By Michael White
If you evaluate the key information threads across all of these systems, four key threads appear: people, companies, clients and matters. Knitting these data points together to produce true knowledge management capability is what a platform CRM system was made for.
A senior Microsoft executive recently sent me a two-sentence note from his handheld after I sent a recap update following a significant presentation. In the scenario I described, a partner committee is significantly involved and cost is a factor as the firm is looking to replace their current CRM system after investing significantly year over year for the past decade with only a handful of users (clearly a story told by many of today’s law firms). His comment:
“Their future cannot be evaluated upon a standalone product decision. They must evaluate this based upon the entire Microsoft platform in which they have chosen to invest.”
• First reading… ok, yeah I get it, promote greater value;
• Second reading… there is no need to “sell” the value; the firm has already made a conscious and strategic decision to invest in the value of the Microsoft platform and they already use daily the CRM tool of choice for lawyers… Outlook!
Take a look outside of Legal… The Microsoft platform is everywhere and growing for every aspect of managing the business: ERP; CRM; Business Intelligence: Reporting, Dashboards, Analysis Tools; Productivity Tools: Outlook, Exchange, Office; and the list goes on and on…
Every law firm in the land has already made their Platform decision. They know that Microsoft products built for Microsoft products are strategic in future-proofing their investment in technology and ensuring they will continue to grow and enhance their ability to integrate core data and ultimately provide a platform for collaboration to their users.
So, in conclusion, the evolved mantra for Today’s Professional Services firm needs to focus CRM success around adoption of a platform approach to dynamic intelligence gathering, delivering the CRM value required to compete and thrive in the future; and CRM Intelligence is about building a solution on a platform that allows firms to leverage their investment and gather client-critical information in one place. Delivering information that is up-to-date, relevant and actionable is the expectation and need of today’s law firm.