Essex Medical and Forensic Services, an early adopter of Microsoft CRM 3.0, which goes on sale in December, has reported benefits from the ease of integration with Microsoft Outlook and simplified customisation compared with other CRM products.
Steve Roberts, business director at Essex Medical, said the main advantage of Microsoft CRM was that non-technical staff could change the look and feel of the application using set-up wizards, without external technical help.
Essex Medical provides UK police authorities with around-the-clock access to doctors, nurses and paramedics. It has contracts with Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire constabularies and is bidding for work with other forces. Serving police authorities requires the company to have a robust customer service process.
"Customising down to the user level is the prime benefit of Microsoft CRM 3.0," Roberts said. "The people taking the initial contact need a look and feel for speed so they do not have people hanging on the phone. But the finance director needs a different interface because he needs to do more detailed work."
Essex Medical can change these features of the application without hiring consultants. This is useful because the business was likely to change and grow, requiring new features of the CRM interface to be added, Roberts said.
He also said integrating contact information from Outlook was straightforward. "When we did the integration we were expecting to do lots of data cleansing, but because it was already in Outlook we could move data in a block to CRM and clean it pretty quickly. I have worked on other migrations and had to call in organisations to do that for us."
Essex Medical was given an upgrade to Microsoft CRM 3.0 as part of the Software Assurance licence it acquired for version 1.2.