Lucrative move to Low Country

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 FEBRUARY 27 2011                                                                                           commercial report                                                                                                                                          n39

   CRM                                              5-page special report
                                                                                                                                                        Š Keeping customers with clever communication
                                                                                                                                                        Š Cloud computing and the new service model
                                                                                                                                                        Š RoI: getting the most from your investment
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              EDITED BY ELAINE O’REGAN

Software’s smart new makeover
                                                                                                                                                                                 ‘‘There is a big focus in the     tune to plumb them together.      delivered, customised and in-
                                                                                                                                               Getting it right                market at the moment on inte-       You get pre-built integration     stalled by local business part-
                                                                                                                                                                               grating the front office with the   with all the forms and sup-       ners. They understand the
                                                                                                                                                                               back office,’’ he said. ‘‘One of    port.’’                           capabilities of the CRM pro-
                                                                                                                                               Nolan believes that it makes    the key differentiators for Sage       Nolan said that Sage certi-    ducts, which can be highly tai-
                                                                                                                                               sense for customers to buy      CRM is the way we provide in-       fied partners were generally      l o r e d w ay b e yo n d t h e
                                                                                                                                               complementary business ap-      tegration with our Sage 200         employed to help customers to     traditional approach. We have
                                                                                                                                               plications from one vendor      ERP product out of the box.         implement and configure the       customers using it for project
                                                                                                                                               rather than mixing and match-        ou
                                                                                                                                                                                 ‘‘Y do not need to buy two        CRM system for optimum use.       management, vehicle tracking
                                                                                                                                               ing.                            products and then spend a for-         ‘‘Our products are generally   and graveyard management.’’

Tom Nolan, head of strategic account management, Sage CRM

                                                                       about 300 people across its        see a return on investment
The latest version of Sage                                             payroll, enterprise resource
                                                                       planning (ERP) and CRM di-
                                                                                                          [ROI] much more quickly,’’ he
                                                                                                          said. ‘‘If they put money in,
CRM, which is to be launched                                           visions.
                                                                          It offers three CRM pro-
                                                                                                          they want to see a return within
                                                                                                          12 months.We have an RoI cal-
in mid-March, adds extensive                                           ducts: ACT!, SalesLogix CRM
                                                                       for larger companies and Sage
                                                                                                          culator with which you can see
                                                                                                          whether the marketing cam-
                                                              for smaller custo-         paign is delivering for you in
e-marketing functionality,                                             mers. The latter is developed      terms of a high response rate
                                                                       and sold from Sage’s Irish op-     or a greater number of sales.
writes Dermot Corrigan                                                 eration.                              ‘‘You can also measure in-
                                                                          Nolan said Irish-based cus-     direct benefits such as staff
                                                                       tomers that reduced the size of    being more productive as they
                                                                       their sales departments re-        are spending less time rumma-

                       ersion          Sage CRM 7.1 also includes      cently were using their CRM        ging through spreadsheets or
                        7.1 o f     integration with social net-       systems for online campaigns       email systems for information
                        Sage        working sites such as Twitter,     that could efficiently contact     they need.’’
                        CRM         according to Nolan.                large numbers of people.              SMEs looking to take their
                        comes          ‘‘In 7.1, we have a new mod-       ‘‘If your marketing budget      first steps into CRM were at-
                        w it h      ule forTwitter,which is particu-   has been cut by 75 per cent,       tracted to the online hosted ap-
built-in e-marketing capabil-       larly popular in the Ir ish        then the 25 per cent that you      p l i c at i o n ava i l ab l e at
ity,’’ said Tom Nolan, head of      market,’’ he said. ‘‘This allows   have left had better be effec-, according to
strategic account management        you to communicate directly        tive,’’ he said.                   Nolan.
at Sage CRM. ‘‘You can run          with customers in the way that            ou
                                                                          ‘‘Y want to make sure that         ‘‘You sign up at ie.sagecrm.
your e-marketing campaigns          they want to communicate           what eve r mon ey you are          com, and then pay a monthly
all from within Sage CRM.           with you.Or if you as a market-    spending is bringing you re-       us er fe e to run your Sage
‘‘We are making use of another      ing director want to tweet         sults. E-marketing is an effec-    CRM solution managed for
vendor’s technology but it is di-   about your new product or ser-     tive way of increasing your        us,’’ he said.
rectly integrated within our        vice you have the ability to do    coverage if you have less people      ‘‘That makes it very easy for
product.That is one of the ma-      that directly from within the      available to do the physical       small companies to get started
jor new features.’’                 CRM product.’’                     hands-on calling.’’                with CRM, to try it out and to
   Nolan said that the up-             Originally an Irish start-up       Businesses want to see posi-    preserve their customer data
graded version, which is free       company, Sage now has about        tive results very quickly from     without having to pay any of
for customers with the regular      6.3 million global customers       such campaigns.                    the hardware or set-up costs
Sage support and maintenance        and 13,500 employees world-           ‘‘Over the last few years,      associated with a traditional
agreement, would make it            wide. Sage Ireland employs         people have come to want to        CRM investment.’’
much easier for users to run
targeted e-mail marketing
campaigns direct from their
customer relationship man-
agement (CRM) system.                    The future of CRM
   ‘‘Previously people had to
extract data from their CRM           The emergence of smartphones will have a             Nolan said that increased use of social
system and use another pack-          big effect on the software industry and           media was going to have a big impact on
age,’’ he said. ‘‘With 7.1 that       CRM in particular, according to Tom               people’s relationships with their custo-
data is automatically in front        Nolan, head of strategic account manage-          mers.
of the user.They can assess the       men, Sage CRM.                                       ‘‘Looking to the future we see commu-
success of the e-mail cam-               ‘‘We see this as being a big change over       nity-based endorsements as something
paigns ^ see how many people          the next 12 to 18 months as the take-up of        very relevant,’’ he said. ‘‘Ordinary custo-
are opening the e-mail or how         smartphones is enormous,’’ Nolan said.            mers put a lot of time into sharing
many click on links within it.           ‘‘We have a SageCRM iPhone solution            information with other users.
   ‘‘This allows them to tune         already with Sage CRM for Android on                 ‘‘That can be harnessed and gathered
the campaign as it progresses         the way. We are also looking at other             into the CRM, so you understand what
^ if you see that you only have       devices. The usability experience is very         people are saying about you on the
a 2 per cent open rate you can        important, so we are selective about which        internet.
stop the campaign and refocus         elements of the software we make available           ‘‘That is something we will be looking to
with a new set of messages to         on the phone.’’                                   incorporate into future releases.’’
get a higher response rate.’’

Lucrative move to a Low Country
                                                                                                          plication integrates all core
By Linda Daly                                                                                             business functions across an
                                                                                                          entire firm. As part of the solu-
                                                                                                          tion, it offers financial man-

       ntelligent Information                                                                             ag e m e nt, warehou s e and
       Systems (IIS), an Irish-                                                                           production management, pur-
       owned provider of busi-                                                                            chasing, reporting and CRM.
       ness management solu-                                                                                 The CRM element is aimed
tions, is expanding into the                                                                              at allowing firms to grow cus-
Netherlands. The Wicklow                                                                                  tomer profitability and to in-
company, which already sells                                                                              crease customer satisfaction
in Ireland and Britain, moved                                                                             through effective sales and op-
into the Dutch market at the                                                                              portunity management, as well
start of the year.                                                                                        as after-sales support.
   Managing director Morgan                                                                                  Browne said that, by having
Browne said the move came                                                                                 one application, businesses
after IIS was approached by                                                                               could avoid the pitfall of over-
business software firm SAP to                                                                             complicating their CRM solu-
supply its solutions for sale in    Morgan Browne, managing director, IIS                                 tion.
the Netherlands.                                                                                             ‘‘Ultimately, CRM is a great
   IIS is already considered the                                                                          tool to build up some informa-
largest SAP Business One               The move involved some in-      [CRM] solutions have had a         tion on your customers. It ex-
partner in Britain and Ireland.     vestment to localise IIS’s solu-   good year, as companies begin      tends to the pre and post-sales
Originally established in 1993,     tions for the Dutch market,        to invest going forward,’’ said    element of your relationship.
it has been involved in the im-     but it comes on the back of a      Browne.                            However, if you over-compli-
plementation of SAP Business        good year. ‘‘The business is          He said he expected IIS to      cate it and try to do too much
One products since 2003. Since      doing very well. Across the        undergo continued growth in        initially, it can fall apart.’’
its expansion in January, IIS       board, enterprise resource         the years ahead, as it continued
has completed a number of           planning [ERP] and customer        to sell SAP solutions.                                  to page 38
deals in the Netherlands.           relationsh ip manage ment             The SAP Business One ap-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         THE SUNDAY BUSINESS POST
n40                                                                                                               commercial report                                                                                                                                        FEBRUARY 27 2011

