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Ontario_Systems_Case_Study

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Ontario_Systems_Case_Study

  1. 1. Microsoft Dynamics Partner Solution Case Study ISV Speeds Innovation and Reaches New Markets with Microsoft Dynamics xRM Development Framework Overview Country or Region: United States Industry: IT services Partner Profile Based in Muncie, Indiana, Ontario Systems has led in accounts receivables management software for 30 years, serving healthcare systems, hospitals, debt buyers, and collection agencies. Business Situation Ontario Systems needed to replace its aging technology with a more flexible platformthat would help speed time-to- market and open up new market opportunities. Solution Ontario Systems achieved Microsoft Gold Certified Partner status and rewrote its software on the Microsoft platformfor faster development, greater ease-of-use, and increased customer confidence. Benefits  50 percent faster time-to-market  Improved productivity for customers  Expanded market reach and faster sales cycle  Greater business flexibility “CollectSavvy is not a small product—itis enterprise software—butwe were able to move the solution to an entirelynew platform in just 90 days.” Tony Reisz, President and CEO, Ontario Systems Having led the industry in accounts receivables management software for 30 years, Ontario Systems wanted to move to a newer, more flexible technology platform that would enable the company to deliver new functionality and features faster. After an extensive study, Ontario Systems chose the Microsoft technology platform over IBM and Oracle and quickly became a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner. Working together with Microsoft and with the xRM application development framework in Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Ontario Systems designed, developed, and brought to market a revolutionary new product that significantly improves customers’ productivity and decision- making abilities. Built 50 percent faster than previously possible, the new solution is available as an on-premises or hosted offering and has increased vertical functionality, enabling Ontario Systems to expand into new markets.
  2. 2. Situation Ontario Systems offers a full portfolio of software, services, and business process expertise for accounts receivables management. Recognized as a thought- leader in the industry, the company holds the largest portion of market share for accounts receivable management software at 33 percent of the market. More than 400 hospitals use Ontario Systems products, as do 9 of the 10 largest collection agencies in the United States. In early 2009, Ontario Systems decided to find a new technology platformfor its software solutions.Up to that point, the company offered two major products built on different legacy technologies,one of which was nearly 30 years old. Because of the aging technology on which it had built these solutions, Ontario Systems could not easily introduce new featuresand functionality, and the company’s customers spent more resources maintaining the systems. In addition, although these software packages met the requirements of large organizations,they did not scale down to address the unique needs of smaller companies. “Our technology platformhad become too cumbersome. We had developed everything on our own, including compiling tools, report tools, and integration methods. This from-the-ground-up approach slowed our time-to-market for new innovations,” says Michael Zammuto, Chief Operating Officer at Ontario Systems. “We envisioned more automation and intelligence in our solutions that would help our customers transformtheir operations, but we needed to get these capabilities to market faster.” With a customer base of more than 600 organizations,Ontario Systems needed to take special care about which technology platformon which to base its product. “We have a tremendously solid customer base, and many of our customers have been with us for decades,” says Tony Reisz, President and CEO at Ontario Systems. “Bringing all of our customers forward onto our new platformwas critical, so we had a long list of requirements. We talked to major technology vendors, including IBM, Oracle, and Microsoft. When we sat down and looked at everything, Microsoft came out on top in every single category.” Solution Ontario Systems chose to build the new version of its accounts receivable management solution on the xRM application development framework in Microsoft Dynamics CRM. “With xRM and the Microsoft technology stack, we can focus on our customers’ business requirements instead of creating the technology platformourselves,” says Zammuto. “Our customers have greater confidence in our solution because it is based on Microsoft products and technologies. Taking advantage of the platformhas resulted in simpler implementations, minimal training, and greater ease-of-use.” The company’s new Collect Savvy software, available through both on-premises and software-as-a-services models, helps companies of any size manage receivables more effectively for greater revenue. Ontario Systems uses the new solution to help existing customers increase automation and gain better insights, and to reach new markets outside of its traditional customer base, especially smaller healthcare entities and law offices. Becoming a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner To get the most out of its relationshipwith Microsoft, Ontario Systems completed the
