REDMOND, Wash. — April 23, 2008 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that Profiles International Inc., which provides Web-based employee-assessment and talent management solutions to companies across the globe, has chosen Microsoft Dynamics CRM to replace its Pivotal CRM software.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a fully integrated customer relationship management system that offers the capability to easily create and maintain a clear view of customers from first contact through purchase and after sales. The Microsoft Dynamics technology will be integrated with the organization’s Microsoft Office SharePoint Server portal to offer visibility and collaboration both internally and externally to partners and clients through the Profiles Resource Center. The portal will serve Profiles International’s Waco, Texas, campus, three regional offices, 700 partners in the U.S., and clients in 120 countries, which view its Web sites in 30 languages.
The new Microsoft technology replaces the company’s CDC Software Pivotal CRM, Pivotal ePartner portal, Pivotal MarketFirst electronic marketing application and basic intranet site. Profiles International found the Pivotal architecture difficult to customize and develop. As a result, the company’s IT staff, which has used .NET technology extensively, decided to move toward an expanded Microsoft foundation to increase flexibility and ease of development. Microsoft Dynamics CRM will integrate all of Profiles International’s delivery systems, a benefit the Pivotal CRM solution had not achieved. Profiles International evaluated software from Oracle’s Siebel, Salesforce.com, SAP, Sage CRM Solutions, Netsuite Inc. and CDC’s Pivotal before selecting the Microsoft Dynamics solution.
Joe Kistner, chief operating officer at Profiles International, said the company selected Microsoft Dynamics CRM for a number of reasons, including the familiar Microsoft interface; its integration with Microsoft Office, especially the Outlook client; Microsoft Dynamics’ vision for allowing the accounting back end to match the new Microsoft Dynamics CRM architecture; Microsoft’s reinvestment and commitment to the technology; the balance of rapid development with a midmarket enterprise architecture based on .NET; and the availability of .NET resources, along with Profiles International’s own in-house Microsoft and .NET expertise.
After researching several consultants, Profiles International selected global Microsoft Gold Certified Partner ePartners Inc. of Dallas to help guide implementation of the new technology. The team from Profiles International and ePartners established Microsoft Dynamics CRM sales components to support the company’s partner recruiting; partner sales channel management; direct and enterprise sales; and divisions for education, government and international sales. In addition, sales and service components from the solution will support the company’s customer service. Built-in marketing tools will handle electronic communication, and support staff in various departments will use the Microsoft Dynamics CRM functionality for contact management and communication.
Profiles International’s latest Microsoft solutions will be integrated seamlessly with its existing Microsoft architecture, which includes Microsoft Office, Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft Internet Information Server (ISS), Microsoft Visual Studio, SharePoint Server and custom .NET applications. The Microsoft Dynamics CRM solution will be tightly integrated with SharePoint and Outlook to provide employees with a familiar electronic workplace with all their information immediately available. Similarly, Microsoft Dynamics CRM will be integrated with the company’s intranet, its extranet for customers and partners, and its public-facing service for delivery applications.
The availability of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, in combination with SharePoint Server, offers a range of benefits that are expected to heighten Profiles International’s effectiveness:
Company growth. The company expects Microsoft Dynamics CRM to promote growth through increased efficiencies resulting from its familiar Microsoft environment and tight integration with other systems. More information will be readily available for better decision-making, and new personnel can be trained more quickly because of the consistent, user-friendly interface throughout the sales and support tools.
Reduced costs. Development and technical support costs will shrink because more resources and skilled individuals are available for development on the popular Microsoft platform than for the proprietary software previously used. A more consistent and centralized desktop than was available before will be rolled out to sales staff, saving training costs. Further savings will derive from the ability to implement technology improvements on the Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft SharePoint platforms simply by applying releases and service packs without needing to merge customized code with new-vendor code at each stage.
Support for company growth. With support from the Microsoft Dynamics solution and ePartners, Profiles International is able to quickly and simultaneously execute several strategic moves.
Increased agility. Customer relationship management, the company’s intranet, its extranet and business intelligence will benefit from rapid development tools, while customizations are supported by Visual Studio .NET developers.
Revenue improvement. The company anticipates that easier tools, easier communication and workflows, more data accessible in a centralized location, more automation and improved integration compared with its previous system will boost revenue through efficiencies, along with increased employee empowerment and morale.
Elimination of ad hoc fixes. The company’s IT staff often needed to develop workarounds for its previous system. For example, they had to build their own data warehouse just to move the data to the point where staff could generate Microsoft Excel spreadsheets or print reports. Those processes go away with Microsoft Dynamics CRM and SharePoint Server because a business portal makes key performance indicators and other data visible in real time.
“We selected this Microsoft technology stack so we can take advantage of its quick-to-implement, out-of-box functionality, while retaining total control of the database and integration layer so we can continue to react to business climate changes and chart new courses at a very high pace,” Kistner said.
Profiles International also expects the new Microsoft Dynamics CRM technology to help improve the efficiency of internal processes and the effectiveness of accountability.
“Microsoft Dynamics CRM has proved to be a crucial efficiency tool for organizations like Profiles International that rely on the Web to reach into local business markets,” said Michael Park, corporate vice president for U.S. Dynamics Business at Microsoft. “Employing the easy-to-use Microsoft interface, Microsoft Dynamics products reduce training time while increasing operating effectiveness and centralizing data for accuracy and visibility, all vital aspects of a successful customer-relationship-based business.”
About Profiles International
Profiles International is the world’s leader in selecting and developing high-performance workforces through innovative talent management solutions and a comprehensive suite of employment assessments that help companies gain a competitive advantage by selecting, hiring, retaining and developing great employees. Profiles International serves many of the largest companies across the globe.
Since 1992, ePartners has been giving businesses the power to reach their goals, to grow, and to discover and profit from new areas of potential. A Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, ePartners helps align IT strategy with business objectives and deploy cost-effective solutions that drive genuine performance improvements across the enterprise. ePartners solutions are founded on Microsoft Dynamics products and other Microsoft technologies.
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.
Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/contactpr.mspx.