You may have read or heard that Microsoft will shortly be releasing their integration piece for Dynamics CRM and GP http://blogs.msdn.com/gp/archive/2009/09/10/information-about-the-microsoft-dynamics-crm-4-0-adapter-for-microsoft-dynamics-gp-10-0-integration-tool-now-available.aspx
We think this is a fantastic and essential release and have been supportive of Microsoft’s efforts to build this tool. Including stepping them through the way SmartConnect works, and taking a walk through of the new tool with them earlier this year.
At eOne our mission is to help our resellers sell more Dynamics GP. We do this with eXtender, SmartList Builder and SmartConnect. We do not sell ‘just another add on’ but our tools help our partners win deals with GP. We have always believed that Microsoft needed an entry level integration tool for Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Dynamics GP, it was embarrassing for partners to have to say that Microsoft did not even integrate their own tools. This release will make the GP offering stronger in the market and will help our partners attract and retain new customers.
We are also confident that the more people that use GP, the more people that will use eOne tools, and especially eXtender and SmartConnect.
The new Microsoft tool is pretty similar to SmartConnect in base functionality, but stops at the same point that out SmartConnect templates start. All of our partners know that CRM/GP integrations are complex in nature, and 95% of our SC CRM customers will heavily modify our template integrations to suit their business needs. Below are a few of the reasons why Dynamics GP/CRM customers are selecting SmartConnect for their GP implementations:
1. Custom Entities: Everyone has custom entities and SC supports this out of the box.
2. Custom Workflow: CRM requires clearly defined and structured process. SmartConnect can be configured to match your specific needs.
3. Map anything to anything: Link data between GP and CRM however you need. There are no limitations.
4. Calculated fields: Inevitably you need to transform data. The SC calculated fields let you run any c# or vb.net code you write. This is on top of the 90 out of the box functions for formatting data.
5. Pre and Post Tasks: SC allow you to execute code at the completion of the map or an XML record to update either system or other systems as required.
6. Single Tool for all data imports: SmartConnect has multiple uses. You can use the same tool for all your CRM data loads as well as your GP data loads. This means you only need to learn one tool and use it for all integrations.
7. Automation: SC acts as a complete automation tool for GP and CRM. You can read any data from anywhere, and use this data to create transactions in either system. e.g. Read GP data to create new entries into GP.
8. Integrations that inspire: The SmartConnect templates and Microsoft templates are just the starting point. Moving orders, items, pricing, payment terms and customer from one system to another is nice, but rather redundant. We encourage our customers to get creative and use their own business data to drive the business forward. This is the type of thing that makes the ERP/CRM investment great value for money.
Example 1: Build a map in SC that looks at total sales by customer at the end of each month. Use this data to create activities in CRM for your CEO to call the customer an thank them for their business. SmartConnect does this.
Example 2: Have a map that create sales opportunities for all customers that purchased travel time from you this month. Assign these to you hosting department and up sell customers to managed services. SmartConnet does this.
9. Pull data from any data source: Grab your data from where it is, without intervention.
10: Multi currency Support: Full support for Multi Currency environments.
11: Support CRM Online: SmartConnect supports CRM Online, Hosted and on premise installations.
12: No Need for an SDK: Give the integration work to the people that know and understand both the ERP/CRM and the data the best – your consultant. You do not need a developer for 95% of integrations.
13: Integrates to eXtender: Bring data from CRM into Microsoft Dynamics GP eXtender fields. Push data from eXtender fields back to CRM.
14: Populate third party GP tools: Bring data into Wennsoft, Multi Facility or any other addon solution that has SmartConnect nodes built.
So the questions remains – do we see the new FREE Microsoft tool as a competitor? No, we welcome it and believe it is core to partners being able to sell the Microsoft story. All of our partners now have a free tool to complete the marketing story together with a really powerful follow up integration/automation solution with SmartConnect that will fill in the inevitable gaps.
Most of our partners are rolling out SC on every new deal in place of Integration Manager, as an upscale GP integration tool, to allow data to be keyed into GP via Excel or as a time saving Automation tool. Therefore your GP customer should already own SmartConnect. When your customer needs to go a little beyond what the Free integration tool can do – you already have the solution at no additional cost to your customer – that’s SmartConnect. Sell new GP deals based on Microsoft having a out of the box integration, and implement SmartConnect which will meet all your needs.
Of course at just $4,500, you can lead your sale with SmartConnect and knock off all the competition.