The CRM On Demand Deployment GuideIn this episode, Robert and I talk about the latest exciting development in the CRM On Demand world – the release of the first comprehensive guide to everything! The CRM On Demand Deployment Guide is already garnering positive reviews and promises to be an invaluable resource to anyone working with the service.

The Birth of the Book
It was nearly a year ago that Jeff Saenger approached me with the idea to codify our collective CRM On Demand knowledge and experience in book form. I was immediately enthusiastic about the idea, and, along with Tim Koehler, we got to work. And of course, we quickly roped in Robert Davidson as our Technical Editor.

The first question was, what kind of book will this be? A technical reference? A process book? Fiction or non-fiction? Pop-up?

Jeff, Tim and I have been working with CRM On Demand since its inception, each in a somewhat different capacity. Jeff has a great overall view of the market and our customers, Tim is capable of articulating process and strategy better than anyone, and I love getting into the technical details. So we decided that our approach would be to “divide and conquer” along those lines.

One thing we all agreed upon was that the book needed to answer, as best we could, the question most often put to us by new customers. They recognize that they are not unique – surely other customers must have had similar challenges, right?

So how have other customers in my industry or with my kind of process done it? How do they deploy CRM On Demand? And answering that question is, in my opinion, the real heart of the book. We detail out several sample designs based on real-life customers, talk about the lessons learned from difficult deployments, and really try to net out all those things we call best practices.

So what’s the big message?
Well, you’ll have to buy it to find out. But I’ll give you a taste.

We really wanted to convey that SaaS is different. It’s not the same as buying software and installing it, and successful companies understand the difference.
This is a topic we covered in one of our first podcasts as well and the book goes into a lot more depth. Jeff Saenger gets all the credit for articulating it better than I ever could.

Another “big message” is that customers need to recognize what the product does. Sounds simple, right? But we’re talking about more than the obvious collection of customer information and really get into the kind of embedded processes and best practices. In fact we devote a couple of chapters to telling you what those processes are, how they embody best practices and how you should (and shouldn’t) use them.

I think if most deployments started with a better understanding of what’s there – essentially built for you – they’d go much faster and be more successful.

Lastly, there’s a lot of great content around the “soft stuff” of change management and user adoption. Tim Koehler is really the master of this area – process, planning, and communication. We stuffed a lot of our historical learning into the book, all of it aimed at promoting adoption.

What about technical advice?
So we’ve established this is chock full of good stuff. A lot of people are going to pick this up expecting some real technical advice. How much do we devote to that?

That’s actually my main contribution. My approach is to detail out sort of the baseline – what’s there, how it all interconnects, etc. Trying to convey a core understanding of how the product is wired. So you’ll find all the process flow diagrams here for each main tenant of the app – sales, service, marketing.

Then, I dive deeper into configuration best practices – the tactical decisions each implementer is making and how they affect users, performance, what lessons we’ve learned, and general advice. This covers field management, access roles, books of business, page layouts – really just about everything.

Then we go into some detail on integration strategies, workflow and validation. Throughout the book you’ll find example scripts, screenshots and diagrams. I think someone looking for a general technical guide will be satisfied with what they find.

So what’s next?
We’re really eager to hear from partners and customers their reaction to the book. Of course, we couldn’t get everything we wanted in there. For me, in particular, there was just so much more technical detail I wanted to get into it, but it just didn’t fit the theme or the timeframe.

I’m very excited, though, about continuing to expand on the content through the podcast and blog, as well as customer interactions. In fact, I’ll be out at Oracle Open World 2010 hosting a best practices session.

Wrap-up
Alright, so you’ve just spent a lot of time on a sales pitch! Thanks for hanging in there and I promise Robert and I will have some solid CRM On Demand tips, advice and best practices to discuss next time!

PS: You can get your copy of the Deployment Guide at Amazon.com, just follow the link in the sidebar!

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  1. Satish on 11 Feb 11 7:06 am

    Hi..

    Do we any downloadble doc or pdf’s of the same….. TIA

    Rgds,
    Satish

  2. Louis Peters on 15 Feb 11 9:30 am

    Hi Satish! The book is available in Kindle format from Amazon:
    http://www.amazon.com/Oracle-Demand-Deployment-Guide-ebook/dp/B003QP3XH8/ref=kinw_dp_ke?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2

    You can also get it online at Safari books online:
    http://my.safaribooksonline.com/book/databases/oracle/9780071717632

    Enjoy!
    Louis