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Flexibility and integration drove NatWest Microsoft Dynamics migration

Karl Flinders

NatWest Business Banking selected Microsoft Dynamics CRM to replace multiple systems when it realised it needed full CRM capability.

Since the implementation was completed a year ago, the NatWest division has seen benefits including a five-year return on investment.

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In 2011, the bank decided to replace multiple systems that provided CRM with a single system. “Existing systems were being stretched to provide customer relationship management functionality, and it became clear that a full CRM solution was required to meet business and customer requirements," said NatWest Business Banking.

"The system needed to streamline its customer contact points and harness analytics to help it understand what customers want," the company said.

“To improve our Business Banking division, we wanted to create a consolidated view of all customer touch points and streamline processes to free up employee time to better focus on those customers,” said David Russell, head of CRM for Business & Commercial Banking at NatWest parent the Royal Bank of Scotland.

“We also sought powerful analytics capabilities that would allow us to further improve those customer relationships while driving cross-selling opportunities through value-added customer interactions. CRM helps us deliver a personalised service that supports customers in achieving their ambitions.”

NatWest looked at systems from Salesforce.com, Oracle and Microsoft Dynamics CRM. It chose the Microsoft Dynamics offering because of its integration with Microsoft Outlook and flexible deployment options, with cloud and on-premise options. “Not all solutions had an on-premise option,” said Russell. “With Microsoft Dynamics CRM, on the other hand, there was.”

After a year of planning, the deployment of Microsoft Dynamics CRM at NatWest took just four months. In April 2013 it went live to 3,000 staff who have customer details at hand when customers make contact.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM provides employees with more insight because it uses information from other systems. “We view Microsoft Dynamics CRM as a development platform that will help us meet various business needs now and in the future.” But he added that the company is limiting bespoke development and instead taking advantage of the out-of-the-box functionality as much as possible.”

Russell said getting users to accept the system was critical to its success. He said: “To get the adoption we needed, we knew we didn’t want a system that our users viewed as yet another software program they had to learn and use. Rather, we wanted them to regard the CRM system as a part of a solution they already had.”

The bank provided training, CRM champions and a familiar interface, which has resulted in 95% of users adopting the system.

Meanwhile the business case around the deployment was justified through increased cross-selling alone. “We built our business case on increased product cross-sells. Our ROI analysis informed us we would have a payback period of five years,” said Russell.

NatWest has been able to move from a single account manager responsible for a pool of customers to larger teams responsible for a much larger pool of customers. “Before Microsoft Dynamics CRM, employees would spend around 30 minutes preparing for a customer meeting, as they had to print documents and make phone calls. Now all that information is one system, and they can prepare in a matter of minutes,” said Russell.


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