Business and technology consulting company Consulting4IT supports clients with business process and infrastructure optimization. The company used software developed in-house and a heavily customized, older version of Microsoft Dynamics NAV, but it had challenges with keeping the software tools up-to-date, creating a burden on users. Working with Microsoft Gold Certified Partner GfWI, Consulting4IT implemented a new, standard version of Microsoft Dynamics NAV in integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Following GfWI’s BlitzStart methodology, the project only took a week. Today, Consulting4IT realizes substantial savings, has full control over its business with advanced insight and reporting, and anticipates working with the scalable, reliable solution for years to come. In addition, employees enjoy an intuitive, efficient software environment that fits their roles.
|Our fast, standardized implementation of Microsoft Dynamics NAV pays off, in terms of financial savings, process efficiencies, and enhanced business control, productivity, and customer service.|
|Christian Müller, |
Managing Partner, Consulting4IT
Headquartered in Waldbronn, Germany, Consulting4IT, a Microsoft Certified Partner for Advanced Infrastructure, specializes in supporting the IT departments of business customers with infrastructure and business process optimization. The company’s consultants deliver solutions to facilitate process automation, asset management, service portals, workflows, virtualization, data and application security, and other important capabilities. Consulting4IT also offers its own software tools for specific business needs and provides training for technology managers. Many of the company’s customers range in size from approximately 1,000 to 5,000 employees and are located in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland.
In addition to generating frequent repeat and referral business from existing customers, Consulting4IT makes use of a variety of channels, including inside and outside sales, to grow the company and reach new, potential customers. Consulting4IT’s business development and customer relationship management required careful tracking to help managers deploy sales and marketing resources in the most effective way. Consulting4IT had developed its own software tools in-house to handle these tasks and used a heavily customized, older version of Microsoft Dynamics NAV to help manage the business. However, the company had challenges with keeping the software tools up-to-date, creating a burden on users. Christian Müller, Managing Partner at Consulting4IT, says, “We wanted to simplify our software environment to keep productivity up and growth proceeding apace.”Solution
Through a number of joint engagements, Consulting4IT already had a relationship with GfWI, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner. GfWI, which provides business and technology consulting and delivers Microsoft technologies and its own vertical solutions, frequently uses an extremely rapid implementation methodology called BlitzStart. Available for Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, and Microsoft SharePoint Server, BlitzStart projects deploy standard versions of the products and take only a few days to complete implementation, data migration, business-specific adjustments, and user training. Joachim Stein, Managing Partner at GfWI, explains, “For many smaller and medium-sized businesses, implementing the standard versions of the solutions is the fastest and most cost-effective way to go. Customers can write invoices and perform other routine tasks at the end of the first day and are productive working with the new software tools after five to seven days.”
At the beginning of the project, GfWI created a plan with precise definitions of deliverables and schedules for Consulting4IT. After Consulting4IT agreed to the plan, GfWI replaced the older, heavily customized version of Microsoft Dynamics NAV with a new implementation of Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009. Microsoft Dynamics CRM took the place of Consulting4IT’s in-house customer relationship management tools. In addition, GfWI provided standardized, preconfigured capabilities for managing finances and business operations in the strictly regulated German market.
Following a weeklong deployment, Consulting4IT now enjoys an efficient, highly usable business management infrastructure. Team members take advantage of the RoleTailored user experience in Microsoft Dynamics NAV, with the most popular roles being CEO, sales manager, consulting manager, and financial manager. By integrating Microsoft Dynamics NAV with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Consulting4IT now provides all its employees with immediate access to financial and customer account updates in both solutions. Müller says, “Within a few days, we transitioned from needlessly complex software to a business-enabling technology environment that will be able to grow with us and with which our employees were immediately at home and productive.”Benefits
For Consulting4IT, the implementation of Microsoft Dynamics NAV provided a new way to focus on the essentials of the business and eliminate distractions and inefficiencies. Says Müller, “GfWI did an excellent job for us. We can now reap the full benefits of Microsoft Dynamics NAV to build our business.”Save and Control Expenses from the Implementation Onward
In a rapid implementation that remained close to the standard versions of Microsoft Dynamics NAV and the other technologies, Consulting4IT generates one-time and continuing savings. Says Müller, “Most implementation service providers want at least 15 to 20 days for a basic project, and ours included two products. We saved a large amount on consulting fees and avoided long interruptions to team productivity, which also saved costs.”Take Control of Business Performance
Consulting4IT employees today use the extensive reporting capabilities in Microsoft Dynamics NAV, tailored for their roles, instead of custom reports. Integration with Microsoft Excel readies data easily for further analysis and display. It also helps that employees can avoid importing data and reporting parameters from DATEV, a German IT service provider whose practices amount to a de facto standard. GfWI includes the DATEV standards in its implementations. “We have much better control of our business performance and financial activities,” says Müller. “Producing the right report in the best format is very simple, and we can perform detailed financial analysis at the level of projects, categories such as travel costs, individual contributions, and in other ways. It’s a huge advantage for us to know how the numbers are trending and how we should best direct the business.”Advance Productivity and Support Growth
After brief training from GfWI, employees quickly adopted Microsoft Dynamics NAV. Says Müller, “The system is extremely intuitive and easy to use. The software environment is comfortable and helps you work at your best efficiency.” After a few weeks of working with the new solution, employees already developed practical ideas for more efficient workflows that they were unable to create before.
Managers at Consulting4IT find the solution to be extremely reliable and are confident in its scalability. “If we grow to 300 or more people, Microsoft Dynamics NAV will work just as well for us,” states Müller.Boost Customer Service Quality
Today, producing prompt, accurate invoices and customer project reports is a low-effort task that helps Consulting4IT maintain a positive presence with customers. And, with current, reliable information that is always within easy reach, Consulting4IT team members provide a higher quality of customer service with less effort than in the past. Müller explains, “We record detailed notes that are available to everybody who talks to customers, and we can directly access all invoices, credits, and other customer documentation. Customers enjoy talking to us, because they know we can help them in a single call and immediately provide them with an answer.”