How to find your perfect CRM partner this Valentine’s Day

OBS LogoAll your industry colleagues are in love with their CRM system. Their sales are soaring, while you’re not sure if you’ll ever find the right match.

But finding the perfect CRM partner is possible if you follow ‘the CRM dating rules’ from IT services company OBS. According to Kirsty Holmes, CRM Consultant OBS, it is possible to avoid the dodgy pretenders and failed relationships and have a long happy life with your CRM, as long as you take the right steps.

Get your priorities straight
Using 10 different dating websites would make your head ache. Similarly, don’t try to do everything all at once with a CRM solution. Narrow your criteria to just one of the three core CRM areas below.

Think about which area or business unit would get the most value from a CRM trial. It’s important to understand what you want to get out of a trial before you embark on one. For example:
1. Sales team for salesforce automation;
2. Marketing team for behavioural and marketing analytics; or
3. Delivering inside out customer service.

Engage a matchmaker
Just like with dating, some businesses have a list of features they want while others struggle to articulate what they need. Don’t be afraid to ask for independent, expert input and guidance. The right help at this stage is invaluable and a ‘matchmaker’ might be exactly what you need.

What attributes are you looking for? What are the key features that will demonstrate real value? Desired qualities and outcomes will vary depending on your needs but most businesses should consider the following:
1. Pipeline, forecasting and central sales data;
2. Easy configuration, integration and extensibility;
3. Business Intelligence;
4. Customer Relationship Management;
5. Mobility options;
6. Document Generation;
7. Workflows.

Trial the commitment
A trial won’t tell you everything you need to know, it will only skim the surface. Only once you’re committed will you find out what a system can really do. It’s important to have a framework in place to evaluate your potential suitor.
* How much do you like them: How will you evaluate if CRM is a good fit for the business?
* How much do you need to change them to really like them: What configuration is necessary to make this work for your unique needs?
* Are they worth the effort: What are the key features that will make this investment pay off?

Introduce CRM to your family
If you want CRM to be more than a fling then you need an executive project sponsor.  Think of this as introducing them to your family.

The executive project sponsor should be someone with seniority who clearly understands the objectives of the CRM project and can articulate its benefits to the rest of the senior management team. 
 
Kirsty, said: “Independent, expert insight will help you understand how your business could be improved through CRM and let you experience the cost-effectiveness, quick deployment and rapid user adoption of business solutions. The right CRM partner understands your needs and adds business value.”

“If you’re ready to put yourself out there and try to find a CRM partner, follow these tips and you may be in love within weeks.”

Why KISSing is best when it comes to CRM

OBS LogoNovember 11, 2013 – Unlocking the benefits of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system can lead to an improved bottom line through more efficient teams and increased customer retention rates, but many companies are failing to use CRM systems consistently and effectively.

The solution is to simplify the system and make it easier for staff to use, according to Matthew Tan, CRM Practice Lead, OBS

Tan said, “A CRM system can offer many benefits to a business and its customers. It increases visibility of the sales pipeline and customer interactions. This in turn lets managers track against targets and provide support where required. Customers now expect a company to have a record of all the interactions that have taken place and for transactions or complaints to be dealt with quickly and efficiently. A CRM system ensures that all the relevant information is recorded.

“The more complex a system is the less people are likely to use it. That might sound obvious, but once they realise the benefits of a CRM system, many organisations attempt to implement too many features too quickly. This becomes intimidating for users and ultimately risks the project failing. The message is clear; don’t try to tackle everything at once. In other words, stick to that time-honoured advice of KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid).”

How to KISS:
1. Capture the important stuff first
A phased implementation ensures that users don’t become overwhelmed and implementation remains as simple as possible. First, start to capture the most important data such as customer details, the service or product being proposed, and the estimated value and close dates. Even with just this basic data, organisations will immediately benefit from the ability to create dashboards and reports, which can then be used to create other information such as sales leader boards and progress charts.

