I was meeting last week with a salesperson form one of eOne’s most successful resellers of SmartConnect. I assumed that he would know all there was to know about SmartConnect as he was very successful at selling it to his customers.

BUT I almost fell off my chair when he said “if only you could use SmartConnect on its own with Microsoft CRM without needing GP it would be much better”.  The fact that SmartConnect has installed and operates completely external to Microsoft Dynamics GP for more than 12 months had been completely lost on him.

This raised two major concerns for me:
1. What are the things that customers and partners don’t know about eOne products?
2. How to communicate better to our customers and partners.?

As a result of the first point  – I am going to start a series of ‘Did you Know’  blog entries that will appear here in the eOne blog. This gives you another reason to subscribe to the blog and in your spare moments read not only the tech Tuesday articles but to also read the the ‘did you know’ articles.

Communication is a complex issue to resolve.  There are many ways to communicate, but which of these are truly successful way to connect with resellers and customers? Lets take a look at a few.

Email:  No one reads email. Life is too short to read all the emails you receive. If you receive an email that looks like a generic message  – then you delete it. I delete them. First thing every day I hold down the CTRL button and select all the generic emails (anything form sales@ or anything with HTML look and feel etc).  I hit delete – they never get a chance to share their message with me.

Blogs: Just like this blog – it is a bit hit and miss. People will read it every now and then. They read it when they are looking for specific information and google leads them here. Useful for our dedicated readers and thanks for taking the time, but not great for connecting with the wider community.

Newsletters: See email above. Not sure anyone has time or interest to read them.

FaceBook: our target is not 14 yr old girls?

Twitter: Schmitter.

Website Updates:  Only good if people come looking, and know what to look for.

Release notes: As popular as leprosy

Manual: Less popular than release notes.

Google: Google works very well if you have something to ask that is specific.  Does SmartConnect work with AA (analytical Accounting)? or Does SC work with CRM online?  But no one thinks to ask ‘has the install for SC changed so you no longer need a GP install’. No one asks ‘if I build an eXtender form in Microsoft eXtender, can I use that data as a datasource’.

Bing: Are you kidding me?

Forums: A new eOne Forum will be available Shortly, and i think this is an important medium.

Case Studies: These are critical at a high level to share concepts of what can be achieved. We will be preparing many more case studies – and if you would like to be involved in a case study for your organisation then please let me know.

So the question remains – how should we get out the key messages about changes and enhancements eOne products? How should I let sales teams know that SC is not reliant on GP anymore? How can I let customers know that SC will now work with Salesforce.com?

I am very open to hear suggestions – but for the moment please get used to reading my ‘did you know’ blog articles, jump on our upcoming forums, and stay tuned more ways of learning about eOne.