Hello everybody.  Welcome to my inagural blog post.  So I will readily admit that I'm pretty new to this whole blogging thing.  Please be generous with your praise and constructive with your criticism as I attempt to fill the ginormous shoes of Mr. Ben Vollmer on this blog.  I know it won't be easy but I promise to do my best.

I had the priviledge and pleasure this past week of attending TechReady6, Microsoft's twice-a-year geek-fest here in sunny Seattle.  As a relative newby to Microsoft, it has been great to witness the level of technical expertise and forward thinking evidenced by the various speakers and product team members I have seen present here  There is so much cool stuff coming down the pike it is almost scary.  That said, one of the biggest areas of interest has been around Business Intelligence topics and tools; Performance Point, SQL Server 2008 and SharePoint are all converging into a pretty formidable BI framework.  "So...", you're asking, "...what the heck does this have to do with CRM, Chris? "  Great question!  The real pay-off to a successful CRM implementation is the deep level of customer interaction data that can be captured and analyzed.  With some of the tools I've seen here at TechReady, I am looking forward to showing customers the kind of insights and true business intelligence they can mine from CRM using tools they are already familiar with like Excel and SQL Reporting Services.

And it's not just me saying this stuff.  Take a look at the blog linked below to read what our friends at Gartner are saying about Microsoft BI. 

http://blogs.msdn.com/bi/archive/2008/02/06/microsoft-bi-actually-leading-in-the-gartner-bi-magic-quadrant.aspx

I look forward to getting to know all the regular readers of this blog that Ben has done such a great job of building into a world-class Dynamics CRM resource.  Please feel free to add your comments and suggestions to help me maintain the high standards Ben has set.