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Posts Tagged ‘OCS’

Synergy with Office Communicator integration Helps IT Firm Trim Travel Costs by 30 Percent

Written by Martin Ortgiess on . Posted in Exact Synergy

Dutch IT services provider Nobel offers customized software solutions and consulting services to organizations throughout the Netherlands. Because it wanted to increase efficiency and reduce meeting-related travel, the company chose to implement a new version of Exact Synergy Enterprise, its primary business solution. The new version integrates with Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2, which Nobel had previously implemented. As a result, Nobel has cut travel costs by 30 percent, improved employee communications, and boosted overall productivity. The organization has also used the solution to win new business. 

This story is available as a case study at the Microsoft site.

Business Needs

Founded in 1984, Microsoft Gold Certified Partner Exact provides business software solutions to a range of global organizations, including construction, manufacturing, financial services, public administration, and retail companies.

Many Exact customers rely on the company’s Exact Synergy Enterprise application to work on projects, share customer sales information, and handle critical business processes such as billing. One such customer is Nobel, a Dutch IT solutions provider based in Naarden, the Netherlands. Nobel wanted to improve efficiency and productivity for its sales and marketing employees who work in Exact Synergy. “Many times, an employee will have questions about a customer’s order, and that employee used to spend a lot of time trying to reach the person assigned to that customer,” says Barry van der Meij, IT Manager, Nobel. “The employee would call or send an email and wait for a response. We wanted to help our employees make fast, intelligent decisions about how to communicate and who to communicate with.”

Nobel also needed to reduce its travel. Several times each week, Nobel project managers would drive to customer sites for meetings. “We have quite a few customers in the northern part of the country, and it can take three hours to drive each way, plus an hour for the meeting,” says van der Meij. “That’s a full day of travel and a lot of money spent on fuel every week.”

Solution

In early 2009, Exact developed a new version of Exact Synergy which integrates directly with Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2. Office Communications Server 2007 R2 includes voice over IP (VoIP), instant messaging, and presence capabilities, which workers can use to quickly determine the right person to communicate with, as well as the appropriate method of communication. Office Communications Server 2007 R2 also interoperates with Microsoft Office Live Meeting, a hosted web-conferencing solution. The solution also includes remote desktop sharing, which workers can use to share desktops for easier project collaboration.

The integration of Exact Synergy with Office Communications Server 2007 R2 gives Exact Synergy users the ability to quickly contact a colleague who created a document for clarification on changes to the document. Workers can also immediately find a person in the Office Communicator 2007 R2 client and determine the best way to contact the person, based on that person’s presence information. And if an Exact Synergy user is on the phone and cannot answer a customer’s question, that user can immediately see which colleagues are available to answer the question through instant message or email.

Companies that want to integrate their existing Office Communications Server 2007 R2 solutions with Exact Synergy simply need to confirm that integration with a simple settings change in Exact Synergy.

Nobel, which had previously integrated Office Communications Server 2007 R2, began using the new version of Exact Synergy in March 2009.

Benefits

With its new solution, Nobel spends 30 percent less on travel costs. The company’s employees can communicate better and are more productive. In addition, Nobel has gained new business opportunities.

Reduces Travel Costs by 30 Percent

Because Nobel project managers can now conduct customer meetings online, the company has decreased required travel time. “With Office Live Meeting and Office Communications Server 2007 R2, we don’t need to travel to off-site meetings as much as before. As a result, we’re spending 30 percent less on fuel costs,” says van der Meij. Nobel has also reduced some phone costs by taking advantage of the integrated audio-conferencing capabilities in Office Communications Server 2007 R2.

Improves Employee Communications

With Office Communications Server 2007 R2 integrated with Exact Synergy, Nobel has transformed the way its sales employees communicate. Now, when an employee needs to approve a customer order, for example, he or she can open Exact Synergy and use the Office Communicator 2007 R2 client to see which colleague is assigned to that customer. “If the colleague is available, an instant message session can be started, and questions can be answered immediately,” says van der Meij.

Additionally, Nobel help-desk workers can use remote desktop sharing to assist Nobel consultants in solving technical problems at customer sites. “About 50 percent of our support calls are now handled using remote desktop sharing in Office Communications Server 2007 R2,” says van der Meij.

Increases Productivity

Now that they can communicate faster and easier, Nobel employees can do more work in less time. “We’re definitely more productive with the integration of Office Communications Server 2007 R2 and Exact Synergy,” says van der Meij. “If I need to have an important conversation with coworkers outside normal office hours, I can view their availability and call or send an instant message, depending on their preference. Everyone is more accessible now, at all hours of the day.”

