Dynamics CRM 2011 Auditing Capabilities OOBE

Back in August I gave a talk for the CRMUG about auditing. If you are a CRM user or partner you really should consider joining the user group since they offer great value for free and a lot of value added content for reasonable annual membership.

Here are the slides for the presentation which was recorded and is available to members of the UG.












Hope that helps, if you need more details please join the UG and view the whole recording.

Jeff Loucks

Windows Server OS Support by Product Number HP and Dell

Ever wondered which server model numbers support the operating system your are going to deploy. I found these handy webpages for Dell and HP which lists models with supported operating systems.

Operating System Support Matrix for Dell PowerEdge Systems
Windows support for HP ProLiant Servers

Another great resource is the Windows Server Catalog which will tell you about the Microsoft ‘Certified’ and ‘Works With’ status of other servers.


The Windows Server Catalogue also lists the status of a number of third party software packages.

Hope this helps

Jeff Loucks

Midmarket Silver partners pay better according to Redmond channel magazine

An interesting insight captured from the salary survey released by RCPMag is that Midmarket Silver Partners pay higher than their counterparts.


Another interesting insight is that ISVs and System Integrators are roughly similar in what they pay while other partner categories trail significantly.


You can read the whole article here: http://rcpmag.com/articles/2011/06/01/salary-survey-2011.aspx

Jeff Loucks

Skype officially joins the Microsoft suite of products

Microsoft and Skype made it through the hoops to join hands in servicing the communication needs of businesses and consumers alike. It was good timing for both companies. My view is that Skype had reached its pinnacle as an independent service and the road to continued growth was paved by its ability to integrate with products like Microsoft used by millions of users worldwide. For Microsoft it is acquiring massive amounts of new clients to offer feature enhanced services is a veritable strategic coups. Growth would have been slowed for each of these two companies as the competed for the same client base. Together they can focus on enhancing services and offering more value.

Here is a snip from the Microsoft Press release.

Oct. 13, 2011 — Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq “MSFT”) has closed its acquisition of Skype Global S.à r.l. Negotiations of the definitive agreement under which Microsoft would acquire Skype, an Internet communications company, for $8.5 billion were led by investor group Silver Lake and the transaction was originally announced on May 10, 2011. Boards of directors of both Microsoft and Skype previously approved the acquisition.

What is different about Skype?

Unlike other VoIP services, Skype is a peer-to-peer system rather than a client–server system, and makes use of background processing on computers running Skype software; the original name proposed – Sky peer-to-peer – reflects this.

Jeff Loucks

Why Middle men is an important film in the IT Industry

It may not be pure. It may not be a dramatic master piece however Middle Men represents an important fundamental of business over the Internet. The payment system. As a key component of how services are offered the film describes how the payment system came to light and how the confidence of the consumer is quintessential in making services consumable over the Internet. It will draw to your attention several aspects of consumer confidence which might not seem evident out of the gate.

The film is offered on Netflix now and what better way to view a movie about payment systems which give confidence to a whole new service delivery vehicle we have come to rely on. Check it out it’s a fun piece with its share of Sex, Drugs and Guns to distract you from the fact the movie is really about technology.

Free Online Training

Microsoft has a number of great resources to help you in areas of professional development and access to software. The Microsoft Virtual Academy contains some fantastic FREE online training on hot topics for IT Professionals. Once you’ve stopped by and tried out a course or two — head on over to the Microsoft Eval Center to download copies of their server products to try out in your lab environment. And while you’re at it, check out this free Microsoft Office 365 ebook by Katherine Murray, it shows you how you can use cloud computing to help get more done and help improve ease of collaboration.

Jeff Loucks

Microsoft Licensing the insiders review for home and work

One of the areas Microsoft has always feedback on is Licensing. Whether you need to buy one license from a traditional retail store or explore options for a more flexible volume licensing program, it can be confusing and sometimes downright intimidating to figure out what you need. The following is a list Microsoft believes will help with highlighted resources you can use to help figure out exactly what you need when you talk with your software reseller.

Speaking of licensing – when it comes to virtualization and competitive claims at a more cost effective Virtualization solution for your server rooms. I dug up a great – no nonsense breakdown on recent licensing changes in the industry and how our offering stacks up.

