Since Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 launched last October, many companies are making the move to Microsoft’s sales platform for their Customer Relationship Management (CRM) needs. Dynamics CRM 2013 features some great enhancements to the platform’s user interface, backend logic, and service desk functionality. However, getting to Dynamics CRM has proven to be a challenge for some organizations, and many want to optimize the system and fill certain feature gaps once there. With these needs in mind, AvePoint Solutions for Dynamics CRM were created to help companies make the move to Dymamics CRM to better manage customer data, improve productivity, and support enterprise collaboration.
AvePoint CRM Migration Manager for Microsoft Dynamics CRM
The first step in getting settled into Dynamics CRM is to make sure that you have all of your historical data from your previous CRM system. In some cases, this can be as easy as importing an account and contact spreadsheet. However, if you want to have all of your historical data migrated from another CRM platform such as Salesforce CRM, AvePoint CRM Migration Manager helps ensure that your data is migrated with full integrity.
Back in 2011, AvePoint migrated from Salesforce CRM to Dynamics CRM. We utilized a decade of experience with Microsoft collaboration technologies to develop the methods and tools that ultimately became CRM Migration Manager. Since March of 2013, we’ve been offering our solution to partners to assist with their customers’ migrations. We created a unique feature we like to call “Automatic Mappings” where, after scanning both the source and destination, our solution can automatically map which Salesforce CRM object goes to which Dynamics CRM entity as well as creating any necessary custom entities and fields. This takes out all of the manual work involved in a migration project, and we’ve seen projects that would normally take as long as two months reduce to two weeks as a result. This gives customers more time to customize their environment to their business needs and train users on the new system.
AvePoint Productivity Suite for Microsoft Dynamics CRM
Once you have your historical data in Dynamics CRM, what’s next? You will probably need to customize forms and email templates as well as configure workflows. There are also other gaps to fill which we provide solutions for in AvePoint Productivity Suite for Dynamics CRM.
One of the first things you may notice about Dynamics CRM is that there is no universal search page provided out of the box. If given the name of a customer, users have to search the Accounts, Leads, and Contacts pages to see whether or not the customer exists in the system. With the Productivity Suite’s SearchAll solution, we provide a single universal page to search across all entities (including custom entities) so that users can locate the record they’re looking for faster and easier to be more productive when using the platform.
Microsoft provides an easy way to synchronize any emails associated with customers through the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Outlook client, but how do you synchronize phone calls easily? Out of the box, you have to rely on your sales and service staff to manually input all phone call activity in Dynamics CRM. With the Productivity Suite’s CallAssist solution, we make phone call tracking much easier so that you can better track customer interaction and productivity amongst your staff.
Utilizing the Telephony Application Programming Interface (TAPI) that Microsoft provides for Windows, our desktop client for CallAssist integrates with various business phone systems as well as Skype and Lync in order to provide direct integration with Dynamics CRM. At first glance, you’ll notice that CallAssist supports click-to-dial functionality as well as incoming caller identification. More importantly, however, CallAssist automatically logs incoming and outgoing phone-based activity so that you don’t have to rely on your users to manually log their own activities, freeing up their time to make more calls to their customers.
Another solution in the Productivity Suite called Record Rollback is concerned with data corruption or loss. In Dynamics CRM, there are several methods to recover from accidental updates and deletions. You can go through the audit logs and “reverse” the changes by manually inputting the old values for each field. However, this process can be tedious for users, so Record Rollback allows users to “rollback” a record to any previous state. We even provide functionality to recover any deleted records similar to the Windows Recycle Bin, giving users insight into which records they own that can be recovered.
The latest addition to the Productivity Suite is Tags. Tags is a solution that allows all CRM users to tag records with metadata. For example, let’s say you want to classify all of your accounts that are businesses on the Fortune 500 list. This can be accomplished out-of-the-box by creating a new checkbox field named “Fortune 500” and adding it to the Account form. However, this can be tedious since it requires users to go into each individual account and check the field. Tags is an easy-to-use solution that allows users to not only tag individual records, but tag multiple records from a View as well. What’s also great about Tags is that it uses the native data structure of Dynamics CRM, which allows you to create custom views, reports, and dashboards for all tagged records.
For those at Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2014 this week, be sure to stop by and ask about our Solutions for Dynamics CRM at booth 725!