CRM In Microsoft Dynamics AX

In this blog post, I would like to provide high-level
details of the CRM functionality available within Microsoft Dynamics AX, an ERP
system. In doing so, I am using Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 with Cumulative
Update 8.

During the Sales discussions with Customers who need both
the ERP & CRM functionalities, the question that arises is whether to use
functionality available in AX or to go for Dynamics CRM. I have witnessed a
couple of customers implement both Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft Dynamics
AX for different business groups and then integrate them using the Connector or
one of the Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) tools. A few others build a
part of ERP functionality using xRM while some others took advantage of CRM
functionality available within their ERP system. In addition to the
functionality offered, factors such as required UI, deployment architecture,
Microsoft SharePoint & Microsoft Office integration, data integration needs
etc. have to be analyzed and thorough due-diligence has to be done for a
specific customer to determine the best solution option.

While Dynamics CRM is Microsoft’s flagship product for CRM
functionality, you can take advantage of the CRM functionality in AX and derive
benefits such as

  1. No additional license cost for CRM
  2. No integration requirement as the functionality is
    addressed within AX

  3. Users don’t have to switch between applications for a
    business process (Example: Opportunity to Invoice)

Functionality Offered


  1. Lead Management: Lead qualification process,
    Responsibility distribution, Bing Map integration

  2. Prospect Management: This is where the relationship
    management begins before it matures into vendor or customer.

  3. Opportunity Management: Prognosis, Sales Process,
    Competitor details, SWOT Analysis, Responsibility distribution, Pipeline
    visibility

  4. Contact Management: Outlook synchronization,
    Competencies, Preferences  

  5. Activity Management: Task, Appointment, Event  &
    Action planning

  6. Product Configuration: Provides for complex product
    configuration management

  7. Quote, Order & Invoice Management: Complete process
    of creation and maintenance of these sales activities

  8. Customer Management: 360 degree view, Credit, payment
    details, Sales demographics, Financial dimensions, Collection, Invoice and
    Delivery, Service, Marketing details, Statistics etc.

  9. Marketing Lists: Target lists
  10. Telemarketing: Call lists, Call distribution, CTI
    integration

  11. Email Marketing: Basic campaign broadcast via email is
    available

  12. Social Marketing: Publish Retail discounts on Facebook
    and Twitter using Microsoft Site Services solution, ‘Advertise retail promotions
    on Facebook or Twitter’.

  13. Campaign Management: Campaign activity planning and
    execution, campaign resource management and budgeting using projects in relation
    to campaign, Broadcast, Response management

  14. Survey Management: Use Questionnaires in AX to design,
    distribute, complete and analyze the survey

  15. Call Center: Customer service, Catalogs, Orders, Payment
    etc.

  16. Case Management: Case Management process, Knowledge
    articles

  17. Field Service Management: Service Agreement, Customer
    Inquiries, Service Orders, RMA, Technician/resource management, Billing

Outlook Synchronization: Contacts, Tasks and
Appointments can be synchronized with Outlook

In
addition to the functionalities mentioned above Microsoft Dynamics AX supports
features like advanced search, de-duplication, transaction log, reports,
workflows etc. that can help you build a good CRM solution. Remember that
Microsoft Dynamics AX is not designed to serve the CRM strategies alone and
might lack some of the CRM capabilities. However, it is a workhorse that can
help your business in getting the Holy Grail of CRM (360-degree view of
customer).

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