New Interview with Microsoft Dynamics CRM General Manager Brad Wilson: Evolution of CRM

In this video interview, Brad Wilson, General Manager of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Product Management Group discusses the evolution of the CRM software industry over the past fifteen years, and how the Dynamics CRM creators strive to meet the needs of the modern business. This interview will be most helpful to those looking to deploy a CRM solution for the first time.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM General Manager Brad Wilson discusses the evolution and current state of Dynamics CRM.

CRM has evolved from a business option to a business necessity. Brad Wilson, who joined Microsoft in 2005 and has been in the technology industry since 1986, has witnessed this CRM evolution personally.  While technical advancements contribute to the evolution of CRM software, modern businesses placing a high value in their customer relationships have shaped what CRM is today. Wilson states that in the past half century, businesses have gone from measuring company value in physical assets, to measuring value in the quality of their customer relationships. An effective CRM solution can help a business cultivate and maintain its customer relationships.

Wilson goes on to cite four themes that make Microsoft Dynamics CRM the product it is today:

  • A full CRM suite: This includes sales, service, and marketing. With Dynamics CRM, Wilson wants to cover the basic needs of a wide range of companies. Going beyond the bare-bones requirements of a CRM solution, Wilson wants the three modules of Dynamics CRM to integrate seamlessly with one another.
  • Flexible configuration and deep customization: Each business is unique. Companies have individual business processes, language, and terminology. “Being able to turn a vanilla system into one that’s tailored not just for an industry, or a vertical, but for a given company, is super important,” says Wilson. That way the software is adjusting to needs of the business, not the other way around.
  • User experience:  Wilson states, “The number one thing that’s been impeding deployment of CRM in the last ten years has been users rejecting it, either not embracing it or having what I call, ‘malicious compliance,’ [in other words] barely using it.” Finding ways to make Dynamics CRM a more user-friendly experience is paramount to Wilson’s team.
  • Affordability: According to Wilson, it is important to place Dynamics CRM in the affordability range of businesses of all sizes. Due to Microsoft’s commitment to a cloud strategy, CRM software is available to customers through a monthly subscription, an alternative to investing in the upfront costs of launching an on premise Microsoft CRM solution.

Founded in 1997, xRM.com has witnessed first-hand the evolution of CRM software as highlighted by Brad Wilson in this interview. As a Microsoft Dynamics CRM reseller and partner, xRM.com understands the intricacies of Dynamics CRM as well as the necessities of a successful CRM deployment.

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New Interview with Microsoft Dynamics CRM General Manager Brad Wilson: The Cloud

This video interview with Microsoft Dynamics CRM General Manager Brad Wilson is titled, “What percentage of customers are deploying in the cloud?” The title is a bit misleading since Wilson primarily focuses on the customer’s power of choice between on-premise (on-premises) and cloud deployments, as well as the ability to seamlessly transition from one to the other. If your company is looking to deploy a Dynamics CRM solution, or you are considering changing the deployment model of your current Dynamics CRM instance, you may find this video useful.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM General Manager Brad Wilson discusses cloud and on-premise deployments of Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Microsoft’s commitment to the cloud provides Dynamics CRM customers with flexibility. In the video, Wilson reiterates that customers have options in deployment models, and can choose that which is best suited for their company. Larger companies with sound IT resources may be better off with an on-premise solution. Smaller businesses with a limited infrastructure could benefit most from a cloud solution. Businesses can choose to deploy a hybrid solution as well. “I want to make sure the technology is embraced by a wide range of companies, and then they decide how they want to ultimately deploy the technology,” says Wilson.

Another aspect of the cloud Wilson is embracing is the trial capability. Customers can engage first through a free, cloud-delivered CRM product trial (with no reduction of functionality). This allows any business to make a smarter investment, having tested the product first. Wilson states, “Giving people a choice, letting people make that decision, is our fundamental strategy.”

It is a simple process to move between the cloud and on-premise for Dynamics CRM customers. Additionally, a company that has purchased Dynamics CRM software in the past can be moved to a cloud solution as part of their software assurance (SA) agreement. According to Wilson, the goal is to be as open and flexible as possible for the customer base.

xRM.com is a Microsoft Certified Partner, and as such, we can help you through all stages of the software lifecycle. xRM.com provides services such as customizations, application hosting, and consulting. With a handful of deployment models to choses from, xRM.com can help you identify, launch, and maintain the best possible business solution.

