Groupe E is a leading Swiss energy company with subsidiaries based in the cantons of Fribourg, Neuchâtel and Vaud. It provides its clients with electricity, gas and heating, and also offers a complete range of utilities, products and services in areas as diverse as electrical and telecommunication facilities, engineering, energy efficiency, renewable energy, electric-powered transportation, and electrical appliances.
In order to satisfy demand in an ever changing market, the Groupe E sales team is collaborating even more closely and more often with the company’s internal project teams. It has therefore become necessary to improve and expand the CRM solution, which was put in place in 2012, in order to create a solution to streamline the collaboration between the sales team and the project teams from other departments. To meet this new challenge, Groupe E decided to implement a new collaborative solution that allows it to implement its project methodology while simultaneously incorporating the required element of collaboration. This new solution is optimally integrated with the existing sales management solution.
An Innovative Solution
Groupe E has identified two processes in which collaboration would provide significant added value: project management and client data management. The solution is the perfect response to these collaboration requirements, as it allows information to circulate in an optimal manner between members of the same team, but also between the project teams and the sales team.
The project teams benefit from a technologically advanced platform that allows them to
- benefit from a project management space in which they can consolidate all documentation pertaining to a project;
- manage key indicators such as cost summaries, risk summaries, deliverables and planning;
- provide greater transparency and better communication on the status of a project;
- benefit from using management dashboards for project portfolios;
- consult client lists and associated documentation;
- contribute to the creation of information and deliverables for clients of Groupe E.
The sales team benefit from an improved CRM that allows them to
- collate all documentation linked to a client in one single management space;
- improve productivity and benefit from rapid access to the collaboration solution directly within the sales management tool;
- streamline information access thanks to transverse information searches that cover the entire client base;
- rapidly access projects linked to the sales process.
This solution unites two separate domains and exploits the potential of two platforms to provide the maximum possible volume of information to users. Collaboration between the sales team and project teams results in a better flow of information. This helps to create a consolidated vision of the projects and the clients, which clearly represents added value both in the opperational decision-making process, as well as from a strategic point of view.
Added Value is the Key to Success
The extensive interaction between the two solutions adds considerable value for both the sales team and the project teams, by providing
- a 360 degree view of clients and projects;
- increased efficiency and competitiveness thanks to a fully integrated system for campaigns and sales management, mass e-mailing and automatic offer generation;
- collaborative and intuitive documentation management that considerably simplifies matters for users;
- clearer and more transparent monitoring for projects and project portfolios.
An Ambitious Project Plan
The technology solution implemented is built around the Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft SharePoint products. The solution integrates perfectly into the Groupe E ecosystem, offering interfaces with ERP SAP and CRM. All the clients are defined in the ERP, while the CRM is designed for close management of prospects and major accounts. Particular care was taken with the advanced integration of the Outlook messaging system (a third-party plug-in) and the Autodesk AutoCAD design software for draughtsmen. Collaboration was the motor driving this initiative, so SharePoint was the natural choice, as it was able to integrate ideally with the software already in place. Expectations were high, and so the solution had to be put in place quickly. In order to accelerate the production launch, the solution was based on the MatchPoint platform by Colygon. This choice meant that development costs could be further reduced without compromising on advanced functionality.