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FMT Consultants

Hitting The Gas – Capitalizing On CRM Accelerators

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One of the most widely heard comments about CRM systems is that they are supposed to be user-friendly and intuitive, but it doesn’t take long to discover that any functionality that is also friendly to your particular company can still require a formidable amount of time and effort spent on customization and coding.  This could also be said for Dynamics CRM in its earlier iterations – many early adopters of Microsoft’s CRM suite found themselves frustrated with what was missing from the application and disappointed in the amount of custom development they still had to do.

The good news is that the Dynamics CRM landscape today is ripe with opportunity for partners and coding enthusiasts alike to build supplemental functionality that meets the critical needs of a variety of industries and organizations.  Microsoft has been supportive of these efforts and has provided sandbox sites, community forums and open access to the Microsoft team and its MVP’s so participants can collaborate and build upon each others’ creations.

The most exciting area of this effort is the set of CRM Accelerators that are FREE for download to anyone that is interested.  Accelerators are a collection of add-on solutions developed for Dynamics CRM customers and partners that can be configured to broaden marketing, sales and service capabilities.  In addition to being free, Microsoft has also committed to fully supporting these Accelerators, just like any other custom code that adheres to their Software Development Kit (SDK) guidelines; this means that Accelerators will continue to work without issue after any future upgrades.   Finally, to sweeten the pot, all source-code for the Accelerators are provided with the applications so CRM truly does become anyone’s playground. 

There are some Accelerators that are more basic than others, or that are simply a nice add-on to core functionality, like the Newsfeed, Business Productivity Workflows and Notifications pieces.  But that is only the tip of the iceberg.  For those seeking a more robust solution, Extended Forecasting, Portal Integration and Partner Relationship Management, among others, are all worth a look.  It wasn’t long ago that any of these items would have been available only through a close partnership with CRM Partners and a lot of investment in custom work.  Partners still provide a very valuable service in extending and enhancing these Accelerators for their clients, but companies with CRM have a much stronger basis for building out their system to truly become just what they need with the help of these Accelerators.

 

FMT Consultants is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner for Dynamics CRM and GP located in Carlsbad, California.  Visit our website at http://www.fmtconsultants.com or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/fmtconsultants

 

 by Natasha Serrano of FMT Consultants, LLC, a California Microsoft Gold Certified Partner in Dynamics CRM and GP.

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