Mission Australia has rolled out 1155 licences of Salesforce’s CRM Enterprise edition aimed at boosting the efficiency of its employment services unit.
The unit, which assists the government in matching current job vacancies to unemployed people, had prior to implementing the CRM system, previously relied on a range of manual processes and spreadsheets to match jobs to the unemployed, track monies spent on job seekers, and manage relationships with corporate donors.
Deriving much of its income, about $200 million per year, from the Federal Government for assisting job seekers in gaining employment, the not-for-profit required a better way to document its employment services work and processing of detailed claim forms.
The organisation also needed a better method of tracking the progress of job seekers well after they start their jobs, both for compliance reasons and to ensure successful outcomes for job seekers and their employers.
Mission Australia also needed a system that could manage the data for more than 27,000 job seekers per month, and easily integrate into the Federal Government’s Job Network System, EA3000, to receive automated weekly information updates about job opportunities.
According to Mission Australia’s CIO, Ross Hawkey, the not for profit, which also has a community services arm and about 3500 staff at 400 locations across Australia, a RFP for a CRM system resulted in a showdown between an on-premise Microsoft Dynamics and a cloud-based Salesforce.com’s Enterprise Edition.
"We didn’t go looking for a cloud solution -- just a CRM that matched our needs,” he says. “The fact that Salesforce was hosted wasn’t part of our initial thought process, but it became part of it when we could see that it would cost so much per user per month and there was no infrastructure cost, no up-front licensing cost.”
Mission Australia rolled out Salesforce CRM to four major pilot sites in two states in April 2008. After successful trials with these sites, it was rolled out to the rest of Mission Australia’s sites and was finalised from start to finish in nine months, Hawkey says. (For more, see the sidebar, Five Tips on Implementing CRM.)
“We brought in a project manager who, along with the business experts, spent a significant amount of time with Salesforce to get them to understand what we were trying to do, and to ensure the solution fitted into the Salesforce architecture,” he says.
“We found that was the best way to do it: having a person who knows Salesforce intimately to understand what we needed, rather than us getting a product and developing it ourselves.”