Each year, our sister publication Computer Dealer News hosts the Channel Elite Awards to recognize IT Solution Provider for their innovation, leadership, and commitment for creating value for their customers. As Canada’s leading IT channel publication, CDN invited solution providers to submit their best work to nine different categories for 2013’s awards. Here, we present the case studies these award nominees put forward to us. Find out who the big winners are on Sept. 11 when CDN presents them at the CEA Awards Gala.
Learn more about CDN’s Channel Elite Awards 2013
Nominee: Navantis from Toronto, Ontario
Managed Services Solution description
Navantis has developed a Managed Service for Associations and Regulatory Bodies. PeopleWorks is a CRM solution built on Microsoft Dynamics and delivered in the cloud as a hosted service. With several customers using the Peopleworks platform, the Navantis Peopleworks solution reaches a broad market. From associations to regulatory bodies, to charities to unions, for organizations with hundreds to thousands of associates, the repeatable solution, built by Navantis, provides strong foundation functionality. There are literally hundreds of thousands of associations around the world that can be targeted to use the Navantis Peopleworks solution based on Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Navantis offers a quick onboarding solution for customers who do not require significant changes to the out of the box functionality which means our Peopleworks solution can reach any size of association. Our cloud solution delivers a financially viable option for organizations with as few as one or two users. One customer example is a medical services organization. Accountability, competence, and excellence in care are crucial to this organization, and it holds its registrants to a high standard and ensures new registrants uphold these same principles of excellence. With a mission to protect the public by regulating medical professionals to be safe, competent and ethical, this organization actively keeps abreast of current issues, and continuously seeks more efficient and effective ways to communicate with its registrants. With the goal of improving the registration and renewal process as a part of its strategic plan, the organization sought out a partner to provide the best business solution available to meet its needs – that partner was Navantis who set themselves apart with their Peopleworks solution and depth of expertise for associations and regulatory Bodies. With the majority of registrations and renewals taking place online, the organization was relying heavily on the use of a Microsoft Access database to manage College registrants. While effective in the beginning, as the number of registrants grew the Access database solution started to show its limitations and was costly to maintain. Furthermore, with the organization’s administration growing, the need for a more efficient way to share and manage data became paramount. The client selected Peopleworks built on Microsoft Dynamics as the ideal solution. Deploying the award-winning Peopleworks solution built on Microsoft Dynamics CRM .Net portal, the flexibility, security, cost-savings and simplicity that the client required to manage its registrants was implemented. With this architecture in place, the client has complete autonomy over how they operate and manage their CRM solution. They are also able to leverage Navantis’ managed hosting service, essentially outsourcing the IT to Navantis and making them the organization’s one point of contact for the IT related elements of the registration and renewal processes.
What makes your Managed Services innovative or original compared to the competition?
There are very few options for associations and regulatory bodies who tend to have limited budgets and often operate with small numbers of staff. Traditional CRM solutions do not meet their needs and usually require expensive customization to retro-fit to the unique needs of this business population. Most organizations are driven to manage their businesses manually using basic tools such as Excel spreadsheets or Access databases. PeopleWorks provides a rich, state-of-the-art application that functionally fits their needs out of box. Delivered as a subscription-based hosted solution, PeopleWorks is affordable yet sophisticated and automates processes, delivers business intelligence, facilitates self-service and enables best-in-class customer service.
What were the benefits of your Managed Services Solution for your client and what evidence can you provide to show this?
