Karthik is an accomplished CRM Solution Architect with over 11 years of experience in Delivery Management, Pre-Sales, Solution Architecture and IT Advisory services.
His introduction in his own words:
“I have been living and breathing Dynamics CRM since its first release in 2003. Worked in over 20 large CRM implementations across the world.
Architected and delivered solutions on Microsoft Dynamics CRM and other products within the Microsoft stack in Public Sector, Banking & Financial Services, Health Care, Food & Beverages, Telecommunications and Information Technology.
Worked as a Full Time Employee in organizations like Microsoft, Avanade, KPMG and Tech Mahindra.
I’m now working as a CRM Solution Architect in Australia where I’m responsible for overall CRM solution architecture and delivery of all Dynamics CRM engagements under my purview.
My experience with Dynamics CRM has given me keen insight into the applications built on the CRM platform.”
1. Name, current job title and social media links please
Linkedin : https://au.linkedin.com/in/karthsrinivasan
2. What does an average day at work look like
The day has to begin with a ‘Flat-White, Extra Hot, and No Sugar’. Then it moves on me catching up with e-mails, looking at my calendar to see what meetings I have. Then it moves on to the other interesting stuff.
Usually, it’s a combination of Pre-Sales meetings with the prospects, meetings with the customer on design decisions on CRM and CRM Roadmap, CRM Practice development (designing some of the service offerings).
Of late, I have been trying to keep me updated with all the CRM stuff by reading blogs such as yours, and the Dynamics CRM Community forum. This is something I try to do over the lunch.
3. What different roles/Job titles have you had whilst using CRM
Technical Consultant à Techno-Functional Consultant à Functional Consultant à Solution Architect à Pre-Sales and Practice Lead roles
4. What job did you did before you starting using CRM
Did a bit of .NET and Java development.
5. What was the first version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM you worked with and how long have you been using Microsoft Dynamics CRM
I was trained on Dynamics CRM 1.0 by Pritpal Singh (You know him). This was in 2003. Then, embarked on a large CRM 1.2 project for one of largest health-care/nutrition customers based out of Europe.
That’s when Microsoft realised CRM 1.2 was not going to fit this client’s business. They released a CRM 2.0 (very specific to this customer) in 2004. This version was later relabelled as CRM 3.0.
Since then, I have worked on all versions of CRM.
6. How do you stay up to date with the CRM
It’s getting harder by the day to be honest. Technology around CRM is moving at a rapid pace. I try to make up for it by using my lunch break and travel time to go through the CRM community forums
and reading interesting blogs articles.
7. What one feature would you add to CRM Product.
There are two features that comes to my mind –
(1) ‘Not In’ searches using Advanced Find – Advanced Find is such as powerful tool once the users get used to it. It’s a shame that we have to retort to workarounds or develop custom reports just because the left-outer joins
are not supported using Advanced Find.
(2) ‘Child-Parent BU access levels’ – We have the ‘Parent-Child’ BU access levels which enables the users at a parent BU to access records at a child level. But there are number of scenarios where in the users of the child BU need
access to the records at the parent level. What if this is available out of box instead of us having to use teams or custom development?
8. What is the best tool/solution you have used recently
I think Kingswaysoft SIS Adapter and Azure Service Bus are great products. These tools aren’t very expensive which means the overall development effort reduces drastically.
Azure service bus can be a very good alternative to custom web services or when the customer needs a low-weight ESB.
9. What CRM certifications do you have, do you try and keep up to date with CRM certifications
All certifications with CRM 3.0, 4.0 and 2011. They were all taken up when I was with Microsoft. J
In my opinion, practical knowledge and experience weighs more than these certifications. But our consultants need to have these certifications in order to get a Microsoft Gold Partner tag.
10. How important is it to have good business analytical skills working with Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
Very important. Especially if you are working on business applications such as ERP and CRM. Even if you are configuring a field on a form, ask yourself and the business, what benefits the end users would get out of it.
10 How useful is it to have programming knowledge to become a good Microsoft Dynamics CRM Professional?
I started off as a developer, and I’m now reaping the benefits of it. Although, I don’t code anymore, I know what’s required to build a product, how long does it take to build, and that’s how I can present a cost-benefit analysis to the clients.
11. How often do you travel as a Microsoft Dynamics CRM Professional?
I had an 80% travel component while I was at Microsoft. Now that I’m married, family takes the priority. Don’t travel as much.
12. Can you see yourself not using CRM in your career in the future
Don’t know to be honest. But, had your question been ‘Can you see yourself not using a Microsoft product in your career’ – my answer is NO.
13. What are your hobbies outside of CRM
I love travelling (outside work), love sports – especially cricket, photography is something I’m trying to pick up.
14. What was the last book you read and what was the last film you watched
‘Playing it my way – Sachin Tendulkar’ J
Yesterday, I watched ‘Scent of a Woman’. I would have watched it umpteen number of times.
15. Has CRM ever got you in trouble with your partner/family.
My wife hates CRM. Not because she knows or uses the product, but because I speak to her about all the time. J
I tried showing her the Power BI add on for Dynamics CRM and the use of natural language there. The end result was I had to no dinner! J
16. Have you friends ever told you to stop talking/tweeting/blogging about CRM? What does your partner/family member(s) think of CRM
All the time! My wife hates CRM! Thanks to me. She doesn’t know much about SFDC, but she likes SFDC. J
17. Tell me something interesting/unusual about yourself
I love to shop! J
18. Who is the first CRM Expert you remember reading/seeing
This is a tough one. Let me think. I think that would be Philip Richardson. Back then, he was the Product Manager in Redmond.
19. Tips for someone who wants to become a CRM Expert
Be open to learning; you are never an expert – there’s always something new to learn.
Be active in the Dynamics CRM community forums, read blogs, think of innovative solutions using CRM to present your clients.
Have a mentor – it’s very important to have a mentor at all stages of your career.
As a token of appreciation, here is a certificate from my end: