Our guest blogger today is CRM MVP Rhett Clinton, an expert Microsoft CRM Technical Consultant, with extensive experience in leading CRM projects and developing Microsoft CRM solutions since 2004. He is a Microsoft Certified Business Management Solutions Professional (Developer for MS CRM), a Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD) and a Microsoft Certified Solution Developer (MCSD). Rhett blogs at http://bingsoft.wordpress.com/.
Microsoft Connect is the place to contribute your ideas and feedback for Microsoft products, including Microsoft Dynamics CRM. If you feel you have a suggestion to make or feel you have found a bug, this is the place to inform Microsoft. This is not a replacement for MS Support and the support site is still a major part of Microsoft’s support stack.
You can begin to contribute by selecting a program from the Program Directory. The Program Directory lists products/programs that are accepting or will be accepting requests for participation. You can sign in with your Windows Live ID , locate a program, and then click Join to request to participate. You can choose to stop participating by selecting the Quit option.
You also have the opportunity to become a beta tester for a product if it’s shown in the list. If a product is not in the list or no Join link is shown then the program is not currently accepting new participants.
Once you have signed up you can view your dashboard, which displays products you’re watching and feedback you’ve submitted or are participating on.
This gives you a great overview of feedback/suggestions along with total votes, comments, workarounds and the author. Votes are potentially the most exciting item in the list as you can see how many other people support your ideas. When Microsoft reply to your items they will add a comment and change the Status. Don’t forget that you can also vote on suggestions by other people, which helps Microsoft see the demand more clearly for suggested features and can influence the priority of future development.
You can then go to the home of Microsoft Dynamics CRM to search existing feedback, create new suggestions and even participate in the occasional survey. An important note shown on the home page states the following.
Important note: Your suggestions are much more likely to be implemented when they contain a single idea with a detailed description. This allows the community to find and vote for suggestions. It also makes it easier for the product team to track each suggestion. Submitting a list of suggestions in a single form may cause your suggestion to be rejected. Thank you.
From the home page you can select to search existing or create new product suggestions. Once you select the Search Existing option you will be taken to the Feedback Centre for Dynamics CRM where you can then view the submitted suggestions currently open, the most voted for, the items you’re watching, your current feedback and all items resolved. By clicking on an author’s name in the list you will be taken to the collection of suggestions by that author.
Once you have searched through the existing suggestions, checked out the most voted for, voted for you favourite suggestions and thought about all the great ideas you have, you can then select the Submit Feedback option. You can also select to Create New suggestions from the Microsoft Dynamics CRM home page as shown earlier. When you have selected to submit feedback you input the details including title, description, visibility, product version, industry along with other items that help Microsoft obtain a more informed picture of what is being submitted.
Now that you have seen how easy it is to provide your feedback, suggestions and ideas to Microsoft, you should have MS Connect bookmarked in your browser and be checking up there regularly. Here is the list of suggestions I have made so far on MS Connect for Dynamics CRM, check them out and see if you support them. Maybe you have even better ideas; if so then share them. The CRM community and Microsoft want to hear them.