The benefits of Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online

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Microsoft has been known to design solutions that deliver simplicity, value, and innovation and Microsoft Office 365 is yet another example of this. Microsoft Office 365 is the next generation in cloud productivity, bringing together Microsoft Office, SharePoint Online, Exchange Online and Lync Online, available in an always-up-to-date cloud service. We are really excited about it here at The TM Group as Microsoft Office 365 combined with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online equals an affordable, complete solution.


This greatly improves and streamlines a number of things.[nbsp_tc] For example, the document merger within Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 to an Office product like Word creates numerous possibilities: With the connection to Exchange Online,[nbsp_tc]documents[nbsp_tc]can be emailed to your customers, perhaps while you are still verbally communicating. With the connection to SharePoint Online, creation of documents can be stored in a repository that non-CRM users can immediately access. With the connection into Lync Online, CRM users[nbsp_tc]can target specific CRM contacts for a webinar or whiteboard discussions, then immediately attach a record of it to the specific contact records.


The benefits of Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online are definitely there, but which type of cloud will work best for your business?

  • Public Cloud: a service provider makes resources, such as applications and storage, available to the general public over the Internet.
  • Private Cloud: a proprietary network or data center that uses cloud computing technologies, such as virtualization. A private cloud is managed by the organization it serves.

Ultimately, you can get more functionality with Private Cloud services, but you need to determine what your company needs and where it is going. Create a software roadmap for your business, complete with a detailed timeline of where you will be in 5-10 years. This will help you make the decision whether to go public or private. Keep in mind that the public cloud has some restrictions for customization.[nbsp_tc] The good news is that Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Online does allow for custom reports, custom workflows, and custom plug-ins.


CRM 2011 and Sharepoint 2010 A Match Made in Document Management Heaven

Our sales person is always irritated with having to save proposals in CRM, and on the other hand documents in Sharepoint. The way CRM handles attachments is not the most user friendly or eye catching of features.

I have not told her that there are custom integration solutions between CRM and Sharepoint; that is our secret.

But I did tell her that in the future release of CRM 2011, the ability to integrate Sharepoint and CRM comes with the product.

I swear I thought I saw a tear of happiness come to her eye. When I told my fellow consultants they got down right giddy.


Sharepoint 2010 and CRM 2011 are a match made in document management heaven. With Sharepoint 2010 installed along with a special Sharepoint list part and a few configuration items set in CRM 2011 you can have document folders set up automatically in Sharepoint when you create entities in CRM.

And documents created, updated, and saved in those Sharepoint folders will be available in CRM. Plus you can do this integration with a combination of on premise and online solutions between the two products. The online to online integration is still in the works but promises to be ready for the release of CRM 2011 at the beginning of next year.

Though the integration works with Sharepoint 2007, the list part that allows the automatic folder creation is only available for Sharepoint 2010. So do yourself and your salesperson a favor;  be sure and put a line item in your budget for upgading to Sharepoint 2010 right alongside the line item for upgrading to CRM 2011. Your salesperson and the rest of your staff with thank you for it.


Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 On-Premise released!

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Released for On-Premises and Partner-Hosted Deployments

Microsoft delivers the Power of Productivity for customers across all deployment models; raises bar for performance and scalability with 150,000-concurrent-user benchmark.

REDMOND, Wash. — Feb. 16, 2011 — Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq “MSFT”) today announced that Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 for on-premises and partner-hosted deployments has been completed and released for customer download. This release complements the latest version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, which delivers Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 as an on-demand service from Microsoft’s datacenters and was launched into 40 markets and 41 languages in January. With a single multitenant code base across cloud and on-premises deployment models, Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 delivers the Power of Productivity to sales, service and marketing organizations worldwide.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 is now globally available and existing customers with active Microsoft Software Assurance agreements can access the new version immediately via theMicrosoft Download Center.

