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The Design Language of Your CRM Solution, Part 1: The User and The Organization

by Jukka Niiranen
Power Platform Advisor, Niiranen Advisory Oy

"We need CRM systems to become viral."

Thinking back a few years, such a goal statement would have sounded quite peculiar, especially coming from a big enterprise software vendor like Microsoft. That is nevertheless where the Microsoft Dynamics CRM product team has now set their sights, based on the words of Bill Patterson in his WPC 2012 presentation titled "Microsoft Dynamics CRM - Now and in the Future". Combine this with Microsoft's acquisition of Yammer, the poster child for viral business applications, and it starts to look like they are serious about this new strategy: generating pull for their CRM software from the end users, not just a push from management or the IT department.

If this kind of transformation is really going to take place, it is important for CRM users and implementers to understand how CRM solution design arrived at its present state and what product managers like Mr. Patterson will need to do differently from now on.  The rest of this article series will look at the state of CRM in general and Dynamics CRM specifically in terms of the forces driving the design and development of CRM until now; the needs and wants of today's CRM end user; and the evolution of application design and its impact on the future of CRM.

CRM Design of the Past: The User and The Organization

CRM systems in their original form weren't ever meant to be something that would be adopted through a viral distribution mechanism. They were a system of record, deployed primarily to capture data and report on the actions of the customer facing personnel in the organization. That's not something you would deploy through user driven word ...

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About Jukka Niiranen

Working at Digital Illustrated in Finland, Jukka helps users make sense of Microsoft Dynamics CRM and guiding organizations to make the most of their Microsoft platform investments. 10 years of CRM experience from the field, heavy user of Microsoft's CRM solution since 2005. In addition to my blog, you can follow my #MSDYNCRM posts on Twitter or add the Surviving CRM page to your circles on Google+.

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