Member-based organizations manage hundreds to thousands of members, licensees and registrants who need to interact with in a seamless and efficient manner. They want both traditional methods of interaction (phone, email, in-person) as well as self-service, empowering them to access information, to manage their profile and renew their status. Traditional CRM solutions are not appropriate and trying to customize them to suit a member-based organization is costly and inefficient. Member-based organizations are usually also budget constrained but still require deep functionality. Peopleworks is purpose designed for associations and regulatory bodies. It enhances service levels to members and registrants by reducing administrative overhead, increasing self-service, improving collaboration and providing audit trails and business intelligence. Custom built on Microsoft Dynamics, Peopleworks includes both core features and add-on modules enabling customers to be up and running quickly with minimal configuration. Suitable for all sizes of organizations, Peopleworks can be delivered in a cloud or on-premise delivery model delivering value regardless of size. Some of the features include: • Applicant processing to automate repetitive tasks. • Committees and Elections maintain consistency and adherence to compliance requirements. • Member renewals ensure timely reminders and fee collections. • Integration to SharePoint, Office and Lync support existing investment in technology and reduces training times for users with the familiar Microsoft look and feel. • Fees and Payments can be processed automatically as well as through self-service. • Comprehensive Reporting and Dashboards provides deep insight and visibility into the business. • Marketing and Event Management facilitates communication, management, reporting contributing to the professional image. • Social Networking integration to LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook enables a social media strategy. • Self Service Portal for full online management by applicants, members and registrants. • Career center for continuing competencies and education requirements. • Online Registry enabling credential searching and profile updates. • Case management for complaints and disciplinary actions. The following example profiles a PeopleWorks client and typifies the benefits of the PeopleWorks solution: For over twenty-eight years, an industry educational organization has been dedicated to raising the standards of education and training. Serving over 40,000 professionals, thousands of educators and three associations, they were hampered by a paper-based system, limited resources and a constantly changing curriculum. A fully automated, self-serve system was the answer. The challenge became where to go to find one. A not-for-profit organization serving the broader industry’s community, it promotes ongoing learning; facilitates continuing education policies and processes; and manages the awarding and accounting of Continuing Education Units (CEUs) on behalf of the over 40,000 members across three industry organizations. Ensuring that courses are current, accurate and compliant to established standards and managing the credentials and member information of individual industry members is a rigorous and complex process that involves internal and external systems and people. Completely paper-based, educators often waited weeks to find out if new courses they had submitted were approved and designers were not always clear on what classes they needed to take to keep their credentials current. To provide better value to members, the organization wanted a Member Management Solution that focused on administering the complete life-cycle of a members’ educational portfolio, managed the processing and approvals of course content from providers across North America and was completely secure and accessible online. Prior to implementing Peopleworks built on Dynamics CRM, a provider would mail or courier the bulky documents that comprised a new course. This would include documents, pictures and samples. The package would be photocopied four times and elements of it would then be couriered or mailed out to one of 300 course assessors located across the country. It was not unusual for it to take 8 weeks for a new course to be approved. During that time, providers would have no insight into the status of the process – sometimes they wouldn’t even know if their submission had been received. The client organization did not have the time to respond to every phone call or email requesting an update. At the same time, individuals registering for specific courses – our client’s clients, essentially – were often trying to find the right approved courses to ensure their credentials remained compliant. With three bodies that they could be credentialed from, courses that would expire and difficulty finding out what was actually approved, they often wasted valuable time and money taking the wrong courses. An online web-based member management and education CRM portal streamlined the process of submitting and approving courseware, helping our client improve value to the associations, licensing bodies, their members and the providers who create the classroom content. The approvals process is now fully online – there is no longer the requirement to mail or courier bulky documents. Providers can log on securely and check out their application status at a glance. Approval times are dramatically decreased and all courseware is fully searchable, making it easy for designers to find classes that suit their needs, location, specialty and timing. Designers also have their own dashboard and can access all of their membership information in one place including when their credentials need to be updated. Because approved courseware is searchable, they no longer have to worry about taking a course and then finding out later that it is not approved. The hundreds of course approvers can work from any location using any device, speeding up the process, reducing administrative staff and lowering costs. The three associations that govern credentials for industry members can confirm professional designations and standing of their various members ensuring compliance requirements and standards are always fully maintained and adhered to. As a result of implementing Peopleworks by Navantis, the client has been able to: • Reduce course approval time by 60% (from 8 weeks down to 3 weeks) • Improve security with audit streams and controls; credit card information is secure and no longer kept on paper; • Reduce administrative support from 5 people to 2 people; • Eliminate the use of massive Excel spreadsheets to manage member information; • Eliminate the costs of mailing, photocopying and couriering courseware back and forth; • Consolidate the membership information across 3 industry governing bodies; • Never worry about “lost” course approval applications; • Increase revenues while reducing operational cost; • Provide secure online access that is role based so that each user can only see what they are meant to see; • Facilitate the client’s ability to confirm the integrity of the declarations of credentials (validate that the course was actually completed because instructors provide secure completion codes); • Course-takers can track their accumulation of professional continuing education hours; • Permit the member organizations to verify member’s accreditation standing; • Provide a highly searchable database of courseware that enables the targeting of specialized courses such as LEEDs for environmental requirements.
What are the main reasons that your Managed Services are better for the customer than an on-premises solution?
