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Executive Q&A: How a CRM firm grows and adapts in Microsoft's innovation ecosystem

by Dann Anthony Maurno
Assistant Editor, MSDW
March 07 2017

In 2006, Microsoft partner PowerObjects put aside years of application development business and "bet the farm" on Dynamics CRM.

A lot has changed since then, as Microsoft has adapted the product line and PowerObjects itself went through an acquisition in 2015. But the focus exclusively on CRM solutions, services, support, and education continues at the company, says Senior Vice President and Principal Jim Sheehan.

Sheehan sat down with us to discuss the company's acquisition, the transition to Dynamics 365, and the role of an executive in the Microsoft partner channel in a time of rapid technological innovation.

MSDynamicsWorld: PowerObjects has kept its CRM identity intact since the acquisition, and its name. What was the strategic importance of that?

Jim SheehanJim Sheehan: The strategic importance was that we had by our own account, and a lot in the industry would say the same, built up the biggest brand associated with Microsoft Dynamics CRM. One of the qualifications I had as part of my vetting process for potential [buyers] was that we would go forward with our name, PowerObjects, for at least some period of time.

And when you're selling a professional services firm, you're always only as good as your people. I wanted to make sure that whoever acquired us saw value in that so that we could continue forward.

We had a great strategy [in terms of] working with Microsoft and how to sell in North America. I just wasn't able to grow it as fast as I wanted, and really wanted to get to the rest of ...

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About Dann Anthony Maurno

Dann Anthony Maurno is a seasoned business journalist who began his career as International Marketing Manager with Lilly Software, then moved on as a freelancer to write for such prestigious clients as CFO Magazine; Compliance Week;Manufacturing Business Technology; Decision Resources, Inc.; The Economist Intelligence Unit; and corporate clients such as Iron Mountain, Microsoft and SAP. He is the co-author of Thin Air: How Wireless Technology Supports Lean Initiatives(CRC/Productivity Press, 2010).