Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Microsoft Dynamics CRM is the best way for users in disparate locations to use the same contacts and lead sheets, and collaborate in real-time sharing a telephone contact log, business notes, opportunities, and an Access Database connection. Dynamics CRM Online is Microsoft’s greatest offering. Hosted as a cloud service, the reliability is guaranteed. Our customers First United Services are using Dynamics CRM online and can attest to its usefulness and reliability. They have been using it to track:
- Sales and Leads
- Telephone Calls
- Work done for customers.
With Dynamics CRM, everyone in the Office is on the same page.
Business Contact Manager was originally a very exciting product in 2000, when I was creating MS Access databases with Oracle back-ends over at NYU School of Medicine. I used the Business Contact Manager as a model for communications tracking and eventually to connect to a more advanced Oracle database as the basis for our Intellectual Inventory. The purpose of the Intellectual Inventory was to showcase all of the publications, courses taught, research grants, patents, and technology transfers of the faculty, staff, and students of the School of Medicine. A secondary purpose was to use a MESH (Medical English Standard Subheadings) standardized keyword vocabulary to categorize the interests of these active scientific investigators. With the keywords, cross tabulation with academic levels was possible to create a cross matching service providing targeted funding opportunities from Federal, foundation, NGO, Corporate, State, and City funding. A third purpose was to provide reports to chairs indicating capacities and interests within the University to collaborate on large program projects grants and center grants from the NIH, the DOD, and more.
Where Business Contact Manager came in handy was in taking these e-mail addresses fed from the Oracle database I created and managed and synchronize it with Outlook in order to send out the targeted funding opportunities and other reports automatically based on one set of research. Graduate assistants were hired to perform much of the research and the process involved collecting all of the data in Access, and sending the E-Mails out with Outlook using the Mail Merge functionality in Access. MS Access was a wonderful tool because I could host local tables, connect to Oracle and SQL Server databases, and also share data with our Office of Development’s Raiser’s Edge database, also on MS Access.
Now Business Contact Manager is available in its latest form on the Cloud, with enhanced capabilities, and is known as Dynamics CRM. The Cloud is in this case four continent distributed massively redundant data centers hosting Microsoft Cloud Services The service is quick, reliable, thoroughly tested in real-time, and best of all can help you share your contact files across your organization. Added capabilities include:
- Export to Spreadsheet.
- Connect to Access Database on Your Machine.
- Multiple Security Tiers.
- Five Free Users per account with free hosting until Migration then $6 per month.
- Shared Document Manager.
- Additional SharePoint applications possible.
Another business that uses Business Contact Manager is First United Services Mortgage Modifications. With an office of ten employees, they did not wish to have a server on-site or excessive IT staffing expenses. They have been using Microsoft Dynamics CRM online in conjunction with Office 365 as a sophisticated Customer Relationship Management and ERP Solution for several months now. With ten employees their total out-of-pocket is under $75 per user per month. Offices with five or less users experience no out-of-pocket expenses per month for hosting until Office 365 migration slated for November 2011. Additionally, there will be a lot of new features like online document sharing and simultaneous editing in realtime, video teleconferencing, compliant archiving, enterprise voicemail, automatic Microsoft Office 2010, and more.
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