Wednesday, May 28, 2008

How To Create A Marketing Campaign With Microsoft Crm

It?s not hard?isn?t that good news? Microsoft?s Dynamic CRM software makes marketing seem effortless.

Open up your CRM 3.0 software and click Campaigns in the Marketing area of the application. Once in there, you just click New. Figure out a name for your campaign and give it a Proposed status for the time being. Let?s say you have a new product that?s to be released at the beginning of the Autumn to coincide with the new NFL season then. So, you set the date for the new campaign at September 21-January 31. To get help with doing this from the Microsoft Dynamic CRM software, when you are in the New section, click Help on This Page. Then once the Help panel comes up, just click on the Edit or Create Campaign tab and follow what the program tells you to do.

Once you save your basic campaign, you can proceed to adding in campaign activities and planning tasks.

Planning tasks are CRM software tasks that are associated with a particular campaign. These tasks can include a wide array of activities that comprise a given campaign. Let?s say that you come up with things to do such as: Identify channels for advertising and supporting materials; identify collateral materials that need to be created for the campaign; contact local charities to confirm that they are going to sponsor a flag-football weekend again this year; contact media outlets to schedule commercial times and meetings to help have materials made; review collateral and advertising materials until they are of the desired quality.

Campaign activities are similar to planning tasks. However, they include more specific information on the campaign like names of merchants and budgetary considerations. Let?s say that once you have done you task planning, you have figured out a couple of more specific activities to take care of. These are: create and then refine target marketing groups, and get in touch with the XYZ marketing or advertising agency to have them create the desired collateral marketing materials. You will proceed to enter all of this into the Campaign Activities application, where you will track them and makes sure they are getting done. You can add in new activities as you monitor their progress and the new ones come to mind. You can begin assigning the tasks and activities to people whenever you see fit, and Microsoft Dynamic CRM will keep it all organized for you.

Sayed Ally, is the lead CRM Analyst. His company provides, Microsoft CRM 3.0. Sayed can be reached at Tel : (905) 815- 1995 ext 22, email: aSayed@cqsolutions.com

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How To Implement Your Marketing Campaign With Microsoft CRM

So, you have been using Microsoft CRM software to create your activities and plan your tasks for your football-oriented marketing campaign that you will be launching at the start of Autumn. Once these are all in place and well organized, they begin to get done with smooth running. And as this happens, you see your campaign beginning to take on defined shape and form. So, now in your Microsoft CRM program, you turn to the Campaign Performance report application to be able to track the completion status and the progress of the activities and tasks that have been defined as part of the marketing campaign. As this process thickens, you can keep on top of things and remain highly organized with the help of sections that let you accurately track all your targets, dates, responses, definitions, and ROI for this marketing campaign.

After several weeks, you chosen advertising agency has worked with your company to come up with the collateral materials that you need to get out for your campaign. These include a wide array of materials: Posters for city marketing; brochures for retailers; a booth design for you live events; banners for conventions, special outdoor activities, and so on and so forth; branded labels for the same activities; postcards to be sent out to your clients; and a full page ad for the local magazine covering sports. You will now go to your Microsoft CRM and add in each one of these things under Sales Literature. In the Sales area of you Campaign application, you click Sales Literature and then choose New. You can put yourself in as the employee contact for the marketing campaign, and you can set an end date for the distributing of the materials so that they are not used up indiscriminately.

Now Fall is drawing near; the Summer is almost over and the NFL season will soon be underway. Now that your campaign activities and planning tasks are running like well-oiled machines and you are getting things done, you can focus on creating and scheduling your core campaign activities. Let?s say that you decide to: send out postcards about your new product to the ?Repeat Buyers? marketing group that you have created using Microsoft CRM software; send boxes of brochures to your retailers by using the ?My Retailers? group via a mail merge with MS Office Word; send out the full page ad to have the magazine publish it; send an email blast to all of your local clients about forthcoming outdoor activities and conventions; attend the charity event that you scheduled; and do follow up telephone calls to all of the leads generated by the events. You choose in your Campaign Activities application the ?Type? tab and make each of these a type of activity to do to keep them distinguished and individually trackable.

