Microsoft CRM – partners are important

Microsoft CRM version 1.0 has enough holes in it that Microsoft partners are doing well in filling these holes and creating customized solutions for customers.
In addition, those customers that want integration with other products can rely on Microsoft partners to do the added work for them.
It’s great when software can work right out of the box with little or no customization needed. Or the customization that is needed can be done by the customer. However, this is often not the case nor should it necessarily be expected.
Ziff-Davis writes Raffael Zimberoff, president of Z-Firm LLC, which develops add-ons for Microsoft CRM and for other CRM products, including e-mail marketing, transaction management, document management and voice applications, said he’s not aware of any customers who’ve been able to use Microsoft CRM out of the box without heavy customization, although he said this wasn’t unusual for such a nascent CRM product.
“The customers who seem happiest are the ones who’ve customized it the most,” said Zimberoff in Seattle.
There have been other issues. Zimberoff said Microsoft CRM uses both Outlook and Web clients, which he described as “mismatched” in the initial releases of the software. Partners could customize the Web client but not Outlook. Although the problem has since been fixed, Zimberoff said Microsoft is still “playing catch-up.” He said Microsoft CRM also offers no capability to assign customers into different groups without massive customization work.

This high lights what I have said so many times before, when you really want to GROW your business and succeed with using technology as a tool, the importance of a technology consultant is so vital. I’d really suggest you have 2 – 3 consultants who specialize in certain areas and these 2 – 3 can then point you to others that may have other specialties.
Your core technology consultant should be a generalist who is an all around technology resource and knows your business. Specialties you should consider are networking, security, mobile technology and databases (including customer support)