The Cloudtech team has decades of experience in delivering business focused projects for clients in many different industry sectors on many platforms and technologies. Our projects range from initial business scoping and requirements gathering right through design, build, test, train, deliver and support.
Work usually starts with a thorough understanding of our clients business through identifying the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and helping to create a phased action plan. We will always try and ensure that we have a good grasp of what the ‘as is’ process looks like and what the ‘to be’ process is going to provide. Having these mapped out allows change to be measured.
We then work with our clients to manage their changing business requirements and processes. This can mean managing the delivery of bespoke solutions or customisation and build-out of existing CRM functionality and applications (for both B2C and B2B).
In today’s world security, ease of use and mobility is critical and we have delivered online and offline applications for many customers, including:
A business transformation project working directly with both the Managing Director and Finance Director of Ireland’s largest manufacturer of portable cabins. This project has helped manage change right across the organisation starting with sales and order / quote management through to the design and scheduling of the manufacture of the cabins. The business has now moved completely away from using on-premise manual spreadsheets and word docs combined with thousands of shared folders to a unified cloud based platform. Even the delivery of cabins is now managed through the single system including capturing proof of delivery via a tablet based online signing system. Business metrics are now available in real time through dashboards.
We were approached by Ireland’s largest charity working in suicide prevention and counseling to look at their existing business processes and how they were supported by their current systems. The charity was under pressure to move to a different platform as they had grown to nearly 400 staff working in 14 centres across Ireland. We identified some changes that could be made to the existing system and our recommendation was that it was more than capable of continuing to provide their main business applications. The charity had already built out a user interface to help with scheduling appointments and we were then invited to move this forward into a time off/time on scheduler as well create a custom HR system for all staff.
Working closely with the senior management team of one of Ireland largest insurance companies we identified the need for a loss adjusters application that allows field-based staff to carry out inspections and create reports in environments where there was little of no wireless connectivity (fire damaged buildings, etc.). Data, information and workflows are synced and actioned once connectivity was re-established. Changes to the CRM application (new fields, objects etc.) are dynamically pushed down to the tablet device for immediate use by the loss adjusters.
Our team worked directly with the Sales Director of the worlds largest veterinary pharmaceutical company to create a multi language/currency sales order entry app, providing real-time sales inventory and delivery management information to field-based sales staff working with farmers and vets across the world. In addition to several other projects for this client (working with sales teams in Ireland, US, UK and France) they also required an application that allowed field-based staff to enter and manage expenses and holiday/absence information.
We worked with the engineering support team of a large sub-contractor to a major energy company to help them create an application to manage and report on the remote capture and updates of case information from field-based third parties and contractors who were examining possible breaks in underground high voltage electrical cables. The longer breaks went undetected or fixed the greater the chance of a serious explosion or fire. By providing real time functionality direct to the engineering staff this reduced the time to fix by up to 60%.
We worked closely with the Sales & Pricing Management team of a large food supplier to find ways of providing their sales team with the most up to date product, pricing and promotional information for their extensive range of products. We created a ‘dynamic’ sales order and product promotion app (2 for the price of 1, etc.), to work directly in food retail environments (often in locations such as kitchens and basements where no internet was available). Based upon the sales order, the app then suggests special product offers and discounts for extra purchases.
A major European airline had recently been through a management buyout from its global airline group parent but then found that it no longer had access to one it’s main business systems. We were invited in by members of the transition team and worked on the scope to identify the core requirements to migrate and then upgrade the old charter and group booking system that had been left behind as part of the original group. Unfortunately there was no upgrade path and so with time running out the entire application had to be ‘deconstructed’ and rewritten in a modern language in just five weeks. The work also included the data transformation from the old system to the new. Airport data and complex flight algorithms for all the European airports had to be updated and tested.
A newly privatised large water authority in Ireland (who had been suffering from immense political and social pressure) required a means of improving the flow of communication both inside the organisation as well as directly with the media services and public. We worked with the Director of Communications to identify their key requirements and match these up to a simple to use cloud based solution. A critical need was to ensure that all public facing employees had online access to the correct information, press packs, data etc. and that any issues that might arise could be escalated quickly and actioned without being lost. A solution was configured that combined secure repositories of information for users to access whilst also providing them with means of recording and updating contact data. The management team were provided with the facility to ‘push’ corporate information out quickly across the company and get feedback. Users have the ability to create and join special interest groups and receive alerts as information is published. Whilst it is always difficult to measure success in ‘soft’ business areas such as Communications – complaints from the public fell by over 20% within the first 6 months.
A newly formed mobile phone insurance company was having problems managing it’s growth. It had been started using manual processes with little apart from an application page on its website in terms of technology. We were invited by the Operations Manager to see if we could review their business and put forward a proposal that would automate much of their processes. We were able to show that they could remove many of the manual steps of processing the insurance application and also reduce the errors and rework experienced in their direct debit set up and reconciliation. A project was agreed and once their ‘to be’ business processes had been documented we created the back end applications that took the initial web-based sales order and moved it automatically through setting up the online payment, checking details were correct and issuing the policies. Reconciliation was carried out directly with their bank transactions and exceptions reported. The final element of the system was managing any claim online and handling any device returns.
