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Is it Alphabet Soup or CRM?

Posted by on October 8, 2010

CRM and xyM Business Management ToolsCRM, (Customer Relationship Management), xRM, and xyM may sound like alphabet soup to you now, however, the changes Microsoft is bringing to MS Dynamics CRM are more than just changes in letters. Microsoft Dynamics CRM is truly transforming the way we do business in extraordinary ways. As I mentioned in my previous article “CRM, xRM, MS Financing and more”, the business tool Microsoft Dynamics CRM is not restricted to just the Sales, Marketing and Customer Service departments anymore. And by the way, we are already using it for more than just customers. Microsoft Dynamics CRM has already expanded its reach to include all departments, as well as vendors, partners, suppliers, and anyone else you communicate with. This expansion replaced the C (customer) in CRM to an X (for anything) and brought us xRM, Microsoft’s new Anything Management System.

What is next for this powerful business management tool? You may have already guessed (I gave you a hint in the first paragraph). Microsoft’s seamless integration of Microsoft Dynamics CRM with the other MS Office products you already use allows us to move from mere “relationship” management, to all around “business” management. With simple one-click integration you can tie any conversation, document, spreadsheet, quote, bid, invoice, etc. to the appropriate contact/company. And since you are all connected via Outlook and CRM, it is immediately visible to the rest of your organization – if you want it to be. This allows you to track much more than just “relationship” in CRM. Now you can track any type of business process or entity. No more asking Joe to update you on how many of the vendor bids have come in for the pending contract, or asking Judy about how far along we are for the engineering change request. Now you have the business tool to get the information you need, when you need it.

From either MS Outlook, or MS Dynamics CRM, simply click the link on your supplier’s name and view all the documents, bids, quotes, invoices in one place without having to interrupt Joe to do it. Same goes for Judy – let her keep working, and in the meantime go into the system and bring up the engineering change process, and see how much of the project workflow has been completed. Going from Relationship to Business management or xRM to xyM streamlines all the information in your organization, allows visibility to information throughout the organization, and improves productivity.

If you are as intrigued as I am with the changes in just the first two letters from CRM to xyM I know you will want to find out what is in store for the “M” in CRM and xyM. You may have already guessed, it is not just for management, but what does that mean to you, your business, and your bottom line? I will be writing about the third transformation soon, I know you will not want to miss it.

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.