Everything remains organized and focused throughout.

Sayed Ally, is the lead CRM Analyst. His company provides,Dynamics CRM. Sayed can be reached at Tel : (905) 815- 1995 ext 22, email: aSayed@cqsolutions.com

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

CRM -- Turning Customers Into Clients

Estimates that 20 percent of customers account for 80 percent of total revenues in some businesses is a wake-up call! Finding new business a climate like that is expensive, and often unrewarding. As Barry Stamos points out in 'Best' Customers: More Profitable Relationships (Email Marketing Newsletter), Why spend resources attracting new customers until optimizing the profitability of your client relationships?

More Bang for Your Buck

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is organizing and maintaining strategic connections with clients and customers to turn that sorry 20/80 stat on its ear.

Successful CRM is about competing in the relationship dimension explains Bob Thompson, CEO, CustomerThink Corporation, Not as an alternative to having a competitive product or reasonable price- but as a differentiator. If your competitors are doing the same thing you are (as they generally are), product and price won't give you a long-term, sustainable competitive advantage. But if you can get an edge based on how customers feel about your company, it's a much stickier--sustainable--relationship over the long haul.

Putting Clients First

Service is a client-centric activity, but theres plenty in it for you, too. For small-business owners (SBOs) and independent professionals, developing and managing healthy client relationships and providing superior service increases cross-selling and up-selling opportunities, and can spin off endless chains of high-leverage qualified referrals. Building on your client base also increases profitability, by cutting front-end marketing time and costs; but its the quality of those relationships that affects persistency, enhances your professional reputation, and can lead to future business from your hard-earned clients.

Technically, of course, when you make a sale, you dont have a client, you have a customer. A customer is someone who buys from you once; a client is someone who will buy from you, again and again. Clients who trust you and your expertise will come to you (and maybe only you) for your products or services. A client relationship is one in which both the buyer and seller agree that the first transaction was not a one-time event.

Client Relationship Management goals are clear:

Being seen as confident, competent professional;

Proactively servicing your existing business and providing extra value;

Meeting additional needs as clients situations change, and

Earning prestige recommendations or introductions to other qualified prospects.

The buyer must accept Client status, however, its not a label that can be stuck to the buyer by the seller. Client relationships must be cultivated and nurtured to stay healthy. To borrow a line from former New York City mayor, Ed Koch, simply asking clients, How am I doing? is a great way to find out.

CRM is typically characterized by continuous contact, shared expectations and mutually beneficial relationships evolving over time. The post-sale period must be carefully managed. Thank-you messages are courteous and business-like; progress reports may be useful in some situations.

Make a point of contacting clients informally several times a year, in addition to holiday messages and regularly scheduled service contacts. It can add up, but todays SBOs and independent professionals have a really simple and powerful way of delivering much more value to clients with less effort, since virtually all client service contacts can be automated.

E-Communications Its Expected!

People have come to expect email service notifications and other communicationseverything from thank-you notes, birthday and holiday greetings to cross- and up-selling messaging. If youre not using automation technology and a Web presence to the max, youre at a disadvantage (because your competitors are!).

At the same time, a lot of businesses are slow to acknowledge customer inquiries and service requests. Business research firm, Jupiter Research (http://www.jupiterresearch.com), found that nearly one-third of companies either took three days or longer to respond to customers' email inquiries or never responded at all. Bad on them!

But that can all be fixed with automated messaging built into e-mail systems. Meeting basic customer service needs in these ways improves persistency and client loyalty.

Just as understanding the people you're looking for makes it easier to find more of them, a markets unique make-up can help you tailor appropriate client communications. As consumers become increasingly sophisticated, so does the benefit of targeting client communications, not just promotional messages, to their needs, interests and buying behaviors. With today's technology you can readily customize client communications to each market segment.

Smart CRM Another Way to Succeed

CustomerThink Corporations Bob Thompson: Said another way, you can succeed with CRM by being SMART: Define a customer-centric Strategy; use appropriate Metrics ; ensure your organization is Aligned with your objectives; Redesign work processes as needed; and use appropriate Technology tools as enablers. But it all starts by putting your customers first and creating a better relationship with them than your competitors offer.