How CRM can save you money

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   A good CRM solution can provide firms with clear
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   and measurable goals                        GETTY

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Lucrative move to a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Low Country
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   from page 37                      company and on the solu-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     tion it chooses.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Instead, Browne advised            IIS offers scoping train-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   firms to focus on what was        ing, implementation, devel-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   most important for their          op me nt, supp or t and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   business.                         project management among
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ‘‘It is a question of under-   its services. It also offers en-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   standing what information         hance ments to the SAP
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   is really important, and          Business One application
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   what key performance indi-        through such solutions as
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   cators you should be looking      Intelligent Essentials, Intel-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   out for and concentrating         ligent 360 and Intelligent E-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   on,’’ he said.                    commerce.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ‘‘That is where SAP busi-          While retaining the core
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   ness partners like ourselves      functionality of SAP Busi-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   come in. We help firms to         ness One, Intelligent Essen-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   cut their cloth to fit their      tials can be tailored to suit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   measure, and to understand        the needs of companies op-
Gary Cullen, director, Provident CRM: ‘There is a huge appetite for CRM at the moment’                                                                                                                           TONY O’SHEA       what the most important           erating in specific indus-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   elements of a solution are        tries.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   for their firm.’’                     Intelligent Essentials is

                         ost custo-                                                                                                                                                       on open-source technology, it                                              comparable to the apps for
                         mer rela-         Commercial open-source CRM does the same job as proprietary                                                                                    is significantly cheaper than
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Good CRM                          the iPhone. It expands SAP
                         tionship                                                                                                                                                         non-open-source (propriety)                                                Business One to meet the
                         m e n t
                                             systems, but at a fraction of the cost, writes Dave Boland                                                                                   alternatives; and the fact that
                                                                                                                                                                                          it has been developed as a com-          Browne said a good CRM
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     specific needs of particular
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     businesses and can be easily
                         (CRM)                                                                                                                                                            mercial product means that               solution could provide firms      incorporated into the solu-
systems will do similar things,         ing. So do many others. It          2000, initially as a telecoms       native products, ones that were      cent growth for this year. Re-       there are legal protections and          with clear and measurable         tion on a need-by-need ba-
but this is not to say that all sys-    exists in the cloud, thereby ne-    consultancy.                        not already in the market.This       cent customer wins have in-          high-end supports in place.              goals.                            s i s . ‘ ‘ B a s i c a l l y, o u r
tems are the same.Take the ex-          gating the requirement for ex-         However, in 2004, it moved       led to us identifying commer-        cluded Quinn Insurance and               ‘‘There is a huge appetite for          ‘‘Ultimately, you need to      customers drive the devel-
ample of SugarCRM, which is             pensive on site infrastructure.     into software development           cial open-source technology,         Davy Stockbrokers.                   CRM at the moment, as com-               understand the value of           opment of Intelligent Essen-
sold exclusively in Ireland by          It is not alone in doing this.      and, according to director          and we brought in four pro-                                               panies that have survived the            your pipeline business, and       tials, and will continue to do
Provident CRM.                             But it costs a fraction of the   Gary Cullen, set about looking      ducts, one of which was Su-                                               last couple of years are now             how much business is going        so,’’ said Browne.
  It provides everything that           price of most other CRM sys-        for something that would dif-       garCRM,’’ said Cullen.               Cost-effective                       looking at managing their                to happen for you in the              Meanwhile, Intelligent
businesses expect from CRM,             tems ^ and this is what makes       ferentiate the company in the          ‘‘This was at the height of                                            s a l e s , a n d p l a n n i n g fo r
including advanced sales man-           it unique.                          market.                             the boom in 2005 and 2006,           CRM                                  growth,’’ Cullen said.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   foreseeable future. Without
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   a good CRM solution in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     360 provides a complete
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     view of users’ business part-
agement, support and market-               Provident was founded in            ‘‘We started looking at alter-   and it’s fair to say it was a hard                                            ‘‘However, we believe that           place, you won’t have that        ners and customers in one
                                                                                                                sell in those days. But when the     One reason behind this growth        we have features which we have           visibility,’’ he said.            screen, allowing for quick
                                                                                                                financial crisis took hold, peo-     is the fact that, because it is      deployed better ^ for example,              CRM can help compa-            and accurate decisions. The
                                                                                                                ple started to examine their         based on commercial open-            our interface looks good and is          nies to increase their sales,     application displays all cus-
   Commercial profile: Vulcan Solutions                                                                         costs, focused more on their
                                                                                                                sales processes and delivering
                                                                                                                                                     source technology, SugarCRM
                                                                                                                                                     is hugely cost-effective. Basi-
                                                                                                                                                                                          easy to use, we are more flex-
                                                                                                                                                                                          ible and can run onsite or in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   according to Browne.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ‘‘On the post-sales side, if
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     tomer contact information,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     one-click analysis and a last
                                                                                                                value ^ and that’s when things       cally, commercial open-source        the cloud. So we have every-             you don’t track and look          receipts date, among other
 Vulcan Solutions offers free managed                                                                           started to take off.’’
                                                                                                                   Indeed, Provident is now the
                                                                                                                                                     takes advantage of op e n-
                                                                                                                                                     source technologies which are
                                                                                                                                                                                          thing that the others offer, but
                                                                                                                                                                                          it’s done in a more open and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   after your customers, you
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   m ay t h i n k yo u h av e
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         ‘‘It allows firms to access
                                                                                                                second-largest reseller of Su-       free to use, but it develops a       friendly way.’’                          e500,000 worth of opportu-        business partners quickly
 trial of Microsoft’s new CRM system                                                                            garCRM in Britain, and the
                                                                                                                exclusive partner in Ireland.
                                                                                                                                                     model whereby it licenses and
                                                                                                                                                     charges for advanced business
                                                                                                                                                                                              A nothe r key fa ctor for
                                                                                                                                                                                          choosi ng the c om merc ial
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   nities, but in fact have only
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   e250,000. By implementing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     and easily, and they can ac-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     cess all the information that
 Established in 1989, Galway-                                                                                      It recorded 300 per cent          tools and services using these       open-source model is the fact            a CRM solution, you can           is needed to make a business
 based Vulcan Solutions is an                                                                                   growth last year with its entry      technologies.                        that it doesn’t use any proprie-         see exactly what sales op-        decision,’’ said Browne.
 Irish-owned software com-                                                                                      into the British market, and it         However, the kicker for end       tary languages. And while this           portunities exist,’’ he said.         IIS also offers a mobile
 pany which has been a Micro-                                                                                   is targeting a further 50 per        users is that, because it is based   might appear to be solely a                 Browne said the price of       element to its solutions, with
 soft Gold Certified Partner                                                                                                                                                              consideration for teccies, the           CRM solutions varied from         SAP applications available
 since 2005. It has certified                                                                                                                                                             reality is that it can lead to sig-      business to business, de-         for the iPhone.
