Today I was catching up reading some of the blogs I like to read, of course this is officially called doing research : - ) Nevertheless I find it very interesting to see if other people also share my ideas, think of same or new solutions or run into the same challenges (a.k.a. problems).
I was searching for some background on maintenance plans for Microsoft Dynamics CRM and read the article "What’s it worth to work with real experts" at Sonoma partners blog. I recognized the same situation in my country that sales persons at different shops don’t have a clue about what they are selling. The key issue how you select your right vendor for your CRM application was summarized in two questions and one in the comments:
Do you use Microsoft CRM internally?
Hmmm I think not a bad question, but did you read this article "US Enterprise Dynamics sales team deployment of Microsoft Dynamics CRM” at Menno’s blog? Just to give you another perspective ;-)
How many installation the vendor has completed from start to finish?
In the comments was pointed out that this would be unfair concerning startups etc. I agree, also track records or portfolios are written by marketing department and guess you known what might happen…
Is every consultant certified?
This question was suggested in the comments. Personally I still think that this wouldn’t give you a clue, because you could know the theory, but it will not guarantee the practical experience. Can I suggest ‘braindump’ for your exams?
So how do you select the right company?
Hmm very hard to say, of course I should say if they blog, select them : -) In general its, in my opinion, a combination of trust, knowledge and experience. You should be confident with project team, so ask for their profile and talk to them in person. You could check at their customers how their projects did go and check at Microsoft about their track record. This will give you a good idea, but it never will give you 100% guarantee, so there’s always some risk to consider.