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What are Microsoft Dataverse best practices?

What are Microsoft Dataverse best practices?

Microsoft Dataverse (formerly known as Common Data Service) is a data platform that allows users to store, manage, and access data. Its a core part of the Microsoft PowerPlatform so the data here is visible in Microsoft Dynamics, Power Bi and all the PowerApps you build. In this blog we’ll look a number of best…

What is Microsoft AI?

What is Microsoft AI?

Microsoft AI (Artificial Intelligence) is here! With more AI available within the PowerPlatform and Dynamics 365 we decided to take a better look at it. We asked, what is Microsoft AI, how can it help the housing sector, how do you learn about it and what are the disadvantages? What is Microsoft AI? Microsoft AI…

How do you add word templates to Dynamics 365?

How do you add word templates to Dynamics 365?

From complaint letters to ASB Diary sheets this handy functionality enables you to add word templates to Dynamics that can be edited and sent/emailed to customers. Here’s how: Step 1: Create a Word template Where you can create a template There are three places in customer engagement apps where you can create a Word template:…

Dynamics 365 V PowerApps – which one should I go with? 

Dynamics 365 V PowerApps – which one should I go with? 

Many housing associations are grappling with the decision to build core processes using Dynamics 365 or PowerApps. But what’s the difference, and how could the decisions made now impact the organisation in the future?  Before we start…  One key element here is that both PowerApps and Dynamics 365 are part of the ever growing Microsoft…

Address validation

Address validation

Ok, not the most crowd-pleasing subject but address validation is so important (particularly in our sector) and something that helps you manage this critical data.   Having a piece of validation software in place enables:   What is address validation  Its a method to check that the addresses you collect and have stored in your database are…

Dynamics 365 & Outlook integration – the gift and a curse 

Dynamics 365 & Outlook integration – the gift and a curse 

Like much of the Microsoft stack Dynamics plays nice with Outlook and a handy app allows you to view records, track emails etc without even leaving outlook. Don’t get me wrong this is a great thing, but the app does come with a health warning…especially for those who are implementing Dynamics 365 for the first…

What is Dynamics 365 For Marketing?

What is Dynamics 365 For Marketing?

This is a comprehensive marketing option. It allows you to create customer journeys using various channels, manage events and gain valuable insights. Here’s a brief overview of what it is, how you use it and where to get more information. What is it? Dynamics 365 Marketing empowers marketers with a wide array of tools that…

What is Microsoft Business Central?

What is Microsoft Business Central?

Business Central (BC) has been designed for small to mid-sized businesses. I’ve spoken to a few housing associations who are thinking about using the system so thought I’d have a deeper look into the product (it also supports the work I’m doing at charity).   What is it?  Business central is a substantial finance (ERP) system…

How do I use Microsoft accessibility features?

How do I use Microsoft accessibility features?

Accessibility is something we (quite rightly) focus on when designing applications for customers. But what can we do to make our colleagues feel even more included when they are handed a new application to use? Thankfully Microsoft have a few tools built into Windows that will help colleagues use the whole Microsoft stack…Including Dynamics 365.…

Big news! – #D365ForHousing

Big news! – #D365ForHousing

With the recent launch of the responsive repairs module, anyone in the public sector now has access to FREE base modules for all the key processes used to manage customers You can now use the #D365ForHousing Modules to Hold detail about Customers, their home and tenancy Log and track all the contact around complaints Log and…

Have no fear repairs are here – #D365ForHousing

Have no fear repairs are here – #D365ForHousing

I have to start with a confession, this is probably the most simple module there is. But that doesn’t mean its not useful. It’ll certainly hold key elements of your responsive repair like: Job type Contractor Estimated cost All the customer contact around the repair Here’s what it looks like in action: But to get…

Managing Arrears – The new FREE #D365ForHousing Module

Managing Arrears – The new FREE #D365ForHousing Module

The arrears module provides a new way of managing the arrears process!……staying on top of arrears within a traditional housing management system usually involves writing lengthy notes about what you did to try and collect money from the customer. However, this means that anyone else who picks up the case has to read through a…

Oh crap what have I done ;)…….my first year in business – #D365ForHousing

Oh crap what have I done ;)…….my first year in business – #D365ForHousing

Picture the scene. Its December 2020 we were deep in the pandemic with absolutely no idea how/when it was going to end. I was working (in a permanent role) as a Business Applications manager at Abri and had just let my line manager know I was handing in my notice to start my own business.…

Dataverse, Dynamics, Power Apps…..joining the dots

Dataverse, Dynamics, Power Apps…..joining the dots

Heard about Dataverse, Dynamics and Power Apps but not sure how they can work together? In this blog I’ll show you one example (although there are hundreds) of how you can use all three. What are they? Dataverse and PowerApps are part of the Microsoft Power Platform. A low code platform that is gathering pace…

