REDMOND, Wash., and JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — April 18, 2007 — The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and Microsoft Corp. today announced the deployment of Microsoft Dynamics™ CRM across SABC’s sales and marketing organization. The solution, which was implemented within eight months, will improve work-force productivity by automating the entire sales process and providing employees with easy access to real-time information. Phase one of the project was rolled out to 250 employees in the company’s head office and is currently being deployed to its network of regional offices.
Over 24 million adults tune in to the SABC’s network of 18 radio stations every day, and 19 million adults watch the three free-to-air television channels. SABC Commercial Enterprises, comprising commercial airtime sales across radio and television, program, sport and education sponsorships, and interactive media sales, currently accounts for 76 percent of the SABC’s revenue. To manage its extensive network of market interaction, SABC needed a Microsoft CRM solution that could help make its customer relationship processes more consistent and effective.
“Given the contribution of the Commercial Enterprises division to SABC’s overall business, we identified the need for a client-centric approach to manage business leads across various sales units,” said Gab Mampone, group executive of SABC Commercial Enterprises. “The dynamic nature of the broadcast and sales industry not only required a flexible system that could be adapted to the ever-changing requirements of business, but one that could at the same time have a 360-degree view of client business at the push of a button.”
“Our priority was to ensure that the solution could integrate seamlessly with Microsoft® Office and Outlook®, which are currently standard tools of the trade. Ensuring a consistent and simple experience for our teams to go about their work was a key factor in SABC Commercial Enterprises’ decision to deploy Microsoft Dynamics CRM,” Mampone said. “The partners have in turn taken bold steps in the right direction. We are excited about the next phase of this innovative journey.”
This relationship opens up numerous opportunities such as the automation of the sales process and customer information. Microsoft CRM automates the third-party movement of customers directly into the Microsoft Dynamics CRM database and integrates it into the division’s existing data warehousing solution for reporting requirements, and feeds into its business management solution.
IMMIX Solutions (Pty) Ltd., a Microsoft Gold Certificate Partner, worked with the SABC to map out the company’s complex customer relationships and create benchmarks upon which to measure success and improve on the user experience, ensuring standardized internal processes and the ability to measure return on investment.
The deployment of Microsoft Dynamics CRM resulted in numerous benefits for the SABC. The alliance resulted in a number of unique components seen as a “first” in the broadcast industry and ensures easy access to real-time information, thus increasing productivity. Simplified customer data entry reduces effort and increases productivity exponentially, with improvements in report compilation, job prioritization and general searches. In addition, where multiple account teams are dealing with different media planners, advertisers and clients, the system provides one view of all the sales engagements underway. Teams are also now able to turn proposals around much faster and take advantage of new opportunities quickly and effectively. Business managers are able to forecast, track budgets and monitor conversion rates, enabling them to train and reward employees accordingly.
“Being able to map SABC’s customer relationships has been a major benefit of this deployment, as it has enabled the company to have a dynamic overview of their relationships with both existing and potential customers,” said Warren O’Reilly, director of IMMIX Solutions. “Users can now see who is responsible for a client relationship, what contact they have had with the customer and, in the case of an issue, escalate it more quickly up the chain of command. Most important though for SABC, it is now 99 percent self-sufficient in maintaining the Microsoft CRM system and training employees.”
“Microsoft CRM has delivered a radically better CRM value proposition than what SABC had before, providing it with an outstanding user experience delivered through the familiar desktop tools it uses every day, and a fast, flexible and easy-to-deploy platform based on common tools and industry standards,” said Gabriele Di Piazza, managing director of the Media and Entertainment Business for the Communications Sector at Microsoft.
The SABC is South Africa’s national public broadcaster. Almost 24,4 million adults tune into the SABC’s network of 18 radio stations everyday, and 19,1 million adults watch the three free-to-air television channels.
About Microsoft Dynamics
Microsoft Dynamics is a line of financial, customer relationship and supply chain management solutions that helps businesses work more effectively. Delivered through a network of channel partners providing specialized services, these integrated, adaptable business management solutions work like and with familiar Microsoft software to streamline processes across an entire business.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
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