By Henning Lund - March 24, 2022
Each year, many companies worldwide undertake the journey to integrate their CRM and ERP systems. When IT executives first investigate how to integrate, they tend to have a long list of items they wish to synchronize.
However, is the best way to integrate as many fields and tables as possible between a CRM and an ERP system? Leonardo Da Vinci once said that “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”. When it comes to data integration, simplicity is often the ultimate approach to the best solution.
On the other hand, some, more cautious, choose to integrate very little, for example only customer data. While simple is good, this could be too simplified.
Considering all the various synergies you can harvest from data integration and synchronization, it is important to find the right balance.
This article will investigate how much value there is in CRM and ERP integration, in this case, between Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics. The answer is to be found in simplicity and value for money.
In a time of big data, data warehouses and data virtualization, business executives worldwide have understood the importance and value of data. The collected enterprise data can be used to improve customer service and increase sales. They can finally gain the much longed for customer 360-degree customer view.
Customer data has indeed gained so much value that its collection and use has had to be controlled to avoid misuse and abuse. The European Commission set the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) in place with that very purpose in mind.
The trespassing of rules of usage of customer data such as email addresses, behavioral data or other sensitive information can bring companies to a court of justice. Many companies have had to pay significant fines.
Because data quality and data protection have become a vital concern of organizations, data quality is more important than ever before. Data quality is a vital tool for adequacy of decisions.
Data quality can however be difficult to achieve when you collect information in multiple source systems. Combining data from systems and social media to gain a unified view is not necessarily as difficult as one might think. Today, data integration tools provide ready-to-use solutions to connect IT solutions.
Connecting Salesforce CRM with ERP solutions like Microsoft Dynamics AX, NAV, GP or 365 can easily be done. Especially if you choose the right data integration system.
You can use data integration solutions such as RapidiOnline to synchronize the Microsoft Dynamics ERP customer table with Salesforce accounts. The solution also supports any customizations you might want to add on Salesforce and/or Microsoft Dynamics. For example, adding a number of custom fields in Microsoft Dynamics NAV can easily be synchronized with Salesforce.
Dynamics Salesforce integration can be straight-forward. Should you wish to keep it as simple as possible you can decided to stick to synchronizing:
Data cleaning is also of utmost importance. For example, companies that have decided to keep the records in Salesforce a little better cleaned up than in Microsoft Dynamics NAV can have a challenge. How can that be in an integrated system environment?
Imagine a company with approximately 15,000 active Account records in Salesforce. They do it this way because they want Salesforce to hold active and qualified potential clients only. Meanwhile, their Microsoft Dynamics NAV holds a little more than 50,000 records.
The 50,000 records in Microsoft Dynamics NAV consists of all the records from Salesforce plus past clients and prospects as well. In many other cases, these numbers could be the opposite and often, companies have more Accounts in Salesforce than customer records in Microsoft Dynamics.
The company uses Salesforce to track and develop all leads, and does not have a long list of past clients in the ERP system. In this case, the CRM system will always have more records than the ERP system. This is because the Account in the CRM system is not transferred to the ERP system until it has been converted from a lead to a customer.
Customer data is extremely valuable for this fictitious company, and they are very careful about the way they handle and maintain it. For such a company, the simple and reliable transfer of customer data is enough to bring considerable value. This justifies using a data integration solution such as RapidiOnline.
Data integration projects, in general, do not have to be huge and complex to add value. What is important is to set up transfers that solve some of an organization’s key pains or enhance some of your most valuable processes.
While customer data can be the most valuable asset for a company, for others, it may also include additional information such as product information or price lists.
Despite their apparently simple needs, the above-featured company could choose RapidiOnline. RapidiOnline is an affordable solution that integrates the systems directly.
Going the opposite way and developing a custom solution, even “just” for the transfer of customer data, would most likely be a mistake. The cost of developing the data transfers and later the maintenance costs would likely be much higher than the RapidiOnline subscription costs.
This, combined with the in-depth technology and solution knowledge of the Rapidi consultants can be considered to provide tremendous value. In such a case, it is fair to say that the RapidiOnline subscription is worth the investment.
This is some of the feedback received by RapidiOnline along the years: