You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ category.

With the current and future business evolution models, globalization and ease of reach into new markets, and the increased ability of companies to reach to existing and new customers, a robust CRM system is at the core of most organizations. If it’s not, well, it should be.

Microsoft, as one of the big players in this area, recognizes the importance of a robust CRM solution, and makes great efforts to provide increased value to customers with each platform update.

Recently we’ve seen the next step in this evolution, with the launch of Dynamics 365. In this release, Microsoft positions its Dynamics platform as more than just another CRM. We’ve seen the recognition of Project Service Automation and Field Service as two of the core offerings part of the already robust package. We are also seeing an evolution and expansion into ERP, with the addition of Operations and/or Financials depending on the organization type, scale and needs.

Furthermore, licensing has been adjusted to match an a-la-carte menu, with options to pick and choose only the components needed for your business. This is an option not readily available on some other platforms, and a distinguishing value proposition.

In addition, bundle pricing provides great value, as well as promotional upgrade offerings for customers on older versions or on-premise deployments provide additional value. For public pricing consult your license provider or see the following site:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/pricing

Do not forget that additional discounts are available for certain types of organizations, as described here:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/Licensing/licensing-programs/licensing-for-industries.aspx

The Dynamics 365 licensing guide is available in PDF format here:

Enterprise Edition Licensing Guide

Business Edition Licensing Guide

Let’s not forget the tight integration with other existing services, including Office 365 and Azure. The sky’s the limit.

What an amazing time to be part of this evolution!

Advertisements

Traditionally, consulting organization, in particular in IT, have been focused on specific technologies. As a result, we have seen a lot of services and offerings around a specific stack, with a very defined platform and skillset.

This approach is very efficient, and allows organizations to maximize resource allocation. The clear focus on a particular platform allows for the creation of a highly skilled workforce, very good technical resources with the ability to handle complex situations in a very dynamic way.

Is this the way to go? Is this what the market really needs?

The advantages of platform and/or technology focused teams is undisputable. From the ability to handle complex situations, to the ability to deliver complex projects in record time, it is a great win for both consulting organizations as well as customers. But the market evolves at a very rapid pace. We are seeing more projects where not only requirements evolve during the project evolution, but instances where the market dictates evolutionary changes. The increased level of customizations and options in various products requires rapid adaptability and an increased interaction between multiple platforms. What used to be a very focused solution now can easily span multiple technologies, with various degrees of integration complexity.

The focus now becomes how to communicate and position an engagement with that level of complexity. We are boxing ourselves in when we have a platform focused discussion with a customer. There are a few different aspects to be considered now. The discussion starts with the focus on the business. For technical people, many times, it is difficult to disconnect yourself from the technology and listen to the business need alone. Making abstraction of the underlying technology solutions is even harder when the consulting organization is structured around technical platforms and skillsets, and the commission is based that particular sale.

We need the ability now to stand back and look at the big picture. We need to focus primarily on the business, the processes, and the ability to influence substantial improvements. This will lead us sometimes on the path of solving a more complex problem, and providing better return on investment.

The way we tackle these discussions has the potential to define us as trusted advisors for our customers. We can bring to the table years of experience when it comes to various technologies, but we need to appreciate more the years of business knowledge the client brings to the table. The best solution is a solution that blends both. And also, a solution that is not focused on a single platform where we might be experts at.

We should strive to become experts at piecing things together like Lego blocks. We also see that approach with many solution providers. In the Microsoft ecosystem alone, during the last few years, we are seeing how platforms are starting to blend together and function as one. Selling a SharePoint engagement, or a Dynamics CRM project, or any other type of project is a simplistic way of looking at things. Too often we have to begin by looking at how the business performs, and what are the top features required for that particular organization. We can then start extrapolating, and looking at a generic overall solution that encompasses various processes and functions. Only when that picture is clear, we can start looking at what pieces fit the model.

With the advancements of cloud, that story becomes easier to tell. A lot of new features now rely on communication between all these components. We see a re-focus around Azure and Office 365 working with SharePoint as a background service more than anything else. We can use these features now in Dynamics CRM and Dynamics AX to an extent. We can use 3rd party solution like the ones from KingswaySoft or Scribe for integration to other platforms. This gives us the flexibility to step outside of the Microsoft ecosystem, and integrate now into other SaaS platforms. Custom Azure APIs allows us to tap into pretty much any other system. What used to be traditionally a Microsoft owned shop now has the ability to become a blend of the best tools for the trade, no matter the source. And Microsoft understands this. We have seen this over and over, with opening the office tool set to all platforms, with the increased adoption of open source and embracing Linux, and more recently with SQL on Linux. It becomes harder to ignore the trend.

As consultants, our responsibility now also increases exponentially. We now have to understand multiple platforms, and we need the ability to make the right decision on which tools apply better to a particular engagement. We need to see the bigger picture, and we need to be able to advise and guide our customers towards the best possible outcome. This could be a solution that might seem at first more complex than needed, but it gives our customers the ability to grow and expand as the business evolves. This could be a modular solution, that allows adding and removing components as needed, allows changing business processes on the fly at no or minimal cost to adapt to change.

The Value Proposition now takes into consideration all these aspects, and the potential client now trusts you enough to award you the project. It is as much of an elevator pitch as it is a process to understand and educate customers.

Bit the bullet, finally got a domain for my blog. Now you can access my blog at:

thecrmwiz.com

Enjoy!

SYMPTOM:

You are trying to expose an application from Windows Server 2012 Remote Desktop Gateway. It works flawless when connecting from a Windows 8/8.1 machine, but it times out when connecting from a Windows 7 machine.

