2 years ago, Jones Lang LaSalle saw the value of using the relationship management capabilities of Dynamics CRM in a non-traditional way. They engaged a partner to extend and combine it with a real estate application to create a custom facilities management solution, which we hosted to get it deployed quickly and economically.
Expanding the definition of ‘relationship management’ to ‘any person, thing or function’ enables Dynamics to become a platform for all kinds of applications. We host Dynamics CRM, SharePoint and PerformancePoint, and see growing demand to bring them together, which makes xRM very interesting to customers and partners. Because Project Hosts can support all kinds of xRM customizations and extensions to these platforms on dedicated servers, very specific functionality can be developed and delivered quickly in a Software + Services model.
xRM is more aligned with business process and less dependent on the technical sophistication of users, whether they are internal or external. At WWPC last month, Microsoft cited a couple of examples: 311 non-emergency telephone information services , where operator turnover is high; and the public sector, where web self-service must reach diverse populations the vastly different interests and needs. In each case, the xRM systems are ‘virtual experts’ that guide users – with almost no learning curve – from multiple points of view.
When we think about enriching and streamlining the visibility of information to a variety of stakeholders, an xRM approach has clear value. Because it is designed to automate end-to-end workflow, xRM can also enable rapid development of Dynamics-driven Project applications that can maintain optimal relationships with all of the stakeholders needed to deliver successful projects in the cloud.
We think it’s a great step forward that fills real needs in our customer and partner community, and improves the overall integration, value and usability of Microsoft technology. We’d love to know your thoughts.