 competencies in CRM, Por-                                                                                                                                                                nificant savings for companies           p e ndi ng ver y mu ch on             Browne foresees the fu-
 tals & Collaboration and Soft-                                                                                                                                                           who use commercial open-                 whether companies opted           ture of CRM lying in the
 ware Development (ISV), and                                                                                                                                                              source.                                  for stand-alone CRM solu-         mobile arena, as companies
 specialises in the delivery of                                                                                                                                                               ‘‘Most people involved with          tions or CRM as part of an        demand 24/7 access to their
 custom software solutions on                                                                                                                                                             technology will be familiar              integrated Enterprise Re-         ERP and CRM solutions.
 the Microsoft Dynam ics                                                                                                                                                                  with PHP, the language used              source Planning (ERP) sys-            ‘‘SAP’s whole future is
 CRM and SharePoint plat-                                                                                                                                                                 by Sugar. So instead of hiring           tem.                              based around mobility; all
 forms, utilising both on-pre-                                                                                                                                                            in expensive consultants who                Costs can range from as        of its applications are being
 mise and on-demand                                                                                                                                                                       operate in one propriety lan-            low as a few hundred euro         delivered via mobile appli-
 solutions.                                                                                                                                                                               guage, companies can use ex-             p e r mo nt h to b e t w e e n    cations, which provide that
    As one of Ireland’s leading                                                                                                                                                           ternal or internal resources             e50,000 and e70,000, de-          mobile functionality to busi-
 CRM solutions specialists, it          Tony Johnstone, operations director, Vulcan Solu-                                                                                                 that are much cheaper,’’ Cullen          pending on the size of the        nesses,’’ he said.
 employs technology experts             tions, Anne Marie Caulfield, director, PRTB, Michael                                                                                              said.
 across a wide range of disci-          Finneran, former minister for housing & local services
                                        at the Department of Environment, Orla Coyne,
 plines, including technology
 consulting; business analysis;         chairperson, PRTB, and Cian McNamara, managing                                                                                                    A social network
 solution design; software de-          director, Vulcan Solutions, at the launch of the PRTB’s
 velopment; systems integra-            Tenancies Management System in the Custom House                                                                                                   Additionally, the fact that Su-
 tion; system implementation;                                                                                                                                                             garCRM can exist in a private
 and QA.                                dustry Awards in Galway, was        managed trial service.                                                                                        or public cloud means costs are
    Additionally, Vulcan Solu-          built on an integrated Micro-          Obviously, most companies                                                                                  lowe re d eve n fu r t he r. Of
 tions’ systems integration             soft technology stack with Mi-      with a CRM requirement will                                                                                   course, while the cloud was big
 team includes Microsoft                crosoft CRM and Microsoft           be familiar with Microsoft                                                                                    news last year, Cullen believes
 Business Solutions Specialists         SharePoint at its core, and in-     Dynamics CRM, the system                                                                                      that the next major trend for
 who are certified for the de-          corporated a suite of Vulcan’s      has more than 23,000 custo-                                                                                   CRM will take advantage of.
 velopment and configuration            own components and frame-           mers, and more than 1.4 mil-                                                                                     And he believes that compa-
 of integrated applications on          works to extend the capabil-        lion individual users, each of                                                                                nies who don’t learn to incor-
 the Microsoft Dynam ics                ities of these platforms.           whom benefits from the un-                                                                                    porate ‘social CRM’ will be in
 CRM and Microsoft Share-                   The project was praised by      ique capabilities inherent in                                                                                 danger of losing out on a major
 Point platforms (Vulcan is a           Michael Finneran, the then          this highly ‘dynamic’ system.                                                                                 opportunity to engage with
 launch partner for Microsoft           minister for housing and local         But any company looking                                                                                    their clients.
 Dynamics CRM 2011 and                  services, who described Vul-        for a range of insightful busi-                                                                                  ‘‘We are on the cusp of social
 Microsoft Dynamics CRM                 can Solutions’ work with            ness intelligence capabilities ^                                                                              CRM. Everyone is already
 O n l ine, Mi c rosoft’s new           PRTB as ‘‘something of a flag-      including real-time dash-                                                                                     usi ng so c ial me dia, from
 hosted CRM offering).                  ship project, where innovative      boards, inline data visualisa-                                                                                Gmail to Facebook and Twit-
    Vulcan Solutions has deliv-         technical solutions are allied      tion, flexible reports and in-                                                                                ter,’’ Cullen said.
 ered and supported mission-            to genuine public service in-       depth analytics ^ should con-                                                                                    ‘‘If a customer has a good or
 critical and enterprise-scale          ter-agency information-shar-        sider the competitive advan-                                                                                  bad experience with a com-
 business applications to major         ing and cooperation’’.              tage that Microsoft’s CRM                                                                                     pany, they have the ability to
 organisations both at home                 Of course, anyone familiar      system can offer in terms of                                                                                  let the world know. So all that
 and abroad, with a client list         withVulcan Solutions will not       the ability to identify key                                                                                   businesses can do now is to try
 which includes the Private Re-         have been surprised by its ex-      trends and track key perfor-                                                                                  to treat every customer as well
 sidential Tenancies Board              ceptional performance. As a         mance metrics.                                                                                                as possible, and try to engage in
 (PRTB), the Road Safety                Microsoft Gold Certified               And what better way to do                                                                                  the conversations as they hap-
 Authority (RSA), An Post               Partner, it has a 21-year pro-      so than to take advantage of                                                                                  pen.
 (One Direct), and Marsh (Ire-          ven track record of system im-      the free 30-day managed trial                                                                                    ‘‘It is about communicating
 land & UK).                            plementation success.This is a      fromVulcan Solutions?                                                                                         and engaging with customers
    For example, its work with          primary reason why it was se-          For more information, con-                                                                                 in a medium that they are al-
 the PRTB involved the deliv-           lected as a launch partner for      tact Vulcan Solutions, Vulcan                                                                                 ready using, and the entire
 ery of the government’s Te-            Microsoft Dynamics CRM              House, Parkmore East Busi-                                                                                    CRM market needs to figure
 n a n c i e s Re g i st e r, wh i ch   Online.                             ness Park, Galway, on tel:                                                                                    out the best way to achieve this.
 incorporated a CRM system,                 For anyone who requires a       +353(0)91-781781 or visit its                                                                                 It is very cutting-edge, but it is
 document management sys-               little extra incentive, Vulcan is   website on www.mscrmonli-                                                                                     the future of CRM, and Sugar
 tem, and an online registra-           offering a free 30-day mana-                                                                                                         already has a number of differ-
 tion system at            ged trial of Microsoft’s new                                                                                                                      ent tools which allow users to
    The solution, which was             system. Vulcan Solutions is                                                                                                                       check social media sites so they
 chosen as the ‘IT Project of           the only Microsoft partner in                                                                                                                     can see what’s on their custo-
 the Year’ at the 2010 ITAG In-         Ireland offering this type of                                                                                                                     mers’ minds before they even
                                                                                                                                                                                          pick up the phone.’’
FEBRUARY 27 2011                                                                                                   commercial report                                                                                                                                             n41

Working for business and the customer
Customer relationship
management is becoming                                                                                                                                                                         Retain clients with CRM
increasingly important in the
marketplace, writes Dermot                                                                                                                                                                   Customer retention is a major driver for
                                                                                                                                                                                             CRM investment in today’s business
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             CRM offering, Microsoft Dynamics CRM
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Online. The company is offering free
Corrigan                                                                                                                                                                                     climate, according to Cian McNamara,
                                                                                                                                                                                             managing director of Galway-based Vul-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             support to businesses trialling CRM 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                             can Solutions.                                     ‘‘At the moment customers can do a free
                                                                                                                                                                                                ‘‘In these hard times, people are in-        30-day online trial of Microsoft CRM 2011.

