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Defining Vanilla

I must have heard this statement 100 times in the last 12 months “all I want is a vanilla CRM to GP integration” . In the defense of all those that have uttered this statement, it does sound like a sensible thing to ask for. All you want is a simple integration ‘that works’ for your customers.
In fact I have to admit that only 2 years ago, before our foray into the CRM and GP integration market I remember demanding a quote for the exact same thing from one of our ISV suppliers. Right here I need to apologize for being so indignant.
What is vanilla? Why do we use that term? What does a vanilla integration do? Taking it a little further I have also heard people ask for a Vanilla install of Dynamics GP? To all the consultants out there – is that possible and what would it look like? What is a vanilla chart of accounts?
When you start to think about how many different ways you can configure GP (literally thousands) and how customizable CRM is – what is vanilla? OK , I can hear you shouting “all we want is Accounts to Customer and Order to Order, How hard can that be?”
I won’t give you all the answers right now – as there is no true definition of Vanilla – but I will give you some questions to think about:
1. What if the customer is on hold?
2. Do the payment terms in CRM match those in GP?
3. What class will you use in GP for new customers?
4. Does CRM handle you pricing needs?
5. When can an order stop being updated by the sales team?
6. Do you ever take deposits?
7. Is multi currency important?
8. What about Kits, BOM’s, UOM’s, Back Orders and Fulfillment Orders and separate fulfillment?
If you are not sure of the answer to any of these questions – then you are just like me. You do not know the definition of vanilla. When it comes to integrations I think the flavor is much closer to Rainbow than Vanilla. If you have some free time you can read more here.

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