Question and Answer
Q: Tell us a little about yourself, your business and who you serve within the Microsoft community?
A: My passion is working with Independent Software Vendors (ISV) and System Integrators (SI) globally by delivering business modeling workshops that enable organizations to move from on-premise solutions to a subscription-based business model. I facilitate management teams in this business model transition and help operational teams develop a tactical plan with execution strategy. I have also authored several business books and my research efforts are around cloud monetization, cloud business models and SaaS [software as a service] solutions. I also speak both nationally and internationally, and my passion drives me to be a thought-leader for cutting edge Cloud business models and how they provide value for companies interested in Cloud applications. In addition, as the popularity for our online educational sessions at www.telluacademy.com continues to grow, we need ongoing communication to participants letting them know of new courses and initiatives.
I believe in putting theory into practice. You can therefore find me working on channel development, delivering workshops for personnel or doing educational sessions on email marketing campaigns. That’s where much of our use of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and the PowerPack add-on tools by PowerObjects come into play in our business.
Q: Tell us how you are using Dynamics CRM in your business?
A: One area that is very important to any business is being able to adequately nurture your existing customers as well as your prospects. We use Dynamics CRM to help communicate with existing customers quite a bit as well as automate many of our marketing activities. For example, we use CRM to send, track and manage a variety of email communications to our customer and prospect-base. Whether it’s information about upcoming courses or follow-up from a workshop that they might have attended, all of our data is in one place and we can communicate on a very timely basis.
Q. How did you learn about PowerObjects and the PowerPack add-on offerings?
A. Prior to working with PowerObjects, we were using Dynamics CRM Online but we knew we had our shortcomings with it. Although Dynamics CRM is very robust right out of the box, for our business we knew we needed some additional functionality to really have it make a strong impact on our organization. That’s when I started looking for some additional add-on tools to extend CRM’s functionality and came across PowerObjects and the PowerPack tools. The tools are designed to help enhance the capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, while providing even greater functionality and efficiency. What was also attractive was that the tools were available to try for free for 30-days which allowed us to test them out and see how they worked within our CRM environment
Q: What PowerPack tools are you using and how have you benefited from them?
A: To help promote our business, we have taken advantage of the integrated marketing tool called PowerMailChimp which connects the third-party bulk email platform, MailChimp, with Microsoft Dynamics. For example, to help market our educational workshops and seminars, we use it to develop bulk email campaigns, build marketing lists and distribute to a variety of segmented contacts on an ongoing basis. This has really automated our marketing activities and provided us a great way to track responses and feedback from our efforts. The tool allows you to see which of your contacts and leads opened the email, exactly who clicked on what links and if anyone unsubscribed. The statistics are super powerful, and the add-on is very simple to use.
It was very important for us that there was a tight integration between the bulk email platform and Microsoft Dynamics platform. The integration level of these platforms demonstrates to me that PowerObjects has understood how to assemble valuable solutions where two solutions are more than 1+1.
We are also using PowerGlobalSearch and PowerOneView to help save time searching for information and viewing it in one window. Before the PowerPack tools, our team struggled with quickly finding information in CRM and viewing it in an intuitive way. Overall, for a very minimal monthly fee, I get access to these tools and more which have really helped save time, and improve overall use and adoption of Dynamics CRM internally. I am really driving my team to use CRM as the “one version of truth” of customer and lead information and the PowerObjects product family enables me to do that.
Q: Overall, how has it been working with PowerObjects and how would you view them in terms of their commitment to the product and Dynamics CRM community?
A: The team at PowerObjects has been great to work with and have been so responsive to answering my questions. They are experts in Dynamics CRM and understand the value that additional tools and cloud applications can bring to enhancing and supporting the product and CRM community. Their ability to anticipate market needs and develop tools to support those needs is invaluable. I can tell that PowerObjects’ really cares about its CRM customers and community and is a role model for companies looking to make a big impact in the Microsoft ecosystem.