I watched J.J. Abrams’s talk on TED.com today and his topic was “The Mystery Box”. It really captured my attention merely because of the word “mystery”…and well, it’s J.J. Abrams. He talked about how he and his grandfather would go to Lou Tannen’s Magic Shop in New York City when he was a child. While he was at this store with his grandfather he bought Tannen’s Mystery Magic Box. It was only $15 and it contained $50 worth of magic. A clear bargain, right? He never opened the box and still keeps it in his office today, enjoying the mystery. What he loves about the box is that it represents not only his memory of his grandfather, but the “infinite possibility, that sense of potential.”
His TED talk was only about 20 minutes long, but I immediately began to see parallels between his Mystery Box and Dynamics CRM. The Dynamics CRM platform is so extensible, the true capabilities of an implementation are left only to the imagination and the creativity (not to minimize time/budget constraints) of the implementation team.
In movies and television, the “Mystery Box” is the paper that the script is written upon or the computer that the CGI animation is conceived. Ours is the Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform.
It is often quite simple to check off a task denoting a requirement met with out of box functionality. However, it is also often just as simple to enable an entire business process while meeting numerous requirements just as easily. Each implementation is itself its own “Mystery Box”, waiting to be opened to find out what is inside. Tools such as workflow, dialogs, custom activities, activity feeds and everything else that can be unlocked with the SDK are sitting in that box, waiting to be discovered.
So, I challenge you…have you had a situation where you effectively “opened the Mystery Box” and provided some incredible customer value or is that “Mystery Box” still sitting in your office, waiting to be opened?
Next Week: Creating an application for services using dialogs