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CRM or xRM, MS Financing and More

Posted by on September 17, 2010

Anything Relationship Management (xRM)I recently attended the Microsoft Dynamics West Region FY11 Sales Planning Retreat. This year’s event was filled with great new technology and opportunities. I’ve outlined the top three things you need to know about Microsoft Dynamics in 2011 below.

  1. Microsoft Dynamics CRM has become xRM.
  2. Microsoft Financing is available for any IT project that includes at least 10% Microsoft Technology.
  3. Microsoft “stacked integration” approach will continue to set them apart from the competition.

1. Microsoft Dynamics CRM has become xRM and it’s not just for customers anymore

Microsoft Dynamics CRM has changed the way we view and use our relationship management systems. Did you catch the missing word in the previous sentence? If you did, you might ask why I left out one of the most important words in a sales professional’s vocabulary: the “customer”? The answer is xRM the new “Anything Relationship Management system”.

Microsoft launched xRM with the release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4 and will continue it in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. It uses the structure of CRM and explodes it throughout your organization. With Dynamics CRM 2011 you can track communications and workflows with any contact. Yes, that’s a big – ANY. Both internal and external as well as customer facing and supplier facing and any contact in between will now be part of your business relationship management system. xRM will change the way we share information, track communications and handle our day-to-day operations. It will expand the important CRM type communications tools from Sales, Marketing and Customer Service focused to a holistic business approach. Now we will have the tools at our fingertips to improve our knowledge and communication with traditional CRM contacts (customers, leads, customer service) and extend them to the external contacts (vendors, suppliers, partners to name just a few).

With four main components including the database, user interface, workflow engine, and reporting engine, the new Anything Relationship Management system (xRM), based on Microsoft Dynamics CRM is flexible and scalable solution that will fit any business. It’s customizable to your industry, business practices and unique needs. Did I forget to mention, it integrates seamlessly with the other Microsoft products including Outlook, Office, Windows, Dynamics, SharePoint, ERP, and CRM, of course. More about that below.

2. Microsoft Financing is available for any IT project that includes at least 10% Microsoft Technology.

It’s that simple. You can get financing from Microsoft for any of your IT projects – simply include Microsoft products as 10% or more of the overall project.

3. Microsoft “stacked integration” approach will continue to set them apart from the competition.

The strength of the Microsoft platform and products including Dynamics CRM 2011 is their unrelenting focus on product integration with their other product lines. This product integration approach allows companies to stack their Microsoft technology purchases and extend them throughout their organizations. With similar user interfaces and simplified integrations the results is faster user adoption and streamlined support.

It’s going to be an exciting year in the CRM world and I for one can’t wait to see how the move to xRM will change the way we work with our customer, partners and suppliers. Want to know more about xRM and Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011? Watch the blog for more about the launch or contact me for more details.

Cloud Computing vs On-Premise Pros and Cons

Posted by on September 7, 2010

Cloud Computing Pros and ConsThere is a lot of buzz around the benefits of cloud computing these days, but for most people their understanding of cloud computing in the ERP and CRM world is at best, well, cloudy.

Key factors to consider when making a choice between cloud computing and on-premise server solutions are initial cost, ongoing cost, IT staff, security, ramifications of downtime, and competitive advantage due to customizations.

Pros of Cloud Computing:

  • A way to reduce initial costs and get in the game for large systems
  • You don’t need your own server
  • You don’t need your own IT staff

Cons of Cloud Computing:

  • Dependent on internet connectivity – if internet is down, you are down
  • Larger costs over the long term – similar to renting versus buying a car
  • Harder or impossible to gain any advantage from customizations to the software because the customization model is generally not supported in cloud computing
  • Bigger security risk as the data is stored with other companies’ data


Cloud computing is great for smaller businesses with fewer resources that need out-of-the-box functionality and could still do things manually if the internet ever was down for a period of time. On-premise servers are great for larger businesses that use customized systems to gain market advantages beyond their competition, or for businesses with mission-critical applications that they cannot afford to be without for a period of time.

Ready to investigate more about how to solve your ERP challenges or customer relationship management requirements? Whether the solution is hosted on-premise or in the cloud, you can find more details to help you get a head start managing growth.

Read Up on the GM Recall and Reportable Food Registry

Posted by on August 17, 2010

In the automotive industry, the GM recall on seatbelts is getting a lot of press. However, there is far more activity in the food industry right now, due to recent changes in the Reportable Food Registry (RFR). To help you understand the scrutiny the food processing industry is getting, we composed this helpful guide.

The stress of a recall can send even the most well-established company into a tailspin. The rules change often.  Compliance and tracking can be difficult.  Factor in the bad press and legal issues and it’s a company’s worst nightmare.

In order to report a food-related recall, a company first has  to navigate through the Reportable Food Registry.

The Reportable Food Registry went into effect in late 2009 and is the FDA’s portal for recall reporting.  We simplified the information,  so that if a recall should happen to you,  you’ll know what the Reportable Food Registry is, who uses it, and where you can read more. Read the full article…

The 10 Most Disastrous Product Recalls of All Time

Posted by on June 11, 2010

It’s every company’s worst nightmare: a major product recall.  In the age of the internet, recall news and bad press spread faster than Swine Flu. A company has to act fast and stay organized BEFORE the recall takes place in order to keep its brand intact and assure the public that everything is under control. Here are a few of the more notorious recalls.

1. Toyota Recall (2010)

Read the full article…

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