With the fast growing popularity of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Microsoft felt it was needed to extend its reach to mobile devices and truly allow CRM users to be productive anytime, anywhere and on any device. To achieve this goal they decided to build the CRM Mobile Express, an extension to CRM that would provide CRM functionality on all common smart phones.
After extensive vendor selection process Microsoft hired Akvelon to assist with the project. The following criteria played the main role in Microsoft choosing Akvelon:
- Solid reputation with mobile-enabling existing applications as well as developing mobile applications from scratch
- Mature process in communication, project management, development and test guaranteeing to minimize randomization of Microsoft’s employees involved on the project
- Ability to quickly establish a dedicated on-site/off-shore project team and to scale it up or down to accommodate changes in business requirements
- Ability to provide end-to-end services covering development, test and project management
Akvelon has quickly assigned a dedicated project team with US-based project manager, US-based test team and off-shore development team.
Benefits and Results
- CRM-ME was delivered on a phased-release schedule, under budget and with production quality Microsoft is accustomed to expect
- By partnering with Akvelon, Microsoft was able to avoid increasing permanent head-count, minimize randomization of its development team, and stay focused on developing mainline CRM functionality
- Microsoft addressed its growing need for mobile-enablement of its leading CRM product gaining a leg-up on the competition
- CRM users realized increased productivity with streamlined access to customer information from any web-enabled device with mobile browser, at any time from any location
- CRM-ME provided users the convenience of using a familiar interface very similar to Microsoft Dynamics CRM, easy navigation, no required installation and simple configuration using standard Microsoft CRM administrative console
Technology and Implementation
- CRM-ME is a server-side extension to CRM 4.0 which supports on-premise, internet facing and on-line CRM 4.0 deployments.
- CRM-ME provides access to CRM 4.0 through web-enabled mobile devices equipped with supported mobile browsers. Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, Android, iPhone and Nokia Series 60 are all supported.
- The implementation provides unified user experience on all device types and is made highly interactive with client-side JScript allowing for application-like user experience.
- The development required complete implementation of server-side functionality using common CRM APIs and utilizing mobile controls.
- Multi-tenancy and integration with CRM Online were introduced as part of the implementation.
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