It’s a new era. Change is no longer a buzzword, a strategic initiative, or a top-down management decision. It’s constant.
And it’s the organizations with flexible business structures that are the ones that have the ability to survive. After all, it is survival of the fittest.
Yes – external pressures force businesses to be different today than they were yesterday.
Technologically today we deal with:
- Ever increasing knowledge management and the need to come to grips with the increasing amount of information we need to make sense of
- Ever increasing computational power that allows us to work at increasing speeds
- Increased high quality global communications that blurs lines for the need to work with local organizations
Culturally today individuals have grown to have:
- Higher levels of education that influence their ability to work more strategically
- Wide networks of influence through their various social networks dramatically increase the speed of their communications
From the economic perspective we have:
- The global economy which factors in even to small business’ revenues
- The growing population coupled with shifting older demographics
External factors such as these put pressure on businesses to change faster and an ongoing basis. How then does your software change with your changing circumstances.
One of these ways is with Microsoft’s Dynamics XRM (CRM).
When Microsoft developed XRM, they officially formulated the concept that not only did businesses need CRM to manage customers, accounts, activities etc. but CRM software needed to be flexible to accommodate all types of relationship management – essentially to track anything the organizations deemed necessary to track.
In a nutshell, Microsoft Dynamics XRM is software that can be used:
- by any team …
- to manage any relationship …
- to automate any business process
How does this flush out? Well, this example gives us some ideas.
So how did Microsoft achieve a flexible product with Microsoft Dynamics CRM?
Five core reasons why Microsoft Dynamics XRM is seen just as much as a development platform as a customer relationship management systems:
- Microsoft implemented a high level point and click workflow designer with Windows Workflow Foundation into Microsoft Dynamics CRM
A point and click workflow designer allows individuals to automate key parts of their businesses without knowing programming languages (just programming concepts).
- Microsoft provided a framework for developers to write client side applications in Microsoft Dynamics CRM
Microsoft’s XRM framework allows for developers or business analysts to easily add in small elements of code to control the functions and forms that individuals see.
- Microsoft provided web-services for developers to write plug-ins to add new features of CRM
Plug-ins allow developers to add new features to the Microsoft Dynamics CRM product and write more advanced custom workflow logic.
- Microsoft allowed individuals to easily extend the interface, add new fields, and control forms with point and click customization tools (for a sample of how Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 extends this read this article)
By easily allowing customers as well as business analysts to use point and click tools to customize the Microsoft Dynamics CRM interface including creating new custom entities – Microsoft demonstrated to their customers that this was not just a tool for developers.
- Microsoft allowed developers to customize the Outlook interfaces
By allowing developers to customize the Outlook interface they effectively allowed Microsoft Dynamics CRM (XRM) to become an integral part of any customer’s business.
What are the steps in a CRM implementation? What are the biggest causes of failure? How long will it take?