Quint Wellington Redwood is a global company specializing in world class IT-management solutions and is headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The group had been using Microsoft Dynamics NAV for its global operations since 2004. However, a major challenge it faced was that users in the 12 countries that it operates in did not have direct connectivity to the Microsoft Dynamics NAV system. Transactions from its global billing system also had to be manually rekeyed into the Microsoft Dynamics NAV system. The group overcame these challenges by leveraging on the enhancements offered by the latest version of Microsoft Dynamics NAV. Users from around the world can now directly access the system, and through the tight integration of its global billing system to Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009, Quint has access to accurate real-time information and has also reduced manual work processes.Situation
Quint Wellington Redwood is a global firm specializing in organizing world class IT-management and helping its customers to maximize organizational performance. It provides both solution providers and end-user organizations with the latest solutions in knowledge transfer and knowledge application for strategy and governance, sourcing and service management.
Quint is a privately-owned company with its headquarters in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Through its global network, it has projects in 49 countries as well as offices in 12 countries including the US, Brazil, Japan and Malaysia. In the Asia-Pacific region, Quint’s regional head office is based in Malaysia where the group has also located its shared services center for IT and Web-based services, and its internal software development. Quint has some 250 employees globally including 23 employees in Malaysia.
The group had been using Microsoft Dynamics NAV 4.0 at its headquarters and overseas offices since 2004. Being a global company with offices located in four continents and different time zones presented various challenges to Quint, in particular, connectivity and work process-related issues with regards to its Microsoft Dynamics NAV 4.0 system.
“Previously Microsoft Dynamics NAV 4.0 users would have to be in the same wide area network to utilize NAV and this was an issue for a global company like Quint. In order for our overseas offices to connect back to Microsoft Dynamics NAV, we had to invest in a third party solution – Citrix – to provide a communication link to the headquarters,” says Rene Hagen, CEO of Quint.
In addition, due to the design of Quint’s centralized billing system, transactions generated by the system from all the global offices had to be manually rekeyed into the Microsoft Dynamics NAV 4.0 system. This meant staff at the shared services center in Amsterdam had to be assigned to handle the laborious task of re-keying in thousands of transactions every month, and this inevitably resulted in delays, data entry errors and reports which were inaccurate, Hagen adds. “The billing system was developed in-house on an older platform that made integration with Microsoft Dynamics NAV 4.0 difficult and tedious.”
However, Quint was given the opportunity to resolve these problematic issues when its Malaysia-based Microsoft partner Advance Infosys Sdn Bhd informed Hagen of the significant enhancements in the newly launched Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009. “Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 allows Quint to take advantage of the user interface enhancements, tighter system integration capabilities, and changes to the system architecture in the latest system release,” says Wai Choong Lock, Business Manager of Advance Infosys. This meant that Quint’s centralized billing system, which had been redeveloped, could now integrate more efficiently and effectively with Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009.Solution
Quint decided to take advantage of the latest Microsoft technologies in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009, and engaged Advance Infosys to implement the latest version of the software on a global basis. According to Hagen, Quint’s objectives in rolling out Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 was to:
· Integrate its centralized billing system to the Microsoft Dynamics NAV back-office and to allow full access from different parts of the world based on Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009’s remote access capabilities.
· Reduce use of third party software for its international user access to HQ by using Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009’s remote user functionalities.
· Reduce the manual effort of recreating sales transactions from the centralized billing system to automate transactions to the Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 back-office.
The upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 R2 and integration of the new system with Quint’s front-end billing system was done without any major hiccups and was completed by Advance Infosys in just about six weeks by early 2011. In the later part of 2011, Quint plans to move to the second phase, which is to integrate the Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 system with the group’s Microsoft Dynamics CRM solution.
“This was a mission critical global initiative – to develop an interface that can interact with the global centralized billing system to handle sales, purchase and other transactions to be sent to the Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 back-office in a real-time and accurate manner,” says Hagen.
Hagen also intends to leverage on cloud computing benefits in future and based on the current infrastructure, Microsoft’s cloud offering Windows Azure would be one of the main solutions to be considered.
Quint’s new Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 system utilizes Microsoft SQL 2008 R2 as its database and runs on Windows Server 2008 R2. The modules deployed were Finance, Sales, Purchasing and Reporting.
