Just a disclaimer: I love analogies. And metaphors. And life lessons. You’ve been warned.
My daughter came home from a book fair recently with a biography of Walt Disney. Although she’s an ardent reader, this was the first biography I’d seen her take an interest in. Frankly, I didn’t know all of the details around Walt Disney so I, too, was interested to learn.
A Purposeful Journey
We read the book together, consuming Walt’s journey in just a couple of sessions. (Did you know Mickey Mouse was almost named ‘Mortimer’?) Along with his brother, Walt persevered through numerous obstacles in reaching his mission: Bringing joy to people’s lives.
First, he developed comic strips. Next, animated movies. Then, live-action movies. Eventually, he made his way over to TV. Ultimately, he built an entire park in California inspired by the fun his kids had with a backyard train.
The most amazing part, in my estimation, was his unflinching perseverance in expanding his audience. Walt believed – and ultimately proved – that he was the best at productizing joy and thus wanted as many people on Earth to experience his creations.
Data Integrity and Trust
I am on the Product team at Validity. We make software solutions that help data-driven professionals trust their data. We solve big problems for data-driven organizations like data cleansing, deduplication, data performance, email verification, and so forth. Data integrity and trust is our core mission and while our products don’t make for amusement parks, they are essential to thousands of our customers.
DemandTools – one of our cornerstone products – has amassed over 350 reviews on the Salesforce AppExchange with an average review of 4.9 stars (out of five). We have consistently delivered joy to the Salesforce community for over a dozen years. We, of course, plan on continuing to deliver value to the Salesforce community by augmenting our solutions. Yet, the Disney book had me thinking: How do we broaden our reach? How do we allow a larger audience to enjoy our services?
Expanding CRM Data Quality To More CRM Admins
Much like Walt Disney did, we will serve up our capabilities to more people, people who haven’t experienced us before. Are we expanding to new markets in order to maintain and grow our business? Of course. However, our larger, more audacious goal is to build an enduring brand that satisfies more customers in more places.
For that reason, we’re proud to announce the expansion of our services into the Microsoft Dynamics 365 ecosystem with the integration of DemandTools for Dynamics users. The decision was equally complex and exciting.
On the one hand, in our journey to help customers with their data integrity challenges, there are many systems that maintain customer data. It was difficult to choose the next integration point given the many exciting CRM, marketing automation, and customer data platforms that exist today.
On the other hand, Microsoft Dynamics made perfect sense. Microsoft has proven they are legitimate participants in the CRM game as they’ve grown their presence in this space. On top of that, acquisitions such as LinkedIn and FieldOne make Microsoft a very compelling partner to Validity.
Data Quality for Dynamics Users
Microsoft Dynamics was the first CRM I implemented back in my IT days, about a decade ago. My organization selected Dynamics because it was customizable, affordable, and integrated well with our other systems. I’ve since changed employers a few times and jumped onto a new career track. When I revisited Dynamics over this past summer, I couldn’t believe the transformation in the product. It was apparent to me that Microsoft was very serious about building a winning CRM experience.
Over the past couple of months, we have been lucky enough to speak with many Dynamics customers around their data management challenges. Their feedback is alarming, yet consistent with what we’ve been helping customers with for many years. In short, customers suffer from duplicate data, out-of-date records, uncleansed/non-standardized data, and inefficient processes in moving data around. And an accumulation of first, second, and third-party data means greater integrity issues that becomes too burdensome to clean through manual effort and policy.
That’s where Validity comes in. We can help. In some ways, Dynamics feels like unchartered waters. However, helping customers with their data management challenges is what we’ve always done. We’re the best at it. Please join us on this very exciting next step of our journey.