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Archive for January, 2012

Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail 2012 Virtual Launch event on Wed Feb 1st

January 30th, 2012 Sandeep Walia No comments

Be among the first to get an in-depth look at the Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 for Retail Point of Sales, multi-channel management, social commerce, merchandising and more. Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 can help you deliver the complete shopping experience to meet and exceed today's consumer expectations. Learn how this powerful solution has helped top retailers connect to their customers and out-innovate the competition, while empowering them for rapid growth as the destination for their customers.

This FREE virtual launch event takes place on Wednesday, February 1st, 2012 at 9 a.m. Pacific Time. Register here

Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail POS

Sandeep Walia is the CEO of Ignify. Ignify is a global leader in retail and ecommerce solutions for retailers and has been ranked Microsoft Partner of the Year in 2011. Ignify has been ranked in the 100 most innovative companies globally by Red Herring in 2010 and 2011. For more information, email retail@ignify.com , call Ignify at (866) IGNIFY5, or visit www.Ignify.com.

Ecommerce for Sports Teams at the National Sports Forum in Oklahoma City

January 30th, 2012 Sandeep Walia No comments

Ignify’s team will be at the National Sports Forum at the Renaissance Convention Center Hotel from January 30th to Feb 1st showcasing Ignify ecommerce for Sports Teams. Stop at our booth at #226 to meet with our team members there and see how Ignify ecommerce can deliver results to your sports franchise.

Ignify’s eCommerce Solution for sports teams and sports-affiliated organizations provides a comprehensive ecommerce system that is rich in the merchandising, inventory, and marketing functionalities that translate into a user-friendly, premium shopping experience for customers and an essential business management tool for administrators. With its native search engine optimized Web store capabilities, Ignify eCommerce provides a software platform that advances brand awareness and ensures a higher outreach to both existing and potential customers.

Product and Inventory Management

Ignify eCommerce empowers your customers’ purchasing decisions by enabling them to view the different product attributes that you specify – such as color, size, style, etc

Ignify eCommerce empowers your customers’ purchasing decisions by enabling them to view the different product attributes that you specify – such as color, size, style, etc.

  • Multi-level product hierarchy allows for an unlimited number of product categories
  • Display an unlimited number of product attributes, such as color, size, style, capacity, etc.
  • Assign items to an attribute group and enable each attribute group to have its own set of unique variants (for example, items in the Apparel category can have variants such as color, size, style, etc., while items in the Electronics category can have variants such as wattage, color, etc.)
  • Display an inventory number (e.g. "7 in stock") or inventory message (e.g. "Ships in 24 hours", "Ships in 2-3 weeks"), depending on stock status
  • Mark up/down prices by category, manufacturers, or product
  • Add or remove products from the catalog, or hide items that are not in stock
  • Ability to search by product keywords, attributes, price, and search-within-a-search

Merchandising Management

  • Automatically cross-sell products to leverage customers’ interests and shopping habits
  • Automatically up-sell products according to buyer behavior
  • Enable customers to indicate the product variants with attributes such as color, size, style, etc.
  • Allow customers to instantly see their chosen variant combinations, including either a unique price or the stock price of the combination chosen
  • Enable image zooming to give customers an in-depth look at the product
  • Easy creation of gift cards/gift certificates that can be easily redeemed both online and at brick-and-mortar store locations
  • Ability to have multiple gift card redemptions at checkout

Product cross-sell allows you to strategically market items and move inventory by leveraging your customers' shopping habits, as well as drive shoppers to other merchandise

Product cross-sell allows you to strategically market items and move inventory by leveraging your customers’ shopping habits, as well as drive shoppers to other merchandise.

Marketing and Promotions Management

  • Easily create and bundle unlimited item, product category, order, and shipping promotions
  • Add usage restrictions to promotions such as minimum order size; restrict to a certain item or item category; or restrict to a certain customer or customer category (e.g. special offer for fan club members only)
  • Apply promotions either automatically or manually with shoppers entering a coupon code
  • Email coupons/promotions that link to a specific page to drive potential and existing customers to other inventory
  • Create email marketing campaigns with segmented customers, and measure the results
  • Strategically market special offers on your store with intelligent site placement (e.g. banners, navigation stickers, Deal of the Day, etc.)
  • Generate sales by coupon and sales by promotion reports to track
  • Offer the ability to provide gift-wrapping or gift messages to customers

With Ignify eCommerce’s robust marketing functionality, merchants increase revenue and customer conversion with the easy creation of all different types of special offers

With Ignify eCommerce’s robust marketing functionality, merchants increase revenue and customer conversion with the easy creation of all different types of special offers.

Web Store Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

  • SEO URLs: Search engine-friendly Web addresses and URL for category pages
  • SEO Product Pages: Search engine optimized product detail page, with every product page automatically built to be a landing page
  • Landing Pages: Search engine optimized with content and product information
  • Page Tagging: Automatic generation of HTML page titles, meta tags, key words, with the ability to override this content
  • Alternate Tags: (ALT TAGs) for Images. Alternate Images can be automatically generated based on item names
  • Content: Detailed product content that helps improve your search engine ranking.
  • Product Reviews: Editorial and customer reviews that help improve your search engine rankings, with the ability to choose which reviews to display on the product page

Customer Service Management

  • Self-service capability enables end customers to view order history, track shipments in their order, and see the status of an order (Pending, Shipped, Cancelled, etc.)
  • Customer Service functionality allows customer service representatives to view orders, enter orders, edit orders, and create returns
  • Integrated chat for customer service reps to directly help a customer find a product, increase cross-sell and up-sell, or just to assist a customer during the checkout process
  • Ability to set up return policies with various return reasons (e.g. accept returns 30 days after purchase if a customer changes their mind, but accept returns 60 days after purchase if the item is damaged, etc.)
  • In-depth item return tracking for both customers and customer service reps, allowing both to view the processing status of the return online

By enabling customers to view and track their orders through a self-service account, Ignify eCommerce offers customers purchasing control and visibility throughout the order fulfillment process

By enabling customers to view and track their orders through a self-service account, Ignify eCommerce offers customers purchasing control and visibility throughout the order fulfillment process.

Sandeep Walia is the CEO of Ignify. Ignify is a global leader in retail and ecommerce solutions for sports teams and franchise organizations and has been ranked Microsoft Partner of the Year in 2011. Ignify has been ranked in the 100 most innovative companies globally by Red Herring in 2010 and 2011. For more information, email ecommerce@ignify.com, call Ignify at (866) IGNIFY5, or visit www.Ignify.com.

Platinum-Level Customer Service with Ignify’s Bank and Credit Union Customer Management Solution

January 11th, 2012 Ashley Harbaugh No comments

What has been one of the single-most defining issues of the American culture these past few years? The one thing that has affected virtually every facet of the American populace, from high-powered corporations right down to the single American individual? What is still the main topic of politicians and pundits, who make authoritative declarations on how they would undoubtedly fix this particular issue if they were in power? The economy!

Although the economy has moved into a slow recovery – people don’t forget the hard lessons learned during those challenging times. Both individuals and businesses are far more cautious on where they spend their hard-earned cash, hoping to make safe, solid investments and avoid potentially risky decisions. And finding the right, secure place to keep their money is a crucial judgment call.

For banks and financial institutions that serve the wary, watchful public, conveying to both clients and prospects that their money is in safe hands is absolutely necessary for conducting business. Financial organizations are built on the people’s trust; if they don’t think their money is in a dependable place, then they have no problem putting it somewhere else. The best way to communicate to clients that responsibility and reliability are core values of a bank is by offering outstanding customer service.

With Ignify’s Banking Customer Relationship Management Solution, banks and financial service institutions can better strengthen their relationships with customers through the 360-degree view of customer transaction history, account information, and individual preferences. Built on the Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform, this powerful solution is tailored for retail banks, commercial banks, investment banks, credit unions, private bankers, and others, enabling these organizations to utilize the robust functionalities that allow them to make their customers feel more connected, and thus more dedicated, to their services.

One crucial way that financial service representatives gain crucial insight into their information is through the rich dashboard functionality present in Ignify’s solution. With the clear, well-defined parameters that these graphical displays exhibit, these dashboards enable representatives to understand data at a glance. The ability to set up and design these dashboards according to personal preferences enable salespeople and representatives to instantly access the important customer information that they need, and to thus quickly assess the action items needed to take on their part to develop customer relationships.

Robust dashboard capabilities allow financial service representatives to get a comprehensive overview of customer data, and give them better insight on what action items to take

Robust dashboard capabilities allow financial service representatives to get a comprehensive overview of customer data, and give them better insight on what action items to take.

A representative can also click on a dashboard screen and drill down to find out more details on the data presented. For example, a bank representative can drill his Active Accounts dashboard screen (as shown in the image above) down to the New Accounts by Month specification, if he wanted to identify the number of new accounts that were added in the past few months. All of the dashboards are real-time and bring data from the different functional areas of the application, so users are assured of viewing data that is both current and accurate. As soon as you make a change, the reports automatically refresh to reflect it.

Because dashboards are dynamic and instantly reflect even the most recent data changes made, these tools allow representatives to access fresh, current data at any point in time

Because dashboards are dynamic and instantly reflect even the most recent data changes made, these tools allow representatives to access fresh, current data at any point in time.

Using Ignify’s Bank Management Solution enables financial institutions to maintain complete visibility into customer data, offering detailed and up-to-date records of the customer’s needs that can be used to a representative’s advantage. For example, if a customer calls up a representative, that rep can immediately pull up the customer’s file and view their account and transaction history while on the phone, and check on other issues that the customer might have had in the past. By having an in-depth record of customer activities, and by being able to discuss those customer actions with the customers themselves, banks prove to their clients that they – and their accounts – are receiving the utmost attention and care. And people notice: if a person feels that their financial needs are a top priority, then high customer satisfaction is the inevitable outcome.

