Five Microsoft Dynamics CRM Apps in Five Days…And the Winner Is…
The expectations were high for the five Microsoft Dynamics CRM ISVs attending a five-day incubation program at the Reston Virginia Microsoft Technology Center.
They were to work side-by-side with industry experts and Microsoft ISV evangelists to develop brand new applications that used Microsoft Dynamics CRM as a platform. The resulting apps were then advised and judged by an expert panel including venture capitalists, academics, and authors.
By the accounts of Microsoft sponsors and judges, people came away from the incubation wee-held Dec. 16-21-with the firm belief that Dynamics CRM is not only a valuable platform, but has significant unrealized potential. In the words of CRM expert and judge Paul Greenberg, it "...showcases the Dynamics CRM platform in a good way. As a far better development tool than I thought it was."
After five days of grueling work, a distinguished panel of six judges from the venture capital community had rendered its verdict and selected a winner:
Highland Martin, which developed a flexible web form that can send data directly to Microsoft Dynamics CRM from any web page. The application used web services so not only could it communicate with Dynamics CRM, but it could be re-used to integrate to other systems as well.
According to Greenberg, "Their solution was the creation of a dynamic form that, when updated, automatically updated the Microsoft Dynamics CRM database. The form, which was conveniently (and flexibly) packaged in an iframe, if used in multiple locations and even with field changes, would aggregate the data from all the locations and update the information back to the CRM database. It used dynamic web content and was all point and click. It could be OEMed so there was no problem "
Second place went to DubMeNow, which provides synchronizing customer contact information among multiple mobile devices and with Dynamics CRM.
One of two "Super Cool Awards" went to Support4U, whose Silverlight-based application enables discussions, comments, and feedback on business documents. The feedback threads are saved in Dynamics CRM, followed by algorithmic analysis of the document's organizational impact, needed document changes, and the people affected by the document and its pending changes.
The second such award went to Channel Blade, which is a leader in the lead management/sales process management market in the Marine Boating space. According to Greenberg, "They used the Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform as part of an architecture to develop an integrated set of applications that tied CRM, the supply chain and analytics into an series of portals. One group would be customized lifestyle and dealer group portals. But the big deal would be a portal that would be focused around lead generation. Their customers would pay (in some way not yet worked out) for leads generated through this portal."
Finally, an "Advisor Award" went to PrimeTime, which focuses on sales effectiveness training for traditional media companies. Their new application was designed to assist the training and transition of a sales team from print to mixed media. With virtually no technical know-how, it developed a training tool that was run by Dynamics CRM.For more details about the incubation program, see the blog of Paul Greenberg and the blog of Microsoft Dynamics ISV Architect Evangelist Sanjay Jain.