Dead Squirrels and Value Based Pricing

A great little story on value based pricing and a recurring theme I have been hearing from clients and prospects consistently over the last year or two. They want to know “how much is it going to cost me” and are they getting value for what they pay. When you can deliver what you say you can, when you say can and with high Value based pricingquality/satisfaction, people will happily pay for it.

The big challenge in services based businesses is the fear of “idle” people and a focus on the “billable hour”. The mantra for most of the years I have been in services oriented businesses has been utilization. The problem is higher utilization can be a double-edge sword. If one has too high a utilization rate, for too long, people get burned out and leave. That’s the last thing you want in a services business.

The flip side is not a high enough utilization rate and profitability of the company dips too low.

Hourly billing also involves a lot of time and energy spent on the price/cost of that hour. Long discussions and back and forth on that number, sliding scales, services “shopping”; these are all low value activities that partners, clients and prospects endure when the focus is “the billable hour”.

The beauty of value based pricing is so much of that wasted effort goes away. The focus is not on maintaining a tight focus on a perishable resource (time), rather, it is is focused on delivering a quality product for the customer.


As the story points out, in order to remove the impact of the visitor under his porch, the author was more than happy to pay the equivalent of $1500 per HOUR. How many in the services business get that kind of billable rate? Not many!

Moral of the story, focusing on solving the problem and delivering it with quality, will result in the billable hour discussion going away.

Read more here >>>

Get started with Business Intelligence in the new Office

Business Intelligence in the new Office

Originally posted on Microsoft Office Blogs site. I’m loving the new and improved business intelligence capabilities in Office 365 and Office 2013. It’s finally getting close to the simple and easy BI that we have heard for so long.

New BI capabilities in Office 365
New BI capabilities in Office 365

Reliable business intelligence and insight are key to a thriving business. Excel, SharePoint and Office 365 make business intelligence (BI) in the new Office more accessible to everyone across an organization as part of their everyday work. New and enhanced features in familiar tools such as Excel empower everyone in a business to easily explore, model, analyze, and visualize data. With SharePoint, users of all levels can collaboratively develop and share insights through dashboards and scorecards, and this experience continues seamlessly in the cloud with Office 365.

Read on to learn how using Microsoft BI makes it possible for anyone in the organization to develop the insights that help drive new discoveries and make better, more informed decisions.

Read more here >>>

5 Technology Trends Shaping The Pharmaceutical Industry And Medical Device Innovation


Technology continues to play a big role in the life sciences industry as organizations seek new partnerships and opportunities for collaboration.

Medical Device Technology Trends
Medical Device Technology Trends

A recent article on the IndustryWeek website highlights five important technology trends that will influence the pharmaceutical industry andmedical device innovation?over the next five years.

  1. Context-based services.
  2. Use ?Big Data? for new value.
  3. Industrialized data services.
  4. Pharma gets social.
  5. Focus on the cloud.

Read more here >>>

How Is Value Based Selling Reshaping Medical Device Innovation?

The effects of value based selling.

Medical Device Sales InnovationsA paradigm shift in the industry is reshaping the direction of medical device innovation. The industry is changing how it sells equipment to physicians and hospitals.

“We’re going to be judged based on value,” says Dr. Joseph Iannotti, chairman of the Orthopedic and Rheumatology Institute at the Cleveland Clinic.

An article on the Plastics News website explains that innovators of medical devices must answer complex questions concerning the value that the technology brings to the market.

It’s no longer just about getting market share. Now, it’s about value-based selling. The focus must be on where the technology fits in and how it will make a difference for patients.

Read more >>>

Resco MobileCRM Spring Update 2013

Resco Announces Mobile CRM Spring Update 2013.

Details here:

Resco?has their?new office in Boston up and running and currently focused on staffing and partner outreach. Just released a new HTML5 review client. This is basically a proof of concept and not really ready for production deployment, but, a good example of how quickly they provide new updates and the future direction of HTML based app clients. Download from your favorite device app store to check it out (search for Resco). The next major release of MobileCRM ?will include additional functionality to the business rule editor, which provides codeless business rules. Looking forward to that.

Announced at Convergence, they also released an “Extras Update”. Included in the newest release of Woodford and Studio, they have added:

Improved Enterprise Security –Resco MobileCRM Spring Update 2013

  • Remote Wipe-Out of data from the application
  • Session Time-Out that locks the app
  • Session Time Table and GPS Fencing restricts users to work within a given time period or location only
  • Session Speed disables the app when the device moves at speed over a predefined limit
  • Kiosk Mode – enables users to use nothing but the Mobile CRM app on the mobile device

Improved User Audits –

  • view, create or update data
  • synchronize the application
  • launch and exit the software
  • actually use Mobile CRM app

White Label/Branding Push –

??????? Customers can create their own branded app offer on app stores

  • Change the look and feel of the application to match company identity
  • inform customers about company?s nearest locations, services or special deals
  • add sale vouchers or news
  • actively engage with the company via chat wall
  • provide customer feedback and service issues through the app and back into CRM

More details here:?Details here:

The MarketingPilot Update

The MarketingPilot Update

Microsoft announced the MarketingPilot acquisition back in October 2012. MarketingPilot (MP) offers integrated marketing management (IMM) and marketing resource management (MRM) capabilities. Included functionality includes asset tracking, social media marketing to email marketing automation. The big question of the day is, will this replace ClickDimensions or any of the related marketing applications. Answer….not sure yet.

MP claims to provide email and social marketing, however, it's not clear how deep they go here. MarketingPilot Key DifferentiatorsIt seems, initially, that MP is focused more on the planning and resource management aspects of marketing, whereas, CD and others focus more on the execution of marketing.

