Keep Service Management and Customer info synced with Freshservice and Dynamics 365

Dynamics / FreshserviceWe’re delighted to announce that we are launching a Freshservice connector and, using the very same connector, a templated integration between Freshservice and Dynamics 365. Sync Requesters/Contacts, Incidents, Service Requests, Problems, Changes, Releases and Assets between Freshservice and Dynamics 365.In the spirit of syncing data in and out of Freshservice, it would be remiss of us to focus only on Dynamics. As part of preparing the templated connection, we needed to develop a Freshservice connector and so we’re announcing this connector as well – what a brilliant day!

This announcement comes about a week after launching our Freshsales connector and joins our Freshdesk connector as the premier integration toolset for Freshworks apps.

Launching connectors so regularly is indicates both the ease with which the Seamless platform allows us to develop new connectors as well as our own commitment to growing our library of application connectors.

If you need to connect your Freshservice app to any other application, we’re ready to setup data sync quickly and easily.

Freshsales App Gallery

 

The Freshservice / Dynamics 365 CRM connector is immediately available in the Freshservice marketplace. You can access it from within Freshservice by clicking on the Admin (gear icon on the left hand menu) and choosing Apps under the Integrations option.

For other Freshservice integration requirements, the Freshservice connector plugin is able to connect Freshservice to Seamless and, from there, to integrate it to any other application.
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Refresh your Dynamics data with Freshsales

Dynamics Freshales ConnectorWe’re delighted to announce that we are launching a Freshsales connector and, using the very same connector, a templated integration between Freshsales and Dynamics 365. Sync Accounts, Contacts, Leads and Deals / Opportunities between Freshsales and Dynamics 365.In the spirit of syncing data in and out of Freshsales, it would be remiss of us to focus only on Dynamics. As part of preparing the templated connection, we needed to develop a Freshsales connector and so we’re announcing this connector as well – what an awesome day!

If you need to connect your Freshsales app to any other application, we’re ready to setup data sync quickly and easily.

The Freshsales / Dynamics 365 CRM connector is immediately available in the Freshsales marketplace. You can access it from within Freshsales by clicking on the Admin (gear icon on the left hand menu) and choosing Apps under the Integrations option.

For other Freshsales integration requirements, the Freshsales connector plugin is able to connect Freshsales to Seamless and, from there, to integrate it to any other application.
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Being dynamic with Freshdesk

FreshdekWe’re delighted to announce that Freshworks have listed our Dynamics 365 < -> Freshdesk connector in the Freshworks marketplace. This is in addition to our Seamless listing.The Dynamics 365 < -> Freshdesk connector will allow you to quickly setup integrations between the two systems using a standardised set of field mappings. If requirements demand, the mappings can be easily altered or extended. For integrations to other systems, the Seamless Freshdesk connector is able to connect Freshdesk to Seamless and, from there, allows you to integrate to any other application.

Both connectors are immediately available on the Freshdesk marketplace.

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Freshdesk / Dynamics
  • Sync Accounts & Contacts (bi-directionally) to ensure that customer data is up-to-date across your business
  • Sync Freshdesk Tickets into Dynamics 365 to provide support/ticket information to other users
  • Sync Freshdesk Agents into Dynamics (ensuring that not every Freshdesk user requires a Dynamics license)
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Recursyv Seamless

Seamless is an application integration service that makes it easy to connect different software applications. New integrations can be quickly setup using Recursyv’s growing library of application connectors. Foundation connectors (SOAP, RESTful) are available to integrate with bespoke applications, either in the cloud or on-premise.

Seamless is provided as a managed service operated by Recursyv. The subscription fee covers access to all Recursyv connectors, initial configuration, pro-active monitoring, the ability to make reasonable configuration changes and support.

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Growing our Autotask connector set

We’re delighted to announce that we have expanded the feature set of our Seamless Autotask connector. So much so, that we’ve split it into two connectors.Both Seamless connectors are immediately available on the Autotask marketplace.

For more complex requirements, the Seamless Autotask connector plugin is able to connect Autotask to Seamless and, from there, to integrate it to any other application.

