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For more than a decade, Pivotal CRM has been the choice of Microsoft-centric organizations that want the flexibilityto model their specific business practices within their customer relationship ...

For more than a decade, Pivotal CRM has been the choice of Microsoft-centric organizations that want the flexibilityto model their specific business practices within their customer relationship management system. CDC Softwarecooperates closely with Microsoft to ensure Pivotal CRM customers can always take advantage of the latest advancesin Microsoft technology

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PivotalCRM - Pivotal_crm and microsoft_us Document Transcript

  • 1. W H I T E P A P E RPivotal CRM and Microsoft:Evolving in Lock Step Executive Summary For more than a decade, Pivotal CRM has been the choice of Microsoft-centric orga- nizations that want the flexibility to model their specific business practices within their customer relationship management system. The Pivotal CRM product line leverages the Microsoft technology stack to provide not only usability and productivity advan- tages through integration to Microsoft Office, but also the reliability, scalability, and ease of integration and deployment required in an enterprise-strength CRM solution. CDC Software is moving Pivotal CRM onto the Microsoft .NET Framework to allow our customers to realize its benefits, including simplified deployment and ongoing management of Pivotal CRM solutions, more flexible customization capabilities, cost- effective integration, and an enhanced user experience.
  • 2. For more than a decade, Pivotal CRM has been the choice of Microsoft-centric organizations that want the flexibilityto model their specific business practices within their customer relationship management system. CDC Softwarecooperates closely with Microsoft to ensure Pivotal CRM customers can always take advantage of the latest advancesin Microsoft technology. The Pivotal CRM product line leverages the Microsoft technology stack to provide not onlyusability and productivity advantages through integration to Microsoft Office, but also the reliability, scalability, and easeof integration and deployment required in an enterprise-strength CRM solution.Microsoft’s latest technology stack is based on Microsoft .NET, which is enjoying widespread adoption within thesoftware development community because it provides a standards-based platform for developing, integrating, anddeploying service-oriented applications. Service-oriented applications are built as reusable components that can sharethe services they provide over the Internet, thus enabling true interoperability among applications written in differentprogramming languages.CDC Software is moving Pivotal CRM onto the Microsoft .NET framework to allow our customers to realize its benefits,including simplified deployment and ongoing management of Pivotal CRM solutions, more flexible customizationcapabilities, cost-effective integration, and an enhanced user experience.Adopting the Microsoft Roadmap Microsoft ProductsAs a Microsoft Global Independent Software Vendor Windows 2003 Supported(GISV), CDC Software benefits from a managed relation- Windows Vista Under developmentship that spans multiple corporate dimensions, including SharePoint Server 2007 Supportedsales engagements, co-marketing, and technology adop-tion. This distinguishes us in terms of technology access, SQL Server 2000 Supportedgo-to-market cooperation, and support services from the SQL Server 2005 Supported7000+ companies that Microsoft defines as “partners.” MS Office XP/2002 SupportedCDC Software is a Gold Certified Partner and full MS Office 2003 Supportedparticipant in Microsoft’s GISV Partner Advisory Council, MS Office 2007 Under developmentan invitation-only group of Microsoft’s top 40 global ISVs. Visual Studio 2003 SupportedAs a member of the GISV-PAC, we provide input onMicrosoft’s programs and go-to-market strategies. Visual Studio 2005 Supported Exchange 2003 SupportedAs a result, we are able to take a proactive approach Exchange 2007 Under developmentto supporting Microsoft’s core platform products by BizTalk Server 2000 Supportedparticipating in beta, pre-release, and early accessprograms. Wherever possible, we align our Pivotal CRM BizTalk Server 2004 Support plannedroadmap with Microsoft’s, allowing our customers to take IIS 5.x Supportedfirst-mover advantage of new capabilities in Microsoft’s IIS 6.0 Supportedcore platform products and ensuring customers can lever- IIS 7.0 Supportedage and extend their existing infrastructure investments. Pivotal CRM | White Paper 
