I've come across a number of, let's call them, not so stellar implementations and helped turn them around for the better. Some of the more interesting implementations I've come across are when no outside help is sought, even though everyone in the company knows full well that no one knows the first thing about Microsoft CRM.
The IT guys install it (usually rather well) and then tell whatever department that demanded it to just run with it because IT installed it and they're done with it.
The requesting department typically doesn't have much technical expertise so they try to rely on the IT department to help them out and there are varying degrees in which IT responds to that request.
Worst case, some remote sales rep is given the task of setting up the system...but still hit his/her numbers, so it gets done "in his/her spare time."
Better case, someone in IT helps to champion the initiative and drives the requirements for the software. One problem that does eventually arise from this is who is the true owner of the application. IT says that it's the given department's application so it's their's. But the department using it says that IT set it up so it should really be their's.
In any case, someone who isn't sure of the full potential or even minimal potential of the software is left to implement this application. There are some implementations like this that go fairly well, but for the most part then end users are not very happy with the end result and fight having to use some crappy system that barely does what they want it to.
This is where the value of a good CRM implementation team/resource makes a world of difference. Whether it be to just train the person or department implementating the application; to bringing someone on to take the implementation by the horns and make it work right. And this is true of any CRM system, not just Microsoft CRM. The challenges that arise include, business processes, the ability to see where processes can be improved upon, streamlined and automated; departmental hand-0ffs, and helping departments know when the ball truly is in their court; technical, translating processes into a program that can actually be used by end users; and training, both administrators and end users. That's just a high level, but in a nut shell, that's what it takes to get a CRM system implemented.
Any CRM system is becoming more and more crucial to businesses these days in order to keep up with customer demand and staying on top of customers in real time. And a bad implementation will leave a bad taste in everyone's mouth, especially for a specific piece of software. So, from an implementor's stand point, please, everyone, do yourself a favor and take the time to implement your CRM system correctly. And for those of us that implement, please take the time necessary to implement your solution correctly because in my mind, the success of the company is directly tied to the success of your implementation.
Dynamic Methods Inc.