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Microsoft Dynamics CRM, as easy as it seems, is not a pre-packaged, off the shelf type of software that can be bought and implemented without any prior knowledge or expertise. MS CRM is a strategic solution that enables an organization to automate and integrate processes for marketing, sales, and customer service. The benefits of a CRM solution can only be realized after a successful project implementation.

At PDG Consultants, working with different types of clients our experience in Microsoft Dynamics CRM implementation projects can be broadly divided into 2 types.

1. Simple or Rapid CRM implementation project

2. Enterprise / Full CRM implementation project

In this blog I am going to discuss the differences in the above 2 types of MS CRM project and the  benefits of using the  Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step methodology approach for a successful implementation.

The following table gives an overview of the differences between the 2 types.

# Description \ Project Type Rapid Enterprise
1 # of users < 25 >25
2 Business needs Well defined Not clear
3 Data import – cleansing None Required
4 Integration to ERP or Web No Yes
5 Add-ons No Yes
6 Customization Min. Yes
7 Time frame < 30 days 60-90 days min.


Rapid Implementation – A Rapid implementation is useful in the following scenario –

1.  A start-up or small firm wants to implement CRM and does not currently have any CRM installed. Typically they have limited prior data to import and do not need any integration to either the back-end ERP or to a Website. They want to implement the standard business processes that come built into MS CRM and are willing to adapt to the same.  They want to use the CRM online version and avoid any upfront infrastructure cost.

2. A Medium to Large firm wants to do a Pilot CRM test with a small group of users before they invest heavily into MS CRM. The users use CRM as it is out of the box with little customization. The idea is to get to know MS CRM, its usability and functionality as applicable to the business requirements. This is a good approach to test the waters before taking a deep dive.

Benefits of a Rapid CRM implementation –

The Rapid CRM implementation gives immediate results and provides initial wins which is essential for driving the morale of the project team. The lessons learned from a Rapid implementation can be applied to ensure a successful CRM implementation.

A Full / Enterprise CRM implementation project –

Most of the medium to large firms implementing Microsoft Dynamics CRM projects fall under the category of a Full / Enterprise CRM project.

Complexity –

A Full / Enterprise CRM implementation can become complex with many users who are distributed in different regions. The business processes are already set and hence the CRM software needs to be customized to match the current processes. There is an ever changing stream of requirements and it is difficult to prioritize the business needs. There is the legacy data that needs to be cleaned and imported into CRM. Also the data is to be integrated on an ongoing basis with other websites or input sources. Accounting needs the CRM integration with ERP and vice versa. And then there is the CRM Add-on that needs to be there to meet the business specific needs.

The time required for implementing a Full / Enterprise CRM depends on the size and complexity of the business requirements, expertise and capability of the project team and the willingness of the business users to adapt to process change.

Risk of failure –

In the above scenario there is the risk of time and budget overruns. Users and stakeholders begin to doubt the viability of such a major complex undertaking. In events where there are project delays and cost overruns the project is abandoned leading to a failed CRM implementation.

Using a methodology for success –

The above example shows the necessity of managing a Full / Enterprise CRM implementation project with a proven, scalable and repeatable approach.  Microsoft provides to its customers and partners the Microsoft Sure Step methodology for Microsoft Dynamics implementations.

Microsoft Sure Step provides a well defined and documented implementation methodology for a CRM project. It provides the tools and templates, documentation and deliverables, steps and guidance for managing Dynamics CRM projects.  If you are a Microsoft Dynamics customer or partner you can get access to the Sure Step methodology using Customer Source or Partner Source. At PDG Consultants, a Microsoft CRM Silver partner in NJ, we follow the Microsoft Sure Step methodology for the success of our CRM project implementations.

If you are interested in knowing more about our Microsoft Dynamics CRM project implementation methodology please contact

Post by: Mihir Shah - PDG Consultants, Inc

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