is an interaction you want to monitor (email clicking, or email opened). In this example, I’ll use clicking. And only timer configuration is left if you want to use it. I’ve set here on the timer that if in 3 days nothing happens that this interaction is going in to ‘false’ side.

If condition is positive, we’ve put action ’Assign Owner’ and setting up of this action is easy. You have just to choose a display name, and to type which user will be assigned if somebody open our email.

If our condition is negative, it is similar. You just have to choose from which list you want to delete if somebody didn’t respond to campaign. Of course, it will be the list from which you have started. This is because, as I already mentioned, we must have action on the end of each condition.

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And we finally arrived at the end. It just left to save this, and after saving, you just have to click ’PUBLISH’ and whole Campaign Automation is starting, as your email is sent.

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Making Flow in Click Dimensions – Marketing Automation

Today I had a challenge or maybe opportunity 😊 to set up marketing automation process in Click Dimensions Campaign Automation for the first time. This is reason I want to share this experience with you.

In the beginning it looked pretty easy, and I just needed to create few email templates (it depends how much templates we need), after that I have to create marketing list and to create new campaign automation which look pretty easy because it works on the first sight as Microsoft Flow, just with less actions and triggers.

As I said, looked quite easy. When you enter the campaign automation builder, it looks like you will finish just in a few minutes, and you will do it, just if you know some “secret weapons” 😊.

Of course, every time when you are working with some kind of workflows, you must start with triggers, and to continue with actions and triggers in combination as much as you need. But in my case, I had to start with email trigger and as much as I wanted to finish it, it always made some issues. After a few attempts I realized that my email triggers have a problem in that it doesn’t know which email to use. But if you want to begin with saying this mail you will use is not possible to use because this is an action, and of course you can’t start with an action…

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After a lot of thinking and trying to get over this problem, because there are not a lot of triggers I realized that I must begin with Manual Entry (which is note normal to use, when you have a few hundreds or thousands emails to enter in list), and that was a problem. But as I said in the beginning of this article, it is not hard to work in Click Dimensions campaign automation, but you have to know some things, and I realized that the best way was to start with marketing list triggers entry and it finally started working.

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Then it came to the next problem, but this time on the end, because we must close the triggers. Just to be clear, in Click Dimensions Campaign Automation, at the end of builder, you must put the action, so again it was problem to realize which action would be normal to use; when you compare it with Microsoft Flow, it can be little bit confused, because Flow doesn’t require it. If I use email action again, it will be in some circle which could never be closed, and further I didn’t want to delete someone from my marketing list because they didn’t answer to this campaign, because they will maybe respond at the next, and my trouble continues. But I realized that there is no other way to close it except of using ‘remove’ from the list action. Again, I had to get over new problem to finish this campaign automation, and with little thinking I remembered to create the clone of my marketing list and to use it from beginning of my campaign automation process, and in that way, I will keep my marketing list on original one.

These problems took me some time, but after resolving all of them, I found out that using of Click Dimensions Campaign Automation process if quite easy, but you need to try few times before it works, and after some time of using it often you will really create every Campaign Automation in few minutes.

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My Session(s) on eXtreme 365 Conference

This year I’ll start with my sessions little bit earlier then usually. My first conference where I’ll have a lecture will be eXtreme in Dubrovnik. In a past, this conference was mainly for the Dynamics CRM solutions, but from the 2017., we have not only CRM, but AX, NAV… as well.

So, this year I’ll be there with minimum one session. I’ll speak about Dynamics 365 ‘Tenerife’ (and NAV as well) in a real world of integrations using Flow and CDS. I hope it will be interesting. If I’ll have more lectures, I’ll announce it here as well.

In a mean time, you can go and check more details about eXtreme 365 conference here, and I recommend to register if this is suitable for you.

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Summit EMEA 2017 (NAVUG, AXUG, CRMUG)

For the first time in the last 10+ years, I was on the conference with NAV topic, but I didn’t spend whole time on NAV sessions. This time, on Summit EMEA, I wanted to hear as more as possible about all news in Dynamics world. Because of that, I was on AX, CRM and PowerBI sessions as well. Of course, I was on a few NAV lectures.

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In NAV world, there were a lot of interesting topics about the best practices in functional and technical areas. From my perspective, the most interesting sessions been about integration with PowerBI and Extensions, but this is my subjective opinion. Generally, in NAV world, we didn’t have some news and probably we need to wait this fall to get something new.

On the other side, I attended on a few AX and CRM sessions and it was interesting for me. The first because I’m not so experienced in these areas and the second, because they have some news. In the AX world, Microsoft announced AX on-prem (actually AX with “local data”); we use this “local data” expression because we have company data on a local, but LCS is still in the Azure. Presentations about this topic were really interested. An on the end, Amsterdam was awesome – a true host.

