Ultimately, the new Microsoft mobile BI solution leads to more revenue for Recall and gives us deeper customer insight, helping us stay ahead of our competitors.
Todd Pinniger, Senior Manager of Architecture and Product Development
Recall, a records-management firm, needed faster access to key performance indicators and more intuitive business intelligence (BI) tools. The company consolidated four data centers into a Microsoft SQL Server 2012 data warehouse. The solution’s performance enhancements speed employee access to more detailed data. By consolidating into a data warehouse, the company saved $1 million in hardware and licensing costs.
Recall stores, protects, and streamlines vital information for banks, law firms, government organizations, healthcare providers, financial institutions, and other customers.
More than 200 Recall salespeople and account managers travel frequently, meeting with current and potential customers all over the world. This mobile sales force needed to have access to updated BI data, such as current key performance indicators (KPIs) and customer billing information. “The salespeople need to know detailed customer information prior to a meeting,” says Carlos Rodrigues, Business Intelligence Architect at Recall. “With that kind of information at their disposal, it’s easier to be successful in terms of sales.”
However, viewing this information was challenging because Recall had a limited ability to analyze customer data. “We simply didn’t have BI capabilities at all, let alone mobile BI capabilities,” says Todd Pinniger, Senior Manager of Architecture and Product Development at Recall. “If salespeople wanted updated customer data, they had to send email attachments to their laptops or iPads before going on the road.”
Also, because most of those employees do not have experience creating analytical reports, they relied on IT to build custom reports on specific customers. “The process wasn’t efficient, and it didn’t provide the real-time information they needed prior to meeting with a customer,” states Pinniger.In late August 2011, Recall began searching for a new self-service mobile BI solution.
After considering new BI solutions from companies including Panorama, CORDA Technologies, QlikTech, Tableau, and SAP, Recall chose to implement a new solution based on Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Enterprise software. “We have used Microsoft technology for many years, and we were eager to deploy this new solution because of our great experiences with Microsoft so far,” says Pinniger.
Prologika delivered a new solution, which wentlive in February 2012, and includes Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services and SQL Server 2012 Integration Services, in addition to Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 and SQL Server 2012 Reporting Services. The new data warehouse contains about 7 terabytes of data. Recall is also using the SQL Server 2012 xVelocity memory-optimized columnstore index feature to speed the processing and querying of large data sets.
To facilitate self-service BI, Prologika implemented PerformancePoint Services in Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, a feature that provides easy-to-use tools for report building, as well as scorecards and dashboards used for monitoring KPIs.
For mobile self-service BI, Prologika created a URL that links to the new SharePoint site, so several hundred traveling sales professionals now have instant access to detailed customer information from their laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Recall is also taking advantage of Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Power View, a new interactive data-exploration and data-visualization feature in SQL Server Reporting Services that works within SharePoint Server 2010.
Using its new Microsoft BI solution, Recall salespeople and account managers have deeper insight into the company’s customers, which helps increase sales. Additionally, Recall has avoided having to develop its own costly mobile BI software.
Gives Mobile Sales Force Easy-to-Use BI Tools
With the new mobile BI solution, Recall salespeople and account managers have a simplified way to get fast, real-time access to critical KPIs and other customer information. “Using PerformancePoint Services in SharePoint Server 2010, our mobile sales teams have an easy self-service BI tool they can access from their mobile devices, no matter where they are,” says Pinniger. “And they don’t have to have special training in analysis and reporting, so they can create reports without IT intervention.”
Mobile users can now view customer details before or during customer meetings. “Previously, salespeople would spend a lot of time generating the latest BI data before a customer meeting,” says Pinniger. “They now have instant access to dashboards and KPI reports on their iPads, so they can view a customer’s current revenue data during a meeting.”
Improves Customer Relationships and Increases Sales
Because they have better visibility into customer information, Recall sales professionals have improved relationships with their key customers. “With a deeper understanding of our customers’ business and needs, our salespeople can give more knowledgeable, thorough input to customers during meetings, which helps foster tighter relationships,” says Pinniger.
It also leads to better sales opportunities. “Because they have better insight, our sales managers can show a potential customer how another branch of that customer’s business is using Recall solutions in another region or country,” Pinniger says. “The sales managers can then more easily sell the solution to the potential customer. Ultimately, the new Microsoft mobile BI solution leads to more revenue for Recall and gives us deeper customer insight, helping us stay ahead of our competitors.”
Avoids Development Costs
Recall also avoided development costs because it did not need to create a separate mobile solution. “We already had the SQL Server 2012 BI solution in place internally, and we use the exact same solution for our mobile users,” states Rodrigues. “We initially looked at purchasing additional software to integrate the mobile functionality, but we saved a lot of time and money by not having to duplicate our development efforts. This is a great solution for our mobile salespeople, and we are very excited about expanding it to other mobile users in the future.”