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Friday, December 19, 2008

Using the Microsoft CRM Workflow Engine to Enhance your Mobile Experience

The workflow engine in Microsoft CRM 4.0 is quite a versatile toolkit and can do many things that requires programming in other CRM packages. The following is a practical example of something that we have set up in our production system that has really enhanced the use of information in a mobile environment.image

In this example, we'll focus on Outlook tasks. When referencing a task in Outlook or on your mobile device, wouldn't it be nice if the contact information was readily available in your task, especially if that task required calling, visiting or mailing something to that person. Well, the low tech solution always exists - copy the contact information into your task and bingo.

Or, leverage the power of your CRM system and ensure this will happen automatically with just two quick clicks.

First, while in Outlook, schedule your task. In this case, we want to remind ourselves to do some research on a prospect prior to a visit. Since we're in the business of providing solutions to commercial real estate companies, we'll call this task "Do research on Thompson Brokerage and Grill. Of course we use Set Regarding to link to the company.

Then we close our task and move on with our day.

Then, several days later when the task is due, when we open the record in Outlook, Outlook Mobile, or our Blackberry device, we see:


All the user had to do was reference the task to the CRM account, contact, deal or any other CRM entity you define. The workflow takes it from there. Based on the rules of the workflow, it analyzes what type of record to which this task has been regarded, then merges in the appropriate information.


In the above example, we first test to see whether the task is regarded to an account, a lead or a contact. (You could just as easily add cases for deals/opportunities, leases, properties, listings, etc.

Then, the workflow merges in the data as you see fit:


This can be used for other Outlook activities such as appointments, or perhaps even more useful, the contact description. By using workflow to merge in important data in your CRM system into the contact's description field, you will be able to reference that information while viewing in your mobile device as well.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Merry ACX-Mas from Ascendix!

Our front door security cameras happened to capture some footage of some tree trimming festivities here at Ascendix. Hopefully nobody figures out Ive posted these on our blog...


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