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As the conclusion; the amazing conference with a more than 1000 participants, mostly from user’s side and the great content. The great opportunity for networking… again I met a lot of interesting people. The next one will be in one of the next cities and I will be there for sure:

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What would you like for the next year? Where should you go: Belfast, Dublin, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Glasgow or Amsterdam again?

And of course, in the next few days, I’ll publish more details about content if you are interested.

Dynamics ERP and CRM Continue Together

I didn’t write a blog for a while, but these few days I’m on eXtreme 365 conference and I decided to share some observation. For some time, since there is a Dynamics 365 product family, we created a closer collaboration between ERP and CRM products. Generally, it was mostly based on technology.

But now, I see the next steps. First, more and more ERP partners try to learn more about CRM and the same situation is with CRM partners and ERP knowledge. Now, I’m at eXtreme 365 conference that was originally CRM conference, but from this year this is not only CRM conference. We have a lot of sessions about D365 for Financials, D365 for Operations, Common Data Service, PowerApps, Flow… And as I see, there are some NAV partners (and MVP’s as well J). Also, I saw announcement for Directions this year and there is a same situation, this will not be only NAV event and we will have CRM sessions as well.

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This is very important, because all of use started with thinking that we need to continue with both products together. And this is a huge opportunity for partners. This is opportunity for upselling and if they know both products they will be better on a market.

And about a conference. Great conference and great opportunity for networking. This is the first time I’m on some big conference that was not originally NAV conference and this is the great opportunity to see some new people, sometimes with different attitude. I also met some friends from a NAV world here and I can say this is a great mixture. I’m expecting something similar on Directions as well.

OK, in some next posts I’ll write more about some news with these products, but for sure we can expect more and more news in this world in next few months.

NAV 2017 Official Release Date and News from Directions

I’ve finished with a first two days on Directions NA. Both of these days I had sessions and I couldn’t prepare this article earlier. I wanted to say a lot, but I couldn’t.

First, NAV 2017 still didn’t official released, but finally we know when to expect. Not on Directions NA and not on Directions EMEA, but few days after that. Official release of Dynamics NAV 2017 will be at October 24th. And, Microsoft also promised that we will get official release of Dynamics 365 for Financials (ex. Project “Madeira”) shortly after. OK, we will wait these dates, but generally we already know what we will get with these releases.

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Some of these functionalities were presented by Marko Perisic and his team on Keynote, and some of them on other sessions. I’ll noticed some of the in this article, but I’ll write more about them in the future. Now, I want to speak more about future of Dynamics because I think this is something the most important in this moment. As you can see on the following picture, we have something very interested and Paul White said “This is an AND strategy”.

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Based on this strategy Dynamics AX and CRM will continue to live only as part of Dynamics 365 solution. Something is not clear enough because we expect CRM as part of both Enterprise and Business edition of Dynamics 365, but AX will be part only of Dynamics 365 Enterprise edition and on other side, Project “Madeira” will be on the same position in Dynamics 365 Business edition. But NAV (GP and SL as well) will continue to exist as independent solution, in this moment available on-premises and as subscription. On the first sight this is the perfect for all NAV fans, but I need more time to be sure.

In any case, we will get new opportunities and we have to learn how to make the most of them.

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And what about Project “Madeira” and licensing. We have some pictures earlier where we found recommended priced about 40 USD for each App. That is a true, for example if you want only Project “Madeira”, you need to pay 40 USD, but if you want some other app, for example PowerApps, you need to pay the same amount for this app per user per month. But if you want to have access to all apps (currently 4 of them), you need to pay only 50 USD for all of them as Plan model (and yes, this price will decrease with the number of concurrent users). And you can use Team Members for only 5 USD as some kind of limited users. And what is good more? If some of exiting NAV clients with Perpetual licensing model want to transit to new subscription model, he will get pretty big discount for every month.

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And I said that I don’t want to write about all features, but I need to notice few of them. I already wrote about Cortana Intelligence in Inventory Forecast, but now we saw Cortana Intelligence in Cash Flow Forecast; it is a perfect and you can use this in NAV 2017 and Project “Madeira” and the best is that it is very easy for using and configuring.

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End something more – new development environments. First you can use Visual Studio Code in the future as new code oriented environment (soon more about it). Marko presented live work with new tool.

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And on the end, new development tool for incredibly easy work. You just need to click on Edit button in your Web Client and you will get perfect logical environment where you can change pages, add fields to table and page… And on the end just click Stop and choose how you want to use this development… You can see all changes as preview in Web Client, Tablet Client and Phone Client. And all changes will be finished in Web Client and Windows Client, as well (of course, this is just short description – soon more about it).

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End again about dates, the new development environment preview will be available for Christmas.