Jeff Looms

Q&A with Jeff Looms – Client Delivery Manager at Ecleva

We have a chat with Jeff Looms, Client Delivery Manager at ECLEVA.


  • JeffHow long have been working for ECLEVA?

Since May 2007.


  • What was your path here?

What really started my interest in IT industry was a TAFE subject. This steered me down path of operator, programmer, analyst, it manager, business owner and now certified consultant / business analyst.


  • What does your typical day look like?

Fire fighter, technical support officer, analyst/tester, business consultant, mentor, relationship manager, development manager, … just call me “the glue”!


  • What’s your favorite part about working at ECLEVA?

Watching the company grow, and working in the not for profit and education space.


  • What has been your proudest achievement at ECLEVA?

Each and every successful implementation.


  • What do you enjoy about this industry?

Helping the organizations I work with realize their potential.


  • Who inspires you?

Neil, Buzz & Mike; of course! [ed. Astronauts]


  • What are your five songs that give rhythm to your day?

Music is not a necessity to get me going; whatever I may have heard before walking out the door in the morning.


  • Tell us something interesting about yourself.

I like to travel, play and watch sports


  • What attracted you to join ECLEVA?

Looking to expand my Dynamics CRM experience.


  • What was your dream job when you were young?

Astronaut, I watched the first moon walk ‘live’!


  • Wine or beer?

Wine, Beer or Spirits; I don’t discriminate, unless it contains gluten!

Costin Lichi

Q&A with Costin Lichi – Client Development Manager at Ecleva

We have a chat with Costin Lichi, Client Development Manager at ECLEVA.


  • CostinHow long have been working for ECLEVA?

Since 2015


  • What does your typical day look like?

There is no such thing for me, the job is too varied, which is great. It can involve anything from starting a new project, supporting a long-term client, training customers, designing a new solution. I love being an innovator and spending my time coming up with ways to solve customers’ challenges in an easy way. The less complicated the solution is in the end the happier everyone is.


  • What’s your favorite part about working at ECLEVA?

Developing challenging solutions; Working with very competent and dedicated people (with a great sense of humor); Delivering solutions that make the clients ecstatic!


  • What was your path here?

I have held many roles, all of which have helped me develop the experience that I feel is need to work at this level. I have worked as a Quality Manager; Change Delivery Manager; CIO; Program Manager; CRM BA/Delivery Management Consultant, all of which have added aspects that help me help our customers.


  • What’s helped you to get to where you are now?

Getting tired of corporate politics. I have in the past worked for organisations where politics was getting in the way of doing proper work for customers. I enjoy working with a company like ECLEVA because we are a very flat organisation with no politics to speak of.


  • What was your dream job when you were young?

Coming from Romania originally, my dream was simply to live in a “free” country. Every day here is a good day.


  • Wine or beer?

Neither, I’m a teetotaler


  • What one thing do you wish you had (skill, thing or other)?

Less loud, I have a talent for being heard in the office. I think my voice box was designed to be working next to an airport.


  • When you’re not in the office, where do you most like being?

I work a lot for my wife’s business and am building systems for them. Running intensive uphill and on the beach to be a bit gentler on the joints. At the moment, I’m also spending time keeping up to date with the latest technology.


Another step forward for the Microsoft CRM Application!

The overarching view is that the much lauded performance improvements, while there, are still not QUITE there yet, BUT, and I do say BUT… for what it is it’s definitely another step in the right direction for Microsoft in a couple of ways and we’re very excited about the future!!


There has been a plethora of mobility solutions from Microsoft over the past year, and this one tries to find a niche to start with and tries to do one thing, and do one thing right… email tracking.


When you compare it with the ‘old’ CRM for Outlook add-in you can clearly see that there are a lot of ‘gives for the gets’ here. We FINALLY get OWA (Outlook Web Access) integration!, NO configuration on the user side, or heavy database/sign-ins! But we also lose (perhaps not permanently?) Offline mode, appointment tracking and a number of other things (See the screenshot below for more).


It also will work on more platforms and be less ‘Microsoft only’ focused, which helps those Mac users out there… and those ‘other’ ones as well.