2. Don’t burden users
Some organisations place too much responsibility on the users of the CRM to figure out how to navigate complex user interfaces and remember all the different fields to fill in. Using the system should be intuitive and simple. Make sure that your CRM is clearly navigable and have support in place for any questions that might arise.

3. Choose a simple interface
A busy screen can be intimidating. Highlight important fields and make it clear when to fill them in. Key data should be kept to a minimum to avoid overwhelming users, particularly in the early stages of adoption.

4. Don’t ask for superfluous information
Only ask for information that is actually required. Anything else is time-consuming, unnecessary and risks irritating the end-user. Make sure that the benefits of capturing each piece of information are clearly explained.

5. Present information in a meaningful way
An organisation might have a significant amount of data, but if it is not presented in a clear, easy-to-understand format, it will not be used and will go to waste. Make sure your information is presented in the simplest way possible.

Keeping it simple doesn’t remove the need for training, change management or executive support. It will help the implantation run more smoothly and increase adoption across an organisation.

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ABOUT OBS
OBS is a leading Australian IT Services Company focused on helping organisations transform their business with Microsoft technology. OBS provides world class consulting, implementation, development and managed application services around Microsoft SharePoint, Dynamics CRM and Cloud technologies.

OBS is recognised for its passionate people, innovative solutions, and proven success in more than 300 organisations across Australia including a quarter of the ASX 200.

Part of the Empired Group of Companies, OBS has over 150 staff in offices across Australia that service Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth

Empired Limited acquires OBS

OBS Logo23 Sep, 2013OBS, a leading Australian IT services company and winner of the BRW Best Place to Work in 2012 has been acquired by Empired Limited (ASX:EPD).

Through the acquisition, Empired is adding 150 people to its nearly 300 person strong team. OBS adds a strong Microsoft capability and focus.  It also brings geographic coverage and strength on both eastern and western seaboards of Australia.

“After a strong FY13 and a private equity investment in March 2013, OBS’ future growth and path to continued success will be accelerated by joining Empired, an organisation that shares OBS’ vision and values around people and customer experience,” said Andy Neumann, Managing Director, OBS.

This acquisition realises significant immediate and long term growth for both organisations, as they are strongly aligned and complementary in terms of both business direction and business model.

“Empired is excited to combine the skills and experience of the OBS management team and staff with the Empired Group. OBS is a great business and Empired will be actively supporting the current leadership team” said Russell Baskerville, Empired’s Managing Director.

“The addition of OBS is complementary to the prior acquisition of Conducive, which was an initiative to diversify into application development and consulting to complement Empired’s strong infrastructure managed services business. OBS significantly enhances that capability in the Microsoft web content management and CRM space where we are seeing strong demand.

“This transaction firmly cements Empired as a major provider of IT services with a national footprint across Australia.”

“With such a complementary fit between the organisations, the combined strength of Empired’s managed services with OBS’ project services will be much sought after in the Australian marketplace,” Mr Baskerville said.

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About Empired
Empired Ltd is a national IT Services Provider with a broad range of capabilities and a reputation for delivering enterprise class IT services and solutions. Established in 1999, Empired is a publicly listed company (ASX:EPD) formed in Western Australia and with offices in Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane.

With a team of nearly 300 people, Empired has built a reputation for service excellence and is a leading provider of business technology solutions to both government and private sectors. We work with clients to deliver high quality solutions to meet their business requirements.

Empired operates through two interactive business streams, Enterprise Application & Consulting Services (EA&C) and Infrastructure Services.  Together they provide a breadth of service and expertise not seen in other consultancies bringing together a range of services to provide ‘end-to-end’ advice and solutions.

Our flexible service delivery approach and “can do” attitude has enabled Empired to secure clients that range from medium size entities through to large enterprise accounts with services delivered across Australia, South East Asia and beyond.

About OBS
OBS is a leading Australian IT Services Company focused on helping organisations transform their business with Microsoft technology. OBS provides world class consulting, implementation, development and managed application services around Microsoft SharePoint, Dynamics CRM and Cloud technologies.

OBS is recognised for its passionate people, innovative solutions, and proven success in more than 300 organisations across Australia including a quarter of the ASX 200.

