XRM Factor is back!

XRM Factor logo small

Back in March 2014 we had a session at CRMUG UK called “X(RM) Factor”, in which several speakers gave a short “audition” presentation about a tool or add-on that they find very useful in their day-to-day work with CRM. The audience then voted on which one they most wanted to hear more about. The top two speakers went through the the “finals” where they gave a short demonstration to showcase their chosen solution. The audience voted again, and we had our “XRM Factor” winner.

The first one was won by John Grace of North52 with a presentation about Sonoma’s Universal Search add-on. We had another great XRM Factor contest at the European Congress earlier this year, chaired by Sarah Critchley, this time the overall winner was Adam Vero with a showcase of XRM Toolbox.

We are planning two more of these sessions, one at CRMUG Summit 2016 in Tampa (on Thursday 13th at 4:30 pm), one at the next UK user group meeting on November 23rd.

XRM tools could be anything that helps make your CRM system better for users, or makes it easier to build or troubleshoot.  Free tools are always popular with the audience, but if you have a favourite paid-for add-on then feel free to tell us about that too. In previous sessions we had  a great range of tools on show, such as:

  • Sonoma’s Universal Search (this was before 2015 made that an OOB feature)
  • Fiddler2 – a great tool for troubleshooting, testing and development
  • XRM Toolbox, a favourite of CRM customisers everywhere
  • Azuqua – connecting cloud apps to CRM without MSE
  • Boomerang – an add-on for sending SMS messages from CRM, and processing replies
  • LinqPad, PowerBI, Ribbon Workbench, and several other tools and solutions

XRM Factor Rules

To keep things as fair as possible, we have a few rules:

  1. Speakers can choose anything to talk about, except any tool they (or their company) have been involved in creating, even if it is free.
  2. First come, first served. If someone else is already talking about the tool you want to cover, you need to talk them out of it or choose something else.
  3. All speakers will have the same amount of time for their first presentation. Depending on numbers participating, this is between 3 and 5 minutes (decided in advance).
  4. All speakers will use the same slides for the start of their presentation to make sure the audience get the same basic facts – what is it, where to get it, how much it costs. After those, they can use any slides, screenshots etc. (Demo is not really practical in the time available). These slides MUST be sent to the chairperson at least 3 days in advance so they can be collected into a single slide deck in a pre-selected random order.
  5. The two finalists will have the same amount of time as each other, probably 15 to 20 minutes (again, decided before the day).
  6. The two final presentations can be in any format. Demos are ideal, but some supporting information in slides can be helpful.
  7. In the event of a tie, the chair will make a final decision.

Do you have a tool you could not live without? Something you use every day when working on CRM? Or something you have installed to give your users some feature they really need?

Could you present a 5-minute pitch to the audience about why your tool is worth them knowing more about?

Please get in touch at CRMUG-at-meteorit.co.uk and tell us what tool you would like to share with the community.

Why XRM Factor?

Why have multiple presenters talking for only a short time, rather than just giving everyone 30 minutes to talk about their favourite tool?

When we first did this in the UK, it came out of several things we were trying to address to give our members the maximum value out of every meeting. We have limited time in a day, so we simply can’t cover many tools if they have 20 minutes each, we could maybe do 2 or three at a given meeting. Our audience will also be giving up their time, so it is only fair that they get some say in what that time is spent on. But finding a way to generate an agenda by voting or a survey was difficult. In a brainstorming session (in the pub after a meeting, naturally), one member came up with the idea of something like “speed dating” – you spend a short time with lots of people, then get to write down who you might like to spend more time with later. We switched the metaphor from speed dating to a talent show to avoid any unwanted overtones, and “X(RM) Factor” was born.

Some tools will always be a little bit “niche” and only apply to a small number of customers, and probably not get onto any shortlist for a whole session. With the XRM Factor format, we could give them some “air time” and even if they did not get through to the final, people perhaps had awareness of something they had not previously heard of, and could also approach the speaker to ask them more about it (especially with the rule that you can’t present something you helped to write, so our mantra of “by users, for users” means no-one is going to get a hard sell if they ask more questions).

It was also good for some of our speakers – we were asking a lot less of them than if they had to prepare a 30 minute talk about something. It also meant some of them who were speaking for the first time could do this with less nervousness, and just get through the 4 minutes they were given. Several of them have come back at a later date to present longer talks on a range of subjects.

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CRMUG UK July 2016 Meeting Agenda

The next UK CRM User Group is in London on Tuesday 5th July. We have some great educational, informative and entertaining sessions for you from peers and industry experts.

Who can attend?

This meeting is free to attend for all CRMUG members and subscribers, thanks to Microsoft’s kind and continued support of the events, providing venues and refreshments for us. You can sign up for a Basic membership of CRMUG at no cost. Don’t miss this opportunity to experience what the CRMUG has to offer you and other Dynamics CRM users!

Registration

Registration is now closed for this event. Because of the location in the heart of the financial district, we will not be able to allow unregistered “walk-ins”. If you have not registered for this event then make sure to save the date for our next meeting on Wednesday November 23rd and register in plenty of time. See CRMUG.UK/20161123 for details.

Agenda

Feel free to arrive at any time from about 8:45 to enjoy coffee and breakfast pastries and get a bit of extra networking time before we start the day. Maybe reach out in advance to people you have met at previous events, and arrange to meet and catch up on what you are doing with your CRM projects at the moment over a hot drink.

The agenda below is of course subject to change, so don’t forget to follow @CRMUGUK on twitter for updates.

