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October 2015

That one more thing you need to be successful in CRM

I have often been asked what we need to teach our students to make them successful in the long term. Like, EXACTLY, what do we need to teach them? There is not a specific class to be named. There is not a skill I can name.

Our students need an employable skill on graduation day. Plus one more thing. It can be almost anything. It can be fluency in another language. It can be art. It can be another science. One more thing. Now, we will explore jobs and ways you can make a difference with those obscure things that give you passion. The one more thing.

My story…I love solving puzzles. Not here’s a picture cut up into little pieces, put it back together type of puzzles. I love the logic problems, anything that makes you think creatively to solve something. I am also a 3-dimensional thinker. So when I am driving around a city, in my head it’s a 3-d map/globe that I am moving around in. So the chance to creatively solve a business problem with my 3-dimensional thinking makes me a more valuable resource. When I am designing CRM, in my head it’s a 3-d mapping of the architecture. How does this piece fit with that piece? Is this the right relationship to this other thing? That crazy virtual board of things from Minority Report? That’s almost like what I have in my head when building a new schema.

Chris is a successful CRM professional. His job includes lots and lots of customer support. His hobby is restoring old cars. How could those possibly be related? The process of getting into the details, figuring out how things work, cleaning them for better appearance, find solutions to missing parts and correct factory finishes, all make him better in his Dynamics Job in how he has to complete discovery, research, often cleanup messes, and revise for better user adoption, find ISVS, and provide easier upgrade and maintenance paths. The creative thinking and attention to detail needed for the car work directly match with what’s needed to help and troubleshoot customers with their own different and creative CRM implementations.

Gustaf has a slightly different view of how his dedication to Aikido helps him in his work as a CRM consultant. The basic philosophy of Aikido is to embrace the force of the attacker and move the attacker in circles to the direction of your choice, ideally without them even knowing it. How does that relate to Dynamics work? In his words, “When working with a customer and I find that their processes, for instance sales process, is backward or sub optimal, instead of confronting them head on and telling them that you have to change, your process is bad. It is often more efficient to try to listen, understand, embrace how they work and why and the slowly try to change their perspective so that they end up where you want them. It can only work if I first establish a firm base of trust for the people I work with which is similar to a firm stance which will be the center of the circle of the movement.”

What creative skills do you have that will help you in your career?

How to get the most out of the fall conferences for CRM- Convergence Barcelona!

The xRMVirtual session on Tuesday September 1 had to be cancelled last minute because of technical and audio difficulties.  Here we offer you some insights from CRM MVP Ramon Tebar Bueno on how to get the most out of Convergence in Barcelona this November.  Romon’s blog can be found here:

There are three primary areas to focus on at Convergence; Community, Sessions and of course, the wonderful location in Barcelona.

To get the most out of your time with the CRM community you can focus on networking, the customer experience center and the customer excellence awards.  It is here that you meet and network with other like-minded professionals.  You never know when you might need someone with an obscure specialty to help with a project down the road.  The customer experience center is sometimes called the expo hall.  This is where you can interact with vendors and Microsoft to learn more about options that are available to help you meet your customer needs.  The customer excellence awards are a great opportunity to be inspired by teams that are successful in the Dynamics arena.

The sessions are provided by both customer and Microsoft.  You can learn about individual solutions from a successful implementation or directly from the team at Microsoft about exciting new features.

And now to Barcelona.  Take an extra day or two to explore the area.  This part of Spain is beautiful and worth exploring.

click here to register

How to get the most out of the fall conferences for CRM- eXtreme CRM in San Diego

Edited to add:  The good folks at the conference have extended a discount to our membership. Use the codes below for special pricing and thank to the good people at eXtreme.

Standard Conference Discount Code  - Earlybirdsandiego
Executive Exchange Discount Code - Earlybirdexecexch

Hurry and register, the discounts expire September 14!

