Part of my job as Director of Support means that I get to attend networking meetings. I love networking, especially with smaller startups because of their drive, their passion, and their enthusiasm to take an idea and use it to change the world. If there was one thing I would wish for many of these companies, though, is that they would strongly considering building before they buy. (As an aside, this post may sound overly critical and I’m going to paint an entire, diverse community with some pretty big brush strokes. With that said, I’ve noticed trends that I want people to consider before settling on a technology infrastructure.)
Microsoft CRM 2011 Confession
Before I came to Tricension, I had never heard of Microsoft CRM. I’d heard of SalesForce.com and worked with it, but I knew absolutely nothing about Microsoft’s version. Then the founder and President of Tricension made a pretty good case for the product and a little while later, here I am writing this post.
In other words, what follows next was not evident to me after over thirteen years of software experience, much of it in the CRM space, therefore I don’t expect anyone to have reached these conclusions on their own.
Microsoft CRM 2011 is a development framework
For good reasons, frameworks are very important to modern development. They take care of the basic, easy-to-solve issues (database access, authorization, authentication, logging, etc.) so that programmers can skip writing base code and move on to problem solving. In every way, Microsoft CRM is a framework.
Microsoft CRM provides a basic framework for users and roles (hook into ADFS, write your own provider, etc.) It will autogenerate data entry forms and perform all create, read, update, and delete (CRUD) functions that only the most advanced ORM and data frameworks provide. It features auditing, ETL for loading data, and exposes everything through standards-based open protocols. Oh, and it puts everything to a mobile device with no extra coding required.
What does this have to do with startups?
Good question. I attend a weekly startup called 1 Million Cups every Wednesday which brings together several hundred technology professionals. During our time together, we fellow entrepreneurs present about their company (which is usually technology based) and often involves different applications featuring forms, basic CRUD operations, maybe a mobile app, social integration, and maps. The cost of putting these apps together is usually in the thousands (or tens of thousands) of dollars and, usually, they require months of development time to get going.
Thousands of dollar and months of time to essentially do what Microsoft CRM 2011 does out of the box for less than $50/month per user.
Which brings me back to the fact I’m painting a lot of apps with a fairly broad brush. Not every presentation, technology or otherwise, does what CRM is good at, but many of them are. I believe that had we been able to reach some of these entrepreneurs before they shelled out a lot of their own money, we could have cut costs and shortened timeframes by basing their technology on Microsoft CRM. At the very least, I would have loved to have the chance to talk it over with them.
Microsoft CRM 2011 – for Entrepreneurs!
If you are starting a tech start up or have one, look at your app. Is it basically entering and presenting data? If so, Microsoft 2011 might be the tool for you. If you want, you can use the software to build data entry forms, smart maps, Facebook and Twitter integration, and get mobile users going quickly and efficiently.
At the very least, Microsoft CRM can be your prototyping tool for data-centric applications.
If that sounds like something you’d be interested in, give us a call (913.553.3644). We’d love to talk through your needs and see if we’d be the right fit to help you get your business off the ground and going as quickly and effectively as possible.