Microsoft just released some sample code with which to create RSS feeds from Microsoft CRM. I think this is a great development and provides a lot of value to users of the product. Being able to subscribe to a feed for a particular person, or class of persons, in a CRM database allows you to track them within your existing tools rather than having to remember to login to a portal page or application.
In fact, I talk about RSS for association management systems in an article I wrote for Forum Magazine that should be out in the April issue. Below is an excerpt of the bit about adding RSS to AMS:
I believe that the potential of RSS as a communication and productivity tool is just beginning to be fully explored. In addition to continuing to use it share and raise awareness of web-based content, I believe that RSS can be put to use in strengthening the relationship between a member and her association.
One use specific to the association market is around increasing member awareness. Take the common scenario of an association staffer who manages a committee or board and serves as an ex officio member of the group. What if your association management system provided an RSS feed for each member, providing updates every time something new happens with that member. You could then subscribe to the feed of each member on the committee and be immediately updated when they register for a conference, renew their membership, buy a product or miss an important continuing education deadline. Imagine the value of being fully aware of your committee members’ individual interactions with the association in a way that comes directly to your desktop rather than you having to mine your AMS on a daily basis to find the same information.
The same kind of feed could be exposed to your members, secured with their user name and password. This feed could alert them when a product they purchased from you ships, deadlines to renew membership or continuing education credits, etc. This would allow them to be much more aware of what your association is doing for them on a daily basis without having to take overt steps to find it out.
This kind of awareness raising could improve the experience for everyone in the association by making better use of the data that flows through your systems on a daily basis to strengthen the relationship between members and the association.