I have been tasked with taking our existing systems that contain all of our customer information and integrate it with CRM. Our current systems will have all of the information that has happened in the past 3 days and CRM will contain the rest of the historical data. I need to query CRM and our external services for all of the current customers and display them for our customer service representatives.
Is this possible? Is there an easy way of mapping external objects to CRM entities so that they can be displayed and worked with on those forms?
There are multiple approaches to acomplish what you are looking to do.
You can use the CRM SDK and make updates to the contact records from external systems. What you will need is to map the ID's of the records between the external system and CRM. Using a Hub/Spoke model, where the CRM contact id is the master ID for the contact, and each external system maps to this contact id, you can make CRM SDK calls to update the CRM contact record when there are changes in the external system. This is just one potential solution. A lot depends on how many external systems you have, how you manage customer information in each of these systems, how you handle duplicates, how many contact records you are dealing with, scrubbing the contact data in each of the systems to cleanse and map them to CRM etc..
You can use external tools to also make batch updates to CRM. I am assuming your external systems have the ability to query the databases.
Once the data in CRM is updated, you can display it in CRM for your CSR's.
HTH. Good luck!