CRM MVP Question and Answer – Gonzalo Ruiz

It’s Wednesday, it’s CRM MVP Question time and today we are off to Canada
Today we have the rather mysterious Gonzalo Ruiz who doesn’t have a Rockstar 365 profile or a profile on his Dynamic Community user, he is a man of mystery.  Below I have a rare picture of him!

I have been reading Gonzalo’s blog for a long time, and although his output is usually about 1 a month (on average) the blog posts are worth the wait, the last few have made the Hosk CRM articles of the week list (surely there is no higher praise than this)

CRM 2011 to 2013 (Orion) Top 10 Upgrade Tips and Considerations (part 1)

CRM 2011 to 2013 (Orion) Top 10 Upgrade Tips and Considerations (part 2)

Thanks to Gonzalo for answering my questions and thanks to a couple of MVP’s who sent back their answers yesterday, which means the CRM MVP Q&A blog posts will be lasting for at least another 7 weeks.



1.  Name, current job title and social media links please
Gonzalo Ruiz – CRM Manager, Avanade Canada East


2.  What does an average day at work look like
Meet a customer in the morning to realize that what they are asking for is not really what they need so we negotiate on how to best utilize Dynamics CRM to make their business more productive and increase ROI. Then I would meet with my consultant team for our daily SCRUM meeting from which I hear the great progress they are making and what their impediments are. I would then spend some time to make sure I help clear their impediments. I would spend part of the day doing some design or architecture reviews on some of my projects and finally reserve some time for sales and supporting business development.


What different roles/Job titles have you had whilst using CRM
Consultant, solution developer, business analyst, solution architect, delivery lead, technical lead.


What job did you did before you starting using CRM
I was helping develop Dynamics CRM 2011 at Microsoft R&D but I was not a real user of CRM.


What was the first version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM you worked with and how long have you been using Microsoft Dynamics CRM
CRM 4.0 and very occasionally I get called for a CRM 3.0 upgrade, but I try to run away from that. I’ve been working with CRM since 2008.

How do you stay up to date with the CRM
As an MVP we have a great connection with Microsoft to stay up to speed with the new releases and the product roadmap. Additionally it is always good to take training, read blog posts, etc.


How do you find time to contribute to the CRM community whilst doing your job
This is a very difficult task. Sometimes you find the time to share your knowledge with the community often while other times your job is demanding so much overtime that all I can do is to keep a log of my wish list items that I’d like to blog about and share with others. It really depends on how busy you are at work.


What advice would you give to someone who wants to have a successful career in Microsoft Dynamics CRM?
I find it challenging when you want to specialize in either business analysis or in development. The reality is that the best consultants we have are those that can do both. If you want to become an architect or differentiate yourself one good place to start is to look at training yourself to be able to the technical stuff but also be able to have conversations with executives or business users to understand from a functional perspective what the best solution for their needs is. Never lean too much towards the functional or technical side, find the balance.

What where your first impressions of CRM 2013 and what do you think now.
Beautiful UI and amazing features, I had been looking forward to CRM 2013 for a long time now. However, the more I use it with customers the more I realize that the “beauty” of the UI is actually a tradeoff for productivity sometimes. For example, the new navigation model is simple, attractive and saves significant real state in the screen; however, it is not quick to use and can hinder productivity.


What one feature would you add to CRM 2013
Rollup fields and calculated fields.


Most annoying feature of CRM 2013
Lack of duplicate detection, this is hard to explain to existing customers that rely on this feature and requires a custom solution in some cases to implement what was there before.


You favourite 2 CRM blogs
1.  The Microsoft Dynamics CRM blog
2.  Comunidad CRM (Spanish community blog)


What year will Microsoft Dynamics CRM have more customers than Sales force

Are you doing more CRM projects with CRM online?  Do you think it will all be online in the future
I work mostly with on premise. In the Canadian market CRM Online is stigmatized due to Patriot Act and the fact that your data is physically residing in the USA. I don’t think CRM OnPremise will disappear, and I certainly hope it does not.


What is the best tool/solution you have used recently
I don’t use many tools but I like Tanguy Touzrd’s tool for sitemap and ribbon editing without having to play in XML.


What CRM certifications do you have, do you try and keep up to date with CRM certifications
I have all CRM 2011 certifications and some CRM 4.0. I have not had time to look at the CRM 2013 certs yet. I’m also not a big believer in the value of certifications.


How important is it to have good business analytical skills working with Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
Must-have if you want to be successful.


How useful is it to have programming knowledge to become a good Microsoft Dynamics CRM Professional?
It is quite important. Perhaps more than knowing a programming language, you must know the principles of software engineering and architecture.


What knowledge/experience do you have with software/systems which integrate with Microsoft Dynamics CRM e.g. (sharepoint, SQL Server, Scribe, Etc)
We need to know what third party tools are there available because you don’t always want to reinvent the wheel. For example, Scribe and SSIS are common examples.


How often do you travel as a Microsoft Dynamics CRM Professional?
Rarely, we are quite busy in the local market. Most of the times I end up travelling is for training purposes or to assist conferences. However, I cannot say the same for my colleagues so I think I’m quite lucky on this one.


Can you see yourself not using CRM in your career in the future
We’re not married yet.


What is favourite part of being a CRM MVP
Interacting with the product group and Microsoft and having the opportunity to somewhat influence the roadmap or provide direct feedback to Microsoft product team.


What are your hobbies outside of CRM
Winter sports
What was the last book you read and what was the last film you watched
Book: The Perfume
Film: Wolf of Wall Street


Has CRM ever got you in trouble with your partner/family.
It’s probably #150ish in the list, so no, not a big deal!


Have you friends ever told you to stop talking/tweeting/blogging about CRM? What does your partner/family member(s) think of CRM
No, people actually like to tell me when they read my blog, but most people think CRM is a marketing or sales tool.


Tell me something interesting/unusual about yourself
I have moved 6 times in the last 3 years, and I hate moving!


Who is the first CRM MVP you remember reading/seeing
David Yack, I remember meeting him when I was working for Microsoft.


Tips for someone who wants to become a CRM MVP
When you blog or get involved in the community, differentiate yourself with original content. Try to connect with other MVPs by reaching out chatting during events (e.g. Convergence). Always be respectful and never “steal” content from someone else’s blog.
Quickfire questions (choose one option and no explanation)

Steve Jobs or Bill Gates

Javascript or .NET

Internet Explorer/Chrome/Firefox/Safari

Wine/Beer/Soft Drink

Certifications or Use CRM

twerking or tweeting

books or ebooks

save or autosave

OnLine or On Premise

Windows 7/Windows 8/Linux/Mac/Other

work from home or work from office

Miley Cyrus or Billy Ray Cyrus


Zero Inbox/Overflowing Inbox

Early Bird/Night Owl

Do Today/Do Tomorrow

CRM Developer/CRM Consultant

Hot Weather/Cold Weather

Half Full/Half Empty


Previous CRM MVP Q&A

Leon Tribe

Tanguy Touzard Questions


finally don’t forget to check out my CRM Developer YouTube channel

Hosk’s CRM Dev Youtube Channel