It is the Microsoft partners, which sell and implement the Dynamics range of ERP products, which are also the experts when it comes to Dynamics CRM.
The Ergo Group is a major Microsoft solutions partner in Ireland, winner of Country Partner of the Year awards four times in the last six years. Its Dynamics practice has seen a significant rise in the addition of Dynamics CRM in broadly that same period. “We can claim with some pride that the CRM projects have all been successful,” said Phil Ryan, CRM solutions manager in Ergo.
“There are two principal reasons and the first is the combination of flexibility and comprehensiveness in the Dynamics CRM software itself. The other, we believe, is the implementation process we have developed with our clients over the years which begins with an engagement of mutual discovery,” he said. “We do not look initially for a list of requirements from the client, nor do we simply try to audit what they currently do. The list of what would be valuable, what is achievable and the priorities develops naturally as the process goes on.”
The Ergo CRM team believes it has identified a number of key success factors in ensuring successful implementations, starting with top level management sponsorship followed by a CRM champion in-house. “That is part of why the early engagement is so important. CRM is never simply a software package,” Ryan said. “It is about people and business processes and a management strategy that empowers all of the users in a new way of working. That is why it cannot be reduced to a simple shopping list of features.”
Another key success factor, he said, is time to value. “There is nothing more convincing than achieving quickly something of clear business value. There is also the underlying reality that in CRM, as in so many other types of project that involve change, is always more effective to work in incremental stages rather than trying for one big bang solution.”
CRM is also, Ryan said, in many respects an ongoing process itself. “The more data is collected over time the richer the resource is. Then there is the integration with ERP and other major systems, which is usually refined, fine-tuned and has functionality added after the initial joining up of the systems is successful. But then you often have a need for some degree of segregation, because not all information should be accessible to everybody. So the CRM has to reflect the organisation’s business rules and standard processes, often involving regulatory compliance. Once again CRM reflects people and processes in that it matures over time.”
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