O2 is the largest integrated telecommunications provider in the Czech Republic. The company manages around eight million mobile and fixed lines, which ranks it as one of the market leaders in fully converged services in Europe. In 2014 the company decided to upgrade a key system that manages O2’s relationships with corporate customers, and those customers in state and public administration with a Framework agreement.
Support was expiring for the existing Siebel CRM 7.8 system, its operating server hardware lingered, and O2 were no longer satisfied with its capabilities – in particular, with very limited flexibility. Even routine operations, such as the adding of a data field to a form, took between 6 and 9 months and any such adjustment cost O2 hundreds of thousands of Czech crowns.
O2’s experience with Siebel provided a good foundation for the definition of requirements for the new system. Firstly, it had to be a user-friendly system. Another key requirement was deep flexibility, so that changes could be implemented easily by business administrators without involving the implementation partner. But, as was the case with Siebel, the solution had to be international, with multiple references from similar-sized implementations abroad.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM offered the best platform
The first step was to select the platform on which their internal CRM for corporate customers could be developed. Only two platforms qualified for the final selection process. Microsoft Dynamics CRM was selected, not only because it met all functional requirements, but also because of the ease with which the system could be administered. Further, it offered the broad integration options with other systems that O2 needed. Microsoft CRM could be directly connected to SAP, the VoIP contact centre solution, O2’s system for the preparation of tenders and its own solution, for fleet management, O2 Car Control.
Implementation had to be compliant with Scrum methods
O2’s experience of standard implementation methods was not encouraging for time and economic reasons, so O2 decided that the new CRM system must be implemented using Scrum – an agile method. This was designed to ensure rapid completion of the implementation to the satisfaction of end users from the very first day. This was a successful approach, though the requirement to comply with Scrum methods placed increased demands on the implementation partner.
LLP’s experience and team coordination decided
Once the platform was decided, O2 began a thorough selection process for the implementation partner. The character of the implementation team was a key determinant of the selection process. O2 examined the CVs of team members from all potential implementation partners. Petr Budín, the designated owner of the project, together with a number of colleagues, met all potential members of the implementation team. O2 even worked for 14 days with one of the partners before deciding that this implementation team didn’t work well as a team and its developers were unable to focus fully on O2’s CRM implementation project. Cooperation with this partner ended, though much was learned from this approach to selection. O2 eventually found the right partner in LLP CRM. In LLP CRM O2 found not only a team of professional consultants and developers but also a highly experienced team leader, Miroslav Vít. The bet on the LLP CRM team paid off. Cooperation with internal five-member team worked well. Moreover, LLP CRM’s team didn’t change even after 14 months of development when the CRM was gradually getting into operation at individual departments.
O2’s bet on an agile implementation method and on LLP’s team paid off handsomely. The entire, department by department implementation process was rapid. First in line was the sales department responsible for customers with a Framework agreement, followed by the customer care centre. Last came the special department for pre-sales and delivery, responsible for the technical preparation of complex ICT bids for customers.
Key users were sharing an office with developers
Development was conducted in a series of two-week Sprints (iterations, during which specific pre-defined functions were completed). Usually, all tasks were scheduled in a way so that so that all tasks in a Sprint could be completed. Individual members of the joint O2-LLP CRM team presented their progress daily at 4 pm to the entire team, including the key users from each department who had helped to define the functionality required and to eliminate those features no longer needed in the new CRM system. The initial list of functionalities and the initial procedural analysis was based on the previous CRM system. The new CRM system was additionally intended to replace other systems, including those O2 has developed itself for facilitation – for example a system of rules for routing of customer requests at the customer care centre which was unsolvable in the previous CRM system.
The first prototype – ready in just two months
Development always began with LLP CRM consultants presenting the basic capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics CRM to key users in a specific department. Users then suggested how they would need the system to work and from that came the list of requirements for minor modifications or custom post-developments. Using this approach, LLP CRM managed to bring the first functional prototype to the key corporate department in just eight weeks. A full operational version for more than 1,200 sales staff followed within five months of the start of the implementation. The solution even included a unique function – ‘Secret Bids’ – that provided an additional security level limiting access to major contracts to particular salesmen and his or her direct superiors. These contracts remained invisible to other users.
CRM for SMB working within a month
The direct intensive participation of key users in development brought an additional benefit. Following a rapid start, only a bare minimum of requirements for further customisation emerged. These usually related to layouts or navigation. These minor adjustments were resolved during each Sprint while developing the system for other departments. Nevertheless, one unique requirement arose. Based on the very positive response of the sales department dealing with customers with a Framework agreement, O2 wanted to extend the CRM system also into the sales department dealing with SMB customers, a department of around 900 employees. The LLP CRM team eventually implemented both the sales and the customer care module in this department.
