When news broke that the 2012 Democratic National Convention would be held in Charlotte, North Carolina, the city knew immediately that it was time to replace its manual processes for event permitting with software, especially when considering the challenges that such a large influx of people would bring. With support from Microsoft as part of its Metro Cities initiative, the City of Charlotte adopted Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and tailored the solution to the meet the unique demands of hosting the convention.
Says Emily Cantrell, Organization Development Specialist, Neighborhood & Business Services for the City of Charlotte, “Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online provided us with an event permitting solution that enabled us to facilitate all our processes and empowered staff to find the information they needed without having to go through the event coordinator, who in the past had stored all the information on a single, local computer.”
|We will be able to take Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online well beyond our initial use. By year end, it will include an e-commerce piece for accepting permit payments, and we are even looking at it to support other government services, such as code enforcement.|
| Emily Cantrell|
Organization Development Specialist
City of Charlotte
Why Microsoft Dynamics CRM?
The solution was configured at no cost to the city, and it provided several key benefits that were particularly attractive. Among these, the solution offered:
Availability as a cloud-based service. Because it is available online, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online dramatically simplifies deployment and reduces the burden on the city’s IT resources for both deployment and maintenance.
Familiar user interface. Because city employees can interact with Microsoft Dynamics CRM through Microsoft Office Outlook, the solution minimized training requirements and encouraged rapid adoption.
Ease of integration. Microsoft Dynamics CRM easily connects to services built on Windows Azure. For example, the citizen-facing event permitting portal (where event applications are originated and tracked) runs on Windows Azure.
The Solution in Action
With Microsoft Dynamics CRM in place, City of Charlotte staff successfully supported the Democratic National Convention and now have a central repository for event information and event management overall, including major regional events such as Food Lion Speed Street, Taste of Charlotte, and the CIAA Tournament. Individually, these events can draw as many as 200,000 people to the city; now the related event information will be available for reuse in the future.
Further, because the permitting solution is connected to the city’s website, citizens can apply for permits online, automatically initiating CRM workflows that manage the approval process. Says Cantrell, “Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online enabled us to put an online permit application on our website for the Democratic National Convention. It greatly streamlined the process for taking applications.”
Cantrell goes on to note that the usefulness of the solution will extend long past the end of the convention. She says, “We will be able to take Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online well beyond our initial use. In 2013, the solution will be extended to include an e-commerce piece for processing permit payments, and we are even looking at it to support other government services, such as code enforcement.”
Microsoft Event Permitting Solution
Based on Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and Windows Azure, this cloud-based event permitting solution automates event request and back-end approval workflows; offers detailed reporting; and enables mobile workforce management of event evaluations and approvals.
This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.
Document published January 2013