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A raference for the rest of us - Scott J.

Scott J. A raference for the rest of us - Wiley publishing , 2003. - 387 p.
ISBN: 0-7645-1698-1
Download (direct link): microsoftcrmford2003.pdf
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In the morning, you visited another client downstate and didn’t get to the office until mid-afternoon. Meanwhile, a person on your sales staff, working at the office, opened up Ms. Powers’ Contact record and edited her first name.
(Your salesperson thinks that it’s Jo-Anne.)
You got back to the office at 3:00 PM, started the Outlook client, and synchronized (Go Online). After your sync session was complete, what is Ms. Powers’ first name — Joan or Jo-Anne? Jo-Anne, right? After all, your edit was made last night, sometime after 7:30 PM. Your sales rep made his change this morning, so his is more recent. That may be, but synchronized data follows the rule of “last one in.” Because the server received your data more recently, your data survives.
What if your staffer had only changed Ms. Powers’ last name? Then both your change and your staffer’s change would survive. Because the changes occur in two different fields (First Name and Last Name), there’s no battle for “last one in.” They coexist quite happily.
320 Part VI: Appendixes
Chapter 27
Importing and Exporting Data
In This Chapter
^ Importing data from Outlook ^ Importing data from competing systems ^ Exporting data
rn yB Whether or not you had a true CRM system before getting involved with ▼ ▼ Microsoft CRM, chances are you have client data somewhere. And you need to get it into your Microsoft CRM database.
Starting with the easiest and graduating to the most challenging, your data may be in competitive products such as Microsoft Outlook, ACT, GoldMine, SalesLogix, or Siebel. In addition, you may find data in Microsoft Excel or Access, in your accounting system, or in an uncoordinated variety of the above. Many of my clients have also found residues of data that exist only in salespeople’s’ heads.
To some degree, the data in each of the above locations or formats, other than the last one, can be handled. The last choice requires a Vulcan mind-meld that is not currently supported by Microsoft CRM.
Traditionally, moving data from one application to another presents challenges. If you think that it will take an hour, it’ll take a day. If you think that it will cost a $1,000, plan on $5,000. If you think that it will be completely automatic and you can just come in tomorrow and all your data will be sitting fat and happy inside your new database without any of your effort, think again. It always takes longer, causes more aggravation, and costs more than you might suspect.
The root cause of the data import challenge is that your data is never as clean as you want it to be. Before beginning any import, you should review the existing data, clean what you can by updating Contact information, and dump old or seemingly useless records into the archives.
322 Part VI: Appendixes
If your data is coming from two or more sources (Moe and Larry’s Outlook files, for example), you may well have to resolve the issue of duplicate Records and decide which to keep, which to dump, or how to merge the two.
Those warnings aside, Microsoft CRM does provide a helpful utility primarily intended for those coming from the world of Outlook. Or as long as you can get your data into a simple, flat file format, such as Comma Separated Variables (CSV), you’ll be in good shape. And there is some hope for everyone else. In this chapter, I describe some of the necessary importing planning and how best to accomplish that which is possible or practical.
On the other end of the spectrum, you can also export your Microsoft CRM data. This is sometimes useful for purposes of data or statistical analysis or transferring the data to another program.
In this chapter, you find out how to get your Outlook data into Microsoft CRM and how best to transfer data from other sources into Microsoft CRM (or from Microsoft CRM to the outside world).
Importing Data from Outlook
The import utility built into Microsoft CRM is really geared to handle Outlook data or data in CSV or simple text format. No matter where the data comes from, the import utility can put it in one of two places —
Leads or Contact Records. If you need to get your data into Account Records because they are companies, not people, you need to start looking for some third-party add-ons that are handy for data importing. Find out more about add-on products in Chapter 24.
The strategists and designers at Microsoft planned that the majority of early adopters would be teams of Outlook users. As a result, the conversion from Outlook is alive and well. In fact, an easy-to-use wizard was incorporated into Microsoft CRM for that purpose.
You need to have ActiveX control running within your browser for the wizard to work. Make sure that your workstation is running Windows 2000 or XP. Windows 98 isn’t enough.
To access the Import Wizard, choose ToolsOImport from almost any record type (as shown in Figure 27-1).
The first real screen of the Import Wizard provides an explanation of the required format for all dates that you may be importing. This is not so much a concern for Outlook users. If you are importing from some other file format, you must consider this requirement, which includes a couple of characters that indicate the century.
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