                ales teams as-           ‘‘We see more companies in                                                                                                                          creasingly focused on managing the busi-        We will work with organisations which
                sembled during        Ireland looking for assistance                                                                                                                         ness they have and delivering a level of        want to try out Dynamics CRM and feel
                the boom years        in managing their sales teams,                                                                                                                         service to their customers that helps them      they need some support to do that,’’ said
                are facing a very     to push people to get the best                                                                                                                         retain that business,’’ said McNamara.          McNamara.
                different mar-        out of them. They want to do                                                                                                                              ‘‘There is an increasing focus on the use       ‘‘We will engage with those customers
                ke tpl a c e now      things in a logical, structured                                                                                                                        of CRM to provide insights for the              and provide a free service, including advice
that the economy has cooled           way so that the sales manager                                                                                                                          business, through advanced business in-         and some customisation, to ensure they get
significantly. ‘‘The Celtic tiger     or sales director can see exactly                                                                                                                      telligence or analytics reporting tools. The    maximum benefit from the trial period.’’
affected Irish businesses in          what is going on with their de-                                                                                                                        products are being improved to incorpo-            Companies that lacked the resources or
some good ways, but also some         partment, staff, leads and pro-                                                                                                                        rate that sort of functionality.’’              knowledge to implement CRM software,
very negative ways. Sales de-         spects. We are trying to build                                                                                                                            McNamara said that customers wanted          could opt instead for an online – or cloud-
partments were phenomenally           in bricks and mortar proce-          Alan Connor, commercial director, Exchequer Software Ireland                                  MAURA HICKEY        a quick return on their IT investments.         based – version of the technology, McNa-
successful in selling and re-         dures and practices to help                                                                                                                               ‘‘Microsoft has comparisons which al-        mara said.
sponding to Celtic tiger inter-       support those operations,’’ he       dence of what the application            CRM solutions were evol-           could access each piece of in-        low customers to look at the return on an          ‘‘Organisations that feel challenged by
est, but in many industries it        said.                                can deliver for them.’’               ving to encompass more than           formation relating to contact         investment. It boils down to whatever the       the cost and implementation of an on-
did not take a lot to sell, as peo-      Connor said that customers           Organisations tended to roll       just purely-sales processes,          with a particular customer.           organisation wants to achieve,’’ McNa-          premise solution tend to look at the hosted
ple wanted to buy,’’ said Alan        often approached Exchequer           out the full potential of a CRM       Connor said.                          ‘‘All of the data relevant to any     mara said.                                      alternative,’’ he said.
Connor, commercial director,          if they had a particular chal-       solution in phases, Connor               ‘‘There is a perception that       interaction with a trading part-         ‘‘Some people invest in a CRM system to         ‘‘It is an easier and more straightfor-
Exchequer Software Ireland.           lenge or issue in their sales pro-   said.                                 CRM is just purely for sales,         ner can be recorded in one re-        increase their revenues, while you also see     ward way to procure Dynamics CRM. You
   ‘‘Now, we are finding ^            cesses.                                 ‘‘It can be difficult to try and   and our CRM suite certainly           pository and accessed over the        people looking at CRM from a productiv-         do not need strong internal IT expertise or
across the board ^ that a lot of         ‘‘Companies come to us be-        change overnight every aspect         covers elements such as cam-          company network or via the            ity point of view.’’                            make any up-front investment in either
time, effort and resources are        cause they have a particular         of your business practices.           paig n manage ment, mail-             cloud or remote technologies,’’          Established in 1989, Vulcan Solutions is     hardware or software.’’
required to win every bit of          need they want filled. They          With CRM there is no need to          shots, lead generation, quota-        he said.                              an Irish-owned supplier of customised              Larger organisations were also warming
new business. Sales people are        may need to improve a certain        do everything in one go. You          tions and products and pri-              ‘‘Irish SMEs want all their        software solutions based on Microsoft           to the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model,
having to make cold calls and         sales process, make their sales      could start off with the sales        cing,’’ he said.                      staff to see what is going on, to     platforms such as Microsoft Dynamics            McNamara said.
generate leads, which they may        staff more efficient, or improve     team, and then move on to                ‘‘However, we also have a          be aware of what their collea-        CRM and Microsoft SharePoint. The                  ‘‘Sales staff who might be located at
not have done in ten years.’’         the interaction with their cus-      sales management, document            series of fully integrated mod-       gues are doing. So rather than        company employs 28 technology specialists       home or on the road can log in to access the
   Connor said that a growing         tomers,’’ he said.                   management or service and             ules which act as a full contact      compartmentalising everyo-            at its dedicated development centre in          exact same information as they would get
number of companies were                 ‘‘Sometimes they m ight           support. With an integrated           management system for every           ne’s unique tasks, staff and de-      Galway.                                         at their desk in the office. Wherever you
turning to customer relation-         know something needs to be           system you can add on differ-         communication with a custo-           partments are now working                Cloud computing is transforming the          have an internet browser you can access
ship management (CRM) to              fixed, but they are not quite        ent modules or functionality          mer or supplier, including sup-       much more closely together.           market for CRM technology, according to         the solution; you are not limited by your
support their sales people and        sure what or how. We find cli-       over a timeframe that is condu-       port and service calls.’’             This sharing of the data really       McNamara, and Vulcan Solutions is an            location,’’ he said.
boost revenues in difficult           ents like us to go out and scope     cive to doing things right,’’ he         This evolution means that          helps bring the organisation          official partner to Microsoft’s new hosted                                  Dermot Corrigan
times.                                out their needs and show evi-        said.                                 all staff within an organisation      forward.’’

Bringing CRM into the future through mobile access
                                                                           mation requirements,’’ said           fice. It has 20 years experience        ‘‘Another issue is poor fol-      contract end dates and project    der to run a more efficient,      the business and the amount
By Jennifer Buckley                                                        Walsh. He also said another           in the CRM market.                    low-up and tracking of tasks        deliveries.’’                     streamlined operation.            of customisatio and integration
                                                                           trend influencing the market              According to Walsh, Super-        and appointments, like not            He said the SuperOffice sys-       The costs for installing the   with other software applica-
                                                                           was the issue of integration          Office is an effective CRM            having automatic follow-ups         tem has helped his clients to     Team Project CRM product          tions, but begin at e37 per

