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About Adxstudio Portals, from Microsoft

Adxstudio web portal solutions extend Microsoft Dynamics CRM to the web. They deliver a proven and mature web engagement experience for community, public sector, partner management, customer service and a breadth of other solution areas.

Adxstudio's capabilities begin with seamless, extensible out of the box web portals for Dynamics CRM and are built on the Microsoft technology stack including SharePoint, Azure and .NET. Customers can extend their Dynamics CRM solution to the web with Adxstudio portals and create web applications to automate their business processes.

Together with Dynamics CRM, Adxstudio portals create an interactive, web-based engagement platform with capabilities that support profile management, content management, CRM web applications, customer service, government applications, partner management and interactions, channel management and employee interactions.

Adxstudio, a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation, provides both web portal and application lifecycle solutions built for Microsoft Dynamics CRM, SharePoint and .NET platforms.

Note: Microsoft is renaming "Adxstudio Portals" to "CRM portals".

Web Portals Overview

Think of a bank ATM. Before ATM’s, you had to call or visit a bank branch to get information and perform actions. With web portals, banking (and any business/organization) can provide information and allow business transactions to any device (phone, tablets, PCs, etc.).

Any organization can deploy a web portal to enhance customer interactions. Offering a web portal to external individuals can help any business meet their objectives of growth, customer service and efficiency.

Benefits of Web Portals

  • Scaling service capacity: Since web portals offer self-service functionality, a business can serve a greater number of customers than otherwise possible through traditional support channels.
  • Increasing customer engagement and satisfaction: Customers who can engage with a business and other customers through the web are more likely to remain a customer and purchase additional products. Allow users to take action to resolve common tasks, ask and answer questions while deepening the relationship with your organization.
  • Delivering exceptional customer service: When a customer needs information from a business, they want it quickly. Web portals can provide quick and easy self-service solutions.
  • Improved staff productivity: Customers who can help themselves, and are happy with the results, allow internal employees to handle other business tasks or more difficult customer situations.
  • Enhanced service quality: Web portals can offer product information, troubleshooting tips, document downloads, videos and many more features to increase the quality of customer service.
  • Content management: Provide a wide range of digital content to customers including knowledge base articles and media such as video, PDF, Microsoft Office documents, etc.
  • Seamless customer experience: Beyond the storefront (brick-and-mortar), on-site service and phone, a web portal allows a customer to use any web-enabled device to seamlessly engage with a business at any time
  • Comprehensive customer platform: Web portals can provide a complete customer experience, from product discovery, research, purchase, support, forums and other types of interactions.
  • E-mail subscriptions: Customers can sign up for e-mail subscriptions and set other aspects of their profile. This allows a business to tailor content based on the customer's requests, profiler and history.
  • Track activities: Businesses can gain greater insight into their customers by tracking aspects of a customer portal session such as pages and products viewed, forum posts and ratings.
  • Community discussion forums: Customers who interact on a web portal can help each other resolve issues, offer tips and advice and thus reduce customer churn or product returns.

And recent reports show that your customers are demanding more ways to interact with your business or organization:
  • 32% of consumers keep in touch with a brand (Sarah Sikowitz, The Customer Life Cycle: A Blueprint for Customer-Obsessed Enterprises, Forrester, January 27, 2016)
  • 50% of end-users use multiple channels to make their voice heard (2015 U.S. State of Multichannel Customer Service Report, Parature)
  • 81% increase in customer use of online forums and communities for self-help (Kate Leggett, Your Customers Don’t Want to Call You, Forrester, February 29, 2016. Percentage increase between 2012 and 2015 surveys)

Get Connected with Customers, Partners and Employees

As highlighted below, providing a web portal to customers, partners, employees and any other individuals outside your organization extends and enhances your investment in CRM.
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Build or Subscribe?

Most businesses and organizations can greatly benefit from the investment in a web portal. The question, then, is whether to build a portal or subscribe to or license a configurable cloud or on-premises portal, such as Adxstudio.

Building a web portal from scratch will likely be much more expensive than utilizing a pre-built and configurable solution such as Adxstudio. To build a robust web portal from the ground up requires the attention and expertise of an experienced web application developer(s) and web site designer(s). It will also require months of planning, research, consulting, database design and implementation, software development and integration, site quality assurance and testing. And if the application architect fails to build a site that is easily enhanced, then on-going maintenance will also be time-consuming and expensive.