Backed by TA Associates, Updata and Macquarie Capital, OBS has more than 150 staff in offices across Australia that service Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth.

OBS achieves solid growth in sluggish IT services sector

25 June, 2013 – OBS, winner of last year’s BRW Best Place to Work, has achieved exceptional business growth in the past 12 months, culminating in a private equity takeover in March 2013.

Andy Neumann, Managing Director OBS said: “We’ve had a great FY2013, where we’ve seen over 15 per cent growth in our business. This is compared to an indicated growth for Australian IT services for FY13 of between 4 and 6 per cent. We put this down to the type of services we offer that target organisational productivity and efficiency – something that is needed in both good times and bad.

“Key areas we’ve seen grow include enterprise social, the use of cloud in collaboration initiatives with employees and partners, organisations using Dynamics CRM to harness their IP and drive business visibility and use of agile process tools like Nintex to harness ‘good-enough’ improvements from divisions that wouldn’t have before considered process automation.

“The private equity investment has opened up multiple opportunities for the business growth and opportunities in Australia, many of which we are taking into consideration for our continued growth in the upcoming financial year.”

OBS was unable to take part in this year’s BRW Best Place to Work Survey due to rules preventing entries from any organisation that has significantly changed its ownership structure in the period leading up to the Awards. As well as winning the top award in 2012, OBS has been placed in the top ten four times.

“While the 2012 BRW Award gives us external validation of being a great place to work, we take personal and professional development and feedback very seriously and will always strive to improve our business and hold culture at the core of what makes us special, regardless of awards,” Andy said.

Regardless of the absence in the BRW Survey, OBS is continuing to drive new initiatives that demonstrate its core values of trust and openness with employees and management – the main attribute that identified the organisation as Australia’s Best Place to Work in 2012.

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ABOUT OBS
OBS is a leading Australian IT Services Company focused on helping organisations transform their business with Microsoft technology. OBS provides world class consulting, implementation, development and managed application services around Microsoft SharePoint, Dynamics CRM and Cloud technologies.

OBS is recognised for its passionate people, innovative solutions, and proven success in more than 300 organisations across Australia including a quarter of the ASX 200.

Backed by TA Associates, Updata and Macquarie Capital, OBS has more than 150 staff in offices across Australia that service Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth.

OBS partners with RecordPoint to help make records management compliance easier

Melbourne, 11 June 2013 – Australian IT services company OBS has formed a strategic partnership with records management specialist RecordPoint, delivering more flexibility for customers, particularly those looking to implement a commercial off the shelf (COTS) standards based compliant records management system within Microsoft SharePoint and Office 365. OBS will provide RecordPoint with business consulting, implementation and support services through its national network of offices.

Until now OBS has offered VERS and standards compliant records management consulting and solutions, under the brand name i5 Software. This new RecordPoint partnership will enable OBS to provide customers continued access to OBS compliance consulting skills for non-standards based solutions and offer RecordPoint where standards based solutions are required. While OBS will no longer market i5 Software it will continue to support existing i5 Software customers to remain VERS compliant, or provide the necessary consulting needed to migrate their SharePoint records management processes onto the RecordPoint platform.

Des Russell, National IM Practice lead at OBS said: “Companies implement records management initiatives to comply with regulations or business strategy, but users don’t always embrace the new solutions. A growing number of organisations are looking at integrating existing SharePoint environments with records management solutions. Because SharePoint is often already in use it is easier to engage staff and drive records management adoption when it is accessed via a familiar interface like Microsoft office and SharePoint. These interfaces provide tools that are familiar to end users whilst ensuring that records management controls are being systematically applied.. This new approach is likely to make it easier for companies to achieve their compliance goals as staff fully embrace new records management initiatives with far less resistance than traditional records management initiatives.

