Successfully Connecting ERP Customers to CRM Customers

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Improvements in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Connector for Microsoft Dynamics GP (the Connector) have made it a serious option for businesses using both Microsoft Dynamics products. The Connector allows data integration between both systems providing real-time access to information. With the ability to access Customer Accounts, Sales Orders, Sales Invoices, Price Lists, and Sales Items and Products across both systems, all users in the system are able to track leads and sales orders as well as better plan future marketing activities.

The Connector piece uses Software Adapters to read and write data between both systems. The integration tells the Connector which direction the data is to flow between the Adapters. The mappings then bring them together. Associations between the Dynamics CRM and Dynamics GP modules determine where the data will be copied from or created to and are set to run at set intervals. Each map can run at different times throughout the day based on specific needs. The Connector comes with templates for the maps that are fully configured to integrate the required fields in both modules and validate the data. An example of a map could be from the Customer Card in Dynamics GP to the Account in Dynamics CRM that runs every 45 seconds. The map will send the information from Dynamics GP into Dynamics CRM and create a new Account in Dynamics CRM for Dynamics GP Customers that do not have a corresponding Account in Dynamics CRM. It would also update fields that have been modified in either system.

Here’s an example of how we recently used the Connector to provide a client with the ability to integrate Dynamics CRM and Dynamics GP so that the sales team had real-time access to its customer’s accounting and procurement activities as well as providing the accounting team with access to newly added Accounts and Leads in Dynamics CRM:

  • First we set up and configured the Adapter to use a CRMADAPTER account to communicate between Dynamics CRM and Dynamics GP.

  • Next we set up the Integration telling the system what Applications and Company Databases were to exchange information.

  • Once the initial settings were confirmed, we ran the Pick List Synchronization Utility to update data values in Dynamics CRM to values found in Dynamics GP.
  • We then synchronized Dynamics GP and Dynamics CRM data with the following maps:
    • Salespeople and ERP system users
    • Unit of Measure schedules and unit groups
    • Pricing Header data
    • Items and Products
    • Price Levels and Price Lists
    • Customers and Accounts or Contacts
    • Orders and Invoices
  • We configured the settings for each map to run daily at the intervals our client determined would best suit their needs.

  • At this point, we activated the maps and they began to run, communicating data back and forth between Dynamics CRM and Dynamics GP.

The client is now able to see real-time data in both systems allowing for easier access to its customer data and allowing for higher productivity for all employees in the organization.  This leads to the most important purpose of all – the ability to provide the highest level of service possible for its customers.

Can your organization benefit from the Connector? Contact Crestwood Associates to find out how it meets your organization’s needs.

By Cindy Brand, Support Analyst at Crestwood Associates, one of the few Chicago IL area Microsoft Dynamics Partners holding a Gold Competency in ERP.  Crestwood was recently named to the 2011 Microsoft Dynamics President’s Club for the sixth time.

by Crestwood Associates, Illinois Microsoft Dynamics CRM Partner

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