If a business is already using Dynamics CRM, then the choice is easy...

Reasons to Use Adxstudio Portals

  • Extend Dynamics CRM to the web to engage customers, partners and employees
  • Leverage Dynamics CRM as the backend platform for web portal data and eliminate silos of customer data
  • Use Microsoft Dynamics CRM as a built-in native, modern content publishing for web portals
  • Market leader for CRM portal solutions
  • Certified for Microsoft Dynamics CRM
  • Technical expertise with Dynamics CRM; close collaboration with Microsoft over 8+ years.
  • Built using the most current software technologies (e.g., HTML5, CSS3), industry trends and Microsoft releases of .NET, Azure and Office 365 and other applications on the Microsoft stack
  • Brings CRM data to life; make it available to customers, partners, other non-CRM users
  • No developers (custom code) required; Adxstudio provides point-and-click configuration
  • Deliver to mobile, tablet and desktop
  • Maximize the benefit of Microsoft Dynamics CRM
  • Solid foundation of Authentication, Security, User Roles and Rights, configurable from within Dynamics CRM.
  • Quick-start solutions (templates) for Customer Service, Self-Service, Public Sector, Partner Channel, Software Vendors, Conferences and Events, Online Retail and more
  • Integration with SharePoint and Azure
  • No need for a separate database; uses Dynamics CRM for data storage, workflow processes, plugins, etc.
  • Join 500+ other businesses and organizations who have improved their customer interactions with Adxstudio

Adxstudio stays current with new technologies, industry trends, and Microsoft releases so that portals continue to run smoothly without customer investment in maintenance.

Here's a look at an out of the box portal running on a variety of devices, deployed quickly and easily by any Dynamics CRM administrator or consultant:
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Adxstudio is built with a responsive web design that adapts content to the device resolution and capabilities. The page content flows automatically; one design works on multiple devices and browsers and the design allows for touch control (no keyboard/mouse dependencies) throughout the product.

Major Adxstudio Portal Solutions and Benefits

Self-service

Enable customers or employees to access knowledge as an additional support offering to help meet the desires of users to quickly answer questions with the web enabled device of their choice. Providing knowledge to customers through a portal deflects higher cost support options in the traditional customer service model and allows support agents to focus their time on the more complex issues. With a self-service portal customers receive the support they desire, access to discussion forums that build customer loyalty, visibility into support entitlement data and the ability to provide organizations with feedback through polls, ratings and comments.

Community

When thinking about service strategies, consider the powerful role that community can play by deepening relationships in the community with peer-to-peer knowledge sharing. Users become ambassadors and influencers for an organization, and in return that organization can realize tremendous value in terms of cost-savings, brand loyalty and trust. Create a robust community by enabling discussion forums, create blogs and articles, provide methods for capturing feedback and collect ideas while sharing outcomes of all the community ideas.

Partner

Increase visibility and productivity with a partner channel that is enabled with tools integrated into your CRM system. Strong partner programs enhanced with “one-to-many” self-service options help your partners succeed by providing tools and access to information partners need. These can be delivered with a partner portal that distributes leads, tracks deals and opportunities and provides account management capabilities.

Custom

Built on the Dynamics CRM portal foundation to allow businesses to create a unique solution for their audience to meet the specific requirements of their organization. Leverage pre-built tools or configure custom applications and workflows that connect your business and users with a powerful web engagement portal.

Adxstudio Case Studies


Grand Rapids, Michigan - 311 Portal

Built for Growth, Elections Saskatchewan’s Website Scales to 33 Thousand Page Views on Election Day

Experlogix Enables Unassisted Customer Quotes, Orders & Case Management with Adxstudio Portals

Gap Consulting Standardizes on Adxstudio Portals as the Platform for their Feature Rich Portals Solutions

San Diego County Public Safety Group Emergency Website Disaster-Ready, Scales to 19 Million Page Views Hourly

Starshot Unlocks the Web Potential of Microsoft Dynamics CRM with Adxstudio Portals and Microsoft Windows Azure

Adxstudio provides their own case study as well; their website is built with Adxstudio portals software.

