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Implementing Microsoft CRM: setup and configuration ? notes for IT specialist

Microsoft Business Solutions CRM is web-based CRM application, deploying all the spectrum of recent Microsoft technologies. We'll try to analyze different needs and implementation scenarios attributed to specific industries and business types, based on our experience.

First we would like to emphasize the increasing role of in-house IT department in the strategic decision making. Looking back to the history ? it is probably fair to say that initial CRM applications market issues, such as low successful implementations percentage could be attributed to traditional Sales style of those years ? selling to the top, when charismatic salesperson was trying to jump over the head of IT people and press business owner or top executive guy. Microsoft in our opinion never used this technique and it's CRM implementation is not possible (except when you host it in hosting centers) without everyday IT department involvement. MS CRM works in concert with MS Exchange, Windows Active Directory, SQL Server, BizTalk (integration with Great Plains and in the close future Navision). Utilizing this broad spectrum of Microsoft servers and technologies leads to easy Microsoft CRM acceptance and adoption by IT department (usually the one, having several MS certified professionals and DB administrators). Microsoft oriented IT group easily understands Microsoft CRM setup, tuning, customization, integration and initial data import.

It is not a secret that rational way to implement new computer business system lays in the method of evolution, suggesting intelligent integration with existing legacy systems and step-by-step old pieces replacement. Microsoft CRM fits to this approach ? it has open to anyone MS CRM SDK and experienced C# or VB.Net programmer should be capable to program the integration or interface to other system.

We are giving you typical setup and integration scenarios, attributed to specific industries below

1. Freight Forwarding / Transportation. Companies in this industry usually already have efficient cargo delivering tracking system. MS CRM links several systems into one and plays the role of the initial order entry and customer order status requests with the interface into above mentioned cargo tracking application. You should program such an interface with MS CRM SDK and ADO.Net programming

2. Distribution and Wholesale. Multiple companies have legacy ASP or JSP web sites with new or existing customers order entry logic. Typical need is transferring these orders to Microsoft CRM in the form of activity, placed in the order taker on duty queue. You can solve this with multiple techniques. Consider HTTP handler, called from ASP/JSP legacy application, reading MS CRM user credentials from INI file and thus penetrating into MS CRM, where you in turn use MS CRM SDK constructions.

3. Pension Funds and Financial institutions. Considering conservative decision making ? there is often the requirement of clear and complete audit to verify past decision making. MS CRM plays this role by automatic logging all the documentation and especially all the incoming and outgoing emails to/from clients. You need MS CRM Exchange connector customization

4. Large Enterprises. You can frequently see different kinds of corporate policies, requiring using such applications as Oracle e-Business Suite, or Lotus Domino document workflow and email server. In the first case you need heterogeneous database integration with MS CRM, he second case can be resolved with combining MS CRM SDK and Java Agents programming (from the side of Lotus Notes/Domino).

Happy implementing! We are always here: 1-866-528-0577, 1-630-961-5918, help@albaspectrum.com

Andrew Karasev is Chief Technology Officer in Alba Spectrum Technologies ( http://www.albaspectrum.com )? USA nationwide Microsoft CRM, Microsoft Great Plains customization company, serving clients in Illinois, California, Colorado, Texas, New York, Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Canada, UK, Australia and having locations in multiple states and internationally

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