National Skills Academy builds custom CRM system with Salesforce.com and Fujitsu

The National Skills Academy (NSA) for Sport and Active Leisure has switched to Salesforce.com CRM on-demand, using consulting services from Fujitsu.

The National Skills Academy (NSA) for Sport and Active Leisure has switched to Salesforce.com CRM on-demand, using consulting services from Fujitsu.

The NSA comprises a number of organisations and sub-sectors, offering a wide variety of approved sports and active leisure training programmes and certifications to businesses and the public.

The NSA migrated a disjointed set of customer systems to Salesforce.com's customer relationship management (CRM) software-as-a-service (SaaS) to meet the academy's developing business needs.

Julia Whitehead, business development manager at the National Skills Academy for Sport and Active Leisure said Salesforce.com was selected due to its ability to customise the software flexibly and its integration with Outlook.

"We can now perform tasks that simply weren't possible using our old system. Event invites would previously be sent as spreadsheet attachments, whereas Salesforce enables us to send interactive traceable e-mails and export information directly to the finance department's systems," she said.

Working with Fujitsu

"Salesforce.com recommended Fujitsu as an integrator; we assessed the benefits and concluded that using Fujitsu would enable the transition to occur over a few days, whereas managing the deployment internally would have taken weeks," she added.

Whitehead decided to take just 10 days of consulting initially, then bought a few more days part way through the project. This approach allowed her to see how the project was progressing and make an informed decision on where the consultants were most needed.

Fujitsu also cross-trained Whitehead to enable the NSA to support the Salesforce system and make modifications to the configuration where necessary.

Salesforce.com administrator

With a background in marketing and experience of IT, Whitehead has become the Salesforce.com administrator at the NSA. "I have been administering, training and promoting the use of Salesforce.com, customising it where necessary and developing reports," she said.

One of her tasks is to make sure staff use Salesforce, where appropriate. "If I see someone using a spreadsheet, I will show them how to do the same thing in Salesforce.com," said Whitehead.

The NSA for Sport and Active Leisure is currently using only a small part of Salesforce.com, but Whitehead is starting to look at workflow and approval processes.

Customised SaaS

Fujitsu was involved in two main areas: first to customise Salesforce to meet the needs of the NSA, such as supporting its national skills and approved training registers; second, in the data migration project to extract data from the NSA's old systems, clean records and import the data into Salesforce.

Fujitsu also integrated a number of reporting tools and dashboards, enabling an at-a-glance view of metrics on customer data, campaigns, e-mail broadcasts and users.

Mark Peplow, senior consultant at Fujitsu UK and Ireland, said: "Salesforce CRM is a hugely flexible product - it needs to be sculpted into something bespoke to meet each company's requirements. Fujitsu investigated the NSA's existing CRM system to fully understand its functionality in relation to requirements. Salesforce was deployed and an agile approach was taken to build the configuration."

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