27 may RAI Amsterdam. Seen one, seen them all? Those who think that where not present at a Salesforce event. From start to finish it is buzzing with activity.
Once upon a time i prototyped a CRM system myself, in the days that „woekerpolissen” where not known at that name yet, but where categorized as „investment products”, „investment lease products”, or similar, and known under various fancy names as „profit multiplier”. The CRM system was, once implemented, highly successful in enabling the customer to deliver efficient services at their clientèle. It had a classic dashboard like interface, with a central screen window for customer interaction and all other relevant info a button away. I derived this interface in close cooperation with the customer, one of the pioneers in this area. The system was a success, and I was glad to be of service. Then the crisis arrived, and mixed feelings set in, but as a system it was still a fine piece of work. And my affinity with CRM has never left me.
In spring 2013 i was in the market for a PM job for a big insurer, for the implementation of Salesforce. To prepare for my meetings with my prospect i researched into the Salesforce site.
I knew I had a winner app there. Salesforce is number 1 through integrating the best of breed, to enable all partners to join in and to become part of a winning team. And by providing cutting edge technology in the most efficient way: in the cloud, with explicit attention to measures to warrant security and privacy.
Take the Salesforce1 World Tour in Amsterdam on the 27th of may 2014. It was packed, more than 3000 people present at the first keynotes, that is not a buzz it was a BUZZ. First a keynote from a Salesforce CXO. It is not the person, no it is the story he tells. At the Microsoft Dynamics day the key note presentations where definitely more visionary in nature and were rich and amusing in content. But here they succeed to make you feel part of a communion of believers. He talks about the commitment of Salesforce to spend 1% on charity, not in a passive but in an active way. By implementing their platform for free in developing countries. How can you be more effective than by doing what you can do best? THEY PRACTISE WHAT THEY PREACH. This makes Salesforce a credible partner and a natural born visionary in this market and natural market leader.
The other presentations are all good, and very open, for instance the ING Investment presentation. What impresses me the most is the short implementation times and the openness to discuss also the learning points of projects and tips and tricks. It all is contributing to the idea that this is a system that can deliver in practice.
So is Salesforce really the very best? Who knows. But when you think about it: all they demonstrate during the day is that it all works, the INTERNET OF THINGS is a reality, illustrated in the second keynote by Philips: an interaction with an expensive medical device and the Salesforce service app. Is it rocket science? No, not at all. Does it what it should do? And is it a sustainable concept? Yes it is. By their app market they provide their customers with a low entry level of plug and play apps and integration tools of market leaders in various other software domains. Thereby they accelerate their development speed to a pace that is hard to follow by the competition, let alone surpass.
Salesforce comes at a cost, and of course never acquire a software solution until you have proven it successfully in a test. But take it seriously and don't sell yourself short by ignoring this CRM proposition.
27 march Cinemec Ede. It is always interesting to see how market leaders behave in markets where they are not dominant. Like Visa: they try harder. The Explore Microsoft Dynamics 2014 event was a great opportunity, not to be missed. Interesting speakers, good location, catering, nice atmosphere.
Although the attendance was not spectacular, it was enough to create a buzz.
The message of
He was followed by
Great speaker, lots of great images that stick in your memory.
Three key points to remember: Customer centricity, technology as facilitator and selling without selling. It is not about your product alone: it is about the story behind it. This will inspire customers and will trigger the snowball effect of positive social media reactions.
Then the demo's and case storys around the Microsoft Dynamic's product. Very good case story by Dela, Mediocre to very good demo's by Microsoft. The best was clearly saved for last.
It is clear that Microsoft is aware of the challenges in this market and that the product strategy is focussed on attaining leadership. Considering the quality of the company, the functionality shown, and the strategy displayed, I am confident that customers of many segments will be able to fulfill their ambitions with Dynamics CRM. The battle for market leadership in the coming years will be interesting to watch and the customers will be the winner. Sold, without hard selling.
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