If you read my previous post on deploying and configuring e-mail integration for the enterprise, then this post will seem familiar. In many ways, deploying an e-mail integration solution for MSCRM in a small scale business, say less than 50 users, requires the implementer to go through much the same process as the “big guys” on the block, but there will be a number of things which can make the process both simpler and more complex at the same time.
For example, in the enterprise example it can be assumed that there is an IT department which can take care of the deployment and configuration of the various components while the small business deployment will need to done with no (or part-time and less experienced) IT help. On the other hand, the small business deployment will likely be much smaller in scale and more easily managed by a single user. The goal of this post is to help the small business implementer with the challenge of installing and configuring the E-mail Router for MSCRM.
Defining the Requirements
As with a much larger organization’s e-mail integration needs, the requirements necessary to effectively configure and deploy an effective e-mail solution are much the same. In the case of a small business, however, it can be assumed that there is no full-time IT department on staff to handle the deployment and configuration for you. The questions to answer, then, become that much more important as you begin the process of setting up the e-mail configuration needed to connect your CRM system with e-mail.
- Does the organization have a need to use queues (e.g. for support, information, etc)?
- What e-mail system is your company currently using?
- Do your users typically use Outlook to manage their e-mail?
- Do you have the ability to create one or more Forward Mailboxes?
- What type of e-mail traffic is expected (volume per user, average attachment size, etc)?
The flexibility of the E-mail Router in v4 makes it difficult to attempt to describe a one-size-fits-all solution. We will work through an example of a small business to illustrate how you could implement one type of solution which will touch a large portion of the configuration aspects to provide a starting point for your own unique situation. This scenario is used for illustrative purposes only, so your mileage may vary.
- 1 CRM organization with 15 users
- Users are using Windows Live Mail accounts to manage their e-mail needs (e.g. not Outlook)
- Users are receiving an average of 30 e-mails per day, with small attachments
- 1 queue mailbox is used for ‘info’ (also Windows Live Mail) which receives roughly 200 e-mails per day and small-medium attachment sizes
Since the users are not using an Exchange server and Windows Live Mail does not allow for messages to be forwarded as attachments, the use of a Forward Mailbox is not really an option. The user base is small enough, however, to allow a single E-mail Router service to easily process all incoming and outgoing e-mail for this scenario. The following solution will allow minimal disruption to the existing e-mail configuration while enabling full integration with CRM.
- Install the e-mail router on a dedicated machine
- Configure all users in CRM to use the E-mail Router for both incoming and outgoing e-mail
- Configure the “info” CRM queue to also use the E-mail Router for both incoming and outgoing e-mail
- Both users and the queue will allow the E-mail Router to send and receive e-mail on their behalf (users do this via their personal options page, queues allow this directly from the queue entity page)
- Single profiles for Incoming and Outgoing e-mail will be configured in the E-mail Router Configuration tool. These will be configured to use “User supplied credentials” for connecting to the individual Windows Live mailboxes. The incoming profile will use the POP3 e-mail server type option.
Installing and configuring the E-mail Router is only part of the solution as this will only establish the connection between the E-mail server and CRM. In order to complete the configuration, the CRM administrator will need to configure the User and Queue records in CRM to use the “E-mail Router” option for both incoming and outgoing e-mail access. Once this is done, each user will need to configure their own personal options to allow the E-mail Router to use their login credentials to send and receive e-mail on their behalf. This is done via Tools/Options and then choosing the E-mail tab and entering the appropriate information. This will likewise be necessary for the Queue records as well.
Each user (and queue) can also choose to apply a built-in filter which the E-mail Router will use for processing incoming e-mails. These options are available in the E-mail tab of the Personal Options dialog within CRM.
Please review the following links as they provide video walk-throughs of various configuration and deployment scenarios to help you in deploying your own CRM e-mail solution.
- The CRM 4.0 E-mail Router with POP3
- The CRM 4.0 E-mail Router with Exchange
- The CRM 4.0 E-mail Router with Forward Mailbox