Want More? Send questions and comments to w.willard3@knology.net.

Bill Willard has been writing high-impact marketing and sales training for over 30 yearsbut as Will Rogers put it: "Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there. Through interactive, Web-based "Do-While-Learning" programs, e-Newsletters and straight-talking articles, Bill helps small-business owners and independent professionals get the job done.

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Microsoft CRM Conversation Gateway: VOIP - Implementation & Customization

Microsoft CRM is winning market share step-by-step from such the traditional CRM providers as Siebel, Saleslogix. In this article well show Microsoft Business Solutions CRM potential in the VoIP direction.

Microsoft CRM is winning market share step-by-step from such the traditional CRM providers as Siebel, Saleslogix. In this article well show Microsoft Business Solutions CRM potential in the VoIP direction.

Nowadays VOIP-based technologies and Instant Messaging Systems are getting wider and wider spread. Each work desk or each personal computer has one or another instrument of information exchange, belonging to the VOIP or instant messaging systems. Currently the mostly presented information exchange systems are:

Skype (http://www.skype.com). Revolution system of sound compression the tolerance to the bandwidth of the channel enabled VoIP amusement features to the general internet world-wide user with microphone and headset, Windows/Linux/Mac OS X operating systems, internet access and free registration with Skype. Plus Skype application has instant messenger between skype users. New features and services SkypeOut and SkypeIn allow you not only to call to the regular phones from your computers with very low rates, but also accept the calls on your skype phone number in the SkypeIn system.

MSN Messenger (http://messenger.msn.com). Quite successful attempt of the Microsoft open the door to the instant messengers market. MSN Messenger gained market with the speed of light, due to the tight integration with Microsoft Windows. Every new version adds new functionalities MSN Spaces integration, audio and video transfer etc.

Yahoo! Messenger (http://messenger.yahoo.com). IM system of the Yahoo! portal, has standard set of features for communication, including audio and video stream transfer.

AOL Instant Messenger (http://www.aim.com). This is one of the veterans of the IM system market. Considering the popularity of AOL as internet provider AOL instant messenger holds substantial market share.

ICQ (http://www.icq.com). Yes we do not have to give you additional comments, we are targeting this article to IT professionals who were working in the Clinton era of American internet miracle and booming. Let us just add that with the release of version 5 ICQ introduced new features of the audio and video conversation.

VoIP & IM systems are popular not only in the home office environment, but are gaining popularity in the corporate market. One of the proves is the release of Microsoft Live Communication Server, which allows messages streams coordination and control. Natural idea should we enable VoIP and IM conversation with automatic protocol? It is always good to have paper copy of the MSN conference, related to the project, product, in the form of MS CRM Activity. Or, from CRM interface to call your potential customer via Skype. Or accept the incoming call via SkypeIn and record the call to the CRM database to be accurate with the following negotiations. The usage is really unlimited and is currently restricted only by human conservative nature.

Now, lets consider the schema of MS CRM extensions to enable such a system:

The main component is Albaspectrum Media Core for MS CRM the module, providing media streams saving in the special database, interaction with the specializing connectors to IM/VoIP systems. Its function is also Activity creation in the Microsoft CRM system.

The second important component is modification to these forms: Contact, Account etc. Modification is adding phones, addresses, Skype, MSN, AOL, Yahoo identifiers. Also we have to add SkypeOut phone calls service. In the future we plan PBX/PSTN support via MS Office Communicator 2005

Planned addition - Answering Machine module, controlling incoming calls and messages from clients and saves them in Media Database. If manager is out of his desk, system will save the message and will create Activity in personal queue you will not miss no one customer call! Plus all the calls from non-registered clients/prospects might be associated with one or another Account, Contact, Lead, etc.

Lets consider the process of the phone call/receiving or message recording:

CRM User opens client form and reads telephone or skype ID to place the call. If she/he would like to talk to skype user Skype application must be installed of the local machine and she/he needs to be skype online user. If she/he calls to another Skype user, then we dont have additional requirements. In the case when call is placed on PSTN number, CRM user needs to have SkypeOut active account. In both cases when user picks up the phone or is absent CRM activity will be created with the relevant status. If the call was accepted, automatic call recording will be switched on, activity will be created with the indication on the phone duration. For MSN, Yahoo!, ICQ audio conversations all the mentioned above is relevant, except PSTN support (currently skype only).

