IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

CRM Add-Ons Add Value

Looking for additional functionality for your clients’ CRM solutions? Maybe these will fit the bill. By Martin Sinderman

Software vendors offer a wide range of add-ons for both Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Salesforce customer relationship management solutions that extend the functionality of these systems in a number of interesting ways. Here’s a look at a few of them:

MICROSOFT DYNAMICS CRM ADD-ONS

Microsoft Insights Included free of charge with all Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Professional and Enterprise licenses in the U.S. and Canada is the Microsoft Insights add-on, powered by InsideView from San Francisco-based InsideView Inc., that “infuses” Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online with business information, news, and insights, augmenting the basic company and contact data at the heart of a CRM.

Information is continually updated from some 30,000 sources, including social media, news media, and financial reports that are, according to InsideView, “validated with data science technology to ensure you have the most accurate, validated, and complete data set.”

The addition of Insights creates a CRM that goes well beyond simply managing prospect data, according to Allen Hamaoui, senior partner at Computer Solutions East Inc., a New Rochelle, N.Y., IT solutions provider and authorized reseller of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and on-premises solutions/services. www.insideview.com/microsoft-insights

InoLink: QuickBooks Accounting and CRM systems often have closely related information. Attempting to maintain this information separately in both systems can frequently lead to data duplication as well as data inconsistency. InoLink: QuickBooks, from Inogic Tech Pvt. Ltd., based in India, helps solve that problem by enabling Microsoft Dynamics CRM users to easily transfer data entered in one system to the other. It also provides users with a 360-degree view of customer accounting information from within Dynamics CRM, enhancing their ability to make informed decisions.

“[InoLink: QuickBooks] basically enables us to manage sales automation [quote and order management] in Dynamics CRM, and then seamlessly push invoices to QuickBooks,” says Hamaoui, adding, “It bridges the gap between CRM and QuickBooks data.” http://inogic.com/Product/77/Integrations/InoLink

SALESFORCE.COM ADD-ONS

Bluewolf ALM The add-ons list for CRM giant Salesforce.com is topped by Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) tools such as Bluewolf ALM, from Blue Wolf Group LLC (Bluewolf), according to Corinne Sklar, chief marketing officer for the New York-based global business consultancy, and a major consulting partner of San Francisco-based Salesforce.

“We’re seeing a huge increase in organizations looking for ALM solutions for Salesforce,” says Sklar. “And we’ve found that the companies that get the most out of Salesforce, in terms of improved revenue and customer experience, are those leveraging these solutions.” www.bluewolf.com

Marketo Another add-on cited by Sklar is Marketo, a business-to-business marketing and lead management solution by Marketo Inc., headquartered in San Mateo, Calif., that enhances the ability to create, automate, and track engaging campaigns and marketing workflows across all marketing channels. www.marketo.com

Other Options For big data and cloud integration solutions, Salesforce add-ons like Informatica, from Informatica LLC, in Cary, N.C., “are becoming a huge part of the Salesforce add-on and integration strategy,” says Sklar. Meanwhile, post-initial-contact, “quote to cash” tracking solutions such as those from Apptus Corp., in San Mateo, Calif., and SteelBrick Inc., also in San Mateo, are likewise popular. www.informatica.com, http://apttus.com, www.steelbrick.com

 

About the Author

Martin Sinderman is a freelance writer and frequent ChannelPro contributor in Savannah, Ga.

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