CRM Case Study

Going Beyond the Quick Fix Creates Fully Integrated Technology


In order to be an effective sales-based organization, customer relationship management
(CRM) is a software application that should be used regularly. One client,
which manufacturers molded containers used to ship consumer products, had utilized a
basic CRM tool for years. However, given the age of their software product, an
upgrade was becoming essential. When the client contacted, they simply
wanted assistance in upgrading their CRM software (ACT). However, what appeared
to be a simple software upgrade turned out to be a much more involved situation. The
system improvements would best be done on a larger, separate, server and would
require an upgrade to the client’s accounting software, as well.


After discussing the problem with the client and researching performance and
compatibility issues between the two systems, the consultants at felt it
was crucia l to conduct a “pre-conversion test.” This would help identify CRM
application changes that would affect the productivity of the individuals using the
program at the client site. It would also ensure the least interruption in usage on the
part of the client. After running the application for a few days, it was deemed
successful and ready for live conversion at the client’s site.’s TANGIBLE RESULT PLAN developed a practical strategy for managing the entire upgrade without
significant disruption of the client’s current users and systems. After the new server
was ordered and installed it was used to test the upgraded CRM application. Once the
implementation was to the complete satisfaction of the client, the “live data” was
moved to the accounting system. Finally, took time to ensure that the

client was completely comfortable using the newly upgraded programs so that they
would not lose any valuable business time during this learning curve. In addition,
they helped the client gain maximum utilization of the capital expenses in
their old server by reconfiguring it to handle email functions in-house. This simple
solution afforded a more secure flow of email information, enabling the client to
archive and save emails and have a running history of email receipts.


Not only did solve the client’s original problem regarding their archaic,
yet vitally important CRM program, the upgraded server allowed the program to
operate faster and more efficient ly. In addition, because of the speed of the new server,
the client is able to use several new applications with their CRM program, which has
greatly improved their efficiency. This includes email integration, voice over IP
(VOIP) integration and voice messaging.

The accounting system upgrade, which would have been a requirement soon, was also
accomplished as a part of this migration. In addition, the possibility of in-house email
will greatly increase security and allow the organization a detailed email history. As an
added bonus, the new server will allow remote access and Blackberry or other email
device compatibility.


What the client thought was a simple fix turned out to be very complex.
took the time to develop a strategy and plan for minimized disruptions, which helped to
attain tangible results. This implementation will pay big dividends as the client is now
technologically well-positioned for years to come with systems and infrastructure that
will support their businesses and allow them to continue to grow and be profitable.

About Dan Harris

Dan Harris is an expert at translating complex technologies and strategies into practical solutions that help small and mid-sized businesses achieve greater efficiency, productivity and accountability, enhance customer outreach, improve overall quality and implement security measures to keep their vital information resources safe.

As founder and principal of Chicago-based, a leading international Information Technology and Management Solutions consulting firm, Dan has provided technology advisory services since 1984, including strategic technology workflow and business process evaluation, Internet and Intranet technologies. He is particularly expert at design and implementation of collaboration technologies such as Lotus Notes that help global businesses communicate more effectively, manage knowledge and leverage “remote” expertise.

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