Organizations and government agencies tasked with helping those in need are increasingly turning to customer relationship management (CRM) systems to help run their operations more efficiently and more effectively.
As examples, Microsoft points to three health and human service (HHS) organizations that recently chose Microsoft Dynamics CRM to help improve the services they provide within their tight budget constraints. Marie Huwe, a general manager for Microsoft Dynamics, wrote about their experiences and shared thoughts about the benefits Dynamics CRM is providing.
The three organizations include Our Kids of Miami-Dade/Monroe in Florida, the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, and the Mississippi Department of Mental Health.
Huwe writes that all three decided to use Dynamics CRM because it offers the flexibility, integration options, security features, and ease of use needed for their particular implementations. Let's take a look at each solution.
Our Kids of Miami-Dade/Monroe
This organization is a government contractor that provides adoption and foster care services to at-risk children in Florida's Miami Dade and Monroe counties. Our Kids needed a central system to help its 100-person staff manage cases. It also needed to consolidate three legacy systems into one, and then integrate them with its existing Microsoft technology.
Dynamics CRM now gives the staff at Our Kids an instant view of data pertaining to specific child cases, tapping into resources from schools, medical agencies, and juvenile justice bureaus.
"With Microsoft Dynamics CRM, processing time has been cut in half, helping us tackle urgent cases as they come in," said Dave Harland, director of Applications Development for Our Kids.
Looking ahead, the team at Our Kids also intends to use Dynamics' advanced data analytics to mine its database in order to predict and more quickly identify potential abuse cases -- preventing harm before it happens.
Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities
When first considering Dynamics CRM, the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities was in the familiar position of running a large case management system -- this one with roughly 100,000 clients -- while facing typically tight governmental budget constraints.
The department ultimately built a system dubbed "Imagine" around Dynamics CRM and that system now enables 3,000 users spread across 18 counties to collaborate. It offers an approachable way for clients to manage their information, and, it helps the organization's staff to better serve clients and to work more efficiently with Medicaid and other outside agencies.
"We have waiting lists of people waiting to be served. Individuals wait for approval for Medicaid waiver dollars, even if all that person needs is five hours of respite or a ride every Friday," said Kathy Casagrande, assistant chief information officer for the department. "Now, with the Imagine system built using Microsoft Dynamics CRM, we can see those pressing needs and solve them quickly and locally without having to send an individual through a system to get Medicaid approval."
Mississippi Department of Mental Health
A different set of challenges faced the Mississippi Department of Mental Health. Among other requirements, it was looking for a mobile app to help people in residential care communities communicate more easily. In the end, the agency went with a combination of Microsoft Dynamics CRM and the CoCentrix Caretiles suite of apps.
For its part, Dynamics CRM gave the department's staff access to resident information from the 12 state programs it operates. Staff can now easily access the information they need to better understand the needs of their clients, as well as offer learning opportunities via games and interactive quizzes.
"By leveraging Microsoft Dynamics CRM as the platform on which we operate Caretiles, we feel we are at the forefront of healthcare engagement -- linking patients, providers and families," said James Dunaway, chief information officer for the department.
Aiming at the Public Sector
We spoke with R. "Ray" Wang, principal analyst and founder of Constellation Research about the ways health and human service organizations are using CRM systems.
Wang noted that healthcare organizations have to interact effectively with multiple constituents, including providers, patients, and payers such as insurance agencies and government aid providers. The new wave of healthcare clients for Microsoft, he said, "indicates that they have partners that are helping build Dynamics out into more areas." These partnerships can be key for serving the varied needs of this complex market.
"Microsoft is definitely looking at the public sector with Dynamics," Wang said. "They want to get it into education and similar sectors," as well. "But those are tough markets -- it takes time and money to open up those accounts."
The Redmond, Washington technology giant seems ready for the growth, as demonstrated also by its recent CRM expansion into new territories. Just last week, Microsoft announced that Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online is now available in more than a dozen countries outside North America.