Microsoft Dynamics® CRM Training
The COLAC Entities - Accounts and Contacts
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The COLAC Entities - Accounts and Contacts
Thank you for viewing “The COLAC Entities - Accounts and Contacts.” Below, you will find a short practicum designed to help you reinforce this lesson as well as a summary of the material covered in the video.
Practice makes perfect! Complete the short assignment below to reinforce the material that you learned in this lesson. For guidance please refer to the instructions in this email and the “The COLAC Entities – Accounts and Contacts” video.
Navigate to the Account entity in the Sales, Service, or Marketing area of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Open up an Account record and review all of the fields that are available on the stock Account form. Consider how your organization might use the Account entity. Take note of all the other entities that roll up to the Account record. Make a list that outlines the fields that your organizations will need to add to the Account form, as well as those fields that likely won’t be utilized and could likely be removed.
Entities in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online represent a specific type of record. As you gain more experience with the application, you’ll find that there is a core group of entities in the out-of-the-box version of the application. These entities are not necessarily more important than other default entities, but their impact is felt across a wide array of modules, entities, and functions in CRM 2013. I am talking about the Contact, Opportunity, Lead, Account, and Case entities, or the COLAC entities for short.
CRM 2013 is a framework. It can be modified, added to, and customized until it is molded to fit your business. However, it wouldn’t be a great application if it wasn’t effective without heavy customization. Out of the box, it has loads of built-in features.
That brings me to the COLAC entities. Even though they are five distinct entities, there is a lot going on behind the scenes linking them together. This lesson is dedicated to the Account and Contact entities. A separate video is dedicated to the Lead and Opportunity entities, and another to the Case entity.
What exactly is an Accounts? Accounts are intended to represent organizations. They can be any kind of organization, such as a vendor, a non-profit, a company that buys from you, or a company that provides you with a service. All of these organizations fall under the Account entity.
That’s an awfully broad brush stroke, but before you think that custom entities are required to differentiate between these different types of organizations, take a look at an Account record. By default there is a field labeled “Industry”. This is a field where users can categorize Accounts by industry. There are options such as “Accounting”, “Consulting”, and “Consumer Services”. You have the ability to add and remove options in this list. Fields like this one help organize and differentiate Accounts. You can then create Views that show you only certain categories of Account records, such as consulting firms for example.
Whether or not the organization is a customer is irrelevant. An organization is an Account. And who works for organizations? People, which are represented by the Contact entity. The Contact, like the Account, can represent any number of things such as customers, employees, contractors, etc. They all can be placed in the bucket knows as the Contact entity, and from there be categorized. So if I look at the View called “Active Contacts”, I could be looking at any person that in some way impacts my business and is worth recording. These don’t all have to be customers. But as I just showed you, I can use certain fields in the entity to categorize these Contacts.
An important functionality built in to the out-of-the-box version of CRM 2013 is the relationship between the Account and Contact entities. This build-in relationship fosters “roll-up” activities. Say a phone call is placed to a Contact. That call is recorded and related to the recipient of that call. What CRM 2013 does is have that Phone Call record roll up to the parent account too. So if I relate a call to Joe, who works for Blue Airlines, when I open up his employer’s record, the call I made to Joe is listed as a related record. It rolled up the relationship hierarchy.
This is but one example of the usefulness of out-of-the-box relationships. Accounts and Contacts represent a key component of Microsoft’s vision of CRM 2013, and they directly impact the remaining COLAC entities. Accounts and Contacts are designed to form your customer base by default. You can choose to embrace that vision, or change it to suit your needs.For more tips, tricks, and tutorials, please refer to the Success Portal and blog.xrm.com.