Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City worked with PowerObjects to road map a Microsoft Dynamics CRM Cloud Solution that could scale to the whole organization.
Blue KC was using an outdated version of CRM and wanted to modernize. They knew they were missing out on opportunities to get to know their customers better. They wanted one source of the truth for all their customer data, instead of referencing different databases, spreadsheets, and documents. Additionally, they also needed something that could serve many different functions of the organization beyond sales.
“Prior to implementing Dynamics CRM, our provider relations teams were using individual emails in their inboxes as well as spreadsheets to manage their accounts,” says Brett Nugent, Program Manager at Blue KC. “There was no central repository for them to see and view the many touch points of our providers.”
Microsoft Dynamics and PowerObjects
Blue KC worked closely with PowerObjects, an HCL Technologies Company, to build a Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 Online solution not only for their sales organization, but also to roadmap how the technology would be implemented company-wide.
“The game changer in CRM for us was that we were migrating from a very autonomous and fragmented approach to a single view of the customer,” says Dave Kaercher, SVP and CIO of Blue KC. “In terms of its integration capabilities with the other Microsoft products we already had, Dynamics fit well within what we were trying to accomplish. The value of Microsoft and PowerObjects when measured against cost and capabilities, is just a better fit for us.”
Mapping for the Future
Blue KC took a long view approach to finding a technology solution and partner. They wanted a solution that could be rolled out throughout the entire company over time, not just a point solution for the sales department. “We have two business units right now running live on Dynamics CRM: provider relations and large group sales,” says Kaercher. “When looking to the future, our vision is that Dynamics will have widespread adoption across the entire Blue KC footprint.”
PowerObjects worked with Blue KC on a roadmap process to identify the different areas of their business and to explore how CRM could potentially evolve and streamline the underlying processes in each of those areas. The exercise involved in-depth conversations with stakeholders in different areas of the company to understand their world and mark opportunities for improvement.
“We decided early on to do the roadmap process with PowerObjects, and it was an awesome experience,” says Lynn Giron, IT Director of Development Operations at Blue KC. “The advantages that came out of the roadmapping project was a clear understanding of what areas could benefit the most, what internal resources it would take, and how it would impact financials for the entire implementation.”
We decided early on to do the roadmap process with PowerObjects, and it was an awesome experience. The advantages that came out of the roadmapping project were a clear understanding of what areas could benefit the most, what internal resources it would take, and how it would impact financials for the entire implementation.
Blue KC recognized that rolling out a new CRM system company-wide would impact users at all levels of the organization, so they put together a change management taskforce. With the help of structured change management exercises led by PowerObjects, Blue KC prepared the entire business and end-users for a successful roll-out.
“Some of the key components of the taskforce were to focus on the overall user adoption of the system,” says Nugent. “But we also wanted to identify key performance indicators and metrics that we could measure within the system as we rolled it out to end users.”
Streamlining the Sales Process
One of the first groups to adopt the new Dynamics CRM solution at Blue KC was the large group sales business. This group now uses CRM for prospecting with new clients, keeping track of RFP processes, and routing all renewals through an automated process. It also provides dashboards that give instant visual insights into work status, new sales, retention numbers, and more.
“Just the fact that we have visibility into these things will be something new for us,” says Jill Glover, Sales Manager in Large Group Sales for Blue KC. “We can now watch a group from the time an RFP comes in the door through the whole lifecycle of getting our questionnaires answered, developing rates, and monitoring tasks along the way.”
Blue KC has also deployed Microsoft Dynamics in their provider relations group. With the new Dynamics CRM solution, all activity around provider relations is now tracked, including phone calls, emails, and onsite visits.
CRM in the Cloud
A key component in the CRM solution that PowerObjects developed for Blue KC was using cloud-based technology. As part of its core IT operating model, Blue KC did not see a stigma around moving to cloud technology, and were eager to utilize that feature.
“Working with CRM 2016 Online has definitely helped us become innovative within our industry,” says Giron. “Being based in the cloud has helped us to start to develop mobile applications for our on-the-road sales teams or some of our provider relations team as they’re meeting with clinics or hospitals. It’s helped us to be more innovative in those areas.”
Because Blue KC worked closely with PowerObjects to outline a roadmap for future uses of CRM, Blue KC is set on a path for scaling the use of CRM throughout the organization.
“One of the things that we’re most excited about in the future that we haven’t gotten to with CRM yet is for our customer service departments,” says Giron. “I know we’re really looking forward to being able to use the USD service that CRM provides and working with PowerObjects to help us build that out, to really show that one customer relationship that we want to be able to support through our customer service area.”
The PowerObjects Relationship
Throughout the roadmapping and implementation of Blue KC’s new CRM system, PowerObjects has provided the experience, best practices, change management, and support needed for a successful roll-out.
“PowerObjects has been there every step of the way to provide that valued support,” says Giron. “The overall relationship has been really wonderful.”
“The beauty of working with PowerObjects was that it allowed us to create a migration plan that was aligned with our broader portfolio of Microsoft investments,” says Kaercher. “If I had more partners like PowerObjects, it would make my job a lot easier!”