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How do I find a great CRM Administrator to Implement and Customize CRM 4.0 to my businesses needs? RRS feed

  • Question

  • We purchased CRM 4.0, but don't have the time to be the CRM Administrator.  Is there a recommended site that I can post a job application to find the right fit?  What skill sets and qualifications should I be looking for?

    Kirk
    President
    KPS
    Ontario, California, USA

    • Edited by kps power Friday, October 16, 2009 11:31 PM
    Friday, October 16, 2009 7:12 PM

Answers

  • Hi Kirk,

    In my experience,  is unusual for a permanent MS CRM consultant to work at an end-user on a permanent basis. MS CRM customization/development is typically fairly rapid and best left to consultants experienced in implementing many solutions as opposed to a consultant/admin who supports such a system on a long term basis. Whilst it is a great idea to have an experienced resource permanently on site, I would imaging such a resource would end up with not much to do, which I guess is why some of the larger implementations typically don't exceed 6 months.

    From a purely administrative perspective, as Curt already touched on, an admin is typically well skilled in DB's, Exchange and AD. Typically, someone with these skills can become a great MS CRM Administrator and aquire MS CRM skills, as opposed to a MS CRM consultant aquiring required Exchange/AD skills. Additionally as MS CRM is a relatively 'young' product, you would be quite fortunite to find a local resource with a lot of experience. I would probably suggest finding a VAR/experienced MS CRM consultant to work on the initial implementation and then cross train one of your existing employees (system's admins) to also support MS CRM. I guess the rationale is that you can only maintain your expertise by regularly implimenting new systems and learning from such implementations.

    All the best,
    Karlo


    Karlo Swart - http://www.ver206.com
    • Marked as answer by Jim Glass Jr Monday, October 19, 2009 7:32 PM
    Sunday, October 18, 2009 6:33 PM

All replies

  • Kirk:

    This is a great place to find a CRM implementor and customizer - Depending on where you are at in the implementation process, you would be looking for someone who can take your ideas for what you are looking to manage with CRM and turn them into reality.  They should have experience with several referenceable projects.  

    In terms of skills, if you have already implemented CRM, I would be looking for someone who understands SQL, SQL Server Reports, Jscript, customizing the user interface through creating new entities and creating new workflows. Another skillset that is generally considered important is the ability to migrate data from predecessor systems.  Unless you have currently defined needs that include integration with other systems, or custom development, C# or other Visual Studios are not required.

    Basically you are looking for someone who can meet with you, understand your business needs, develop a plan with a timeline to implement, and perform the plan. 

    I have seen postings by individual companies looking to hire a contractor to perform these tasks on elance and other similar websites.   Contact me at my email address if you have any interest in discussing this further and seeing how I could assist you.
    Brian Begley XRM Services LLC EMAIL REMOVED This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
    Friday, October 16, 2009 7:50 PM
  • Hi Kirk,

    Typically there is little to administer for MS CRM. Other than adding new users/roles, applying rollups and perhaps ensuring backup's are up and running, the day to day maintenance is limited.

    Most implementations are 'supported' by a normal system's administrator, however if you're looking for customizations/development, best to search for a dedicated consultant. Perhaps you can explain exactly what you're looking for?

    Hope it helped,
    Karlo
    Karlo Swart - http://www.ver206.com
    Friday, October 16, 2009 8:35 PM
  • Thanks Karlo.  We are looking for a lot of customizations.  We don't want something out of the box we want to customize it to work around our companies needs.  Also, possible integration with other applications.

    Friday, October 16, 2009 9:08 PM
  • A couple of sites that might help you are

    dynamicscareers.com

    Search linkedin for CRM job groups, there are a couple

    Since you believe that you want significant customization, then it is going to be important that you ensure you have someone who is CRM certified, understands the important of making supported changes, has a solid plan for documenting and implementing customization, all of the things that Brian referenced above, has a good understanding of business process and how that translates to the CRM application, etc.

    Best of luck with finding the right person.  Feel free to let us know if you need any additional assistance. 


    Best Regards, Donna
    Friday, October 16, 2009 9:34 PM
  • Hi Kirk,

    I think you've come to a good place to find a developer/consultant. Many posters here have a fair bit of experience with MS CRM.

    Drop me an email (click on my profile) if you would like to discuss further. I also happen to know a couple of consultants in Canada if you're specifically looking for an on-site person.

    Thanks,
    Karlo




     

    Karlo Swart - http://www.ver206.com
    Friday, October 16, 2009 10:04 PM
  • Yes. I'm looking for an on site person, but we are in Ontario, California.  I changed it so no one makes the same asumption.
    Friday, October 16, 2009 11:20 PM
  • Well......  I have often wondered what would be ment by a CRM administrator.