SharePoint Online & Dynamics 365 a match made in heaven

SharePoint Online & Dynamics 365 a match made in heaven

In this blog I’ll show you how to link Microsoft Dynamics with SharePoint online so that you can store and access files easily from both applications. I’ll even provide 3 benefits of doing it. Why link the two? Share/collaborate on documents uploaded to Dynamics 365 – Any documents added to Dynamics will be stored in…

DIY Power App Training

DIY Power App Training

Did you know that you have a FREE Power App Training app right under your nose within Microsoft 365. The app walks you through some core functionality that will certainly help those looking to start upskilling internal teams. Here’s a how to access it. Go to http://www.office.com Sign in using your company credentials Select the…

Avoid a big BANG go live!

Avoid a big BANG go live!

Continuous improvement….the key to making the most of the money you spend, your teams resources and Microsoft functionality. All this while increasing user adoption and avoiding a BIG BANG go live. Read on to find out how the Team Sky cycling team used continuous improvement to win gold medals and get us brits our first…

5 Ways Dynamics 365 Customer Insights helps meet the new tenant satisfaction measures

5 Ways Dynamics 365 Customer Insights helps meet the new tenant satisfaction measures

In 2020, the UK government published The charter for social housing residents – social housing white paper, which sets out ways to improve things for people living in social housing. Some of these are for the Regulator of Social Housing to do. Their document Reshaping consumer regulation: our principles and approach describes the steps they…

5 ways the #D365ForHousing complaints module meets the new Housing Ombudsman code

5 ways the #D365ForHousing complaints module meets the new Housing Ombudsman code

In July 2020 the Housing Ombudsman released their new Complaint Handling Code. Shortly after this I launched the #D365ForHousing Complaints module (developed with the help of others across the sector). This Microsoft Dynamics 365 Module is FREE to everyone in the Housing and Public Sector. How does this module help meet the Complaint Handling Code?…

All your contact methods under one roof!

All your contact methods under one roof!

At the start of November 21 Microsoft announced the general availability of voice channel for D365 customer service, but what is it and how would it help us housing folk?  The product covers some key areas:  Personalised calls, connected across channels  Dynamics 365 Customer Service out-of-the-box enables:  A consistent, 360-degree view of the customer across all channels, allowing agents to quickly…

Microsoft Dataverse – Supporting your single version of the truth! 

Microsoft Dataverse – Supporting your single version of the truth! 

Microsoft Dataverse (formerly the Common Data Service) is a cloud-based storage space. Dataverse allows you to securely store and manage data that’s used by your business applications such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform. Data within Dataverse is stored within a set of tables. A table is a set of rows (formerly referred to as records) and columns (formerly referred to as fields/attributes). Each column in the…

PowerApps Centre of Excellence

PowerApps Centre of Excellence

Microsoft have created a Power Platform Center of Excellence (CoE) starter kit enabling businesses to support colleagues (outside Technology) create PowerApps. This certainly caught my imagination (as someone from a customer service background) But what is it and how can housing associations make the most of it? What is it? A CoE is designed to drive…

6 Power App Best Practices

6 Power App Best Practices

While Power Apps is part of most Microsoft 365 subscriptions, some users may not know how to take advantage of it. Explore six best practices for Power Apps and how to get started. Power Apps has many options to connect and interact with content through the Microsoft 365 suite, including Microsoft Lists, SharePoint webpages and InfoPath…

Creating accessible canvas apps

Creating accessible canvas apps

An accessible canvas app will allow users with vision, hearing, and other impairments to successfully use it. Here are a few Microsoft guidelines to increase usability for all users, regardless of their abilities. Use the Accessibility Checker to help review potential accessibility issues in your app. Layout and colour Common sense and uncomplicated design helps apps be…

The Messy Middle

The Messy Middle

Things not going to plan with your Dynamics deployment/update/upgrade? You could be caught in the messy middle….and having conversations that go something like this: Client: That’s not what I expected. Partner: Here’s the spec/agreement, we’ve delivered exactly what you asked for. The thing is both parties are right. The housing association may ask for something…

Do we need customer portals? – #D365ForHousing

Do we need customer portals? – #D365ForHousing

Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying we shouldn’t have a smart, convenient, cost effective way for customers to access services. But should it always involve working on our terms? By that I mean visiting a URL that we set using a password and username we provide to access services we decide to surface. Are…

