Unpacking the Industry Templates for Dynamics CRM 2013
So Microsoft just released the Industry Templates we have been hearing about for a while now for Dynamics CRM 2013, there are 13 in all now. I am curious about the thought process that went into determining which industries they would create templates for. I mean “Sports Management”? Seems a little obscure to me… I could think of maybe 20 other industries that should have been on the list before that one, but nonetheless, there is some gold in these templates.
First let me say that I don’t think anyone at Microsoft Dynamics Labs expects that you will simply slap one of these solutions onto a deployment and call it a day. But they may give you a head-start and should be excellent for demos. Personally, I think their highest value is as a teaching tool. I am going to go out on a limb and assume that the folks in the lab are using best practices for development. Today’s rapid update cadence, particularly in the online variant, will not tolerate sloppiness anymore. Gone are the days when a client might sit on a single version on-premise for 5 years. Back then, if you hacked something together with a bunch of foreign code, you could expect it to last quite a while. Not anymore, every six months you can expect your sloppy code to be crushed by an indiscriminate update. These templates “should” provide some excellent guidance on problem solving methods that will survive upgrades.
In my mind, the way to look at these templates is not so much as industry solutions, but rather as groups of techniques that could be mixed and matched. While I might have said above that Sports Management was too obscure, there are aspects of the Sports Management template that could be co-opted and applied to many different scenarios. I would look at all of these templates from that perspective: thirteen piles of best practice processes to draw from.
So what templates did they provide? I have provided a summary of Microsoft’s description, along with my brief overview; there is a link to get them at the bottom of the post:
For the four of you who deal with government clients, Microsoft has three Government focused templates:
[message type=”simple”]Microsoft Dynamics CRM Citizen Service Request Process
“This business process gives organizations in the public sector a great way to manage incoming service requests from citizens. This business process is ideal for local, regional, or state governments who need to prioritize and assign service requests, estimate time and costs, and track progress until resolution.”[/message]
This template includes 9 workflows around the service request requirement. The standard entities Contact, Case, Service, User and Team have been tweaked, along with the addition of two new entities: Service Request and Service Request Type.
[message type=”simple”]Microsoft Dynamics CRM License and Permit Compliance Process
“This business process helps organizations in the public sector to oversee the collection of licensing and permitting fees from businesses and citizens. This solution helps investigators and enforcement officers improve the number of fees collected by keeping track of where they are in the collection process and ensuring that all required steps are followed.”[/message]
This template includes 18 workflows. The standard entities Account, Contact, Contract, Case, Opportunity, Opportunity Product, Quote and Service have all been touched, but no new entities are created. It also includes some optional demo data.
[message type=”simple”]Microsoft Dynamics CRM Public Sector Case Management Process
“This business process gives governments and healthcare organizations a great tool to manage social service cases. Case workers and case managers are guided through standardized steps to assess cases, define and approve mitigation plans, provide management reports, and ensure all required activities are completed to close a case.”[/message]
This template includes 12 workflows around basic case management. The standard entities Account, Contact, Contract, Case, Opportunity, Opportunity Product, Product, Quote, Service and User have all been modified with significant changes to the Case entity. No new entities are created. This one seems pretty adaptable to me to non-government clients with similar case management needs. this solution also includes optional demo data.
The following three templates seem to be fairly generic in their application:
[message type=”simple”]Microsoft Dynamics CRM Complex Opportunity Management Processes
“This business processes guides professional services organizations through each step to respond to a Request for Proposal (RFP) or Request for Quote (RFQ). This solution helps sales, marketing, and finance teams create proposals, assess risks, and conduct cost-benefit analysis.”[/message]
This template includes 16 workflows with some Opportunity Escalation capabilities. The only entity that appears to have been modified is Opportunity, but it has been modified a lot. No new entities were added. This one also includes optional demo data.
