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									                                              Microsoft Dynamics
                                              Partner Solution Brief




                                              Software Developer Delivers Solution to Better
                                              Manage Product Configuration Across Its Lifecycle




Overview                                      “From the embedding of web services to the ease of
Country or Region: Germany
Industry: Information Technology
                                              creating custom entities, Dynamics CRM 4.0 offers a
                                              very quick and efficient platform for development and
Partner Profile
Unidienst GmbH was founded in 1975 and
                                              implementation.”
provides consulting, software development,    Robert Feichtinger, Senior Consultant, Unidienst
a customer care academy, and product
engineering. It has specialized in            Companies that manufacture products that must be configured to
Microsoft® Dynamics™ CRM since 2003.
                                              meet exacting customer specifications require sophisticated ways
Business Needs                                to manage the lifecycle of their products. Microsoft® Gold Certified
Manufacturers of products that must be
configured to meet exacting customer          Partner Unidienst developed UniPRO/Configurator to help
specifications require sophisticated ways     manufacturers effectively manage product configuration within the
to manage products over their lifecycle.
                                              manufacturing process. To expand the reach of its application
Solution                                      across the product lifecycle, Unidienst leveraged the power,
Unidienst leveraged the power, flexibility,
and open architecture of the Dynamics         flexibility, and open architecture of the Microsoft Dynamics™ CRM
CRM platform to create a solution that        platform to create a more complete, vertical solution for the
spans the product lifecycle from quoting
through service.                              manufacturing industry. The solution now coordinates, streamlines,
                                              and provides business intelligence across all business processes.
Benefits
 Faster development, faster to market
                                              This empowers manufacturers to quote more accurately, sell more
 Equipped to better serve multinational      competitively, analyze revenue and expenses more effectively, and
  manufacturers
 Meets the needs of the mobile workforce
                                              manage product lifecycle more efficiently.
 Empowered to deliver a more robust
  solution
"With Dynamics CRM                       Business Needs                                      Dynamics CRM platform to be a very modern,
                                         For companies that manufacture complex              web-based, highly-customizable business
4.0, all the entity                      products that must be configured to meet            application, it was the perfect choice to
relationships we need                    various and exacting customer specifications        combine with our configurator tool to create a
                                         and criteria, there are many points across the      solid, synchronized, powerful application to
are provided, making it                  process from quote to delivery that can result      help manufacturers optimize business
easier for us to                         in errors and thus lost productivity and            processes from quote creation across the
                                         profitability. In addition, beyond delivery,        entire product lifecycle.” Thus, UniPRO/
customize, implement,                    many manufacturers—especially those who             Configurator coordinates, streamlines, and
and support our                          produce mechanical equipment and                    provides business intelligence across all
                                         vehicles—receive additional revenue from            business processes, empowering
application to meet any                  warranties and service over the life of the         manufacturers to quote more accurately, sell
customer need."                          product. Therefore, not only must the product       more competitively, analyze revenue and
                                         be configured correctly for the customer, it        expenses more effectively, and manage
Robert Feichtinger, Senior Consultant,   must be warranted, maintained, and serviced         product lifecycle more efficiently.
Unidienst                                efficiently and cost-effectively to be profitable
                                         over the lifecycle of the product. All of this      The Flexibility of the Application
                                         requires manufacturers to find the most             Due to various regional, industry-specific, and
                                         streamlined, yet sophisticated ways to              business-specific differences,
                                         manage these complexities in order to stay          UniPRO/Configurator must be further
                                         competitive.                                        modified when implemented at each
                                                                                             company. According to Feichtinger, “Previous
                                         Solution                                            versions were somewhat flexible, but we had
                                         Unidienst developed UniPRO/Configurator to          to find ways and work hard to meet customer
                                         provide manufacturers an effective way to           needs (e.g. provide for the many-to-many
                                         manage and streamline the complexities of           relationships of multiple connected parts,
                                         manufacturing products that must be                 configurations, and products, that have to be
                                         configured to meet customer specifications.         tracked). With Dynamics CRM 4.0, all the
                                         This Configuration tool was initially developed     entity relationships we need are provided,
                                         to manage the configuration within the              making it easier for us to customize,
                                         manufacturing process, with the main focus          implement, and support our application to
                                         in production planning and control. However,        meet any customer need.”
                                         to empower manufacturers to manage the
                                         entire lifecycle of configured products—from        Intelligent Quotes
                                         quote to production to delivery to service—         A key point at which manufacturers can
                                         Unidienst chose to integrate their                  eliminate many costly errors is at the quote
                                         UniPRO/Configurator with the Microsoft              creation stage. UniPRO/Configurator
                                         Dynamics™ CRM platform.                             coordinates and optimizes the quote and
                                                                                             order process through built-in plausibility
                                         The Extensibility of the Platform                   checks, transparent price and discount
                                         The extensibility and open architecture of the      calculations, and product specific checklists
                                         Dynamics CRM platform made it possible for          to confirm that the entire product quoted is
                                         Unidienst to integrate its configurator             technically feasible. It then generates a sales
                                         application as a separate application with its      price and text for an offer that is economically
                                         own data within the Dynamics CRM platform.          feasible to deliver.
                                         According to Robert Feichtinger, Senior             All this is accomplished through custom
                                         Consultant, “Because we found the Microsoft         forms that extend the quote capabilities of
                                                                                         Once completed, the quote can be enhanced
                                                                                         beyond just a list of components and prices.
                                                                                         By leveraging SQL Server Reporting Services
                                                                                         from within the Dynamics CRM interface,
                                                                                         workers can easily create highly-customized
                                                                                         quotes in a catalog format, complete with any
                                                                                         desired pictures, diagrams, graphs, or tables.