The xRMVirtual session on Tuesday September 1 had to be cancelled last minute because of technical and audio difficulties. So here is some information from  Chief Executive Officer of eXtreme, LLC, Christy Spokely and Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of eXtreme LLC, John Verdon, on how to get the most out of eXtreme CRM 2015 in San Diego from Nov 17-19th. You can check out more by clicking here

When you come to eXtremeCRM 2015 San Diego you will gain new business connections and new insight on the upcoming release. You will spend a week connecting with peers, Microsoft leaders, industry experts and gain new business connections along with a lot of information.  You will find value whether you are sales, marketing, consulting, technical sales or development. Our training is designed to fit every role.

eXtremeCRM is one-of-a-kind opportunity for participants to immerse themselves in everything CRM.  The conference is your chance to increase your knowledge, refine your thinking, and connect with your colleagues and with others from Microsoft. Whether you are preparing for the upcoming release or have questions, being part of eXtremeCRm will help with that. So come be a part of our conference in sunny San Diego at eXtremeCRM!

How to get the most from the fall conferences for CRM- CRMUG Summit

The xRMVirtual session on Tuesday September 1 had to be cancelled last minute because of technical and audio difficulties.  Here is some insight from the Director of CRMUG Tony Stein on how to get the most out of CRMUG in Reno-Tahoe October 13-16, 2015. You can find Tony’s blog here

CRMUG Goals for the 2015 Summit are to demonstrate the VALUE that everyone brings to the community, to provide top notch CONTENT, education and programming, to help our COMMUNITY grow, raise AWARENESS of the growing community, provide a strong NETWORKING environment and of course, to have FUN. CRMUG’s summit attendance growth has risen since 2008. From 113 to 750 and we are still growing.

There are many different job roles that attend CRMUG summit. To name a few who attend there are CRM support, IT, Business Analysts, CEO, Marketing and more. We are the largest Microsoft Dynamics CRM User training conference, By registering before Sept. 15 you can save money, go to there are half and full day course available. Classes are filling up fast.

Also enjoy listening to Keynote speaker George Kourounis deliver an inspiring address to kick off the summit on Wednesday morning. If you choose to stay longer in beautiful Lake Tahoe, there are exclusive lodging deals available for CRMUG summit attendees!! Hope to see you there!!

Denver Dev Day October 23 call for speakers


The previous Denver Dev Day (D3) was the third D3 and it was awesome. With more than a 75% attendance record of 150+ attendees, we blew the windows out with awesome speakers and our first all-day conference. The word is out and D3 is the premier fully community-led developer conference in Colorado. Twice a year, D3 brings some of the best local and national speakers to the stage to lead developers into the high-tech and fast-moving future of software development.


It’s time for the next Denver Dev Day! On October 23, 2015 we will hold the fourth D3 with better tracks, speakers and content than ever. This is a big deal and it’s free to attendees. That’s right, one of the best conferences is open and free to developers on any platform and at any skill level. Come learn something new, hone what you know, or network with great developers from all around our community. D3 is a great experience, super-charged with community volunteers just like you.


Been working on some cool tech lately? Maybe it’s time to take your learning and share it. If you’re a regular speaker or just considering your first presentation, Denver Dev Day is the right place for you. Our session topics are open; that means you can submit any topic where you feel strong and have a passion to share and teach. We also have lightning talks where you can present more pinpointed presentations in a much shorter time. We’re flexible because we want to get you in front of your peers to share the wealth – making others better ultimately makes you better, too.


When you’re picking your topic, start with what you know well. Everyone knows that the teacher learns far more than the student, so pick a topic you love – your passion will come out on stage as you start to present. After you’ve picked your topic, pick your timeframe. Most talks are 45 minutes, but only you can decide what is best: Lightning talk? Extra-long talk? Finally submit your presentation idea online at Feel free to submit more than one topic, too. If one topic doesn’t get selected (maybe because it was already submitted elsewhere), maybe your other one(s) will.

Submit at:


As always, we don’t pay our speakers or have the funds to pay for travel or expenses. That being said, starting last Denver Dev Day we have begun to provide a “thank you” gift to each speaker based on the number of sessions you present. This will barely cover your dinner, so don’t get too excited. But we want to do what we can – even if our resources are limited – to extend our gratitude for your willingness to prepare and bring your best for our local, developer community. D3 is for and by our community; this event, with your help, has helped establish Colorado as a homerun location for developers.


Denver Dev Day is free. The only working funds we have are those from our sponsors and gifts from our volunteers and attendees. This makes sponsors very important to us. If your company or a company you know would be a good fit at Denver Dev Day, please make an introduction. We have several levels of sponsorship to find the perfect fit for any company wanting to gain visibility from D3 or contribute to our local, developer community at large. If your company or a company you know would be a good fit, please move quickly so we can make a connection with them.