            he increas ed de-                                              and ensuring that all informa-        product because of its ability        after quotations, meetings,         overcome these obstacles in or-   vary according to the size of     month.
            mand for constant                                              tion, whether financial or            to cater to all different types
            and immediate mo-                                              otherwise, could be easily ac-        and sizes of companies.
            bile access to infor-                                          cessed in the one location.               ‘‘SuperOffice CRM has the
mation may endanger the                                                       ‘‘It is key in modern CRM          innate ability to cater for both
future of CRM if the Irish                                                 deployments that financial in-        market sectors ^ by its very de-
market does not adapt, accord-                                             formation syncs in with the           sign and constant development
ing David Walsh, managing di-                                              CRM, allowing staff access to         it can scale from five users to
re ctor of Team Proje ct, a                                                up to the minute accounts in-         1,000. It allows you to store all
software solutions company.                                                formation ranging from invoi-         emails by company and con-
   Team Project sells the CRM                                              cing, turnover year to date,          tact making it easy for all staff
product SuperOffice. Walsh                                                 aging and stock management,’’         to view the correspondence.’’
said information mobility was                                              said Walsh.                               He also said that unless the
the key trend driving the mar-                                                Team Project was originally        product has resulted in visible
ket.                                  David Walsh, managing                founded by Walsh when the             savings in costs and noticeably
   ‘‘The ability to share infor-      director of Team Project             company he managed, CD                increased productivity in a
mation across multiple geo-                                                Soft ^ then resellers for Super       company, it is a failure.
graphic locations using varied        over the coming months and           Office in Ireland ^ merged                ‘‘Increasing, productivity is
technologies such as laptops,         years.                               with Ergo.                            the very essence of CRM and
PDAs and web portals, will see          ‘‘To survive, CRM solutions           The result of the merger was       I would class any other out-
the demand for information            will need to adapt to this de-       Team Project, which now has           come as a failed project.’’
availability increasing rapidly       mand of constant mobile infor-       the reseller rights to SuperOf-           Team Project now operate a
                                                                                                                 strict policy of analysing a
                                                                                                                 business to ensure the product
                                                                                                                 will operate successfully.
                                                                                                                     ‘‘Irish companies have been
                                                                                                                 slower in implementing CRM
                                                                                                                 solutions than their European
                                                                                                                     ‘‘I feel this is due to all the
                                                                                                                 bad press associated with
                                                                                                                 many failed installations over
                                                                                                                 the past decade. This situation
                                                                                                                 will only and is gradually being
                                                                                                                 overcome by demonstrating
                                                                                                                 properly tailored systems to il-
                                                                                                                 lustrate the true potential of
                                                                                                                 CRM d e ploy m e nt,’’ s a id
                                                                                                                     Team Project also recently
                                                                                                                 formed a strategic alliance
                                                                                                                 with DNM Technology, spe-
                                                                                                                 cialists in the design, imple-
                                                                                                                 me ntation, opti m is ation,
                                                                                                                 management and support of
                                                                                                                 enterprise ITsolutions.
                                                                                                                     Of the company’s latest pro-
                                                                                                                 duct, SuperOffice 7, Walsh
                                                                                                                 said: ‘‘We would like SuperOf-
                                                                                                                 fice to help us to do better in
                                                                                                                 finding, catching and keeping
                                                                                                                 our customers.’’
                                                                                                                     Working in the company’s
                                                                                                                 favour is a comparative analy-
                                                                                                                 sis by IDC, PC World and
                                                                                                                 others, which found that this is
                                                                                                                 the system that users adopt
                                                                                                                 best to because of its ease of
                                                                                                                     Team Project said that their
                                                                                                                 next step is to focus on certain
                                                                                                                 recurring issues, such as the
                                                                                                                 problem of delayed debt track-
                                                                                                                     ‘‘Keeping a handle on aging
                                                                                                                 debtors is one issue we see.The
                                                                                                                 ability to share financial infor-
                                                                                                                 mation with other departments
                                                                                                                 within a company is crucial to
                                                                                                                 it trying to lower payment days.
                                                                                                                 Most companies are now find-
                                                                                                                 ing that the average time to
                                                                                                                 payment is well after 80 days
                                                                                                                 and rising.’’
                                                                                                                     Walsh said the most com-
                                                                                                                 mon problems raised by clients
                                                                                                                 involve inefficient sales track-
                                                                                                                 ing, information gathering and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               THE SUNDAY BUSINESS POST
n42                                                                                                                commercial report                                                                                                                                            FEBRUARY 27 2011

Getting dynamic in the cloud
With more and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Return on investment
more people
interested in                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Companies can measure
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         the return on their invest-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          close a sale, for example.’’
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             There has also been an
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         ment in CRM products             increased demand for
Microsoft                                                                                                                                                                                                                                like Dynamic CRM 2011,           CRM solutions since the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         according to Conor Keat-         recession hit.
Dynamics,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ings, CRM sales lead,               ‘‘In today’s environ-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         MentecPlus.                      ment, it’s all about getting
it was only                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Keatings encouraged
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         businesses to use technol-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          more from less,’’ Keatings
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          said. ‘‘Firms must see an
a matter of                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ogy strategically. Ulti-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         mately, he said, CRM
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          increased productivity
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          with what they have. Hav-
time before                                                                                                                                                                                                                              should improve custo-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         mers’ experiences.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          ing an application that’s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          easy to use and work with
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ‘‘Clear objectives and        will allow firms to scale
MentecPlus                                                                                                                                                                                                                               mandates must be set             their business without los-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         prior to availing of a CRM       ing the intimacy they have
put the service                                                                                                                                                                                                                          solution,’’ said Keatings.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         ‘‘We will engage with
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          with their customers.’’
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             The demand for CRM
online, writes                                                                                                                                                                                                                           customers to set deliver-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         able goals from the outset.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          solutions has been indica-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          tive in the growth of
Linda Daly                                                                                                                                                                                                                               When the project is com-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         pleted, we will sit down
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          MentecPlus’s business. In
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          December, the firm moved
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         with them again and re-          from its Deansgrange of-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         visit those goals to see if      fices to new premises just
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         they have been achieved.’’       off the N11 at Brewery
                                      Conor Keatings of MentecPlus: ‘I can’t stress enough the importance of engaging with a partner who is skilled in CRM implementation’                                                                  In itself, CRM can help       Road in Blackrock, Co
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    TONY O’SHEA          companies to determine           Dublin. It employs more
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         the opportunity to deci-         than 70 people and is
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         pher the RoI on a multi-         continuing the hire.

                         e nt e c -   for the third-highest volume of      day op erations more effi-            broad range of sectors, from             put a value on customer rela-        derstanding of the product                tude of processes                   ‘‘Microsoft estimates
                         P l u s      CRM subscriptions in Eur-            ciently.                              sales to third level and not-for-        tions and how they best cater        through engagement with a                 throughout the business.         that the CRM market is
                         h a s        ope,’’ said Keatings.                   The ability to build collec-       profit.                                  for them,’’ said Keatings.           partner.’’                                   ‘‘You will be able to         worth e40 million in Ire-
                         joined          ‘‘It enables instant access       tive insight across a range of           MentecPlus will work with                ‘‘I can’t stress enough the im-      C u stom e r s p ay for t h e          track all leads, opportu-        land, and is growing,’’ said
                         fo r c e s   from anywhere, making the            p ro c e s s e s wa s, Ke at i ng s   c o m p a n i e s to t a i l o r t h e   portance of engaging with a          cloud-based solution on a pay-            nities and sales that the        Keatings. ‘‘What Micro-
                         w i t h      product more flexible to meet        added, very important to busi-        packages to suit their needs.            partner who is skilled in CRM        as-you-go basis. An introduc-             firm generates. Through          soft is doing is not only
Microsoft to launch a new cus-        the increasing demands of            nesses operating in a tough              ‘‘While a lot of people think         implementation.                      tory offer is currently in place,         an effective CRM solution,       taking some of that market
tomer relationship manage-            businesses.’’                        economy in which customer             of CRM in terms of a product,               ‘‘Wh ile it is possible to        offering customers a monthly              you can decipher how             share but it is also growing
ment (CRM) solution online.              While Microsoft is the soft-      retention was of paramount            it really is a philosophy and            download the solution your-          rate of e31 per user for 12               many meetings it takes to        the market.’’
Conor Keatings, CRM sales             ware author of D y na m i c          importance.                           choice a business will make to           self, you will gain a greater un-    months.
lead with MentecPlus, said that       CRM 2011, MentecPlus is the             ‘‘Effective customer service
demand for the online version         solution provider. ‘‘While we        demands contributions from
of Microsoft Dynamics CRM             offer one solution in the form       all customer-facing functions,
2011 was strong.
   Due to have its official
launch tomorrow, it is expected
to add to Microsoft’s existing
share of the global CRM mar-
                                      of Dynamic CRM, anyone
                                      who is familiar with Microsoft
                                      CRM will know that it can ex-
                                      plode out into many functions
                                      such as sales and marketing,’’
                                                                           whether they are in marketing,
                                                                           a c c ou nt m a n ag e m e nt or
                                                                           sales,’’ he said.
                                                                              Added to this is the solu-
                                                                           tion’s purported usability. Dy-
                                                                                                                 Social angle working well for CRM
ket, which is already valued at       Keatings said. ‘‘We have the         namics CRM 2011 uses the                                                       trends in the market, he said.
e40 million.                          ability to extend the applica-       Microsoft Outlook dashboard           By Linda Daly                               ‘‘In today’s marketplace,
   Keatings said its appeal lay       tion because it is highly config-    that is familiar to many.                                                      people’s expectations are very
in the fact that it allowed com-      urable and extendable.’’                Keatings said that this ap-                                                 high when they’re buying a
panies to avail of Microsoft             The solution provides real-       proach would appeal to com-           Social media is driving the              product or service as a consu-
Dynamics CRM as a cloud               time analytics and streamlined       panies that want to improve           trends in customer relationship          mer.
service.                              business processes.                  their marketing function and          management (CRM), accord-                   ‘‘If you’re buying a business
   ‘‘It has completely out-              According to Keatings, such       interact better with their custo-     ing to Dave Muldoon, chief ex-           service and somebody doesn’t
stripped the levels of enquiries      functionality enables users to       mers.                                 ecutive of iSite. Muldoon said           get back to you, you wonder if
that Microsoft was hoping to          make more informed business             The solution can be used by        that companies were increas-             they want your business at all.
generate, and Ireland accounts        decisions and manage day-to-         companies operating in a              ingly creating links between             As a company, if you don’t re-
                                                                                                                 in-house CRM systems and so-             act to those expe ctations,
                                                                                                                 cial networking sites like Lin-          you’re losing out,’’ he said.
                                                                                                                 kedIn, Twitter and Facebook,
    Commercial profile: Relate Software                                                                          as well as tools like Constant
                                                                                                                 Contact and Campaign Moni-               Benefits of CRM