Microsoft Field Services – #D365ForHousing

Microsoft Field Services – #D365ForHousing

A number of organisations within the sector are looking at (or have implemented) field services to help manage and schedule repairs. But what is field services, what functionality could the sector make the most of and what are some of the challenges. What is Field Services? Field Service Management refers to using a resource (eg:…

HELP! I’ve got to Implement Dynamics 365 – #D365ForHousing

HELP! I’ve got to Implement Dynamics 365 – #D365ForHousing

Been asked to implement Dynamics 365 (or any application for that matter)? I still remember the mix of pure fear and excitement as I was given the opportunity to do just this over 10 years ago (although it was CRM 4 back then) at AmicusHorizon (now Optivo). My background was customer service and although I love…

The Microsoft #D365 Implementation Guide – #D365ForHousing

The Microsoft #D365 Implementation Guide – #D365ForHousing

Today, during the Microsoft Business Applications Summit, Microsoft launched Success by Design – a vision for what’s possible with #Dynamics365, #PowerPlatform and Microsoft Cloud. Click on the picture to download it for FREE.  But if you’re not sure where to start I’m here to help you throughout your Dynamics journey. Here’s how: Help you implement your Dynamics 365 system…

The Data Maturity Roadmap – #D365ForHousing

The Data Maturity Roadmap – #D365ForHousing

As digital strategies are implemented, improved and developed it’s never been more important to think about how you manage data. It’s the foundation of everything we do in the housing sector, fundamental to the Social Housing White Paper and is critical to the success of so many important strategic initiatives from implementing/maintaining Dynamics 365 to…

Dynamics 365 + Teams, a match made in heaven?   #D365ForHousing

Dynamics 365 + Teams, a match made in heaven? #D365ForHousing

For the last year Microsoft Teams has become second nature to many of us. Its enabled us to connect with customers and colleagues everywhere. In this blog I’ll show how Teams can be used with Dynamics 365. Dynamics sits quite nicely as an app within teams. It has some good functionality like being able to…

Disrupting Dynamics 365 in Housing – #D365ForHousing

Disrupting Dynamics 365 in Housing – #D365ForHousing

For nearly a year I’ve worked with colleagues across our industry to disrupt the way we implement Dynamics 365……#D365ForHousing. This project provides FREE modules (see below) to anyone who registers (which is also free). Here’s how this can disrupt how we implement, maintain and improve Dynamics 365. Why am I doing this? I’ve worked in…

Use Dynamics 365 to manage your Allocations process – #D365ForHousing

Use Dynamics 365 to manage your Allocations process – #D365ForHousing

The 3rd key end to end process (following complaints and ASB) is here, saving our sector £000’s more by using out of the box functionality. I’ll cover how you can use Dynamics 365 to manage your lettings process from applicant to resident. Its easy and only uses out of the box functionality. Best of all…

#D365ForHousing – Its not all about Tech

#D365ForHousing – Its not all about Tech

I’m on a mission to bring together people and processes from across the Housing and Public sector and package them up in Microsoft Dynamics 365 for FREE!  #D365ForHousing is the Affordable.Innovative.Collaborative way of doing just that! I’ve already worked with a variety of housing professionals to create a number of modules including.. Person Property Tenancy ASB Complaints While…

Using Dynamics 365 for ASB – #D365ForHousing

Using Dynamics 365 for ASB – #D365ForHousing

This blog shows how you can use the FREE Dynamics 365 module to log and track ASB cases. The module enables you to add key dates and milestones and a calculation tool that can establish the level of risk depending on how the customer answers certain questions. Thanks to Marcus Fernandes for working his magic…

Case Management -#D365ForHousing

Case Management -#D365ForHousing

The #D365ForHousing solutions will help the housing sector save £000’s, drive efficiencies and enable colleagues to work anywhere. It’s important to use it in a consistent way and make the most of (out of the box) functionality that your Dynamics 365 license fee pays for…. After all why re-invent the wheel? We know contact should be logged…

6 Ways To Help Form a Dynamics 365 Habit – #D365ForHousing

6 Ways To Help Form a Dynamics 365 Habit – #D365ForHousing

“Does Dynamics 365 have functionality that enables it to become a habit for users?” Lack of user adoption has killed many an implementation. More than a decade and a half of research on Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems has churned out consistently troubling failure rates for CRM implementations. Since Gartner’s 2001 study found a 50%…

5 Dynamics 365 Training Tips – #D365ForHousing

5 Dynamics 365 Training Tips – #D365ForHousing

You’ve designed a user friendly interface, automated as many processes as possible, tested the system to destruction and told everyone its on its way. Now its time to train the users. Here’s 5 tips to help you deliver your session. The culture of using Dynamics 365 within housing Using CRM is different to your standard…

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