MSDW Podcast: Paul Greenberg on the Commonwealth of Self-Interest and Microsoft's CRM stance

September 27 2019

This episode is sponsored by ClickLearn, the market leading solution for creating user instructions, e-learning and process videos for business software.

In a perfect world, CRM-related IT investments would always be made in the context of an organization's well-defined vision for serving customers, satisfying their needs and expectations, and doing it in a way that helps achieve business goals. But getting to that level of understanding can be a lot of work. Thankfully, CRM industry analyst Paul Greenberg is out with a new book that re-frames the issue of customer engagement in a way that makes sense of both the leadership challenges and the rationale for technology investment.

In The Commonwealth of Self-Interest: Business Success Through Customer Engagement, Paul explores the demands of 21st century customers and how companies must evolve to meet their expectations. As in the rest of his writing, like his earlier and seminal book CRM at the Speed of Light,  The Commonwealth of Self-Interest presents a mix of academic sources, case studies, anecdotes, wisdom built through years in the industry, and the careful construction a framework to guide readers away from the risks that come with rushed and poorly planned technology investments and toward the kind of changes that redefine business priorities to meet customers (and their sometimes outsized expectations) where they are today.

Along with the launch of the book, Paul is also working his way through his CRM Watchlist 2019 article series for ZDNet. Microsoft did not make the top tier (that went to Salesforce and Adobe), but the company is on the list once again this year.

On this episode we discuss the Dynamics 365 and Power Platform vision, key themes in the new book, and whether some of the latest trends in the CRM space have staying power.

Show Notes

  • 4:00 – What does commonwealth of self-interest (COSI) really mean?
  • 14:00 – On how to balance the need to invest in technology with mapping a company's vision to improve customer engagement and experiences
  • 21:30 – Why is Adobe so good at managing experience and what can Microsoft learn from them?
  • 23:45 – Are there any big successes based on the Microsoft + Adobe partnership?
  • 26:00 – What has changed in the world that makes Paul frame the CRM world in terms of COSI?
  • 33:00 – Why companies over-promise or reach for "delight" when they shouldn't.
  • 39:00 – The writing process: why talking about customer wraps together the personal and the big, public stories
  • 44:00 – Paul's view on Microsoft's choices around CRM and more broadly.
  • 49:00 – Why E-Commerce is so important?
  • 52:00 – Why LinkedIn needs to open its APIs back up
  • 57:30 – Why to be cautious about companies claiming to offer a Customer Data Platform (CDP)
  • 1:02:30 – How to make sense of the overlapping relationships between Microsoft, ServiceNow, and Adobe
  • 1:07:30 – Why invite Salesforce to be a part of the Open Data Initiative (ODI), and what the project represents.

About Jason Gumpert

As the editor of MSDynamicsWorld.com, Jason oversees all editorial content on the site and at our events, as well as providing site management and strategy. He can be reached at jgumpert@msdynamicsworld.com.

Prior to co-founding MSDynamicsWorld.com, Jason was a Principal Software Consultant at Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC), where he implemented solutions, trained customers, managed software development, and spent some time in the pre-sales engineering organization. He has also held consulting positions at CSC Consulting and Monitor Group.

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