  • 3. Pivotal CRM: Built on the Microsoft Technology FoundationMicrosoft SQL Server Microsoft Operating SystemsPivotal CRM solutions can take advantage of the powerful Pivotal CRM is optimized for the Windows platform andbusiness intelligence (BI) capabilities in SQL Server utilizes advanced operating system features to improve2005, including integration services, analysis services, performance, scalability, manageability, and usability,reporting services, and data mining, allowing businesses greatly reducing the effort of deploying Pivotal CRM solu-to apply complex multi-dimensional analysis capabilities tions. Additionally, Pivotal CRM solutions take advantageto operational CRM data. Information relevant to each of Windows 2000/2003 Advanced Server Network Loaduser’s needs can be displayed in portals personalized to Balancing services to distribute IP traffic across a Pivotaleach role, improving the customer experience through CRM-deployed application cluster of standard, low-costbetter access to decision-making data. For example, SQL Intel servers, reducing the cost of implementing anServer’s BI capabilities make it possible to perform sales enterprise-strength solution.forecasting and create executive dashboards that offerkey business performance indicators at a glance. Microsoft Internet Information ServerAdditionally, because SQL Server 2005 is part of the Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) is the keyWindows® Server System™ line of products, Pivotal infrastructure behind Pivotal CRM’s reliable, manageable,CRM customers can benefit from reduced total cost of and scalable web-based CRM applications, facilitatingownership and faster development time when integrating synchronization of not only data, but also upgradesto other Windows Server System products. and customizations, to all systems within and beyond enterprise boundaries.With respect to Pivotal CRM and the BI capabilities of SQLServer 2005, CDC Software’s intentions include buildingout a reporting structure based on Microsoft ReportingServices, which offers a single, server-based point offocus for delivery of both traditional static reports to userdesktops and interactive reports via the Internet. Pivotal CRM | White Paper 2
  • 4. Pivotal CRM customers deploying a web-based solution can take advantage of Microsoft IIS 6.0’s support of theMicrosoft Dynamic Systems Initiative (DSI)—which includes automated health monitoring, process isolation, andimproved management capabilities—to increase application availability while lowering system administration costs.Microsoft BizTalk Server as the ability to look up Pivotal CRM data directly within any Microsoft Office application. A Web Service makesPivotal CRM can leverage Microsoft BizTalk Server any Office document (including Word, PowerPoint, andto integrate business processes within and between Excel) a gateway into the Pivotal CRM database.organizations. The Pivotal Integration Connector providesBizTalk-compatible schemas that facilitate developing, For example, when a user is creating a contract inexecuting, managing, and optimizing distributed business Microsoft Word, the company’s name will automaticallyprocesses. be highlighted. If the user right-clicks on the highlighted name, that company’s Pivotal-based record will beCustomers that choose to integrate their CRM business displayed in a sidebar in Word so the user can quicklyprocesses using BizTalk can also take advantage of the get the customer’s fax number or other required details—application and technology adapters that come standard there’s no need to switch or cut and paste betweenwith BizTalk Server, including connectors for such line-of- applications. In this way, users can work in their favoredbusiness applications as SAP, Siebel, PeopleSoft, Oracle, environment, Microsoft Office, organizing information,and JD Edwards. scheduling meetings, tracking progress, and creating and recording e-mailed communications. And by conductingMicrosoft Exchange Server every interaction in the context of the customer’s CRM data—which includes support issues, purchase history,Pivotal CRM ships pre-integrated with Microsoft Outlook contact preferences, and more—the quality of everyand the Exchange Server communications infrastructure, customer interaction is improved.enabling users to not only manage all customer e-mailcommunications from within the Pivotal CRM application, In Sedna (the codename for the next release of the Pivotalbut also to ensure that their contacts and scheduling data CRM platform, a.k.a. Pivotal CRM 6.0), CDC Softwareare always up-to-date in both their Pivotal CRM solution will deliver even deeper integration between Pivotal CRMand Outlook. and Microsoft Outlook, providing direct access to e-mail, Exchange, calendars, and contacts. Outlook task panesMicrosoft Office will allow users to display relevant Pivotal CRM data when working in Outlook, in order to access contextualInteroperability with Microsoft Office is a key capability of customer information without having to toggle betweenPivotal CRM, allowing information workers to use the tools systems.with which they are most familiar. Pivotal LetterExpressprovides the capability to perform mail merges betweenPivotal CRM data and Microsoft Word documents. PivotalCRM also offers integration to Microsoft Outlook, as well Pivotal CRM | White Paper 3
