- Company: Cherry Bekaert LLP
Cherry Bekaert LLP is one of the top 25 accounting and consulting firms in the United States and has been in business for over 70 years.
- Industry: Accounting and Consulting Firm
- Headquarters: Richmond, Virginia
- Interviewee: Patrick Wright, Marketing Technology Lead
- Number of users: 20 Power users
- Product version: Dynamics 365
"Being a part of the D365UG & CRMUG community makes me a better employee. I am happier and the exchange of ideas that happens with other Users always gives me renewed energy." - Patrick Wright
Patrick works closely with the chief marketing officer (CMO) to identify data and reports needed to meet business growth objectives. As part of the marketing department, he also helps Users in the field analyze their business needs and develop what D365 can provide in terms of views, workflows, and reporting.
D365UG & CRMUG to the Rescue
When Patrick started his position at Cherry Bekaert four years ago, he didn’t have a good network of people to ask for help.
He inherited an on-premise version of CRM 4.0, and the person he replaced was no longer there to show him the ropes. Patrick was handed two books from Microsoft Press and those were to be his main resources.
“I didn’t have anyone within my own department to ask for help. I was building from scratch and having to figure out each step on my own. CRMUG® has been my support network where I can ask questions in a safe environment,” Patrick concludes. “What may be difficult for me, could be an easy answer for someone else. Although you may get greeted with judgment anywhere else online, it is never that way with CRMUG. That is why people come to it and stay with it. It’s a true sense of community, and everyone is there to help everyone else.”
Although Patrick had experience with other CRM systems, he was a novice in Dynamics CRM with no deep knowledge of the product. He immediately took to the search engines with hopes of finding more resources he could count on. It was then that Patrick discovered CRMUG. He quickly drafted a proposal for the CMO and secured approval to join.
“Life before CRMUG was very isolated, being the only CRM resource at my company,” Patrick explains. “My manager and the CMO knew that I didn’t have many internal resources to turn to, so CRMUG became my support system.”
Why CRMUG? Patrick’s Top Five…
“I’m much more confident in my job because I know not only can I find things on the User Group’s open forum, but also I can turn to recorded webinars, PPT downloads, and all the personal connections I’ve made within the community. I have emails and phone numbers for other end users, consultants, partners, and more. These are invaluable resources I can tap into when I come across a question I don’t know.”2. Network of Resources
“I haven’t tracked the number of times I’ve reached out to someone within my network, but I guarantee it would amount to a lot of money if I had to pay each time to have a question answered. Having a network I can rely on to start those conversations saves us time and money almost every day.
It’s also helped our company when vetting partners to work with. I have lots of people in the community from whom I can get their personal opinions.”
“I’m much more confident in my job because of D365UG/CRMUG”
"I'm much more confident in my job because of D365UG & CRMUG." - Patrick Wright
3. Thought Leadership
“My managers see the value of my being established as a thought leader in the community. It’s not necessarily going to drive business to our firm, but they can see there are benefits in the long-term. They also understand that being a part of a community makes me a better employee for them. I am happier and the exchange of ideas that happens with other Users, always gives me something new to learn. The energy of being involved helps keep me interested in my job and keeps the momentum going for my work.4. My Community
“Because I’m the only one that does this job at my company, CRMUG is my community. I can talk to someone else about what he/she does every day that is like my situation. It’s exciting to talk to others who nerd out about CRM, like me.” 5. Positive Challenges and Unique Friendships
One person who has pushed Patrick out of his comfort zone is CRMUG All-Star, Kylie Kiser. They first met at Summit Reno and became quick friends. “Kylie really encouraged me to get involved,” Patrick shares. “She has a unique way of challenging me in a positive way to extend my expertise further than I would on my own. We’ve both completed the Black Belt certification series, we have presented together at Summit, and pushed each other to complete the Microsoft Certified Professional exams for Dynamics and Business Applications.”See how other companies leverage the User Group: Explore Now