Start with an expectation that Changes will occur
Working as a business partner for Sage Saleslogix then Swiftpage Saleslogix and then Infor CRM (formally Saleslogix) there is knowledge to be shared if you are currently using a Windows SalesLogix 7.5.x system and are planning to migrate to the latest Web version of Infor CRM. Current version is 8.4.
So come prepared to be briefly frightened or overwhelmed (unless you love change and technology). A lot has happened not only with extending the product capabilities from 5+ years ago but also from moving from using a Windows desktop application experience to now using a current web browser to access a 24 x 7 x 365 days system over an Internet connection. Mobility has been with hot trend and will continue to do so. It's about having the right data available at the right time using your mobile smart phone, a tablet or a desktop computer.
Warning: If you have not used a web based application it would be helpful to get some experience. Have your Infor CRM business partner and Infor CRM specialist setup a Internet accessible pilot site so you can get hands on experience using a copy of your real data exposed to the Web user interface of Infor CRM. Run through the key web client videos available from Infor CRM campus. Familiarity will grow on you and melt away those worries.
Being adaptable and open minded will go a long way to getting the most out of your Infor CRM 8.4 web and mobile investment.
What has changed with the 8.0 and the 8.1 version of recent years?
Yes there has been significant changes in the software, much of which is included in this large PDF document, From Saleslogix 8.0 to Infor CRM 8.1 and beyond. Major improvements are in email integration with Outlook or Gmail, compatibility with current Windows server and SQL system versions, compatibility with the constantly changing web browsers (IE, Firefox & Chrome), web speed and stability, ability to customize, reporting with job manager for scheduling and historical report views, mobile client that is smart for the device, and advanced analytics to help manage your time and the business.
Understand the Strategy from Infor CRM. It's about using an adaptable platform to deliver a CRM application experience that your users will use, enjoy and come to really care about because it works for them and the way then need to do business.
Enhanced filters make groups more dynamic and useful
The web client has filters available on the entities like Accounts, Contacts, Opportunities, Tickets, Products, etc. Think of a filter as sub groupings based of a field like account type or opportunity estimated close month. It could even be a custom field in your Infor CRM system. The user can now easily click on the filters you want and the the group filtered results magically appear..... talk about "slice-n-dice".
Integration with Microsoft Outlook has been a major improvement:
The old way of using the third party Intellisync has been replaced with built in Desktop Outlook synchronization of Outlook contacts, activities and events. No more concerns about third party support.
Users can easily configure what they want to sync and in what direction:
Furthermore to extend CRM data access in Outlook the Infor CRM Xbar is available to help with productivity and data quality:
- Update relevant CRM information directly from Outlook
- View account details and drill down into the contacts, activities, opportunity and ticket details while in Outlook
- Create new contacts and link to existing accounts in CRM
Infor CRM Mobile continues with helpful improvements:
- Capability to configure group favorites
- Configure your home page
- Show KPI metrics for accounts, contacts, opportunities and tickets
- Lookup directly into the history communications
- View counts of related items to know if there is more data available
- Ability to configure information on the cards
- Quick action icons to get work done faster
The web interface for management reporting has various improvements and capabilities
- The Crystal Report writer is still used but now reports can be scheduled and the historical snapshot as a PDF is there if you need it.
- The Web dashboard have ability to create a range of graphics based the metrics from the group that supplies the graphs' information.
- And Advanced Analytics powered by the industry analytics leader, Spotfire, is there for those who love to view information, dig into the details, easily view the trends and make those smarter decisions.
Version 8.2 major changes:
Some of the major enhancements are ability to manage filters and groups. Also there is ability to directly import data to accounts and contacts, similar to the lead import option. Each web user's login and logout is now tracked showing who is actually using the CRM system. Note the summary below of user features, configuration, Admin and installation improvements.
Version 8.3 major changes:
- Productivity improvements for Infor Xbar including the ability to edit and update a support ticket
- Scheduling activities in Outlook and easily link to account, contact, opportunity or ticket
- Maps and driving directions for contacts using web or mobile client
- Enhanced viewing and management of Activities and History lists
- Integrations with Infor ERP's, and Infor CPQ (configure, price & quoting)
- More administrative tools inside the web client
- Mobile client with extended details and quick navigation improvements
- User interaction performance improvements
Version 8.4 is new for 2018 - start planning now
Get the latest information here.....
Best Practices moving forward:
- Involve a skilled Infor CRM business partner who has gone through migrations before and can help you prepare.
- Before more familiar early. Use the available Infor CRM resources from the videos on the campus to reading upgrade planning documentation
- Use an experienced business partner that has a proven process for stepping your system from older 7.5x to 8.x environments so downtime and frustrations are kept to the very minimum.
- Always setup a live like web Pilot system using a copy of YOUR business data. Get user and management feedback as they actually use the Web system. Then apply what is learned so the migration is more enjoyable and user adoption increases faster.
- Follow the Infor CRM supplied Upgrade plan exactly. Don't skip steps as there are some really critical "must do" to succeed steps.
- Take a deep breath when needed, accept the changes and more forward with the new enhancements that improve the way you work.
- As you review your old processes look for ways to enhance performance with newer web technologies.
- Communicate often among your staff, IT and your business partner. Share knowledge for accelerated learning.
- Prepare with the right open mindset and remember change is constantly happening so take advantage of it to improve the way you do things.
- The transition can be created for obtaining the best of Infor CRM and retain your important data and way of doing business.
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