  3. 3. requirements to become a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, giving the company access to a partner account manager, technical resources, and marketing and sales support. “Achieving the status of Microsoft Gold Certified Partner helped us in many areas,” explains Zammuto. “Right away, we gained access to resources that helped us to not only design and develop our product but also to get it to market. We interact closely with Microsoft, whether it’s our developers and architects communicating with their peers at Microsoft or our account management team working with Microsoft to reach further into the healthcare market.” As a Microsoft partner, Ontario Systems received critical technical assistance as it developed Collect Savvy. “We were experiencing some load issues with timing and how many accounts we could load at one time,” explains Reisz. “Microsoft came through and demonstrated a commitment to helping us resolve those issues and succeed.” Ontario Systems also takes advantage of sales and marketing advice and resources from Microsoft, including collaboration with the company’s partner account manager, to identify and capture market opportunities. “Microsoft has a heavy footprint in the industries we are targeting, especially healthcare,” says Reisz. “We can capitalize on the good reputation of Microsoft when we’re in sales conversations. In addition, potential customers gain confidence in our product and road map when they understand how we are building on Microsoft investments.” Building with the Microsoft Technology Stack Ontario Systems used platform components in the xRM application development framework to help speed the development of Collect Savvy. “With xRM, we don’t have to worry about things like security and underlying infrastructure,” says Zammuto. “Our developers have a world- class, deeply integrated set of tools to work with. These were things that we used to spend time creating ourselves, and now we can take advantage of the investment that Microsoft puts into those technologies.” The solution takes advantage of business intelligence (BI) features in Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Microsoft SharePoint Server, and Microsoft SQL Server to help companies analyze, formulate, and test optimal strategies for revenue recovery. Employees at customer companies use role-based landing pages and dashboards to get an up-to-date view of how their strategies are performing. Ontario Systems built the interfaces for Collect Savvy by using Microsoft Silverlight, which lends greater responsiveness and graphical richness to online interactions. “Our account representative screen is designed entirely with Silverlight,” explains LeAnne Hester, Chief Marketing Officer at Ontario Systems. “These people spend eight hours each day working in these screens. If our customers can save their account representatives even five seconds for each account, they can increase revenue by up to $1,000 each month.” To connect Collect Savvy with various third- party services, such as credit reports and insurance verification,OntarioSystems took advantage of Microsoft BizTalk Server 2009. Customers can configure business rules to automate processes and ensure they are only using the services that provide the “With xRM and the Microsoft technology stack, we can focus on our customers’ business requirements insteadof creatingthe technology platform ourselves.” Michael Zammuto, Chief Operating Officer, Ontario Systems
  4. 4. highest return, potentially saving thousands of dollars in fees paid to these providers. Ontario Systems used Windows Workflow Foundation in the Microsoft .NET Framework to create a feature called Strategy Commander. This solution enables managers without technical expertise to create and alter workflows. By using this tool, managers can ensure that representatives are handling accounts proactively. The tool works together with BI in Collect Savvy so that managers can adjust their approaches to maximize revenue recovery. Creating a Hosted Solution Ontario Systems offers Collect Savvy as a subscription-basedhosted solution, which makes it more appealing to smaller organizations that might not have significant ITresources to set up and manage their own implementation. To make this arrangement easier, Ontario Systems takes advantage of the multitenant architecture in Microsoft Dynamics CRM, which helps the company to manage separate software instances while sharing hardware resources. In addition, the company is involved in the Microsoft Services Provider License Agreement, which enables Ontario Systems to license Microsoft products on a monthly basis and charge customers for only what they use. Benefits By working with the xRM application development framework and through the Microsoft Partner Network, Ontario Systems successfully rewrote its primary accounts receivable management software on a modern, flexible platformin just 90 days. The company is positioned to introduce innovations to the market at a much faster rate than before, and it has more opportunities to expand its business. 50 Percent Faster Time-to-Market With the Microsoft technology platform, specifically the xRM application development framework, Ontario Systems can deliver new features and functionality significantly faster than before. Reisz notes that the release of Collect Savvy proves this point. “Collect Savvy is not a small product—it is enterprise software—but we were able to move the solution to an entirely new platformin just 90 days,” he says. “That’s incredible speed for an enterprise software solution. We can build our business solution on the Microsoft platformmuch faster than with our previous approach and legacy technology.” Improved Productivity for Customers Ontario Systems uses Microsoft technology, including Silverlight and BI tools from Microsoft, to improve customer productivity and decision-making abilities. “Collect Savvy is the most important product we have in our portfolio today,” says Zammuto. “It will dramatically reshape the way our customers run their businesses, with greater automation to free their employees to accomplish more and BI integrated throughout the platform. The product is transformative for the accounts receivables management industry and has already garnered attention.” One customer, whose company previously used the FACS product from Ontario Systems, says it succinctly, “After using FACS for nearly 20 years, our agency has been blown away with the features and functionality of Collect Savvy; it’s basically night and day as far as ease-of-use,” says Nate Olson, Vice President of Operations at Illinois Collection Service.
