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Case Study: VRC Master Data Management

SimByte - CRM & Enterprise solutions
Our tenacity and innovation: the key to your success


The Solution Stack

Dynamics CRM
MSSQL 2008
Windows 2008
Exchange
IIS 7
ASP .NET

Challenges

Victoria Racing Club collects customer information from different data sources such as websites, associate portals and different manual collection drives. This data collection does not get consolidated into Central CRM which results in ineffective or duplicate marketing campaigns and missed opportunities.

SimByte proposes a Master Data Management process to minimise the data distribution which will help VRC to achieve Single Customer View in future.

VRC currently offers a range of products on its website. The shopping cart functionality on its website is not seamlessly integrated with the web content. When user wants to add a product into the shopping cart, he/she is redirected to a separate system which disconnects the flow of the user experience.

VRC would like to review this functionality and revamp it so that the product offering can be seamlessly integrated into its newly redesigned website. As part of this process, a new "VRC Web Services (VWS)" interface for the shopping cart will be developed so that the VRC website can abstract the product data into the website while maintaining the web experience. The web services interface will be connected to the MDM.

Apart from shopping cart related web services, the solution will offer other functionalities like centralised contact creation, tracking customer service management and membership-related value added service.

The Master Data Management and VWS interface will be developed using Microsoft Dynamics Framework (xRM).

To fulfil the dynamics data contents requirements such as rewards/order history, an extension to existing webstore called "Portlets" will be developed. A Portlet is pluggable user interface software components that will be managed and displayed in a webstore.

The Solution

Following diagram shows the functional overview of the proposed system.

The proposed solution is divided into different components and will be scalable to accommodate current and future requirements of the clubs.

The further sections in this case study describe the functionality of each component in more detail.

Components of the Solution

This solution includes different components. Following is the summary of the proposed components.

1. Master Data Management Database

The main component of the solution is Master Data Management (MDM) Database which will be responsible for the data. The main Advantages of MDM would be to allow the separation of the processing and the data flow without impacting the performance of the CRM system.

2. MDM User Interface

The access to the MDM database will enabled using Microsoft's xRM platform. Microsoft's Internet Explorer will be used as client to access this UI.
Access will be provided to only nominated users.

3. VRC Web Services (VWS)

The Web Services will be developed as an extension to the MDM and will be responsible for abstracting shopping cart and other VRC specific functions.

4. Webstore Portlets

Webstore Portlets will be an extension to the webstore and will abstract the non-critical information which can be integrated into the client website using iFrame technique.

5. Business Processes

VRC currently hosts following web forms on its website collects the data into Content Management System. These forms will redesigned by Citrus. The data collected by these forms will be sent to the MDM using messaging architecture & VWS.

6. Business Processes

As part of this solution, certain business processes will be reviewed. This case study details these in brief.

7. Reporting

A set of pre-configured reports will be made available.

Master Data Management Database

1. Master Data Management

The Master Data Management (MDM) comprises a set of processes and tools that consistently defines and manages the data entities of an organization (Master data management, 2011). Following diagram shows the main processes of MDM.

MDM has the objective of providing processes for collecting, aggregating, matching, consolidating, quality-assuring, persisting and distributing such data throughout an organization to ensure consistency and control in the ongoing maintenance and use of the information (Master data management, 2011).

2. Detailed Features of the Solution

This solution proposes the introduction of a dedicated SQL Database to implement MDM processes.
As shown in above diagram, MDM database will offer different services to incoming and outgoing data from central CRM database.

2.1 Data transformation and Validation

The data transformation and validation module will process the entered data in different webforms. The validation will be performed to make sure if contact already exists in the system. Based on validation, new contact will be created and can be assigned as a lead. If contact agrees, an enquiry can also be treated as a lead for future marketing campaigns.
The business rules for the transformation will be analysed during the design phase.

2.2 Automation

The database will be able to automate different activities such as routine imports and exports such as:

  • Contact data import generated from manual collection drive
  • Contact lists export for campaign
  • Campaign Reports Import

2.3 Automation

ETL stands for Extract, Transform and Load. The advanced tools to support ETL are included in MS SQL server and can be used without any additional costs. SimByte has successfully deployed ETL processes at RVL in past.