Sponsor info:


We are not yet selling tickets for Denver Dev Day. Our last D3 opened ticket sales 2 weeks before the event and we sold out in the first week. No question about it, this is going to happen again. We don’t have a venue that can scale past 150 attendees at this point, so we will continue to constrain ticket sales for the next D3 in October. I say that to say this, watch for more information – tickets will go on sale (remember, they are free) sometime in October and it is 100% first-come-first-serve. We want ever developer in Colorado to come to D3, but we can only fit 150 in the building. Should you know of another, larger venue, we are always open to vetting venues for our next event.


These types of events are products of people with passion. We have many volunteers in leadership planning our next event already. We have many volunteers on the ground during our event. And we have many volunteers speaking or managing speakers for the event. Things don’t just happen on their own. Real people do real work and we are grateful for the small army of hard working volunteers who sacrifice and contribute to make our local developer community better and events like this successful.


Questions about speaking?
Questions about volunteering?
Questions about sponsorships?

Web site:
Email: [email protected]

Visiting the new World Trade Center NYC

This past weekend we were in New York City and while wandering decided to go up to the top of the new tower.  It costs $32/each and was worth every cent.


The line was rather short, we went from decision to elevator in less than 10 minutes.  When you buy your tickets, they ask for your zip/postal code.  There is a brief stop thru airport like security and then you see the map.  A larger than life projection of the globe with dots all over representing the people that have visited there.  As we go thru, we see our popup showing Colorado Springs and our three dots pop onto the map.

The elevators are smaller than most I’ve been in for similar buildings, but they are fast!  Once the elevator starts, you are treated to LED screens that take up the three walls from floor to ceiling. You are given a visual history of New York City, complete with timelines and the images of the small to tall buildings.  When you “arrive” at “today” the elevator is at the top.

From there you are all herded to a holding area, they make short short folks and kids are right up front by a railing.  The wall in front of the railing is a 3-d block-like sculpture that becomes a video screen.  You are shown a video of New York City today, of all the things that make New York New York.  At the end the screen rises and then you get your first view from the top.  It is nothing short of stunning.

There was the annoying sales push for both group photos and rent an iPad (they have an app that tell you what you are looking at from the top).  These folks (were just doing their job, I get it) made it seem like listening to them was just part of the required process to get to the actual viewing area.  None of there words were relevant to us. 

So we went down one level to the actual viewing area and were treated to views like this, all around us.


The elevator trip down also had video for us.  After the production on the way up and the stunning viewing from the top, I have no memory of what they showed us on the way down.

Almost good CRM. ALMOST

Several years ago at our neighborhood caucus, I was selected as an alternate for our state convention.  Since then I cannot tell you how much email I get from any and every candidate or wannabe.  I must be on some master list that keeps getting sold and redistributed, because I have unsubscribed from many but there’s always more.

Ok, enough of the whining. 

I got another email from another campaign.  This one was by far the best attempted use of CRM (of some variety, no idea what flavor they actually use). 

CRM really isn’t that hard.  Why does it seem that campaigns are so awful at it?

Here’s the screenshot of the email I received (full text at the end of this message):



Do you see the attempt at good CRM?  First name used several times, even in the “email” from the candidate that was “forwarded”.  The candidate even used “my” zip code in his “forwarded email” about ME!?

Only problem…I’m not Donald, and that zip code is in Terre Haute, Indiana, and here I am living in Colorado.



(full text follows)


The governor emailed me early this morning specifically asking for your help before the end of the month.
Governor Walker is traveling all across the country and hearing the same message everywhere from conservatives like you: the American people are fed up with Washington and are ready for a true conservative to take on the establishment the same way he did in Wisconsin.
We need your help to keep sharing our message of fighting and winning against the left-wing special interests.
Please contribute $25, $75, $100, $250, $500, or even $1,000 right away so I can respond to the governor letting him know you have his back. (edited to remove embedded link here, you can figure out how to give this guy money if you so desire)
Thank you Donald,
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Governor Walker
Date: Sat, Aug 29, 2015 at 6:09 AM
Subject: deadline
To: Colleen Coyle
Colleen, I’ve been reviewing grassroots leaders in the 47805 zip code and I don’t have Donald's contact info. Will you please send them a message asking for an urgent contribution before the end of the month? We really need them on our team.
Let me know as soon as you hear from Donald.