[message type=”simple”]Microsoft Dynamics CRM Service Call – Repair and Return Process
“This business process is ideal for standardizing how customer service reps (CSRs) handle product repairs and returns to ensure swift, efficient resolution of service calls and higher customer satisfaction. This solution helps CSRs assist customers with product fixes by phone, and manage product returns, replacements, and repairs.”[/message]
This template includes 19 workflows enabling the product return process. There are also two web resources. The standard entities Account, Contact, Contract, Case, Product, Order and Service have been fiddled with, with Case getting most of the work. There are three new entities all of which are pretty extensive. I expect there will be some interesting things going on in here. Fortunately this one also includes some demo data to help see what is going on.
[message type=”simple”]Microsoft Dynamics CRM Deal, Onboarding and Account Planning Process
“This business process guides financial organizations through the complete client lifecycle for new and existing customers – from initial data gathering and on-boarding to account planning and execution. This solution gives ongoing visibility into the status of client relationships, so that you can handle deals consistently and drive successful outcomes.”[/message]
This template is centered on Financial Products, but could easily be modified for any on-boarding process. It includes 17 workflows. The standard entities Account, Activity, Opportunity, Product and Territory get updated with the bulk of that happening to the Opportunity entity. There are also three new entities Account Plan, Account Plan Product and Onboarding that are pretty heavy-duty. Thankfully, this one also includes optional demo data. This one has some custom dashboards and demonstrates the use of Dialogs for agent scripts.
The following five templates are pretty industry specific:
[message type=”simple”]Microsoft Dynamics CRM Sports Management Process
“This business process helps professional sports teams manage the sale of tickets and merchandise to fans. This solution also helps organizations track players and teams, including injuries, scouting reports, drug testing results, and contracts. This solution includes: • Three business processes to handle recruitment, opportunities, and ticket sales.”[/message]
This template includes 25 workflows, everything from “Converting a Prospect to a Player” to “Partial Game Ticket”. This is the most elaborate template so far with modifications to the following standard entities: Account, Competitor, Contact, Contract, Case, Invoice, Lead, Phone Call, Product and User, This solution also has new entities for “Drug Test”, “Event”, “Injury”, “Merchandise Sale”, “Result”, “Scout Report” and “Ticket”, While probably the most obscure, this one is chock full of goodies to explore. This one does not include demo data, so you will have to do a little work to sort out what is going on.
[message type=”simple”]Microsoft Dynamics CRM Wealth Management Process
“This business process enables financial advisors to create detailed investment proposals and deliver great service to their clients. This solution guides financial advisors through best practices to gather required information from clients, develop investment proposals, and close transactions successfully.”[/message]
This is the first one so far in this list to include a plugin assembly. It also has 44 web resources.. wow, but only 9 workflows. Changes have only been made to the following standard entities: Account, Contact, Opportunity and User, but some significant new entities have been added including: “Asset”, “Holding”, “Household”, “Liability” and “Portfolio”. This one includes demo data to play with also.
[message type=”simple”]Microsoft Dynamics CRM Grant Management Process
“This business process gives organizations in the public sector a standardized way to manage and track grant awards to individuals, businesses, or other governments. This solution allows grant managers to stay on top of the grant process from application to the allocation of funds.”[/message]
This template must have been written by someone else as the approach is quite a bit different from the others. First, there are 195 Web Resources being used and only seven workflows. The Customization file on this one has almost 12,000 lines.. lot’s going on here. A lot of modifications have been made to the following standard entities: Account, Contact, Case, Lead, Opportunity, User and Team. I think this one has been worked on by several different teams are there are three different prefixes in use for custom entities. There are 65 new entities created including this one that caught my eye “Grants.gov Integration”. Sadly, while far and away the most comprehensive, this one seems to be kind of a mess. It clearly suffers from multiple teams over several different development cycles. It almost feels like this was a 4.0 template, that was reworked for 2011, then Polaris and now Orion. It does include demo data, but frankly, I think they should start over on this one.
