The Technology Integration Dream

It’s been difficult of late to avoid hearing all about the Xbox One, courtesy of my colleague and fellow blogger Kunjan Barot.

The Xbox One is supposed to bring everything in this life together into one integrated package.

The thing is – we can’t even accuse him of ignoring his workload by talking about it because theoretically, the office can now be the living room.  The lines are becoming increasingly blurred (plus Kunjan does do a great job!).

So, for my first post for 2014, I pose to you the following question – what technology would you like to integrate, in order to make your life or business better?

For example, on the drive in to work the other day, for some reason I started to remember when Dynamics NAV 2009 R2 came out back in December 2010. 

One of the main features was that it provided the ability to integrate with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4 and 2011, via the Connector for Microsoft Dynamics.

This was an amazing leap forward which saved businesses bundles of time. It also provided a better user experience for both systems, so just what every small business had been dreaming of!

But things have moved on since 2010, and technological integration has taken several steps forward. 

With the recent release of Microsoft Dynamics 2013 R2, we saw key new features of a new Web Client design, along with Office 365 integration, and easier deployment to the Windows Azure Cloud infrastructure.

This means that quite a small start-up company can take advantage of the most advanced features of a mid-range ERP system, along with enterprise level storage, at a considerably lower entry point.

I have worked with a number of SMEs over the years.  In the early stages, businesses are, by necessity, quite fluid in the way that they operate. 

The ideal scenario for them would be a pick ‘n’ mix approach, taking the parts of a solution that enable them to perform their day to day operations but at the same time allow room for growth, evolving as the business continually moves forward. And, of course, it needs to be affordable.

Now that it’s possible to integrate Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Online into the pick ‘n’ mix ‘bag’, it’s becoming realistic for SMEs to work seamlessly through everything from marketing, front end customer service and order processing, to back end finance, warehousing, manufacturing and delivery of their product.

Dynamics 2013 is also great for established businesses who are evolving.  Advanced features that were once the domain of large enterprises, are now available for smaller businesses.

The Connector for Microsoft Dynamics has also evolved over the past few years too.  I was in the kitchen in our Loughborough office the other day, and happened to bump in to one of our resident Dynamics CRM and integrations expert.

He was telling me of some the improvements that have been made in the newer V3 release of the Connector, meaning that performance upon integrating with CRM Online has increased dramatically, and it now has its own WCF (Windows Communication Foundation) Web Service. From a programming perspective, that makes the developer’s life a dream!

So – what’s your technology integration dream for 2014?