Beringer Associates Technology Blog

In early November Microsoft released Outlook Customer Manager, a light CRM solution for Outlook. It is available to customers who subscribe to Office 365 Business Premium initially. The primary record types include Companies, Contacts, Deals and Activities. Deals are sales opportunities allowing you to track potential revenue.

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You are most likely familiar with descriptive terms for software like CRM and ERP. These terms have been used for years to describe software that businesses run to manage customer information, accounts, inventory, etc. Its time to learn a new term; Intelligent Business Applications. Microsoft is leading this charge with the release of their Dynamics 365 platform which combines traditional CRM and ERP functionality as well as some new tools to help bind functionality together in end-to-end workflows.

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Microsoft Launches PowerApps & Flow

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Microsoft has announced the general availability of Microsoft PowerApps and Microsoft Flow. Both services are available to users around the world, and in 42 languages. PowerApps and Flow will be included with Dynamics 365.   These apps are designed to allow Power Users (i.e. non-developers)

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I visited a client the other day who mentioned that their current sales force would turnover in the next 5 years and likely be made up substantially of millennials. After a recent interview with a millennial candidate, they realized that they needed to make some

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Most of you have heard of Office 365 (Microsoft’s cloud offering of their productivity apps – Office, Exchange, Skype, SharePoint); their sales app – Dynamics CRM and their ERP products – (Great Plains – GP, Solomon – SL, NAV – Navision and Axapta – AX). Dynamics 365 is a new offering that unifies Sales, Marketing, Service and “back office” ERP functionality in a single platform and using a common data model. Additionally Microsoft has developed two new applications; Flow and PowerApps that will also be included in this suite.

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If you haven’t heard, Microsoft announced their intent to acquire LinkedIn for $26.2 billion. I have to admit some of Microsoft’s acquisitions make me scratch my head (remember Nokia?). Acquiring LinkedIn makes a lot of sense to me particularly in what they could do with it in just one area; Microsoft CRM.

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Like most of you, I get a ton of “I’d like to connect” traffic. Sure, you hang your digital shingle out there and folks will sometimes throw snowballs at it. I am just not sure if I should accept these invitations from strangers with no 3rd or 2nd connections, let alone 1st connects. Just – “hey there!! let’s connect!!” from all kinds of people selling anything, trying to meet the 500-connection goal (that LinkedIn would have us all embrace…) in competing industries, from polar opposite industries, from all over the place. It’s like meeting strange people in dark cyber-alleys  can be slightly off-putting and disconcerting and will blow up your inbox in no time.

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User Adoption, the dirty words in CRM. You spent all of this money and now have 15 out of 90 users who work in and out and all over your expensive, shiny, new CRM solution. They love it! About another 20 or so are trying but seem not to get it. The rest begrudgingly enter some notes and a phone number or two and that’s it.

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I got one of these (Pro 1) about 2 years ago and got the Pro 3 just 3 months ago. We are an IT provider so it is important to put on a good show and walk into a meeting flashing a snazzy new tablet around and wowing the crowd. (I suppose…) I liked my Dell laptop and was a bit resistant to this but after about 2 days – this thing rocked! It weighs less, connects to everything, runs all the full-version Windows apps, battery life is easily managed as it has a solid state drive and goes to sleep/wakes like a champ. I can dictate, type, handwrite, snap a pic, mouse, touch, swipe, gesture… The list goes on. Using this with Office 365 and OneDrive is a cinch and now that everything is synced to everywhere and Office Web Apps are free, I have access to everything, everywhere, all the time.

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It’s 2016, what are your business related New Year’s resolutions? One should be to examine your Quote-to-Order process. What is your in-between process? Do you have a solid Quote follow up process? This week I conducted a webinar on the topic of improving your quote-to-order process, this webinar examines several important topics:

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