About the Client
The client is a provider of financial electronic commerce services, products. The client’s solutions power electronic billing and payment, while automating financial transactions and streamlining regulatory reporting. The client’s solution portfolio includes a membership software solution for the health and fitness club industry.
The client faced challenges with its existing CRM solution to manage sales, order fulfillment and customer support. Departments used separate applications, workflows to maintain data specific to their processes. Further, sales data was maintained in a legacy contact management system, un-suitable for structured and meaningful data analysis. Employees wasted time entering duplicate data in applications. There was need for a modern information management system.
The client wanted a solution that could bring all departments, employees and organizational processes onto a single centralized CRM platform yet provide department specific functionalities, workflow to various groups of people. Company management wanted a unified and correlated view of the sales fulfillment and support data.
The client sought Silicus’ MS Dynamics CRM services to help identify the right solution.
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Packaged Software Evaluation And Selection
Following a study of the organization processes and existing solution options in the market, Microsoft Dynamics CRM was chosen. Microsoft Dynamics CRM was selected for the following reasons:
Enhanced reporting that provides insights into business performance as required by executives
Ease of implementation and support
Silicus’ customized Dynamics CRM to meet the client’s specific requirements.
MS Dynamics CRM Solution Design
The initial focus for Silicus was to design an application that maps into the client’s business process to facilitate ease of use and provide a robust architecture for future enhancements, integrations. Some of the design considerations were:
- UI customization as users were familiar with Windows Applications
- Easy migration of data from the old to the new system
- Architecture design for seamless integration with custom interfaces for Customer Data Management
Configuring, Installing Ms Dynamics Crm
Once completion of solution design, the team installed and configured the Microsoft CRM server, including E-mail router, E-mail queues and configuring CRM client for Microsoft Office Outlook. After installing MS Dynamics CRM, the team defined the organizational structure (in conjunction with Active Directory) within the organization after evaluating the following system components:
- Business Units, teams and regions
- Users and security roles
- Name and date display formats
- System Settings
- Department specific Customizations
Once the system components for the common platform were defined, department specific customizations were implemented – for Sales, Operations and Customer support. Silicus' MS CRM Dynamics experts made extensive use of SOAP API’s to create Custom Workflows for each department processes and routing of activities. Through this, the Dynamics CRM team ensured seamless integration between organization wide common templates with department specific functional needs.
Data Migration, Integrations With Downstream Software Systems
Subsequent phases of the project involved integration with downstream systems, data migration to the new system to eliminate the need to re-key data in various systems.
Data migration was carried out by transforming all existing data to the Common Data Format (CDF) database schema to create custom source adapters. Majority of the data was migrated automatically with a few fields needing to be manually keyed in.
Silicus leveraged the .NET framework and Service Oriented Architecture concepts to develop scalable, configurable Integration Framework that served as a common platform to the numerous integration modules. The common platform streamlined the information exchange, processing between Dynamics CRM and downstream software systems.
MS Dynamics CRM
Microsoft Message Queuing (MSMQ), Crystal Reports
.NET web service architecture
Robust Application Design For Organization Wide Use
Custom business services and application entities were exposed as Web Services using the CRUD (Create/Retrieve/Update/Delete) pattern to access legacy data in a standardized manner
The custom pages were empowered with Silicus’ framework for Role based content rendering for streamlined content management
End-to-end business workflow services were developed and hosted using COM+ for ease of implementation, maintenance
Improved Employee Productivity
The CRM system integrated all disparate systems, driving productivity through improved collaboration, lesser wasteful tasks
UI was customized as per end users' needs, resulting in one that was familiar for the user, and provided improved functionality, features
Crystal Reports was used to impart a highly interactive, drill down reporting solution for greater performance visibility and easier top management decision making
Lower Software Engineering Risks With Reliable And Predictable Processes
The risks associated with moving to a new platform were considerable, given that a significant portion of the client’s business transactions were conducted through the application
Silicus used its proven software engineering processes to architect a solution could be used and accessed by employees without any glitches or transition downtime