By selecting Microsoft Dynamics CRM, the French leader in solar panel roofing is providing its subsidiaries with a solution that covers all business units, from presale to after-sales. This new tool is easy to implement, user-friendly, and customizable. Integrating the solution with an existing ERP system will enable EDF ENR to improve its commercial management effectiveness and better serve its customers.
Equally owned by EDF and EDF Energies Nouvelles, EDF ENR is a major actor in the renewable energy sector and is currently primarily active in solar panel roofing. Its business is the design, sale, and installation of solar panel solutions for medium-size roofs for individuals, businesses, and communities.
Working through fourteen agencies across the country, the group’s activities have increased significantly since its creation in 2007. France is the fifth sunniest country in Europe, so the market has a great deal of potential. The company developed the skills it needed by acquiring several other companies, including Photon Technologies whose founder, Roland Barthez, is a solar power pioneer in France.
A Unified Information System
|With Microsoft Dynamics CRM, each key actor throughout the customer relationship gets the right information at the right time. This not only improves our sales effectiveness, it also enables us to better serve our customers.|
| Olivier Jarniac|
IS and Process Manager
To properly establish its future development, EDF ENR knew that it needed to implement a new information system. Olivier Jarniac, EDF ENR’s IS & Process Manager, says, “Our group is currently made up of several subsidiaries that have to work together. But as recently as a year ago, each entity has its own management system that it used mainly for sales administration. These different and often redundant tools did not allow information-sharing and certain functions such as marketing, reporting, and activity analyses were only partially covered or in some cases not covered at all. It was thus crucial that we transition to a unified information system that could provide us with a complete customer overview.”
At the time, the group had two major and potentially conflicting requirements: it needed a management tool that could meet the operational needs of its various business units (sales, marketing, after-sales, and so on), but it also needed a comprehensive CRM solution. “We wanted a system that would improve data flow and data reliability across the board, and with excellent responsiveness that would enable us to monitor ongoing developments and optimize our processes. We also needed a customer account management system that could cover all the different units, from presales to after sales service,” explains Jarniac.
This was not an easy challenge to meet, especially when each subsidiary entity saw its existing system as the best solution.
Having shopped around and compared the features of the major software packages, the IS manager finally selected Microsoft Dynamics CRM. “I became certain that this was the best customer account management tool for our needs. It covers all the business units we need to supply: marketing, sales monitoring, after-sales service, and so on. It is also easy to use, quick to implement, and customizable for our needs,” says Jarniac.
All that remained was to find an integrated management tool that could be used by the entire company. The group’s primary subsidiary, EDF ENR Solaire, was already using inventory management and payroll through Cegid’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) offering, Business Place V8. The group chose Business Place V8 as its management tool.
A Single Shared, Reliable, and Robust Database
|Having file histories will enable us to provide a quicker, better-adapted response to our customers’ requirements. By offering a better service, we will improve customer satisfaction and also increase customer loyalty.|
| Olivier Jarniac|
IS and Process Manager
The two integration projects were launched in parallel. EDF ENR called on certified Microsoft Gold Partner Sopra Group to support the projects’ implementation. Sopra Group, which specializes in consulting and integration, has been a Microsoft partner for several years and possesses proven skills relating to SharePoint, Fast, Duet Enterprise, Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, and .NET. “Theirs was the best proposal in terms of a comprehensive response to our call to bid,” says Olivier Jarniac.
The first stage of implementation involved deploying Microsoft Dynamics CRM in the customer care department and integrating it with a customer document management system to enable document sharing between departments and with service providers. It was also necessary to link the ERP and CRM systems in order to end up with a single shared, reliable, and robust database for contacts, prospects, and customers.
Jarniac explains, “We decided to use Microsoft SharePoint 2010, which is simple and quick to implement. We encapsulated it into Dynamics CRM to manage our documents, our business unit data, our archives, and so on, all through a single, globally used platform. Finally, to secure all our information systems, we selected Prosodie as the service provider to host our new applications.”
More Efficient and More Responsive Customer Service
The customer department restructuring was finished in spring 2011, along with an operational connection to the ERP system. The group is finally able to follow all customer interactions through a single tool and to capitalize on its prospect and customer information. “We now have a single shared document framework and we have automated customer file monitoring and steering (reminders, emails, etc.), which has significantly improved customer service effectiveness. We are more efficient and therefore more productive,” Olivier Jarniac reports.
By summer, the sales and marketing departments will also be upgraded. “At that point we will be able to steer our sales agents more effectively and our knowledge of prospects and customers will improve. We will also be able to develop contact marketing plans, for instance through newsletters, in order to improve our customer relationships. But we still need to do some work on the CRM’s user-friendliness in order to make it easier for our sales personnel to take ownership of the system,” Jarniac adds.
For the end of the year, EDF ENR aims to deploy the application to its after-sales department in order to respond more rapidly to claims and to monitor incident management over time. “Having file histories will enable us to provide a quicker, better-adapted response to our customers’ requirements. By offering a better service, we will improve customer satisfaction and also increase customer loyalty,” says Jarniac.
About Sopra Group
Sopra Group offers consulting, systems integration, application outsourcing, and application solutions. Microsoft Gold Certified, the European group guides companies in their business transformation projects, from defining strategies to their implementation. The group is active in France, Benelux, Spain, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, and Italy; and via its subsidiary, Axway, it is active throughout the rest of Europe, Asia, and the United States. An expert in Business Interaction Networks, the group employs over 13,000 people and posted 2010 revenues of €1.17 billion.
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Document published November 2012.