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Archives / 2017 / December
  • Project Services Overview

    Project Service Automation (PSA) is an end to end solution that provides project-based business more productively by bringing people, processes, and automation technology together through a unified experience.

    Project service automation for Dynamics 365 provides a powerful and flexible project management capabilities in CRM.PSA is an integrated solution built to manage services from sales through invoicing. As Dynamics 365 for PSA is built on Microsoft Dynamics CRM as it operates on one comprehensive solution and it requires no integrations. PSA enables team members to work collaboratively to ensure customers are satisfied well as maintain profit requirements.

    With team access to smartphones and tablets your team members can gain access to select  projects, update skills, enter time and expenses, collaborate using Office 365 anytime, anywhere for higher productivity.

    Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation consists of 7 core modules as discussed below:

    Opportunity Management: Opportunity management enhances the visibility in to projects leading to potential opportunities, develop profitable proposals and deliver customer-pleasing projects. PSA Provide integrated sales dashboard with project-based opportunities to help forecast profitability and feasibility.

    Project Planning: Project planning is the essential part that requires planning and management in order to achieve a desired outcome. It enables sales and project managers to associate on the work proposed and visualize on the cost and duration. Create and plan projects more efficiently with pre-defined templates, which allow users to quickly view the current project status, including project duration and milestones as the project evolves.

    Resource Management: It is an essential tool for project managers that provides visibility in to the resources, based on the availability, cost and skill set, which is utilized in to the project work and balances resource workloads across multiple projects, by effective employee time and task allocation.

    Team Collaboration: PSA Provide powerful, easy-to-use, mobile-ready Office 365 productivity tools for project teams, customers and partners to update deliverables and monitor status.

    Time and Expenses Management: PSA provides an accurate tracking of time and expenses related to specific tasks. Submitting an internal and external notes, approvals of timesheets and expenses and updating the project status are made simpler with desktop, web, and mobile apps.

    Customer Billing: It enables Project Manager to track and update all the project related costs that reflects the approved time sheets and expenses using invoice generator. Automate generation, approval and distribution of reconciled invoices in email and on the web with back-office financials integration

    Analytics and integration: : Real-time Dashboards and Reports gives managers a clear and precise status on each project.

    Dashboards allow you to track timelines, budgets, expenses and resources where you can compare project status of actual time spent vs. budgeted.

     

  • Data Migration using Scribe Tool

    While planning data migration, there could arise a lot many technical challenges which you should overcome and ensure the accuracy of data migration. One of the best data migration tools widely discussed in the market is Scribe, which is a cloud-based data migration platform.  

    Be it an On-premise environment or Cloud environment, Scribe platform will reduce the time taken and risk of the data migration projects. Scribe is an easy to use platform that provides data manipulation capabilities that you expect from an Extract, Transform and Load tool. Users can migrate data easily and efficiently without spending much time in writing a custom software to fulfill this requirement.

    Scribe has two separate integration offerings namely,

    1. Scribe Insight (On-premise version)
    2. Scribe Online

    Scribe Insight

    Scribe Insight offers a streamlined approach to data integration for IT professionals, business analysts, and systems integrators who prefer an on-premises solution.

    Scribe Online

    A True Cloud Integration Platform Scribe Online is a multi-tenant, SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) data integration platform. It has two main components — the cloud environment and the agents.

    Advantages of Using Scribe Tool for Data Migration:

    1. Easy-to-use
    2. Nightly jobs can be run through a built in scheduler.
    3. Scribe comes with a user interface and mapping tools, reducing the time to build the integrations.
    4. Rejected rows are outputted to a new table. This allows the job to be run against that table.
    5. Updating a mapping requires the user to look into the existing mapping and update the mapping. Once the file is saved, the mapping is updated no need to check other things.
    6. Scribe will update fields in the source and target if a field is added or removed.

    Scribe is useful and productive in many ways as compared to other data migration tools available in the market.

    For instance, here is how we implemented Scribe for Data Migration at MTC. Generally, data migration between Dynamics CRM environments with Account and Contact entities by other tools is a 3 step time-consuming process as listed below:

    1.  Account Migration
    2. Contact Migration
    3. Establish correlation between the entities (regarding primary contact id from account and parent customer in contact)

    However, using Scribe data migration can be accomplished in a 2 step simple process as explained below.

