Divisions Inc. provides property management services to customers across the United States. Microsoft CRM is heavily leveraged to ensure quality of service to their customers. Red Hawk has been contracted to customize Microsoft CRM on multiple occasions for Divisions. The following is just one example of our application and CRM customization expertise at work.
Field representatives visit customer locations for a variety of reasons. Typically, the purpose of a visit is to document requirements specific to a client maintenance request. Photos were taken, but the process of integrating photography with the maintenance request in CRM was non-existent.
Using Microsoft CRM and custom Blackberry software developed by our partner, Signal US, we enabled the field representatives to take photos using their mobile phones, organize them on-site, and send them into Microsoft CRM. Within CRM, the photos are organized by Customer and grouped arbitrarily by the field representative. Those groups are sent using the normal CRM email mechanisms and are received at the destination inbox in a client branded template in Microsoft CRM. The photos are stored in their original format with all embedded information (including GPS coordinates) at SmugMug, a third-party provider. We chose to use a third party provider for photo storage for a variety of reasons:
Several options were researched prior to making a decision regarding the aforementioned technologies. Red Hawk researched GPS and Wi-Fi enabled digital cameras. The iPhone was also researched and a prototype was developed. It was eventually decided that the cameras researched were too expensive and too easily lost or damaged. The iPhone had great image quality and GPS support but the poor quality of AT&T's network, coupled with poor battery life, made it an undesirable option. The client had confidence in the Verizon network and determined the Blackberry Tour was the best option. The client purchased Blackberry's for all of the field representatives and select corporate office staff. The phones were pre-configured with the custom photo software, managed via the Blackberry Enterprise Server.
The flow of pictures into the system functions in the following manner:
Field representatives can now locate photo groups quickly within CRM and email the images with comments to clients, colleagues, and vendors. The email is contained in a branded template. The images include pertinent data including; date, time, comments, and a link to Google Maps indicating approximate location. The approximate location link is only displayed when the field representative chooses to include GPS data when taking the photo using the Blackberry.
Flexibility was top-of-mind for Red Hawk during the planning and application development phase of the project. The Customer Photo Management System will allow us to quickly change photo storage providers, templates, and will also adapt to handle new photo data that may be available in the future.
Within the first 90 days of use, the system had over 1700 photo records in more than 350 photo groups in CRM. Each group contains an average of 4 photos.