CRM Online Portal Trial – Step by Step Installation

Recently I obtained a trial portal to add to my CRM Online trial organization.  I thought I would share the process with you in the event you would like to try it out.  Note, this is the process at the time of this writing.  This process could change at any time.

The first step is to create a CRM Online trial, complete the setup and sign in.  Next, make a request for a Portal trial.  You can do that by selecting this link and completing the information on the page.  You’ll receive a follow-up email after you complete the sign-up request.

image

If your trial request is accepted, you’ll receive an email with an activate link.  Select the Activate button, and you’ll be taken to a page where you can choose to add the Portal to your existing trial [CRM Online] or create a new one.  Select Add Existing, if you have a trial or New if not.  If you accidently select New, not to worry as you’ll have the option on the page to sign into an existing CRM Online trial or create a new one.

Note:  At the time of this writing, you must select Add Existing for the Portal Trial to work as expected. 

image

I signed in with my existing trial.  You’ll be asked to confirm your order by selecting the Add button and on the order receipt page the Continue button. 

Tip:  If the order receipt includes a message to assign the users a license you can ignore that as it is not required  (see below)  

image

After selecting Continue, you’ll be taken to your Office 365 Home page.  If not, log into Office 365 and select CRM from the Admin Centers on the left navigation menu and you’ll be taken to your CRM Instance. 

image

Highlight the instance you want to work with and select applications from the top navigation menu.  In this example I have only one instance so it was automatically selected for me.

image

On the Applications tab you will see the Portal Add-on.  If you don’t see the Portal Add-on then something didn’t go as expected during the setup process.  You’ll need to go back and check your request for a Portal or open a support ticket for assistance. 

Select the Manage button to begin the initial Portal setup.

Tip: Note the status of the Portal is NotConfigured

image

On the next page you will enter information regarding the portal configuration. 

image

Here is where you will give your portal a Name, Portal URL (enter the value you want for the URL and the portal will confirm if it is available or not), select your Portal Audience and the type of portal to be deployed.  In this example, the Portal Audience is customer and Portal to be deployed is Community.  Select the Submit button, at the bottom of the page, and select accept for the Terms of Service window dialog

image

The configuration will begin and might take a few minutes to complete.  Stay on the screen until completion. 

After completion you will be asked to log back into Office 365.  At this point, you will be asked to give the Portal Add-on permissions that are required for the application to run.  Select Accept

image

The Portal Add-on is now working through the final stages of configuration and setup.  Give it the necessary time to complete.

image

Tip: If you select Portal Details, it will take you back to the screen where you entered your initial portal configuration information.  If you select Submit again, it will display a message that the URL is already in use.

image

You can check on the status by returning to Office 365, Admin Center, CRM, select the CRM instance then select the Applications button, select Manage and you should see a link to your Portal URL.  If you don’t see it, give it some additional time to complete the configuration and check back. 

Note:  Your Portal URL should be in the following format: https:<nameYouProvided>.microsoftcrmportals.com

That’s it; you’re now ready to begin configuring your Portal for others to access.  Below are a couple of resources to help you get started with the Microsoft Dynamics Portal solution.

Configure a CRM Portal

Administrator’s Guide to portal capabilities for Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Cheers

What Should You Expect from an Opportunity & Quote Solution?

Does your company have a complex inventory model with product and service dependencies that have corresponding business rules, dependencies or other characteristics that are challenging to remember or change?  Do your Opportunities, Quotes and Orders require your users to add several products and / or services from product inventory?  If so, I highly recommend that you take a look at Experlogix .

As your CRM users are probably aware, it can take up to 5 mouse clicks to add an inventory line item to an Opportunity, Quote or Order.  If users need to add 10 items, that equates to 50 mouse clicks or more, plus searching through inventory, remembering to add dependent items, doing manual calculations to identify correct quantities, etc.  What if I told you that your users could generate that same Opportunity or Quote in just 5 clicks or less with no manual calculations required, and users do not have to remember to add the inventory dependencies.  Have I captured your attention?  If so, then read on because that is exactly what this product did for the company where I previously worked.

VisionAIR is a software development company for the Public Safeoty marketplace.  Their Opportunities and Quotes can often be complex due to product / service dependencies and the various calculations required.  Order related CRM records (Opportunities, Quotes, etc.) can contain upward of 50 line items and for more than a year their Sales Team had to manually add all those line items to Opportunity records.  Yes, it is true, the Sales Team generated those records, remembered the line items needed and submitted their quotes for review prior to delivery so calculations could be checked, inventory added if needed, etc.  As you can imagine it was a time intensive task.

Then along came Experlogix and their Sales Staff now generate the same record in CRM with sometimes 10 or less mouse clicks.  Yes, it’s true, from potentially 250 mouse clicks down to 10 ish.  Talk about a nice return on investment, happy users, reliable calculations, more time available to do what Sales people do best, Sell.

Add to the above, a company whose products are Microsoft Certified, fully integrated with Dynamics applications, and you have a winning combination.  Oh and one more thing, the product support team is responsive and provides outstanding service.

You may be wondering why I took a few minutes to blog about Experlogix.  My reason is that I’ve seen Experlogix in action.  I’ve witnessed times where Experlogix made the difference and was a critical part of the CRM implementation project success.  Over the years, I’ve heard stories from other companies who struggle with generating Opportunities and Quotes from CRM so I wanted to share this information in the event that it might help if you are faced with similar challenges.

Need help improving staff productivity, take the effort out of generating Opportunities, Quotes, Orders and / or Service Contracts, give time back to your Sales and Finance team and significantly reduce the possibility of errors on sale’s related deliverables then Experlogix is worth a look.

Online, Offline, Portals

Cheers