Monday, January 17, 2011

Here at last, here at last, thank you Microsoft, CRM 2011 is here at last…


As you saw, I got all flustered and excited when CRM 2011 went to RC.

But that was nothing compared to seeing the official announcement that CRM 2011 went RTW (Release to Web) TODAY!!!

This is a GREAT day for the Dynamics CRM product! And, if you are a Dynamics CRM professional, you should consider today a FANTASTIC day for your career and business!

My most exuberant kudos to Microsoft and the entire Dynamics CRM team!

We stand at the precipice of an incredible new year for not only the technology platform, but for where it is going to enable us to take ourselves and our businesses.  With over 500 new features that both enhance the technical aspects of the product, but also enable us to take the business value and business ROI to new heights not before reachable, we truly have the whole world at our feet!

If you still have not given it a test drive, I strongly encourage you to go sign up for a 30-day trial ASAP!

To all my Dynamics CRM friends, associates, and business partners:  Happy Dynamics CRM 2011 Birthday!!!


- One is pleased to be of service


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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

What AD Groups does Dynamics CRM create?


It is always interesting how questions come in clusters.  This one has been posed to me about 5 times in the last few weeks.  So, here is the answer for everyone’s benefit.

Dynamics CRM will create the following 5 groups in Active Directly when it is installed.  These are placed in the OU that you selected during the installation.

PrivReportingGroup Users that should have privileged access to reporting.
PrivUserGroup A Privileged user
ReportingGroup Gives user’s access to the SRS reports
SQLAccessGroup Gives users access to the Filtered Views


Defines the users as a Dynamics CRM user.


Note that CRM’s security privilege groups that you define in CRM in the Settings area are NOT Active Directory groups!  Those remain within the organization’s <org>_MSCRM database.


- One is pleased to be of service


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Customer Relationship Management is NOT the technology!


Ok, yeah, that sure seems like a funny statement coming from a CRM technology consultant and sales guy, but hang with me a moment…

As I insinuated somewhat in my automated mess posting, a CRM solution must be about the business much more than just the technology and we must give our business processes a very serious evaluation. Just capturing names, addresses, and their favorite color is very likely NOT going to accomplish any of your goals!

Very often, my customers get stuck focusing on the “Management” part of CRM, and some even make it to the “Customer” part.  But, I would challenge that many struggle with the “Relationship” part. In all our focus on the technology, and even on our business process changes, we sometimes end up taking our customers for granted!

Recently, however, I experienced a company that shone in full color with their focus on “Relationship”.

I was out in Los Angeles for a demo presentation and chose to stay at the Marriot Courtyard in Century City/Beverly Hills[1].  Marriott, as a whole, tends to be strong in the customer relationship business already, but the Century City Courtyard was well above average!

It started immediately when I pulled into the parking area.  The parking valet immediately came to my vehicle and explained the parking options to me.  Note, he came TO ME.  Very often, I have to get out and go to them.

Checking in was the usual, always pleasant experience.

Then, I get to my room.  As a Marriott Platinum Premier member, I frequently get a few goodies left for me in my room when I check in.  But this time, accompanying my few goodies was a very nice letter from the General Manager thanking me for selecting them for my stay and ensuring that I knew all the contact information to anyone and everyone at the hotel should I have any needs.  I don’t think I’ve ever had such a letter with my premier gifts before.  The letter was very personable and I was fairly impressed.

The next morning, as is usual, my receipt was slipped under my door ready for me to grab on my way out.  But this was not an ordinary receipt!  On the back side was yet another letter from the management thanking me for my stay, again encouraging me to contact them should I have any comments or concerns, wishing me well on my travels, and inviting me to stay with them again the next time I’m in the area again. The letter was once again very personable. Obviously, they give the same letter to everyone, but I really felt like they meant every word!

Quite frankly, I’ve stayed at many full-service hotels, including some Marriott’s, that did not make me feel so appreciated.

All in all, it was a great reminder that in the end, CRM technology is just a tool. Relationships are about people and  between people.  Just as a hammer can’t drive a nail if we don’t pick it up and swing it, we can’t build our customer relationships if we don’t actually reach out to them, talk to them, engage them, and make them know that we really do care!  No amount of technology is going to do the work for us, we have to reach out ourselves!

Is your CRM hammer just sitting on the workbench hoping to somehow reach customers via osmosis? Or are you picking it up, and actually engaging your customers, face-to-face (or at least letter-to-face as in this case)!

I challenge you to write a couple letters, pick up the phone, get out from behind the desk, or anything that you can do to get back in direct contact with your customers again!

Now, I need to go write a couple of those letters myself…

- One is pleased to be of service

[1]  Courtyard Los Angeles Century City/Beverly Hills; 10320 West Olympic Boulevard · Los Angeles, California 90064 USA


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