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Salesnet CRM System Integration and Software Customization Review

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Software Integration

For data import purposes most commonly needed near the implementation start, Salesnet offers a wizard driven import tool to transfer leads, accounts, contacts, and opportunities into the CRM system. The source data must be in a CSV (ASCII delimited) file format and the import utility includes system integrity checks such as valid data types and duplicate record detection. Import templates can be created and imports can be scheduled for recurring use if needed.

An XML web services API (application programming interface) is available for system integration purposes. The API supports a set of calling conventions defining how a custom service can be invoked through the CRM application. This method is typically used for integrating the CRM software with legacy systems, third party systems, back-office applications and websites. Customers may use the API to:

  • Create or modify CRM data records programmatically from an external source
  • Retrieve CRM data individually or in bulk for insert or storage into other applications
  • Create, update or alter custom applications based on events occurring in the CRM application
  • Integrate the CRM data with desktop applications such as Microsoft Office
  • Integrate or transfer CRM data to back office applications such as accounting software or ERP systems

The API also permits customers to create front-end applications in the programmers' development language of choice and use the interface to integrate the custom project to the CRM system. To accelerate the API learning curve, Salesnet delivers code samples in a variety of languages such as .NET C#, PHP, Perl and Cold Fusion.

Software Customization

Customization of Salesnet is performed in largest part with configuration options and visual design tools. Presentation layer options include custom tab controls, company logo insert and a central dictionary of company defined terms which can be modified and then permeate throughout the application.

Primary objects (such as Lead, Account, Contact, Opportunity and Campaign) and page design can be modified with field management controls which permit custom captions, selection of various field types, identification of data entry methods and field access permissions. The system also permits configuration of process designated field values—such as opportunity values—by using custom fields to calculate the value of a sale opportunity using a custom defined workflow process. These field values can be calculated from other custom fields.

A high value customization function that few CRM providers deliver is the ability to create multiple screen layouts for Accounts, Contacts and Opportunities, and designate usage rights to these layouts for specific roles, groups or users. Applying customized interfaces is particularly useful for multiple department businesses which apply different record structures and business processes based on different products or solutions.

Salesnet does not offer a design tool or framework for administrators to create new objects and pages within the application. However, this weakness can be somewhat offset with the Process Builder SmartForm Editor which permits administrators to create custom pages that can be applied by default or at specific steps of a process. In fact this tool can be used to apply specific sale opportunity layouts to a sales process thereby further facilitating consistent performance of proven processes.

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