If you have ever run the CRM 3.0 setup, you would have definitely noticed this page below. What is it? And how is the Dynamics CRM product team using the gathered data?
A quick history/background of CEIP
Internally at Microsoft, CEIP is called Software Quality Metrics (SQM) which is pronounced something like “skwim” as in swim. It was originally developed by the MSN team to understand customer usage of MSN many years ago, since then it became a “full product team” at Microsoft, providing services for other Microsoft product teams such as Windows, Office, SQL, Exchange, MSN and Dynamics CRM.
It is a feature that helps us to understand the usage of the software in the real world, and based on that data, we can better our product for the future releases.
While I was doing some research to make SQM/CEIP a part of CRM 3.0, I visited with the Office SQM team to learn what they have done with SQM in their past releases. They shared this example on how SQM/CEIP helped them to make their product better:
Office team has noticed a SQM data showing a general pattern of people doing copy, paste and then delete (in that order), multiple times in a single office session. So they drilled down further and realized that the people copied and pasted from one office app (i.e. Excel) to the other (i.e. Word) and then it didn’t paste the way they wanted it, so they deleted it and tried again, sometimes multiple times.
Based on that information, the Office team was able to improve the Copy/Paste feature.
So what kind of data do you gather?
SQM/CEIP can only gather anonymous data from the users. We have no clue which data set came from which customers. But the dataset provides us “the large picture” of the general population of CRM.
Also, we can only gather the data if you say “YES” to the screen above. Otherwise, we don’t gather any data from you.
Ok, give me an example of what data Dynamics CRM is gathering?
For example, we wanted to know how our customers are using the customization tool and how much they are customizing the out-of-the-box CRM.
Through SQM/CEIP data, now we know that the Account is the most updated form in the CRM 3.0 (Well, that wasn’t a surprise for us, but the number of changes made was). A quarter of the CRM customers are adding good amount of new fields in the Account and other “main” forms.
We also learned that even though the forms were being customized a lot, good chunk of our customers didn’t create new custom entities. They are mostly using the out-of-the-box entities. But for the rest of the customers who are using it, they used it extensively.
So how can the above data help us in our design? For example, the “form customization tool” gets used a lot and by many people. On the other hand “create new entity tool” doesn’t get used as often, but when it gets used, it gets used more extensively. We can try to optimize “form customization tool” for speed and ease of use, while “create new entity tool” is optimized for more extensibility.
How often do you gather the data?
If you turn on the SQM/CEIP on your CRM server, it will gather data sets every 24 hours and upload the data to Microsoft. Each packet is very small. They are only around 10-20Kbytes.
The performance hit for gathering this data on your server is very minimal. It is designed in a way not to get in the way of the real CRM usage.
OK, I am ready to sign up but I didn’t turn it on during the setup. What do I do now?
Logon to the server and launch the Deployment Manager. Under Server Manager click on the Server node in the right pane. Then right click and select “Customer Feedback Options”. You can turn it on (and off) from there.