Microsoft CRM Implementation - Fundamental CRM Principles Revision
Microsoft CRM is relatively new player on the now becoming traditional CRM software applications market. We would like just to mention shift in the technical conception - Microsoft CRM is committed to Windows and Microsoft components: Exchange, Active Directory, SQL Server, etc (while traditional CRM applications, such as Siebel were biased toward multiplatform compatibility: Unix, Oracle, Windows, SQL Server) and move up to business logic paradigm shift.
There is high-tech wisdom and it is always applicable to traditional industries, such as auto makers. Don't try to be too innovative on the market, rather have your competitors build the market niche and then move in. It is rather safe not to purchase the car of the new line, just introduced this year, even if it comes from such a respectable manufacturer as Toyota. The same in software industry - we have unlimited trust and greatest respect to such CRM makers as Seibel - but I guess we have to admit - companies like this had to be pioneers on the market and had to create the market, being a little bit premature, however savvy in the long term market prediction.
Microsoft seems to be allowing the enthusiasts to create the market niche and then move in with its own or purchased and beefed up solution. In the case of MS CRM it seems to be from ground up MS development and very excellent fit to Microsoft Business Solutions business strategy.
Microsoft CRM application conception in our opinion was substantial simplification in CRM functionality and making IT group to support it, by deploying all the recent Microsoft technologies.
Bullets to emphasize:
1. Microsoft CRM is for MCSE / Microsoft oriented IT departments - Microsoft CRM would be be-loved system for IT specialists. If you are MCSE+I - CRM will recruit all your MS Exchange, Active Directory, MS SQL Server, Windows domain security, Windows 2003 Server, Web publishing and HTML knowledge and experience. This is completely opposite to earlier Apple Computer believe - that computer systems should be easy in service and completely intuitive. MS CRM is kind of intuitive for end user, but not for its administrator.
2. Microsoft CRM - is not CRM - but rather simplified CRM - if you do remember old days whitepapers about CRM in general, or even it's predecessor - Lotus Notes/Domino - these papers were full of predictions about the future and were written for top level company executives, not for regular computer specialists. This was probably why so high percentage of CRM sales failed in implementations. Microsoft CRM has the highest ever rate of successful implementations, because it is not a CRM, but rather popularized version of it - it just does the job - as cheap and reliable car.
3. Transportation Companies - about 30% of our clients in the States are transportation and freight forwarding companies. This actually proves the hypothesis that MS CRM is very simple solution - these companies usually do not have extra money to spend on their computer system, but need the solution for its sales people to instantly see the cargos, plus have simple customization, allowing them to integrate with legacy system.
4. Movement down to small and tiny companies - this is completely new trend for CRM market. We know the examples when 5 employees companies make a decision to implement and have surprising success in Microsoft CRM implementation.
Andrew Karasev is Chief Technology Officer in Alba Spectrum Technologies - USA nationwide Microsoft CRM, Microsoft Great Plains customization company, serving clients in Chicago, California, Colorado, Texas, New York, Georgia and Florida, Canada, UK, Australia and having locations in multiple states and internationally (www.albaspectrum.com/">http://www.albaspectrum.com/ ) You can reach Andrew at 1-630-961-5918 or 1-866-528-0577. He is Dexterity, SQL, C#.Net, Crystal Reports and Microsoft CRM SDK developer.