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The History of Power-CRM

David Buggy

David J Buggy

Founder, CEO & Lead Product Designer

Power-CRM was founded and designed by David J Buggy, a veteran of the customer relationship management industry. 

David has centered his career on helping businesses achieve success with CRM. He has helped hundreds of businesses worldwide evaluate, plan, implement, and support CRM initiatives.

David has focused on Microsoft-powered CRM technology since the day Microsoft CRM was first launched in 2003. Prior to 2003, his focus was on sales force automation solutions. In a previous business that David owned, he launched a practice selling and implementing GoldMine. That practice grew to one of the largest GoldMine resellers in the country within 1 year.

Why did you launch Power-CRM, Inc.?

“At the time I had just exited from a business I owned with a partner for 20 years. In that business, I launched the Microsoft CRM practice in 2003 and within a year, grew it to Gold-level status with Microsoft and held that status for 14 years. 

I was frustrated with the failure rate in CRM projects caused largely by two key factors:

  1. CRM Product Design – nearly every CRM product on the market and certainly the top solutions were (and still are) designed for large enterprise businesses. The overburdensome complexity and the implementation services costs to implement does not fit small-medium sized businesses (SMB).
  2. CRM Consultants – almost universally CRM “consultants” operate on an hourly-rate, time & materials model. This places all the risk on the client. The consultants, again almost universally, provide implementation services estimates that are typically reduced to fit what the customer is willing to pay. This causes the removal of critically important services like executive coaching, user adoption management, full and proper training, etc. Finally, and again almost universally, CRM consultants begin a project with two items; a blank notebook and a question “so what do you want to do with a CRM system”. 

These two factors cause the majority of failure in CRM initiatives. 

I always said if the stars aligned on two things I would put everything on the line and build the best CRM solution on the market. The two critical precursors were

  1. The ability to design and build a Microsoft-powered CRM product that I was able to control 100% of the product functionality, without needing a team of software developers writing custom code 
  2. The ability to embed technology in the solution that would prevent the top causes of CRM project failure.

These stars aligned in a conversation with Microsoft about being an early adopter of their new Powerapps platform that was just launching. 

I left that meeting and quickly acquired a software development company that specialized on Microsoft CRM to bring product development in-house.

Due to the economies of scale the Microsoft Power Platform provides, we were able to design Power-CRM, develop a V1, put together a group of pilot customers, conduct a pilot and, launch Power-CRM to general availability in under 12 months. “

Problems in the CRM Market

The CRM market is plagued with a failure rate of over 50% and that has not improved in 20 years. There are many specific problems that cause this failure however, largely they all roll up to the big, overarching problem – lack of user adoption. 

User adoption is the achilles heel and also the holy grail of CRM. It relates to how much an organization can get their employees to adopt and use a CRM system. It’s simple right? Just have management mandate they use it? That simply does not work. To gain user adoption many things have to come together leading up to providing the users an easy to use, powerful tool that provides them value and helps them do their job better. Sounds easy however no CRM provider has ever really achieved this.

The main problems that contribute to failure:

  • Overly complex CRM tools
  • CRM software not designed to work the way end users work
  • No industry standards for the implementation of CRM technology
  • Implementation services almost universally performed by “consultants” who charge by the hour, place all the cost risk on the customer and are mis-aligned with the customer from the start -they want to sell more service hours, the customer does not want to spend more than budgeted
  • The customer hires expert consultants, relying on them to do everything needed to achieve success. Consultants focus on the technology and most do not provide guidance on the one aspect that is more important than the CRM technology – business process
  • No forward-looking user adoption management strategy or tools
  • Once the initial project is complete, the consultant falls back to a reactive support role. Most companies are not equipped to properly manage a CRM platform ongoing
  • Per user license costs coupled with the average $1000-$3000 per user upfront implementation costs make CRM prohibitive for a large segment of businesses 

Our leadership team has spent 20 years focused on CRM, working with businesses of all types/sizes across the country and abroad. The experiences gained leading hundreds of CRM implementations has allowed us to clearly identify the points of failure and design a CRM platform that is focused on user adoption and long-term success. 

It has been proven that no company uses more than 40% of any software but you are still paying for 100% of the license cost. Until now there wasn’t anything you could do to avoid paying for 60% of a product like CRM that you will likely never use. Imagine if automobile manufacturers only offered one or two models, would you spend the equivalent of a year’s income on the super fabulous king sport edition of a pickup if you only needed to occasionally haul that new TV home and some yard debris to the landfill? Probably not…

Microsoft Makes Significant Changes 

Over the last several years, Microsoft has unified the platform that their business applications (Dynamics 365, CRM and ERP) are built on – the Microsoft Power Platform. This provided a common database, user interface and overall platform for all components of Dynamics 365 (CRM, ERP, Talent, etc). Microsoft also separated the functionality layer of Dynamics 365 (CRM) from the platform but left a significant part of the base functionality that could be leveraged by partners like Power-CRM to create solutions. The price set on this base platform is a fraction of the cost of full Dynamics 365 licensing (that includes the 60% that virtually no company uses). Power-CRM pricing is affordable for any business:

In early 2019, we began working with Microsoft to leverage this platform and design a CRM solution based on the 40% functionality that every business needs in a CRM platform. The resulting product is Power-CRM – easy to use, powerful and affordable CRM solution built on the Dynamics 365 and Power Platforms.

Because Dynamics 365 and Power-CRM are the same platform, you can mix licensing for both in the same system. This allows you to license every user with exactly the functionality needed and only pay for the functionality being used. Think about Dynamics 365 licensing as an “enterprise” level license and Power-CRM as a very capable “standard” version of CRM that offers the 40% functionality every business needs. If you have let’s say 5 users who need the Field Service capabilities not offered in the Power-CRM license, simply license those 5 users with Field Service licenses. The underlying database (and all platform components) are common so, for example, when a user with only a Power-CRM license creates an account, contact, activity etc., these records are instantly available to the users with Field Service licenses because the underlying database is the same regardless of the license (only specific features and functionality are specific to the license each user is assigned).

Power-CRM v1 launched to pilot in late-summer and fully released in Q4. Power-CRM is Microsoft certified and listed on Microsoft’s Appsource. We have migrated several companies from Dynamics 365 licensing to Power-CRM providing significant cost savings. We also have clients using both Dynamics 365 and Power-CRM licensing together to create the overall CRM solution.

We didn’t take the approach of designing a “light” version of Dynamics 365, rather we built a solution that in many areas is better than the more expensive Dynamics 365 license. For example, if your sales team uses the Leads module in Dynamics 365 you are likely painfully aware of the inability to have more than one contact per lead record (I think I just envisioned your eyes rolling) This flawed design creates a number of significant issues – duplicate data, prematurely qualified leads, sales rep. confusion and frustration. In Power-CRM all company records are in one place and simply categorized as prospect or customer accounts. We also include many powerful features not offered in Dynamics 365 – InsideView Insights sales intelligence built-in at no additional cost, best practice out-of-box sales processes and much more.

Make Power-CRM Your Own

Because Power-CRM is built on the Microsoft Power Platform, a low/no code rapid application development platform, with minimal training, you are able to maintain the system internally if desired. Following our administrator training you will be able to change fields/screens, business processes, the user interface, workflows, dashboards etc. 

For a full comparison between Dynamics 365 licenses and Power-CRM, see our comparison overview

We welcome the opportunity to show you a live demonstration of Power-CRM or give us a call 888-CRM-POWR.


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