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seamless dynamics 365 crm integration
  • Keep customer data in sync with bi-directional synchronization of Client / Account / Contact data
  • Keep Dynamics users informed with one-way updating of Autotask tickets into Dynamics tickets
  • Keep Autotask users informed with one-way updating of Dynamics Opportunities to Autotask Opportunities
  • Autotask Resources (users) are mapped to Dynamics users to ensure that record ownership is kept in sync
  • Scope can be easily extended to include additional data types, UDFs, list values and mappings
  • Connector product support
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seamless dynamics 365 projects integration
  • Keep customer data in sync with bi-directional synchronization of Client / Account / Contact data
  • Keep Dynamics users informed with one-way updating of Autotask projects into Dynamics
  • Autotask Resources (users) are mapped to Dynamics users to ensure that record ownership is kept in sync
  • Scope can be easily extended to include additional data types, UDFs, list values and mappings
  • Connector product support
Recursyv Seamless

Seamless is an application integration service that makes it easy to connect different software applications. New integrations can be quickly setup using Recursyv’s growing library of application connectors. Foundation connectors (SOAP, RESTful) are available to integrate with bespoke applications, either in the cloud or on-premise.

Seamless is provided as a managed service operated by Recursyv. The subscription fee covers access to all Recursyv connectors, initial configuration, pro-active monitoring, the ability to make reasonable configuration changes and support.

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Being dynamic with Dynamics 365 Integrations

Easily integrate with Microsoft Dynamics 365 using Recursyv’s Seamless connector plugin.

Recursyv’s Dynamics 365 Seamless connector plugin is now available for use.

The Dynamics 365 connector allows users to quickly setup Microsoft Dynamics 365 integrations to other applications. Seamless is Recursyv’s application integration service. Seamless connects different applications using connector plugins to accelerate deployment of new integrations. The Dynamics 365 connector allows users to retrieve/update all data within Dynamics including bespoke entities, data fields and lookup values.

“Using the Dynamics 365 connector allowed us to quickly integrate our Dynamics deployment with existing software. Without an option to quickly integrate to Autotask, we would’ve struggled to rollout the Dynamics solution as easily as we did.” – Craig Fisher, Director, Technica Solutions

Is there a need for a new Dynamics integration option?

There is already an established market of existing integration tools which work with Dynamics 365. These have a long heritage in the Dynamics community. In some cases, these tools have some inherent limitations which have been baked in as they’ve evolved. Often, extending the use of these tools beyond their current feature set is hard to achieve.

Seamless allows developers to extend connector plugins, including the Dynamics 365 plugin, using .NET. This allows developers to take advantage of Seamless core features while also providing the flexibility to disable unwanted features and develop bespoke features to meet specific business requirements.

In some cases, existing tools require additional infrastructure and cannot be operated as cloud-only services.

Seamless is delivered entirely in the cloud and requires no additional infrastructure. It is able to connect cloud and on-premises systems to enable true hybrid architectures.

What about tools provided alongside Dynamics 365?
Dynamics 365 enables users to write Azure aware custom plug-ins enabling data to be written to/from an Azure Service Bus. This approach has some structural limitations in that it is based on a trigger driven activity (i.e. when x happens, do y). This approach imposes some limitations on error handling (when a post to Azure fails) and underlying implications on system load within Dynamics.

Seamless is architected as a polling service, this allows it to be more robust in guaranteeing message delivery as well as in configuring its impact on Dynamics system load.

Azure aware Dynamics plugins are predicated on using an Azure Service Bus, requiring additional development to read/write data at the other end of the integration. It also requires the user to establish and manage their own Azure environment requiring them to learn a new technical stack.

Seamless is provided as a managed service connecting two more applications. Plugins already exist for a number of other applications and new plugins for bespoke use can be quickly developed using Seamless plugin framework.

The most recent Dynamics 365 version introduces a feature called Virtual Entities. Although Virtual Entities are great for displaying external data within the Dynamics UI, that data cannot be worked on, updated or analysed within Dynamics.

Seamless places the data into Dynamics 365 as data which can then be used for business processes, updated and synchronised back to the original data source.

Using the Seamless integration solution

The Dynamics 365 plugin is already live in a number of implementations connecting Dynamics to, among others, Autotask, Hoopla and Freshdesk.

