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OTT, Inc.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM and SharePoint

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Before we start talking about what positives and negatives when having Microsoft Dynamics CRM and SharePoint integrated to enhance your business I think it important that we have the fundamental idea of what each does.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM is the customer relationship management software that integrates your Sales, Marketing, and Service along with those unique aspects of your business that make you a success.  These intersecting points allow for your end users to have a 360 degree view of your customers, work hands on with the data, and often times uniquely customized to fit your specific business needs.

Microsoft SharePoint is secure place to store, organize, share and access information typically associated with intranet, content management, and document management.  As always Microsoft has strived to broaden this application’s capabilities with each version release.

Only recently have companies started to think about integrating Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft SharePoint, however with businesses moving at lightning speed we need our information and the management of that information to be moving with us.  Through this integration, when managed correctly, there is a boost in productivity as well as easier and faster team collaboration and communication.  The ability to edit, store, and access documents without having to switch applications, along with being able to see who modified it and when, drastically changes the communication requirements with end users and clients.  This integration helps your employees become empowered in their role within your organization!

Some of the top benefits of having integration between Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft SharePoint include:

  1. Direct Collaboration between teams and other departments within the organization.  Often times the Sales team is relying on the Marketing team for up to date document material or the Customer Service team is looking for the latest Wiki document on a trending service issue.  They are able to have this information at their fingertips by using a managed integration.  It allows teams to collaborate through version controlling, simultaneous editing, and checking documents in and out.  Basically documents are easily retrieved and shared with other members of the organization with a click of the mouse.
  2. Quick access because it utilizes an interface that lets you work between SharePoint and CRM through one system.
  3. Fewer licenses required as SharePoint allows users to view data that is recorded in CRM records.
  4. Linking/Hyperlinks within CRM records and between records as well as in SharePoint.
  5. Security is managed by the administrator granting permissions so you can set security levels based on your organization requirements.
  6. Location and the ability to work within one location.  Most employees are not even aware that they are using more than one software application to do their job.

 

Now to highlight the negative aspect of this integration:

There really is only one and that it that the location of the document is at enterprise level.  What this means is that end users have to specify the exact URL of the SharePoint site to gain access to documents, this cannot be automatically generated.

As you can see there are significantly more positives to the integration of these two business tools than negative.  That does not negate how important and critical that 1 negative is however with the appropriate design and keeping that 1 negative in mind throughout the integration and life cycle it is one that can be managed before it becomes an issue.  The gains received through doing an integration promote team collaboration, data management, and help encompass that all important aspect of providing the ultimate information and service for your customer to ensure continued loyalty and business.

For more tips and CRM related information please visit the blog on our website.

OTT, Inc., is a Microsoft Dynamics Gold Certified Partner and member of Microsoft Dynamics President’s Club for 2012 and Accounting Today’s Top Var 100 list for 2012.

By Brandi Bozek, CRM Consultant with OTT, Inc., St. Paul, Minnesota. Leading Microsoft Dynamics ERP & CRM partn

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