   Putting the ‘client’ into CRM                                                                                     ‘‘Using social networking
                                                                                                                 tools for CRM is already a
                                                                                                                 huge trend in the US, and it is
                                                                                                                                                          CRM allows firms to be more
                                                                                                                                                          responsive. ‘‘It allows you to
                                                                                                                                                          understand your customers’
                                                                                                                 coming fast to Ireland and Eur-          needs much better, and allows
                                                                                                                 ope.This will be one of the big-         you to react to changing mar-
                                                                                                                 gest game changers in the                kets,’’ said Muldoon.
                                                                                                                 CRM space,’’ said Muldoon.                  Return on investment (RoI)
                                                                                                                     According to Muldoon, Mi-            is measurable, and iSite carries
                                                                                                                 crosoft Dynamics CRM 2011                out a business value case with       Dave Muldoon, chief executive of iSite                                                         TONY O’SHEA
                                                                                                                 (which will have its official            firms to see the potential RoI
                                                                                                                 launch in Ireland tomorrow)              before the project starts.
                                                                                                                 can create seamless links with              ‘‘It is very interesting when     tions that allow them to be-            one of the only opportunities      increase revenue and decrease
                                                                                                                 social networking sites.                 you start investigating the RoI.     come customer-focused.                  that we know of in today’s cli-    costs at the same time,’’ said
                                                                                                                     ‘‘By linking social media            An organisation could be using          ‘‘An investment in CRM is            mate where you can actually        Muldoon.
                                                                                                                 with a CRM solution, you can             ten staff to focus on answering
                                                                                                                 receive leads from a Facebook            customer issues, whereas two
                                                                                                                 or LinkedIn page.                        people doing proactive CRM
                                                                                                                     ‘‘You can also track what            could be enough, leaving them
   Ray Rogers, CEO and Richie McMahon, CTO, Relate Software                                MAURA HICKEY
                                                                                                                 people are doing with your out-          to redeploy their resources                  Commercial profile: Provident CRM
                                                                                                                 bound e-mail, for example if             elsewhere,’’ said Muldoon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                 Sweet deal for
                                                                                                                 they are reading e-newsletters.             iSite employs 25 full and

               RM systems can         quirements ^ and hence the          line survey with over 8,900            And, you can find out if they’re         part-time staff in Dublin. The
               be used across a       launch of DRIVE in 2004.            votes from AccountingWeb               using your special offers,’’ said        firm operates mainly in the Re-
               host of industries,       There are four key areas to      in Britain. AccountingWeb is           Muldoon.                                 public, but has won some busi-
               but s om et i m e s    DRIVE: CRM, Practic e               a portal accessed by more

                                                                                                                                                                                                 Provident CRM
                                                                                                                     ‘‘It leads to a greater track-       ness in the North in the past
   the one - si z e -fits-all ap-     Management, Workflow and            than 370,000 accountants               ing of what you do, and gives            year. It plans to expand into
   proach is unsuitable for the       Compliance, with the main           from around the world.                 firms a greater sense of what            Britain in 2012.
   needs of certain professions.      area being CRM. This in-               The award was i n the               works and what doesn’t when
   This is why Relate Software        cludes an electronic corre-         ‘Practice Management’ cate-