CRM App for Outlook
Jumping in to it, the interface is very mobile friendly and offers up a number of things like getting an overview of the latest activity for the contact (appointments, cases, and opportunities). Then you can either do a quick search for something to tag it against (regarding) or you can take the opportunity to create a new record (for example a lead or case) that it relates to.


It allows you to add these in received emails, but also emails that you compose and also to contacts that aren’t in your CRM yet… again, that’s nice and handy. It feels nice and intuitive to do once you get started.

Mail Draft


So all in all, for what it sets out to do it pulls it off well … however… the touted performance benefits from the ARA release certainly haven’t showed up in our testing here in Australia. Yes, the outlook needs to cold load every time as it doesn’t allow for persistent data (pity), but this means that you wait at least a good 4-5 seconds every time… for today’s millennials they would already have clocked out by that time and headed to the beach. Seriously though… using the feature does require speed of use, and the vibe isn’t that great just yet about that. We hope this can be improved further going forward.


In OWA mode things are better, and maybe this is the best application for it and the expected future use case for most? You don’t have to worry about the Outlook data persistence issues here, so the caching works better. Still not perfect but better.


What we are excited about is the future!


It’s really like most Microsoft success stories like the Surface 4… not 1 to 3, They need a couple of versions to mature. While this update is not bad by any stretch of the imagination you can see where the room is for improvement and creative thinking. The great thing with Microsoft is that they play catch up better than most given time!


I am particularly excited about seeing what the relationship intelligence and Delve analytics will bring to the table and look forward to seeing this in the next releases (watch this space)!


In summary… We see this update for what it is… Update 1 on the road to update 4 and a tool that’s great for emails. As long as you are OK with waiting a couple of seconds every time you use the functionality it will not make you want to go back to the old Outlook add-in in a hurry.


Below are a couple of screens of the high level roadmap, hope you are excited too.


To have a closer look at the app I recommend watching at least the first 20 minutes of this video by Microsoft and Torsten Holthöfer.

Future Capabilities


Roadmap Future Release


Roadmap Distant Future

Campus Sepia

Social Engagement for Education – time to get on the train

What are prospective and current students saying about your Institute on social media? Do they like the enrolment process? How was the last open day? Can they find things online? Are you providing the right content? How do you find out about these things?


Your students make decisions based on user reviews and online discussions. Conversations that were once had in person now take place on Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and other social mediums. People are more informed, and they’re getting their information in new ways, from new sources.


The good news is that with Microsoft Social Engagement, you can now listen, analyse, and drive engagement all within Microsoft Dynamics CRM. You can jump in and engage with your customers, reaching them in ways never before possible. Doing this is not just a nice to have, but is a critical new process all education marketers need to harness or risk become obsolete.


How are your social vital signs – check it out!!  Social Engagement covers a broad range of sources—Twitter, Facebook, videos, blogs, and news syndication. Spot trends and receive alerts about how people are feeling about your courses or brand so that you can shape your messaging and enrolment conversations more effectively. You can even identify your key influencers.  Identify problems with perception, address them immediately via your own social media channels and manage each student individually via Student Services Case Management solutions.




The robust analytics of Microsoft Dynamics social CRM gives you more insightful and interactive analytics with richer data to gain a true understanding of your Institute on topics that matter most. Microsoft Social Engagement’s visual filter allows you segment your data by source, sentiment, location, or author.


You can add social data in Microsoft Dynamics CRM — on dashboards or on any forms, like Accounts or Campaigns. Integrate social interactions into an end-to-end customer journey, with the ability to create leads, opportunities, or cases from social posts, right within Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. Help your front-line sales, marketing, and service teams deliver amazing customer experiences. Plus, social engagement doesn’t have to be limited to a few individuals in your marketing organisation.




Empower teams across admissions, marketing, and student service to collaborate with customisable streams from a combination of sources. Build deeper relationships with students by empowering them to engage with social communities on Facebook and Twitter.


How can we help you get there? Our EduRe CRM solution is a suite of tools designed and developed for the education sector on the Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform that will improve your student and commercial engagement outcomes. To learn more about Social Engagement please visit us at  or call to organise a demonstration.

3 IT mistakes

3 IT mistakes businesses make – and how to avoid them

3 IT mistakesWe’ve recently celebrated our 19 year anniversary at ECLEVA and over all those years delivering IT projects we’ve seen a lot of change in the technology landscape. But some things have stayed the same, including the mistakes businesses make in how they try to leverage the benefits of technology.

