Founded in Georgia, Crystal is the country’s leading financial inclusion organization, tailoring innovative and socially responsible financing solutions to its customers’ needs. However, it found its own digital transformation bogged down by obsolete IT systems and paper-based processes. To embark four generations of employees on its digital transformation journey, Crystal took its first step with Microsoft, implementing Microsoft 365 via a carefully curated adoption approach. Digital transformation was fully embraced, top to bottom, and by all generations, boosting productivity and both employee and customer satisfaction.
Crystal counts a team of 1,000 people serving more than 100,000 clients across Georgia. But its aim to provide fast-paced digital solutions aligned with its entrepreneurial customers was being curbed by an over-reliance on paper-based internal processes and obsolete IT systems.
Digital empowerment through employee engagement
To empower its employees, Crystal decided to implement Microsoft 365 throughout the organization. In cooperation with local representatives of Microsoft partner SMART business, the team under CIO Beka Tsitskishvili’s guidance designed a three-stage plan engaging members at all company levels, from the planning stage through implementation and monitoring. “We identified the key person from each department and trained them as digital evolution leaders who would bring their ideas to improve processes and help solve issues,” explains Tsitskishvili. In addition, Microsoft and SMART business provided workshops and training.
Small, but sure steps bring big change
The gradual but thorough adoption approach not only prepared the teams, it also bred a culture of change and made Microsoft 365 feel like a natural fit, from SharePoint to Power Automate, Teams, Yammer, and other products.
Crystal boosted employee collaboration and saved significant travel costs between its 50 branches and two head offices. “Without proper communication and collaboration tools, it took several days to pass on information between colleagues, and weeks to reach a final agreement on a subject. As of today, employees are constantly up to date, informed instantly even though thousands of internal communications are sent out every day,” says Tsitskishvili. Multiple business processes have already been digitized using SharePoint and Power Automate, improving the efficiency and productivity of different business directions.
The adoption rate and feedback are soaring. “We surveyed our colleagues and 82 percent say Microsoft 365 gives them all kinds of services, applications, and abilities to perform better work,” says Tsitskishvili. “Up to 94 percent think it improved our communication systems.” Better yet, according to the survey results, “Our employees now have an average 45 minutes saved each day thanks to digitized processes. They can focus on our customers rather than deal with process-related tasks.” Between travel costs, time saved, and the difference with alternative software fees, the organization estimates to have saved up to USD400,000 per year.
Tsitskishvili is now scoping out more Microsoft 365-based projects, with multiple processes already mapped out for the next phase of digitization. “Digital transformation with Microsoft 365 changed how we work. It gave a cultural upgrade to our people, who tend to be happier when they can do their job more effectively while providing better service to customers,” concludes Tsitskishvili.