BPOS Consulting

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  • Proposals 6
  • Remote
  • #22546
  • Archived
Mike K.Roy G.Andy G.Tom N.Narola I. + 1 other have already sent a proposal.
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Description

Experience Level: Intermediate
I am VP of Sales and Marketing for a small (15 employee) software and services company. We develop and support software for the government marketplace and have been in business more than 40 years. We are headquartered in Western New York State but have staff in several locations working from home based offices. We use Microsoft tools to develop our software and from a sales and customer support standpoint, we have evolved over the past couple years as follows:

Contact Management

Several years ago, we had contact information for customers and prospects in many locations - excel spreadsheets, individual Outlook files, etc and there was very little sharing of this information between employees, ie. Ralph Smith died and was replaced by Sally Jones. I knew that and would sent letters to Sally while one of our customer support personnel did not know that and would send a holiday card to poor dead Ralph. We finally got all this contact information into MS Office Live and maintain a single list of contacts for all purposes. Some staff who don\'t have a constant need for this information access it via the Office Live website while others (sales and customer support) use Outlook 2007 that syncs both ways with Office Live. We have had some problems with this including sync inconsistencies and inability to see categories (customer, prospect, etc) in Outlook, etc.
Overall however, Office Live has been a good step forward in managing our contact database of approximately 2,200 people.

Email

Currently we are using a small ISP who both hosts our website and our email.
The webmail offering by this ISP is very limited so 99% of email is sent and received through Outlook. Several years ago we migrated from firsnameInitialofLastname@domain.com, ie. RalphS@domain.com to a consistent first.last@domain.com, ie. Ralph.Smith@domain.com. Recently emails that we have been sending have been flagged by Barracuda as spam so a number of our customers and prospects are not receiving emails. Several staff who travel a lot have had problems sending email from remote locations when there is no outgoing mail server and/or the local ISP blocks some traffic - again, the web email we have access to is kludgy. We are looking for a solution that solves the Barracuda problem, provides reliable email services and gives us more control over message retention, etc

Calendars

Many employees maintain their personal calendars in Outlook and we have used a Yahoo calendar to post vacations, etc, but there has not been significant buy-in and usage due to the kludgy-ness of accessing this calendar. We are looking for a solution that will allow us internally to see a shared calendar, check availability for meetings, etc.

Document Management

We have been pretty successful in getting staff to post documents on our Office Live website, ie. documentation, template communications, contracts, etc. This portion of Office Live works well for us.

Instant Messaging

We evolved from using AOL Instant Messenger for internal IM to Windows Live Messenger. IM is an important feature for us due to our geographic separation.

Web Conferencing

We utilize GoToMeeting to host web conferences both internally and for our customers. Only a couple people in the company use this although we see this usage increasing.

Mobile Phone Support

Several staff members have iPhones and are syncing their Outlook Contacts (personal contacts, NOT their business contacts from Office Live) to their phones. This includes personal calendars. We are also sending and receiving emails on our phones.

Where we are now

We would like to progress in terms of contact management and possible take a look at a simple version of CRM. We also need a better solution for email and calendaring. Instead of subscribing to different services, ie.
Gotomeeting, etc, ideally we would have an all in one solution. We have looked at MS BPOS and have signed up for a full, 3 user version with a dummy domain name so that we can play with the features not using a limited demo version, but using a live version instead. We believe we need the help of someone who has experience implementing BPOS with the goals of:

1. Evaluating whether or not BPOS is a good solution
2. Helping us understand if we need CRM
3. Assistance in migrating to BPOS if that is the decision

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