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The Support Network: Managing Your Microsoft Dynamics CRM Solution After Go-Live

by Sandor Schellenberg
Owner and Founder, friendlyITsolutions, Irelate Netherlands

I have worked on many Microsoft Dynamics CRM implementations and over time I have served in a versatile set of roles. I have been part of the team responsible for designing, building and testing a CRM application, i.e., the implementing party side. I have reviewed implementations for customers that needed a fresh view on their new CRM application.  I have also been involved in taking the CRM application into support as member of the IT department.

The road to your CRM application's go-live is not always smooth, and all parties involved face different challenges. In my experience there are usually two topics related to support that are easily overlooked or neglected. In my earlier ‘musings' I addressed the first topic - data migration. The second, which I know from my own experience, is preparing for and managing post-go-live support. In most project management methodologies, the phase after go-live is typically planned for a week or, if you are lucky, even two. After this period the project team is dismantled and CRM is officially in support mode.

Who writes it down? Why? And for whom?

The first question that comes to mind when talking about support is the infamous "D" word. I know from my own experience that this is the least favorite task of every consultant, and yes, it is documentation. Of course, we all know that documentation is important to an enterprise software project because it can be used to instruct new colleagues, to guide new development, to give insight into a solution's architecture, testing, and so on.

Most CRM documentation has one thing in common - it is written from inside the project where the authors have good ...

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About Sandor Schellenberg

Sandor Schellenberg is the owner and founder of friendlyITsolutions, which mainly focuses on Microsoft Dynamics CRM and related software in the Microsoft stack. He is a Senior Microsoft Dynamics CRM Consultant/Solution Architect and is specialized in data migration & integration. In autumn 2009 his work was recognised and rewarded with a invitation to Scribe Software MVP Program. 

His roots in Microsoft-based Internet technologies go back more than twelve years, and since 2005 he has specialized in Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Starting with his first guest post on the blog of Menno te Koppele, he decided to start his own blog, Friendly Microsoft CRM Monster, a blog with a wink. The blog is widely read in the Dynamics CRM community and focused mainly on Microsoft Dynamics CRM technical and integration/migration topics.