Using the connector plugin requires subscribing to a Seamless integration and choosing to integrate to Dynamics 365. Integrations can be configured by Recursyv or your own development team (using tooling provided by Recursyv).

Recursyv Seamless

Recursyv is focused on making application integration easy to setup and easy to operate. Recursyv’s first integration went live in early 2017 and, since then, a growing number of companies are relying on Recursyv’s Seamless integration solution to keep applications in sync.

Seamless is an application integration service that makes it easy to connect different software applications. New integrations can be quickly setup using Recursyv’s growing library of application connectors. Foundation connectors (SOAP, RESTful) are available to integrate with bespoke applications, either in the cloud or on-premise.

Seamless is provided as a managed service operated by Recursyv. The subscription fee covers access to all Recursyv connectors, initial configuration, pro-active monitoring, the ability to make reasonable configuration changes and support.

Hooray – we’re listed on AppSource!

We’re delighted to announce that Sales In-a-Box has been listed on Microsoft’s AppSource. You can now download a trial directly from AppSource and assess whether the simplicity of Sales In-a-Box will allow you to quickly deliver the benefits of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales.

You’ll need an environment to deploy into, but after that it is only a matter of clicking on Free Trial and the deploy will start. A few short minutes later, you’ll have Sales In-a-Box with a set of demonstrative sample data. Not long after that, we’ll reach out to you to discuss how it’s going and what your thoughts about the software are.

 

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News years resolutions for your CRM

In the spirit of new year’s resolutions, we thought we’d share our own targets for our Customer relationship management (CRM) software. All too often, systems (and the associated processes) have stagnated since they were deployed. Over time this results in reduced sales effectiveness and, ultimately, undermining why you have a CRM system in the first place.

View the entire post, written by David, on UK Business Forums.

Does Microsoft Business Edition pricing mean Recursyv In-a-Box is doomed from the outset?

As part of the revamped licensing for Dynamics 365, Microsoft (MS) is also introducing a new “flavour” of the solution – Dynamics 365 Business Edition. This is pitched to be a scaled-down version of the whole Dynamics 365 offering (known as Enterprise Edition) and, as best we understand at the moment, will come to include most of the significant functional areas of Dynamics 365 (i.e. Sales, Customer Service, etc.). The SME focused accounting/financials offering, formerly known as Project Madeira, is already available in the US under the Business Edition licensing. UK release dates are currently pencilled for some time in spring 2017.

This begs a fundamental question for Recursyv: In-a-Box products, should we even bother? (Whoah – deep breath!) In a recent post, we shared the design ambition for the In-a-Box product suite (IaB). If you don’t have the inclination to click through it can be summed up as “paring down the enterprise toolkit within Dynamics 365 to suit the needs of small/medium businesses both in terms of reducing up-front cost and ability to be rapidly deployed”. (We’re getting the marketing department working up mugs with that wording on it any day now). This is part of our vision of work made easier.

We’ve spent some time discussing and debating whether there is a genuine future for our product. It is a sobering thought that forced the consumption of many chocolate-chip cookies. Is it worth putting time and effort into building and promoting IaB when MS are pursuing the same market space with Business Edition? After the consumption of far too many chocolate-chip cookies and fuelled by a sugar-rush high, we’ve decided to progress. Here’s why…

  1. ‘Spring’ is 6 months away and that release date is not cast in stone. It is likely, but it could be pushed out. On top of that, partners will need a few weeks/months to get their heads around the new offering and what it does. Businesses who need something now aren’t going to stand still for 9 – 12 months.
  2. It seems unlikely that MS will be able to get the solution absolutely right for all small/medium businesses and some degree of configuration/customisation will be necessary. Admittedly, this is skating on thin ice as our proposition assumes we’re using our experience to build a “one size fits most” solution. That’s not to say we don’t believe MS will build a remarkable solution, we do – we’re staking our business on the development of the platform after all. However, we also believe that our experience in speaking to local users over many years brings value which we’ve built into IaB and we’re not convinced this is easily replicated.
  3. It seems likely that Business Edition will be a platform which can be extended (i.e. like all previous versions of Dynamics). We expect that we will be able to deploy the IaB solution on top of Business Edition. And if we can’t, we have the design specifications and we can rebuild it on Business Edition relatively quickly. (The value of IaB is in the design decisions made to specify the solution, the actual build is made relatively straightforward by the power of the Dynamics 365 platform).

