As you may have heard, the long running Microsoft Dynamics CRM & ERP conference Convergence is no more. Microsoft has revised their event catalog and is now instead encouraging people to attend either the brand new Envision conference for business level discussions or Ignite for the technology platform updates. However, since both these events are much more generic in nature than the Dynamics focused Convergence used to be, it does leave quite a gap in the market for the CRM application deep dive content. Also, there’s nothing in the MSFT event calendar that would directly cater to the Envision and Ignite crowd in Europe, so anyone from around here who doesn’t want to spend too much time on a plane (and mentally in between time zones for the relatively short period of the conference) may not be quite as excited about these changes as the marketing message coming from Redmond might want them to feel.
Luckily the Dynamics CRM ecosystem isn’t dependent on only the events that Microsoft arranges. CRMUG has been building up their presence also on this side of the Atlantic and is now launching their first European Congress this spring in Stuttgart. eXtremeCRM is a long running event that has been catering to both the US and Europe partner audience for many years already and they’ll also have an event nearby very soon, as eXtremeCRM 2016 Warsaw takes place on April 18-21. So, whether you’re working on the customer’s side of the table or consulting a variety of different organizations on how to best take advantage of Dynamics CRM, there’s bound to be the right event for you where you can meet professionals like yourself, exchange ideas with them and hear presentations from knowledgeable members of the #MSDynCRM community on what’s hot (and not) in the CRM space.
It’s been a while since I’ve been to a CRM conference myself but this year I decided to make room in my customer projects calendar for attending one, since one doesn’t simply survive in this business with content you can find from online sources and social channels. So, I registered for the eXtremeCRM Warsaw event early on and then decided to also suggest a topic I could do a presentation on. The suggestion got approved, which means… well, the picture of yours truly right underneath Jujhar Singh says it all!
I’m honored to have the opportunity to join such a prestigious list of speakers in the eXtremeCRM 2016 Warsaw event. I wont of course be competing on the level of Jujhar (who BTW seems like exactly the right man for the Dynamics CRM GM position, based on our encounters at the MVP Summit) but will rather be focused on preaching what I know. Which is all about how to make the most of the XRM platform when you don’t know how (or just don’t want to) work with the API’s but rather need to leverage the built-in customization tools. My session is titled “Killer UX: Delivering a Great CRM User Experience without Custom Code” and what I’ll try to do is show how anyone who knows his or her way around the solution configuration UI can make a real difference in what Dynamics CRM as an application feels like for the end users to work with.
Now, I should of course be working feverishly on my presentation slides already, but here I am just reading and writing blog posts like I always do. If you’ve ever encountered a situation where instead of focusing on completing the important work that has a deadline approaching in the distant but all too inevitable future, you find yourself wondering around between Twitter and YouTube instead, then you know the feeling. Well, speaking of online videos, there just happens to be an excellent TED Talk from Tim Urban on the topic “Inside the mind of a master procrastinator”. You really should watch it because A) the Instant Gratification Monkey inside your brain will totally love the distraction, and B) it’ll help you better understand the dynamics of (not CRM but) procrastination.
“Hey, get off the wheel, you Monkey! We haven’t even finished this blog post yet! Grrr…”
In addition to myself, there are also eight other awesome CRM MVP’s who are coming to Warsaw. We’ll all be having our own sessions of course, but in addition to that, there will be a joint session where the audience can present questions to all the CRM MVP’s in the room on the latest CRM 2016 Spring Release in particular. Now, as we were thinking about what’s a good way to coordinate such a session, it occurred to me that “hey, why couldn’t we use CRM for this?” More specifically, wouldn’t this be a great opportunity to showcase the new Voice of the Customer functionality that’s very recently been made generally available for CRM Online customers?
As it turns out, Voice of the Customer (or “VoC” as we’ll all end up calling it) allows you to easily design surveys on any topic that you’re interested in collecting data on. If you haven’t yet explored this great new addition to the XRM family of add-ons that Microsoft has integrated into the core Dynamics CRM product offering, you could start by watching this introductory VoC video on YouTube. Or, you could see a VoC survey live in action by answering our eXtreme MVP Survey.
The survey is mainly targeted at those who are planning to attend the eXtremeCRM 2016 Warsaw event, but there’s nothing stopping you from taking it if you can’t make it there. The survey starts with some questions about the event and closes with a “feedback form” that you can use for submitting your questions to the CRM MVPs in advance, to be answered in the live event (time permitting). It also contains a few questions about how you feel about the upcoming CRM 2016 Spring Release, so I’m planning to also experiment with some of the analytics capabilities that these XRM style surveys offer us. I might even write a blog article about how the VoC experiment worked (unless the ‘Monkey gets its way again), so it’s all conducted in the name of science! (No marketing spam will come from this survey, it’s my personal CRM Online trial org that will disintegrate within a couple of months.)