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Company Profile

The Bob Pike Group (BPG) has been in business since 1970. It provides performance improvement to corporations by offering performance consulting, trainer development, programs and tools. They deliver many of these solutions through nationwide boot camps, seminars, workshops and materials that can be ordered on-line. BPG provides value to their clients by training the trainer and helping their customer’s implement effective training.

Critical Issue

BPG’s previous network, server and application infrastructure had been in place for several years and needed to be revamped to meet their current business needs. The network was based on a Novell Netware 4.11 platform, they had GroupWise 5 for email and their primary business applications included an old DOS version of Telemagic and DOS based custom Registration application.

BPG needed a single repository for their customer, product and registration data that could be easily accessed by everyone in the company. Being a small company low entry cost, ease of use, reliability and low maintenance costs for the solution were critical factors in the decision making process.

On the business applications front, the sales manager needed the ability to forecast sales, track leads throughout the sales process and track the activity of the sales team. The sales team needed an application that tracked all the details/history related to a customer including products sold to them. They wanted to have automatic reminders and ability to use email templates for routine emails to increase their productivity. Everyone from the administration staff to management wanted more reports to help in their daily business tasks and for strategic long term decisions.

Alto's Solution

Alto moved BPG’s infrastructure to a Windows platform. Small Business Server 2003 Premium Edition (includes Exchange 2003 and SQL Server 2000) was deployed to take care of their email and file server needs. MS CRM 1.2 was chosen as the Customer Relationship Manager tool and was also deployed on the Small Business Server. All their emails and data were moved from the Novell to the Windows platform. Telemagic and Registration data were imported into MS CRM using the Data Migration Framework that is part of the MS CRM toolkit. Alto also deployed Terminal Services to give users remote access to their desktops.

The MS CRM application was customized to handle their seminar registrations and product sales. Custom reports were created using Crystal Reports to facilitate various business processes and meet business needs. These reports are accessible via the MS CRM application so the user does not have to open another application. BPG uses MS CRM’s Outlook client so the end users do not have to open any other application to access their CRM data. It is all accessible via MS Outlook. Once the CRM system was ready to be used, Alto trained BPG’s staff to help them with the transition to a new application. Alto also trained a member of their staff to be an administrator of their entire infrastructure and applications to help keep their ongoing support costs down.

Since then, Alto has upgraded MS CRM 1.2 to MS Dynamics CRM 3.0 and added additional reports and workflow to further automate BPG’s business processes.

Resulting Benefits

  • Moving the BPG infrastructure from an assortment of systems from disparate vendors to a Microsoft based solution enabled them to gain efficiencies while reducing the support costs.
  • BPG is now able to better share information through the centralized CRM database, which also enables them to streamline the day to day business processes. Everyone in the company can see what anybody else in the company is doing, making it easier to collaborate with other members of the team.
  • Flexibility and expandability in the architecture of the system via inbuilt easy to use tools allows BPG to further customize the CRM application and add more reports on their own without relying on outside consulting help.

Technologies Used

  • Small Business Server 2003
  • SQL Server 2000
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0, Data Migration Framework
  • SQL Reporting Services
  • MS Windows 2003
  • Exchange 2003
  • MS Office Outlook 2003