Here are our tips to avoid the top 3 mistakes people make.


Tip #1: Don’t expect too much of IT.


It might sound odd coming from a company that makes its living out of supplying IT solutions, but IT isn’t the magic bullet for everything. Some people get starry-eyed about what it can do for their business, even believing that simply having the technology will give them a competitive edge.


Our tip is to see IT not as an end in itself but as a way to make your business function better.


Our experience is that IT is most valuable in these areas:


  • Automating and improving your business processes
  • Handling your data – storing, accessing and analysing
  • Making your communication more flexible and efficient – anytime, anywhere, any channel


So harness the power of what IT does best and put the focus on your business first – and IT second.


Tip #2: “Time to value” matters the most


These days we work in a highly dynamic marketplace where business needs can change rapidly. This means organisations no longer have the luxury of taking months or even years to deliver IT projects. Such is the pace of change that, by the time the IT project is delivered, the demand has changed. You end up with a shiny old solution, rather than a shiny new one.


This means a shift in mindset in how we define a “successful” IT project: the traditional view that we need to deliver agreed functionality “on time and on budget” may well mean that you end up with a solution that is “on time” but is still too late. It no longer works for you and therefore wastes money.


So here’s our tip: adopt a strategy that delivers IT solutions that give you the highest value as quickly as possible. That way you get the benefits while they’re still relevant. There’s nothing to stop you then focussing on the “next highest value” deliverables. But you can do so while you’re getting the returns from your initial investment. One benefit of operating on shorter time frames is that ultimately this will probably save you money. It will certainly make your IT more relevant.


Tip #3: Create effective cross-functional teams


It would be great if the “business” could just tell the IT “boffins” what it needs and then leave them to it. Consciously or not, many businesses still try to achieve this “ideal”.


However this approach is filled with risk.


First, it can result in longer projects, with a disconnect between the IT solution and what the business really needs (as identified in Tip # 2). Second it assumes that the IT boffins will somehow come up with the right answer even though there’s been minimal interaction between project team members, and in particular with the “business”.


Our tip for getting the best results is to make sure the business side is involved with IT projects every step of the way, sometimes daily, even if only for 15 minutes. This makes it possible to identify any misunderstandings early and get the expectation clear well before the project is due to go live. It might, for example, mean bringing in other members of the team to help (“Anne from accounting knows that process inside out. Maybe we should talk to her.)


The right IT solution can provide fantastic returns to all organisations. The good news is that there are ways to avoid common mistakes, better manage IT project risks and get real value for your investment. Contact us if you’d like to find out more.


Visit our website or if you have any query than don’t hesitate to Contact us.

IT Projects

How to get fast value from your IT project

IT Projects

If you want to get value out of your IT projects fast you might want to rethink your approach. Instead of looking at your IT project as a marathon, you can look at it as a series of short sprints that let you get to defined points really quickly.


For years people have used a methodology called “waterfall” to deliver “on time and on budget”. Steps are:

  • You gather and document the user/business requirements
  • You get the right technical resources to design a solution that meets the requirements
  • You develop the solution
  • You get users to test the solution (User Acceptance Testing – UAT)
  • You roll it out into production


But “waterfall” has some problems – and here’s the top three:


First there’s the time it takes. If you need to get each step “right” before you move on to the next step then even a relatively small implementation can take months to deliver. You might deliver “on time” but that might still be too long before there’s any return on investment. In other words “time to value” isn’t there.


Second there’s the tendency for people to cram in too much in one IT project because they fear they might not have another shot at it once it’s delivered. So people gather too many user/business requirements in the first step. They add in more and more “nice to have” features. This all adds to the complexity and the cost, not to mention time.


Finally, “waterfall” doesn’t handle change well. This is a problem given how quickly business requirements can change, particularly once users understand the capabilities of the technology they’re using. Once an organisation has invested heavily into steps 1 and 2, making any change can be a nightmare. And this inability to handle change well often doesn’t become evident until User Acceptance Testing, at which point business and user requirements have often moved far beyond the initial conceptions.


