Ambassadors Group is an education company with three subsidiaries: People to People Ambassador Programs, World Adventures Unlimited, and BookRags. To manage customer relationships, the subsidiaries relied on a custom-built customer relationship management (CRM) system. Over time, however, the system became too hard to maintain and customize, and to gain insight into customers required staff to call on IT to draw on disparate data sources from as many as 30 IT systems. To improve insight, ease IT support, and ultimately improve the customer experience, Ambassadors Group decided to deploy Microsoft Dynamics CRM. With a tailored deployment for each division, Ambassadors Group subsidiaries now have a 360-degree view into their customers. Furthermore, IT management is now greatly simplified, with the time-to-market for new functionality now as much as 440 percent faster.
Aiming to gain a 360-degree view into its student, teacher, and partner relationships, Ambassadors Group chose Microsoft Dynamics CRM after considering competing solutions.
"We didn't want Siebel because it required a massive IT staff to support and Salesforce.com was unable to integrate with our core systems," says Chad Whisenant, Director of Technology, People to People Ambassador Programs. "Microsoft Dynamics CRM, on the other hand, could fit with SAP and Travel Studio and required a more widely available IT skill set, which would ease IT support and enable us to establish an agile business by rolling out new functionality and customizations rather easily."
And now with Microsoft Dynamics CRM in place, the company has a 360-degree view into its student, teacher, and, in the near future, partner relationships and has drastically eased IT support and development, enabling newfound levels of business agility.
"We're a company that primarily focuses on selling a high-quality educational experience to our customers, so it's critical that we provide that high-quality experience across all facets of our business," says Whisenant. "With Microsoft Dynamics CRM, we now have a 360-degree view of our customers, which helps ensure that when we talk to our customers, we know everything about them-for example, if they have been on previous trips with us or have siblings in our programs."
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