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Microsoft CRM 3.0 document management

Posted on 2006-05-16
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Hi experts,

I would like to know how far I can get with document management for a small company. Does MS CRM 3.0 include all standard features like lifecycle management, full text search etc.?

I would like to read a compiled hands-on comment of someone who is not a MS salesman ;-)


Thank you very much in advance
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Question by:i-Thomas
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Expert Comment

by:ck_damu
ID: 16691147
Hi,

CRM has the following features Listed below .

1) Service Management.
2) Case Management.
3) Lead Management.
4) Creating Workflow rules.
5) As far as comments are concerend, its there with every activity, it's stored as notes , one advantage of notes in CRM
3.0 is it stores date and time, which was not there in CRM 1.2.
6) It has knowledge base article's and sales literature, knoledge base article has got full text search.

and the list goes on...

If you can tell what exactly you want, then i would be of more help to you.

Damu
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Author Comment

by:i-Thomas
ID: 16691771
Hello Damu,

I would like to get a specific idea about the degree of integration concerning documents so that they can be shared via CRM effectively over the company. Are they kept in SQL-Server? Can I specify "expiration date"? Do I have a journal that shows when document was changed by whom etc.
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy earned 600 total points
ID: 16692653
Some would argue that I sometimes Sound like a Microsoft Salesman, but it's only an enthusiasm for the products that makes it seem that way.  So you'll have to take this for what it's worth...

If you are going to install the Small Business Edition of CRM 3.0, it has to be installed on Small Business Server 2003 Premium Edition... which includes Windows Sharepoint Services and SQL Server (among other things).  There is a tremendous amount of integration between CRM and Sharepoint, and having SQL Server provides full text search.  Document libraries can be managed in Sharepoint and linked to CRM quite easily.  

Additionally, Microsoft has created "Office Snaps" which are snap-in modules to integrate CRM with Office products... and they have just realeased a Snap that will integrate CRM with MySAP if you need it.  (I haven't seen or used this particular Snap, although I have deployed the Office ones and they are truly a "snap".  The brochure for the MySAP one is here:  http://snipurl.com/qjmf

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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Accepted Solution

by:
ck_damu earned 800 total points
ID: 16692811
Hi Thomas

In continuation to the jeff's reply.

CRM is tightly integrated with Word and Excel.

Following are some of the features

1) Mail merge and mass mailings.
2) Word Mail merge using filtered views.
3) Word mail merge using microsoft crm exported excel data.
4) MS CRM Fax Integeration with Small business Edition.
5) CRM also has a laptop client which can be installed with Microsoft outlook.
6) You can store document with all the entities in CRM.

7) Unfortunately CRM doesn't have a biometric control in it to findout who has tampered the document etc...
   Some ISV do have a solution for this which can be integrated with MSCRM and can be customized for your needs.

All the data incl documents, email attachments are stored in SQL Server. ( In ActivityMimeattachment, KbArticleBase table  etc to be more specific.)

Damu

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Assisted Solution

by:dstanley9
dstanley9 earned 600 total points
ID: 16720012
CRM is not a Document Management tool, it is a Customer Relationship Management tool.  It does not have any of the tracking , security, or expiration features you are asking for.  

For Document Management you want some thing like Sharepoint or another commercial tool.
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Author Comment

by:i-Thomas
ID: 16733649
Yes, I would like to have them tightly integrated. So Sharepoint is what I need for these Document managment features?
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Expert Comment

by:dstanley9
ID: 16734392
Sharepoint is one option (and it's free with Server 2003). To be honest, I haven't used it's document management features too much, so I can't give too much testimony there.  Here's a link for more info:

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/technologies/sharepoint/default.mspx


Also, I would not say that CRM is "Tightly Integrated" with Office.  I do not consider being able to export to Excel and use that exported file as a source for a Word mail merge "tight" integration.  

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Expert Comment

by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 16734484
I would say that CRM IS tightly integrated with Office.  There is no need to export to Excel and then use that exported file as a source for a Word mail merge... all of that can be done right within CRM without the need to export.  That fact along with a brief note about document management for sales literature or product documentation is clearly stated in this CRM 3.0 Fact Sheet:

http://download.microsoft.com/download/9/e/f/9ef6e1e2-2681-4dac-9afa-c08ac8c7e144/MSCRM3.0_Sales_Dtsht_122005.pdf

Plus, I've done it and it works just fine!

There's a CRM Marketing Automation class which may be of interest if you need to know how to do this:
http://www.microsoft.com/learning/syllabi/en-us/8522afinal.mspx

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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