CRMUG Event Click to add the CRMUG UK July 2016 March meeting to your Outlook calendar

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CRMUG Meeting in London Canary Wharf on July 5th 2016

Our next meeting will be on Tuesday July 5th 2016, in London.

This page will serve as a placeholder for all links to the event registration, updated agendas, related social events etc.

URL for this page will be easy to remember as CRMUG.UK/20160705 (simply this site/event date as yyyymmdd), and we will use this format so that each event has a placeholder page you can easily find.

Registration

Registration is now closed for this event. Because of the location in the heart of the financial district, we will not be able to allow unregistered “walk-ins”. If you have not registered for this event then make sure to save the date for our next meeting on Wednesday November 23rd and register in plenty of time. See CRMUG.UK/20161123 for details.

You can add this to your calendar as well in order to make sure you are reminded nearer the time to come back to this page:

CRMUG Event  Click to add the CRMUG UK July 2016 London meeting to your calendar

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CRM Users social evening in London 9th November

As is our tradition here at the UK CRM user Group, we will be having a social evening starting at 7:30 on Monday 9th November, the night before the main CRMUG UK meeting on Tuesday 10th. Since many of you will be travelling and staying over, and others are relatively local to start with, this will be held near to Microsoft’s offices in Victoria at La Tasca on Cathedral Walk, Cardinal Place.

Register now!

To make sure we get space for everybody to sit together, please register via the EventBrite page that Andrew Bibby has very kindly set up: CRMUG UK November 2015 London dinner.

We have a special offer fixed-priced menu that will mean you get to try various different tapas and then fight share with each other once you have decided on your favourites. You will be responsible for paying for your drinks on the night and contributing to a tip if you wish to.

Eventbrite - CRMUG UK - London - Dinner & Social Evening

Click for more details of the La Tasca Victoria restaurant, and a preview of the menu

We hope to see a great turn out of CRMers like you who want to mix with their peers in a less formal atmosphere than the main meeting the next day. We might stick around in the restaurant or move along to another venue if people want to continue longer into the evening.

CRMUG UK on GroupMe

If you use the GroupMe app, you can join the CRMUG UK group for updates, event details and any late changes that might be useful to you about the CRMUG meetings or socials.

Social evening in London July 7th

Update: All places at the social evening are sold out this time, hope to see you at the next one!

As is our tradition here at the UK CRM user Group, we will be having a social evening starting at 7:30 on Tuesday 7th July, the night before the main CRMUG UK meeting on Wednesday 8th. Since many of you will be travelling and staying over, and others are relatively local to start with, this will be held near to Microsoft’s offices in Victoria at Wagamama on Cardinal Place.

Register now!

To make sure we get space for everybody to sit together, please register via the EventBrite page that Andrew Bibby has very kindly set up: CRMUG UK July 2015 London dinner and pay the small deposit that we need to book the restaurant, which will be taken off your bill.

[Registration link removed because all places are taken]

Click for more details of the Wagamama Victoria restaurant, and a preview of the menu

We hope to see a great turn out of CRMers like you who want to mix with their peers in a less formal atmosphere than the main meeting the next day. We might stick around in the restaurant or move along to another venue if people want to continue longer into the evening.

CRMUG UK on GroupMe

If you use the GroupMe app, you can join the CRMUG UK group for updates, event details and any late changes that might be useful to you about the CRMUG meetings or socials.

CRMUG Meeting in London November 10th 2015

Update

Now that our meeting has taken place, follow-up is being posted to a thread on the CRMUG.com UK community forum. This includes slide decks from speakers, as well as few links to things that came up in interactive sessions and Q&A. Check it out now!

Previous information below

Our next meeting will be in London on Tuesday 10th November. Please use the short URL CRMUG.UK/20151110 to share this page which has links to all the relevant information.

Social evening information can be found here: CRMUG.UK/20151109Social

CRMUG Event Click to add the CRMUG UK November 2015 London meeting to your Outlook calendar

Agenda for the meeting can be found here: CRMUG.UK/20151110Agenda

Don’t forget to follow @CRMUGUK on twitter for updates in case there are any changes to the agenda later.

Registration is open for this event at the CRMUG UK November 2015 meeting page at CRMUG.com. If you have any difficulty getting registered for the event, please don’t just give up. Either contact the CRMUG support team or email “CRMUG <at> meteorit.co.uk”.

Location

This meeting will be at Microsoft’s Customer Centre in London

Cardinal Place
80-100 Victoria Street
London
SW1E 5JL

That’s a 2 minute walk from Victoria tube station, serviced by the Victoria, Circle and District Lines.

CRMUG Meeting in London July 8th 2015

Save the date! Our next meeting after March will be in London on Wednesday 8th July.

Please use the short URL CRMUG.UK/20150708 to share links to this page.

CRMUG Event Click to add the CRMUG UK July 2015 London meeting to your Outlook calendar

The provisional agenda can be found here: CRMUG UK July 2015 Meeting agenda and you can register via the CRMUG.com event page.

We’re having a get together on Tuesday 7th at Wagamama Victoria, in Cardinal Place. Read more details of the CRMUG UK social evening and register so we can book enough room for all of us.

Don’t forget to follow @CRMUGUK on twitter for updates in case there are any changes to the agenda later.

Location

This meeting will be at Microsoft’s Customer Centre in London

Cardinal Place
80-100 Victoria Street
London
SW1E 5JL

That’s a 2 minute walk from Victoria tube station, serviced by the Victoria, Circle and District Lines.