  • 5. Pivotal CRM information related to the task being performed (i.e., literature fulfillment) MS Outlook task pane displaying Pivotal CRM data Automatically link the e-mail to Pivotal CRM. Customizers can define the business objects to link to; end users can modify the links Outlook Task Pane with Sedna Capabilities (Mockup)Additionally, Sedna will utilize Microsoft SharePoint to allow customers to create standard launch pages— interactiveportals that give employees in different functional areas direct access to their most commonly used features. Forexample, customizers will be able to create a standard portal for Technical Support employees, a different one forsalespeople, for marketing, and so on. Customizers can then populate each portal with task menus that feature thekinds of commonly used tasks specific to the user function. End users will then be able to personalize their standardportal by adding in new web parts (either those defined by the customizer or imported from a third party, includingMicrosoft) or modifying existing web parts. In this way, users will be able to assemble their own highly personalized,relevant, and visually enhanced portals.Microsoft Visual Studio® Migrating to Microsoft .NETWhen customizing their Pivotal CRM solution, customizerscurrently work within Pivotal CRM’s own graphical toolkit The current Pivotal CRM platform (generation 5.x) hasto make modifications at all levels of the application, been formally .NET-certified and is on its way to becomingfrom designing forms to modifying workflow to creating fully .NET native. As with any enterprise software solution,extensions. With Sedna, customizers will be able to it is imperative that a balance is established between thetake advantage of the Visual Studio Forms Designer to desire to embrace the future while protecting existing cus-create and edit Pivotal CRM forms using drag-and-drop tomer investments. To that end, CDC Software is pursuingfunctionality. a strategic adoption of .NET that allows customers to evolve their Pivotal CRM solution via migration, rather thanCDC Software’s proposed product direction is to forcing complete reimplementation.investigate whether the Pivotal Toolkit can be integratedwith Visual Studio to provide customers with a single An Evolving Three-Tier Architectureintegrated development environment from which to build,deploy, and manage Pivotal CRM applications. Pivotal CRM solutions are built on a three-tier Internet application architecture (the Pivotal CRM platform) with clear separation of the presentation services tier (userCompatibility interface), business services tier (where business logicCDC Software’s policy is to provide compatibility between resides), and data services tier (where customer data isPivotal CRM and new versions of key Microsoft products kept separate from metadata, or information about theas they are released. customer data). Pivotal CRM | White Paper 4
  • 6. Pivotal 5.0 Pivotal 5.x Sedna Sedna+1 (proposed) Windows Client Web Client Windows Client Web Client Smart Client Smart Client Presentation (Pivotal Windows (Pivotal Rich (Pivotal Windows (Pivotal Rich (Pivotal Client) (Pivotal Client) Services Client) Client) Client) Client) Tier Pivotal Business Pivotal Business Pivotal Business Pivotal Business Business Server (COM+) Server (COM+; Server (COM+; Server (.NET) Services .NET) .NET) Tier Enterprise Enterprise Enterprise Enterprise Data Business Module (Customer) Business Module (Customer) Business Module (Customer) Business Module (Customer) Services (metadata; VB6 Data (metadata; VB6; Data (metadata; C# Data (metadata; C# Data Tier code) C# code) code) code)The Business Services Tier for the Pivotal 5.0 generation of CRM products started out exclusively based on COM+, buthas evolved to include .NET capabilities while ensuring compatibility with all existing COM+ components. “Sedna+”(the current moniker for the Pivotal CRM platform release to follow Sedna) will deliver .NET interfaces for all existingcomponents and ensure that all new components can be developed natively in .NET.The Presentation Services Tier has always offered customers a choice between multiple clients, allowing them tosupport their users according to their needs, whether they are LAN-based, remote, or mobile and whether they areusing wireless or thin client devices. All current-generation Pivotal CRM deployments, however, have deployed one (orboth) principal client(s):• Pivotal Windows Client, a feature- and func- applications to be easily customized at all levels, with no tion-rich thick client primarily intended for users that disruption to the rest of the system or to end users: require an application with high UI complexity and high responsiveness, and/or Data Model: Customize the underlying database entities or business objects that most closely model a• Pivotal Rich Client, a feature-rich, web-based customer’s business, such as changing and creating data client intended to provide the interactive transactional elements and relationships between the data entities. support of Pivotal Windows Client, together with the low maintenance, low TCO, and high accessibility that a • Business Processes: Design, update, and browser-based application provides. manage the business rules that define day-to-day busi- ness operations.With Sedna, CDC Software will replace these two PivotalCRM clients with a single client built on Microsoft’s • User Interface: Personalize the end user’s experi-.NET-based Smart Client technology. Smart Clients offer ence of the CRM system.the best features of thick clients—a rich user experience, The