This has been a brutal week. First Rex Grossman gets benched and then Jahvid Best might be out for the rest of the year. There goes my fantasy football team. What did you say? True... I probably didn't have a real good chance winning the championship with Rex at the helm anyways. Only if I could have had a crystal ball on draft day to predict these outcomes... Well Microsoft has that crystal ball and it's used if an organization is interested in Office 365. If you've been talking to a Microsoft sales representative or a Microsoft partner about Office 365, chances are you're probably familar with the Customer Decision Framework. In short, it's pretty prescriptive guidance on how Microsoft will ensure you are the right candidate to move to Office 365 or in my layman terms, it's a tool to ensure Microsoft isn't wasting sales resources on organizations that are not a right fit for Office 365.
Imagine a MSFT sales rep spending 12 months pitching Office 365 to an organization and when they are about to sign the deal, here comes the Chief Security Officer (CSO) with a ton of concerns around data privacy, data center security, background checks on MSFT data center employees, ISO27001 and SAS70 certification and the list goes on and on. The CSO just isn't comfortable with the solution and will never be so that deal dies right there. The other case which in my opinion is much worse is the sale goes through and the organization migrates into Office 365 but the organization realizes that what they bought isn't exactly what they expected. Example, maybe they don't like MSFT's security policy and were told that MSFT was flexible and it could be changed, or maybe they believed they have the right to audit MSFT's data centers or maybe they thought they could customize the UIs. These are some of the discussions that occur early on in the sales cycle versus finding out about it right before a deal is going to close or after a deal has closed.
At first it's easy to think this is all about MSFT and it is but I personally am in favor of it. It allows MSFT to educate the organization and involve all the key stakeholders upfront so no one is wasting each others time in purchasing a solution that simply isn't a right fit. I don't know about you guys but my time is precious. Can't you guys tell I've got football to watch If you've got any personal experiences with the Customer Decision Framework or want to rub the fact that your fantasy football team is doing better than mine (2 - 4), then drop me a line.