Elon Aizenstros, CEO of RecordPoint said: “It is great that OBS has come on board as a strategic partner. OBS’s impressive credentials and experience as a Microsoft partner and its specific electronic document and records management system (eDRMS) expertise adds significant value to Australian customers that are looking to implement a RecordPoint solution. The partnership enhances our collective capability to enable records compliance in Australia. It offers added value to customer investments in SharePoint as a platform.”

-ENDS-

About OBS
OBS is a leading Australian IT Services Company focused on helping organisations transform their business with Microsoft technology. OBS provides world class consulting, implementation, development and managed application services around Microsoft SharePoint, Dynamics CRM and Cloud technologies.

OBS is recognised for its passionate people, innovative solutions, and proven success in more than 300 organisations across Australia including a quarter of the ASX 200.

Backed by TA Associates, Updata and Macquarie Capital, OBS has more than 150 staff in offices across Australia that service Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth.

About RecordPoint
RecordPoint is an enterprise grade, local standards compliant record management solution. Built to extend the native document and records management capabilities in Microsoft SharePoint, RecordPoint provides a 100% SharePoint solution. RecordPoint also addresses the challenge of records management of social content, with its solution now extended to Facebook, Twitter and a growing number of other Microsoft surfaces. RecordPoint provides records management capability to an ever-growing client base within the Asia Pacific and European regions.

OBS announces new partnership with HP Australia

OBS LogoMelbourne, 4 Dec 2012 – OBS today announced that is has entered into a partner agreement with HP Australia. OBS’s services will focus on integrating HP TRIM Software and Microsoft SharePoint into a cohesive Enterprise Information Management platform in addition to its existing partnerships with Microsoft and i5 Software.

HP TRIM is a highly configurable and easily deployable commercial off the shelf solution that is proven in large government and regulated industry organisations and can meet the needs of any enterprise. HP TRIM provides records management rigor for business records, physical and electronic, regardless of source and allows organisations to reduce the operational, financial and legal risks of legal discovery, litigation and audit.

HP TRIM can manage, finalise, relocate and archive all SharePoint content including blogs, wikis, discussions, documents, and sites, according to established business rules set at an administrative level. All managed content is easily discoverable from SharePoint and HP TRIM with full audit trails maintained in HP TRIM. With transparent records management for SharePoint content and the ability to search across SharePoint, federated data stores and HP TRIM from SharePoint staff productivity is greatly enhanced.

Desmond Russell, National Solutions Specialist OBS said, “The partnership will provide HP TRIM customers with extensive access to OBS’s national SharePoint and information management consulting services. OBS expects to grow HP TRIM’s existing customer base by supporting customers in integrating the two technology platforms to deliver a greater return on their investment.”

“Together with this announcement we have launched a program, HP TRIM Readiness Assessment and Strategy (RAS), to help customers set a vision and strategy roadmap for the HP TRIM SharePoint modules. The program will help clients deploy and evaluate the HP TRIM SharePoint solution and determine the readiness of their SharePoint information environment.”

Murray Harding, Director of Partner Business HP Information Management, welcomes the addition of OBS to the HP IM Partner Eco-System. “I am extremely excited by our new partnership and the SharePoint expertise OBS brings to our combined solution. Information management is one of HP’s three key strategic initiatives and I look forward to OBS aligning to execute on this and share in our mutual success.”

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About OBS
OBS is a leading Australian IT Services Company focused on helping organisations transform their business with Microsoft technologies. Operating since 1999, OBS has worked with over 300 blue chip Australian government, public and private organisations including a quarter of the ASX 200. OBS provides specialist technical, consulting and managed application support services for organisations that wish to address performance, compliance and productivity initiatives on Microsoft SharePoint, Dynamics CRM and Cloud technologies. Backed by Macquarie Capital, OBS have over 140 staff that service Australia with offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Canberra.

As Australia’s first Microsoft Gold Partner, OBS currently holds five Microsoft Gold Competencies covering Portals & Collaboration, Digital Marketing, Search, CRM and Business Intelligence. OBS was named Australia’s Best Place to Work in 2012 by BRW magazine.

