Integrating with Dynamics

Once you become a Microsoft partner for Dynamics, you get access to a mountain of resources through the Partner Source site. One of the things I had just started playing with before joining here was the access you receive to Digital Marketing Material to help you build your lead generation.

One of my favorite campaigns is still the Everyone Gets it campaign:


You get copies of all the marketing collateral, including files you can add to your website once you have customised them to insert your own logo & call to action.

So, why am I telling you about this?

One of the things I find a lot of people still don’t do well is Integration with systems like their CRM. It can be a simple way to reduce costs, improve efficiencies and increase data accuracy. So for example, this marketing collateral is quiet clever, but unless you are tracking the results, are you really using the investment in setting up marketing campaigns effectively? In times of financial strain, surely every dollar spent needs to be tracked so that Return on Inventment (ROI) can be measured? In the provided campaign, many of the Call to Actions refer to getting an email sent to your sales department. Why not reduce the steps and have them go to a web page that takes the required fields & then adds it into your CRM system?

I thought I would do a series of posts on getting lead data from external sources back into some of the dynamics products and tying the results back to the original campaign.

There are a couple of posts in this series that include:

  1. Integrating into CRM 4.0 directly using the Web services from an .aspx Web Page,
  2. Using SSIS (SQL 2005) to integrate into CRM 4.0,
  3. Using CDC to monitor a Local Lead Table & integrate into CRM 4.0.

I will then repeat each of these processes to do the same into Ax 2009. Who knows, if I am feeling adventurous, I may even add some for NAV as well! :)

Basically I am hoping that these posts will demonstrate some of the basic concepts so you can extend them to integrate other data sources, and give you some additional options on ways to get your data integration scenario working best for you. I have picked a few random business processes to base these posts on and set up a pretty standard CRM & Development environment to prove you can do this with your existing skills & setup, and all of them have taken me a few hours or less to do.