So is there another way to deliver IT projects? There is. It’s called “Agile”. As its name implies it’s all about being nimble, flexible and fast moving

“Agile” is different because it is a very tightly targeted approach, with achievable goals:


  • You identify the requirements that will deliver the most value
  • You deliver to those requirements first
  • You do that via a series of short, discrete development cycles called “Sprints”. Each Sprint is of a fixed duration, usually between 2 weeks to 2 months.
  • You deliver a useable solution at the end of each Sprint.
  • If there is more value to be delivered then you kick-off another Sprint. If the extra value isn’t significant enough you stop.


“Agile” is short, sharp, multifunction team based effort which we have been using to deliver functioning systems with significant business value in under a month.


“Agile” is designed to handle change very well. As such it is really well suited for solutions that need to respond to change – Client Relationship Management (CRM) and Business Intelligence (BI) solutions, for example.


There are two main reasons for this.


Agile takes a prototyping approach. It puts out a working model during a Sprint, so users get to interact with the solution as it is being developed. This means users get to understand what the solution can do for them. It allows them to generate new ideas on how to get value from the solution and optimise functionality.


As well, Agile is fast. Users don’t need to wait six months. And it’s not final. If something new comes up or priorities change then those changes can be incorporated in the next Sprint.


You don’t have to be stuck with long IT projects that take months to deliver value.


If you feel your projects are taking too long, not delivering value quickly enough or always seem to be out of synch with what you really need, you should give us a call.


Visit our website or if you have any query than don’t hesitate to Contact us.


What has hiring a marketer got in common with ‘the emperor’s new clothes’?

Professional Services

Marketers are?

What has Marketers and the emperor’s new clothes got in common?

In my growing experience … a lot!

Let’s step back a bit… when did you last read this short novel by HC Andersen (second best thing to come out of Denmark … losing only to the Beer).


Skip this paragraph if you know the story… The gist of it is that two swindlers pretending to be weavers promise an emperor a new suit of clothes that is invisible to those who are unfit for their positions, stupid or incompetent. When the emperor parades before his subjects in his new garb, no one dares to say anything until a child points out that he’s not wearing anything at all.


The moral of the story can be three fold (if not more) … speak up if you know the truth no matter what people will think… Don’t believe in all you hear without proof… Sometimes it takes a child to educate an adult


Coming back to marketing now. In my experience you have ‘marketers’ that fits the role of the child, the swindlers, the crowd and the emperor out there. You could see it like this:


The Swindler marketer – Suave, confident, bully with fantastic skills in manipulating… sometimes even the customers to a degree. Don’t care what marketing is or about the business, has their own personally focused agenda for power and success. The ‘results’ appears very impressive due to the sales pitch, but in the end is false.


The crowd marketer – Listens to what they’re told about what marketing is by someone else and are too ignorant, incompetent or stupid to know better and blindly does pretty PowerPoints and shiny designs for a living. As with the swindler they are not focused on business outcomes, but in their case they just want to keep their job so they go with the flow. Either way the business suffers and no one can see any value in the outcome


The emperor marketer – Ended up a marketer because they can take any role they want as they’re there not by merit but by connections or family. Likely to make tall claims about business goals that are unfounded, but people around them fear their ‘pedigree’ and bow to their wishes. They don’t have to worry about delivering value as their position is already at the top. Marketing again is wasted and customers sees the organization as walking naked in the street marketing wise.


The Child marketer – Listens to what others say but will form their own view and speaks up without fearing the loss of face by doing so. Creative and will focus on satisfying the goals of the business in new ways in a growingly complex marketplace. The outcome is a business where real value is added and new channels that are effective are considered based on their merit.


Relevance??? I put it to you that the existence of so many SCE’s (Swindlers, Crowd and Emperor… another TLA for you) in the profession is the main cause of why so much really bad marketing is done and why management in organisations gives up on marketing and relegates it to an administrative function and promote number crunchers and sales reps to management. The focus becomes about dollars and revenue, not process to achieve a successful long terms exchange relationship based on customer satisfaction!


The solution? For marketing as with everything else we need to be open to the changing world, dare to speak up and forge ahead… Explore new channels but be critical as to their use before you blindly follow the next fad.


Do you agree with the analogy above?


Let out the child marketer within and speak up :J

Visit our website or if you have any query than don’t hesitate to Contact us.


