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Microsoft CRM Integration with IBM Lotus Notes Domino machinery dealership example

13:12, 18/12/2007 .. Link

IBM Lotus Notes with Domino email server is traditional document workflow management solution for large corporate business, where you need audit trail on approval cycle and decision making. Microsoft Business Solutions CRM is very cost efficient solution to automate sales process. It might be surprising, but we see good strata of clients who are willing to deploy and integrate both systems: MS CRM and Lotus Domino. In our opinion these clients are balancing ERP platform risks and trying to protect and deploy investments into Lotus licenses, while deploying new and already leading CRM solution Microsoft CRM. In this small article well give you the integration example European division of one of the well known machinery manufacturer dealership network.

Custom Lotus Database. In our case client had custom database, which was designed back in the beginning of 1990th. Some dealers had Lotus Notes Domino 4.0 and some of them had 6.0 and 6.5. Technical excurse in Lotus Notes Domino 6.0 you can use Java 2 agents, and it seems to be platform independent (Microsoft Windows Server, IBM AS/400). To synch all the dealerships the decision was made to upgrade across the network to Lotus Notes Domino 6.0 (to be a bit conservative)

Domino Messaging. Obviously you have to have just one email server assigned to your url domain, and as traditionally Lotus Domino was the email server the replacement with Microsoft Exchange 2003 (which is natural choice if you purchase Microsoft CRM) was not an option. With Alba Spectrum Technologies MS CMR Lotus Notes Domino connector you can switch email messaging to Lotus Domino

Lotus & MS CRM events synchronization. IBM and Microsoft software designers designed CRM & Lotus events differently. Second phase of the project implementation will synchronize appointments, calendar events, etc. between Lotus and MS CRM.

MS CRM ODBC lookups to Lotus database. As the second phase we plan to implement lookups from MS CRM Account to cases with custom fields and Lotus notes lookup tab. This tab will be realized as web .net application, integrated into MS CRM web interface. This web application will have machine serial number, warranty & service info. As you probably know in MS CRM 3.0 you can deploy custom table in link it to MS CRM object as one-to-many. The most important is that it will be synchronized by MS Outlook and will allow you as a salesperson to work offline.

You can always have us help you with MS CRM customization, implementation, support & MS CRM SDK data conversion. Give us a call: 866.528.0577 or 1.630.961.598, help@albaspectrum.com

Andrew Karasev is Chief Technology Officer at Alba Spectrum Technologies ( http://www.albaspectrum.com ) - Microsoft Business Solutions Great Plains, Navision, Axapta MS CRM, Oracle Financials and IBM Lotus Domino Partner, serving corporate customers in the following industries: Aerospace & Defense, Medical & Healthcare, Distribution & Logistics, Hospitality, Banking & Finance, Wholesale & Retail, Chemicals, Oil & Gas, Placement & Recruiting, Advertising & Publishing, Textile, Pharmaceutical, Non-Profit, Beverages, Conglomerates, Apparels, Durables, Manufacturing and having locations in multiple states and internationally.

help@albaspectrum.comMicrosoft CRM Lotus Notes Domino Connector FAQAndrew Karasev

Microsoft Business Solutions CRM and IBM Lotus Notes Domino, being two groupware products from competing software development leaders, however could coexist within one organization computer network and even work together in collaboration. There maybe multiple reason why corporation would use both products: licensing, commitment to IBM Lotus Notes as legacy product, risk balancing staking on both Microsoft and Java/EJB/J2EE platforms, deploying Lotus advanced workflow to automate document management, etc. The need to synchronize MS CRM and Lotus Notes Domino databases is dictated by the ERP market and the connector is available. In this small article well answer on the frequently asked questions.

Messaging. Can MS CRM use Lotus Domino instead of Microsoft Exchange? Yes. MS CRM Lotus Domino connector allows you send messages from MS CRM objects: Lead, Account, Contact and all the future object, including Sales and Service modules

Outgoing Messaging. When Microsoft CRM send email from Account, Contact, Lead connector takes control over and sends email through Lotus Domino server. It has Java Agent at the Lotus side and MS CRM SDK custom piece at the MS CRM side. If you compare outgoing messaging with standard MS CRM Exchange connector, then mechanism is slightly different. Microsoft CRM Exchange connector places GUID in the message header and uses this GUID to identify the object in the responding email to push it back to CRM and attach. MS CRM Lotus connector doesnt use GUID instead it scans MS CRM objects (Accounts, Contacts, Leads) in smart cached way

Incoming Messages. When Lotus Domino server receives email Java Agent side of the connector triggers checking with MS CRM if addressor email matches with any Contact, Lead or Account email. In the case of the match email is transferred into MS CRM in the form of activity of email type. Again please note that connector doesnt use GUID mechanism. We found that matching is better approach and we have Microsoft CRM Exchange advanced connector which works with matching, without standard GUID mechanism.

Microsoft CRM & Lotus Notes Events synchronization. Future version of the connector will synchronize MS CRM and Lotus Notes objects: Calendar, Appointment, Fax, Phone Call, etc. Please, note that Lotus has different objects we have the matching table, please check with us.

Lotus & MS CRM Versions. Lotus should be version 6.0 or higher. The reason for this is simple version 6.0 supports Java Agent technology. MS CRM should be 1.2 or 3.0. Lotus could work in multiple hardware & OS platforms, such as Windows Server, AS/400, etc.

Product Pricing. It is US$3k basic pack, including 30 users and then $75 each additional user. In Europe price is proportional in Euro.

Support. Product is installed Worldwide and supported in Europe from German office, in the USA and Canada from Houston and Chicago, in South America, Africa, Australia, Asia, New Zealand from office in Sao Paulo Brazil.

Please give us a call if you have additional questions 866-528-0577 or 630-961-5918! help@albaspectrum.com

Andrew is Great Plains specialist in Alba Spectrum Technologies ( http://www.albaspectrum.com ) Microsoft Great Plains, Navision, Microsoft CRM Partner, serving clients in California, Minnesota, Illinois, Washington, Florida, Arizona, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Canada, UK, Australia, Brazil, Germany, Russia. Alba Spectrum serves corporate clients in Aerospace & Defense, Oil & Gas, Chemicals, Manufacturing, Transportation & Logistics, Pharmaceutical, Food Processing, Placement, Healthcare & Medicine, Beverages, Agriculture, Non-profit, Distribution & Supply Chain Management, Financial Services, Furniture, Textile, Apparels, Conglomerates, Wholesale & Retail.


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