  5. 5. Expanded Market Reach and Faster Sales Cycle Hester notes that the partnership between Ontario Systems and Microsoft is advantageous froma sales and marketing perspective. “Our partnership opens doors for us in organizations thatwe wouldnot have been able to reach previously,” she says. “Many organizations already rely on Microsoft technology and appreciate the fact that they can take advantage of those skills and investments with our product, which is based on the same platform. As a result of increased customer confidence, the sales cycle for our software is approximately 25 percent shorter than before.” In the same way, the new software-as-a- service version of Collect Savvy appeals to smaller organizationsthat OntarioSystems did not traditionally market to. “We can have conversations with smaller companies that we probably wouldn’t have previously, because we now offer our solutionsin a hosted environment,” says Hester. “The subscription model works for these companies because it simplifies the deployment and maintenance. For example, they don’t have to worry about updating their solution to comply with regulations like HIPAA or PCA—we do that for them automatically.” Greater Business Flexibility By working with the Microsoft technology platform, Ontario Systems has more freedom to deliver on specific vertical- industry requirements. “In our space, the accounts receivables management industry, we’re the undisputed thought leaders,” explains Zammuto. “We don’t need to be the technology leader in the sense that we create everything ourselves fromthe ground up. Partnering with Microsoft helps us to get a head start over the competition so that we start with world-class technology that we can build innovative business solutions on top of.” Reisz notes that his company’s migration to the Microsoft platformhas positioned Ontario Systems for significant gains. “Looking forward, we no longer feel limited by our technology platform,” he says. “Instead, we are seeing more and more opportunities. In a short period of time, through our relationshipwith Microsoft, our business expanded into a market where many other software companies have had a difficult time. We feel that this is a golden opportunity for us. We’ve been able to move our product suite onto a more modern platform during the economic downturn,and now we’re on the precipice of something really significant.” “As a resultof increased customer confidence, the sales cycle for our software is approximately25 percent shorter than before.” LeAnne Hester, Chief Marketing Officer, Ontario Systems
  6. 6. Microsoft Dynamics Microsoft Dynamics is a line of integrated, adaptable business management solutions that enables you and your people to make business decisions with greater confidence. Microsoft Dynamics works like familiar Microsoft software such as Microsoft Office, which means less of a learning curve for your people, so they can get up and running quickly and focus on what’s most important. And because it is from Microsoft, it easily works with the systems that your company already has implemented. By automating and streamlining financial, customer relationship,and supply chain processes, Microsoft Dynamics brings together people, processes, and technologies, increasing the productivity and effectiveness of your business, and helping you drive business success. For more information about Microsoft Dynamics, go to: www.microsoft.com/dynamics For More Information For more information about Microsoft products and services, call the Microsoft Sales Information Center at (800) 426- 9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft Canada Information Centre at (877) 568- 2495. Customers in the United States and Canada who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can reach Microsoft text telephone (TTY/TDD) services at (800) 892-5234. Outside the 50 United States and Canada, please contact your local Microsoft subsidiary. To access information using the World Wide Web, go to: www.microsoft.com For more information about Ontario Systems products and services, call (765) 751-7000 or visit the website at: www.ontariosystems.com This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY. Document published September 2010 Software and Services  Technologies − xRM  Microsoft Dynamics − Microsoft Dynamics CRM

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