{DYNAMICS VERIFIED PROFESSIONAL 2019} INTERVIEW WITH SIMARANJIT SINGH BHALLA

 

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Simaranjit Singh Bhalla is a CRM Architect and Manager working in Australia.

He is one of the best technical and hard working professional I have seen in Dynamics 365 ecosystem.

His introduction in his own words:

Myself Simaranjit Singh Bhalla, have close to 10 years of experience in IT Industry. I did my Btech in IT from IIIT-Allahabad. I have also done a certification course in Data Analytics from IIM Calcutta.
I have been working in Dynamics since 2011 and also have worked on the related technologies of Azure, SSRS, SSIS, .Net, SharePoint.
I am an introvert nature and like making friends. I consider myself as a self-motivated, optimistic and hardworking person. I like spending time with both friends and family doing relaxing activities like playing poker, watching movies, watching football matches etc.  

  1. Name, current job title and social media links please

Simaranjit Singh Bhalla. I am currently working as a Manager – Technical Architect in KPMG.

Linkedln – https://www.linkedin.com/in/simaranjit-bhalla-b7926056/

Blog – https://crmazurecomponents.wordpress.com/

  1. What does an average day at work look like

I start my day with a Coffee and some fruits. Travel to office in Sydney Metro. Start my office schedule by looking at the emails of the last day and looking at my schedule for the current day.

Then comes the project work which generally starts with an “All Hands” meeting. This is followed by some 1:1 with members of my project delivery team. Sometimes there are some out of project meetings as well. I enjoy architectural related meetings as I relate to it the most.

  1. What different roles/Job titles have you had whilst using CRM

I started working in Dynamics CRM in 2011 when I joined Microsoft Global Delivery. I was working as an Associate Consultant back then. After that I worked as a Technical lead in Accenture Hyderabad India. When I moved to Dublin Ireland back in 2015, I was working as a Consultant in Storm Technologies. I moved to Australia in 2018 when I joined ASG Group which at that time used to be SMS Technologies. My designation in ASG Group was Solution Architect.

I am currently working as a Manager – Technical Architect in KPMG.

  1. What job did you did before you starting using CRM

When I first started my IT career, I was working as an Application Programmer in AS400 / COBOL. It was a lot different from .Net let alone Dynamics CRM.

I wanted to explore object oriented programming and found interest in C# programming. So after two years I moved to a product based company which designed products for Hedge fund industries. It was a very challenging work from which I feel I learned a lot.

  1. What was the first version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM you worked with and how long have you been using Microsoft Dynamics CRM

I first worked in Dynamics CRM 4.0. It was an upgrade project to Dynamics CRM 2011 onpremise. Being a novice in Dynamics, it was extremely difficult at first to understand how Dynamics SDK works. Thus the upgrade project was quite difficult for me. However with due time, when I became more familiar with Dynamics things became a little easier.

I have been working in Dynamics CRM since 8 years now and have executed I think more than 15 implementations.

  1. How do you stay up to date with the CRM

With Dynamics things have been pretty fast in the last 3-4 years. There have been so many new realises, new features, new related technologies like Flow, Powerapps, CDS, it’s honestly been difficult to keep up.

However the best way to do this is to go through various blogs such as yourself, Nishant’s , Debajit’s and trying to understand and grasp as much as possible. Then there is also Microsoft official website, and Dynamics community which can help us in sharing new stuff.

  1. What one feature would you add to CRM Product.

I feel, Microsoft have really invested a lot in last 3-4 years and the list of things which users absolutely required have been reduced a lot.

However based upon my experience in the last few engagements, User configurable alerts in Dynamics (not business rules), and a field to capture document type in both Notes and out of box SharePoint integration is desirable.

  1. What is the best tool/solution you have used recently

Dynamics has a big community and we are quite lucky that there are so many people who constantly come up with plugins /tools which makes working in Dynamics easier.

However if I really need to point out the best tool which I have recently used in Dynamics and which I really found useful, it will Ribbon workbench and data model visio diagram tool.

  1. What CRM certifications do you have, do you try and keep up to date with CRM certifications

I try to upgrade myself with the latest Dynamics certifications however owning to other commitments it’s not possible in all cases.

In Dynamics 365, I have the mentioned below certifications

DAT227x – Developing Business Applications with Microsoft PowerApps, CDS and FlowMB2 – 715 – Microsoft Dynamics 365 customer engagement Online Deployment
MB2- 716 – Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customization and Configuration

  1. How important is it to have good business analytical skills working with Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

I feel it’s very important. Dynamics is all about Customer Relationship Management and without the business knowledge we will not be able to provide the best result for the customer.

  1. How useful is it to have programming knowledge to become a good Microsoft Dynamics CRM Professional?

I feel it’s beneficial but not essential. It depends upon a lot on what profile in Dynamics we are most interested in. For example in Dynamics 365, configuration is the flavour of the game which does not require any extensive knowledge or expertise in programming.

It definitely helps you understand better how dynamics works but it’s definitely not a must have.

  1. How often do you travel as a Microsoft Dynamics CRM Professional?

I feel it depends a lot on many circumstances such as the nature of the project, the execution stage of the project, the team size, delivery model etc.