OBS appoints Saul Sabath as WA branch manager

OBS LogoNovember 12, 2012 – OBS has appointed Saul Sabath as Perth’s new branch manager to support the rapid growth in the Western Australian market. Saul joins OBS from NEC/CSG, where he was General Manager -Services and Strategy. At OBS, he will be responsible for the Western Australian business and driving further growth in the region.

Saul has over 13 years of experience in the IT sector. At NEC/CSG he was responsible for the development and performance of sales and revenue activities, developing and maintaining marketing strategies and the development and performance of Vendor/Partner relationships. Saul was pivotal in building the company’s Microsoft practice, growing the Microsoft SharePoint group to be the leaders in WA and leading east coast expansion with enterprise projects in Microsoft CRM/XRM.

“We are pleased to welcome Saul as the newest member of the OBS management team,” said Andy Neumann, Managing Director of OBS. “He has solid connections in the Perth customer base, as well as the national Microsoft team. With him on board, we’re expecting the Perth branch to grow even further in the next 12 months.”

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About OBS
OBS is a leading Australian IT Services Company focused on helping organisations transform their business with Microsoft technologies. Operating since 1999, OBS has worked with over 300 blue chip Australian government, public and private organisations including a quarter of the ASX 200. OBS provides specialist technical, consulting and managed application support services for organisations that wish to address performance, compliance and productivity initiatives on Microsoft SharePoint, Dynamics CRM and Cloud technologies. Backed by Macquarie Capital, OBS have over 140 staff that service Australia with offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Canberra.

As Australia’s first Microsoft Gold Partner, OBS currently holds five Microsoft Gold Competencies covering Portals & Collaboration, Digital Marketing, Search, CRM and Business Intelligence. OBS was named Australia’s Best Place to Work in 2012 by BRW magazine.

Western Health Selects OBS for Major Enterprise SharePoint Implementation Project

OBS Logo16 Oct, 2012OBS has been selected by Western Health, one of Victoria’s leading health care services providers, to plan, design and build a SharePoint 2010 solution to modernise internal systems and processes. The implementation will focus on key parts of the business and create a high performance workplace through the widespread adoption of technology. The solution will improve performance, drive innovation and connect people to information.

Jason Whakaari, Executive Director, ICT and Commercial Contracts at Western Health said, “Over 700,000 people in Melbourne have access to services provided by Western Health so it is important they can find information easily. We also have over 5,000 staff that need to work together and collaborate effectively and efficiently. We began the process of looking for the right solution last year and thanks to OBS we are now putting it in place. With the introduction of new systems and automated processes the staff at Western Health can spend more time focusing on safe and effective patient care and less time on manual and labour intensive processes.”

OBS will upgrade Western Health’s current intranet to provide new features including dynamic content, advanced search capabilities and fast, efficient editing. A document management system will be introduced letting Western Health to further leverage the new intranet platform and allow users to collaborate, manage documents and easily share information.

The introduction of business process automation at Western Health will synchronise staff data, create on-boarding/off-boarding functionality and provide self-service functionality for all staff. A range of current paper based forms will move to electronic online forms, resulting in a more secure system and streamlined business processes. The initial focus will be on People Services (HR) employee self-services, with Western Health continuing to convert other high use manual forms to automated forms in the future.

In addition an extranet site is being developed as a safe storage solution where sensitive Executive and Board documents can be stored and only retrieved electronically by those with appropriate security authorisation. This component will significantly reduce the consumption of paper, ink, power, and fuel associated with printing and transporting large document packages, which will help make a positive impact from a sustainable environment perspective.

OBS will also help with Western Health’s external website improving search rankings, ensuring content is up to date and providing internal users with a familiar Office style editing experience. The new site will enable RSS feeds, online forms and provide multi-lingual support.

Andy Neumann, Managing Director at OBS said, “We wanted to make sure we could deliver on Western Health’s specific needs. We ran a series of workshops to get direct feedback on what the solution had to achieve and then created and presented a SharePoint Strategy Roadmap Document. This demonstrated how Western Health could use this technology to address its main business issues. By clearly outlining their challenges and requirements we were able to offer the best solution and ensure that Western Health will get the best results from this implementation.”