Custom Price Calculations in CRM 2015

In our last few discussions we have focused on the Product Catalog enhancements. And in this discussion we will look at the Custom Price Calculation feature, which is related to the Product Catalog enhancement.


As we know, the pricing engine in Microsoft Dynamics CRM supports a standard set of pricing and discounting methods. These standard fields and methods might be a limitation on your business depending on your specific requirements for applying taxation, discounts, and other pricing rules for your products.


Suppose we need to identify and apply additional Taxes, like GST, VAT, Stamp Duty, or state and federal taxes independently on each line items. This would have been very difficult to achieve in previous versions of Dynamics CRM, because only one Tax field on line items was available. If we created custom fields for additional taxes, then it was really hard to include those in the calculation of the Extended Amount on each line item.


But now it is easy in CRM 2015, we can apply the Custom Price Calculation on the following entities.

  1. Opportunity
  2. Opportunity Product
  3. Quote
  4. Quote Product
  5. Order
  6. Order Product
  7. Invoice
  8. Invoice Product


To use the custom pricing for your opportunities, quotes, orders, and invoices, you need to do the following things:


  1. Set the value of the OOBPriceCalculationEnabled attribute to false from System Settings, as shown below.


  1. Create a plug-in that contains your custom pricing logic for calculating the price for your opportunity, quote, order, or invoice and on corresponding line items.
  2. Register the plug-in on the CalculatePrice message on Post stage.


When the OOBPriceCalculationEnabled attribute is set to 0, every time an opportunity, quote, order, or invoice is created or changes, the plug-in registered on the CalculatePrice executes to calculate prices as specified in your custom code in the plug-in. The CalculatePriceRequest message doesn’t have any usage scenario of its own. It’s exposed so that you can plug in your own custom pricing calculation logic if you don’t want to use the out-of-box pricing provided by CRM.


If you want to revert to using the out-of-box pricing for your opportunities, quotes, orders, and invoices, set the value of the OOBPriceCalculationEnabled attribute to True.


We had one scenario in which we need to apply the GST and VAT based on the Amount and calculate the Extended Amount on the Quote Product, as shown below.

As you can see in the above screen shot, we are calculating GST and VAT based on the Amount, and all taxes have been included in calculating the Extended Amount.


For example, we used the following logic in our plug-in.

decimal total = 0;

decimal vat = 0;

decimal gst = 0;

decimal extended = 0;


total = total + ((decimal)e[“quantity”] * ((Money)quoteItem[“priceperunit”]).Value);

gst = total * (decimal)0.08;

vat = total * (decimal)0.1;

extended = total + gst + vat;

quoteItem[“baseamount”] = new Money(total);

quoteItem[“tax”] = new Money(gst);

quoteItem[“new_vat”] = new Money(vat);

quoteItem[“extendedamount”] = new Money(extended);




And we have registered that plug-in on Post stage of CalculatePrice Message of Quotedetail, as shown below.


If you want to implement the Custom Pricing calculation, then you can use the sample plug-in which is provided by Microsoft, and that will really help you and save your lot of time. Below I have given the URL of that plug-in example.


Again below we have given some important facts about the custom pricing calculations.


  1. You must set the OOBPriceCalculationEnabled value to False to enable the custom pricing calculation.
  2. You must register the plug-in on the Post Stage of the CalculatePrice message.
  3. Once you have enabled the custom pricing calculation, then the Amount and Extended Amount on line items and all totals on headers will no longer be system calculated. And you have to register your plug-in for these calculations.
  4. Also one most important thing is that, it seems that when you enable the Custom Pricing, then the calculation happens in asynchronous mode, hence you need to refresh the form to view the changes, if you change Price or Quantity within line items.

Product Localization

Product Localization in CRM 2015

“Small things can make a big difference” Yes this is what Microsoft has done in their latest release of CRM 2015 for Products.


In our earlier blog Product Catalog enhancement in CRM 2015, I briefly explained about all areas of Product Catalog that are modified in CRM 2015.


In this blog we have explained how the product localization works and how we can setup that in CRM 2015.


If we take an example of a multinational clothing company, and suppose that company sells “Trousers” in USA, Spain and China, then in earlier versions of CRM we needed to create 3 products with following names.

  • Trousers for US English
  • Pantalones for Spanish
  • 褲子 for Chinese


But now in CRM 2015, you just need to create only one Product record and you can localize the name of that product for all of the installed languages.


