Sonoma Partners Microsoft CRM and Salesforce Blog

Chicago Bulls and Hawks use Microsoft Dynamics CRM


We just announced a press release about two of our high profile CRM customers, the Chicago Bulls and the Chicago Blackhawks! You can read the full press release on our website.

I am really proud of this deployment for a few reasons:

  • The United Center information technology team (the organizations that supports both the Bulls and the Hawks) conducted a very thorough CRM platform selection process considering 10+ different applications…including our good buddies at Of course, Microsoft Dynamics CRM came out of top!
  • This deployment is a great XRM example. The Bulls and Hawks have been slowly consolidating multiple disparate systems onto CRM, and now they have a single platform that supports sponsorship and marketing, community relations, ticket operations, and more! This system definitely contains more than your typical sales, marketing and service scenarios.
  • The Bulls and Hawks use CRM to support a pretty aggressive call center effort. Sonoma Partners took the out-of-the-box Microsoft CRM functionality and customized it very specifically for employees making non-stop outbound dials so they can be as efficient as possible. We also included some great tools for call center managers to route calls, assign work, and shift work as necessary.

savard Lastly (most importantly?!), I am a die-hard Blackhawks fan so it’s pretty cool to go the United Center for our business meetings. I remember that in one of our very early meetings, the Blackhawks coach (and hockey Hall of Famer) Denis Savard came in, sat down and started chatting it up with us. Unfortunately he quickly realized he was in the wrong conference room, so he said good-bye and bolted. Even though it was short-lived it was fun, he was a super nice guy.

Gathering no moss

We've been busy at Sonoma Partners this summer, and it doesn't look like things are slowing down anytime soon. In addition to some challenging new customer projects, we're excited about the activity around Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0, including:
  • Increasingly robust mobile solutions for Windows Mobile, Blackberry and iPhone
  • New accelerators – Coming soon, keep an eye on CodePlex for updates
  • Updates to the Outlook client
  • More information about accessing CRM data in SharePoint
  • More ISV solutions
All of the above are detailed in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Statement of Direction, an updated version of which was released last week. If you haven't seen the document already, check it out –- It's a great overview of the roadmap for Microsoft Dynamics CRM. You can download the document from CustomerSource and PartnerSource. Happy reading!

Microsoft Dynamics – Convergence 2010 – Atlanta, GA


Microsoft’s next Convergence conference is going to be held about one month later than past conferences.  Please mark your calendars for
April 25 – 28, 2010, in Atlanta, GA.  Sign up for Registration Alerts to be notified of important dates and promotions.  If you attended Convergence 2009 please make sure you visit the website so that you gain access to all the videos, presentations, and other conference materials that were discussed in New Orleans.


Who should attend:

  • Sales, Marketing, and Customer Service leadership teams
    • Learn how your peers are using CRM to drive business productivity
  • CRM administrators
    • Tips ‘n Tricks on maintaining a healthy CRM environment
    • Building out optimized CRM configurations
  • Power users from the business
    • Powerful workflows that enable business productivity
    • How to build Dashboards that provide business insight
  • CIO’s
    • xRM – Unleash the Power of Microsoft Dynamics CRM
    • Leveraging your Microsoft technology investments (Office, Windows, Dynamics, Exchange, SQL, SharePoint, and more)

We look forward to seeing you in Atlanta, GA!

Live from the land of desert and dates: Abu Dhabi!

That's right, readers – I've traded in the view from our Chicago office for a T-shaped island in the United Arab Emirates. Sonoma Partners has gone international!

The opportunity to work overseas was met with a great deal of curiosity and extraordinary support by my employers – Not surprising for a two-time winner of Chicago's Best and Brightest Companies to Work For award.

While here, I'll be shifting to a more strategic role in the operations at Sonoma Partners, working with our sales and marketing teams, scheduling our consultants, making sure our projects continue to hum along at our usual high quality standards, and managing our relationship with an offshore development partner.

It's been a week since I’ve arrived, and the culture shock hasn’t quite worn off. Fortunately, we created a newsfeed application that allows me to keep up on the news and coffee break chatter back in the Chicago office. Contact us for details on how we're using a few Microsoft Dynamics CRM entities and RSS technology to manage internal updates on our projects, technical accomplishments, sales and marketing activities, and even our four-league Fantasy Football extravaganza.

Map of Abu Dhabi