The SharePoint implementation has commenced and is expected to be completed in 2013.

 

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About OBS
OBS is a leading Australian IT Services Company focused on helping organisations transform their business with Microsoft technologies. OBS has helped over 300 organisations including government, public and private businesses including a quarter of the ASX 200. As Australia’s first Microsoft Gold Partner, OBS currently holds five Microsoft Gold Competencies covering SharePoint, Dynamics CRM and Microsoft Cloud technologies. OBS was recently awarded Best Place to Work in Australia by BRW.

About Western Health
Western Health was formed in July 2000 (from a much larger combined health service covering North, West and parts of Central Metropolitan Melbourne) and is the major public provider of acute health services throughout Western Metropolitan Melbourne. Western Health operates a network of four hospital campuses (Williamstown, Footscray, Sunshine, and Sunbury) as well as aged residential care and drug and alcohol services.

OBS wins national accolade from Microsoft

OBS Logo10th Sep, 2012OBS has been awarded the 2012 Microsoft Partner of the Year Award for Public Sector. The company was chosen out of a national field of top Microsoft Partners for delivering market-leading customer solutions built on the Microsoft platform.

“We are thrilled to be recognised by Microsoft as Partner of the Year for our commitment to serving customers across Australia’s Public Sector,” said Andy Neumann, OBS Managing Director.

Awards were presented in 24 categories, and OBS was recognised for superior technology and innovation in the Public Sector. The Public Sector Partner of the Year Award recognises Partners who have delivered exemplary solutions using Microsoft technologies to address customer business needs and challenges.

OBS worked in conjunction with the Improvement Foundation to deliver, OHCREStreams. A web based reporting tool that eases the reporting burden by streamlining both paper based and online processes for nearly 300 health services that support over 560,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across Australia.” said Neumann.

“Microsoft’s partner community is the heartbeat of the company and it is partners like OBS which showcase the hugely positive impact and contribution that this community makes in Australia.” said Toby Bowers, Partner Strategy & Programs Lead at Microsoft Australia. “For OBS, it’s about more than technology – their passion for helping the public sector delivers enhanced services to Australians in a manner that delivers excellent value for money for tax payers is truly what it’s all about.”

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About OBS

OBS is a leading Australian IT Services Company focused on helping organisations transform their business with Microsoft technologies. OBS has helped over 300 organisations including government, public and private businesses including a quarter of the ASX 200. As Australia’s first Microsoft Gold Partner, OBS currently holds five Microsoft Gold Competencies covering SharePoint, Dynamics CRM and Microsoft Cloud technologies. OBS was recently awarded Best Place to Work in Australia by BRW.

OBS awarded Best Place to Work in Australia

OBS Logo21 June 2012, Melbourne, Victoria: Based on an extensive employee survey undertaken in Australia, OBS has been ranked 1st in the BRW Best Places to Work 2012, under the category of ‘Trust’. This is OBS’s 4th consecutive year in the top 10.

The survey, undertaken by the Great Places to Work Institute, is a detailed study of workplace culture that finds and recognises organisations in which employees are provided with a great work environment.

Organisations enter with a genuine commitment to improve workplace quality and to take advantage of this unique opportunity for learning and growth. Each company is judged by their own employees for culture including policies, practices and procedures.

“OBS is humbled and proud to be in this position and recognise its the great people that are the key to the company’s success. This award is a testament to the dynamic employees that help make OBS one of the best places to work, with some of the best technologies and processes around,” said Andy Neumann, managing director of OBS.

“Companies who embrace new technology attract the best people in their industry, becoming leaders in their field. But what you do on a day to day basis to help employees engage is also important. Little things that make staff feel welcome and appreciated, can happen with automated processes and make sure you’re on the ball, engaging with your employees. Otherwise culture is just another word,” says Neumann.

OBS provides world class consulting, implementation, development and managed services around Microsoft SharePoint, Dynamics CRM and Cloud technologies and see the value these tools bring to employee engagement every day.

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