Microsoft Business Solutions CRM is now approaching the phase of being mature product and the CRM solution you may consider for large publicly traded company. Our view point considers the fact of multiple platforms and systems coexistence and balancing: UNIX, Linux, Microsoft Windows Spectrum Email, Java, .Net, PC, AS/400, RS6000, Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Notes Domino, etc. This increases the cost of maintenance, but decreases the risk of being trapped to one vendor/solution. So far we’ve seen successful implementations of Microsoft CRM in the following industries: Distribution, Logistics, Non-Profit, Chemicals, Pharmaceutical, Placement/Recruiting, Medicare/Hospitals, Retail, Wholesale, Education, Beverages, Services, Defense, Aerospace, Oil & Gas.
o In-house Implementation. This is non-expected paradox. Multiple clients, especially large companies, do it themselves. The reason is – Microsoft CRM utilizes all spectrum Microsoft Technologies: Exchange, Active Directory, .Net, Full-text search, etc. Microsoft oriented IT people understand it and like to be involved. So, you should consider self-implementation first.
o Integration. Microsoft CRM has relatively simple business logic and sits in Microsoft SQL Server, which enables customization and integration with third party systems and databases. If you have Microsoft Great Plains – you can use MBS CRM-GP integration tool, based on BizTalk. If you have UNIX-based ERP/Accounting, you can deploy MS SQL linked server to bridge MS CRM and ERP. The same would work for Oracle ERP – Oracle Financials. Navision has third party integration tool and the one from Microsoft is on the way to be released. Axapta is also candidate for the integration.
o Customization. Microsoft CRM SDK describes majority of MS CRM objects and classes and enable VB.Net or C#.Net developer to build-in custom .Net application for Microsoft CRM existing screens. And this is actually the way of the integration – you realize integration in the custom .Net application.
o Messaging. Microsoft CRM uses MS CRM-Exchange connector in its standard functionality. However if you have IBM Lotus Domino email server – you can deploy MS CRM-Lotus connector, developed and supported by Alba Spectrum Technologies.