Pivotal 5.x generation provided full support forhigh developer productivity, and high responsive- programming customizations in Microsoft Visual Basicness—by taking advantage of local processing power and (VB) and partial support for .NET-based programmingresources, as well as the benefits of thin clients—broad languages. Sedna will continue to support and run exist-reach, easy change management, and ease of deploy- ing customizations, scripts, and extensions, but it will takement—while avoiding their negative attributes. Sedna will full advantage of the Common Language Runtime (thecontinue to support all current access methods, but will execution engine of Microsoft .NET), which allows for theprovide a common presentation layer through which all creation of highly efficient managed code written usingLAN- and mobile-based users will be able to access their new .NET programming languages like C# and VB.NET.Pivotal CRM implementation. This means that customers can deploy their existing system on the new Sedna platform, and then migrate theirAt the Data Services Tier, all CRM system data is col- application over time to .NET. For new deployments, CDClected in two separate databases: the Business Module Software will deliver out-of-the-box Pivotal CRM solutions(BM) metadata database (which contains such applica- based on C#, but will support customizations written intion-specific features as forms, UI definitions, workflow, any .NET language.business rules, and table and record structures) and theEnterprise Data (ED) database (which contains just the CDC Software’s proposed product direction for Sedna+customer information). In contrast to CRM applications is to make Pivotal CRM solutions .NET native (from frontthat mix customer data together with metadata, Pivotal end to back end to the applications themselves), allowingCRM’s separation of these elements not only promotes customers to take advantage of all aspects of Microsoft’senrichment of customer data, but also allows Pivotal CRM next generation of technology. Pivotal CRM | White Paper 5
  • 7. Adoption of .NET Technology install a single client for all local, remote, and mobile users of Pivotal CRM.As Pivotal CRM evolves to embrace Microsoft .NET, new The implementation of Smart Client technology for Pivotalcapabilities will be added to the Pivotal CRM platform, CRM aims to:allowing customers to take advantage of a number ofbenefits. • Reduce implementation and ongoing maintenance costs by centrally deploying, managing, and updatingNative Support for Web Services Pivotal CRM solutions, dramatically decreasing deploy- ment time, effort, and resourcesWeb Services help organizations interconnect theirapplications, facilitating the creation of a service-oriented • Deploy the same Pivotal CRM implementation onarchitecture (SOA). SOA lets businesses create a loosely mobile online/offline and desktop systems, loweringcoupled application infrastructure, speeding solution development, upgrade, and training costsdevelopment and allowing them to respond more quickly • Improve the usability of a web-based implementationto changing market conditions. by providing the responsiveness and UI flexibility of a thick client, while also lowering the cost of deployingWhile the current generation of Pivotal CRM supports Web and maintaining a Windows Client-based Pivotal CRMServices, Sedna’s native support will make it more cost- solutioneffective to integrate disparate applications, enabling ourcustomers to execute every interaction (whether it origi- • Reduce the cost of upgrading. Changes made tonates in the field, with a partner, or in the supply chain) in the application and/or client are automatically down-the context of a 360-degree view of their customers. loaded the next time the user connects to the server. Additionally, standards-based integration significantlyFor example, customizers will be able to present data reduces the cost and complexity of upgrades.from disparate systems in the Pivotal CRM user interface,thereby allowing users to complete business processes Customization & User Experiencethat span multiple enterprise systems without having The user interface and user experience are key to theto leave the Pivotal CRM application. In this way, users success of any CRM deployment. Sedna’s UI will leverageare able to work with all relevant enterprise data and Microsoft’s Smart Client technology to deliver a moreare empowered to take action faster and make better intuitive, responsive, and flexible task-oriented navigationdecisions. structure and to improve the way that users interact withAdditionally, customers will be able to expose Pivotal CRM commonly used features.functionality as a Web Service to develop new revenue Windows Forms, part of the Microsoft .NET Frameworkstreams or facilitate application integration. and Visual Studio 2005, is the core development platform for building Smart Client applications. Windows FormsSmart Client Technology give developers a comprehensive set of reusable,Built on Visual Studio 2005 Windows Forms technology, extensible controls and components that are presented inSmart Client applications are easy to use, deploy, and a WYSIWYG designer for quick development