The above described process is similar for instant messenger conversations, recorded by MSN Messenger, ICQ, Yahoo! Messenger, AOL Instant Messenger.

CRM User could appeal to Full-Text Search upon the saving to Media Database of text talks directly from the MS CRM interface.

For the users, who are accessing CRM over the internet we envision IM system support (as http://webmessenger.msn.com) in the MS CRM forms.

Good luck with integration! If you want us to do the job - give us a call 1-630-961-5918 or 1-866-528-0577! help@albaspectrum.com

Andrew is Software Developer in Alba Spectrum Technologies USA nationwide Great Plains, Microsoft CRM customization company, serving clients in Chicago, Houston, Atlanta, Phoenix, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Miami, Denver, UK, Australia, Canada, Europe ( http://www.albaspectrum.com )

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Microsoft CRM Lotus Notes Domino Connector FAQ

Microsoft Business Solutions CRM and IBM Lotus Notes Domino, being two groupware products from competing software development leaders, however could coexist within one organization computer network and even work together in collaboration. There maybe multiple reason why corporation would use both products: licensing, commitment to IBM Lotus Notes as legacy product, risk balancing staking on both Microsoft and Java/EJB/J2EE platforms, deploying Lotus advanced workflow to automate document management, etc. The need to synchronize MS CRM and Lotus Notes Domino databases is dictated by the ERP market and the connector is available. In this small article well answer on the frequently asked questions.

Messaging. Can MS CRM use Lotus Domino instead of Microsoft Exchange? Yes. MS CRM Lotus Domino connector allows you send messages from MS CRM objects: Lead, Account, Contact and all the future object, including Sales and Service modules

Outgoing Messaging. When Microsoft CRM send email from Account, Contact, Lead connector takes control over and sends email through Lotus Domino server. It has Java Agent at the Lotus side and MS CRM SDK custom piece at the MS CRM side. If you compare outgoing messaging with standard MS CRM Exchange connector, then mechanism is slightly different. Microsoft CRM Exchange connector places GUID in the message header and uses this GUID to identify the object in the responding email to push it back to CRM and attach. MS CRM Lotus connector doesnt use GUID instead it scans MS CRM objects (Accounts, Contacts, Leads) in smart cached way

Incoming Messages. When Lotus Domino server receives email Java Agent side of the connector triggers checking with MS CRM if addressor email matches with any Contact, Lead or Account email. In the case of the match email is transferred into MS CRM in the form of activity of email type. Again please note that connector doesnt use GUID mechanism. We found that matching is better approach and we have Microsoft CRM Exchange advanced connector which works with matching, without standard GUID mechanism.

Microsoft CRM & Lotus Notes Events synchronization. Future version of the connector will synchronize MS CRM and Lotus Notes objects: Calendar, Appointment, Fax, Phone Call, etc. Please, note that Lotus has different objects we have the matching table, please check with us.

Lotus & MS CRM Versions. Lotus should be version 6.0 or higher. The reason for this is simple version 6.0 supports Java Agent technology. MS CRM should be 1.2 or 3.0. Lotus could work in multiple hardware & OS platforms, such as Windows Server, AS/400, etc.

Product Pricing. It is US$3k basic pack, including 30 users and then $75 each additional user. In Europe price is proportional in Euro.

Support. Product is installed Worldwide and supported in Europe from German office, in the USA and Canada from Houston and Chicago, in South America, Africa, Australia, Asia, New Zealand from office in Sao Paulo Brazil.

