The Rockstars of Technology

I was recently asked by Microsoft Dynamics on Twitter (@MSFTDynamics) how Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 was treating me.

My response? “It’s out of this world… a colleague is integrating SharePoint 2013 and, simply put, it rocks like an arena band!”

As you may have gleaned from my previous blogs, I do have a tendency to make analogies in the world of technology.

When I made that comment I started to think…technologies have moved on so much in recent years but fundamentally, just like rock bands, they need the right foundations in order to create an awesome wall of sound.

So, here’s who I think are the greatest rockstars around….technologically speaking:

Starting from the backline and keeping the sound loud and alive, are the bassist and drummer. They need to work together and weave the band’s rhythm, binding the whole song together.

If you have ever seen Lars Ulrich and Robert Trujillo playing together as part of the awesome band that is Metallica, then you’ll know what I mean 🙂

The technology equivalent? Well, that has to be Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Windows Server. These provide the rhythm section of any application, keep the business beating and, most importantly, performing hard.

A well performing server set up is extremely important and just like instruments, need to be tuned on initial set up. It’s fine to purchase for example a fast disk SAN storage array, but if SQL Server or Windows aren’t tuned to use the partitions and disks accordingly for data and log files, then you’ll find that you won’t get the power that your user crowd require…resulting in anarchy in the arena.

Of course, every great band has an epic lead guitarist, someone who just melts your face off with some of the most amazing solos and melodies.

If you have ever listened to Sweet Child O’ Mine by Guns N’ Roses, you’ll know exactly what I mean.

The technology equivalent of Slash? At the moment it has to be Microsoft Dynamics CRM. The more I use it, the more it delivers that all out raw (yet refined) experience that every rock user fan craves for.

It can also transform from a multi browser web system to a mobile and tablet system, just like any good guitarist can transition seamlessly from all out crazy to a simple but instantly recognisable melody.

For a further look at some of the features of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013, take a look at Paul Ince’s hilarious video blog.

Last but surely not least, every band has an amazing front man; someone who’s not afraid to bite the head off a bat, and their partner in crime knows exactly how the business world works – enter Ozzy & Sharon Osbourne.

Do we really have a technology equivalent to this raucous persona?

It has to be Exchange 2013 and SharePoint 2013

On some level I can’t believe I actually just wrote that – can you actually compare Ozzy & Sharon Osbourne to Exchange and SharePoint!?

Well…yes. They’re both great communicators and understand exactly what, as a rock user fan, you are expecting. And they always deliver.

One of my favourite features of Microsoft Dynamics CRM is the ability to have server-side synchronisation with Exchange 2013. This means that any appointments created within CRM can be automatically pushed across to Exchange, and updated on a mobile or table device. This is something that wasn’t possible in CRM 2011 without synchronising using the Client for Outlook.

It kind of reminds me of Robert Plant and Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin – guitarist (CRM) and singer (Exchange) working together to create something amazing. And you can’t get much more of an epic duo than that…

It also means that when you’re touring the country, living out the sales rockstar lifestyle dream, a colleague can update CRM with an appointment change, it syncs to Exchange without Outlook, and you get the update on your Windows Phone.

With SharePoint 2013, Microsoft have made improvements to make it easier to create externally available content along with Community Site and Community Portal templates – which means you can promote your brand to all of your fans.

Of course, sometimes it doesn’t hurt to be a bit old school in your approach. A few years ago I got to see AC/DC live at the Manchester Evening News Arena. They might be getting on a bit now, but their performance and quality, and the way they get the crowd going, is second to none.

And tell me you can’t see the same showmanship from the now ex-CEO of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer’s famous crazy corporate address…? (It has a duck walk and everything!)

That’s my take on how the rock band world compares to the technology we use. Do you agree with my comparisons or do you have some of your own?