    Step1: Update/Insert Account

    Step2: Update/Insert Contact.

    Now that we have source and destination defined, and the data mapped, let us first define a variable that we will use to store the accountid guid from step1. We will need the accountid to assign to the Parent Customer Field when we update/create a contact record.

    Here is how you do it:  From the top menu, click on View User Variables.  You will get following dialog:

    Click on Add Target which will give you this dialog:

    Name the variable as AccountGUID FromStep1 and select Step as type and pick Step1 as Data Object/Step. In this case Step 1 is Adapter for Dynamics CRM 2011. Account Update/Insert and select the field accountid. Now for each account record updated/created, the accountid guid will be assigned to this variable so that we can use it to assign it to the contact record next.

    Now let us go to Step 2 and assign this variable value to the contacts parentcustomerid field.

    As shown in the screen shot above, select step2 (in this case Adapter for Dynamics CRM 2011.contact Update/Insert) and then highlight parentcustomerid field and click on Formula button. Once the Edit Formula dialog comes up, click on Show User Variables. This will open a Variables dialog. Pick the variable that we created earlier i.e. AccountGUIDGromStep1 and click Insert in Formula.

    You have finally assigned the accountid to the parentcustomerid field of the contact record. Now, that you have assigned the parentcustomerid field for contact record, we also have to set the parentcustomeridtype field to “1” indicating that the parentcustomerid field we just assigned is of type account. Now,let’s see how to update the Primary contact field of the account record updated/created in step1. Scribe has made it so easy to do it.

    Go to step2, scroll down until you see a field named vfPrimary. This field, when set to true, would go back to the step1 and update the primarycontactid field of the account record with recently updated/created contact record GUID. To set this flag to true, select vfPrimary and then click Formula button and then type “Y” in the Edit Formula box and click OK and save the package.

    Now, we are done configuring the steps. Run the package. Accounts will be assigned the primary contact and contacts are assigned the parent customer.

     

     

  • Fixed Price Billing Type in TotalServ Pro

    Billing Type typically gives you the choice to bill the clients for the work delivered based on different criteria such as milestone, percentage completion, fixed price, completion of contract, etc. Any service industry will need a proper billing software to bill their clients accurately based on the billing types. TotalServ Pro supports 6 billing types that are applicable to various jobs in service industry.

    A Fixed Bid in TotalServ Pro is billed using a flat amount, regardless of the number of hours worked. In fixed bid service provider is responsible for completing the job within the agreed amount of time. Since Fixed Bid projects are duration-based, they require a start and end date. A fixed price contract can be paid in as a whole or to each week or month of the project. 

                                                 

    TSP support two types of fixed bids namely, completion of contract and percentage complete.

    Fixed Price - Completion of Contract

    Fixed price will be charged whenever a job is completed irrespective of the number of resources working on it and time hours being posted. This fixed bid triggers with a click of complete button on the job form whenever a job is completed. Billing line items will be created for this method once the job is completed.

    Fixed Price - Percentage Complete

    In this method, job percentages are set along with the prices in the grid. Fixed price will be charged whenever the bill button is triggered in the grid on selecting a particular record. Billing line items will be created once the bill button is triggered based on which invoice will be generated.

     

  • Save Your CRM Database and Ensure Smooth and Speedy Business Operations Using Email Attachment Manager

    A clean CRM will always ensure smooth and speedy business operations. Often, CRM gets crowded with Email and Notes Attachments and eats up the major CRM database leading to CRM slowness and unresponsiveness. Things get baffled when you are running out of space in CRM but have to retain some important attachments. That is where MTC’s Email Attachment Manager can come in handy to you.

    Email Attachment Manager gives you the flexibility to:

    • Delete the unwanted/outdated attachments of either Email or Notes or both
    • Move the attachments to a SharePoint location and replace them with SharePoint path location in CRM
    • Save the attachments on a local drive
    • Schedule to run the executable using windows program or host exe in azure.

    Email Attachment Manager ensures user-friendliness in the way it allows a CRM user to select the date range, file extensions and file size, thereby extract the files and take necessary action.     

    With this arrangement, CRM users can seamlessly access endless files without hurting the performance of the CRM while keeping the operational costs to bare minimum.