Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Hip hip hip hooray!

Ladies and Gentlemen....boys and girls!

Increase is very pleased to announce that we are now a Microsoft GOLD Certified partner!

Well done to the whole team for this great achievement, which marks our commitment to Microsoft, and our core product, Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

As a Gold Certified Partner Increase has demonstrated expertise with Microsoft technologies and proven our ability to meet our customers' business system needs.

The Microsoft Partner Program was launched in October 2003 and represents Microsoft's ongoing commitment to the success of partners worldwide.

Sunday, 22 July 2007

CRM Update Rollup 2

Update Rollup 2 for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 (KB 927751)

Following the release of Update Rollup 2 for CRM 3.0 we have now completed our testing of the patch and will be deploying the rollup to all customer systems in the next few hours.

We recommend that all customers using the CRM Client for Outlook download the 'Client' version of the update and apply it to their systems. Please use the link below (scroll to the bottom of the page, click on 'Download' for the Client version, and when prompted choose 'Run' to install the update - you will need to shut down Outlook first).


Alternatively, use the link provided by Increase for a direct download, which you will shortly receive at the address we hold on file.

If you need any assistance installing the update, please contact the Help Desk on 020 8099 1302.

Thursday, 12 July 2007


Taxi Advertising appoints Increase to host their Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Exchange solution

Taxi Advertising, the nationwide taxi branding company whose clients include Yahoo!, Monarch Airlines and Pioneer, has chosen Increase to implement and host a Microsoft Dynamics customer relationship management (CRM) solution integrated with hosted Microsoft Exchange.

CRM expert Increase will provide the solution to enable Taxi Advertising to more effectively track relationships with its clients, which typically run for a minimum of three years.

“We needed a CRM system that integrated well with Outlook and wanted the ability to access our data remotely,” said Taxi Advertising’s MD Carl McCrow. “Increase will also host the system for us so we don’t have to rely on an in-house IT department.”

Increase will train Taxi Advertising to use its Microsoft Dynamics CRM solution in the most efficient way, while providing its Beyond Demand service to encourage user-adoption throughout the company.

“We’re working with Taxi Advertising to customise their CRM solution to improve their business processes and build closer relationships with their customers,” said Neil Benson, Increase’s Chief Addict. “At Increase we use Microsoft Dynamics CRM every day, so our Beyond Demand service ensures customers become addicted to our solutions and see hosted CRM as an integral part of their business.”


Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Is it possible to make business applications addictive?

Three UK mobile phone operators – Vodafone, O2 and T-mobile – are currently competing to become the exclusive network partner for the Apple iPhone when it launches in Europe later this year.

Mobile phone operators know that the exclusive right to sell the iPhone will attract thousands of new Apple-adoring customers to their network. So if a mobile phone can generate this kind of fervour, can we do the same for business applications?

When we think of addictive technology the names of consumer products, such as iPod, Xbox and RAZR spring to mind. Why not business applications: SAP HR, Oracle Order Management, QuickBooks Pro or Microsoft CRM? If you could sell sexy business applications – that were more addictive and generated greater user adoption – would your business attract more new customers?

Many software vendors are building more intuitive business applications with better user interfaces. But how resellers sell, implement and support business applications can make the critical difference between user adoption and user rejection.

When Increase launched a hosted software service last year we designed the service to be as addictive as possible to minimise the chances of subscriber churn. Before we selected a software partner, we listened carefully to feedback from everyday users about their experiences of learning and using the software. Selling the most intuitive application in our market is the best way to start generating user adoption because we can win new fans as soon as we demonstrate the application to prospective customers.

Companies can help potential users become familiar with their application even before the first training course. For example, Increase provides users with a ‘Dummies’ reference manual because it’s a format that most customers recognise and are familiar with. Having a Dummies manual to refer to helps break down any perceptions that the application is difficult to use (even if the user never actually refers to it), and helps build confidence in the proposition.

Once the users are up and running, continued end-user training and support is vital. For the first few weeks after the software has gone live, customers’ internal helpdesks are still learning how to support new applications, so making application experts available to support users eases the transition. The increased costs of providing direct end-user support are outweighed by the value of the feedback and tweaking-requests often received during the first few months when the services are being used.

In Apple’s retail shops, the iPod bar is staffed by Apple enthusiasts with a genuine passion for helping consumers get the most out of their technology. Taking a leaf from their book, resellers can do the same by employing people who are addicted to using their software to help deliver a great customer experience. A little of that passion spills over into every demonstration, implementation and support call, and it rubs off on users.

Sales people are used to receiving bonuses and commissions for achieving results. However, with a new business application, sometimes we need to provide incentives to users just for displaying the right behaviour - regardless of the results. Whenever a sales person closes a sale – won or lost – as long as they’ve followed all the steps correctly in the opportunity management process, why not provide a small incentive.

Rewarding the right behaviour for the first few weeks, regardless of the outcome, leads to the right behaviour and the right results, and greater user adoption.

Widespread user adoption reduces the number of subscribers falling by the wayside and creates more referenceable customers. User satisfaction surveys can provide quantitative feedback resulting in a more measurable target than return-on-investment. So even if you’re not selling the next iPhone, perhaps you can generate more value for your customers by spreading a little fervour of your own.