                                                                                                                 it comes to CRM as they track
   has developed ‘DRIVE’, its
   CRM system specifically
                                      spondence file wh ich
                                      automatically manages all e-
                                                                          gory, and DRIVE was also
                                                                          shortlisted for the ‘CRM’ ca-
                                                                                                                 best behaviour and practices.’’          CRM: the right                                      rovide nt CRM,
                                                                                                                                                                                                              one of Europ es
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       values to accommodate data
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       capture and reporting in re-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Ad-hoc reporting is now
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          possible using SugarCRM;
                                                                                                                     Set up in 2000, iSite has been
   aimed at the accountancy
   market. However, many
                                      mails, letters, phone calls,
                                      diar ies, do c u me nts and
                                                                             However, in addition to its
                                                                                                                 selling Microsoft solutions for          approach                                            leading Su-
                                                                                                                                                                                                              g a r C RM Pa r t-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       lation to ensuring equality
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       and diversity requirements
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          in the Siebel application, re-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          ports needed to be designed
                                                                                                                 the past ten years. More re-                                                    n e r s, h a s i m p l e m e nt e d   were met and to facilitate fu-     by Siebel consultants at great
   companies in other sectors         SMS, as well as a centralised       clients in the accountancy             cently, the firm has also turned         ‘‘There are three things to en-
   are finding that it also offers    client and contact database.        profe ssion, DRI V E has                                                                                               SugarCRM Professional for             ture growth.                       cost. SugarCRM Managers
                                                                                                                 its attentions to CRM in re-             sure the success of CRM: peo-          an important health project              SugarCRM is accessed            can create reports in min-
   them an ideal solution for            Practice management in-          found users among the wider            sponse to market demand.                 ple, process and the technology
   their own requirements.            cludes a complete time and          business community, with                                                                                               in Britain for NHS24. This            from multiple NHS24 offices        utes.
                                                                                                                     ‘‘The opportunity started to         platform. It is not just about the     replaced the existing Siebel          in Scotland. The application          Open source software has
      ‘‘We created DRIVE be-          billing system, as well as          companies as diverse as                present itself. Clients and com-         technology ^ we have to get
   cause we felt that the accoun-     practice financials, manage-        property companies, letting                                                                                            application with an easy-to-          was heavily customised with        an important role to play in
                                                                                                                 panies in general are starting to        alig n me nt b etwe e n al l of        us e, web-bas ed solution             most of the system compris-        government agencies, parti-
   tancy profession needed to         ment accounts and credit            agencies, surveyors, architec-         really look at CRM and Micro-            these,’’ said Muldoon.
   improve the way they dealt         control. Other aspects of           tural firms, fund managers                                                                                             which was compliant with              ing of new modules, which          cularly when budgets are as
                                                                                                                 soft Dynamic CRM in parti-                  In January, iSite launched a        Accessibility legislation in          included a British postcode        tight as they are now, accord-
   with their clients,’’ said Ray     DRIVE include compliance            and PR companies finding               cular,’’ said Muldoon.                   special framework to achieve
   Rogers, chief executive of         products for Accounts Pro-          use for the software.This has                                                                                          Britain, including W3C com-           module.                            ing to Gary Cullen, sales and
                                                                                                                                                          this so-called ‘alignment’.            pliance.                                 ‘‘We chose Sugar Profes-        marketing director of Provi-
   Relate Software. ‘‘So we felt      duction, Personal Tax and           led to its development of a                                                        ‘‘The framework allows
   that they needed some me-
   chanism for recording these
                                      Corporation Tax as well as
                                      work f low manag e m e nt.
                                                                          soon-to-be-launched ‘busi-
                                                                          ness’ version of DRIVE,
                                                                                                                 Cloud offering                           businesses to define the role of
                                                                                                                                                                                                    NHS24 is a special health
                                                                                                                                                                                                 board providing health ad-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       sional after a thorough re-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       view, and we were impressed
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          dent CRM.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             ‘‘At a time when spending
                                                                                                                                                          CRM in their organisations, to         vice and information for              by its ease of use and its flex-   cuts are at the forefront of
   client interactions. We’re not     Also, because the system sits       which places more of an em-            Traditionally, Microsoft did             understand their current cap-
   coming from a sales pipeline       on Microsoft SQL, it is scal-       phasis on pipeline and sales                                                                                           Scotland. Breathing Space, a          ibility to be customised as        their 2011 budgets, it makes
                                                                                                                 not promote CRM, wh i le                 ability level and to develop and       division of NHS24, is a free          our requirements change,’’         sense for them, as it does for
   perspective; instead, we’re        able and users only choose          management.                            Salesforce was very successful           manage key aspects of a suc-
   coming from the client man-        (and pay for) those aspects            ‘‘Our system is all about                                                                                           and confidential phone line           said Alan Mullins, project         thousands of chief execu-
                                                                                                                 in the market. Microsoft has             cessful CRM project. It also al-       service for any individual,           manager of NHS24, who              tives, to embrace it now,’’
   agement side of things.’’          which they need for their           tracking maintaining client            since refocused its attentions           lows them to measure progress
      Of course, the people be-       own practice.                       relationships and keeping                                                                                              who is exper iencing low              oversaw the project.               Cullen said. ‘‘The success of
                                                                                                                 to include CRM where, ac-                and improvements over time,’’          mood or depression, and in               SugarCRM was designed           the NHS24 Breathing Space
   hind Relate Software already          Since its launch in 2004,        your clients happy,’’ Rogers           cording to Muldoon, it is en-            said Muldoon.
   know about IT solutions and        DRIVE has been used by ac-          said. ‘‘We feel that this is par-                                                                                      need of someone to talk to.           to provide a single screen for     project clearly demonstrates
                                                                                                                 joying greater success.                     Companies of all sizes can          The service was launched in           all data input, improving on       that enterprise-class soft-
   the specific needs of the ac-      countancy firms of all sizes,       ticularly important for the               ‘‘We now have a strong cloud          use this approach to measure,
   countancy sector: they are         from single users to med-           current economic situation,                                                                                            Glasgow in 2002.                      the old Siebel application         ware solutions and cost sav-
                                                                                                                 offering to compete with Sales-          assess and plan improvements              The existing Siebel system         which had multiple pop-ups         ings do co-exist.’’
   the same people who were           ium/large firms (350 users).        because whatever about get-            force, and people are talking            in CRM capabilities. ‘‘Priority
   b eh i nd Ap ex S oft ware,        It has increased its client base    ting new business, at the mo-                                                                                          had gone ‘end-of-life’ and            and required navigation to
                                                                                                                 about it and are really excited          can be given to certain areas,         was no longer supported by            multiple screens to record a         For more information,
   which was acquired by Sage         around the world and has re-        ment it’s vitally important to         about it,’’ said Muldoon.                and most importantly any im-
   PLC at a time when Sage            cently signed two large firms       be able to keep the business                                                                                           the vendor. This required             single call. In addition, hang-    contact Provident CRM on
                                                                                                                    Solutions from iSite can              provements can be measured             NHS24 to determine a new              up call handling was imple-        tel: 01-4403685 or e-mail
   had only eight employees in        in Malaysia and Hong Kong,          you’ve got.’’                          range from a couple of days’             and tracked over time.’’
   Ireland.                           as well as strengthening its                                                                                                                               system that could capture all         mented with a single click,
                                                                                                                 guidance to a full-scale imple-             He added that all business          required information, includ-         which drives considerable                    or visit
      Following the acquisition,      market share in Britain with           For more information,               mentation of the CRM.                    solutions, CRM included,
   Relate Software has been           a number of London-based            contact Relate Software on                                                                                             ing a set of newly identified         time-saving for users.      
                                                                                                                    Muldoon said the introduc-            should be measured.
   working closely with the ma-       firms.                                 tel: 00353-1-4597800,               tion of cloud computing had                 ‘‘If you’re not measuring
   jor bodies in the accountancy         In addition, DRIVE re-                      e-mail                      seen interest grow in CRM                things as you go, you can’t
   profession to develop a sys-       cently won the software satis-              among single users, all the way          manage them. As a Microsoft
   tem that is closely aligned to     faction award in 2010 for the               or by visiting                 up to very large companies. In-          partner, iSite is very well
   their client management re-        third year running in an on-               creased expectations from cus-           placed to provide firms with
                                                                                                                 tomers were also dr iv i ng              measurement tools and solu-
FEBRUARY 27 2011                                                                                                    commercial report                                                                                                                                                  n43

Microsoft helps firms to do better business
The software giant’s latest product can help firms to
sell in overseas markets, writes Dermot Corrigan

                       icrosoft        ‘‘CRM 2011 gives you a view       were heavily involved in the
                       is g e ar-   of all the interaction that hap-     launch of Dynamic CRM
                       ing up       pens on the web with your cus-       2011, said O’Leary. ‘‘Ireland is
                       fo r t h e   tomers, be it through social         one of the leading sites for the
                       global       networking or whatever else,’’       launch of CRM,’’ he said.
                       lau nch      he said. ‘‘It connects with sites,   ‘‘The global operations team
of Dynamics CRM,which hits          such as Facebook and Twitter,        for Microsoft Business Solu-
the market tomorrow. Karl           to help you leverage that online     tions, which is where Dy-
O’Leary, partner sales and          interaction and use them as          na m i cs fits, is r un out of
MBS Dynamics lead with Mi-          feedback tools to help you un-       Ireland. We have a lot of pride
crosoft Ireland, said the up-       derstand the temperature of          around the roll-out of Dy-
dated product release had           your relationship with those         namics CRM.’’
been designed to allow compa-       customers.’’                            O’Leary said Microsoft Ire-
nies to share information be-                                            land had recently surveyed its
tween different Microsoft                                                customers, finding that half
applications more efficiently.      The cloud                            did not yet use specific CRM
   ‘‘We have refreshed the in-                                           products. ‘‘Around 50 per cent
terface, creating a much sim-       Microsoft Dynamics CRM is            of customers use CRM for-
pler interface around CRM,          now available online in 40 mar-      mally, and the other 50 per cent
with much slicker and tighter       kets and 41 languages, said          do it informally,’’ he said.
integration with our Navision,      O’Leary.                                ‘‘They are using products
Outlook, Office, Sharepoint            ‘‘CRM 2011 is the exact           such as MS Access or Excel,
and Lync platforms,’’ said          same product, be it on premise       but not necessarily benefiting
O’Leary.                            or in the cloud,’’ he said. ‘‘You    from having a real CRM sys-
   ‘‘There is better integration    c an de c ide to c onsume it         tem. They are not really build-
now right out of the box.There      through our cloud offering,          ing an optimised business
is also much better use of our      and then if you decide to bring      process around their custo-
business intelligence [BI] plat-    it on premises you can migrate       mers.’’
form, with lots of dashboards       very easily, or vice versa from         D y n a m i c s C R M 2 011
and graphical information           on premises up into the cloud        should attract customers who
within the product.’’               version. ‘‘That gives you a lot      previously thought that CRM
   O’Leary said Microsoft           of choice and flexibility.’’         systems were difficult to use,
would target the product at            O’Leary said that the cloud-      said O’Leary.
companies that did not already      option offered greater flexibil-         ‘‘The feedback from the re-
have CRM systems in place.          ity and availability, but was not    port was that making it easy to
   ‘‘Some people who are using      always suitable for every custo-     use was the biggest challenge,’’
Microsoft Office for their pro-     mer.                                 he said. ‘‘A lot of companies in-
ductivity would not necessarily        ‘‘It is based on the require-     vest in a CRM platform, but
be aware of the benefits of inte-   ments they have, whether they        then because it is hard to use it
grating CRM with their invest-      have concerns or restrictions        does not get adopted fully.With
ment in Office and                  around their business data           CRM 2011 we have tried to
Sharepoint,’’ he said.              being in the cloud or the level      really improve the interface
   ‘‘Every customer interaction     of integration with other sys-       and make it easy to use, while           Avine McNally, director of the Small Firms Association, with Karl O’Leary, partner of sales and MBS dynamics lead at Microsoft Ireland, and
can be followed up on and           te ms they ne ed,’’ he said.         improving the integration so             Yvonne McGarry, SME marketing manager at Microsoft Ireland
used, whether by people work-       ‘‘They also might have people        that all transactions and inter-
ing in marketing or sales or        who work remotely and do not         actions are recorded and there
customer service. They will all     have the most reliable internet      to be used.’’                            more business-lead projects         mer, right through to deliver-        keting spend, to see whether          O’Leary said that Irish-          then trap information from
be working off a single version     connections.’’                                                                around CRM,’’ he said.              ing top quality s er vic e to         their campaigns really gener-      based customers were increas-        multiple areas or multiple dif-
of the truth around the custo-                                                                                        ‘‘Keeping customers and         people you have been dealing          ate the expected follow-on         ingly looking for their CRM          ferent systems into one CRM
mer, learning from different in-                                         Market trends                            winning new customers are           with for ten years.’’                 business,’ he said.                system to help them sell into        database. They want to cope
teractions and understanding        Ireland                                                                       both top priorities for compa-         Microsoft could demon-                 ‘‘A CRM system allows you      overseas markets.                    with selling in the US, Britain
what works well.’’                                                       O’Leary said that Irish busi-            nies. To do that you have to of-    strate a real return on invest-       to track that and report on that      ‘‘We are seeing a lot of custo-   and Ireland at the same time.’’
   Dynamics CRM 2011 also           Microsoft employs 2,200 peo-         nesses were investing in CRM             fer the best possible quality of    ment on its customers’ CRM            clearly and understand the cost    mers looking to scale up very           The next major trend in
allowed companies to leverage       ple at its Sandyford base, with      solutions to retain existing             service.                            spend.                                of ownership over the lifetime     quickly to sell outside of Ire-      CRM would be towards better
conversations with customers        500 of those involved in the         business and attract new custo-             That starts now, in the pre-        ‘‘We help people to look at        of a customer, as distinct from    land,’’ he said.                     utilisation of information gath-
held online, O’Leary said.          CRM space. Irish-based teams         mers. ‘‘We are seeing much               sales interaction with a custo-     the effectiveness of their mar-       just one project.’’                   ‘‘They want to be able to         ered online, said O’Leary.

