One of the best features of Microsoft Dynamics CRM is that it is part of the Microsoft family of products and solutions which all work together to deliver an entire enterprise platform of software solutions rather than a bunch of individual systems. The Microsoft platform has huge potential especially in the areas of analytics, and sometimes the resources can seem overwhelming. If you have ever wondered exactly what Microsoft has under the hood with these built-in integrations, or possibly that you are not fully taking advantage of the capabilities that your Microsoft platform already has, you are probably not alone. But there is an easy way to determine exactly what capabilities you already have at your disposal.
Microsoft knows how it all fits together because they built their systems with one vision, and they also assumed that some of us may have questions about what capabilities the different systems provide when used in concert, specifically around the topic of business intelligence. To help their customers, they have created a handy little tool called the BI Solution Builder. I used the tool myself and have included the details here (it was easy to navigate and took me less than 15 minutes).
The basic features include an easy to follow process for deciding what business intelligence tools you already have at your disposal based on what Microsoft products you already own. This is delivered to you in an easy to read matrix after you select your existing products. It also includes a report that has suggestions for upgrade paths based on your Business Intelligence preferences.
Here’s how to use the tool:
Follow the prompts till you get to the “Tell Us About Yourself Page”
Fill in the relevant information about you and your company and at the bottom you can select what your current BI use cases are.
On the next page you will be prompted to select your existing technology. As you select the technology a drop down will appear asking you to select the correct version of the product so be prepared with that information ahead of time (There is also a tool that will help you figure this out if you need it.)
As you select the products the matrix will populate and the dots will be “green” where you already own a product that performs that function.
After you finish selecting your products you will be prompted to check all of the BI capabilities that you want.
Next is your report, which will include upgrade paths, industry specific BI information, and helpful links.
Leveraging your analytics and business intelligence tools is an important part of getting the most out of your investments. The Microsoft Platform is a powerful resource for your organization specifically in regards to analytics and business intelligence and by using the BI Solution Builder you will be able to capitalize on that resource simply by knowing and understanding what you already have.