Most associations and regulatory bodies operate in a fiscally constrained environment. Staffing levels are low and frequently they have limited or no IT support on-site. In addition, their needs around managing members is sophisticated supporting complex processes and external governing bodies as well as the needs of the members themselves. With few alternatives, most organizations operate with a combination of manual paper-based processes and productivity tools such as excel to support them. By offering PeopleWorks as a managed service, Associations and Regulatory bodies are freed from the burden of IT management and support and are free to focus on the business of managing the members they serve. A sophisticated and highly functional solution, PeopleWorks automates business process and provides state-of-the-art member management. Staff can focus on the business of managing members with an affordable solution that fits within their budget.
How did the Managed Service improve the customer’s ability to server its internal or external clients?
“By selecting the award-winning Peopleworks solution from Navantis, we have increased our service levels while decreasing the administrative efforts of our internal team. We have up-to-the-minute insight through intelligent dashboards. Navantis worked alongside us to deliver exactly what we needed and we are thrilled with the results.” said a director in the client organization. “Peopleworks stood out for many reasons: it has a majority of the requirements we were looking for out of the box, it is based on the Microsoft CRM platform so it will integrate to other tools we already use such as Office, Outlook and Great Plains and finally it will allow us to expand as our needs change over time,” said a project specialist. “We are excited to work with Navantis and the Peopleworks solution” commented an executive director, adding, “We selected Navantis based on the ability of the Peopleworks solution to address our current needs, as well as the breadth of service offerings that Navantis can provide the College in the future.” “Navantis has proven that they have a unique ability to take the CRM platform and use it to create powerful solutions specific to their target industries,” said an account manager with a major software vendor-partner. Our PeopleWorks clients have been able to better serve their constituents while improving internal processes for their own staff. Our most recent PeopleWorks implementation was for a major provincial medical certification body. Managing member applications and renewals is a critical and important element of its role. Ensuring that hospitals and other employers can verify the registration status of potential employees in real time is one of the core services that it provides to fulfill its mission. With over 1,000 members across the province, ensuring compliance and competence metrics were managed accurately relied on the efforts of a small entrusted team within the organization. The annual registration renewal process was highly manual and paper-based one with members required to mail or fax in their renewal application on an annual basis. To complicate matters, the majority of the renewals occurred during a specific period. This meant an inundation of paper-based applications flooded the busy offices of CRPNM within a condensed time frame. All renewals were critical and needed to be processed error-free quickly. CRPNM needed the ability to process the renewals and assist members at the same time. Interruptions from phone calls or people dropping off their renewals impacted the efficient processing of the applications, potentially impacting the data entry and accuracy. The client selected PeopleWorks based on a proven track-record, flexible delivery model of on-premise or in-the-cloud, low total cost of ownership (TCO) and strong alignment to customer needs. With PeopleWorks by Navantis, the organization could realize a best-in-class offering at the lowest TCO. The client has realized tremendous productivity and efficiency gains along with a big boost in member satisfaction. Constituent members love the ability to update their own information as well as the opportunity to get secure access to their information 24/7 from any device. Benefits include: • Time efficiency – the new solution will free up the staff to focus on higher value activities for their members; • Fast user adoption – 97% of members are using the new system to manage their information and registration applications; • Reductions in errors – members are updating their own information eliminating having a third party re-enter their data; • Phone calls have been reduced because the new system reflects everything in real time – members don’t have to call to confirm that their registration application has been processed; • The industry expertise that Navantis provided meant that the project timelines were significantly shorter, reducing overall project costs; • The warranty and support program included with PeopleWorks and offered by Navantis meant that the client continued to be supported after go live, reducing frustration and helping support user adoption; • The client has also taken advantage of the PeopleWorks Premium Program which provides additional configuration and customization after project go-live. This program addresses the needs of clients to “tweak” processes or other elements once the solution is being used by in the real world, meaning that the customer can quickly respond to member feedback with critical updates or changes. But perhaps it is best to sum up the benefits by sharing the experience in the words of a member: “The new system is slick, seamless and even if you don’t read the instructions in detail, it is easy to use and intuitive.”
How does the solution further your client’s green or environmentally friendly plans?
Most PeopleWorks clients were heavily reliant on manual and paper-based systems prior to migrating to PeopleWorks. Adopting PeopleWorks cuts down on paper-based solutions by migrating business processes to online and self-service models.