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CRM on prem service scheduling

  • 1.  CRM on prem service scheduling

    GOLD CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted 3 days ago

    Hello all, advice welcome please.

     

    CRM 2016 on prem 8.2. We are based in Manchester, UK. We are a B2B professional services company in the financial services sector. 70 staff members (70 CRM users).

    For the last 5 weeks I've been trying to engage a partner to assist with an urgent project to improve our service scheduling.

    We use service activities to schedule out resources (system users in CRM) to deliver services at our clients (account in CRM). Services scheduled need to be reconciled back to the client's contract and contract line in the CRM. We have a custom entity to house the scheduled service, linking to the service activity, contract line & account. SSRS report is used to display the schedule and availability.

    Issues:

    • Mix of data in the service activities to describe availability (hols, sickness, appointments, meetings, working patterns)
    • Difficult to sift through service activities to show availability
    • The report is slow (data source is the CRM database filtered views)
    • Difficult to reallocate resources or visualise how reallocating would affect the schedule without actually committing any changes.
    • Doesn't show location of the client or the resource (we have clients and resources nationwide).

    I've been passed on to numerous Microsoft partners who have all basically said it's the cloud or nothing. You're on your own son.

    I appreciate that in the next 24-36 months we may need to move to Dynamics 365 cloud but at this very moment it is not an option. I have an immediate requirement to solve our scheduling issue (within next 2 months), we are on prem so can anybody help?

    First off, a few things:

    • We are not moving to the cloud yet (just in case anyone missed that).
    • Are we the only company in the UK using CRM on prem?
    • Have Microsoft announced CRM on prem end of life and I missed the announcement?

    My options as I see them:

    • Buy in a third part scheduling system and write a horribly complex integration piece to get it reconcile services back to CRM contracts. (Actually been looking at RETAIN scheduling system).
    • Write my own solution (.Net web app) using the CRM SDK that hooks into the CRM API. This will still work if we migrate to D365 cloud as the API is the API regardless (licencing issues aside).

    Any advice, answer or input is most welcome, but without wanting to appear rude please do not reply if you think I should migrate to the cloud. That is not the solution to my immediate requirement.

    Many thanks in advance,
    Paul.

     

     

     

     



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    Paul Simcock
    IT Director
    threesixty services llp
    Manchester
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  • 2.  RE: CRM on prem service scheduling

    TOP CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted 3 days ago
    Have you looked at Field Service? Based on the brief set of business requirements here, it seems like it could be a great fit for you! Now available on premise as well.

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    Heidi Neuhauser
    Beringer Associates, Inc.
    Green Lane PA
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  • 3.  RE: CRM on prem service scheduling

    Posted 3 days ago
    ​I would have to agree with Heidi. It is possible to get Field Service on-premise and at the current version you are on. One thing to be aware of is that a lot of the optional add-ons like RSO and Connected Field Service are only available if you are in the cloud, but judging from your requirements those would not be necessary anyway.

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    Rob Pike
    RSM USA
    Minneapolis, MN
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  • 4.  RE: CRM on prem service scheduling

    GOLD CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted 3 days ago
    Thanks Heidi and Rob,

    I thought I'd read that Field Service for on prem was only available in v9? We're currently 8.2 so that would be an update if that was the case.
    I've not listed my full project requirements in the original post but RSO is exactly what I need, factoring in travel time (location of the client and available resources), working patterns of resources, skill set of resources.

    This was why I tried to engage with a partner as I had a feeling all of the functionality would not be available on prem.

    It's looking more and more like I'll have to build our own.  We've built solutions before for a couple of projects using the Organization service (SOAP endpoint). We use .Net so it's easy to build an ASP.Net MVC web app using the CRM as the back end. When or if we do move to the cloud the app could be updated to use the Web API.

    Thanks,
    Paul.

    ------------------------------
    Paul Simcock
    Developer
    threesixty services llp
    Manchester
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  • 5.  RE: CRM on prem service scheduling

    SILVER CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted 3 days ago
    Edited by Andrew Wolfe 3 days ago
    ​Hi,

    As of right now we do a similar thing in an old, on-premises CRM2011 system.  We are also a professional services organisation and delivering CRM projects is one of those Services.  On our old system we use a bespoke Silverlight Service Scheduler that's pretty good considering its agent.  It gives a timeline view of appointments, coloured based on option sets and lets our coordinators easily see the gaps.  Next month we finally make the move to CRM Online and will be changing to using Apex Planner.  That tool will do a similar job and is available for on-premises as well as online.

    For RSO we have looked at Dime Scheduler, this is a NAV focused project but has some starters for CRM Integration and our in-house developers spent some time looking at it.  Most of our project based RSO is done by our coordinators manually still, our field engineer/break fix is a different position.

    For analysing gaps, reporting on utilisation, revenue and chargeability we use an old Qlickview dashboard that will be replaced by Qlicksense in the cloud.

    From your outline I believe that your current position can be improved without re-engineering your entire service management solution and then when you're ready to move to the cloud a full solution can be implemented.

    Remember that with Field Service there is a general assumption of visits lasting lest than a day.  If you're a project based organisation then Field Service may well need some help before it's a good fit.

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    Andrew Wolfe
    Head of CRM Practice
    Technology Services Group
    United Kingdom
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  • 6.  RE: CRM on prem service scheduling

    GOLD CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted 3 days ago
    Hi Andrew,

    Thanks for the response. I'd not heard of Apex or Dime as I'd been looking at CRM out of the box solutions, they both look very promising. What were the issues or missing features that came out of the Dime evaluation by your developers?

    Thanks,
    Paul.

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    Paul Simcock
    Developer
    threesixty services llp
    Manchester
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  • 7.  RE: CRM on prem service scheduling

    D365UG/CRMUG ALL STAR
    Posted 14 hours ago
    as far as... Have Microsoft announced CRM on prem end of life and I missed the announcement?

    Nope, but they have announced an end to old school service scheduling.  Like the others have said, maybe new urs functionality would help.

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    Julie Yack
    Colorado Technology Consultants, Inc.
    Palmer Lake CO
    ------------------------------