In some cases I tend to travel to client location and work from their offices on a daily basis and on other occasions I tend to work from KPMG office itself.

  1. Can you see yourself not using CRM in your career in the future

I enjoy working in Dynamics CRM but nowadays the direction in which the product is going we need to learn a lot of things like Azure, SharePoint, Flow, CDS, PowerApps etc.

I also like to upgrade myself and learn new things like programming in C#. I am even writing a book on it. So I believe we should constantly upgrade ourselves as we really don’t know what holds in future.

  1. What are your hobbies outside of CRM

I like spending time with my family. Unfortunately as I am far from them, I tend to spend more time with my friends. I recently had a Baby Girl, so looking forward to devote much of my free time to her once she is back in Australia.

Other than that I like play poker, listening songs, and watching football games of Manchester United.

  1. What was the last book you read and what was the last film you watched

The last book I read was “The Monk who Sold His Ferrari” by Robin Sharma. I found it to be an excellent read and really left a good impression on me.

The last film I watched was last week itself and it was URI, a bollywood movie.

  1. Has CRM ever got you in trouble with your partner/family.

On some occasions I feel it did put me in trouble. It was not just CRM but the office work in general. I do have a bad habit of bringing my office workload to home which I am trying to correct.

  1. Have you friends ever told you to stop talking/tweeting/blogging about CRM? What does your partner/family member(s) think of CRM

No, I try to blog but unfortunately it’s not on the same level as the blogs of some people like Deepesh, Nishant and Debojit. It’s difficult to come articles with the same debt in these three blogs.

However my family always encourages me to do in whichever thing I find happiness and peace. They just think of CRM as my Office work. They are my rock who have always motivated me even in the worst of times.

  1. Tell me something interesting/unusual about yourself

I am an introvert kind of a person who likes making new friends.

I have also taken part in a live poker tournament which was a very interesting experience for me.

  1. Who is the first CRM Expert you remember reading/seeing

Deepesh Somani, as he was my flat mate when we both worked in Microsoft.

  1. Tips for someone who wants to become a CRM Expert

Prepare to learn new things constantly. Don’t forget to go through Community blogs to upgrade yourselves and refresh your knowledge about the newly released features.

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Hope it helps and happy 365ing!

Any problem in CRM – end user,Microsoft  partner or an individual?

Problem Area – Technical, Functional, Training, Development or consulting?

I am here to help, get in touch here: Click here

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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Twitterhttps://twitter.com/msdynamicsblog
LinkedInhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/deepesh-somani-00296932

Google Play Store:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.dynamicsofdynamicscrm.msdynamicsblog&hl=en

 

 

 

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(Quick Tip) Solution History in Dynamics 365

One of the pain points in Dynamics 365 Solution management was that developers or customizers would not have a trail of Solution history.

Well not any more. Dynamics 365 now provides solution history.

Lets first do some things and see the log which will remain

  1. Created a custom solution named Test and then deleted it:

Navigate to Settings-> Under Customization Select Solution History:

The log is being maintained as follows:

 

  1. Now lets try to export a solution named Test. The log is maintained as follows:

3. Lastly trying to import a solution named Test. The log is maintained here also:

Hope it helps and happy 365ing!

Any problem in CRM – end user,Microsoft  partner or an individual?

Problem Area – Technical, Functional, Training, Development or consulting?

I am here to help, get in touch here: Click here

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

clip_image011

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/msdynamicsblog
LinkedInhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/deepesh-somani-00296932

Google Play Store:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.dynamicsofdynamicscrm.msdynamicsblog&hl=en

 

 

Happy 365ing New year to everyone!

Hi All,

To all the folks in the Microsoft community and people who have been reading my blog in 2018, Thanks for doing so and hopefully I will be able to contribute some more in 2019.

Wishing you a 365ing New year to you and your family.

And may all your D365 projects be successful in 2019.

Regards,

Deepesh Somani

Business solutions MVP, Author, Dynamics 365 Architect and Corporate trainer.

{Error Resolution}CRM Organisation is not configured to open Learning path tool in Dynamics 365

Learning path configured for one of our customer instances started giving the error that CRM organisation is not configured to open Learning path tool:

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The configuration which we verified and performed are mentioned below:

1. Settings –> Administration –> System Settings.  On the General tab, Set Enable Learning Path = Yes and Enable Learning Path Authoring = Yes.

2. After that, for individual user Enable/Disable by Settings -> Opt out of Learning path/Opt In of Learning Path.

3. In Office 365 Admin portal ,

Groups -> Selected Learning Path Authors -> Members ->Clicked on Add Members button at the top -> Selected the users

This did not  solve the problem for us. So, we ended up contacting MS support.

Solution Given by MS Support:

Unser Settings-> Administration-> System settings.On the General tab, click on No for Use Custom Help for Customizable entities.

This worked and I was able to operate Learning path.

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Hope it helps and happy 365ing!

Any problem in CRM – end user,Microsoft  partner or an individual?

Problem Area – Technical, Functional, Training, Development or consulting?

