Keeping and building customer relationships is an important part of any business, which explains why customer relationship management (CRM) is a rapidly growing sector in the IT space.
CRM is exactly what the name alludes to: Managing customer relationships but through the use of technology. It’s not just about keeping a neat contacts database but streamlining business processes such as following up sales leads, maintaining existing customer relations and deploying an effective marketing campaign through a good CRM tool.
Enterprise companies often have complex needs and can encounter headaches when implementing a CRM system. One consultancy and integration firm found a comfortable niche working in this particular segment.
eSavvy lives and breathes CRM. It has been a partner for Microsoft Dynamics CRM since its inception in 2008 but the people in the company carry a wealth of experience in CRM technology.
In fact, the eSavvy website touts that between the eSavvy principals there is more than 130 years worth of experience in the field. The integrator began with its two founders: David Goad and Guy Riddle.
Goad was formerly regional director for Microsoft Dynamics in Asia-Pacific while Riddle is one of just a few privileged people to be awarded Microsoft’s most valued professional (MVP) title for working with Dynamics CRM since its infancy.
Like most businesses, eSavvy was launched because the founders saw a gap in the market that presented a tantalising opportunity.
“What I found was there were a lot of larger system integrators that understood how to do big projects but didn’t really understand the technology,” Goad said. “Then there were a lot of partners that understood the technologies but didn’t understand the complexities of larger enterprise level deployments.”
“So the view was to start a consultancy where we had both the knowledge of the technology and the experience around how to do those deployments.” eSavvy began life with six employees after Goad and Riddle used their extensive connections to scout CRM talents from the IT channel. The staff count has since doubled and Goad said he was hiring on average one new person every month.
“The best thing you can do to a business is to hire good people,” he said. “If you talk to anybody at Microsoft or even the partner channel – because it’s a fairly small and incestuous industry – we are recognised as having some of the best people in the channel working in our team.” The personal brand of the team builds eSavvy’s reputation, Goad said. That has translated into a fast growing business.
eSavvy hit a high point when it won the Microsoft New Partner of the Year award in 2010, an award that pitted the company against thousands of the vendor’s partners, not just those in the CRM division.
The company’s commitment to Microsoft’s CRM solution has paid off, with around 30 customers in the books and more rolling in each month through word-of-mouth referrals.
“Microsoft Dynamics CRM has always been something I’ve been impressed with and it’s just a product that has grown dramatically,” Goad said. “If you look at both CRM and enterprise resource planning [ERP] products at Microsoft, it’s the only one the vendor built in-house from scratch.”
With Microsoft recently releasing the Dynamics CRM online iteration in Australia, the vendor is looking to take on competing offers from salesforce.com and Oracle.
Goad tipped Dynamics CRM will gain even more market share by breaking into the online space.
“We focus heavily on CRM online as we see it as a growth industry,” Goad said. “We also have a healthy pipeline on the enterprise side and we’re looking to build on those accounts.”