There’s an exciting new development happening with Microsoft Dynamics CRM and how you'll be able to use it with the popular ERP solution Microsoft Dynamics NAV. Recently, Microsoft confirmed that it will be providing built-in integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM in the next release of Microsoft Dynamics NAV. And the next release, called R2, is due in the fourth quarter of 2010, which is earlier than a lot of people expected.
This is really great news. Integrating Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft Dynamics NAV brings these two leading CRM and ERP solutions together to deliver a powerful product combination. Currently however, if you want to integrate the two products you’ll need a third-party application. Deploying one of the third-party applications available can be successful (it depends on how it’s done and the application you choose to do it), but is not always ideal and can sometimes raise questions regarding product support. Alternatively you can rely on the inherent features for sales, marketing and customer service in Microsoft Dynamics NAV (they’re not the same as Microsoft Dynamics CRM) or simply use the two products separately.
Having built-in integration will deliver a wide range of benefits for Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft Dynamics NAV (which used to be called Navision) users alike. First, the integration will be fully supported by Microsoft. Then there are the functional enhancements and improvements to business processes, such as eliminating redundant data entries and making sure information in both the ERP and CRM solutions is kept up to date. And a major benefit for marketing and sales people, often the heaviest users of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, is that they’ll be able to quickly access detailed business information such as payment history, contracts, pricing, and product availability.
Another key feature of the built-in integration is that you’ll be able to integrate either on-premise Microsoft Dynamics CRM or hosted Microsoft Dynamics CRM with Microsoft Dynamics NAV – it will work with both deployment options. It will also allow you able to migrate from hosted Microsoft Dynamics CRM to on-premise (or the other way around) and seamlessly maintain the integration with NAV. This is again useful as we’ve found many customers start off with hosted Microsoft Dynamics CRM and, once they’ve established the benefits, understood what they can achieve with the software, and decided they’ll make CRM a core part of their business strategy, will move to the on-premise option.