SharePoint Case Study for a Professional Services Firm
We helped a training and management support company improve their sales through better systems integration.
Our client wanted to increase sales team efficiency and effectiveness in order to meet ambitious growth targets, and approached us asking for an integration between an under-used SharePoint site and Dynamics CRM.
By providing sales managers with consistent and high-quality templates for proposals, quotations, case studies and other documentation within their key business system Dynamics CRM, our client aimed to reduce their sales cycle and increase their win rate.
What we did
We started by undertaking a healthcheck on our client’s SharePoint instance looking at the infrastructure and performance.
Some fundamental errors in the architecture of the existing SharePoint instance were immediately obvious. In addition, the SharePoint site had only a single page, making it difficult for users to locate documents. Usage across the company was low.
After discussion with our client, we were asked to configure an entirely new SharePoint server, using our knowledge of Microsoft best practice.
We set up the new SharePoint architecture in a way that would make future development relatively simple and cost-effective for our client. We then created the structure, navigation and multiple pages needed to help users organise and access documents.
Our next step was to customise SharePoint to enable access for both office-based and remote workers, across multiple devices.
Microsoft Head of Practice Barry McGivern said, “It’s easy for the user to access SharePoint wherever they are. They simply log on to their work network in the usual way.
“Behind the scenes we used Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) to deliver a separate authentication service. This gave an additional layer of security which we and our client felt necessary, due to the highly sensitive commercial nature of the documents being accessed.”
We completed the integration with Dynamics CRM which lay at the heart of our client’s requirement, setting up automated workflows between SharePoint and Dynamics CRM that helped teams deliver a consistently high-quality customer experience.
Now, when a new sales opportunity is identified and a lead is converted in Dynamics CRM, our workflow automatically creates a unique folder in SharePoint for the potential customer, containing all the relevant documents the sales manager will need (for example, proposals, contracts, terms and conditions).
A member of our client’s sales team said, “The time saving is what we noticed as an immediate benefit, but now we can see that this new way of sharing information has also enabled us to work better as a team, sharing what works and achieving more together as a result.”
Barry said: “It is satisfying when users praise a solution. As far as they are concerned it is one system – they can upload and download straight from CRM. In reality, it’s the integration with SharePoint which has made this possible.”
Our client’s IT director said, “Alscient were very straight forward to deal with. For every challenge, there was a proposed solution. Every member of their team is a technical expert but it was the focus on creating the functionality we needed where we needed it that meant the project was a success.”
Our client went on to request Alscient service management for their SharePoint farm, ensuring phone and email support for all their users.
“We also want Alscient to look at further SharePoint projects for us,” our client’s IT Director said, “as there is still more value we can drive from the system. We want to set up and configure MySite for all our users, to achieve a specific internal communications goal we have that again is all about efficiency. We’d also like to look at setting up an intranet site using SharePoint.”
Poised for growth
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