Consulting with a Dynamics 365 Consultant
We wanted to touch base with Senior Dynamics 365 Consultant, Norm Di Pasquale to get his take on his favourite thing about working with Dynamics 365 and what excites him about the projects he’s been working on.
You’ve been at CRMD now for 3 years, what’s changed in that time for how you approach and deploy projects?
Man, where to begin. (laughs). We’ve really been able to help companies pivot from legacy systems and processes that were holding their potential back. Whether that’s an external force causing that immediate need due to the pandemic, or a business efficiency we can help iron out to help make their business more profitable and their employees more productive.
What are some specific changes in technology that you’ve seen help the companies you work with recently?
I think from a marketing perspective we are starting to see some very cool workflows. From website to social media, to texting, to real-time chatbots – these are baked in now. This kind of functionality has really unlocked a lot more lead and customer engagement for the companies we’ve been working with.
What is the biggest change you’ve seen in your time at CRMD?
A big change I’ve seen is the prevalence of accelerators. CRM was once looked at as a deeply cumbersome solution that is highly customizable – It still is. However, at CRMD we have a ton of industry-specific blueprints that work as accelerators for organizations. These are put together with the client in mind and can make implementations much faster, effective, and affordable.
What is a larger trend within the market you are excited about?
Probably how malleable the platform is now. It used to be, you want sales here’s sales, you want service here’s service. Now it is much more client-driven and specific to their business. It’s really “XRM” now.
Now in one breath we look at accelerants and say, “that’s great, we can get companies up and running quickly and affordably with a great CRM”. In the other breath we say, “XRM, it can be anything you want!” How do you walk that line when working with clients?
Well, as business consultants we want to listen and understand current processes and address what the client would like to accomplish. We want to focus on how we can make these processes better and fine-tune them. However, I have also been on projects where a key stakeholder says the company only has one business process flow, after diving deeper and talking to other stakeholders we realize they have 13. (laughs). I feel for the client sometimes, as they may not know exactly what they need. It’s our job to demonstrate what is possible and most importantly provide as much value as we can.
OK, that makes sense. On a lighter note, what is your favourite part of working as a CRM Consultant?
It’s so fun to engage with companies from every sector you might imagine. We get to learn what is unique about them when we go in to consult. While we are teaching them, they are teaching us, and I’ve learned so much about these industries and met people with incredible specialties – people who are really experts in their field.
It’s also can be quite a humbling experience when you meet individuals working at a Non-Profit or Charitable organization. These people are doing incredible work and for us to be able to go in and help them with their processes – I look at it as an honour.
Wow, I can imagine. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I would like to highlight that another great aspect of my position is how fun it is to make these things actually work (laughs). When I see a client first talk about a process they’d like to have and we implement it – they get that “AH-HA” moment! We live for those. (laughs).
Norm has over 20 years of business and operational experience in various technology leadership roles. In the past he has successfully implemented Microsoft CRM in the financial, not for profit, and higher education verticals, with well over 10 years of experience with the Dynamics platform.