Solutions is one of the biggest development changes in CRM 2011 and it will take a little bit of time for people switching from CRM 4 to CRM 2011 some time to get their heads around it.
When you do you will find it is a massive improvement not only in terms of keeping only the changes you have made in a seperate solution but most importantly it’s a huge improvement in deploying CRM 2011.
Richard Knudson who is one of the leading CRM bloggers has written an introduction to Solutions and like most of his articles it’s is excellently written. You can read it here
if you prefer to learn by watching videos then the channel 9 series is probably the best ones I watched on the subject and they are by David Yack so you are in very good hands
Solutions – Managed & UnManaged
Solutions – Publishing
I read an article today with the title Four Ways Microsoft Dynamics CRM keeps up with the changing tide, a good attention grabbing title but it did make some good points highlighting why Microsoft Dynamics CRM is on its way to be the leading CRM supplier.
Below are the four main points but I think the biggest selling point for CRM 2011 is the not only the current price of CRM 2011 online but the idea of CRM in the cloud. The current offer price (a very good price if you are converting from salesforce) makes it very attractive for companies to use CRM. One of the biggest barriers in using CRM 2011 was purchasing the hardware and software licences. The cost of setting up CRM can be a lot to begin with and companies don’t know how successful it’s going to be, with CRM 2011 online it means companies can try CRM for free and then just pay monthly fee to keep using it. If they later wish to change to an on premise version than you can upgrade but at least you have tried it for a reduced fee.
The other points the article below makes are valid and I think the improved aesthetics of CRM 2011 is certainly a strong selling point, it makes demoing CRM 2011 a lot more enjoyable. I think it’s important for CRM 2011 to keep this momentum up, keep improving this aspect but if they want to really makes some news then they need to bring multi browser capability and bring in social media into the next release of CRM 2011. You may read this believing social media is over hyped and not as important as I am making out but I have heard people mention chatter on salesforce as a reason to move from CRM 2011 to Salesforce. I also believe twitter, blogs, IM and even skype will become more integrated into companies in the future. At the moment social media and the tools I have just mentioned are perceived to be important and growing in important but in the coming years they actually will be. For the same reasons the improved look and feel of CRM is a persuasive tool to people moving to Microsoft CRM Dynamics 2011, it’s basically an easier sell outwardly and inwardly to a company. Here is the list
- Full CRM Suite: You can cover all the bases with access to sales, service, marketing, and social CRM with Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Integrating these capabilities into your day-to-day business tasks increases productivity and helps you stay ahead of the game.
- Flexible Configuration and Customization: With Microsoft Dynamics CRM, you can create point and click configurations and easily turn a vanilla solution to one specific to your business needs. Every business has their own processes, terminology, and goals, so ensuring your CRM system can align with yours is what makes the solution work for you.
- Better User Experience: User adoption is the number one pitfall of implementing a new technology solution. Microsoft Dynamics CRM’s easy user experience ensures that every employee knows how to use it to get what they need.
- Affordability: Microsoft Dynamics CRM is now affordable to companies of all sizes: large enterprises to small businesses. With the varying options for deployment, such as CRM online and partner hosting, you have a choice and it won’t cost you a large upfront expense to get what you need.
I also think one of the biggest selling points is the ability to extend CRM using dotnet and the SDK allows you to create portals and other web apps, this combined with the new licensing makes it potentially very powerful and a great money saver. I think this is a change of how organisations currently use CRM so it will take a while before the companies offering solutions and the companies buying solutions get their heads around it.
I don’t think Microsoft have only just caught up with the changing tide but I think they are quickly going in the right direction and will soon be surfing the wave.