Month: January 2016

2016 Sales Tax Changes: What to Expect in the New Year

Like every New Year, 2016 will bring many sales tax changes. Rates will decrease or increase, there’ll be new product taxability rules, exemptions will expire or take effect, and there will be reporting changes. The only thing certain when it comes to sales tax is that change happens. And if often happens without much warning.

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What’s New with Microsoft’s BI Stack

Microsoft has made a large investment in BI in 2015, both on-premises and in the cloud.  BI offerings across Datazen, R, Excel, Power BI and coming to SQL Server 2016 are huge.  Microsoft released a public BI roadmap on where they are headed with their BI stack.  Microsoft’s simple goal is to put the power of data in the hands of every business user.  This simple goal is inline with the #1 top ranked IT priority according to Gartner.

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Five Things to Watch for in 2016 for Project Managers

1.     Risk Management Will Become A Buzzword Of 2016

With the increase in globalization in the project management industry, we are seeing projects impacted by the likes of industrialization, weather, and even terrorism on our day-to-day lives. With the growth of Agile, project managers can begin to leverage risk analysis and become more proactive in their responses.  There are many tools to choose from in the market place, but the skilled professional will constantly sharpen their skills in order to prevent or leverage risk.

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Professional Services Using CRM

In the past, professional services technology systems were closely tied to ERP systems, sometimes baked right in, sometimes as a third party product.  The common practice was to utilize the ERP’s architecture, database and financial modules to create a full-featured financial project management system that could produce very granular financial metrics.  I recently wrote about an evolution taking place whereby professional services technology applications can now work using CRM systems, and the advantages/disadvantages of doing professional services in ERP or CRM based technology.   


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Correcting a Duplicate User in Microsoft Dynamics CRM

It was the perfect storm that unfurled to cause this commotion that had us spinning our wheels for a while. A User left the company and had been deactivated in CRM (we’ll call this record User1). Due to policy (I’m guessing policy, as I have heard the practice is not recommended) the user Account was deleted in Active Directory (AD). Well, lo and behold, this User decided to return to the company within a few months of leaving. When the Administrator attempted to reactivate the User within CRM, they were unable to because the User was no longer in AD; the User was added again in CRM (the new User record will be User2). After this the User was once again set up within AD, but any attempt to log into CRM failed.

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2016 – What to Watch for as the Cloud Impacts Your Technology Partner’s Value

This is going to be about how the cloud is automating much of what IT  did, (networks, maintaining emails, managed services) and how your technology partner will be giving you much higher value services instead.

Remember when you owned your own servers, connected your users via a network software and had some IT staff (or some outside IT firm) tell you when something was wrong, something needed to be updated or something was down?  

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Tackling the Year: A Jumpstart to Taking Control of Your Leads

The holiday season has come and gone, and with that many people have hit the ground running to start off the New Year. Phones are buzzing, emails are out of control, and vacations have come to a close. It’s also that time of the year where everyone has made their New Year’s Resolution, both at work and in their personal life. Not to mention, if you work in a calendar year rather than a fiscal year, your sales and marketing goals have been set and you are ready to hit them.

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Jeff Chamberlain

How To Do a Project Gap Analysis

Gap Analysis is a strategic planning tool to help understand where a project is, where it needs to be, and how to get there.

For a simplistic take, here is a project chart showing project status:

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How to Utilize Dynamics CRM: Five Tricks for a New Salesperson

Joining a new company is always exciting: new people, new opportunities, and new systems to learn.I have the opportunity to learn Microsoft Dynamics CRM, a new CRM software that we sell, and because of my entrepreneurial background, to see it through two lenses: one of a user trying to learn a new system and one as a salesperson utilizing a new tool to sell more efficiently.

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How to Avoid a Bad Project

Do you ever feel out of control of your project?

Over the past 27 years, I have worked on over 500 large scale projects. Within these 500+ projects, I have taken an interest in listening to client’s and other project professional’s previous experiences about projects that have gone bad. In these conversations, we can learn from failures and plan for better success in the future. But to be quite honest, I will do anything I can to prevent a project that I am working on from “going bad”. With that being said, there are some things that are outside of my control. As much as I want the project to be successful—I do need the client to be in control of the right things.

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