All about system integration
For many businesses there is considerable commercial value in integrating the main ERP or Business system with the CRM solution. Delivering key summary financial information in the context of CRM gives the users crucial information on which to base business decisions. Financial data lends further depth to the CRM philosophy, allowing an understanding not only of what commissions have been won with a customer but also the final values and overall profitability for a customer or customer group. Thus those in Business Development are armed not only with key CRM information but also with financial history to support decision making.
Project-SalesAchiever™ has been successfully integrated with many different ERP solutions, including:
- eRapid & eLogia
- AS400 Systems
- System 6000
- Access Dimensions
- Many more !
If you would like to learn how clients integrate their Invoicing Systems or ERP solution with Project-SalesAchiever™ CRM and gain ideas on best practice please contact your Account Manager and flag the system you are most interested in and they will be more than happy to arrange a discussion for you.
The basic principles of integration are the same for any ERP or Financial package whether standard or bespoke. Connectors are used which map and move the data in one or more directions between systems. Connectors can be live, nightly or scheduled to run on a regular basis (e.g. every 10 minutes, weekly, etc).
Business typically approach integration in different ways depending on the flexibility required and the skill sets within the business. Most integrations fall into one of two categories – standard or custom integration.
For the most common Invoicing/ERP or database platforms there are standard templates available which can be used to integrate between Project-SalesAchiever™ CRM and the main business system. These templates also give scope to extend the integration to include other data or master files.
Standard templates are available for SQL Server, Sybase, Oracle and Sage systems. These templates can include proxy tables, remote server links and SQL Integration Services packages. Templates allow data to be drawn from the most commonly required entities of the ERP system into the Project-SalesAchiever™ database. In most cases this includes Customer, Product & Sales master data and Quotation data is often available if this module is used. If a business which requires additional fields or data to be transferred or manipulated then the template can be quickly extended to include this. This gives a business the ability to quickly & easily customize the integration whilst capitalizing on the template for the bulk of the integration.
With Project-SalesAchiever™ CRM version 4, data can also be read directly from the ERP system into Project-SalesAchiever™ CRM using the link created by the template. For example live order information may be displayed on a new tab against the Project to give a read-only view of the current orders for a specific project.
A business choosing custom integration gains greater control over the level and nature of integration between systems. The choice of integration solution is often dictated by the skill-sets in house. Typically tools such as BizTalk or custom scripts are used which allow close control over the method of integration. Typically most business will import a subset of the following data depending on where master data is stored and which modules are in use in Project-SalesAchiever™ and the ERP solution.
Customer master data – typical data available for transfer in standard templates includes: Customer Account number, Company name, registered/invoice address, phone, fax, web, email, customer classification, sales person, registration number, credit limit & current balance.
Service / Product master data – typical data available for transfer in standard templates includes: item code, long description, short description, currency code, cost price, selling price, cost units, sales units, maximum discount, product group/family structure, minimum order and minimum sales quantity.
Invoice or Sales summary data – typically summary data is available for transfer in standard templates, these include: Customer account number, sales data grouping reference, currency code, quantity, value, margin , sales year & sales period.
Orders – for some ERP solutions data order data is available for transfer in standard templates typical fields include: Order number, Customer account number, order date, created date, created by, sales person, project reference and quotation reference . Order rows are also available and fields typically available include order reference, line number, item code, cost price, sell price, discount, quantity and customer reference.
Estimates/Quotes – typical data available for transfer in standard templates includes: Quote number, customer account number, quote date, validity date, created date, created by, sales person, project reference. Quote rows are also available and fields typically available include quote reference, line number, item code, cost price, sell price, discount, quantity and customer/BOM reference