I am here to help, get in touch here: Click here

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

clip_image011

Twitter: https://twitter.com/msdynamicsblog
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/deepesh-somani-00296932

Google Play Store:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.dynamicsofdynamicscrm.msdynamicsblog&hl=en

{Quick Tip} 5 tips for Business analysts or Functional consultants in Dynamics 365

This is a post which has been sitting in the docks for a while as I never quite ended up summarizing and documenting it well. Here are 5 tips for Business analysts or Functional consultants in Dynamics 365, based on my experiences with the product and whenever I need to have a Business analyst hat on:

Have a solid foundation

It is very important for a D365 BA to have solid functional understanding of CRM as a methodology, concept or practice which is used to run a customer’s business. Apart from that idea about Customization, configuration and high level understanding of where technical components such as JavaScript, plugins, workflows, Integrations such as Flow, reporting needs such as POWER BI will be required are good information to have for a BA. Often, technical bits and high level understanding is what BA tend to miss but they can always take assistance of the technical leads, architects and consultants.

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Constantly Grow Your Skills

In Dynamics 365, there are multiple ways of solving a customer problem. A good BA is never content of solving the same problem in the same way each time. For example, as Dynamics 365 platform evolves, a BA is also in constant lookout to solve the customer problem with some new features or options that have come up in the Dynamics 365 platform. A Good BA knows what is the right choice to apply as per the latest version of the product than to be dependent on a choice which existed few years back in the product.

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Being divisive and creative

A good BA should never be stuck up because of lack of resources or knowledge constraints. On an evolving and rapidly changing platform as Dynamics 365, there will be times when one may face a constraint about a particular component, feature or product that is required to be used in the solution for the customer. A skilled BA will quickly try to take assistance from right sources – may it be reading blogs, content to the right folks who can help out.

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Owning the Solution and Implementation

Skilled BA always start forming the ownership around the solution and implementation they are presenting to the customer. After resolving the conflicts and problems for the customer, a talented BA will start having the ownership for the solution and implementation. Over time, becomes a strategist for the direction of the customer and develops trust.

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Being great at providing Clarity

A Good BA on Dynamics 365 will be really good at providing clarity to the customers on the direction of a particular module, solution and what they are trying to achieve using Dynamics 365. It would also mean providing clear documentation in terms of Requirements as well as various checklist and taking confirmations from the customer at the right stages and milestones of the implementation.

Hope it helps and happy 365ing!

Any problem in CRM – end user,Microsoft  partner or an individual?

Problem Area – Technical, Functional, Training, Development or consulting?

I am here to help, get in touch here: Click here

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

clip_image009

Twitter: https://twitter.com/msdynamicsblog
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/deepesh-somani-00296932

Google Play Store:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.dynamicsofdynamicscrm.msdynamicsblog&hl=en

{Advanced Code Tip} How to query based on Customer field type in Dynamics 365

Requirement: In one of our recent projects new field type: Customer is being utilized in Case entity (It is available out of box). There was an additional need to be able to query case entity on the basis of Customer field type.

Note: For customer field type, I had written a blog a while back describing this field type :

Customer field type

Solution:

Following code can be used to query on the basis of customer field type:

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Hope it helps and happy 365ing!

Any problem in CRM – end user,Microsoft  partner or an individual?

Problem Area – Technical, Functional, Training, Development or consulting?

I am here to help, get in touch here: Click here

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

clip_image011

Twitter: https://twitter.com/msdynamicsblog
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/deepesh-somani-00296932

Google Play Store:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.dynamicsofdynamicscrm.msdynamicsblog&hl=en

{Advanced Customization Tip} Disable Advanced find for Non Admin users in Dynamics 365

Requirement: In one of the recent queries that came across to me, Advanced find needed to be disabled for all the users in the Dynamics 365 except for System Administrator.

Solution: There are multiple possible solution one may think and apply. The best practice will be to try to convince the customer against such a customization and utilize Read privileges for restricting access to entities as needed on the basis of Security roles. However, if still there is client requirement like this we can achieve it as below:

1. Add Application ribbon under Client extensions in a solution and then open this solution in XRMToolbox, Ribbon Work bench 2016:

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2. Add results_16 and results_32 png images as web resources and keep them ready as follows in the solution:

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3. Add a new button into the application ribbon and give it label as Result and under command put the command name for Out of box Results button. Under Image 16 and Image 32 put the web resources created in Step 2.

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4. Hide the out of box ribbon button for Results.

5. Add a display rule – where permission is only available to Admin and not for other security roles as per your requirement and hit Publish. .

Note: Keep out of box button as is for Results, as it is not good idea to customize this buttons and may need to be required from Product upgrade perspective.

Lets see this in action now:

For Admin:

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For Non-Admin:

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Hope it helps and happy 365ing!

Any problem in CRM – end user,Microsoft  partner or an individual?

Problem Area – Technical, Functional, Training, Development or consulting?

I am here to help, get in touch here: Click here

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

clip_image011

Twitter: https://twitter.com/msdynamicsblog
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/deepesh-somani-00296932

Google Play Store:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.dynamicsofdynamicscrm.msdynamicsblog&hl=en