Additional Resources

Product Videos

https://www.youtube.com/user/adxstudio
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2016 Update 1 Architecture

Training

http://community.adxstudio.com/learning/
https://community.adxstudio.com/learning/training-curriculum/

Technical Guides

Administrator's Guide to portal capabilities for Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Adxstudio Portal Sites

Hillsborough County 311 Portal

Pricing

https://www.adxstudio.com/adxstudio-portals/pricing/

A portals trial for CRM Online 2016 (Update 1 and newer) is available to Microsoft Partners and CRM Customers upon request at https://crmmanagedtrials.dynamics.com/

Free 30-day trial
- In June 2016, Microsoft plans to provide a trial of Adxstudio through a trial instance of CRM Online.

How to Get Started with an Adxstudio CRM Portal

If you just want to try out Adxstudio Portals:

If your organization is using Dynamics CRM Online
Portal Add-On
Decide on Cloud or On-premises hosting


Technical Details


Custom Branding

  • Every website gets a custom brand
  • Flexible page layouts
  • Select from many in-the-box modules, or add your own
  • Dynamic content is based on CRM data
  • Unstructured content is controlled by web CMS
  • You are in full control of what is on every page
  • Uses Bootstrap framework for easy theming
  • Standards-based to ensure cross browser, cross platform
  • Accessibility friendly

Architecture


Authentication and Authorization

  • Users are stored as CRM contacts. These individuals can self-manage account and profile information.
  • Login options include username/password or federated authentication such as facebook, Twitter, Microsoft Account, LinkedIn, Google and Yahoo!
    • Supported authentication protocols: OAuth 2.0, OpenID Connect, WS-Federation and SAML 2.0. Support for Open ID 2.0 and Azure ACS have been removed for the CRM 2016 Update 1 release.

Deployment

On-premises or hosted

Customization

Liquid is an open-source template language integrated into Adxstudio Portals. It can be used add dynamic content to pages, and to create entire custom templates.

Adxstudio Portals Features

Here's a partial list of the features in Adxstudio Portals (CRM portals):
  • 311 Service Requests
  • Accessibility
  • Account Management
  • Ads
  • ASP.NET Identity Authentication
  • Azure Integration
  • Bing Maps
  • Blogs
  • Bootstrap Design
  • Branding
  • Careers
  • Case Deflection
  • Case Management Contacts
  • Community Badging
  • Contact Forms
  • Content Management and Publishing
  • Content Search
  • Custom Templates
  • Customer and Account Management
  • Dashboards
  • Deal Registration & Bidding
  • Device-Responsive Design
  • Discussion Forums
  • Ecommerce Transactions
  • Editable Content within the Portals
  • Emergency Management
  • Entitlements & SLAs
  • Entity Actions
  • Entity Forms
  • Entity Lists
  • Entity Permissions
  • Events and Conferences
  • Feedback
  • Files, Downloads, Media
  • Help Desk
  • Ideas, Issues
  • Invitations
  • Knowledge Base and Management
  • Leads
  • Links
  • Location Finder
  • Multi-Lingual, Multi-Regional Portal Support, Localization into 38 languages
  • OData Feeds
  • Open Data Protocol
  • Opportunity Distribution
  • Parature Integration
  • Peer-to-peer communities, interactions
  • Permissions
  • Permits, Licenses, Grants
  • Polls
  • Products and Catalogs
  • Quotes, Orders, Invoices
  • Ratings and Comments
  • Redirects
  • Responsive Design
  • Localization into 38 Languages
  • Search and SEO
  • Service Scheduling
  • SharePoint Integration
  • Shopping Cart
  • Sitemap, Customized Layout
  • Surveys
  • User Profile Management
  • Web Design
  • Web Forms
  • Web Pages
  • Web Roles
  • Web Templating
  • Web Tools, Custom modules/widgets to meet most portal needs
  • Workflow Automation


Misc Facts

  • Installing the "Community Portal" into a Dynamics CRM organization adds 153 new entities to CRM. Fortunately, they all begin with "adx_".

Screenshots


Adxstudio (Portals) links within Dynamics CRM

The Adxstudio "Community" solution installs the CRM ribbon buttons shown below. The ribbon buttons, as well as entities, fields, forms, etc., will vary depending on the Adxstudio solution(s) selected for installation.
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