Dynamics CRM Bi Tools
Recently as of the time of this writing, Microsoft took yet another step in the direction of making it easier for business partners and clients to add customization to its BI suite of software. (BI stands for “business intelligence”.) Microsoft has released its Dynamics CRM Analytics Foundation. This is a bundle of customizable documentation and source code, and it's for free to all users of MS CRM software. Clients and business partners can build on the tools found in this bundle for the creation of customized BI applications, or simply use them as they are found. Microsoft is just one of the sellers of CRM software that is now endorsing what it calls “BI for the masses”, which essentially comprises the implementation of real-time metrics, information, and data in a format that is usable by all staff members and not confined to upper management.
Microsoft is hoping that by selling the software that enables this, it can increase its own sales volume of CRM software. Microsoft's Dynamics CRM software draws upon Microsoft's data analysis and management software programs including its SharePoint Portal technologies, Visual Studio suite of developmental tools, Office Business Scorecard Manager, and its SQL Server relational database. Christian Pederson, the senior director for Microsoft's Dynamics CRM development, says, “We're bringing the entire BI strategy from Microsoft to life”. He expects Dynamics CRM to be an important proof in the pudding for that concept, as it merges the analytics capabilities and data mining capabilities of the software with the company's SQL Server. Another piece of the Dynamics CRM suite that Microsoft will be releasing later on in this year at the time of this writing, according to Pederson, is going to be its PerformancePoint Server 2007.
PerfomancePoint Server 2007 has been undergoing Beta testing since November of 2006. It comprises a conglomeration of technologies that Microsoft acquired through the buying of ProClarity last year and its own proprietary BI technologies. PerfomancePoint functions as a way for users to put their data and business rules onto a central server to then be integrated with BI forecasting, planning, scorecarding, and analysing. The latest step in Dynamics CRM can allow a company to study predictive analytics concerning client activities in order to cross-sell or upsell with more success. When a client contacts your company, your salesmen would be able to access the data in Dynamics CRM related to things beyond just that client, such as other clients' buying habits, that put the salesman in a position to make informed and relevant recommendations for additional products.
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