of sophisti-manage. They also have the additional benefit of being cated UIs.able to interact with distributed data sources across the In Sedna, when customizers work with Pivotal CRM forms,enterprise and across the Internet. they will actually be creating, designing, and editing Windows Forms within the Pivotal Toolkit using the VisualReducing TCO Studio forms designer. The implementation of Windows Forms in Pivotal CRM will offer flexible form customizationWith Microsoft .NET shipped on all modern Microsoft and rich data presentation, resulting in a more intuitiveWindows computers (and made freely available for UI, better task-oriented, role-based, and persona-baseddownload to older systems), the .NET Framework will navigation, and improved searching. Features will include:soon be as ubiquitous as the browser on the desktop.The ClickOnce capability of the .NET Framework allows • A Microsoft Office 2007/Vista look and feelSmart Client applications (like Sedna) to be deployed and • A customizable task-oriented layout that allows users toupdated seamlessly over LAN, WAN, or Internet connec- navigate easily between functional areastions to all users, significantly reducing deployment andmaintenance costs. • Customizable content-specific tasks, allowing users to quickly access their most commonly performed tasksAdditionally, because Smart Clients combine the bestattributes of thick and thin clients, companies need only Pivotal CRM | White Paper 6
  • 8. Context-specific task pad Each group has a list of related task menu items Related tasks are organized into group menu items Task-Pad Functionality (Mockup)• The ability to place controls anywhere on forms, allow- from third parties, such as RSS feeds or those created ing customizers to more easily match the way their end for Microsoft SharePoint. Web parts can be powerful users work end-user productivity enhancers, allowing customizers, for• The ability to easily create complex queries example, to: • Display a task pad that draws information from otherAll of this will allow customizers to improve user adoption systems, allowing users to check order status withoutand productivity, as well as better model end-user and leaving their CRM applicationbusiness requirements. • Display a small contact form that provides a subset ofExtensibility the most-used fields/data, allowing end users to quickly enter/display just the contact information they requirePivotal CRM solutions built on the .NET Framework willallow our customers to utilize managed (.NET) code to • Display all opportunity-related information in a singleextend their solution with lower risk by creating small, portal, so managers can monitor the status of all dealsreusable, task-specific routines rather than taking a from a single, central locationtraditional software-development approach. For example,by consuming existing Web Services rather than buildingthe required functionality into their solution, our customerscan manage risk by lowering development cost and effort.Additionally, Pivotal CRM will allow customers to createmultiple portal pages to display web parts that areprovided out of the box, created in-house, or available Pivotal CRM | White Paper 7
  • 9. Web part personalization Portal Page (Mockup) • Best-of-Breed Industry Applications: PivotalConclusions: The Future of the CRM solutions offer out-of-the-box, industry-specificPivotal–Microsoft Partnership business processes, as well as the flexibility to model unique business practices, no matter how complex.Pivotal CRM customers are committed to Microsoft • Seamless Microsoft Office Integration:and have already begun incorporating Microsoft’s .NET Information exchange between Pivotal CRM andplatform within their businesses. In support of our custom- Microsoft Office applications allows end users toers and in order to retain a leadership position on the manage their day without ever having to leave theMicrosoft platform, CDC Software is moving its product Pivotal CRM application.suite to become .NET native. • Standards-Based Enterprise Integration:The Pivotal CRM roadmap is focused on ensuring Native support for Web Services streamlines the sharingcustomers will be able to migrate their Pivotal CRM of customer data across and between enterprises,implementation cost-effectively over time in order to facilitating customer-centric decision-making at alltake advantage of the new and improved features and levels of the organization.functionality that .NET offers, including: • Rich User Experience: A UI consistent with the• Low-Cost Flexibility: The ability to make changes Microsoft Office 2007 look and feel delivers world-class to the data model, business processes, and UI presentation and navigation capabilities that are highly utilizing graphical (WYSIWYG; drag-and-drop) and intuitive, responsive, and flexible. coding methods ensures customizers can quickly and cost-effectively evolve their implementation to match changing business needs.For more information or a complete list of our worldwide offices, please visit www.pivotal.com.Copyright © CDC Software 2007. All rights reserved.The CDC Software logo and Pivotal CRM logo are registered trademarks and/or trademarks of CDC Software.