Solution Story

Ohio-Based Organization

This organization uses their custom mobile solution to provide their sales team with instant access to Dynamics CRM while on the road.

Background

This customer is an Ohio-based organization that provides services and products to businesses in a wide array of industries.

Challenge

The organization had a custom-built sales platform system for 10 years that no longer met the needs of their complex sales organization. Their team decided to look for a new, modern CRM solution with mobile capabilities that could adapt and grow with their sales processes. After considering their options, the organization decided to implement Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

“We ran into a dead end with our system,” said the organization’s Director of eBusiness. “We liked Dynamics CRM because our sales representatives already used many Microsoft products and with the familiar look and feel of CRM, we knew a learning curve wouldn’t be an issue. We also saw this as a wise business decision since we already had a heavy investment in Microsoft products.”

The organization’s biggest challenge was their need for a customized mobile solution for their sales reps to access Dynamics CRM. After looking into many off-the-shelf solutions, their team found that the available solutions did not meet their specific mobile requirements.

“Microsoft suggested PowerObjects as a partner for us and we liked that PowerObjects only focused on Microsoft Dynamics CRM,” said the director. “We wanted someone who had a clear vision for taking advantage of the whole Microsoft product line.”

The organization partnered with PowerObjects to help them take their Dynamics CRM system to the mobile world by creating a custom mobile application to meet their sales organization’s unique processes.

Overall, this customer needed a custom mobile solution that would:

  • Help their sales team track referrals, leads and accounts on their devices by pulling data from Dynamics CRM
  • Have the ability to pull a lot of information quickly without performance issues or latency
  • Allow an efficient sign-on feature for instant access
  • Provide a streamlined user interface to simplify the user experience and maximize user adoption
  • Integrate with other Microsoft tools including Excel and Outlook

Solution

The organization partnered with PowerObjects to work on building a mobile application called “Dynamics 2 Go” that would meet their organization’s mobile needs and would be accessible on different devices.

“We needed something that would be supported on a variety of devices—tablets, phones, and laptops,” says the director. “We are a Microsoft-driven company and our sales team needs to access Outlook calendar on their phones a daily basis. The app needed to be easy to use and allow us to accomplish basic tasks by focusing on the key pieces of our sale processes.”

The organization provided the PowerObjects team with a high-level specifications list that was targeted on two fronts. First, the code needed to connect to CRM in order to retrieve and update data. Second, the iPhone had to connect to an ADFS that was federated with the organization. PowerObjects worked on screen designs, as well as researched mobile app designs, iOS inputs, and native controls for both iOS and Android phones. The screens for the app were designed in Photoshop, including a log in screen, main navigation screen, account listing screen, individual accounts screens, a screen for entering accounts, and a screen for editing accounts. In order to anticipate what would work best for their team in regards to navigation, it was critical that PowerObjects understood users’ actions in creating the screens. The organization provided feedback on changes, additions, removals, and with approval, PowerObjects was able to merge the logic with the design to create the mobile application.

The organization also needed PowerObjects to complete the Dynamics 2 Go mobile application in a short timeline in order to gain buy-in from other teams that would use the application.

“The PowerObjects team really understood what we were looking for and working with them was one of the smoothest and quickest processes we have had,” says the Director of eBusiness. “We needed a quick turnaround on this project in order to get all of our teams on board. It ended up being a hit out of the gate— PowerObjects’ ability to get this done in a matter of weeks was critical. We were impressed with the speed of which PowerObjects moved and their understanding of the high-level requirements we gave them to turn out an app that our reps want to use.”

Key Benefits

It was key for the organization’s sales team to be able to take their CRM system on the road and have access to customer information on the go. An important feature of Dynamics 2 Go was a streamlined single sign-in process that allows the sales team to be able to log in quickly and easily without having to repeat the process multiple times during the day. “Mobility is driving our sales organization as we expand the solution to all of our 2000 sales reps,” adds the Director of eBusiness. “Our reps are not desk workers; they are constantly in the field, talking to customers and prospects on a daily basis. Our reps need to be able to quickly pull up and access Dynamics CRM wherever they might be located.”

As an organization invested in Microsoft products, it was important for the solution to integrate with the tools their sales team uses on a daily basis, such as the Outlook calendars. Additionally, the organization needed their mobile application to be streamlined and intuitive so their sales team could use it with little training and be able to easily search and input data into Dynamics CRM.

“Our strategy was to build something simple that people want to use,” says the Director of eBusiness. “We wanted to keep everything as narrowed down as possible by using familiar layouts and an intuitive process that did not require much of a learning curve. We wanted our reps to pull up an account with just a few key pieces of information and put information into an account with just a few taps.” Another key feature of Dynamics 2 Go mobile is its effective performance that allows the organization to access data instantly and without latency. “The performance of our mobile application was very important to us,” says the director. “We went to the PowerObjects team and showed them exactly what we needed, which was an app that could pull large amounts of data without excessive loading times. Everyone on the team comments on the great performance of our app. It’s been great not having to wait a long time for things to load—we needed efficient search capabilities as we have thousands of accounts we need to search and identify quickly in the field,” he adds.

By partnering with PowerObjects, the organization now has a customized mobile application that fits their unique sales processes and provides their sales team with the information they need at a moment’s notice. The familiar and streamlined user interface has also optimized their user adoption.

“The out-of-the-box solutions didn’t quite fit our sales process,” the Director of eBusiness says. “We really needed something that catered specifically to what we were looking for—and we have that with what PowerObjects developed. The Dynamics 2 Go mobile app is the game changer for our field reps who have never had this kind of access before.”

“PowerObjects is very innovative and they definitely have the talent and skill set we were looking for. They are a partner you don’t mind going into battle with and are a great team to have when things get rough. Whenever we ran into issues, PowerObjects figured out a way around it.”