Lock points out that the successful implementation of the new Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 system and integration with Quint’s centralized billing system was largely due to the close working relationship between Quint and Advanced Infosys. “There is a great understanding between partner and customer, so a lot of the objectives by the management of both companies converged into a single point of focus. We could discuss very objectively on how to best utilize the benefits of IT for the customer,” he adds.Benefits
The implementation of the Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 solution has enabled Quint to provide remote access connectivity for its users from around the world without the use of third party applications. By integrating its centralized billing system to the Microsoft Dynamics NAV solution, the company now gets accurate real-time information and this has enhanced its decision-making process. In addition, it has also benefitted the group through the elimination of various manual work processes.
Improved connectivity to ERP system
The new three-tier architecture of Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 now allows Quint’s remote users from offices around the world to connect directly to the main server, resulting in faster system response times and helping employees to maximize productivity.
“In Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009, the connectivity functionality has actually been redesigned and this allows our offices worldwide to connect directly to the Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 system at the headquarters without the use of third party applications,” says Hagen, adding this allows the company to save on forking out on connectivity software Citrix and other related infrastructure, which cost a substantial amount.
The improved connectivity of Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 has made it a very seamless experience for users to connect to the main system servers. “The moment they open the Microsoft Dynamics NAV solution, for example in Tokyo, it is as if they are logging in to the server from within the same building and not half-way around the world, making the process more seamless and efficient compared to having to access via Citrix,” he adds.
Accurate information improved decision-making
The smooth integration of the Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 solution to Quint’s billing system has resulted in the company getting accurate information that is updated on a real-time basis. “And this has given Quint access to timely and accurate information on its global operations which enables our management to improve decision-making and keep ahead of the competition,” Hagen acknowledges.
Previously, because of the need to re-enter information and the resultant delays in updating transaction billings to the old Microsoft Dynamics NAV system, Quint could not be absolutely confident that all the information and reports in the back-end were accurate nor up-to-date. “This gave rise to uncertainty and had a negative impact on our decision-making. Now with the upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009, we have confidence in the accuracy of the information in the system.
“Now all the invoices and transactions at the front-end billing system from our offices worldwide are updated automatically to the Microsoft Dynamics NAV system, so there’s no confusion or doubts on whether there are any missing transactions or inaccurate information,” adds Hagen.
Reduced manual work
The upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 and tight integration with the company’s centralized billing system also means that Quint was able to reduce manual work processes, allowing it to redeploy its manpower for more productive tasks. For example, Quint generates an average of several thousand sales transactions per month globally and all these transactions had to be rekeyed into the Microsoft Dynamics NAV previously.
The move to the new Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 eliminates the need for two finance staff to spend about six hours each day rekeying in information generated through the billing system from its global offices into the Microsoft Dynamics NAV back-end, says Hagen. “By automatically updating sales transactions from the billing system to Microsoft Dynamics NAV, we’ve freed up the staff to do more productive work such as analyzing financial figures for the management,” he adds.
Platform for growth
Apart from giving Quint efficiency and productivity boosts from an operational standpoint, Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 is also proving to be a powerful platform that allows the group to explore future growth opportunities. Quint looks forward to reaping further benefits when it integrates the group’s Microsoft Dynamics CRM solution, which is used globally, with the new Microsoft Dynamics NAV system in the second half of 2011.
Hagen expects the CRM integration to be just as successful as the integration with its centralized billing system given that Microsoft Dynamics provides a connector to synchronize the types of data that are common to both customer relationship and ERP software, such as customer, contact, and sales order information.
Moving forward, Hagen says Quint plans to optimize the benefits of Microsoft Dynamics NAV for its operations around the world by implementing localized versions of the ERP system that accommodates local requirements especially in terms of tax and other regulations.
Microsoft Dynamics is a line of integrated, adaptable business management solutions that enables you and your people to make business decisions with greater confidence. Microsoft Dynamics works like familiar Microsoft software such as Microsoft Office, which means less of a learning curve for your people, so they can get up and running quickly and focus on what’s most important. And because it is from Microsoft, it easily works with the systems that your company already has implemented. By automating and streamlining financial, customer relationship, and supply chain processes, Microsoft Dynamics brings together people, processes, and technologies, increasing the productivity and effectiveness of your business, and helping you drive business success.
For more information about Microsoft Dynamics, go to: www.microsoft.com/dynamics
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For more information about Advance Infosys Sdn Bhd products and services, call +603 77289688 or visit the website at: http://www.advanceinfosys.com/
For more information about Quint Wellington Redwood products and services, call +603 74900517 or visit the website at: http://www.quintgroup.com/This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.