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Examples of xRM Solutions

Now that you have a basic understanding of what xRM is, here are a few real-world examples.

Example One—Drug Lab Testing

  • Application Type — Drug lab testing
  • xRM Solution Type — Pure xRM solution
  • Description

    This xRM solution is used by a drug testing lab to manage the business process associated with receiving samples from doctors to be tested. Each sample is associated with a doctor, a patient, and one or more testing machines.

    This system was developed as a pure xRM solution with custom entities for all parts. No existing entities were used.

  • Benefits

    • Not using the Contacts entity allows for custom security to apply to each type of individual used (patients, doctors, lab technicians).
    • Highly tailored to the lab business processes.
  • Drawbacks

    • Extra effort associated with building the entire solution from scratch.
    • Redundant construction is required for overlapping fields between entities.
    • Billing is conducted from a different system.
    • When you don’t use the native Contact entity, you do not get the benefit of the new composite controls used by the Contact full name and address, as well as the native Bing map control.

Example Two—Animal Research Lab

  • Application Type — Animal research lab
  • xRM Solution Type — Advanced customizations xRM solution
  • Description

    • This xRM solution is used by an animal testing lab to manage the business process associated with receiving samples from researchers to be tested. Each sample is associated with a researcher, a species, and one or more testing machines.

      This system is in contrast to the similar drug testing application discussed previously, which made use of many OOB entities, such as Sales Orders, Invoices, and Contacts. Because it did not have the same security standards as a system containing medical information about humans, the complexity was greatly reduced.

  • Benefits

    • Using the Sales Order entity allowed the owner to treat the process as a traditional sales process. Each test requested is a product.
    • Relationships between Sales Orders and Contacts are already built.
    • Sales amount calculations and invoices are already supplied by Microsoft.
    • The new composite controls for Contact full name and address can be used.
  • Drawbacks

    • The complex relationships increase the complexity of the security model.
    • The process must follow the CRM Sales process.

Example Three—Law Enforcement Management

  • Application Type — Law enforcement management
  • xRM Solution Type — Pure xRM solution
  • Description

    • A law enforcement organization uses this xRM solution to track critical information about their staff. The 360-degree aspects give a rich view of the officers, including where they are stationed and major events in their employment, and serve as an early-warning system for management to address risk issues.

      This system was developed as a pure xRM solution with custom entities for all parts. Custom entities include Employees, Jails, Vehicles, Buildings, and Inmates.

  • Benefits

    • The highly complex relational data was mapped to existing processes.
    • Highly tailored to the organization’s processes.
    • Not impacted by process changes in upcoming releases of CRM.
  • Drawbacks

    • Extra costs associated with building more than 100 custom entities and relationships.

Example Four—Agile Project Management

  • Application Type — Agile project management
  • xRM Solution Type — Hybrid xRM solution
  • Description

    • This solution is an advanced customizations solution with a large number of custom entities, but based on the OOB Contact and Account entities to track people and organizations. Each organization can have one or more projects stored in a project entity, and work items have a custom entity that is tied to the project and the contact (person) that requested the work item.

      This system was developed as an advanced customization because it extends the base CRM solution with new entities and fields. The existing Quote, Order, and Opportunity entities are used to manage the sales process and the project components to manage delivery.

  • Benefits

    • Building on the existing sales force automation (SFA) within CRM allows the users to leverage their system across both the sales and delivery parts of the business process.
    • Built to the custom agile processes demanded by the client.
    • Leveraged an existing investment in CRM and consolidated the department’s technology stack.
  • Drawbacks

    • Extra costs associated with building custom entities.

Example Five—Airline Grievance Tracking

  • Application Type—Airline grievance tracking
  • xRM Solution Type—Hybrid xRM solution
  • Description

    • An international airline uses this CRM solution to service travel agents and large groups. This company used it as a customer service tool to allow groups in different countries to share update statuses.

      This system leveraged a large part of the OOB case management in CRM and only added additional fields and renamed some labels; otherwise this system, used by 500 users, is almost vanilla CRM.

  • Benefits

    • Not using the Contacts entity allows for custom security to apply to each type of individual used (travel agents, travelers, and so on).
    • Highly tailored to the airline customer service process.
  • Drawbacks

    • Extra costs associated with building everything from scratch.
    • Redundant construction required for overlapping fields between entities.

These are just a few examples of the types of solutions that can be built with Microsoft Dynamics CRM using the xRM components. As shown, a similar process can sometimes take a completely different approach based on one or two specific requirements. For example, the drug testing solution and the lab management solution are very close, but the need to keep patient information confidential guided the solution architecture down a different path.

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