IT Solutions Blog

Preparing housing associations and local authorities for a brave new world

by Emily Schilling 3 April 2020

Throughout the UK and indeed across Europe, offices stand empty. Meetings have been put on hold, coffee machines sit unused and the water cooler is deserted. But business continues. Meetings have become Skype calls and Teams hangouts, brainstorms are being done over the Internet and even the water cooler may be deserted in the office, those water cooler moments and chats during the tea round are continuing online. For years the world has had access to technology with the potential to change the way we live and work forever, but it has taken a global pandemic for us to realise how truly useful this technology is.

Topics: Remote Working, Covid-19, housing associations, local authorities

How to help your employees make the most of Microsoft Teams

by Emily Schilling 26 March 2020

As we discussed in our previous blog (How Microsoft Teams can transform remote working), Covid-19 has meant that there has been a dramatic increase of remote working across the UK, which has also led to a rise in use of Microsoft Teams. Teams is ideal for remote working - you can access files remotely on a range on devices and share your screen with a group of people, plus it is linked to all Microsoft Office components. It is a modern workspace where you can chat with colleagues, by messaging or on a video call, and new members have access to historical messages when added to chats or channels.  

Topics: Remote Working

How we're keeping the Crimson culture alive while remote working

by Emily Schilling 23 March 2020

At Crimson, we pride ourselves on our workplace culture – with dress-down Fridays, teambuilding excursions, and seasonal parties and dinners. We focus on employee engagement so much that we were named in the Sunday Times list of 75 Best Companies in the Midlands 2020. However, during a period of social isolation and remote working, how can this culture be maintained? Here are some ways that we’re keeping the Crimson culture alive:

Topics: Remote Working, Employee Engagement, Company Culture

COINS integration with Dynamics 365

by Emily Schilling 19 March 2020

5 reasons why integrating COINS with Dynamics 365 could be the answer to enhance your digital customer and staff experiences.

COINS (Construction Industry Solutions) has been a business software provider for the home building industry for over three decades, with software including project management, operations and supply chain, to name a few. Approximately 80% of the homebuilder industry uses COINS as their back office ERP and finance system. As well as using COINS to run the financial and operational side of the business, a number of homebuilders have been seeking engagement systems to compliment COINS. These systems will transform the way they manage marketing, sales and customer care processes, to suit the needs of today’s customer. Customers now have expectations from providers in all walks of their day to day buying decisions - including the biggest emotional purchase they are likely to be making in their lifetime.

Topics: Integration, microsoft dynamics 365, Single view of the customer, COINS, Homebuilder, Customer Engagement, Care, Sales, Marketing, Dynamics 365 Roadmap

How Microsoft Teams can transform remote working

by Emily Schilling 18 March 2020

 

Team Member licenses are changing in the Dynamics 365 Wave 1 release

by Emily Schilling 16 March 2020

The wave 1 release is nearly here, so it is time to understand the changes that will be coming with it. In April for new customers, and July for existing customers, users with Team Member licenses have the choice of two new model-driven apps that will restrict which entities can be used by Team Member licenses.

The original Team Member licenses are only designed for light use, such as reading or basic editing. They can read any core entity data, and can create contacts, activities, notes and up to 15 custom entities. However, they cannot create or edit accounts. The problem with the original licenses was that the restrictions were not enforced by Microsoft, and many Team Members could edit information that they didn’t have permission to. Team Member licenses also had different restrictions based on when they were created – licenses created pre-2018 could edit accounts, whereas any after 2018 couldn’t. These limitations have now changed, and enforcement starts with the wave 1 release.

The updated Sales Team Member licenses contain the core entities that users should have access to, such as activities, contacts, accounts and leads – however, these are read-only. This user doesn’t have access to custom entities, but this can be solved by giving additional custom roles to the users.

Topics: Dynamics Update, Microsoft

The next steps to improve higher education technology

by Emily Schilling 28 February 2020

The Education Strategy Forum is an invitation-only meeting which brings together leaders within the higher education industry, alongside government representatives, policy makers and solutions providers – such as Crimson. The event was held on the 25th and 26th February, where they discussed the research report they produced, which is based on information obtained from delegates. The delegates are made up of 241 individuals from UK higher education institutions, including 17 Vice-Chancellors and C-Suite, 95 Directors, 84 Heads of Department and 45 members of Senior Management. They were interviewed over the phone and face-to-face, when they discussed trends and issues that are currently being tackled by university leaders. The report discusses the main findings of the research – student experience and engagement, data analytics, transformed learning, and the student journey – as well as discussing spending power, initiatives and investments.

Topics: Digital Transformation, information security, higher-education, education

Crimson Webinar – Applying retention to Personally Identifiable Information (PII) in Office 365

by Emily Schilling 27 February 2020

Our monthly webinar, which discusses Personally Identifiable Information, GDPR and retention in Office 365, is now live on YouTube. The webinar features some of our Modern Workplace team, and includes some of the work we have done to tackle GDPR problems – which if ignored can lead to a costly fine.

The webinar explains and demonstrates how to use Microsoft Office 365 to apply retention - across Power Automate, Security & Compliance, SharePoint and Teams. The best ways to remove information overtime are also discussed, to understand the most effective method depending on the app used. This can be done in SharePoint for example, by creating a retention label which shows up as a column. This can show the date that the file should be removed, the date the file was added or any other information.

Crimson’s PII solution automatically removes information according to your personalised settings, instead of relying on staff to remember to remove it. It is also flexible, re-usable and cheaper, and uses out of the box Office 365 components, meaning that an E5 licence isn’t needed.

Other members of the Crimson team ask questions throughout the webinar, which hopefully answers any questions you may have whilst watching it. If you have any more questions about the webinar, then you can contact us via the form on our website, via our online chat service or by commenting on the YouTube video.

Topics: information security, GDPR, office 365, retention, compliance, teams, sharepoint

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Unified Interface VS Web Client Interface: What is changing?

by Emily Schilling 12 February 2020

By 1st October, the Unified Interface (sometimes called Unified Client Interface) will be upgraded by Microsoft, and the current interface, Web Client, will no longer be in use. This upgrade will occur throughout cloud Dynamics 365, and has the potential to have a lot of impact – but what will change, and what actions do you have to take?

Topics: Micrsoft Dynamics 365, Microsoft 365, UCI, Web Client Interface, Unified Interface