Please give us a call if you have additional questions 866-528-0577 or 630-961-5918! help@albaspectrum.com

Andrew is Great Plains specialist in Alba Spectrum Technologies ( http://www.albaspectrum.com ) Microsoft Great Plains, Navision, Microsoft CRM Partner, serving clients in California, Minnesota, Illinois, Washington, Florida, Arizona, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Canada, UK, Australia, Brazil, Germany, Russia. Alba Spectrum serves corporate clients in Aerospace & Defense, Oil & Gas, Chemicals, Manufacturing, Transportation & Logistics, Pharmaceutical, Food Processing, Placement, Healthcare & Medicine, Beverages, Agriculture, Non-profit, Distribution & Supply Chain Management, Financial Services, Furniture, Textile, Apparels, Conglomerates, Wholesale & Retail.

help@albaspectrum.com

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Microsoft CRM Integration with IBM Lotus Notes Domino machinery dealership example

IBM Lotus Notes with Domino email server is traditional document workflow management solution for large corporate business, where you need audit trail on approval cycle and decision making. Microsoft Business Solutions CRM is very cost efficient solution to automate sales process. It might be surprising, but we see good strata of clients who are willing to deploy and integrate both systems: MS CRM and Lotus Domino. In our opinion these clients are balancing ERP platform risks and trying to protect and deploy investments into Lotus licenses, while deploying new and already leading CRM solution Microsoft CRM. In this small article well give you the integration example European division of one of the well known machinery manufacturer dealership network.

Custom Lotus Database. In our case client had custom database, which was designed back in the beginning of 1990th. Some dealers had Lotus Notes Domino 4.0 and some of them had 6.0 and 6.5. Technical excurse in Lotus Notes Domino 6.0 you can use Java 2 agents, and it seems to be platform independent (Microsoft Windows Server, IBM AS/400). To synch all the dealerships the decision was made to upgrade across the network to Lotus Notes Domino 6.0 (to be a bit conservative)

Domino Messaging. Obviously you have to have just one email server assigned to your url domain, and as traditionally Lotus Domino was the email server the replacement with Microsoft Exchange 2003 (which is natural choice if you purchase Microsoft CRM) was not an option. With Alba Spectrum Technologies MS CMR Lotus Notes Domino connector you can switch email messaging to Lotus Domino

Lotus & MS CRM events synchronization. IBM and Microsoft software designers designed CRM & Lotus events differently. Second phase of the project implementation will synchronize appointments, calendar events, etc. between Lotus and MS CRM.

MS CRM ODBC lookups to Lotus database. As the second phase we plan to implement lookups from MS CRM Account to cases with custom fields and Lotus notes lookup tab. This tab will be realized as web .net application, integrated into MS CRM web interface. This web application will have machine serial number, warranty & service info. As you probably know in MS CRM 3.0 you can deploy custom table in link it to MS CRM object as one-to-many. The most important is that it will be synchronized by MS Outlook and will allow you as a salesperson to work offline.

You can always have us help you with MS CRM customization, implementation, support & MS CRM SDK data conversion. Give us a call: 866.528.0577 or 1.630.961.598, help@albaspectrum.com

Andrew Karasev is Chief Technology Officer at Alba Spectrum Technologies ( http://www.albaspectrum.com ) - Microsoft Business Solutions Great Plains, Navision, Axapta MS CRM, Oracle Financials and IBM Lotus Domino Partner, serving corporate customers in the following industries: Aerospace & Defense, Medical & Healthcare, Distribution & Logistics, Hospitality, Banking & Finance, Wholesale & Retail, Chemicals, Oil & Gas, Placement & Recruiting, Advertising & Publishing, Textile, Pharmaceutical, Non-Profit, Beverages, Conglomerates, Apparels, Durables, Manufacturing and having locations in multiple states and internationally.

help@albaspectrum.com

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Is CRM Technology Living Up To the Hype?

Over the last few years the buzz about CRM (Customer Relationship Management) has grown extensively. It seems that every Sales & Marketing executive is talking about it. A study conducted by Jupiter Media Metrix found that U.S. businesses spent more than $5.2 billion in CRM technology software in 2001, a number that is expected to rise to $8.7 billion by 2006. CRM spending has been growing considerably, especially in financial services, retail, and telecommunications.

Many companies have invested in CRM systems to retain customers who demand more and better services by the day, but why? Due to recent trends, consumer behavior has changed dramatically in the last couple of years, and even more with current market conditions. According to a study made by The Center for Customer Strategy, consumers are less concerned with minor price differences, but choose companies based on their value-added services. They want to be able to get what they need, quickly. With tools like the Internet, its now a lot easier for both consumers and businesses to compare offers, and switch over if their needs arent met. This is especially true of high-value customers that produce the most profit for the business.