Along with Product name you can localize the following properties of the Products.

  • Product.Name
  • DynamicProperty.Name
  • DynamicPropertyOptionSetItem.DynamicPropertyOptionName
  • DynamicPropertyOptionSetItem.DynamicPropertyOptionDescription


I have created one Product Family in CRM named Trousers, and added 2 properties one is Size and another is Type, as shown below.

Product Family


Type is an Option Set property, and we have added 2 types into that.



Now I would like to set the Name in the Spanish language as well. Hence I have changed my language to Spanish and again opened the same product record. But this time it shows Name of product and properties in Read-only format. As shown below.

Familia De-Productos


So the question is, how can we change the name in different languages?


Don’t worry, you just need to follow the below steps for localization of the Product.

  • Open CRM, and go to Settings à Data Management.
  • Now click on the Export Field Translation link, as shown below.

Data Management


It will export “” file.

  • Extract that zip file then you will see the following 2 XML files.
  1. [Content_Types].xml
  2. CrmFieldTranslations.xml


As shown below.



  • Now you need to edit the “CrmFieldTranslations.xml” file in excel, then you will see Localize Labels sheet. As shown below.

CRM Field Translation


In that sheet, you can see the columns for the various installed languages in the System. Those column names indicate the language codes of the installed languages in the CRM.

  1. 1003: for US English
  2. 1036: for French
  3. 2052: for Chinese
  4. 3082: for Spanish.


And apart from language columns this sheet contains the following additional columns as well.

  1. Entity Name: It displays the name of Entity like Product, or DynamicProperty etc…
  2. Object Id: It displays the Guid of corresponding Product or DynamicProperty record.
  3. Object Column Name: It display the field name of the corresponding entity.


  • Now you need to set the corresponding values for the various languages, as shown below, I have set the values for French, Chinese and Spanish languages.

CRM Field Translation


  • Now you need to save the “CrmFieldTranslations.xml” file and again zip the “[Content_Types].xml” and “CrmFieldTranslations.xml” files. As shown below.

Content Type

  • Click on “Import Field Translations”.

Data Management

  • Then select our zip file and click on the OK button.

Data Management

After completing the import, if you change your language, then you can see the Name and other Description in other languages as well. As shown in below screens.


In Spanish





In Chinese





Below I have given some important facts about Product Localizations.

  1. Records with localized attributes are read-only unless your preferred language is the organization’s base language. You can’t manually change the products values of localized attributes into different languages.
  2. If your language in CRM is not the Organisation’s base language, then you can’t create the Product record.
  3. When you query on product using values for localized attributes, the conditions will be evaluated using your preferred language first and will revert to the base language if there is no localized value for that attribute.


Suppose your CRM base language is English, and another language Spanish, is installed into CRM.
And there is product defined in CRM and the name of that product is as follows.

In English: Trousers
In Spanish: Pantalones


Now suppose, your preferred language is Spanish and if you search product with name “Trousers”, then first it will search in your referred language i.e. Spanish, but it will not find any result. After that, it will search in using the Base language and display the result. As shown below.



Hope this will help you!


Product Catalog enhancements in CRM 2015

In earlier versions of CRM you could setup the Product, Product Kit, Pricing, and Discounts. But in CRM 2015 Microsoft has done lot of enhancements in the Product Catalog, and they have introduced Product Family and Bundle, which expose a lot of great features in CRM.


Below I have mentioned key points about the Product Catalog enhancements.

  1. Automatically set the default price level (price list) for an opportunity, quote, order, or invoice based on the current user and the user’s territory relationship with the price level.
  2. You can define hierarchies of product families and products.
  3. Define configurable properties of product family. Hence you can define manufacturer, product description, material, size, color, packaging, and warranty terms etc… and you can change these properties for product to product.
  4. Also you can specify localized values for certain product properties (attributes) to allow for product names and descriptions to be available in the user’s preferred language.
  5. Define new relationships, such as cross-sell, up-sell, and accessory, so your sales agents can get the suggestions for related products during sales process.
  6. Use custom pricing instead of the CRM system pricing to calculate prices when you associate a product or bundle to opportunity, quote, order, or invoice.
  7. Define per unit discount for products at line level when you add them to opportunity, quote, order, or invoice.
  8. System setting changes.


