Lessons learned: Using Resco Mobile CRM as front end with Dynamics CRM/365 as back end

connected

I have been working many years now with Resco Mobile CRM. Using it as an alternative for the Dynamics CRM mobile client. Resco does have some nice advantages over the default mobile application, but also has some drawbacks, which I sometimes painfully learned. If you are planning to go full on Resco Mobile CRM, using it as a front end instead of Dynamics CRM/365, I would like to share some lessons with you. To be clear: I’m talking about Resco Mobile CRM as the mobile application (not the standalone CRM software which is called Resco Cloud).

Lesson #1: Double the software, double the work!

Fields

Resco Mobile CRM does take over custom fields you might have created in Dynamics CRM/365, but you will still have to activate these fields in Woodford (which is the configuration tool for the Resco Mobile CRM client). Next, if you have created business rules Dynamics CRM, you will need to create ‘Rules’ on the forms in Woodford, simulating the same business intelligence you might have created in Dynamics. Same thing with views, graphs and dashboards you might have created personal or system-wise.

So don’t forget that you’ll have to do everything twice if you use Resco Mobile CRM in the front end (e.g. for salespeople on the road) and Dynamics CRM/365 in the back end (e.g. for sales support staff in the office).

Lesson #2: Business process flows will give you trouble!

BPF

You can activate the business process flow (BPF) from Dynamics CRM/365 in Woodford, allowing to copy the BPF to the Resco mobile client. However, you have virtually zero control over the behavior of this BPF in Resco. You want to hide a field in the BPF, based on a value in another field? No luck, the ‘rule’ you wrote in Woodford has no influence on it. You want to change the lookup filters on a field in the BPF? Again no luck, you can modify every lookup in Woodford, except for the fields in the BPF.

My advice: Just use spacers with the same text binding as the stages from your BPF and  built your mobile form in the same stages.

Lesson #3: Security, security, security!

Field properties.png

Microsoft Dynamics CRM/365 has several levels of security you can play with as a system administrator; Business units, security roles, field security roles, … . Resco however, throws away all these security levels you have built up and uses its own security. So you should take a moment to get acquainted with the new playbook of security:

  • Resco uses RCU (Read, Create, Update) permissions on fields.
  • Resco allows you to pick different Dynamics CRM security roles to allow users to use a mobile application. However, it does not do anything else with these security roles.
  • Resco has a “security” tab in Woodford, but this only gives you an overview of which devices are connected with your organisation. Moreover, it allows you to lock, wipe or force a full sync of the mobile device.

Lesson #4: Adding business intelligence to Resco through workflows in Dynamics

So lets say you have created a workflow in Dynamics CRM/365 to do action X (e.g. create a task) when trigger Y (e.g. a value in an option set changes) happens. The business intelligence will execute as next:

  1. You change the option in the option set in the mobile client of Resco.
  2. Depending on whether or not your working online: If you are working online, than the change will directly be synchronized to the Dynamics CRM/365 and the workflow will be activated. If you are working offline, than the change will be saved in the offline database of Resco Mobile CRM. If you go back online, the modification will be synchronised to the Dynamics database.
  3. The workflow is executed and creates the task
  4. The task is synchronised back to the mobile client.

But lets mix things up and say you want to create an “on demand action” in Resco Mobile CRM. Then you are in for some action! E.g. I want to allow users to add accounts to a custom queue. This queue is designed for accounts which need to be checked for errors or incomplete data.

  1. Create an option set (related to a general option set) in Dynamics CRM/365. We will pick an option set, because we want to be able to execute multiple workflows.
  2. Create a workflow in Dynamics CRM/365. Trigger for the workflow is ‘On Change’ of the option set you created in the first step.
  3. Create a custom command in Woodford. This command will ‘On Execute’ pick an option of your option set. So when the option is picked, the workflow will be triggered.

Lesson #5: Resco has some tricks in their sleeve, which Dynamics CRM/365 does not have (yet)

The last lesson I want to share for now, is that using the Resco Mobile CRM front end offers some specific tricks, which you should exploit as best as possible:

  • One of the reasons customers want me to implement Resco, is because it offers offline capability. This is one of the features which Microsoft is working hard on.
  • Another nice feature, is the unified User Interface Resco has. It does not matter if you are using Resco on a mobile device or on a desktop. You did know you could run Resco as a program on your desktop, did you?!
  • Resco had the capability to map accounts, contacts, leads on a global app. And then use the locations of these records to make route plans between the records. Moreover, you can then use route plan for your GPS.

Finally, I hope you learned something from the lessons I shared with you. If you have some things you want to share from your adventures with Resco Mobile CRM and Dynamics CRM/365, feel free to comment on this blog post!

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