Multinational professional services consultancy Beca prides itself on its ability to build connections, with teams of experts designing world-leading projects and also working with clients to deliver advisory and digital solutions. When its ageing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system was getting in the way of providing seamless client service and clogging its new business pipeline, it turned to Capgemini and Microsoft for a new Dynamics 365 platform capable of managing both scale and complexity. And even in its early days, the new CRM is building connections Beca’s founders would be proud of.
Few New Zealand businesses have the history and the success of Beca, which has grown to have over 3,800 employees working in numerous locations across the Asia Pacific region.
But like other businesses that have grown and evolved over so many years, the technology stack had grown in an ad hoc fashion too. The Customer Relationship Management system (CRM) across the business had become a set of disparate systems, with a lot of duplication, inefficiencies and “walls” between one team and the next. Capturing and sharing client details between teams was difficult, and there was no way of capturing important client information, correspondence and interactions.
“At Beca, we don’t just sell a single product. As a professional services business, we provide engineering design and solutions, we are project managers, we are an environmental and planning consultancy, we develop digital products and solutions, we are architects and sustainability experts, and offer a raft of other services too. We often have many parts of our business working with our clients at any given time. This requires a much more sophisticated approach to account management. And our clients expect us to know them and understand their businesses,” explains Damian Pedreschi, Group Director Client Experience at Beca.
Beca wanted a way to bring all its clients together in a single “source of truth” CRM, creating a unified approach for all regions while also benefiting from the latest technological improvements to do more for its clients than before. It chose tech partner Intergen (now Capgemini) for the job, with a brand-new Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform to go enterprise-wide.
Partnering for change
The Capgemini team, headed by Dynamics Practice Lead Bruce Edwards and delivery specialist Lindi du Toit, hosted demo sessions modelling the scenario which brought to the fore many out-of-the-box solutions.
Microsoft recommended establishing a charter to guide the process, working closely with all the partners to put the right frameworks in place and set a clear vision for the project, also providing funding for a proof of concept to create excitement about what the new platform would look like. With its dedicated change specialists, it also led change workshops, including one dedicated to Beca’s executive team, about how to manage and communicate change on such a major scale.
“Our Customer Success team is dedicated to helping our customers get the best value out of their implementation. For us, it’s about working together in partnership to help them be a success,” explains Daniel Lund, Senior Customer Success Manager at Microsoft New Zealand.
Capgemini’s Bruce says Beca understood straight away that the investment was not in the product, but the change the product enabled.
“It was so great to see how engaged the Beca team were. The level of enthusiasm was incredible. Beca’s got an intranet site dedicated to their Dynamics 365 transformation that’s better than anything I’ve ever seen. We gave them the responsibility of developing their own user stories (identifying who the different users across the business were and their requirements from the new CRM), and they ran with it,” added Lindi.
To realise the value of Beca’s Microsoft licences as soon as possible, get change underway faster and mitigate the risks of a ‘one big bang’ approach, the decision was made to roll out the platform in two different releases. Demonstrating the benefits and seamlessness of the first, smaller release would help them create more buy-in for the full project, showing the art of the possible.
In November 2021, the first release was ready.
“Making the sales and delivery side of the rollout seamless really took away any fear for the full go-live and gave everyone confidence in a single source of truth,” explains Abbie Gunning, Principal in Beca’s Business Transformation Office.
The second phase of the Dynamics project went live in May 2022, removing the old, obsolete sales and opportunity management system and putting everything into Dynamics 365.
Linking many footprints on the same path
Although it’s still early days, Beca’s people are loving it.
“It’s got great user adoption. That was always a problem under the old system. And we all know, if people aren’t using a system, it’s not successful. That’s all changed now,” Lindi says.
Adds Bruce: “It’s more than a Customer Relationship Management system or a sales tool. It’s a platform for the whole organisation to build their digital transformation from.”
Now the whole organisation has an effective account planning tool, having a 360 degree view of the client for the first time.
Not only have all client details and email interactions been captured in one system, making the whole end-to-end client relationship totally visible across all parts of the organisation, Beca now has a way to build on the conversations different team members are having with clients and spot new business opportunities based on the full picture.
It’s even helping Beca’s people be more innovative and learn new skills. Abbie says because people have transparency of what others are doing with clients, it’s helped inspire them with new ideas and ways of doing things.
Instead of being on Word or Excel documents, Beca’s pursuit planning is all online now too. That’s an internal process where people involved in new business bids can review which opportunities landed, why bids were successful (or not) and where they could improve next time. Where managers used to struggle to get feedback, it’s now a lot easier.
“From what was a leap into the unknown, it’s now a perfect example of what can be achieved on a global scale with Dynamics 365,” says Daniel Lund. “One of the highlights of the project was the strong partnership between Beca, Capgemini and Microsoft. It always felt like one team, working collaboratively, challenging and inspiring each other. This meant a fun project but also a better solution, as we were all able to work through any challenges and opportunities to make effective decisions.”
Engineering the future
But it didn’t end up being the final rollout.
Microsoft’s Project Ops tool is the next part of the implementation process, aimed at bringing project delivery into the new platform. And of course, reporting on any and all of this is super easy, thanks to the platform’s inbuilt analytics capabilities, so exploring Dynamics 365’s reporting tools is also on the cards.
With much better integrated data and enterprise-wide transparency now at its disposal, Beca is also now rolling out Dynamics 365’s Context IQ capabilities to improve collaboration. Another area the Microsoft Customer Success team focused on was helping Beca get the most out of its new platform, introducing Beca to a host of new Teams collaboration tools, Beca is now investigating client support “swarming”, which automatically suggests experts with the relevant skills to help with a client service issue, so they can be invited to a conversation.
Says Damian: “We’ve only just started. But now we have disparate groups all moving to a single way of doing things, and we’re able to respond to our clients in many new ways, adding value and seeing new business opportunities in ways we couldn’t before. It’s already been well worth it.”