Introduction My name is Daniel Tallentire I’m CTO for Parker Software I work with the development, and also manage the Technical Support side of the business.
Introduction Parker Software are a UK based software house developing two main products on the Windows Platform: ◦WhosOn – Live Chat & Visitor Monitoring ◦ 2DB – Based Automation Systems We are based in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, and have been developing WhosOn & 2DB for the past 5 years. We are a technical company, and aim our products at the more technical customers.
Introduction We have been wanting for some time to add CRM integration to WhosOn. Increase CRM approached us, and suggested we look at MS CRM We tried it out, and found that we liked the interface, and that it would be a good fit for our business and our product.
Setup First the user enters a small wizard to obtain the CRM settings, and to step through the process of verifying the CRM Connection. Once the connection is built, the client tool will show the options for the sending of the data into the CRM system.
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Setup Overview Setup has to allow for IFD & On-Premise Installs service and configures for use in the client tool. Establishes that connection will work with the data entered. Downloads customisations & entity types for use in later methods.
WhosOn Client WhosOn Client is a fat client that receives data from the WhosOn server via TCP/IP. It displays the visit data for the visitors currently on the site The operator uses it to chat to the visitors that come online. It allows data to be sent back to the WhosOn server and stored against individual records.
Our Aims Move leads from WhosOn to CRM. Display CRM information inside WhosOn when speaking to a known contact. Provide a framework for customisation and flexibility. Store details of chat sessions from WhosOn against the desired CRM Entity.
Our Approach We wanted to provide a flexible interface for our own products (WhosOn & 2DB) to be able to update CRM. Fast out of process updates so as not to delay any client or server actions. Work with On Premise or IFD deployments Update custom entity types as required by end users.
What we’ve created We have made a Windows Service that receives CRM commands via TCP/IP. This allows us to install it on a single machine for stand-alone usage or on a server for network usage. The protocol we designed is text based as this is easier to visualise & test.
Service Internals When the service connects, it stores the Metadata Service object and the CRM Service object in memory for future use. This enables the service to very quickly execute CRM commands after the first command has been executed. A single service can maintain multiple connections to separate instances.
Metadata Retrieval We download the metadata from the web services using the sample for retrieving the data types that comes with the SDK. Once downloaded, we load the data into a file-based relational database (currently a proprietary type) so that this can be parsed by our programs.
Planned – Generic Mappings
Planned – Automatic Creation of Entities Server will be able to create entities based on filters ◦Web site prospects into leads ◦Web site visits into a web site visit entity type so that customer website usage can be tracked Server will be able to allocate visitors automatically to CRM records ◦Entity Type / ID is stored in WhosOn database if allocated there. ◦DNS & GeoIP information can be used.
Planned - Entities Option to modify unused activity entity to fit the Chat Session type rather than using a normal entity. Option to use the Campaign Response entity to track web site entries Custom web form when a user requests a chat session that requires them to fill in information that relates to the entity.
Planned – Customisations We plan to add a real-time WhosOn view to the CRM Interface. This will mean: ◦The full client isn’t necessary for viewing the real time statistics. ◦Visitors can be allocated to the related CRM records more quickly. ◦Chat sessions can be recorded directly. ◦Chat sessions can be taken or directed to the Knowledge Base.
We hope that users will make suggestions for how they could best use this system. We found that combining the creation of records in WhosOn with some simple work flows allowed us to keep in contact with prospective customers easily. Questions?