Licensing Resources

· Licensing FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions About Product Licensing

· The SMB How to Buy Portal: receive clear purchasing and licensing information that is easy to understand in order to help facilitate quick decision making.

· Microsoft License Advisor (MLA): Use MLA to research Microsoft Volume Licensing products, programs and pricing.

· Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) – Already have a volume License? Use the VLSC to get you easy access to all your licensing information in one location.

· Windows 7 Comparison: Compare versions of Windows and find out which one is right for you

· Office 2010 Comparison: Find out which Office suite is right for you.

I am sure this will solve all your Microsoft licensing questions you could ever have in a million years Winking smile.


Jeff Loucks

Beware of Phone Scams – How to keep your Windows PC Protected

The following is a great list of resources for everyday folks that IT pros use when looking to keep the PCs they manage at optimal performance.

Recently there have been a growing number of Phone Scams from individuals claiming to be from Microsoft asking you about the security of your PC. You should be suspicious of unsolicited calls about security of your systems. Don’t give out financial details, visit websites, allow anyone to remote control your system or install software from unsolicited callers. If you feel your system has been compromised or has a computer virus – you can call Microsoft’s Security and Virus FREE support line at 1-866-727-2338.

Security Resources

· Microsoft Security Essentials – Free Anti-Malware software from Microsoft, great for Small Businesses and Home PCs alike.

· Security Bulletins by the Regular IT Guy – A monthly podcast to help simplify details about the monthly Security patch releases.

· Security TechCenter – Find top tasks, get the latest news, find a wiki article or download a featured tool.

· Windows Update Services – Businesses of all sizes can help manage and control the rollout of updates in their organizations.

Other Resources You May Find Useful

· Springboard Series – Your destination for technical resources, free tools and expert guidance to ease the deployment and management of your Windows-based client infrastructure.

· AlignIT Manager Tech Talk Series – A monthly streamed video series with a range of topics for both infrastructure and development managers. Ask questions and participate real-time or watch the on-demand recording.

· Microsoft Virtual Academy – For Free Training To Help Improve Your IT Skill Set.

· TechNet Evaluation Center – Try some of the latest Microsoft products like Office 365, Windows Intune or System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 for free, before you buy.

Jeff Loucks

Help and Support from Microsoft

“I have fallen and I can’t get up!” It is a cry for help that shouldn’t go unanswered. Peers support groups like IAMCP and other community groups are always a great mix of real world expertise and practical answers. Having said that, Microsoft provides the following resources to help with your common, everyday IT challenges.

Based on feedback and constructive criticism, Microsoft Canada has identified key areas where they can improve and help you by providing better resources to answer your questions, solve your real world problems and help you achieve your business goals. Microsoft is listening. Maybe it’s just ensuring you know you have a voice – or just making your life a little easier at the end of the day – whatever it takes.

One of the areas Microsoft has received feedback on is Help and Support. Let’s face it, you may not have a direct contact person from Microsoft that you can call up when you have a problem and with the pace of technology today, you just can’t wait for things to sort themselves out. So you either commit you or your teams’ time and energy to fixing that issue, or you hire someone to come in and fix it. But what if I told you there were some great Microsoft Resources available for support that you could use? It may not be the only way, but it should give you a great start when you need to tackle your next IT challenge.

Help and Resources

· Microsoft Product Solution Center – Get product support information for the majority of Microsoft products.

· Microsoft Answers – Ask questions and get answers from real people, or search for answers others have received.

· Microsoft Fix it Solution Center – Find automated solutions for your issues.

· @MicrosoftHelps – Follow Microsoft Customer Service and Support on Twitter. Experienced customer service agents respond to your questions in real-time tweets.

· Enterprise Business Center – Access resources for enterprise customers.

· Microsoft Small Business Center – Find resources for small and medium-sized businesses.

Other Resources You May Find Useful

  • Microsoft Virtual Academy – For Free Training To Help Improve Your IT Skill Set.
  • TechNet Evaluation Center – Try some of the latest Microsoft products like Office 365, Windows Intune or System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 for free, before you buy.
  • TechNet Newsletter – Sign Up To Receive The Latest IT News and Developments, Product Releases, Expert Insights and Support Services with Microsoft’s complimentary biweekly newsletter for industry professionals.

Jeff Loucks