“It’s not evolutionary. We’re coming out of a recession where there was no spending on IT, and getting away from a contact management that everyone hated,” he said. “In the last two years, there has been a revolution in all of this data, from how customers interact with you to integration with finance.”
And this is reflected in how its main CRM solution, Microsoft Dynamics, is pitched. “I think it’s reflected in the fact that Microsoft has removed the CRM term from their platform, it has moved bound contact management and sales, and even case management.
“The reality is very much around connected organisations, and it is eating out from its traditional area into the rest of the business, even productivity. You can use it to create tactical task-oriented solutions, but it does create a huge amount of noise and uncertainty. The offering we have is, in conjunction with Microsoft, to discover what the new way of working would be,” he said.
Getting to grips with CRM isn’t just a case of installing software on a server or even, more likely these days, logging into the cloud. According to Ryan, the real value of CRM is unlocked through planning and organisational buy-in. “There needs to be a strong [internal] sponsor with a vision. We talk to them about putting together the business case and identifying the advocates who will take it forward,” he said
A rapid pace of change can be expected. “With the platform and online, the timeframes are potentially more accelerated than most organisations are used to. We have some clients who have gone into it boots-and-all, and have transformed how they do business within three months.
“It’s about discovery, which may make people nervous, but the value that comes out of it, a common strategy, a vision for the organisation. The tangibility of the end-state is important. We don’t prototype in wireframes, we prototype in Dynamics365 itself, so they get an idea of what it will be like,” Ryan said.
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