Businesses are scrambling for ways to retain these customers, and attract new ones in the process. So how is CRM an answer to keeping up with these trends? CRM is a strategy (no, not software) to transform your business to be customer, not product, focused. The CRM software is just a tool that helps the company carry out this strategy. Depending on its implementation, it can help your business identify who your customers are, what they need and anticipate what could want. It allows businesses to tailor offers to their current customers, building closer relationships that make them feel valuable. It can help eliminate contact and data overlap between departments and improve consumer service. For example, Leah Holzman, Marketing Manager of TradeCard Inc, explained how the marketing and sales departments in her company had problems tacking each others progress and customer data. They spent hundreds of hours managing disparate data across multiple systems. That is, until they implemented a CRM initiative with the help of Salesforce.com. Overall, CRM can make your company more efficient and customer-friendly to capture greater market share, increase customer loyalty, and attract more customers.

So far, CRM sounds like a dream come true. Yet studies show that more than half of CRM initiatives fail. Despite rising spending in CRM, a survey of 1,200 businesses executives conducted by the Data Warehousing Institute showed that 41% considered their CRM project a potential flop. Only 16% were satisfied with their CRM software implementation. As one senior marketing executive claimed, We turned a manual mess into an automated mess, and as a result we just made the same mistakes faster and more efficiently.

The problem with these companies is not that CRM automation fails to meet expectations. There are several reasons why these systems dont always generate the desired results. And most times, it has nothing to do with the software. The biggest mistake that a manager can make is think that once the software is installed, all problems will be solved. To be successful, a CRM initiative must be a company-wide strategic culture change and process design. It entails getting all your employees (not only customer service) to change the way they perform their every day tasks so that the appropriate information is collected and used in a productive way. The software is just a tool that keeps things organized so that a successful CRM is easier to accomplish. As any change in a corporate culture, this project requires complete support from senior management.

One of the most common problems is that data collected isnt used. Great sums of money are invested in collecting all different kinds of information on clients, yet many times this information is never analyzed, never used to understand the customer or provide all the benefits that CRM can deliver.

For better results, a company investing in CRM must first evaluate their current situation. They should determine what problems need to be solved, and what type of data are needed. Since implementation is often a complicated process (especially in large companies), it is vital to get input from all departments. It is also a good idea to include your customer in the process to get a better idea of what changes will be embraced. Often when a CRM initiative is left up to the IT department, it is harder for other areas of the company to accept any changes in processes (which are usually substantial). To be successful, the initiative must take place throughout the entire company. Employees must be trained to function with the new technology and processes.

When considering a vendor and/or product, its imperative that any software, system or processes implemented are flexible. They can then adapt, along with a company, to changing times and trends. This is especially useful in growing businesses, where needs might change as client bases grow and business expands.

No matter what precautions you may take when planning and implementing a CRM initiative, the only thing that can assure its success for the company are your people. After all, the whole concept of CRM is based on relationships. And those cant be completely automated. There is no technological substitute for a friendly voice or face that understands a customers troubles and is willing to go above and beyond to provide the best service. CRM can only help a company manage these relationships to provide a more personalized service to loyal customers.

Mark Levit is managing partner of Partners & Levit Advertising and a professor of marketing at New York University. For more information visit http://www.partnerslevit.com or call 212.696.1200.

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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

CREATE TABLE [dbo].[Crm

Importer] ( [Id]  uniqueidentifier ROWGUIDCOL  NOT NULL , [CrmActivityGuid] [varchar] (50) NOT NULL , [MsgFileName] [varchar] (2000) NOT NULL ) ON [PRIMARY]GO

Comments to this table its goal is storing MS CRM activity GUID relationship to file name with email attachment (email message), which needs to be attached to the activity. We will store activity GUID in the field CrmActivityGuid and file name in the import directory of the attachment in the MsgFileName field.

