Very shortly eOne we will be releasing a brand new set of CRM and GP integration templates. This is something I am really excited about. The templates will give all our customers a jump start for building CRM/GP integrations. You can either take these templates and use them out of the box, or you can modify and expand on them to meet your specific needs. The core functionality provided by the templates is two way account, item and order integration between CRM and GP.
The template are a big improvement on the previous templates we had available, and we believe they are more comprehensive and ‘out of the box’ than our competition. Remarkably this full set contains 34 SmartConnect maps together with 8 small CRM customizations to get everything connecting the way believe it should.
The reason for so many integration points is that there is a great deal of information required when you process an order for your business. As a starting point we need to integrate all customer, item and pricing information. Before we can do that we need to ensure that all the master files fields are the same in both systems which includes things like UOM, Pricing, Payment Terms, Class ID’s etc. As you can see there are many fields that GP requires in order to process and order, so we are ensuring that valid data is stored in CRM in first place.
The 8 minor customizations are a key components of the integration process, and we deemed them necessary to provide a truly workable integration solutions. We have added fields like GP salesperson into CRM that can be assigned to an account in CRM, and we have added a customer class ID field that can be defined in CRM for accounts, as this is a really important field inside GP. In regards to orders we have also designed a process where after an order is submitted the CRM form is disabled to ensure no updates are made to the CRM order, within CRM. Each of the changes are part of providing an intuitive and easy process flow between CRM and GP.
In my opinion a CRM is not a true Customer Relationship Management system if it is not integrated to your ERP backend. (I will write another post on this topic shortly). With the SmartConnect templates this integration has become much easier and allows all those businesses that have backed Microsoft with CRM and GP to truly reap the benefits of those investments.