29 June 2014

Orchard CRM v1.8 - Dynamics CRM 2011/2013 Portal for Orchard

Since last year the Orchard CRM v1.0 released, I have got many feedbacks and letters of thanks from the community. It has been used for the CRM Portal proof of concept as well as production usage with enhancement.

Today I'm pleased to release the new version of Orchard CRM v1.8 (based on Orchard v1.7.3, support Orchard v1.6 and above), the following functions are available, it can be extended (functionality, security etc.) to support your business case.
- My CRM Profile
- My CRM Cases
- My CRM Customers
- My CRM Orders and Orders From My Customers
- CRM Articles
- CRM Service Calendar

The new version is still based on .Net Framework 4.0 (not 4.5) using Dynamics CRM 2013 service context and dll files. This version supports Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011/2013 Online, On Premise and Partner Hosted.

Enjoy the free CRM Portal and feedbacks are welcomed.

25 June 2014

New Book Review: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Marketing Automation

This book is written by Alok Singh and Sandeep Chanda at Neudesic.

The target audience of this book is anyone who wants to implement effective marketing strategies using Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013. It starts with the current marketing analysis and concluded the important of Target Marketing: "Marketing is now a revenue process that is not about broadcasting the product information to all, it's about targeting and nurturing relationships with prospects from an early stage until they become ready to buy."

The book then reflects the present Marketing challenges in which the right automation tools can help to run the modern Marketing activities, as well as closing the gap between Sales and Marketing by providing a shared customer data repository which is where CRM coming from, follows with what can CRM also help on Marketing activities, such as Targeting, Automation and Execution, Close looping and Revenue Management by Collaboration with Sales. And then explains how CRM can help to effectively manage Leads and render Lead Funnel in each stages (Lead generation >> Lead nurturing >> Lead scoring and conversion >> Sales opportunity and recycling >> Post sale loyalty.

This book begins with overall how CRM can help on Marketing Automation, and then introducing how Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 can be used to implement those activities.

The book uses the step-by-step approach to demonstrate the following Marketing activities with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013:
  * How to build a Marketing list with target customers, examples like the revenue, size of purchase and profitability.
  * How to build and execute flexible Marketing Campaign and keep everything on track.
  * How to measure the Marketing Campaign with ROI, as well as reconcile the campaign response.
  * How to manage the Campaign Response and its lifecycle, as well as converting them into lead and opportunities. Also measuring the response with CRM reports.
  * How to virtualise and analyse Marketing data with CRM chart and dashboard, as well as managing goals using key metrics.
  * How to enhance CRM Marketing with ISV solutions: ClickDimensions and CoreMotives, using email marketing and web tracking, social integration and nurture marketing features.

The only down size I found in the book was not clear (need more details) about How to bind your Marketing strategy and measure ROI with Dynamics CRM in more detail, maybe some real world example could help here.

Overall, this is a kind of book I like and enjoy to read - easy reading with screenshots, small but focused. It can drive you through from Theory to Implementation for a particular area, in this case it's the Marketing module in CRM.

Thank you for writing it.

Jim Wang
June 2014