What is the CRM Lab?
In 2015, Cobalt started an internal incubator program aimed at providing innovative solutions to the Microsoft Dynamics CRM community while at the same time promoting creativity and collaboration here at Cobalt. Initially, this program was a contest that required staff to form cross-departmental teams to develop, test and market CRM add-ons, utilities, integrations, etc. The teams with the most downloads at the end of the contest period received bonuses based both on their ranking vs. other teams and the total number of downloads.
The first solution developed as part of this contest was CRM Snapshot and its success to date led us to create The CRM Lab @ Cobalt. The Lab will be led by Michael Ochs, Cobalt’s Lead Architect, R&D along with Chris Capistran, Cobalt’s President. This now permanent effort will allow Cobalt employees, partners, customers and the general CRM community to submit ideas to be developed into add-ons that augment Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
Why are We Doing This?
We’ve been working with Dynamics CRM since it was Microsoft CRM 1.2 back in 2004 and we have built our business based on the evolution of this great product. Last year, we deployed a new membership and event management system for CRMUG based on our Membership Dynamics software and we became more involved in the CRM community. All this led us to develop a way to give back to the CRM community and facilitate pushing the envelope of what you can do with this power platform from Microsoft.
How is This Going to Work?
Following the lean product develop methodology, we will aim to create minimally viable products (MVPs) as quickly as possible so that we can get them in the hands of end users and solicit feedback. We will then tweak, fix and expand the product based on what is most important to the community. All of these products will be provided free of charge. All we ask for in return is participation and collaboration.