                                                                                         Expanded Reporting and Analysis
                                                                                         Dynamics CRM 4.0 and SQL Server Reporting
                                                                                         Services also give end users the ability to
                                                                                         easily create and customize reports and
                                                                                         dashboards. Feichtinger emphasizes, “The
                                                                                         reporting capabilities within Dynamics CRM
                                                                                         4.0 have been so improved that now, with
                                                                                         just a few clicks, end users can leverage SQL
                                                                                         Server® Reporting Services to easily create
                                                                                         custom reports that provide the exact data
                                                                                         business decision makers need in a format
                                                                                         that is easy to understand.” In addition to
                                                                                         statistical reports, end users can also further
Figure 1 – Quote tool interface for   the Dynamics CRM platform through                  analyze the data to provide valuable business
end-user provides seamless            integration with UniPRO/Configurator (see          intelligence. One example of this would be
integration with the                  Figure 1). It is the configurator tool that does   analyzing the cost of services and parts
UniPRO/Configurator.                  most of the work behind the scenes.                provided versus the value of the warranty
                                      However, throughout the quote process, the         that covered those costs, across various
                                      data is delivered seamlessly and                   products, customers, or parts.
                                      transparently to and from the familiar
                                      Dynamics CRM interface.                            Customized Workflow
                                                                                         According to Feichtinger, “Thanks to the
                                      Within a quote, if data is entered that is not     comprehensive workflow solution built on
                                      permitted or incompatible, it is not just          Windows Workflow Foundation in Dynamics
                                      rejected. Instead, the application is able to      CRM 4.0 we have much more flexibility.
                                      provide rule-based recommendations along           When we implement our application for a
                                      with suggestions of possible solutions to          customer who wants more extensive,
                                      streamline the process and move the quote          complex workflow, we can very quickly and
                                      forward. Additionally, if data is entered that     easily customize our solution. In many cases,
                                      requires changes to previously entered input,      we can simply use the workflow wizard.
                                      those changes occur automatically.                 Otherwise, if necessary, we can leverage
                                      Previously, these capabilities were limited to     Visual Studio® [development software] to
                                      check box fields. However, Feichtinger             accomplish the more complex workflows in a
                                      states, “Dynamics CRM 4.0 now provides             straightforward way.”
                                      more opportunities to trigger changes,
                                      including the ability to monitor and change        Integration with Line-of-Business
                                      text fields which allowed us to expand this        Applications
                                      intelligence across every field in a quote.”       Dynamics CRM 4.0 also provides improved
                                                                                         integration with third-party applications.
"[Dynamics CRM 4.0]                      According to Feichtinger, “The various means
                                         by which we can integrate Dynamics CRM 4.0        Meets the Needs of the Mobile
allows us to integrate                   with line-of-business (LOB) applications has      Workforce
UniPRO/Configurator                      been vastly improved. This allows us to           Dynamics CRM 4.0 also provides more
                                         integrate UniPRO/Configurator with almost         complete offline capabilities. Whereas the
with almost any third-                   any third-party application, which is vital to    previous version of UniPRO/Configurator
party application, which                 manufacturing customers who usually have          could provide some offline functionality, it
                                         large investments in ERP applications.”           was limited. According to Feichtinger, “With
is vital to manufacturing                                                                  the offline technology of Dynamics CRM 4.0,
customers who usually                    Benefits                                          it was easy for us to develop our solution to
                                         Faster Development, Faster to Market              provide full functionality in both online and
have large investments                   Feichtinger states, “From the embedding of        offline modes, with perfectly monitored
in ERP applications.”                    web services to the ease of creating custom       synchronization.”
                                         entities, the Dynamics CRM platform offers a
Robert Feichtinger, Senior Consultant,   very quick and efficient platform for             Empowered to Deliver a More Robust
Unidienst                                development and implementation.” He adds,         Solution
                                         “Because Microsoft has provided such a            Feichtinger summarizes, “Dynamics CRM 4.0
                                         straightforward migration process, we have        has provided so many capabilities that we
                                         also been able to move our application            either could not offer customers before or
                                         forward to get new versions to market faster.”    that required us to invest extensive time and
                                                                                           effort to provide. By leveraging these, we
                                         Equipped to Better Serve Multinational            have been able to concentrate more on
                                         Manufacturers                                     expanding and improving the key features of
                                         Many international manufacturers prefer to        the Configurator component of the
                                         centrally host their applications to reduce IT    application.”
                                         and admin costs and centralize complex
                                         reporting. Feichtinger states, “Because we
                                         provide our solution for international
                                         manufacturers, it is vital that we offer a
                                         centrally-hosted solution. Thanks to the multi-
                                         tenancy capability of Dynamics CRM 4.0, we
                                         can now accomplish that and, thus, handle
                                         larger organizations, different companies, or
                                         multiple locations of a business across
                                         countries with a single implementation.”

