torsdag den 26. maj 2011

The good and the bad on xRM solutions on Dynamics CRM Online

One of the main reasons I love to work with the Dynamics CRM platform is the xRM capabilities. I created one of the first “real” xRM solutions based on Dynamics CRM 3.0. It was a waste management system for Copenhagen municipality.

Ever since that I have designed lots of xRM solutions for many kinds of businesses.

With the introduction of Dynamics CRM 2011 Online I often get the question: should I send my CRM system and my xRM applications into the cloud?

There is not a clear answer to this question, but I will here try to list some of my experiences.

Use the CRM Online option if:

-          You have to ramp up fast. It takes about 5 minutes to get going

-          You need easy access from the web

-          You need a compelling SLA agreement

-          You’ll have an easy and efficient login procedure by using Windows Live id

-          You only use 3rd party components that supports CRM Online

-          You’re sure that you can use the included data import tool. Actually it’s a quite good tool. If you have tried to use the previous versions of the import tool, you will be amazed with this one. But you still don’t have the advanced rule-based import options. Everything has to be prepared in file before the import can begin.

-          You can rely on limited reporting services options, using fetch-xml. Alternatively you can try the Scribe Online replication service to download a complete copy of your CRM Online data to a local SQL database.

-          You’re sure that you don’t need custom workflow steps

Use the CRM On-premise option if:

-          You want complete control over data and deployed versions of CRM

-          Users need access to more than one organization and you have additional xRM applications planned

-          You have to use 3rd party on-premise components

-          You’ll do heavy plugin coding

-          You have to do some backdoor coding or unsupported customizations that need access to the database or the actual aspx pages.

-          You want to do any database operations, optimizations or adjustments to improve your solution

Use the private cloud option if:

-          You need the best from the two worlds mentioned above

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