While CRM stands for Customer relationship management, xRM stands for anything relation-ship management and is the idea that Microsoft Dynamic CRM can be used as a platform from which to extend other applications that manage relationships beyond the standard “customer” definition. xRM is just a concept or a business strategy, not a product.
The term CRM is Customer Relationship management. Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a great solution for giving organizations a process for managing Sales, Services and Marketing, but it can do so much more. Companies start to use CRM for traditional purposes (such as sales, marketing and customer service). After their initial implementation, they begin to discover that CRM is such a flexible platform, that they can easily extend it to handle other related tasks (like project management, equipment tracking, distributor portals and expense reporting).
In the term xRM “x” stands for extended, as in extended relationship management. The other definition is that the “x” is a variable, and means “anything” relationship management, such as partner relationship management, constituent relationship management, employee relationship management, etc. Both of these definitions are referring to building any application on top of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform. Building an xRM application can take the form of customizing the existing customer relationship management applications that are included in Microsoft Dynamics CRM, or by designing completely new line-of-business (LOB) applications that are not based on the sales, service, or marketing capabilities included in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
Common examples of xRM deployments include the following:
- Managing events
- Vendors or suppliers
- Grant management
- Resource management
- Membership management
- Sports management(teams, schedules, equipment)
Advantages of Using the Microsoft Dynamics CRM (xRM) Application Platform
- xRM is a Microsoft application platform layer designed to accelerate the development of relational business (or LOB) applications through flexible dynamic application services.
- xRM provides reusable application services that can be adapted and extended to create many unique applications.
- With a Multi-tenant architecture xRM allows organizations to build and run many LOB applications on a single platform.
- xRM leverages familiar Microsoft technologies as building blocks, including Microsoft Office, Outlook, SQL Server, .NET and Windows.
xRM supports a very agile application development process. The most important thing to consider is that the user will be working with a functional application, and because of that, will be able to provide a very high quality of feedback early in the design stage. Business rules are implemented in workflows and are very easy to adjust when business requirements are changing, and these adjustments can typically be made with little or no involvement from IT. xRM application requires significantly less effort to complete a full application as the native capabilities of workflow, reporting, user interfaces, security, Web services, and Office integration in Microsoft Dynamics CRM can be leveraged instead of building it from scratch for each application.
Article written by Stephen Schilling, Technical Consultant – ERT Group
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