What Microsoft Dynamics CRM brings to the project management table

Miree Le Roy - Tuesday, January 17, 2012

At the end of last year, I came across a study conducted by Forrester Consulting on The Total Economic Impact of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, which was released in May. Looking closely at the findings, they are impressive. So I thought what better way to kick off the New Year than to highlight just how much benefit using a CRM system for your project management needs can give you. If you’re already using Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 with IPM, then rest assured, you’ve made a solid investment. And if you’re not, then perhaps you may have just come across a belated New Year’s resolution?    Read More...

How Microsoft CRM and IPM users are benefiting from Apple’s domination

Miree Le Roy - Wednesday, December 07, 2011
I’ve been doing a lot of travelling lately and a few things have caught my attention as I’ve been getting on and off planes, buses and trains. The first one happened when we were due to take off and the air hostess came over the loud speaker asking everyone to make sure all electronic equipment, “such as iPods, iPhones and iPads” was switched off. I remember when I used to fly as a child and the safety card in the seat pocket depicted electronic equipment as a Furby, the Ewok-like children’s toy with eyes that blinked. My, haven’t we come a long way?

The second was in a train where every single passenger around me, including myself, was using either an iPhone, iPod or iPad, and sometimes all three. The girl beside me settled herself in for the two hour ride with a virtual game of Monopoly on her iPad, frequently receiving calls and texts on her iPhone.

Both these instances not only go to show the influence Steve Jobs and his Apple products have had on the world, but also how we have become a society of mobile technology. We don’t go anywhere now without our mobile devices, and even though they originally started out as companion communication devices and entertainment consoles, mobile devices are fast becoming the norm in the way we conduct business.

Apple has definitely been one of the pioneers, but other technology giants are quickly following suit, with Microsoft addressing the CRM user group summit last month highlighting plans for its CRM technology for the next year and beyond. Sparked by Apple’s iPads and iPhones, the evolution of tablet computers and a mobile technology society is revolutionising Microsoft’s development of the next versions of CRM.  New developments mean future Microsoft CRM technology will be context aware as to whether we are on the go, on a desktop, or projecting onto a big screen. What’s more, the limitations of tablets such as document creation and powerpoints, mean Microsoft is also putting time and effort into enhancing the PC experience. Sure to bring a smile to many Mac users faces, Microsoft is developing a plug in for Mac in order to make CRM accessible for all PC users.

For project managers using IPM on the CRM framework, this means managing projects either from a desktop or on a mobile device will become increasingly easier and more efficient. And as the very nature of project management requires you to be more flexible, mobile and accessible, developments in mobile technology propose exciting possibilities for project managers.

So whilst at times we may feel we’re living in an Apple dominated world, the technology and innovation that has enabled the existence of these products means other technology giants are also working hard to push the envelope in order to stay in the race. And this can only mean great things for us as consumers as we continue to benefit from development and advances in technology to make managing and organising both our personal and professional lives easier.


Staying organised with automatic email filing

Miree Le Roy - Monday, November 28, 2011
One of the qualities you will undoubtedly find in every good project manager is an ability to stay organised. With a constant stream of communication about RFIs, contracts and budget and schedule changes, it takes a very organised project manager to stay on top of everything.

But dealing with the huge number of incoming and outgoing emails that are generated by a project every day can test even the most organised project manager. Previously, the answer to this has been to manually sort and file information and communications into separate email folders. But due to the proliferation of email communication these days, the sheer amount of communication means manually filing is just not feasible.

Many project management software products have tried to come up with a solution to this by introducing automatic email filing. But what many products claim to be ‘automatic’ filing is far from it, and often has huge limitations.

That’s why Microsoft Dynamics CRM has developed an automatic email tracking function that is truly automatic, whereby a tracking code is assigned to the subject line of each email. This way all incoming and outgoing emails with the same tracking code are grouped together and stored in the database. And with IPM’s ability to utilise all the features of Dynamics CRM, the email tracking feature is also incredibly useful for project managers, and is unlike anything else currently available to project managers. Here’s why:

1. Email filing is not automatic in other project management software applications.
Some other applications do have email filing, but this often means you have to forward the email to a central job email address, so the process is not automatic.

2. Other applications can only file all emails under the Job. Just think of how many emails you may send and receive on one Job, and how difficult it would be to sort through them all to find the one you are looking for.

3. With IPM email tracking, each transaction has a unique code. This means you can click on an RFI for example, and see all the communication related only to that RFI.

Utilising the tools and features available in CRM, IPM can make the process of email tracking for companies in the construction industry easy and automatic.

To find out more about IPM’s automatic email tracking, please contact us.


How far can software really go to solve your project management problems?

Miree Le Roy - Wednesday, November 09, 2011

One thing that software providers have often been guilty of is making the claim that their particular software can solve any problem encountered on a project. Yes, technology has come a long way and has revolutionised the way our world works, but how far can technology really go to solve our project management problems?  Read More...

Bridging the gap between project management and software

Miree Le Roy - Monday, October 17, 2011

Software has long since been an important tool in project management, but for many years has not really been very project management friendly. For decades, project management software has been limited to highly specialised solutions with very little room for manoeuvre, or solutions developed on accounting frameworks that look, feel and ‘think’ like accounting systems.   Read More...

What does ‘Certified for Microsoft Dynamics’ mean for you?

Miree Le Roy - Tuesday, October 04, 2011

In my blogs I have often said that one of the benefits of IPM is that it is Certified for Microsoft Dynamics (CfMD). This is clearly something we are very proud of, but I also know that for some of you, it may just seem like a jumble of letters and a logo on our website.   Read More...

Microsoft launches IPM case study

Miree Le Roy - Friday, September 30, 2011

Here at IPM Global we were incredibly pleased when in August, Microsoft collaborated with us to write and launch a case study on the IPM product and how it is setting the bar for project management software solutions in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction industries.   Read More...

What project managers can gain from Microsoft’s Skype acquisition

Miree Le Roy - Tuesday, July 05, 2011

There has been lots of talk in the blogosphere lately about Microsoft’s recent $8.5b acquisition of the VoIP service Skype, with many people speculating over what use the software giant will put its new technology to. With gamers gunning for enhancements to the Xbox experience, Windows Phone 7 users hoping for better calling experiences and business users hoping for a corporate application, there is no end to the possibilities for this popular technology used by millions around the world.  Read More...

Tracey Brunstrom and Hammond choose IPM to standardise documentation and manage correspondence

Miree Le Roy - Wednesday, June 29, 2011

We’re very pleased to announce the publication on the Microsoft website of our latest IPM case study. We’ve recently been working with one of our newer clients, Tracey Brunstrom and Hammond, to share with you their experience of IPM and how it has helped them provide independent project management services across Australia and Singapore.  Read More...

How to turn a nine hour airport delay into an effective project management opportunity

Miree Le Roy - Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The recent Chilean volcano ash cloud and resulting closure of airports across southern Australia and New Zealand really goes to show how easily our travel plans can go awry. If you happened to be one of the many stuck at Melbourne airport last Monday, I’m sure the delays were not only frustrating, but also straining on your time. And even though this happened on a public holiday in Australia, there were still delays for people returning to work for days afterwards.  Read More...