[message type=”simple”]Microsoft Dynamics CRM Health Plan Sales Management Process
“This business process is designed for organizations that sell health insurance. Agents, customer service reps, and district managers can use it to capture information from a campaign response, convert leads into opportunities, send price quotes, and create the policy. Customer service reps can also follow the process to cross-sell insurance products during service calls.”[/message]
I am not sure how ObamaCare may impact this industry, but this is a fairly simple template that includes some sample data. It was 14 web resources as well as 14 workflows. This one also feels quite adaptable to other industries and is the first in this list to utilize Campaigns. Modifications have been made to the following standard entities: Account, Campaign, Campaign Response, Contact, Case, Lead, Opportunity and User. New custom entities include: “Underwriter Request”, “Policy”, “Insurance Quote Request”, “Commission”, “Broker” and ” Agent History”. This one feels pretty clean with some nice dashboards.
[message type=”simple”]Microsoft Dynamics CRM Life Insurance Sales Process
“This business process helps insurance companies sell life insurance policies from start to finish, including from prospecting for clients to quote, application, underwriting, and policy issuance. Agents, customer service reps (CSRs), and district managers can use it to capture information from prospects, convert leads into opportunities, send price quotes, and create the policy.”[/message]
While it says Life Insurance, this one could easily be modified for other similar products. It includes sample data, one plugin process, creates 20 Web Resources, and includes 16 workflows. The standard entities that have been tweaked include: Account, Activity, Appointment, Contact, Case, Lead, Goal, Opportunity, Phone Call, Queue, Queue Item and User. New entities this solution creates include: “Rider”, “Policy”, “People”, “Insurance Product”, “Illustration”, “Household”, “Evidence Request”, “Counter” and “Application”, This one also feels pretty clean with some nice dashboards.
This last batch of three templates is built around the Microsoft Dynamics Solution Selling® Process which would make it seem that they are just for Dynamics Partners, but not necessarily. I present them in order of complexity, although none are very complex:
[message type=”simple”]Microsoft Dynamics Solution Selling® Transactional Cycle
“A transactional sale assumes a “one call” close sales cycle. The opportunity may be identified when the prospect proactively contacts the business – “inbound” call, or may be initiated by a sales representative contacting an identified prospect – “outbound” call.”[/message]
The simplest solution in this batch includes only 6 workflows which makes sense as it assumes a one-call-close. There are also no custom entities, only modifications to the following standard entities: Competitor, Contact, Lead, Opportunity and User. This one could be the starting point for most any boiler-room type sales process.
[message type=”simple”]Microsoft Dynamics Solution Selling® – Short Sales Cycle
“A shorter sale assumes a sales cycle of only a few meetings, generally 2 to 3. The seller employs a repeatable approach using defined sales process steps and sales tools. The opportunity is a “solution” sale where the seller has multiple offerings and proposes solutions based on the buyer’s needs.”[/message]
The second simplest solution in this batch includes only 6 workflows also and is quite similar to the one above. There are also no custom entities, only modifications to the following standard entities: Competitor, Contact, Lead, Opportunity and User. This one starts the idea of a “Solution” sales process.
[message type=”simple”]Microsoft Dynamics Solution Selling® – Strategic/Complex Sales Cycle
“The longer sale assumes a sales cycle of several meetings, generally 5 or more. The seller engages a repeatable approach using defined sales process steps and sales tools. Opportunities require meeting with one or more sponsors and decision makers throughout the sales cycle, highlighting the need for effective risk mitigation.”[/message]
While the most elaborate sale process in this batch, this solution also only includes 6 workflows and no custom entities, and really just expands a little more on the one before it. The following standard entities have been slightly modified: Competitor, Contact, Lead, Opportunity and Quote, This makes sense when you figure that CRM out-of-the-box is a sales platform, so heavy modification are not necessary as in some of the other solutions.
So this was just my high-level first impression of these templates (I’m sorry if it was a little “inside-baseball” for non-partners). Some are definitely better than others, but lessons can be learned from each. In a future post I may try to demonstrate cobbling together pieces of several different above solutions into one that might be pretty cool.
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