Got an announcement, a request to everyone, a recommendation, and one thing I think is kinda cool.
I've been getting a fair amount of industry buzz for the Microsoft - salesforce.com configuration tool shoot out that I called for (and that Microsoft and salesforce.com) accepted. As a result, we've gathered up a great group of judges that I think can both be fair and know their stuff better and hold some sway all in all in the industry. You've probably heard of some and maybe not others, but the reality is that they all are knowledgeable, smart, and long standing experts in the industry. I tried to mix it up with technical folks and with business side folks so that all those who needed to be represented by judges were.
Without further ado, our judges:
- Denis Pombriant - for those of you who know him, you know him as the star analyst in the on demand world - not just CRM. He has a long and honored track record and is one of the most insightful and foresighted analysts in the business. Each year he issues his WizKids report (for 2008, go here) which gives exposure to up and coming companies in the world of on demand in particular though can extend beyond that certainly. He has his own blog and his own company, Beagle Research. YAY Denis.
- Brent Leary - if there is anyone who knows what small business needs when it comes to CRM, on demand technologies and Web 2.0 technologies, he is it. Brent is a popular radio/podcasting host, with his show, Technology for Business' Sake; a man who just simply "gets it" when it comes to how SMB and CRM work together. He and I are going to be partnered in the world class, super hot, awesomely spectacularly videocast,CRM Playaz by Summer 2008 which is easily going to be the best show on the Web for business - and where cool people want to hang out. That's because not only is Brent smart, he's cool.
- J. Bruce Daley - Having him on the team is just an outright honor. He is not only influential in the CRM and enterprise applications world, he is a serial entrepreneur and colorful quote in the major press when it comes to matters of software - and he is just a good man. He was the founder and editor-in-chief of Siebel Observer and now is the CEO of Test Common - a software testing company designed to hurry up the software development path. He knows from whence he speaks.
- Peter Churchill - Peter is the Director of CRM and Outreach Technology for the Center for American Progress - one of the smartest thinktanks in Washington D.C. - and one of the most influential. Peter is a CRM veteran, having been a CRM technical expert for the last at least 13 years. Because he brings, lets call it, a "wry sense of humor" to his work, he is a perfect person to judge this kind of contest because it needs an expert with some technical brilliance who can also laugh out loud. He is that man.
- Matt Witteman - Matt is the vice president of the CRM Practice at consulting firm, Customer Connect, based in Charlotte, NC. When I announced the shootout - before Microsoft and salesforce.com agreed - Matt stepped to the plate and said that his company, which is partnered with both companies was capable of doing the effort if that was the route I chose. While I chose the "get the parents to pony up" route, it occurred to me that what better judge than someone who knew both companies initimately. Matt, a clearly savvy guy, graciously agreed and that made me very happy.
That, folks is our judges panel for the shootout. Stay tuned for the next details. More coming.
You know, I've been a reader of all the CRM sites that have been out there ranging from the venerable (Customerthink) to the upstart (InsideCRM - who I'll be writing a monthly column for starting in May). There are a good nearly dozen of them and I'll be straight. They all have value, they all have some good (and some bad) stuff on the sites but the reality is that the best of them is the most underserved and one of the least known in the U.S. That would be MyCustomer.com. MyCustomer.com has some of the best writing, the deepest content, the most engaging thinking that I've read. Its UK based and has a significant readership (I think that I've seen 80,000 as a number somewhere though I'm not sure of that). Its organized well, the content is forward thinking and cutting edge and still manages to be fair to the traditional forms that we deal with. They don't spare vendors their wrath - but only if they deserve some upside the head clubbing. They have strong opinions and state them. I mean, holy crap, they are just friggin' excellent!
I'm going to do an assessment of the CRM sites and their strengths and weaknesses (someone is welcome to do mine if they want.) in the near future - maybe even with a grade attached. I'll do it here and I'll do it as a list on my podcast, Experience on the Edge sometime in the coming weeks. But until then, make MyCustomer.com a daily stop on your reading route. They are the best out there - bar none.
Could you all put a link to this blog somewhere in your blogrolls please? I'm asking because I want to expand my reach and also I'm testing something. I would appreciate it a great deal. Really.
The Cool Thing
For those of you who don't know, the Kindle Reader is Amazon's e-reader that can wirelessly get books and subscriptions anytime and anywhere because its tied into Sprints EV-DO 3G network. It has been wildly popular - something akin to a small Wii-sellout - and is backordered for about 100 years or so - even though its really ugly. That said, there are 80,000 books that have been chosen out of Amazon's millions to be Kindle-ready e-books and I found out, by sheer accident, that CRM at the Speed of Light, 3rd Edition is one of them. Isn't that way cool (it is to me at least)? That's certainly a reason for you to go out, spend $399.00 plus shipping, wait about 5 years to get the backordered device and then order my book over the air for an additional $17.81 plus shipping, isn't it? Well, isn't it? Why aren't you saying anything........?