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Customer Relationship Management System

customer relationship management

Customer

The customer is a European IT services provider.

Challenge

The customer started experiencing delays in processing new business opportunities, as well as in sharing information between sales managers and other departments.  Besides, the client base of the company was rapidly expanding, and traditional tools were no longer sufficient to effectively manage relationships with customers.

Solution

The implementation of a CRM system was seen as a solution to these problems.

A dedicated team analyzed over a dozen solutions and chose Concourse Suite - solution based on Java and PostgreSQL - for its best mix of the needed properties and features. The solution contained a number of modules that could be switched on and off and combined into a tailor-made CRM suite. The customization of the Concourse Suite to the Department’s needs was planned to be done in iterations, starting with assembling and customizing core functionality and then moving to other modules.

The first iteration of the customization, which lasted three months, required the efforts of two Java developers; at the end of the iteration a testing engineer performed the testing of the system during one month. A database developer was involved into the project from time to time to adjust the database structure of the application. As a result of the first iteration, the Department of sales and marketing received a system that enabled managing the data and documents related to leads, accounts and contacts, log new activities and plan tasks. The data on leads and accounts could be stored in a format suitable to the business needs of the Department. Report functionality enabled generating reports that provided visibility into leads, accounts and activities by calendar periods, individual managers, geographical regions, etc. The backup functionality enabled backing up of the data in the system on a daily basis.

The other two iterations, each involving two man-month of Java developer’s time and one month of testing, added the functionality for keeping track on the revenues from customers, invoicing, and sales forecasting. In addition the system allowed access for third parties (agents), improved the access for other stakeholders within the company, such as project coordinators, enabled tracing leads and accounts grouped by specific services or business areas.

During the subsequent iterations the customized CRM systems was integrated with other internal systems – such as JIRA – to allow dynamic tracing of the ongoing projects for the customers.

Results

The customized CRM system based on Concourse Suite enabled the Department of sales and marketing to greatly improve the efficiency and transparency of internal processes. In addition, it allowed storing customer data at one safe place and made possible the automated sharing of data with other systems. The managers can get an instant 360 degrees overview of the situation with the sales. The system can be accessed through a web interface from anywhere in the world.

Technologies and tools

IntelliJ IDEA, Java 2 EE, XML, JDBC, PostgreSQL.