Drive has Relate Software on the road to success
Relate Software, an Irish provider of CRM solutions, offers a system that gives accountancy firms more control over their business, writes Jennifer Buckley

           ustomer relation-        gers chief executive of Relate       Irish companies to survive the           changed how they interact with                                                                               with client companies to ana-        only major risk with the tech-
           ship management          Software, a Dublin-based pro-        recession.                               the customer completely. The                                                                                 lyse its specific needs and how      nology was, he warned, diffi-
           (CRM) could help         vider of CRM solutions to the           ‘‘Every business should have          whole experience of the custo-                                                                               best to merge existing systems       culties associated with out-to-
           cash-strapped com-       accountancy sector. As he sees       this,’’ Rogers said. ‘‘It is vital, in   mer and level of efficiency                                                                                  with the new solution. Once          date hardware.
panies to cut costs and boost       it, the technology has an im-        that it has changed the way              within the company is aided                                                                                  the installation is completed,          ‘‘It is a very technology-dri-
profits, according to Ray Ro-       portant role to play in helping      businesses are run and has               by this system.’’                                                                                            Relate will then train the com-      ven piece of software, and it
                                                                                                                     Established ten years ago,                                                                                pany’s employees in its use.         needs a certain level of ‘sys-
                                                                                                                  Relate employs just under 50                                                                                    Prices are worked out on a        tem’, not old servers or old
                                                                                                                  people in Dublin. It sells Drive,                                                                            computer-by-computer basis,          PCs. Most companies would
                                                                                                                  its own CRM solution, to 5,000                                                                               with Drive costing about e400        be fine, but it is a point which
                                                                                                                  accountants around the coun-                                                                                 per seat to implement.               needs to be addressed before a
                                                                                                                  try.                                                                                                            Rogers said he believed that      company can begin to think
                                                                                                                     Drive allows company users                                                                                CRM, when imple mented               about implementing CRM. In
                                                                                                                  to log every single interaction                                                                              properly, could save money           the majority of cases now, this
                                                                                                                  with a client, not only when                                                                                 and boost the bottom line. The       is not an issue,’’ he said.
                                                                                                                  they are in the office, but also    Ray Rogers of Relate
                                                                                                                  from remote locations such as
                                                                                                                  the client’s premises. This in-
                                                                                                                  cludes every phone call made
                                                                                                                  to, or received from the client,
                                                                                                                  and all other forms of commu-       they wanted a response. So, we
                                                                                                                  nication.                           started with a system of tracing
                                                                                                                     The software means that ac-      those calls that were made and
                                                                                                                  countancy firms can log all         we knew that logging them
                                                                                                                  contact between their staff and     would be a good place to start.
                                                                                                                  clients. Every call made to or      We moved on to having a cen-
                                                                                                                  from the firm is logged on a        tralised e-mail client server,
                                                                                                                  system. The same goes for e-        which everyone used and in
                                                                                                                  mails, memos, word docu-            which e-mails would also be
                                                                                                                  ments, mobile text messages,        logged.
                                                                                                                  and even interaction via social        ‘‘Then we added memos,
                                                                                                                  media like Facebook orTwitter.      PowerPoints, all kinds of docu-
                                                                                                                     Rogers said CRM technolo-        ments, which could all also go
                                                                                                                  gies were evolving all the time     into a file. So, if you called your
                                                                                                                  in response to these social         accountant and then e-mailed,
                                                                                                                  media tools.                        both would be logged and
                                                                                                                     ‘‘Social media is playing ^      when you next speak to anyone
                                                                                                                  and will play ^ a huge role for     in the company, they are in-
                                                                                                                  customers and clients,’’ he said.   formed on all your customer
                                                                                                                     ‘‘People are talking about       matters. It would incorporate
                                                                                                                  products online. We can lit-        all the topics,which would have
                                                                                                                  erally see those products shift-    been raised by the customer ^
                                                                                                                  ing fast after a discussion, and    everything is stored together.’’
                                                                                                                  a new client does spot these           While Relate specialises in
                                                                                                                  discussions or questions. This      CRM for accountants with
                                                                                                                  can be incorporated into the        products such as Personal Tax
                                                                                                                  CRM system so that a com-           Manager and Corporate Tax
                                                                                                                  pany can communicate with           Manager, the company does
                                                                                                                  existing or prospective clients     have some clients in other
                                                                                                                  and gain contracts in this way.’’   areas.
                                                                                                                     The idea behind Relate’s            ‘‘We actually have a few
                                                                                                                  CRM solution was relatively         other big clients now who are
                                                                                                                  simple. ‘‘We found that a lot of    not accountancy firms, but
                                                                                                                  accountancy firms were not          who came to us through ac-
                                                                                                                  proactive in terms of staying       countancy firms and recom-
                                                                                                                  in contact with their custo-        mendations. It is yet to be
                                                                                                                  mers,’’ Rogers said.                decided whether we will start
                                                                                                                     ‘‘An average customer could      targeting other markets other
                                                                                                                  put in a call to their accoun-      than accountancy firms,’’ Ro-
                                                                                                                  tants and wouldn’t hear back,       gers said. Before Relate installs
                                                                                                                  or would have to ring again if      any CRM system, it consults