Ignify’s Bank Management Solution ensures that detailed, up-to-date customer information is always readily available

Ignify’s Bank Management Solution ensures that detailed, up-to-date customer information is always readily available.

Establishing trust and providing good customer service to clients really cannot be overstated, especially for banks. Just going off of my own experience, I have personally known friends to transfer their funds to different banks because they continually felt that their account needs were not being taken care of, and that the bank in question was not listening or paying attention to what they wanted. If the bank had been able to instantly identify past problems that my friends had, and then made a concerted effort to attend to those issues, they would’ve been able to retain their business. Instead, their competitors got to benefit.

For the business clients who utilize multiple accounts and different currencies, the solution enables financial representatives to consolidate this disparate information in one view, as well as look at the transaction histories and activities for each individual account

For the business clients who utilize multiple accounts and different currencies, the solution enables financial representatives to consolidate this disparate information in one view, as well as look at the transaction histories and activities for each individual account.

By using a customer relationship management solution that is specifically built for banks and other financial institutions, these organizations are better equipped to offer their customers the premium service that ensures customer satisfaction and, ultimately, retention. And the more happy customers there are, the higher the chance they will spread the word to their friends and relatives (and if there are some folks in their network who are disgruntled with their bank, they’ll definitely be listening intently to the message). Give them every opportunity to sing your praises – capture those customers from your competitors.

Ashley Harbaugh is a Product Marketing Specialist at Ignify. Ignify is a technology provider of CRM, software solutions to banks, insurance and financial service institutions. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing business in North America for 5 years in a row by Deloitte, Inc Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine and ranked as one of 100 most innovative companies in the world in the Red Herring Global 100 in 2011.

Analyze up to 100 million rows of data from ERP and CRM using PowerPivot for Excel

January 6th, 2012 Abi Shende No comments

Companies often have valuable operational and financial data stored in multiple systems and have to create reports by combining this data. For example, a retailer may have customer demographic data such as customer location, gender, employment status and home ownership stored in Dynamics CRM, and sales data stored in ERP such as Dynamics AX or Dynamics GP. The retailer might then want to create a sales analysis report by combining data from both CRM and ERP. In the past, it has been difficult to create PivotTables based on data from different data sources. PowerPivot is a free add-in for Excel 2010 that allows you to easily create PivotTables based on data from disparate systems, websites, spreadsheets, or databases. Using PowerPivot, you can quickly create PivotTables based on up to 100 million rows of data.

After you install PowerPivot, you will see a PowerPivot tab on the Ribbon in Excel. When you click the PowerPivot tab, you see the following buttons.

PowerPivot tab in Excel

PowerPivot tab in Excel

Clicking on the PowerPivot Window button opens the PowerPivot window and displays the following options.

Home tab after clicking on PowerPivot Window button

Home tab after clicking on PowerPivot Window button

You can now import data from external data sources such as SQL Server, SQL Server Analysis Services, Microsoft Access, Microsoft Excel and text files.

In the following example, the company has the customer, customer address and sales data stored in the ERP system. It maintains sales territories in the Dynamics CRM system. It has also created a custom entity in Dynamics CRM to maintain the mapping from State/Province to sales territory. For example, Alaska (AK) is in the Northwest territory and California (CA) is in the Southwest territory.

The company has imported the customer, customer address and sales data from ERP and Territory data and State/Province to Territory mapping from CRM into PowerPivot. It has also created the following relationships:

  • Customer Address to State/Province (based on State/Province)
  • State/Province to Territory (based on Territory)

PowerPivot enables you to manage relationships between tables in PowerPivot based on common data elements. The following screen shots illustrate this feature.

Relationship between Customer Address and State/Province based on StateProvinceID

Relationship between Customer Address and State/Province based on StateProvinceID.

Relationship between State/Province and Territory based on TerritoryID

Relationship between State/Province and Territory based on TerritoryID.

Now you are ready to do the analysis by combining data from both sources.

PowerPivot for Excel enables you to analyze Sales by Territory by combining data from ERP and CRM

PowerPivot for Excel enables you to analyze Sales by Territory by combining data from ERP and CRM.

In summary, PowerPivot for Excel enables you to create reports based on data residing in multiple systems and tables using the tool you are already familiar with. You can download the PowerPivot for Excel 2010 here.

This post is written by Abi Shende. Abi is a Team Leader in Microsoft Dynamics CRM with Ignify. Ignify is winner of the Microsoft Partner of the Year in 2011 and provides CRM, eCommerce, and ERP software solutions to businesses and public sector organizations. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing business in North America for 5 years in a row by Deloitte, Inc Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine, and ranked as one of 100 most innovative companies in the world in the Red Herring Global 100 in 2011. If you are seeking assistance to maximize your efforts with your CRM project, contact Ignify at 562-219-2001 or email us at crm@ignify.com.