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Mapping Complex Accounts

Let’s look at a specific account and discuss how it can be documented in Dynamics CRM. One of the incredible (and many times underutilized powers) of DynamicsCRM is its ability to track what I would consider the spider web of relationships. Rarely are, say a 100 people with relationships, easily dropped into a tree format. Sure it works for families, but larger companies are not always truly hierarchical in nature. They are much more likely to intertwine and have multiple touch points.

Let’s look at Microsoft Corporation for instance.

In getting to know the new contacts here in Houston I was immediately faced with how should I track these in Dynamics CRM. You see I use Dynamics CRM heavily to do what I do and as such have to apply the framework to my own intertwined world.

Now of the 10 blue badges (Microsoft Employees) I have met to date in the Houston area I have at least 5 different addresses, 3 different departments and definitely different individual success points. Each of the people I have met is driven by different factors. Understanding these success points allows me to continue to not only get from Microsoft, but to continue to give in return. A Win/Win.. As opportunities cross my plate that might help any one person meet their success point I can add a little sugar, but I digress.

Now before I share with you how I tackled this, let’s look at the options (for this “word problem” and for now I will not include the international offices). So we have Microsoft Corporation (Infrastructure) and Microsoft Business Solutions. These two main lines of thought tend to be unique in their culture. There are overlaps and yet in the partner world there are also distinct differences in model in those that focus on one or the other.

We also have divisions under the two above such as the SMS&P division. Now would you make Microsoft SMS&P an Account in DynamicsCRM or would you make Microsoft Houston an Account or perhaps just Microsoft Corporation and let every Microsoft contact be simply a contact and yet if you only had contacts how would you build the relationship map to show which of the contacts were related to which of the other contacts. There are peers, umbrella divisions, regional groups, and more.

Would you use the relationship table (certainly an option) and one that is not flat if you really think about it?

What about the third party vendors who compliment the Microsoft solutions OR the third party vendors who are contracted by Microsoft and as such are listed under Microsoft Corporation (often seen as an e-mail address starting with a v-)?

These are the challenges and yet challenges that can be met with numerous options by using Microsoft DynamicsCRM.