MS gets a taste of its own medicine

Thanks to a third party developer and some of its own .Net medicine, Microsoft Australia has improved its internal Siebel CRM software in just a few months.

The .Net-based leads generation system, developed by Sydney-based Unique World, lets all forms of customer contact be entered or integrated into the local office's CRM software.

One of the main uses of the custom-built application is integrating Web traffic data with previously incompatible CRM software.

“If someone downloads something from the Microsoft Australia Web site, our application will integrate that data into the [CRM and] internal e-mail systems so that person can be e-mailed later about a related announcement,” said Unique World CEO Eddie Geller.

About 100 Microsoft Australia marketing staff have been using the application since February, and it could be rolled out to all Microsoft Asia Pacific marketing departments, according to Geller.

“It’s form based. Staff use it [the application] for data entry, but it also does some background work. A Microsoft staff member will log in, and from there they can manage content. So if someone’s interested in SharePoint [for example], and they download this type of information, they’ll get this [type of] content sent to them,” he said.

Before the .Net application, incompatible CRM data took a longer route.

“Previously this sort of information would be dumped into a spreadsheet, forwarded onto the appropriate person, and entered later,” Geller said.

“As a result of the new system, there’s less searching [needed] by employees [to find customer information], and the system is more context sensitive,” he said.

Geller said three developers used Visual Studio .Net to create the application in about eight weeks.

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