Configuration file for our utility will be the following:

provider=SQLOLEDB;Initial Catalog=Albaspectrum;Data Source=MSSQL1;User Id=sa;Password=sa; data

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Microsoft CRM Integration: Siebel Email Attachments Import - C# and MS Transact SQL example

Microsoft CRM CRM answer from Microsoft Business Solutions has aggressive pricing, going down and making it affordable for small companies. We see cases when Microsoft CRM replaces such traditional CRM systems as Siebel. It is not necessary, that clients decided to replace it themselves they may be victims of their systems the example: Great Plains had alliance with Siebel several years ago and we saw multiple clients with Great Plains Siebel tandem. Now Great Plains integrates with MS CRM.

This article is for programmer, who needs data to be migrated from Siebel or other CRM to MS CRM.

Todays topic is Siebel emails, stored in the files, import into MS CRM database. Each message exists in the form of separate file in the import directory. We will use custom SQL table, created in MS SQL Server 2000:

if exists (select * from dbo.sysobjects where id = object_id(N'[dbo].[CrmAttachImporter]') and OBJECTPROPERTY(id, N'IsUserTable') = 1)drop table [dbo].[CrmAttachImporter]GO

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Microsoft CRM Customization if you give up overview for consultant

Microsoft CRM is designed to be customizable. However this is new system and you could be not comfortable to do it on your own. In this small article well try to reassure you if you can do it or point to the right direction if you would like to subcontract it to professionals. Lets begin

Microsoft CRM is CRM answer from Microsoft Business Solutions to traditional CRM vendors, such as Siebel, Onyx. Microsoft CRM customization techniques are very diversified and based on the whole spectrum of recent Microsoft technologies. The main terms you should know are: Microsoft CRM SDK 1.2 and Visual Studio.Net 2003. And of course you should be familiar with all the legacy internet technologies, such as HTML, XML, XSLT, JavaScript and be good C#/VB/Net developer.

If you are developer who is asked: how do we customize Microsoft CRM read this and you will have the clues on where to look further.

1. Microsoft CRM SDK this is software development kit with C# and partly VB.net examples it is supported by Microsoft Business Solutions technical support. It is all web services based calls, if you are C# .NET developer you are excellently positioned to do this type of customizations. This is the preferred customization scenarios and this should be easily upgradeable customization.

2. Legacy SQL Data integration. This is also easy and safe. If you have SQL database, sitting on the same or linked SQL Server you can create ASPX .Net application and simply integrate it into CRM. You can place it on the navigation bar or menu in isv.config please refer to MS CRM SDK

3. Legacy ASP integration this is somewhat more sophisticated. You have to deploy HTTP handler to be a middle party between CRM which is .Net based and ASP which is legacy IIS. The trick is you have to have INI file with security settings to penetrate into MS CRM with proper credentials, calling web service.

4. Microsoft Exchange Programming. Microsoft CRM has Exchange connector which moves CRM incoming email to MS if it has GUID in its subject. You can alter this logic (for instance - move email to CRM if it doesnt have GUID but it is from the sender who is contact or account in MS CRM). Refer to MS Exchange SDK onsyncsave event handling. Then simply apply some MS CRM SDK programming

5. Direct SQL touch in #4 above I described you the scenario with MS Exchange handlers this would be ideal world if MS CRM SDK does the job. But in real world this is not always true you have to do direct flags correction in CRM database (like making Activity closed, moving email attachments/octet streams, etc). This is not supported by MBS technical support but you can rescue to this technique if you have to make job done.

6. MS CRM Customization tool you can feel free to use this this is rather end-user tool and we dont describe it here read the manual. Weve described above the options to use when this tool doesnt do the job

Happy customizing! if you want us to do the job - give us a call 1-630-961-5918 or 1-866-528-0577! help@albaspectrum.com

Andrew Karasev is Chief Technology Officer in Alba Spectrum Technologies USA nationwide Microsoft CRM, Microsoft Great Plains customization company, serving Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Denver, Houston, Phoenix, New York, Atlanta, Miami, Canada, UK, Australia, Brazil, Mexico, Russia, Germany ( http://www.albaspectrum.com ), he is Dexterity, SQL, C#.Net, Crystal Reports and Microsoft CRM SDK developer.

akarasev@albaspectrum.com

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