As an intern on the team that is currently looking into future enhancements of the Marketing Automation (MA) capabilities of Microsoft CRM (MS CRM) I have noticed many opportunities in which ‘pluggable’ components may play an important role to enrich the functionality that we offer in this area.
Currently, version 3.0 already has many areas of the product that can be tailored to specific customer’s needs. Particularly I find the use of workflow rules to be a marvelous tool for enhancing sales and marketing productivity. I strongly recommend you to read the Simple Sales Process post; it presents a really good example of how to exploit workflow capabilities of MS CRM in many areas including MA. For instance, customers may create workflow rules and/or assemblies to send an email each time a marketing campaign reaches a certain amount of positive/negative responses.
Still, the use of workflow and custom assemblies may be unnecessary for companies whose requirements have been already addressed by a generic ‘component’ provided by either Microsoft of an ISV. Wouldn’t be wonderful to literally plug-and-play components into your MS CRM software? Well, look forward into the next release of MS CRM and you may find very interesting things regarding this matter.