Magazine article CRM Magazine

OnDemand Delivers for InFact: A Hosted CRM Solution Improves Opportunities and Cuts Costs

Magazine article CRM Magazine

OnDemand Delivers for InFact: A Hosted CRM Solution Improves Opportunities and Cuts Costs

Article excerpt

InFact Group, a systems integrator that helps Web systems connect to back-end technologies like inventory and scheduling, had no cohesion between the different countries where it has operations when Richard Napier was hired as director of business development two years ago.

"It was like we had five separate companies," Napier recalls. "We had five different rules for sales management, five different rules for service requests. One of the jobs that I was tasked with was bringing this all under one roof from a public perspective, as well as an internal perspective. People [the public] thought we were operating five different companies."

Beyond the public misperceptions and the internal inefficiencies, the disparate operations also meant the company was missing sales opportunities. According to Napier, there were countless times when InFact salespeople did have access to information already in InFact files. For example, a salesman in India might be able to close a sale with XYZ India if he had ready access to information about the parent company, XYZ France, which was in an InFact database in Paris.

In the first six months since adding CRM capabilities, the company has already closed some deals in similar situations that may not have closed using the legacy system, according to Napier.

"There were three possible considerations for CRM," Napier says. "We could buy a solution that was installed, buy a hosted solution, or build something ourselves from the ground up."

InFact executives determined that building a system themselves would take too long and be too costly to be practical. An installed system was impractical as well, because InFact has only 100 total employees, with some offices manned by a single person.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

So Napier looked at a handful of hosted solutions, and then narrowed the list to Siebel OnDemand and Salesforce.com's CRM application. InFact salespeople tested each application during 30-day free trials. They told Napier that the OnDemand application was a little cleaner (faster, easier to use), so the company chose the Siebel technology, going live with it in August of 2004, only 30 days after making the decision. …

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