(Abstract: This article originally appeared in the Belfast Telegraph on October 15, 2019)
Codec, a sponsor of the Belfast Telegraph IT Awards, on the changes in recent years to CRM for businesses
The modern business has a vast number of tools at its disposal but there’s one that many local businesses have realised they need as a core part of their strategy: Customer Relationship Management (CRM).
Brian Illand, Microsoft Practice Lead at Codec UK, explains: “A few years ago, a ‘CRM’ did exactly what it set out to do.
“To ensure that your business’ relationship with customers and potential customers was as strong as it could be.
“Fast forward to the present day and a modern CRM system is greater than the sum of its parts. “There are now so many applications for them that tracking interactions with customers is but one small piece of the puzzle.”
Microsoft Dynamics and the Power Platform is now the platform businesses are building everything on, allowing the development of rich, immersive and integrated web applications with a minimum of code needed.
Brian says: “Traditional CRM systems such as Salesforce gained an early reputation for facilitating the building of bespoke configurable applications, but Microsoft’s Cloud Strategy, scale and investment in the Azure platform alongside its CRM background, means it is fast becoming the market leader in this space.
“It is blowing competitors out of the water with cost effective licensing and cutting-edge artificial intelligence features.
“When you’re looking to invest in business applications, it’s important that you have the right partner to help you out. One of the key things I would look out for is a partner that specialises in understanding both the business and the technology.
“Partners should be constantly looking for ‘better practice’ – with the pace technology and business moves at, there is often no best practice any more.
“Partners need to understand where projects can go wrong as early as possible, so they don’t turn into a rescue mission or worse, they go-live but end up gathering dust with poor user adoption.”
In Codec’s case, repeatedly winning Microsoft Dynamics Partner of the year award, they have over 120 consultants, including 20 in Belfast, who specialise in Microsoft Dynamics and PowerApps. Brian believes that this expertise is necessary as businesses need consultants who have tacit knowledge and experience working on multiple projects. Codec’s consultants take their enthusiasm a step further by setting up PowerApps and CRM User meet-ups in Belfast in their spare time.
“Microsoft has really committed to building configurable business applications, putting in a level of investment and development that is nothing short of exponential. Its use of PowerApps, a framework which allows businesses to easily create their own mobile, web apps and customer portals, is a core focus and one of the many reasons why the Microsoft Business stack is so popular. We help business apply this technology to deliver business outcomes quickly,” says Brian.
John Molloy, commercial director at Codec UK, adds: “CRM has been instrumental in Codec’s investment in a Belfast city centre of excellence. We are continuing to recruit locally as our customers are attracted by the low code, no-code approach for building modern integrated applications quickly and replacing legacy point to point systems.
“While working with local business on Digital Transformation projects, we recognise the importance of User Experience design.
“Our support of this award is our way of helping recognise the contribution of IT companies who demonstrate User Experience excellence and innovation.”
“We would like to wish all those who entered good luck.”
Full article is also available HERE.
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