Helps Create New Business

Nobel is also creating new business as a direct result of its new Microsoft Unified Communications solution. “We are conducting webinars now, using Office Live Meeting, to demonstrate our software solutions to customers,” says van der Meij. “We recently demonstrated one of our solutions to a customer through Live Meeting, and the customer eventually purchased the solution. We feel that our unified communications solution played a big role in winning that business.”

Looking for Someone? Contact is a Mouse Click Away

Written by Michiel Dorjee on . Posted in Exact Synergy

Do you need a document approved quickly? Or what about that pool car you need in an hour for an urgent visit to your customer? Do you want to call an emergency meeting with your project team or just want to invite someone to lunch in a few minutes? One of the biggest efficiency boosters to come our way recently is the new presence control in Exact Synergy Enterprise update 242. With the presence control you can see exactly who’s available to help you out, and even better, contacting them is just a mouse click away.

Sneak peek at Exact Synergy Enterprise, product update 242

Written by Michiel Dorjee on . Posted in Exact Synergy

With the product update 242 of Exact Synergy Enterprise approaching general availability, here are top 5 highlights to whet your appetite.

Route incoming invoices from Exact Globe and follow up on them easily

Incoming invoice registerCustomers that use Exact Globe to register incoming invoices can now authorize or reject those invoices directly from Exact Synergy Enterprise.

Once an invoice is created in Globe, a request to approve it, complete with all payment details will arrive into the workflow of a designated employee with a sufficient purchasing limit. A scanned copy of the original invoice will be linked to the request as a regular Synergy Enterprise document.

Employees can use all flexibility of Synergy Enterprise workflow to process the incoming invoices  and resolve any arising questions.

Note, that this functionality was previously available for Exact Synergy only and is now also applied to Exact Synergy Enterprise.

 

View sales quotations from multiple Globe administrations directly from Synergy Enterprise

Synergy Globe integrationExisting Globe customers now get access from one location in Synergy Enterprise to key logistics reports per division. There are two important advantages that are delivered: The reports are available for multiple Globe administrations and the reports are delivered in real time.       

The following Globe reports become available:

  • sales invoices;
  • sales, service and purchase orders;
  • item-balance lists;
  • stock positions;
  • quotations.

In addition to that, a user can enter hours into a Globe administration directly from Synergy Enterprise. With these reports available directly from Synergy Enterprise, many more users in the organization become updated with accurate back office information.

 

A colleague that you need to talk to becomes only one click away

OCS in SynergyCustomers that already use Microsoft Office Communication Server can make collaboration between Synergy Enterprise users  easier and more spontaneous. Synergy Enterprise users immediately see which of their colleagues are now logged on, busy or available to talk.

One can start an instant chat, place a call or send an email just by clicking an Office Communicator presence icon next to a colleague’s name. The presence icon is an indication of the colleague’s availability and willingness to communicate and lets the others choose the time and the best means to contact him.

Integration with Office Communication Server allows a Synergy Enterprise user to contact the document editor directly from a document, a member of the project directly from a project card, an account manager directly from a card of a customer and a colleague that has a follow up action pending directly from the request.

 

Implement Synergy Enterprise faster and with less hassle

templatingToolScreenshotConsultants busy with Synergy Enterprise implementations can use a new tool to create best practice templates for typical customer cases.

Using the tool, a consultant can build start pages linked to documents and requests in one Synergy Enterprise environment and
save them into templates. He can import these templates into a customer’s Synergy Enterprise environment during the implementation and update the templates with new configuration data. Templates can also be shared with colleagues.

Additionally, the tool simplifies the job of internal IT staff that needs to migrate changes between separate development, test and production Synergy Enterprise environments.

The configuration tool is the foundation of Exact’s Business Made Easy offering.

 

Do less manual work when creating requests

Attachments in new requestTo make the day-to-day work of a regular Synergy Enterprise user easier, two improvements have been added to requests:

It is now possible to attach files to a request without creating a document first. If a support desk employee wants to share a screenshot with a colleague, he only needs to create a task and attach an image directly to it.

Secondly, all fields are now duplicated when a copy of a request is created, including remarks and attachments. As a consequences, remarks in a sales cycle are accumulated and retained in each of the stages.

A typical Synergy Enterprise user usually creates a lot of requests. Now he save a few precious minutes every time he does it.

Photo credit: re-ality