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Over the past several months we’ve been working closely with our partners at Higher Logic to create a turnkey CRM solution to integrate Higher Logic communities with Cobalt’s Dynamics Portals and CRM back office. The result is a three pronged approach to integration of two complimentary software systems that is truly greater than the sum of its parts.

Part 1

The first part of the integration is the release of Cobalt’s portal widgets.

xRM-Calendar

Pictured above is the xRM Event Calendar embedded in Higher Logic’s Connected Community using Cobalt’s widget technology. The widgets are javascript and HTML 5 based and can be embedded into virtually any modern content management system. This technology is more flexible than other portal products which require customers to use a proprietary CMS to run both their website and their portal and allows the addition of community functionality, like Higher Logic’s, that other portal systems don’t have. The experience is completely seamless with Single Signon built in to the portal widgets that allows users to sign in to one site and be automatically authenticated in both.

Part 2

The second piece of the integration drives the Single Signon component and allows data from both systems to be viewed in one place. This service is an on-going data transfer between systems that includes user profile information, communities, events and registrations. The service also exchanges security information about users and to what roles / communities they belong. Along with user information, event data is transferred between systems as well. Cobalt’s Dynamics Extensions include robust Event Management functionality and Higher Logic’s Communities provide similar functionality for ad hoc events to be setup by community members. The marriage of the 2 systems means organizations can manage large events in Cobalt xRM while also allowing users to create smaller community events from their community’s site.

HL-Blog

CRM-Blog

Part 3

The third and final part of the Cobalt xRM and Higher Logic Services (pictured above) allows community engagement information to flow from Higher Logic to CRM in real time. As members of the Higher Logic community sites engage other members through Blog Posts, Document Uploads, Announcements, Friend Requests and so on, that information is transferred to Dynamics CRM in real-time as activities associated with the user that’s logged in. Higher Logic uses a push notification service to send the activity information to Cobalt xRM which generates a new activity in CRM and associates it with the customer.

There are more exciting enhancements coming in the near future so stay tuned. For now, though, the marriage of these two systems has created something truly unique for Dynamics CRM users. It finally brings full fledged Social Networking, Collaboration and Community to CRM where other solutions have fallen short. Many thanks to our partners at Higher Logic for working with us to make this a success.

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