Global Customers, Global CRM

Initial Situation

For many travelers, the hotel portal belongs to the success stories of the internet. In fact, the company's roots reach back much further. Far back in 1972, HRS provided its business customers with reasonably priced accommodations when during trade show times almost only expensive accommodations were available. Today, the company is the world's leading hotel portal in the business travel segment. More than 30,000 companies make use the portal to book accommodations online from a selection of 250,000 associated hotels in 180 countries. Apart from the technology, the close contact to the hotels is crucial for the company’s success." The product range of large hotel groups is replaceable. The difference here is what individual hotels offer. They determine the quality and price range of the overall offering. This way, our customers are able to choose from the largest selection of hotels worldwide," underlines Heiko Reintsch, Strategy & Corporate Development Manager at HRS.

*In our business, the market requirements are continually changing. Now we have a CRM software which is flexible in the way we do business – without any programming effort.*

Heiko Reintsch
Strategy & Corporate Development Manager


In recent years, HRS has grown rapidly withinthe corporate business area. The company’s IT based customer service struggled to keep pace with this growth. "The customer data were scattered over various databases, Office documents as well as in Outlook. We were no longer able to ensure a high quality customer service. Our employees had to create consolidated reports tediously by hand," remembers Reintsch. HRS required a system to accompany and document its sales activities.

In the end of 2010, HRS decided to consolidate the existing customer data within one comprehensive CRM software system. The project team set a high value on a lean, but expandable program structure. Also, the requirement was to have a software solution which can be used internationally and which requires minimum training. Due to the global dimension of the project, a hosting CRM was exactly the right solution. After having pre-evaluated a number of the available systems on the market, three CRM applications remained on the company’s selection list. Finally, the winner was Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 which succeeded against Salesforce and SugarCRM. "With Dynamics CRM, we were able to integrate the software into the existing system landscape. Another plus for Dynamics CRM is that our employees can choose between the web browser and Outlook," explains Reintsch. The Microsoft partner proMX was awarded the contract to implement the software who also took over the hosting of the CRM system. The project manager emphasizes: "The product presentation was tailored to our needs. Even in the “try-out workshop, we were offered initial solutions. We were quickly convinced that proMX is the right partner."


In the beginning of the project in early 2011, the company also had to manage challenges at organizational level. There was no documentation available for a large number of processes which were to be handled in Dynamics CRM. "It was a high prerequisite for the interaction between the field and internal service to have a high degree of standardization," explains Reintsch. So the implementation of Dynamics CRM followed immediately after the harmonization of workflows. The complexity of a large number of processes required to perform several rounds of voting. Also, an interface was added to the corporate client portal used to automatically take over new business partners into Dynamics CRM. After the successful transfer of legacy data, HRS was ready to start with more than 100,000 records.


Since early summer 2011, more than 100 HRS employees – located at the company’s eight offices in Cologne, London, Paris,
Warsaw, Rome, Moscow, Shanghai, and Singapore – have been using Dynamics CRM during their daily work. Information sharing and transparency are clearly the main achievements of the new system. In the past, the sales management often decided by gut feeling. Now, reliable data can be easily filtered from the CRM software." The CRM application is our radar system. It allows us to react to new developments at an early stage. It furthermore promotes cooperation between our offices," underlines Reintsch. The IT supported, clearly defined business processes help ensure efficient interaction between the field and internal service. HRS benefits from a fast order processing, a complete documentation and a declining need for coordination. In addition, the HRS employees can specifically select target groups and thus reduce the campaign costs enabling to grow and to increase success.

For Reintsch, the adaptability of Dynamics CRM is at least as important: "In our business, the market requirements are continually changing. Now we have a CRM software which is flexible in the way we do business – without any programming effort." That is why HRS already has a number of further projects in the pipeline. For example, it is planned in future to map the company’s relationships with the hotels and to enhance the CRM application by adding functionalities of a xRM software. The manager is very pleased with the progress reached until now: "At the time of implementation, Dynamics CRM 2011 was a completely new software which we had little experience with. proMX was highly reliable who succeeded in managing the project in an exemplary manner."

This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.
Customer Size: Medium Organization
Industry: Professional Services; Travel
Country or Region: Germany
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011