Microsoft Dynamics CRM Accelerators: Part 3

In Part 3 of this series, we’re detailing the following CRM Accelerators for Microsoft Dynamics CRM: eService, Analytics and Enterprise Search.

eService Accelerator

The eService accelerator for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 provides customer self-service capabilities (via a web portal) as a configurable out-of-the-box offering.  The web self-service portal exposes the following CRM functions to customers:

  • Customer authentication into the portal and workflows to manage the setup of a contact as a web self-service customer.
  • Customer profile updates to contact details; this capability is configurable allowing organizations to choose which attributes of the profile they want to expose to the customer portal such as name, contact details and communications preferences.
  • The ability to view, create, edit and close service cases. There are two permission levels available to web portal customers:
    • Account-Level: these customers can view and modify all cases raised against the account they are associated with.
    • Contact-Level: these customers can only view and modify service cases that they themselves have raised.
  • Online service scheduling allowing customers to search for convenient times and then book service appointments with the organization.
  • Search against the Microsoft Dynamics CRM knowledge base (KB) using keywords. Once the appropriate KB article has been located the customer can then email that article to themselves or others.

The accelerator can either be used within the customer’s own web portal or they can use the pre-built portal solution provided by Microsoft in the ASP.NET 2.0 Small Business Starter Kit.

Analytics Accelerator

This is release 2 of 3 for the Analytics Accelerator for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0.  This release incorporates some bug fixes to the existing dashboards for SQL Server 2005.  It also introduces a set of dashboards for SQL Server 2008.  The following future releases are going through final testing and packaging and will be available soon:

  • R3 delivers more advanced SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) capabilities as well as Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server scorecards

Many customers and partners will be familiar with Analytics Foundation for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 which was a business intelligence feature pack for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0.  Analytics Foundation for Dynamics CRM 3.0 included Dashboards, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and a suite of new reports.  Analytics Accelerator for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 (R2) expands on this and is designed to support a range of business intelligence “maturity” levels for customers and partners. The Analytics Accelerator has been built to cater for differing business intelligence skill-sets and experience levels.

Enterprise Search Accelerator

This is Release 1 of 2 of the Enterprise Search Accelerator for Microsoft Dynamics CRM.  The Enterprise Search Accelerator allows Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) customers to view and search for Microsoft Dynamics CRM data directly from their SharePoint portals.  By combining these two technologies, users from different areas of the business will be able to:

  • View and edit any Microsoft Dynamics CRM data such as accounts, contacts, opportunities, sales orders, invoices, service cases and any custom entity data through MOSS.
  • Launch a MOSS search which can return documents, emails, web content and Microsoft Dynamics CRM data.

The Enterprise Search Accelerator provides one enterprise portal that users can search and view important customer information and documents from several sources within the organization.  Additionally, the technology, Business Data Catalog (BDC) and techniques used with this accelerator can be employed to surface data from other lines of business applications to further enrich the MOSS portal.

The BDC makes it easy for people to connect to, find and act on information stored in structured line-of-business systems (such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM) by using a declarative framework to securely integrate them into search results.  With the BDC, customers and partners can configure actionable audience-specific portals, dashboards and mash-up interfaces for this data without writing any code.

Release 1 (this release) includes key documentation on how to deploy MOSS Enterprise Search connecting to Microsoft Dynamics CRM on the standard Microsoft Virtual PC demonstration image.  Release 2 will provide additional documentation and tools to allow you to customize your enterprise search solution for different customer and partner requirements.

To learn more about Microsoft Dynamics CRM, please contact us!

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Accelerators: Part 1
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Accelerators: Part 2

 



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