MB2-710 – Planning a Deployment

As I revise for the MB2-710 exam I am creating posts covering all aspects of my revision. Hopefully collectively they may help others prepare for the MB2-710 certification. (Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Online Deployment.)

In this post I will look at planning a deployment.

First of all, let’s consider the skills measured statement …

  • Plan a deployment
    • Identify the storage requirements; plan security; determine the number of instances and licences that are required; identify implications of implementing single sign-on

I suggest you read this skill measured statement carefully and ensure you full understand the implications of each phrase. Planning a deployment should be considered a significant undertaking and could be quite an involved task in larger implementations.

Identity the Storage Requirements

How much storage will be needed initially and overtime? (Not forgetting to allow for production and non-production instances. Test / development sandboxes consume space!)

Keep in mind that for each subscription will provide 5Gb of storage. And that an additional 2.5Gb will be granted for each 20 Professional (or Enterprise) license purchased. Up to a maximum of 50Gb.

In addition to this standard allocation of storage space additional capacity can be purchased on a per Gb basis for a monthly fee.

You can view your storage limits and current usage via the CRM Admin center in Office 365. With the administration center you use the service health option.

Plan Security

The CRM security model is comprehensive / flexible. (And therefore potentially complex.)

You will need to consider what groups of people will need access to what entities. With each group of people potentially being aligned to business units. And for each entity if their access should allow updates or just be read-only etc. Plus you may need to consider if teams are required.

When I prepared for the MB2-712 exam I created an overview of the security model. You can review those notes here.

Determine the number of instances and licenses

You will need to consider the number of instances required. Not just for production but also sandboxes to support development, testing and training maybe required.

The minimum purchase of 5 professional licenses will deliver one production instance. Additional production instances can be purchased as required.

Sandbox (non-production) instances can also be purchased. Keeping in mind that every 25 professional licenses (or enterprise) will provide one additional non-production instances within the monthly subscription.

When considering licenses don’t assume all users will be allocated the same license. You may be able to make significant savings by allocating Basic licenses to people who don’t require the full functionality provided by the professional license. Below I describe the license options;

  • Essential, for light-weight users who only access custom applications. They can work with CRM activities and custom entities but do not interact with system entities found in sales, marketing or service modules.
  • Basic, an entry level license. Each Basic License includes read / write access to CRM activities, contacts, leads, accounts and cases in addition to custom CRM entities and personal dashboards. Basic licenses only provide read only access to sales opportunity records.
  • Professional, the recommend license for sales teams and anyone needing full CRM functionality. It provides full access to sales, service and marketing. Includes additional capabilities such as Unified Service Desk.
  • Enterprise, offers the full range of capabilities provided by the professional license. Also includes access to Microsoft Dynamics Marketing, Parature, and extended social engagement capabilities.

You may also have additional licenses / subscriptions to consider. For example, if you plan to use the Field Service module than an additional monthly fee will apply to your field agents.

You can see your Microsoft Dynamics licenses within the licenses option under billing in Office 365 admin. (Along with any other Office 365 licenses.)

Identify implications of single sign-on

If you already use Active Directory you may wish to consider single sign-on, to avoid users having two accounts. Therefore you might need to configure integration between Office 365 and active directory. This is done in the services and add-ins option in the settings area of Office 365.

Other deployment topics to consider

Who is responsible for what? Who owns the implementation project and what individuals will be required to fulfill what roles? (Including project manager, business analyst, technical architect, developer, tester, trainer etc etc.) Plus, who are the business stakeholders that will define how the business should use CRM. Some (or all) of the technical roles may be delivered by independent software vendors (ISVs), independent consultants or Microsoft Partners.

If you are working with Microsoft partners they may use the Microsoft Dynamics SureStep methodology to deliver the project. SureStep is a complete methodology covering the full project delivery lifecycle. Its intention is to promote best practice and therefore reduce risk. You can find out about SureStep here.

Your deployment / implementation may include a requirement to import existing data.

If you are moving from CRM on premise or another online instance that you may have existing system customizations to import. (Achieved using CRM solutions.)

I have never seen anyone use Microsoft Dynamics CRM without needing at least some simple customizations. So based on the requirements given by the business stakeholders you will need to plan what configuration and customization will be required. Not forgetting to consider the process that will be followed for development, testing and live deployment. Typically you will use CRM solutions for this. When I prepared for the MB2-712 exam I created an overview of solutions. You can review those notes here.

In my next post I will continue this theme by considering how to import data in greater detail. J

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