    In  fact it would be a very good net admin who is also a person who can both be a DBA and understand the server architecture well.  Must be good at AD.  Must be good with SQL and SRS.  Must be good with understandng how to take care of entities and users and how CRM utilized email and accounts and ownership of objects, etc.

    On top of that you must be on the Dev side as well.    If you add Share Point to the mix, you need that skill and perhaps even integretion with a ERP system.

    Yep, I see and CRM admin to be that person.  You really should get a good VAR involved to be an partner with you. 

    Sunday, October 18, 2009 2:08 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi Kirk,

    In my experience,  is unusual for a permanent MS CRM consultant to work at an end-user on a permanent basis. MS CRM customization/development is typically fairly rapid and best left to consultants experienced in implementing many solutions as opposed to a consultant/admin who supports such a system on a long term basis. Whilst it is a great idea to have an experienced resource permanently on site, I would imaging such a resource would end up with not much to do, which I guess is why some of the larger implementations typically don't exceed 6 months.

    From a purely administrative perspective, as Curt already touched on, an admin is typically well skilled in DB's, Exchange and AD. Typically, someone with these skills can become a great MS CRM Administrator and aquire MS CRM skills, as opposed to a MS CRM consultant aquiring required Exchange/AD skills. Additionally as MS CRM is a relatively 'young' product, you would be quite fortunite to find a local resource with a lot of experience. I would probably suggest finding a VAR/experienced MS CRM consultant to work on the initial implementation and then cross train one of your existing employees (system's admins) to also support MS CRM. I guess the rationale is that you can only maintain your expertise by regularly implimenting new systems and learning from such implementations.

    All the best,
    Karlo


    Karlo Swart - http://www.ver206.com
    • Marked as answer by Jim Glass Jr Monday, October 19, 2009 7:32 PM
    Sunday, October 18, 2009 6:33 PM
  • Karlo,

    Ok, Let's say I didn't need someone on a perminent basis. What would I expect to pay a constultant for a larger implemtation and customization, what would I expect to pay that consultant for the 6 months?

    Wednesday, October 21, 2009 10:10 PM
  • Hi Kirk,

    Assuming you don't go permanent you have the following options:

    1. Contact a local MS CRM reseller in your region and try negotiate a fix price for a job. This will involve a fair bit of analysis beforehand to ensure you get what you asked for and know what you need. Benefits are that your reseller will continue to provide support post implementation (usually a support contract) and they will be legally responsible should they not meet your requirement. I can't stress how important it is to follow up on each resources proposed to work on your project (request a CV) and build something into your agreement to insist of these resources. There is a high turnover (even in a recession) of experienced MS CRM consultants and you may find your agreed consultant moves to another reseller prior to the project start. Additionally there is no guarantee that the resource that has spent 6 months on your project won't resign post (or worst mid) implementation.

    2. Recruit a MS CRM consultant for an X month contract and extend the contract should the project run longer than expected. I'm not too familiar with US rates, but you're typically looking at $7000+ per month for a permanent employee, thus a contractor will need to charge 1.5 to 2 times that amount to justify contracting. Typically (in my opinion) contractors 'know what they're doing ' so you could get a really good consultant this way. Equally there will also be some bad ones out there, but provided you do your homework, follow up on references etc, you should be okay. It may be a challenge to find the right resource at the right time in your local area however.

    3. Recruit a remote resource/freelance consultant. Typically this is the cheapest option and work can be done on a weekly or monthly basis. This may be particularly cost effective especially if you're looking at having X amount of work done over 3, 6 ,9 months or a year as you're only paying for the time put in. Additionally (like with a MS CRM reseller) typically your consultant will know your system well and able to provide support on an ongoing basis. You have to deal with communication issues and time differences however, but with improving technologies, it can be like dealing with an employee on the other side of the building. Not that I would neccesarily recommend it, but there are a few web sites who specialise in freelances bidding for projects.

    4. Train an internal resource to develop/customize etc... (I've seen this done, but really wouldn't recommend it). There are certain day to day functions (e.g. installing the Outlook Client) which an internal administrator can perform, but anything from customization to development, I would recommend an experienced consultant.

    I'm sure some of the other forum posters here may have different input into which option is best for you and to be frank either options 1-3 could work provided you get the right resource.

    Hih,
    Karlo
    Karlo Swart - http://www.ver206.com
    Thursday, October 22, 2009 7:59 AM