The new CRM system brought radical improvements for every department that adopted it. “Microsoft Dynamics CRM represented a significant move forward even for top management and the company’s owners, enabling management reporting for middle management directly from the system rather than through the manipulation and graphical representation of data in Excel. As a result of the dramatic savings and efficiency it brought, the new CRM system obtained full support from top management right from the beginning,” said Petr Budín, Business System Design Manager and the owner of the project at O2.
Routing of customer requirements fully automated in real time
Customer care for corporate customers is demanding, due to a complex range of operator services. The routing of customer requirements is governed by a number of rules. LLP CRM assigned relevant skills (e.g. voice, mobile data, xDSL, data centre services etc.) to individual users at the customer care centre. Each incoming request (e-mail, phone, etc.) is now categorised based on the competencies needed to resolve it, and then automatically forwarded immediately to the appropriate and soonest available employee, all in real time.
Previously it was necessary to export data for evaluation manually to the in-house developed O2 system and then to import the output manually back into the CRM system. This process extended the time needed to resolve the customers’ issues. Now everything is done automatically and in real time. The average time needed to resolve a customer request has thus been shortened by about two hours.
Business staff work with only two instead of 27 basic systems
The launch of the new CRM system brought significant simplification for sales staff. “Our sales people previously worked with up to 27 different systems. After completing the optimization of systems in 2016, they will only need two – Microsoft Dynamics CRM and a tool for creating proposals.
Users also have access to the CRM system through a web browser and from their phones and tablets, which looks better for customers,” said Petr Budín. Another direct result is that customers receive a better impression because salesmen can access information more rapidly.
„Additionally, the new CRM system significantly reduced the burden on our IT department and made us able radically to accelerate the resolution of requirements for further customisation. Not to mention the fact that 80% of change requests can be managed by our business administrators without incurring external cost.“
Middle management can manage their sales staff more easily
The new CRM system also brought changes for middle management. “Managers are now able to manage their sales staff more easily. They are provided with up-to-date information on unfinished proposals and meeting schedules. Additionally, the CRM system is connected to our service fleet management system – O2 Car Control. A manager can, with a single click in the CRM system, verify that a sales person has physically visited a particular customer at a particular time,” said Budín.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM provides workflow for the preparation of proposals
O2 also took advantage of another advanced function in Microsoft Dynamics CRM – the ability to serve as a platform for managing workflow – and integrated it with their system for the creation of proposals. When creating a quotation, the CRM system takes complete control of the entire approval process, including the workflow for approving exceptions, taking account of projected employee absences for holidays, sickness, ensuring delegation to appropriate employees based on approval competencies.
O2’s specialised pre-sales and delivery unit manages its staff more efficiently
The CRM system also provides an important function for the hundred-member specialised pre-sales and delivery unit, which uses its service module. Microsoft Dynamics CRM replaced both the previous CRM system and a specialised solution for project management and vendor management. The CRM system is used for the management and capacity planning of each individual expert and external vendor. As at the contact centre, scheduling depends on the competencies of individual workers. Based on pre-set parameters and metrics, and following evaluation of each request by the competent manager, staff are automatically assigned to individual pre-sales requirements so that resolution proceeds without unnecessary delays.
Safety and data accuracy increased significantly
The new CRM system contributed greatly to improved safety and data accuracy. “Previously it was the rule and often the need that data must be exported from the CRM system to Excel where all sorts of additional calculations, reports for top management, and detailed quotations for customers were prepared. The company thus circulated huge numbers of Excel files, often in printed form, which were highly problematic in terms of ensuring up-to-date data and monitoring their workflow,” commented Petr Budín. “Microsoft Dynamics CRM, thanks to some modifications made by LLP CRM and the provision of user-definable dashboards, brought all the necessary functionalities, including reporting. Data exports have since been banned and presentations to top management whether of transactions or of KPIs, whether numeric or graphical, come directly from the CRM system,” he adds. In addition, all outputs are interactive and more details being provided with just one click as needed.
“Microsoft Dynamics CRM transformed the quality of work of all 2,500 CRM users who benefit from greatly simplified and streamlined work. Its deployment helped to eliminate many manual operations, removing the need for the manual processing and exporting of data, and put accurate, interactive real-time data into the hands of middle and top management,” thus Budín summarises the benefits of the new system. “Additionally, the new CRM system significantly reduced the burden on our IT department and made us able radically to accelerate the resolution of requirements for further customisation. Not to mention the fact that 80 % of change requests can be managed by our business administrators without incurring external cost,” he adds.