Skip to main content

You Gain by Using Software, Not Just Owning It

January is the time for New Years resolutions and for planning new initiatives.  The gym is getting crowded with new members who have vowed to exercise more.  Others are trying out new treadmills, stationary bikes, and elliptical trainers at home. Unfortunately, many of them will not stick with their plans more than a few weeks, as they become bored or other priorities take over.

This reminds me that business software requires long term commitment, and hard work to drive adoption in order to gain the benefits of automation.  Here are five tips from my company's clients who are most successful in using the software that they buy:

  1. Start at the top. Executive sponsorship and use by the appropriate leadership goes a long way toward driving software adoption.
  2. Keep training after your system goes live. It is hard to absorb too much training at one time, and users can hone their skills if provided training weeks and months after initial training sessions. New employees will also need training, so plan for how you can help them become proficient.
  3. Adapt based on user feedback. Users are likely to find new ways to make the system more effective after they have a chance to use it in production.  Help these suggestions make their way into the product so it can improve over time. 
  4. Learn from your best users. Every organization has users that go further and learn tricks and shortcuts that make them more productive.  Find a way for these users to share their techniques with others.  Lunch and learn sessions can be helpful.
  5. Establish governance over the system and your data. You need processes and people who can maintain the quality of your data and allow your system to improve over time.  A change control board or similar group should be created before you go live.
Business software often brings new approaches and workflows which can make your organization more efficient and effective.  Mindfulness is essential in order to make the most of these benefits, to avoid making your software end up like the treadmill in the basement which is used to hang laundry. 


Popular posts from this blog

PowerApps Portal: The Successor to Microsoft Dynamics Portal

In case you have been reviewing Microsoft's new pricing for its Dynamics products which was released this month and have been unable to find Dynamics Portal, it has been rebranded as PowerApps Portal and shifted to the PowerApps side of the Microsoft product family.


Rebranding the portal product underscores the importance of app scenarios involving external users such as customers and suppliers.  It also provides a simpler interface than Dynamics 365 for occasional users.

The new portal pricing is based on the number of unique users who log into the portal each month (for authenticated users) and on the number of page views for anonymous users.  "A login provides an external authenticated user access to a single portal for up to 24 hours. Multiple logins during the 24-hour period count as 1 billable login. Internal users can be licensed either by the PowerApps per app or per users plans, or a qualifying Dynamics 365 subscription."

Pricing starts at $200/mo. for 100 dail…

ScreenMeet Remote Support Tool for Dynamics 365 Customer Service

I met Lou Guercia when he was president and CEO of Scribe Software, the leading CRM integration tool.  Scribe was acquired by TIBCO Software in 2018.  I recently reconnected with Lou and learned about ScreenMeet, the company he joined as chief operating officer.   The following is a description of the product provided by ScreenMeet:

ScreenMeet is a cloud-based remote support tool designed to integrate with Dynamics 365 Customer Service. By enabling customer service and IT support organizations to address critical technical issues directly from their CRM or ticketing platform, it streamlines the process and provides a fully browser-based support experience.

You can also use ScreenMeet with other CRM products or even on its own without a CRM.

Here is a short video demo of ScreenMeet with Dynamics integration:


ScreenMeet - Cloud-based Remote Support Integrated with Dynamics 365 Customer Support Once integrated with a Dynamics 365 CS organization, the ScreenMeet widget appears on Case pa…

The DATA Act Driving Grant Management Automation

The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act enacted in May 2014 calls for making spending data available in open, standardized formats to be published online.  It is a continuation of transparency initiatives and lessons learned with experiences such as grants.gov, the 2009 economic stimulus under the Recovery Act and the spending site USASpending.gov.

Government grantees will have significant new administrative responsibilities.  Many organizations that were tracking grants in spreadsheets or documents will have to adopt more sophisticated automated grant management systems such as Microsoft Grants Manager to keep up with reporting rules.

For profit companies will lose some privacy as a result of this law.  Grant recipients will be required to disclose information including officer salaries.

Continued improvements to publishing grant opportunities such as grants.gov may make it easier to find grants. These reforms together are designed to improve the effectiveness of grant prog…