Made in SA

Backing the right horse

Confusion and uncertainty abound at Microsoft these days, but i5 is milking the software giant's CRM offering for all it's worth.

01 October 2008

Microsoft has had a tough time recently. From the outside, the company is seen by some to be experiencing growing pains – a diversified focus that no longer sees the software company developing productivity suites like Office and operating systems such as Windows. Microsoft is also grappling with business solutions such as Dynamics and its collaboration solutions.

Indeed, Microsoft has become all things to all people. The result is that the company is facing some incredible challenges, specifically in South Africa, and has been forced to compete in more sectors than before and, therein, lost some of its focus. One would be inclined to question the sense behind a company like i5 throwing all its weight behind the Microsoft Dynamics suite. But, this is a good example of a company that has stuck to its guns and prospered. And then some. I criticised the company a few years ago for focusing on Dynamics CRM, but this is one of the core reasons for the business’ success. “We’re still very pleased with the direction i5 is heading in,” says Glen Ansell, i5 founder and CEO. At 28, he’s still a little wet behind the ears, but has built i5 around core competencies and is exuberantly confident he’s been betting on the right horse all along. “We’ve backed Microsoft’s CRM offering and I know we haven’t yet seen its true colours.” Creative genes

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