Established in 1998, QNet is a direct selling company that has seen tremendous growth from its strategy of combining the potential of the Internet and e-commerce with the powerful business model of network marketing. Effectively, QNet’s business has been borderless from the start. Headquartered in Hong Kong, it has a presence in 17 countries and its key markets are Southeast Asia, South Asia, North and Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa. The company specializes in a wide range of exclusive products, including luxury goods, travel and leisure, and lifestyle and wellness products.
With a strong reputation for innovation, QNet has always regarded IT as a key business enabler. Rapid growth in recent years posed a challenge to the company’s ability to maintain its commitments to high customer service levels. As a result, QNet’s decision makers turned to IT for a solution.
“Previously, customer information was stored in disparate backend systems that we built in-house,” says Malick Aboobakar, chief information officer, QNet Ltd. “We had standalone systems that were not interconnected. Customer information was in one site, case management data in another, and so on. And each of our subsidiaries was using a different system. As our business and subsidiaries grew, it became more and more difficult to manage this from an IT perspective.” The silo effect was also hampering customer service performance because employees would have to engage in a time-consuming process of logging in and out of different sites to collect the data they needed to do their jobs. Malou Caluza, Chief of Network Services, QNet, further explains the challenge from a customer service point of view, “As our business grows and becomes more complex, our goal is to establish one service organization to serve all our subsidiaries and customers. However, the variety of different systems made it difficult for our worldwide customer service team to work as one unit, minimize service delays and meet service level agreements.”
In 2009, QNet decided to take action. “As our business grew, we addressed specific challenges as they arose by developing IT systems,” says Aboobakar. “But once our growth started to build more momentum, we realized it was time to take a more long-term holistic view and proactive approach to managing it. It was time to deploy a one-stop, global solution for customer services.”
(Left) Mr. Malick Aboobakar,
Chief Information Officer, QNet Ltd.
(Right) Ms. Malou Caluza,
Chief of Network Services, QNet Ltd.
QNet began to evaluate different products in April 2009 and decided on Microsoft® DynamicsTM CRM in June. “Dynamics CRM would allow high levels of integration with our infrastructure because our platform is based on Microsoft .Net,” says Aboobakar. “Also, with Dynamics CRM, we could opt for an on-premise solution – something we regard as important for security reasons. At the same time, the Microsoft platform allows for a hybrid solution, should we decide to take advantage of cloud computing in the future.”
In the first phase of deployment, the system was rolled out to 100 users over a one-year period. QNet is now in the second phase of deployment, extending Microsoft Dynamics CRM to its subsidiaries and customizing modules. By 2011, about 400 users will be on the same system.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM has helped QNet meet the customer service challenges created by its rapid growth:
360-degree customer view; consolidating all customer data within one system, integrating the interface with Microsoft Office Outlook and empowering staff with powerful search functions are just some of the benefits that have made the greatest impact on QNet. “Dynamics CRM has helped us realize a decade-long dream to have a truly cohesive worldwide customer service team,” says Caluza. “It links the whole organization – from different departments, to subsidiaries and suppliers – to provide a 360-degree view of our customers. Now, our customer service professionals know everything that is happening across all our business, and can provide a much higher level of service than before.”
Improved data accuracy; the accuracy of customer data has been improved by eliminating information silos. “Previously, when working with several different systems, we had to go through lengthy processes involving numerous checks-and-balances to make sure the data we had was accurate,” says Caluza. “Now, we have immediate access to accurate data, which enables us to provide much faster service.”
Enhanced product marketing; improved accuracy of data has provided QNet’s customer service professionals with greater insights into the company’s business. “[Microsoft Dynamics CRM] has also increased our product marketing capabilities,” says Caluza. “With one set of reliable data, we have a better understanding of what are the best products to offer and the best times to offer them, and are better positioned for up-selling and cross-selling. We even recommended our Marketing Communications team to use Dynamics CRM for e-mail campaigns.”
Reduced IT admin; Microsoft Dynamics CRM has also benefitted QNet’s IT team. “It has allowed us to streamline our customer information applications into one unified system that is much easier to manage,” says Aboobakar. “The resulting reduction in manpower required for administrative support means we can refocus IT resources on projects that add more value to the business.”
Scaled for future growth; the system also provides QNet with room for future expansion. “Dynamics CRM is enterprise class – most of the functions we need are available out of the box and other functionality is easy to extend because of the wide availability of Microsoft .Net expertise in the market,” says Aboobakar.
Looking forward, QNet intends to extend Microsoft Dynamics CRM to its Finance department and is exploring the possibility of integrating it with Microsoft® SharePoint®. At the same time, the company plans to deploy Microsoft® Exchange Server 2010 and Microsoft® LyncTM 2010.
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 provides your people with the business software tools that work like and with the tools they use every day, such as Microsoft Office . Furthermore, as a Microsoft product, it integrates seamlessly with other technologies deployed by your organization. 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.