Below I have explained each and every point mentioned above in detail.


Automatically set Default Price list:


We have been waiting for this feature; in earlier versions of CRM we generally wrote custom java script.


But now you can choose to automatically set a default price list for an opportunity, quote, order, or invoice based on the sales territory of the user who creates or updates the opportunity, quote, order, or invoice record.


To enable a default price list, you need to setup the following settings and records.


In the System Settings, you need to set the “Allow selection of default pricelist for opportunity via inbuilt rule” as True, as shown in the below screenshot.

Now you need to create a new Connection between Territory and Price list, with Connection Role “Territory Default Pricelist”, as shown in the below screenshot. In the example below, we have created a Connection between Territory “USA” and Price List “CRM Service USA (sample)”.

And after that, set the Manager of the Territory, for which you would like to setup the Default price list. In below screen, we set the Manager as “First Name Last Name”.


Now if user “First Name Last Name” creates an Opportunity, Quote, Order or Invoice then it will set the Price List.


Note: If you will set multiple territories for Default Price List, then price list field will not be populated and the user must specify a price level for the opportunity, quote, order, or invoice record.


Define Product Family, product and bundle:


Before starting the discussion on this, let us first understand that what Product Family and Product bundle is.

  • Product Family: Product family provides a way to categorize the product. Hence you can define a category, and under that Category you can define your products and product bundle. And these products and product bundles inherit the categories of parent product family.
  • Product Bundle: Using Product bundle, you can group the products to sell products in an attractive package. It is similar to kit, but kit is deprecated in CRM2015.


Below we have given an image that will explain Product Family, Products and Product bundle.


Based on the above screen, you can clearly see that “Televisions” is the parent family for “LED TVs” and “Plasma TVs,” and under a family you can define products and product bundles.


It means using Product Family you can achieve following things into CRM 2015.

  • Meaningfully categorize products for your organization.
  • Define child family, products and product bundles under a product family.
  • Product bundles allow you to sell multiple items together. In earlier versions of CRM, these were known as ‘Kits’, but ‘Kits’ have now been deprecated.


To create a Product Family, Products and Product Bundles in CRM, you need to click on the corresponding buttons.



  • Clicking on the Add Family button, will open a new Product Family screen.
  • Clicking on the Add Product button, will open a new Product screen.
  • Clicking on the Add Bundle button, will open a new Product Bundle screen.


Important Note: These products will not be available in Opportunity, Quote, Order or Invoice, unless you publish them.


Hence in CRM 2015, products have their own life cycle; shown below is an image that represents the Product life cycle in CRM 2015.


  • When you first create a Product, the State of that product will be Draft. Draft products are not available for sale.
  • After publishing a Product, the State of product is changed to Active. This action enables products to be selected for sale.
  • Products can be revised or retired from the active products list.
  • Products “Under Revision” or “Retired”, can be re-published (reactivated).


Configurable properties of products:

Every product is assigned its own set of categories. If we take an example of Television, then we can define the following categories.

  • Resolution
  • Is 3D
  • Screen Size etc…


And if we take an example of Air conditioner, then property might be different.

  • Capacity: 1.5 ton, or 2 ton
  • Installation Type: Split or Window Air Condition
  • Energy Efficiency, etc…


Hence we can say that each and every product may have different kinds of characteristics.


In CRM 2015, you can setup the Product Properties for a Product Family. And these properties are inherited when you create a Product, or Product Bundle within a Product Family.


When you define the properties of a Product Family, then you can select from the following data types for each property.

  • Option Set
  • Decimal
  • Floating Point Number
  • Single Line of Text
  • Whole Number


You can also set the requirement level of each property. The requirement level dictates whether the property is required or not (Yes or No); when you create an Opportunity, Quote, Order or Invoice for that product.


Important Note: The Products inherited properties, from the Product Family, can be overridden during creation, or revision of the product.


As you can see in below screen, Size is required.


Now if you create an opportunity product for that, then it will display an error unless you set the value for the required properties (i.e. Size in our case). As shown in the below screen.


After setting the value for the required properties (i.e. Size in our case), it will not display any error.


Below we have given some important points about the Product Properties.

