CRM Online and the Case of the Two Minute Timeout
No, not a Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew novel but until now, the case of the two-minute time out – has been one of the key points considered when choosing whether or not to move an organization to CRM online. CRM online is a great platform that allows many organizations to share the same servers, wires, and routers, thus contributing to significant cost savings for the organizations that utilize it. Many a Database Administrator (DBA) or IT Director have grappled with the decision of whether or not CRM online is right for their organization. Sometimes the deciding factor is cost/savings, and sometimes it’s a more emotional issue because the organization is not quite ready to let go of their established infrastructure. Think of it as a, “Keep your friends close, and your servers closer” mentality stemming from the organizations anxiety about the “cloud.” As a provider of this CRM service, we used to have to challenge any organization considering CRM online to ask the question: can every single thing my organization does be accomplished in less than two minutes?
CRM online is a community, and your organization is on a platform shared with other organizations. If you live in or have ever lived in a dorm or apartment building, then you know that what your neighbors do can sometimes affect you. Microsoft is very mindful of this idea and has laid down a few rules to help everyone “play nice” and keep the peace. So to keep your neighbor’s code from slowing or interfering with yours, assemblies must be “sandboxed” (put in an isolated computing environment in which a program or file can be executed without affecting the application in which it runs) and with it comes a time limit of two minutes for any single process. From Microsoft’s point of view it’s easy to understand why it needs to be this way as they take security VERY seriously and need to protect all the organizations they house in their cloud.
Most Things Done in 2 Minutes or Less
Think of all the things your organization does every day: creating an invoice, running a report, charging a customer’s credit card, etc. Most of these tasks take less than two minutes each. If you think about it, as long as you break things down far enough, most things can be done in under two minutes. When we made our business task list a second ago, we mentioned creating an invoice, which takes less than two minutes to accomplish, but what about generating 10,000 invoices or 50,000 invoices?
Altai’s Timeout Solution
Since nothing can run longer than two minutes, there used to be quite a few hoops users had to jump through to break through the two minute timeout barrier. Luckily, Altai has created a few options that adhere to Microsoft’s “house rules” while still allowing for customers’ business needs to be met.
We have created a web service and windows service, both hosted in Azure, to act as the workaround for the two minute time out. The services essentially act as a server in a rack next to you (and your 500 CRM online neighbors) that doesn’t have the two minute timeout restriction thus allowing it to do your heavy (data) lifting. When needed, Altai directs your CRM at the services, and when you click the “go create 50,000 new invoices” button for your subscriptions or the “recognize a portion of revenue from all 100,000 members” button, the services pick that up and do the work for you without worrying about timing out. We have done the research and identified longer running processes for our clients. It can recognize deferred revenue for memberships, events, certifications or generate new invoices for all your existing members.
The power of CRM online is in your hands, ready to help your organization realize its full CRM potential. Don’t be afraid of the cloud, embrace its possibilities.