In addition, Microsoft announced the new release scaled to 150,000 concurrent users in a single instance while delivering sub-second response times, once again raising the bar for performance and scalability in the CRM industry. The new benchmark results will be detailed in a Microsoft Dynamics CRM performance and scalability white paper that will be delivered in the coming weeks.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 provides customers and partners with a wide range of benefits, including point-and-click configurability, enterprise scalability, and easy interoperability to existing applications and databases. It delivers the Power of Productivity for users in organizations of all sizes through its focus on the following:

Familiar experiences through a next-generation native Microsoft Outlook client, browser-based and mobile access, RoleTailored design, and advanced user personalization, improving user adoption and giving users easy access to the information they need to be successful.

Intelligent experiences through guided process dialogs, inline business intelligence for performance and goal management, and real-time dashboards, providing the most up-to-date information critical to enabling sales, service and marketing professionals to do their jobs effectively.

Connected experiences through flexible cloud development, Windows Azure interoperability, contextual Microsoft SharePoint capabilities and the new Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace, making it easy for customers and partners to configure and customize Microsoft Dynamics CRM to meet specific business needs.

Integrated within Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, the Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace is available today in 20 markets and currently offers more than 1,400 partner offerings for solutions and services. This online catalog is an easy way for partners to market and distribute solutions to Microsoft Dynamics customers, whether online, on-premises or partner-hosted. The marketplace enables customers to quickly search, discover and apply industry-specific applications and solution extensions from Microsoft and its partners to help them accelerate and extend their CRM and ERP implementations. Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace is available in Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, Germany, France, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

More information about partners and customers deploying Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 can be found at Those who want to follow and engage with the Microsoft Dynamics CRM community can do so at @MSDynamicsCRM, #crm2011.

About Microsoft Dynamics

Microsoft Dynamics is a line of simple to learn and use ERP and CRM solutions that work with your existing technology and scale as you grow to give you long-term value. By using software and online services that work the way people and organizations work, businesses are better able to make informed decisions and adapt to rapid change. Microsoft Dynamics helps your people be more productive and your investments in existing systems last longer, while enabling your business to derive the insights necessary to respond quickly and have a competitive edge in an ever-changing world of business.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed.

For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at


What is “xRM” anyway?!?

So by now you’re probably wondering what all this hype about “xRM” is (or so we hope)!  Heck you may even be wonder just what it is in the first place!!

To make it simple, “xRM” is the next generation of what most organizations traditionally refer to as “CRM”.  The “x” replaces the traditional “Customer” value in the acronym to become a variable.  This means that while the product name is “CRM” it can be configured as a xRM system.

For example, in a traditional environment, the “Customer” might be a purchaser of a product that is for sale (like a bike).  However, in a medical office, the role of “Customer” is replaced with a “Patient”.  “Patient” now becomes one fold of the usage for the new variable of “x”.

Alternatively, a veterinary office might replace “Customer” with “Pet”.  A Pharmaceutical sales organization might replace “Customer” with “Doctor” or “Provider”, and so on.
If you look a little deeper under the covers of “xRM” you’ll note that the last part of the acronym is also taking on new forms.  While it stands for “Relationship Management” and will continue to stand for this, the concept of which relationships is also taking new meaning due to the extreme flexibility in the CRM product.

Traditionally, CRM systems related buyers to purchases (Customers to Orders), but now in the world of “xRM” these relationships can get much more complex and unique.  For example, a General Practicioner’s medical office may have a relationship with their Patient who then has a relationship to his/her insurance provider who then has a relationship to a Dermatologist’s medical office.

In an “xRM” environment ALL of these relationships can be managed to whatever level the organization requires.

For this reason you’ll see lots of xRM deployments use the CRM application to replace many other internal applications other than just things like Patient Relationship Management systems.

We’ve seen xRM applications replace EVERY transactional line of business application in an organization with the only exceptions being with ERP and collaboration technologies (SharePoint).

Otherwise anything becomes replacable with an xRM solution!!!