                                         International customers also need
                                         multilingual interfaces and multicurrency
                                         solutions. Because Microsoft Dynamics CRM
                                         4.0 now allows a single installation of the
                                         platform to have multicurrency and multiple
                                         active languages, Unidienst will be able to
                                         more easily meet the needs of its current
                                         multilingual customers and expand its
                                         customer base to include those requiring
                                         multilingual capabilities beyond what
                                         Unidienst could previously offer.
For More Information                                            Microsoft Dynamics
For more information about Microsoft                            Microsoft Dynamics is a line of integrated,
products and services, call the Microsoft                       adaptable business management solutions
Sales Information Center at (800) 426-                          that enables you and your people to make
9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft                             business decisions with greater confidence.
Canada Information Centre at (877) 568-                         Microsoft Dynamics works like familiar
2495. Customers who are deaf or hard-of-                        Microsoft software such as Microsoft Office,
hearing can reach Microsoft text telephone                      which means less of a learning curve for your
(TTY/TDD) services at (800) 892-5234 in                         people, so they can get up and running
the United States or (905) 568-9641 in                          quickly and focus on what’s most important.
Canada. Outside the 50 United States and                        And because it is from Microsoft, it easily
Canada, please contact your local                               works with the systems that your company
Microsoft subsidiary. To access information                     already has implemented. By automating and
using the World Wide Web, go to:                                streamlining financial, customer relationship,
www.microsoft.com                                               and supply chain processes, Microsoft
                                                                Dynamics brings together people, processes,
For more information about Unidienst                            and technologies, increasing the productivity
GmbH products and services, call +49                            and effectiveness of your business, and
8654 46080 or visit the Web site at:                            helping you drive business success.
www.unidienst.de
                                                                For more information about Microsoft
                                                                Dynamics, go to:
                                                                www.microsoft.com/dynamics




                                                                 Software and Services                           − Microsoft Visual Studio 2008
                                                                    Products                                    − SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services
                                                                     − Microsoft Dynamics CRM



This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT
MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS
SUMMARY.

Document published April 2008

								
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