2.4 Integration

MDM database will be integrated with existing database Middleware which currently synchronises webstore and CRM data.
It will also integrate with E.piphany analytic services database if required to process campaign and offers related data.
The proposed database can be hosted on existing SQL server which currently hosts Middleware. Following block diagram shows the architecture overview.

2. High Level Data Design

In this phase, following data entities will be managed through MDM.

MDM Entity Name

Associate System

Associate Entity Name

Contact

CRM

Customer

Telephone

CRM

 

Address

CRM

 

Email

CRM

 

Rewards Summary

CRM

 

Membership

CRM

 

Product & Package

CRM

 

Product & Package Price

CRM

 

Venue

CRM

 

Calender Day

CRM

 

Shopping Cart

Webstore

 

Cart Item

Webstore

 

Order

Webstore

 

Order Item

Webstore

 


MDM User Interface

The MSM user interface will accessible using Internet explorer and will utilise Microsoft's xRM platform to provide rich user experience.

1. Microsoft Dynamics Framework (xRM)

xRM is a Microsoft application platform layer designed to accelerate the development of relational business (or LOB) applications through flexible dynamic application services

xRM provides reusable application services that can be adapted and extended to create many unique applications

xRM leverages familiar Microsoft technologies as building blocks, including Microsoft Office, Outlook, SQL Server, .NET and Windows.

VRC Web Services (VWS)

The proposed solution will include a component called VRC Web Services or VWS which will be developed as an extension to the MDM.

Following diagram shows the functional operation of the VWS.

VRC Web service will deliver following functionalities. Please refer MDM Web Services.xlsx for the details of the available functionality.

  • Product Catalogue
  • Add to Shopping Cart
  • User Authentication
  • Web forms submissions
  • Other functions

VWS will be hosted on the same infrastructure as that of webstore but will not use webstore app server resources so there will be very minimal additional impact on the performance of the webstore. With the proposed architecture, moving VWS to another server is also possible in the future.

The main advantage of this service will be the seamless integration of the VRC website with the product catalogue data. With the help of VWS, VRC website will be to achieve better shopping cart experience for the user.

Advantages

  • Seamless integration of the website content and product catalogue
  • Synchronous and asynchronous form submission
  • Will eliminate distributed data and will take clubs closer to achieve Single Custom View.
  • Ability to implement custom workflows such as to create leads and interactions in E.piphany CRM from a website enquiry
  • Ability to implement instant end-to-end registration including integration with Payment Gateway such as non-racing memberships
  • Ability to delivery Mobile client (iPhone, Android) compatible contents

Technical Features

  • Ability of advanced AJAX-enabled webforms
  • Wizard-like multipage webforms
  • High degree of control on the functionality such as validations and data transformation
  • Easier to change skins (HTML look & feel) while reusing the underlying form

Software Requirements

1. Servers


Server

Description

Windows Server

x64-based Windows Server 2008 SP2

Supported Active Directory modes

         Windows 2000 Mixed/Native

         Windows Server 2003 Interim/Native

         Windows Server 2008 Interim/Native

IIS

IIS 7.0 or a later version in Native Mode

Supported SQL Server Editions

         Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Standard/Enterprise/Datacenter Edition, x64 SP1 or later version

         Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Developer x64 SP1 or later version (for non-production environment)

Supported Email Servers

         Microsoft Exchange Server 2003/2007/2010 Standard/Enterprise Edition

         or POP3 (RFC 1939) & SMTP (RFC 2821 and RFC 2822) compliant server

Client Browser

MS IE 7.0 or later

Client MS Office

Microsoft Office 2003 with SP3 or later version


2. Services and API


Server

Type

Name

Description

Database

Service

SQL Server Agent service

 

Database

Service

SQL Server Full Text Indexing

 

Database

Service

SQL word breakers

Requirement TBD

Application

Service

Indexing Service

 

Application

Service

IIS Admin

 

Application

Service

World Wide Web Publishing Service

 

Application

Service

Microsoft Dynamics E-mail Router

 

Database

API

Windows Data Access Components (MDAC) 6.0

 

Database

API

Microsoft ASP .NET 4.0

 

Application

API

Windows Data Access Components (MDAC) 6.0

 

Application

API

Microsoft ASP .NET 4.0

 

Application

API

Microsoft Dynamics Reporting Extensions

 

Application

API

MAPI 6.5.8147 (or later)