There’s one final consideration, and an important one at that – price. MS have introduced a number of “pre-business edition” offers on Dynamics 365 targeted at customers who are likely Business Edition candidates (i.e. user communities < 25 users). If customers take Dynamics 365 on these prices, they’re able to stay on the offer price for 36 months with no obligation to move to Business Edition in that timeframe.

In practice, this means that we can achieve our vision of making work easy by quickly getting customers experiencing the power of Dynamics 365 at very compelling pricing. In time (i.e. at some point in the next 3 years), we’ll have conversations with those customers about the best next step and whether that involves IaB, Business Edition and/or Enterprise Edition. Of course, during those 3 years, the IaB and Business Edition products will undoubtedly mature further creating an even richer set of options.

 

If you want to discuss deploying IaB within your business, or get more insight on the pricing offer, please contact us.

Additional note: as you’d imagine, there are more terms associated with the interim pricing offer than make for compelling reading as part of a blog post. These include being subject to MS annual increases (as you would be on all MS subscription prices). Recursyv prices transparently and will share the MS platform pricing separately from the Recursyv IaB pricing. Please get in touch to discuss the details further.

What inspired us to build the In-a-Box solution?

The inspiration for In-a-Box comes from two things we’ve seen over the past few years of implementing Dynamics CRM.

MS Dynamics CRM, now part of Dynamics 365, is a complex, enterprise product which is feature rich and extendable. In practical terms, it is a massive toolset of options available to the user. This means that it often requires extensive professional services projects to configure/customise the solution to the needs of a particular instance. While these projects are interesting, they’re also expensive and create a significant barrier to entry to many smaller businesses wanting to benefit from the power of the platform.

And all the while, the world is changing. More and more enterprise class services are being sold on a monthly subscription basis (per user, per month) at rates that are very affordable for small and medium businesses. To Microsoft’s credit, the “new Microsoft” has recognised this and is turning many of its traditional boxed software businesses to be cloud first (Office 365, Dynamics 365, Azure services, etc.). Dynamics 365 can be had for well under £100/user/month, a small price to pay for the power it provides.

But there remains a gap between this massive hurdle getting onto the platform relative to the monthly cost of using the platform. Small and medium businesses just don’t have tens of thousands of pounds to hand to spend on software projects. The In-a-Box products were conceived to bridge that gap. We’ve consolidated our experience across hundreds of implementations, looking at the things most businesses have asked for, and built this into a packaged solution.

The design focus has been driven by two principles:

  • Simplification of the solution: pare down the forms to use the most commonly used data fields, provide a handful of well-designed business processes, deactivate views to hide complexity, etc.
  • Don’t break the underlying data model: part of the attractiveness of Dynamics 365 is that it provides a scalable path for businesses who either grow or have new business requirements (Customer Service, Project Service, xRM, etc.). By staying true to the data model, we can ensure our clients are not compromised in any way by decisions taken in respect of using an In-a-Box solution rather than a bespoke implementation.

The downside is plain to see. By using an In-a-Box solution, you’re limited to the design decisions made in building the solution. It’s not really different to buying a physical product at a retailer. There are probably a few options you could exercise, but the core product is the one you bought. The software may only meet 85% of your requirements rather than the 100% that a bespoke implementation may achieve. With a handful of consulting days, you might close that gap to 90% and still stay in the realms of a reasonable cost. (Or, better, use the system for 3 months, and then re-assess whether perceived needs are real needs!)

I guess it boils down to a simple question: do you want stay on spreadsheets (as many of the target customer base are likely to be using) or, for a reasonable cost, cover 85 or 90% of your requirement? Because the 100% requirement is just not realistic for small and medium businesses.

 

Recursyv Sales In-a-Box is now commercially available. If you’re interested in discussing these ideas further or a demo, please be in touch.

Note: We’re aware that Dynamics 365 Business Edition is a similar application of this mindset. In another post, we’ll share some of our considerations in respect of furthering developing of this product versus waiting for Business Edition.