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Professional SharePoint® 2010 Cloud-Based Solutions by Paul Stubbs, Girish Raja, Donovan Follette, Steve Fox

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Chapter 10

Managing Customer Information in SharePoint Online

What's In This Chapter?

  • Building a SharePoint Online dashboard that brings various customer-related information from Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online
  • Understanding CRM Online and how to interact with its web services
  • Using Silverlight and Windows Azure to bridge SharePoint Online and CRM Online

Customers are the key to any successful business. In our current global economy, gaining new customers, while at the same time keeping existing customers happy, is more important than ever. As a result, customer relationship management (CRM) systems have evolved rapidly in the last decade. What were once nice-to-have tools are now must-have tools for businesses worldwide. If you are new to CRM, it is essentially an application to manage the sales pipeline, marketing activities, and customer service requests of a business.

Traditionally, businesspeople have maintained their customer information in a simple list within Microsoft Excel, but their needs quickly outgrow such simple lists. Software as a service-based (SaaS) CRM systems are already one of the major applications in the cloud computing space, and many analysts forecast that the number of customers using such online CRM systems will grow significantly in the next few years.

Although most CRM systems are capable of handling all business functions (such as ordering, billing, and inventory), many organizations still use multiple line-of-business (LOB) applications to manage ...

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