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New Interview with Microsoft Dynamics CRM General Manager Brad Wilson: Three Themes

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 is a tremendous step forward in CRM software. While remaining true to the qualities that make Dynamics CRM a great application, Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 was created with three particular themes in mind that will take Dynamics CRM into the future. In an interview with General Manager of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Brad Wilson expands on these themes.

 

Brad Wilson, GM of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Product Management Group, discusses Dynamics CRM 2011 with Don Fornes, CEO of Software Advice.

The first theme is familiarity. While Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 boasts many new features, it maintains continuity with CRM 4.0. When upgrading to CRM 2011, the user will retain a natural and intuitive CRM experience. Familiar Microsoft tools like Outlook work in harmony with CRM 2011, minimizing the need to move between windows in order to accomplish tasks. Giving people the personalized role-based experience inside of Outlook, a web browser, and a mobile device is core to how Microsoft delivers familiar experiences.

The second theme is Intelligence. Real-time dashboards and inline visualizations received much attention in the development of CRM 2011. The result is a dynamic, business-intelligence-focused environment that provides users with key data in an intuitive manner. Dashboards in other business intelligence applications can be static, providing a limited set of data. CRM 2011 dashboards are fully drillable, allowing users to navigate through layers of information such as lists, campaigns, and service cases.

The third and final theme driving the development of CRM 2011 is connectivity. CRM 2011 connects with other Microsoft technologies such as Lync, SharePoint, Exchange, and Office seamlessly. This helps simplify user interaction with technology, increasing user adoption and user productivity.

More than a catalog of new features, CRM 2011 was designed simultaneously to enhance and to simplify the user experience while giving users better business intelligence. The key themes expanded on by Brad Wilson allow CRM 2011 to create a familiar, natural experience within the Microsoft ecosystem. By connecting with other tools businesses use on a daily basis, CRM 2011 fits well into a wide range of business solutions. As a Certified Microsoft Partner, xRM can help your company implement and leverage your Dynamics CRM solution.

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An Abundance of Third-Party IT in the Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace

Coinciding with the release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, Microsoft has created the Dynamics Marketplace so partners, like xRM, and users can post custom CRM applications and solutions to benefit the Dynamics community. Microsoft Partners create an ample number of solutions for Microsoft Dynamics products, which are designed to help users fully leverage the software. The Dynamics Marketplace helps users find a solution best suited to their needs. Created primarily to compliment Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 (though it contains content for Dynamics ERP as well), the Dynamics Marketplace is mutually beneficial for partners and customers. Partners can post their written solutions and Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 customizations while customers can browse the catalog for industry-specific applications or compatible Microsoft partners.

The main purpose of the Dynamics Marketplace is to connect Dynamics CRM customers with a Microsoft Partner that can help them with a business solution; the marketplace does this through a traditional catalog environment. This catalog empowers customers, giving them the freedom to choose a specific application through a series of filters and suggestions. Code for these applications will be hosted in the marketplace and customers can download them as a trial or as a production system. If customers’ needs extend beyond a single application, the marketplace allows them to find partners that can be hired to host and manage their CRM solutions.

The Dynamics Marketplace fosters mutually beneficial relationships now that partners can attract customers who are seeking out a service provider based on select criteria. The marketplace allows partner “X” to attract business from customers seeking out services, who have not yet heard of partner “X”. The Dynamics Marketplace is the forum that brings the two together. At the time of this writing, partners can post links in the marketplace that lead customers directly to their sites, where they can handle transactions. Eventually, the Dynamics Marketplace will be able to handle transactions between the partner and customer on the site, streamlining the experience for both parties.

Dynamics Marketplace
Get to the Marketplace from CRM 2011 by clicking
Resource Center, Highlights, and Marketplace.

The Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace is an environment that helps customers maximize their business’ potential, and allows partners to highlight their specialties. Accessible from both inside and outside of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, the Dynamics Marketplace is not only the discovery of third-party IT, but also the effective utilization of IT. The Dynamics Marketplace delivers partner value in a frictionless way. As a Microsoft Certified Partner, xRM will be contributing effective and helpful solutions to the Dynamics Marketplace.

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