Dynamics CRM Online helps engineering firm enhance sales visibility and planning

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*Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online gives us the visibility, agility and stability we need to make better sales decisions. We are now extending it into the project management cycle. *

Jason Taylor
CIO
SAGE Automation

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In 2011, SAGE Automation (SAGE) needed a centralised sales database for their 80 staff working in Business Development and Account Management. The goal was to achieve better visibility of the company’s sales pipeline, so they could allocate resources more accurately, better evaluate new business opportunities and plan for the future.

“Staff were out there managing customers, prospecting for work and bringing in business opportunities, but it was recorded in a very manual, ad hoc way,” remembers Jason Taylor, company CIO. “So when we needed the big picture of what was coming up in our pipeline, it was time-consuming and cumbersome to work out.”

SAGE needed “one front door” to their organization. They needed clear visibility of their operations, with a “go or no go” process that would help them determine whether or not to approach new business, based on size, cost and potential risk.

Solution
SAGE mostly uses Microsoft products, so they wanted something that would work with their suite. “We had a look in the market and quickly identified Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online as ideal,” says Taylor. “It was familiar, did exactly what we needed, and was easy to integrate with our existing technology.”

SAGE was also drawn to the greater value of the Microsoft platform. “It’s a hosted service so we don’t have to worry about managing servers or the storage of our database. Everything is kept secure by Microsoft and updates happen automatically.”

With OBS, Microsoft Public Sector Partner of the Year (2012), engaged to manage the integration, the project was up and running in less than three months. “We did training to support staff through the new processes, to help ensure a smooth transition,” says Taylor. “We workshopped it and it worked flawlessly."

“Dynamics CRM Online is mapped to our precise needs,” Taylor says. “The fully customisable system gives the team ‘all the basics’ but we can add our own inputs and workflows as well.

“It’s very agile,” says Taylor. “We can change it as the business changes, using simple configuration tools.”

Benefits
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online provides SAGE Automation with greater agility and simple IT.

Improved visibility of sales pipeline: SAGE can now measure their pipeline to estimate its value, their current standings, what has been quoted, what is coming in, and much more. “We know the revenue we need to generate at any one time, so we can estimate our success of winning new business and its financial impact on our operations,” says Taylor.

More accurate planning and resourcing: Dynamics CRM Online has streamlined and simplified planning. “Everyone is using the same processes now, so we have a consistently high standard of reporting and data entry,” says Taylor. With a broader view of their operations, SAGE can plan resources more accurately and better understand the capabilities they need to support future projects.

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*We’re especially happy with the IT benefits.  *

Jason Taylor
CIO
SAGE Automation

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Simpler, more sustainable IT:
  The team deliberately opted for a cloud platform, so they wouldn’t need to waste time managing the system. Now, upgrades happen automatically, so their technology is always up to date. “Updates would normally be an IT task along with planning and testing, so it’s great to take that burden off our already small team. Now we can spend more time improving – not worrying about management.”

Better business agility: SAGE is also enjoying the agility of the Dynamics CRM Online platform. “Prior to deployment, we had to set up our own custom databases – complete with a web front end, security and reporting,” Taylor says. “Now we just configure these things online.” The team also enjoyed the familiarity of the Microsoft interface, which let them “jump straight in and build reports” without much prior training.




Next Steps
Connect with Microsoft Dynamics
Become a Dynamic Business
Learn about partner solutions available in the Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace

For more information about Microsoft Dynamics, go to: www.microsoft.com/en-au/dynamics

This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.
Customer Size: Medium Organization
Industry: Automotive, Industrial Equipment & Aerospace
Country or Region: Australia
Solutions:
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online
Organization Profile: Founded in Adelaide, 1994, SAGE Automation has expanded across the nation to become Australia’s leading independent industrial automation and control system integrator. With a team of nearly 300 people working in over nine locations, SAGE helps major organisations in defence, infrastructure, manufacturing, mining and utilities operate more safely, more efficiently and with higher quality.
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