The possible cause is described in this KB article ID: 2903333

DESCRIPTION:

Error on a MSTSC connection with RDP 8.0 on a Windows 2012 Remote Desktop Gateway Server: "This computer can not connect to the remote computer." On the Remote Desktop Gateway Server for Terminal Services Event ID is 4625 listed with the status 0xC000035B in the security log. Protocol name: Security Source: Microsoft Windows security auditing Date: 05/08/2013 16:20:00 Event ID: 4625 Task Category: Logon Level: Information Keywords: Audit Failure User: N computer: RDGW.CONTOSO.COM Description: The registration of an account failed. applicant : Security ID: NULL SID Account Name: -Account Domain: – Logon ID: 0x0 Logon Type: 3 Account in which the login failed: Security ID: NULL SID Account Name: myuserAccount Domain: Contoso error information: Error Cause: The application is an error . occurred Status: 0xC000035B Under Status: 0x0

CAUSE:

This error occurs if the registry entry LMCompatibility has been configured to force the use of NTLMv1. By setting LMCompatibility to a value which is smaller than 3, the use of NTLMv1 is forced. forces in Windows 2012 RDP 8.0 default channel bonding. Since these bonds are not delivered when using NTLMv1, the authentication with the status 0xC000035B "The supplied from the client SSPI channel bindings are incorrect" error, indicating that the bonds are not valid.

SOLUTION:

This article describes how to change the Windows registry. information about modifying the registry, see the online Help topic "Changing Keys and Values" in Registry Editor (Regedit.exe). You should make a backup copy of the registry files (System.dat and User.dat) before you edit the registry. WARNING: Improper use of Registry Editor can cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft can not guarantee that problems resulting from the incorrect use of Registry Editor can be solved. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.======================================== ==== There are two methods to resolve this error. Method 1:Adjust the registry value LMCompatibility so NTLMv1 is not enforced, by setting it to a value of 3 or a higher value. Further information about the registry value LMCompatibility see  http://technet.microsoft.com/de-de/library/cc960646.aspx Method 2:Set the registry value EnforceChannelBinidng to zero (0) determine the associated lack of channel bindings on the RD Gateway Server be ignored for Terminal Services.  path: HKLM \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows NT \ CurrentVersion \ Terminal Server Gateway \ Config \ Core Type: REG_DWORD Name: EnforceChannelBinding VALUE: 0 (decimal) Note: The EnforceChannelBinidng value is not present by default on the gateway server and must be created.

 

This solution is posted in German at

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2903333/de

and run through Google Translate as is. There is no equivalent in English, as far as I can tell.

Enjoy :)

Many times I have to either test security for various users, or make customizations and test them with different accounts. As you’ve probably seen by now, your authentication/authorization is cached with the first session you log in, and any subsequent browser sessions will use the same account to log you in automatically.

Now, the trick to logging in with various users at the same time is to use the new InPrivate Browsing (Ctrl+Shift+P):

image

This will create a new and completely independent browsing session, allowing you to use multiple credentials at the same time.

Once you start the InPrivate session, your screen will look like so:

image

Additional details are provided in the window description:

image

Do check out the help file for additional benefits and detailed description of this feature.

Enjoy!

Image: two sessions running in parallel:

Building a new VPC, whether as new dev machine or a testing box can be a time consuming task. Usually it involves a lot of installation and configuration, and you need the ISOs for the installation media.

If you are like me, and do not store the ISOs, you need to go to your trusty TechNet or MSDN subscription and download them again. And you probably are annoyed every single time with the nagging confirmation prompts if you’re doing this off the server OS you’ve just installed.

These are steps to take to disable IE ESC:

Go to Start > Administrative Tools > Server Manager. You can probably get to it through the link button to the right of the Start button also.

On your main tab, under Server Summary > Security Information click on Configure IE ESC

image

Configure your settings as required. I usually set it to Off for Administrators

image

Click OK and restart IE.

This is it. Enjoy!

It’s nothing new anymore, but the street view cars keep roaming around. I’ve just caught a glance at another one today. Maybe this time they’ll get the street name correct. It’s with double “n”, and even though on the map they posted it correct, running a search for the street name only returns correct address using a single “n”.

Winking smile

So I’ve been faced with this situation several times already. I’m logged in to a client (VPN), logged into a server, and the connection drops for whatever reason. I re-connect, but when trying to RDP onto the server I was working on, I get the “The terminal server has exceeded the maximum number of allowed connections.” message. My previous session is still active, but I can’t reconnect to it. Darn, now what?

Hopefully you have access to another server on that same network. Get onto that one, and run:

query session /server:servername

this will give you a list of all active sessions, with the session IDs and the user names. Look for the session ID associated with your username, then run the following command:

reset session ID /server:servername

You will not get any sort of output from this command, but when finished, re-run the first command to make sure your previous session is not active anymore.

Now re-connect (RDP) and you should be able to get back in. You will lose the data in your open applications if not saved.

At least you don’t have to call the network/support guys and tell them you’re locked out AGAIN.

Enjoy!

Ok, it’s transitioning to this new thing. Well, after the migration process failed several times on the “Authenticating” pop-up window, it went smooth after I moved to a different machine. I’m pretty sure it has to do with browser settings, I’ll investigate further when I get a moment.

Anyway, this post is meant more like a “Hello World” than anything else. Oh, and on a side note, I’m typing this on an iPod Touch, which is not a pleasant experience at all, so I’ll just end it here!

Microsoft Business Solutions MVP

Reviewed Book

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Extensions Cookbook

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Extensions Cookbook

Check out my Book

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Customization - Second Edition

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Customization - Second Edition

Check out my Book

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Customization Essentials

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Customization Essentials

Check out my Book

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Scripting Cookbook

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Scripting Cookbook

Reviewed Book

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011: Dashboards Cookbook

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011: Dashboards Cookbook

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 428 other followers

Follow TheCRMwiz on WordPress.com