xRM is not a product; it is a strategic approach to building a unified system that connects all aspects of a business together.
Software developers and business analysts commonly define xRM in one of two ways. In the first definition, the “x” in xRM refers to extended relationship management, which represents the extension of CRM platforms far beyond customer relationship management. In the second definition, the “x” is an algebraic variable that can represent almost any relationship that a business needs to manage. In both definitions, expanding the functionality of the CRM platform is the key. An xRM solution can manage more than relationships with customers; it can manage suppliers, employees, partners, assets, knowledge bases, and just about anything else a company might wish to manage in a relational database.
Key Technologies of xRM
xRM depends on extensibility of the CRM platform on which it is built. Microsoft Dynamics® CRM currently provides the most powerful xRM platform available because of the Microsoft® .NET Framework that underlies it. Companies can typically achieve 80% of their business requirements using Microsoft Dynamics CRM. The .Net Framework, meanwhile, provides a common architecture that software developers can use to build custom line-of-business (LOB) applications that supply the remaining 20% of a company’s requirements quickly and economically.
Advantages of xRM
Deploying an xRM solution on the foundation of Microsoft Dynamics CRM provides several crucial advantages.
Enhanced automation – xRM solutions automate many critical or monotonous tasks that employees would otherwise have to complete manually.
Quicker deployments – Software plug-ins expand the functionality of the core Microsoft Dynamics CRM system, so developers do not have to build LOB software from scratch.
Security – Microsoft Dynamics CRM provides robust security features, including security roles for users and objects that limit access to sensitive data, SSL connections for data transfer, and more.
Stability – Microsoft Dynamics CRM provides the stability of an enterprise-level CRM system on which developers can build LOB applications.
Integration – xRM solutions can connect existing systems to CRM, freeing data trapped in outdated systems. Microsoft Dynamics CRM also provides native integration with Microsoft SharePoint® and Microsoft Office® applications including Outlook®, Excel®, and Word.
Powerful native features – xRM solutions built on the foundation of Microsoft Dynamics CRM provide powerful workflows, reporting, data modeling, and web services.
Usability – The user interface of Microsoft Dynamics CRM is immediately familiar to anyone who uses Microsoft Office applications.
Scalability – xRM solutions can scale to match the needs of any organization, regardless of size.
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