  • You can override the property values of the inherited Product Family using the override button, as shown in the below screenshot.



  • You can only edit properties, if the product has a Draft or Under Revision state.
  • A Read-only product property’s value can’t be changed at run time.
  • A hidden property won’t be displayed to sales agents at run time, when they create an Opportunity, Quote, Order or Invoice for that product.
  • Also you can’t define properties programmatically using CRM API.
  • In a Product Bundle, you can add Products, and then customize the property’s values of bundled product, by clicking on the Customize link, as shown in the below screenshot.


Localize Product properties:


Now you can localize product for different regions, so you can see the localized names that will match the customer’s language preferences. And you can localize the following fields for products.

  • Name of Product
  • Name of Product Property
  • Option name of Option set Product Property
  • Option description of Option set Product Property


In our next blog we will discuss Localization of Product.


Define new relationships, such as cross-sell, up-sell, and accessory:


When you sell products or services, it is always a good idea to have all the information about related products defined within your catalog. By defining related products and offers, it empowers your sales personnel to cross-sell or up-sell to your customers.


For example, if any customer enquire about the Surface RT, then your sales people can have the capability to suggest the Surface Pro. Therefore, the Surface Pro is added as an up-sell product for Surface RT using the Product Relationship.


Essentially, Product relationships, help you to cross-sell, up-sell, and sell accessory products or substitutes.


Using relationship, allows you to define the suggestions for your sales personnel, during opportunity and order management. This enables your sales personnel to recommend related products and bundles to your customers.


You can define the following relationships for a product:

  • Up-sell
  • Cross-sell
  • Accessory
  • Substitute


As you can see in below screen, the “CRM Online: Professional” product has relationships with other products, for the purpose of cross-selling or up-selling.


Now, if you will add the “CRM Online: Professional” product into an opportunity, and click on the Suggestions hyperlink; then these related items will be displayed, as shown in the below screenshot.


And if the customer is interested in any of the suggested products; then from the same grid, the user can directly select the relevant products by clicking on the “Add to List” button.


Use custom pricing:


The pricing engine in Microsoft Dynamics CRM supports a standard set of pricing and discounting methods, which might be limiting to your business depending on your specific requirements for applying taxation, discounts, and other pricing rules for your products. If you want to define custom pricing for your products in opportunities, quotes, orders and invoices, you can use the CalculatePrice message.


Using the CalculatePriceRequest, you can override default pricing calculations.


This topic will discussed in its own specialty blog posting.


Define per unit discount for products:


In earlier versions of CRM, discounts could only be applied on a per unit level basis. However, in CRM 2015, you can apply discounts either at the line item level or at a per unit level.


You can specify “Discount calculation method” in the System Settings, to specify whether you need to apply the discount at the Line Item or Per Unit level.

Below we have given an example to explain the discount calculations for Line Item and Per Unit level.


Suppose you create a line item, and set the following values for the Price per Unit, Quantity, and Discount.

  • Price per Unit: 100
  • Quantity: 10
  • Discount: 10


Below we have given the calculations of Extended Amount for different “Discount calculation method” options.

  • Line item: If “Discount calculation method” is set to “Line Item”, then the Extended Amount will be 990 = ((Price per Unit * Quantity) – Discount).
  • Per Unit: If “Discount calculation method” is set to “Per unit”, then the Extended Amount will be 900 = ((Price per Unit * Quantity) – Discount * Quantity).


System setting changes:


Apart from this Microsoft Dynamics CRM introduces a new TAB into System Settings with named “Sales”, as shown in the below screen.


In this section Microsoft Dynamics CRM introduced the following new settings.

  1. Create Product in Active State: If any product is not associated with a product family, then you can choose to create them directly in an Active state if you set the value of “Create Product in Active State” as yes.
  2. Allow selection of default price list: It allows you to setup the default price list for a user, when a user creates an Opportunity, Quote, Order and Invoice.
  3. Maximum number of products in Bundle: It allows you to set the limit of products in a Product Bundle.
  4. Use System Pricing calculation: It allows you to select whether you need to choose the system pricing calculation or the custom pricing calculations.
  5. Discount Calculation Method: It allows you to select the Line Item or Per Unit level discount calculation.
  6. Maximum number of properties: It allows you to set the limit for the number of properties for a product or bundle.