Tag Archives: CRM Online

“Project Madeira”: Improvements and new Features to the July update

In July, Microsoft released an update for its cloud-based solution “Project Madeira”. This offers the users some interesting new expansions in addition to a number of small improvements.

The innovations mostly affect the interaction between “Project Madeira” and Outlook, the improvement of the sales documents and the connection to Dynamics CRM.

New features in Microsoft Outlook

Outlook now is equipped with certain new functions. From an appointment in the Outlook calendar, you can directly open the “Project Madeira” add-in, for example, in order to get an overview over the customer associated to the respective meeting. It is even possible to create and send an invoice for the appointment – without leaving the application.

Microsoft Project Madeira new features in Outlook
Source: Microsoft

A further possibility is, to send e-mail attachments (e.g. invoices as a pdf file) directly from the Outlook add-in to the list of “Incoming Documents” in “Project Madeira”. Then they can be forwarded to an OCR service which converts the received information into a digitally useable format. The entire process is carried out in the Outlook add-in. By the way, the user will also be informed there as soon as a software update is available.

Expansion of sales and delivery documents

The sales documents in “Project Madeira” have been expanded with a number of important fields. The changes now allow information in relation to the transport service and the tracking number to be recorded, which allows a better traceability for the delivery of goods.

Microsoft Project Madeira expansion of sales and delivery documents
Source: Microsoft


Adding own article attributes

Inventory articles can now also be labelled with various characteristics. The user can define his own types of attributes (e.g. colour, country of manufacture or size) and add these to the articles in addition to the built-in item characteristics. The inventory can subsequently be filtered using the various attributes. This makes the search for specific articles easier for both the user and the customer.

Linking with Microsoft Dynamics CRM

“Project Madeira“ already contains basic customer relationship management and opportunity management. If the available functions are not enough, it is now possible – supported by a setup guide on the Business Manager homepage – to create a link to the Microsoft Dynamics CRM in order to use its comprehensive features (e.g. in the area of marketing and customer service). This means that data from “Project Madeira” and information from the CRM can be connected seamlessly.

Further innovations

Further additional expansions can be installed via the “Extension Management” webpage. These include the verification and correction of all addresses in “Project Madeira”, as well as a simplified migration of data (e.g. customers, vendors and items) from Opera or Sage to “Project Madeira”.

Microsoft Dynamics 365: Microsoft will bundle ERP and CRM in one cloud service

With Microsoft Dynamics 365, Microsoft has announced a new platform for cloud-based services that will enrich and correlate the current ERP and CRM applications. Furthermore, the future offer is to include new business apps for domains such as finance, marketing, sales, and customer Service.

Microsoft refers to this service as “end-to-end suite for smart cloud-based business”, which will be available from autumn 2016. The user will then be able to use the individual applications as required. In the event of changing requirements or new challenges, the solutions can then be readily expanded by the new services – allowing users to only pay for what they actually need. Pricing details regarding Dynamics 365 are yet to be announced by Microsoft.

Microsoft Dynamics 365
Source: Microsoft

There will be two Dynamics 365 editions – a Business and an Enterprise Edition. The Business Edition Financial will be published this fall in the US and Canada, followed by its release in four European countries and the worldwide availability of the associated sales and marketing module in 2017. The worldwide availability of the Business Edition Financial is planned for 2018. There is no official release date for the also announced Enterprise Edition of the service, yet.

Moreover, the cloud service will natively integrate the two tools “Power BI” and “Cortana Intelligence” in order to support companies in the field of predictive analytics and regarding specific recommended actions based on their data.

Additionally, the integration of Dynamics 365 and Office 365 is intended to increase productivity, especially when working in teams, through the use of structured workflows. In order to facilitate the processes of managing and analysing data, both solutions draw on the same data model. For example, the applications are linked using “PowerApps” or the “Flow” tool already available with Office 365 today.

The perfect app for your business requirements

Via the new AppSource platform already rolled out by Microsoft, the various applications published so far can be viewed. On the one hand, entire industry solutions can be procured, and on the other hand partial solutions which enrich a default solution for specific purposes and corporate requirements. Look for more Details in the following video:

Microsoft AppSource

Up to now, we are not able to provide any comprehensive information on experience of the quality and compatibility of the individual offers. However, we will continue to keep you up to date here. Please feel free to provide your own experience as a comment.

