Magazine article CRM Magazine

A Healthy Dose of User Adoption: UnitedHealthcare Overhauls Its CRM Program to Embrace an On-Demand Solution That Users Will Actually Use

Magazine article CRM Magazine

A Healthy Dose of User Adoption: UnitedHealthcare Overhauls Its CRM Program to Embrace an On-Demand Solution That Users Will Actually Use

Article excerpt

Jim Lane is happy to have taken his medicine. As the vice president of national accounts for UnitedHealthcare (UHC), a carrier handling the healthcare accounts of millions of individuals (and the healthcare-spending accounts of many more), Lane knows his company now has the opportunity to use CRM as a differentiator.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Unfortunately, that wasn't always possible, thanks to an antiquated on-premises solution and a group of salespeople who were less than inclined to make use of it. In 2002, Lane recalls, UHC implemented a CRM solution from Siebel Systems that took 20 months to develop--an interminable period that actually wasn't all that uncommon at the time, given the size of the deployment. Just four years later, however, the system was already in failing health.

"The cost to keep it current and to keep up with advances in technology and user interfaces became too great and too much for the company to swallow," Lane says. To make matters worse, salespeople were no longer showing affinity for the solution. Adoption started out high--roughly 80 percent--but usage later foundered, dropping to a lowly 20 percent in 2007.

UHC's CRM was in desperate need of a face-lift, but given tight budgets and parameters, there wasn't room for another failed implementation. Lane took charge of implementing a new solution and with a team of supporters chose to stay with Oracle as the company's CRM vendor. (Oracle had acquired Siebel back in 2005.) This time around, however, UHC would opt for CRM delivered via the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, in the form of Oracle CRM On Demand.

"Rather than sink deeper into the existing on-premises system, we decided to move forward with a new solution," Lane says. "We didn't have a capital budget so that's when we started to look more closely at a SaaS solution." Not surprisingly, UHC was won over in part by the most common benefits of an initial switch to SaaS: the freedom from having to maintain any infrastructure and the promise of up-to-date software features without labor-intensive upgrades. Before the go-live of Oracle CRM On Demand, UHC executives held an off-site summit to gather feedback from some of the company's sales leaders--what salespeople felt they needed to effectively close deals and how a CRM system could help them manage new accounts.

"We had the advantage of knowing what failed in our past system so we knew what to avoid and we knew what to strive for," Lane says. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.