As Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada grew, its case management system was unable to adapt to the evolving needs and unique processes of the movement. It subscribed to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and customized the solution to support service
delivery staff. With a new mentor/child “matching engine” and case management protocols built on best practices, everyone works more efficiently, while staying focused on child safety.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada pairs mentors with children and youth to serve as role models. Today, more than 28,000 mentors are building positive relationships with more than 33,400 children and youth in 1,000 Canadian communities.
“Everything we do at Big Brothers Big Sisters is centered on making quality long- term mentoring relationships that are characterized by our core focus on child safety,” says Malcolm McAuley, Dynamics System Manager at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada.
“The service delivery staff follows a specific task list to screen volunteer applicants and match them with children, and our local agencies adhere to strict service delivery protocols.”
Big Brothers Big Sisters used a hosted case management system called HOMES from a nonprofit organization called CORI. The system did not support the exact workflow processes that formed the core of Big Brothers Big Sisters program management. “The HOMES
system met our initial needs, but wasn’t built in a manner that could be easily customized for future needs,” says McAuley.
Because the CORI system was generic, staff members spent extra time scrolling through extraneous questions and forms to select the fields that they needed. “We wanted a system tailored to our workflows, instead of one that required staff to interpret which
pieces of functionality were applicable,” says McAuley. “A customized solution built to support Big Brothers Big Sisters’ best practices would take interpretation out of using the software, and standardize and streamline how staff worked. It would also build
better connections among our agencies.”
So when CORI announced it was ceasing operations, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada set out to find a solution that it could customize. “We wanted a flexible, browser-based solution from a solid vendor,” says McAuley. “We chose Microsoft Dynamics CRM
Online because it is an enterprise-ready solution from a trustworthy company offered at a very attractive price.”
||Using Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online freed up time for our staff to focus on what is most important: finding the right match for the thousands of children and youth across Canada waiting for mentors.
| Malcolm McAuley
Dynamics System Manager, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online delivers the same functionality as Microsoft Dynamics CRM on-premises business software for customer relationship management, with the added value of a cloud service. “Now we don’t have the expense of deploying infrastructure at
our agencies,” says McAuley.
In June 2010, the organization subscribed 500 users to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. It selected Altus Dynamics, a Microsoft Dynamics partner with Gold competencies, to customize the solution. “Altus Dynamics has a unique in-depth knowledge of the nonprofit
sector. They interpreted our specific requirements and built a solution customized to meet our needs in Dynamics,” says McAuley.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online can be customized to create “Extended CRM” scenarios for organizations with unique business processes. “We reconfigured the solution to build a ‘matching engine’ for mentors and youth, and to support agencies’ program management
requirements,” says Craig Kasperski, CRM Account Executive at Altus Dynamics.
Altus Dynamics suggested Big Brothers Big Sisters subscribe to Microsoft Business Productivity Online Standard Suite (now Microsoft Office 365) so all agencies could standardize on the included Microsoft Exchange Online hosted enterprise messaging service.
The two online services work together so staff can use Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online for Microsoft Outlook, which enables access to the same Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online data through the Outlook messaging client instead of a web browser. In just four months,
63 agencies had switched to the solution. “We expect a complete rollout by early 2012,” says McAuley.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada is already seeing the difference a flexible, user-friendly business solution can make to its operations. “Using Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online freed up time for our staff to focus on what is most important: finding the
right match for the thousands of children and youth across Canada waiting for mentors,” says McAuley. We are helping our counterpart in Australia to bring seven agencies onto Dynamics CRM Online.”
Big Brothers Big Sisters has been able to:
Improve staff productivity. With Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, staffers no longer have to interpret generic software but instead can follow the same, streamlined processes. “Field staffers love how the system automatically generates a timeline
of tasks,” says McAuley. “And the interoperability between Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and Exchange Online saves time because email messages are automatically documented and filed in case notes and calendars are synchronized between online data and Outlook.”
Benefit from analytics. Big Brothers Big Sisters is evaluating using Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online to provide agencies with customizable surveys to track and measure outcomes. “We want children to reach their potential and our goal is to
help them through our mentoring programs,” says McAuley. “Proving our success will help encourage volunteers and donations.”
Build connections to share information. The organization is also using Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online to build interagency connections, share best practices, and improve program delivery. “I have created a Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online forum
that is a monthly meeting for agencies to share experiences about how they are using the solution and how to improve it,” says McAuley. “We are also thinking about using the solution to connect with volunteers. We could send out reminders or provide a web
form for them to update contact information.”
Encourage innovation. Using the new solution frees up time for Big Brothers Big Sisters employees at the agency level, allowing staff to spend time evaluating the needs of children and youth more thoroughly. “We are in a thousand different
communities, representing a thousand different voices with something to contribute to making Big Brothers Big Sisters a better organization,” concludes McAuley. “Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online is helping bring us all together; that is its lasting value.”
For more information about other Microsoft customer successes, please visit: