Musings from a month of Microsoft events

Published December 16 2015 by Natasha Spurr
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A fun read from a bloke who should get out more!!

Damon Crawford, Business Development Manager, Zero2Ten

Why I think you should partner with us for the sake of your customers - they need to achieve digital transformation

I have been to two Microsoft events recently. I attended Future Decoded in London and Convergence in Barcelona (very nice). I have therefore been lucky enough to hear Satya Nadella and other Microsoft executives talk about the company’s vision on a few occasions recently. The first time I heard the statement “At Microsoft, our mission is to empower every person and organisation on the planet to achieve more,” I thought wow. I thought wow because that is quite an ambition. I also thought, these guys aren’t messing around. Somehow this grandiose statement wasn’t delivered with any form of conceit and perhaps more strangely, the mission didn’t seem unattainable.

Before I go on I need to declare a fairly obvious conflict of interest. I work for a Microsoft Gold Partner. I am also a born again Microsoft fan, in so far as my Yorkshire sensibilities allow such a thing. Stick with me, I do eventually make a point and there is even a call to action.

I spend quite a lot of my time thinking about why our customers would adopt Microsoft technology (specifically CRM in our case). I read anything I can that would suggest an economic trigger for customers to consider such a decision. I think I have been pretty well trained in the art of solution selling. I have never worked directly for a big (American) software company. Consequently, I have never expected to just demo the latest bit of software and then think a prospect would immediately want to buy it because of the new flashing and whirring widgets. I have been brought up on F.A.B. Features (what it does), the Advantage those features may provide my organisation and the Benefit - £Cash, made or saved that results. No A and B, no point. To this end I have just read a blog by Jean-Philippe Courtois - President, Microsoft International. The blog explores how to better understand how European companies are approaching digital transformation. Microsoft partnered with Forrester Consulting to evaluate European organisations’ digital strategies and priorities. I found the results of the study very interesting. I was also lucky enough to be at a side meeting in Barcelona where Nigel Fenwick from Forrester delivered a presentation on the results (I would agree I need to get out more). The study revealed there was almost unanimous agreement, digital transformation is not a single instance or one-time tactic, but rather that becoming more agile and customer focused requires long-term commitment. I have also been using a tool from Forrester that calculates the Total Economic Impact (TEI) of Dynamics CRM on an organisation. I have been using this tool with a number of customers. It requires us to answer a range of searching questions about the company and delivers an impressive document, full of cash flow analysis and benefits.
Getting towards the point…

I haven’t been to Convergence for several years. I had always known it as the event for the Dynamics community. So I was quite surprised at the amount of coverage for Office 365 and Azure. But actually this all makes perfect sense. Dynamics CRMOL and Office 365 are becoming increasingly interdependent, they work best together - look out Salesforce! Microsoft announced AX in the cloud too. If you look on the on Microsoft’s website for CRM you will see the Sales Productivity license. This is the combination of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Professional Add-On to Office 365 and Office 365 E5. Sales productivity includes: Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Professional, Office Suite 2016, Online Conferencing, Instant messaging and Skype connectivity, Cloud-based call management, PSTN Conferencing, Advanced email and calendars, Advanced Security, Analytics tools, Mobility for fifty-three quid a month. £53, wow again! Think about all of the stuff Microsoft have added to CRM recently Parature for Knowledge Management, Social, FieldOne for Field Service Management…

I am not saying there is everything that every organisations needs to achieve digital transformation in the Sales Productivity SKU, but it must get them a chunk of the way there. As for F.A.B. at £53 quid for world class applications that do pretty much everything for an organisation save their specific vertical ERP (but remember AXOL), do I still need it? Surely the ROI is bloody obvious?
Anyway, my point, for the sake of your customers you have to sell them the Sales Productivity SKU.

Don’t worry about the CRM bit – give us a call!

Natasha is an experienced CRM professional with a unique ability to work across both marketing and sales functions. As CRM Marketing Manager at Edgewater Fullscope, Natasha has helped the organization to achieve multiple global partner awards and leadership status across the UK and beyond.

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