A global facilities management company required a very high quality customer-facing budgeting application in order to ‘slice and dice’ all the revenue projections and cost data for one of their major clients across Europe. This had to be graphical in nature so that their key accounts could drill down into each physical building and examine how their money was being spent. We worked with their key account manager in order to capture and document his requirements, offer improvements and create the technical specifications. Once these had been agreed (along with the budget!) we were then tasked with building and delivering the demo version of the budgeting application. Their client then became involved once the test version was available and we went through a change management lifecycle with them as they improved it in line with their exact requirements.
One of Ireland’s leading aircraft leasing companies required a ‘plane configurator’ to be built that allowed it to provide complex long term financial leasing quotations to prospective customers. We were given access to their finance team who were creating the projections for clients using large excel spreadsheets. These were very unwieldy and complicated and prone to manual error. Our business analyst captured the processes from the finance team and extracted the core algorithms from the spreadsheets in order to put forward a proposed solution. The client was excited by the results and went ahead with the build of an online aircraft leasing configurator that was able to create high quality and detailed financial quotations for clients.
The EU and Irish Government announced The Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) in 2014. This provides funding to tackle poverty and social exclusion through local engagement and partnerships between disadvantaged individuals, community organisations and public sector agencies. We were invited by one of the regional local development agencies to put forward a proposal to work with them to create an online system to support SICAP. Our team worked with their social services staff to document their requirements and create an initial scope for the system. Our proposal was accepted and a user centered project planner was built (down to calendar tasks and activity level) for the local development authority to ensure that social inclusion was being carried out across all social, demographic, financial and neighbourhood sectors. Because of the sensitive nature of the programmee testing had to be very strong as no possibility of error, information exposure or misuse could be allowed.
Ireland’s largest refrigeration servicing group had grown both through acquisition as well as organic growth but the Managing Director had an issue in that the group was essentially 4 separate businesses. He needed to see his management information rolled up from both their 4 Sage accounts packages as well as his CRM systems. We had been working to customise their CRM application (Sales, Account Management and Field Services) and were now invited to look at this issue and put forward a solution. We reviewed each of the 4 businesses as well as documented the MD’s requirements and put forward a proposal to synchronise the Sage data on a daily basis and map it against the Salesforce data – including product, pricing, credit management, renewals and service information.
A software house specialising in statistics where we had been working on changes to their CRM application decided to move to a new payment platform in order to collect the subscriptions and renewals for their software. The main requirement was to automate these processes as much as possible and move any data entry to their end client. The existing process was all offline, manual, time-consuming and prone to error. We reviewed the scope and business requirements and documented the proposed new processes. The client approved the work and signed off on the build of an integration between Stripe (for online payments) and Salesforce in order to manage software subscriptions and renewals through a Salesforce Community portal. Their clients were able to login to the Community to create, update and amend their own license requirements via the portal with the ensuing payment (including any changes) being managed and made programmatically by the solution. This solution reduced the amount of manual effort, intervention and rework to practically zero. The sales director has an online dashboard showing all his metrics surrounding new licenses, pending, renewals, etc.
After implementing an out of the box sales and CRM application for one of Ireland’s leading suppliers of customer service call scoring software our client then asked us to look at whether it would be possible for their call scoring software to be integrated with their clients CRM systems. Their sales team had been asked this question many times by their clients and it made a lot of sense for the scorecards to be integrated. We looked at their software product, created a scope and provided an estimate – which was accepted. Critical to the success was to ensure that there was value add for the clients and this was achieved by importing users direct from the CRM along with their security profile and then making data from the scorecard accessible back to the CRM application. Thorough testing was required as the software connector had to go through the CRM suppliers security checks before the connector was allowed to be made available to end clients.
At the height of the recession car manufacturers were struggling to sell cars. Revenue from servicing & parts became critical to the survival of the dealerships. We were approached by the Irish franchise holder of a global car brand to see whether we could help them to identify and target prospective and existing clients in order to support the dealerships. To achieve the desired result it required 30-plus years of customer and dealer data (prospect, customer, car, parts & service histories – including customer satisfaction surveys down to each individual response to each question!) to be cleansed and amalgamated from several old source systems and transformed onto a new Cloud platform to be used in a new CRM and B2C marketing system. The data also had to be segmented and secured in many ways, to ensure that the car manufacture could see and use all the data, and also so that the dealers could use the marketing solution and see and use their own direct customer data. It was important the dealers were not able to poach other dealers customers! Both the manufacturer and dealer branding had to be absolutely consistent.
Typically financial services companies have many legacy systems that are silo’s of information. These are created each time a new financial product or service is developed. Where speed to market is critical Finance Houses just accept the overhead of not having a single view of their clients financial assets. We have worked for several stockbroker and asset management firms where we have been invited in to analyse their sales, client and account management front and back office business processes and systems and propose ways that client data and information can be cleaned up, de-duplicated and merged to provide a single view. There of course has to be a good business case and cost benefit analysis carried out to prove the return on spend. The task of extracting, transforming and then loading (ETL) volumes of data for high net worth individuals has to be carried out in line with data privacy, regulatory and compliance rules as well as understanding GDPR issues. We use our own secure encrypted SSD drives to ensure the security and integrity of client data.