Last year in November, Kentico and Emakina CEE introduced a trial version of CRM Connect, a Microsoft Dynamics 365 connector for Kentico. The final product is now here, and it looks promising.
How it all began
Let’s go back in time to 2010 (that’s only 7 years, but light years in technology development time…). I remember working on a Kentico 5.5 project for Microsoft Croatia. It was the biggest regional conference and we had to connect Kentico to Microsoft Dynamics CRM. On one side, you had us, the Kentico experts, and on the other side, the Dynamics experts. As always, the timeframe was short. I remember working for a whole day and an entire night to make it all work. It was a very challenging, but great experience. Back then, creating a Dynamics connection wasn’t considered an easy task.
Jump to 2016 – Vienna. My colleagues presented me with the early version of CRM Connect for Kentico, and it looked exciting! Last fall, I had the pleasure of introducing CRM Connect in Las Vegas, while it was still in a trial phase. Back then, it was free to try and some features were still in development. Nevertheless, it looked like a promising product.
What it can do
The first thing I noticed was that it didn’t use scheduled tasks, but a middleware functioning as a message queue. All the data from one system goes into this middleware before being translated and sent out. Cool concept. There are many benefits to this approach, like being able to connect Kentico to any other CRM in the future. And that gives the product a lot of scalability.
Currently, this is what CRM Connect can transfer from Kentico:
- Contact forms
Any contact change can be synchronized from Dynamics.
My experience with this connector is that it is very easy to implement and understand how it works. Ok, I do have a development background, so I’m not entirely sure that a marketer could work with it, but a developer shouldn’t have any problems. It took me around one hour to connect my local Kentico instance to Dynamics. I did have help from a lead developer. But the current pricing includes two consulting hours, so this should be more than enough to get you started.
From the last trial version to this commercial product, one important feature has been added: bi-directional synchronization now enables you to push data from Dynamics to Kentico. In the future, we can expect more features like:
- Synchronization via scheduled polling
- Perform Kentico bulk operations (delete)
- Synchronize your CRM segments to Kentico contact groups
- Manage everything with a sleek and easy-to-use UI
- Connect to Salesforce
To be honest, I’m really looking forward to Salesforce and this sleek UI… ?
Read more about the upcoming version!
This article was originally published on the blog marketingmaster.ninja.