Analytical CRM – uses and advantages

Analytical CRMToday, in a modern company, technological support is essential for managing all business processes. Therefore, in addition to an efficient ERP system, many companies also deploy a CRM system. After all, through intelligent combination of the data from the two business applications, the constantly changing buying behaviour of the modern and complex market environment can be reacted to in a structured manner within the framework of an analytical CRM concept.

Whether in the creation of marketing campaigns, the generation of leads, the management of sales opportunities or the optimised service of existing customers, an operational CRM system supports companies in all industries in automating various tasks in the fields of marketing, sales and service. In this way the platform makes it possible to influence customers and the market. Thus it offers the ideal basis for optimised customer orientation and making well-founded decisions.

With this, the uses of a CRM system are far from exhausted yet. Combined with other data sources and a suitable business intelligence solution, the software can also be used to pursue the approach of analytical CRM. The combination of the various databases and the exchange of information between them facilitate the systematic processing and evaluation of the data collected in the operational systems and make it possible to link the data. The mentioned information can be, for example, customer reactions, sales figures, transactions or other data from various areas of application of the ERP and CRM systems.

However, it is not always possible to obtain all relevant market data (e.g. interested-party behaviour and customer satisfaction) directly from one’s own ERP or CRM system. In line with the fast-growing quantity of big data, some information is only available externally, i.e. in the cloud. Ultimately, the goal is to filter out the data that is important for the respective company from this cloud and to include it in analyses and evaluations.

So using the idea of analytical CRM, customer behaviour patterns, company potential or current market conditions analysed and evaluated by the BI tool from various internal and external data sources, for example, can serve as an ideal decision-making base for future actions. For even better processing of the analyses and evaluations, integrating these directly into the surface of the other operational systems respectively is a good option. In this case the connected CRM can ensure the optimisation and control of further operational CRM processes and impact on the future strategic alignment of the company.

Analytical CRM

Thus, in a concrete case of application, the buying behaviour of customers could be assessed, for example, on the basis of various internal and external data via the BI software. By means of the analysis, it can ultimately be recognised which customers (e.g. categorised according to age or region) purchased which products in the recent past and how satisfied they were with their purchase. Then, in a subsequent mailing campaign, specific target groups can be written to in operational CRM and encouraged to purchase relevant products again. Customer groups who have not bought anything for a long time or were dissatisfied with their purchases can be left out or receive other offers. In this way, CRM can be used in a targeted manner for efficient communication, for detecting and harnessing trends and consequently for optimising customer satisfaction and sales measures.

Using the NAVdiscovery Toolbox developed by prisma informatik, the integration of the individual systems required for this can be implemented quickly and cost-effectively. The connector links the business intelligence solutions QlikView and Qlik Sense with Microsoft Dynamics NAV, CRM and as many other data sources as desired (e.g. Qlik DataMarket).

Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2016 – CRM Integration

Microsoft Dynamics NAV Not only because of the successful online availability of Dynamics CRM (Software as a Service) and the overall widespread use of the ERP application Dynamics NAV, many companies use both of these Microsoft products.

In the interests of efficient customer management, however, simple parallel operation of the two systems does not make sense. Both products utilize central data structures in a company, like customer management, for example. Instead, it makes sense to integrate the two systems technically so that processes can be organized seamlessly and efficiently in both.

Standard CRM integration into Dynamics NAV
With its new release of Dynamics NAV, Microsoft presents an entirely redesigned method of integration between NAV and CRM, far beyond the synchronization tools of the previous versions. Both products are used for their respective strengths regarding the common business processes and complement each other excellently. Information from Dynamics NAV can now be shown natively in the GUIs of the CRM application and vice versa. All employees are thus guaranteed full view of all processes of a given customer.

Coupling and linking
A customer from the NAV application can be coupled with a customer in the CRM, for example, thus enabling automatic background synchronization of master data. This applies most of all to fields used in both applications (e.g. address information). On top of this, so-called links are offered from both applications for all relevant tables, allowing one-click navigation from one application to the other, where further editing steps can be taken if the appropriate permissions exist. Various content types can then be shown respectively in the context of the other program in so-called FactBoxes (e.g. NAV financial accounting statistics shown in CRM or CRM sales opportunity statistics shown in NAV).

Dynamics NAV 2016 CRM Integration

Process integration
Processes can also be integrated between the two systems. Sales opportunities in the CRM system can thus directly result in quotations and orders in the ERP system. System information will then be posted there in the future as well (e.g. when billing is complete for a process associated with a CRM element).

The strengths of each product should be considered in the respective process stage in the conceptual design. Run-up and initiation of sales transactions belong in CRM while fulfilment, logistical handling and billing belong in NAV.