The first image describes their key differentiators. The second screenshot below gives a glimpse into some of the capabilities we'll see in this marketing update. Interestingly, the demo's of MP were VERY limited covering about 5 minutes of actual demo. I suspect there is still quite a lot of work going on behind the "curtain".

Stay tuned for more details in the near future here. 

MarketingPilot User Interface - UI

Microsoft Convergence 2013 – Netbreeze Announcement


Microsoft Acquires Netbreeze

Of course the surpise announcement of the event, Microsoft?purchases?Netbreeze. Yes, I know, I had never heard of them either, however, their focus is social media monitoring, analytics and measuring capabilities to accelerate social for everyone and all available in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

I am super excited about having these capabilities, particularly inside of Dynamics CRM. This will be a boon to marketing, sales and customer services teams. This adds exciting capabilities to generate new leads, improve sales and close ratios, and act on potential customer service issues.

Netbreeze Social Monitoring ScreenshotAccording to some information gleened from various sources:

Netbreeze’s Social Media Monitoring solutions allow decision makers to tackle their strategic questions by semantically analyzing and evaluating web content.

Our language processing and text-mining technologies support more than 30 languages, including Russian, Arabic, Chinese, Korean and Japanese, thus helping international companies to meet todays biggest challenges in business intelligence.

Specialties -?Social Media Monitoring, Sentiment Analysis, Social CRM, Integration to other systems, API for full data access.


Read a bit more detail here at Gigaom -?

Netbreeze Social Media Monitoring Screenshot.

Microsoft Convergence 2013 – Polaris and Orion

When Update Rollup 12 (UR 12), codename “Polaris”, was released for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 in January, it included a new Process Driven User Interface. This is still only available for CRM Online customers, it does provide an glimpse into the changes coming in the Dynamics CRM user experience (UX). If you want an idea of where this new UI/UX is going, take a look at, the former Hotmail browser based email. User Interface and User Experience - Coming to Dynamics CRM

The single window paradigm, Polaris, signficantly reduces the amount of pop-up forms in Dynamics CRM,  (whic is a good thing). The Polaris release provided this new experience for just a few forms, think if it as a preview, including Account, Contact, Opportunity, Case and Lead detail forms. Orion, scheduled for Q2 2013 has a goal of replacing all forms with this new experience. Below is an example of that new experience.

Dynamics CRM - Polaris UI / UX - Coming to all of CRM

In the new UX, opening an individual record form, all editing and updates takes place in the same window. Even the lookups no longer popup another form, rather, they provide an "inline" lookup. The same goes for grids in the main window, no more popups, just a nice clean, in-grid editing experience…nice!

Michael McCormack, Senior Program Manager Lead for the user experience team within Microsoft Dynamics CRM said “The whole purpose of Orion is to get rid of that window problem we’ve had for so long.”  Yeah!!!

Polaris also provides cross browser support! See supported browsers and OS's here:

In addition, the commitment to cross-browser support was emphasized multiple times. Mr. McCormack even said he doesn’t currently use Dynamics CRM on Internet Explorer at all and neither does most of his team. He said this helps ensure they provide an excellent non-IE user experience. Double Yeah!!! (PS – the new release actually runs faster on Chrome….go figure 🙂 )

Dynamics CRM on Chrome

Dynamics CRM on Google Chrome

Dynamics CRM on Mac OSX Safari

Dynamics CRM on Mac OSX Safari

Microsoft Convergence 2013 – Summary


Microsoft Convergence 2013 was held in wonderful New Orleans (NOLA), LA, March 18th-21st.

NOLA - New Orlease - Microsoft Convergence 2013 - Dynamics CRM

If you would like to see my tweets from New Orleans, go here:

The following are a few highlights from Convergence 2013:

  1. Let’s start with growth. Microsoft announced at Convergence 2013 the latest Microsoft Dynamics CRM adoption numbers, with more than 3 million users and more than 39,000 customers.
  2. The opening had some great customer stories. I found it curious the vast majority were B2C customers. Just a coincidence? The posted case studies can be found on the Microsoft website here.
  3. The Marketing Pilot Announcement & Netbreeze AnnouncementAcquisitions.
  4. The new User Interface (UI) recently released with Polaris and the continued direction and new features for Orion. I will include some screenshots soon.
  5. The new cross browser and mobile experiences available across devices

There were a lot of good sessions. In fact it’s often hard to choose which session to go, there are so many good ones! There are a few below that cover the some of the highlights above. In addition you can see the changes coming in the user experience (UX) and user interface (UI). You may need to register herebefore viewing these videos.

  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM: The New Era in CRM.
    • Includes Dynamics CRM vision, the changing role of CRM in the Era of the Customer and what that means for sales, marketing and customer care. Overview of new UI, Marketing Pilot and Netbreeze. Shows a couple of short product demonstrations. Link to video.
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM Product Recap & Roadmap Primer.
    • Details of the roadmap, including mobile, for the future of Microsoft Dynamics CRM over the next 6-24 months. Link to video.
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM: Reimagining the User Experience.
    • This session covered to see how users today work with CRM across different browsers, mobile devices and Microsoft Office. Previews the great new innovations in user experiences (UX) and design coming in future releases. Link to video.
  • Advanced Analytics for Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
    • Covers reporting and analytics capabilities in Microsoft Dynamics CRM. New and updated analysis capabilities available in Microsoft Excel 2013, PowerPivot, PowerView, Office Apps and other tools with SQL Server 2012. Link to video.
  • The New Microsoft Office 365: Your New Office – Social Productivity at Work
    • Overview of the new Office and Microsoft’s vision for enterprise social. New updates for cloud, social, and mobile. Link to video.
    • I you aren’t familiar with Office 365, go now and check it out. The 2013 updates are amazing. I think a whole new level of productivity is available. Awesome stuff, really!