Skip to main content

Shared CRM system provides transparency

The Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM system makes cooperation easier for the City of Tampere and its key stakeholders

Hero Image

Customer story: City of Tampere

Tampere is the third-largest city in Finland, and it is growing and developing rapidly. The aim of the City of Tampere's employment and growth services is to promote employment in the region by offering various options for competence development and employment. The goal is to provide Tampere-based companies and employers with the right conditions for growth and renewal. These goals are pursued through close cooperation with various stakeholders.

New CRM system increases cooperation between stakeholders

To increase their cooperation and build more consistent customer processes, the City of Tampere's employment and growth services and economic services, Tampere Vocational College Tredu, Business Tampere and Visit Tampere joined forces with Innofactor to deploy a new Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM system. In the past, different units and organizations each had their own CRM systems. The main goal of the harmonization effort was to achieve much-needed transparency.

Photo credits: Business Tampere. Photographer: Mirella Mellonmaa.

"We did not previously have a common system, and there was an obvious need for it. The CRM systems used by different units and organizations were very different from each other, with some using Excel and others using some other systems," says Project Manager Suvi Jokela from the City of Tampere Employment and Growth Services unit.

The CRM system procurement process was launched in cooperation with Kuntien Tiera, a service company that is fully owned by the municipal sector. The preliminary study phases and the first small-scale demos were carried out in 2019–2020.

"We wanted to have a system that is compatible with the Microsoft environment, as we use Microsoft Office 365. We knew that the solution would need to be based on Microsoft Dynamics. Kuntien Tiera had carried out previous tendering processes to select providers of Microsoft-based solutions. We were lucky to get started so quickly and make such rapid and agile progress," Jokela explains.

Photo credits: Business Tampere. Photographer: Mirella Mellonmaa.

Agile development with the MVP principle

The first discussions with Innofactor took place in spring 2021. The procurement process was finalized before the summer holidays, which meant that the actual system development workshops could begin in August.

The specification phase included national cooperation with parties such as the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment to assess shared opportunities related to information exchange and integrations with regard to corporate customers and business service processes, for example. This stage also included benchmarking the Kasvu CRM system used by business service operators under the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. In addition to the technical specification work, the development effort included giving significant consideration to legal issues.

"We had set a dense schedule on our side. We wanted to have an agile and highly participatory development process. The project team had about 10 members representing the different organizations involved. The members of the project team engaged in the necessary dialogue within their respective units, and the team met weekly to ensure that everyone had a shared view and were pulling in the same direction. Workshops were held every two weeks. We alternated between workshops organized by Innofactor and our own innovation sessions that provided us with the opportunity to discuss what kind of system we wanted to have. It was a fast-moving process," Jokela says with a smile.

"One of our old systems was due to be decommissioned in December, so we hoped to have the new CRM system deployed as soon as possible after that. We applied the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) principle in the development effort, focusing on rolling out a usable product as quickly as possible. That turned out to be a very good decision," Jokela adds.

Photo credits: Business Tampere. Photographer: Mirella Mellonmaa.

Out-of-the-box integrations in Dynamics saved time and money

One of the most important criteria in the selection and development of the new system was customizability. The aim was to have a system that could receive diverse data from other sources and comprehensively address the priorities of the various units and organizations involved.

"Dynamics includes a large number of out-of-the-box integrations and other functionalities that help our units in their daily work. Ensuring that the information is always up-to-date was also a key issue for us, and the new solution is particularly useful because dynamically updated company information from various organizational sources can be merged directly in Dynamics. In practice, the integrations can be switched on simply by clicking a button. Having to build the integrations ourselves from the ground up would have taken several months of work. The out-of-the-box features of Dynamics saved a lot of time and money for us," Jokela notes.

The new CRM system has already been deployed by a specific group of users, and the use of the system is being expanded in a controlled manner. This year, the focus is on the continued development of the system, including the creation of a marketing component, for example.

"We have already conducted user surveys, and the end users have indicated that the system is clear and simple to use. They are particularly pleased that we now have a common company information view instead of the fragmented and unit-specific view that we had previously," Jokela says.

The new system makes daily life easier and facilitates cooperation between stakeholders.

"The system development effort also helped to further increase cooperation between the organizations. In concrete terms, this was reflected in the development of common customer processes and operating models, for example. The system also enables efficient processing and leadership concerning companies' service needs within the organization. This benefits the customers by enabling an even better and more coherent customer experience," Jokela explains.

"The benefits are clear to see, and the users have quickly embraced the new system. The usability of the system is nicely aligned with the content of our work. Thanks to customization, there are no unnecessary buttons, and the user does not need to think about which buttons they need to click. Customization was definitely the right solution for us."

Effective practices that have been created together

Jokela is pleased with how well the project, as a whole, has gone so far. Engaging the end users and other representatives of multiple units and organizations in the development effort was a new challenge for the City of Tampere, and many of the members of the project team did not even know each other beforehand.

"We had a tight-knit team and, in a way, the project was a learning experience for all of us. Together with Innofactor, we decided that we would identify the most suitable operating practices and practice this together. Considering how tight the schedule was, everything has gone incredibly well. Everyone has been highly committed to the project and we have not encountered any major obstacles at any stage," Jokela notes.

"Throughout the project, Innofactor has maintained active communication with us, even with regard to challenges and negative issues. We have had a good level of mutual respect throughout the project," Jokela concludes.

"We had a tight-knit team and, in a way, the project was a learning experience for all of us. Together with Innofactor, we decided that we would identify the most suitable operating practices and practice this together."

Suvi Jokela
Project Manager
City of Tampere

How it was done

The following solutions and technologies, among others, are a part of of the overall solution delivered to the City of Tampere:

Take a look at our content that might interest you

No events found.

Didn't find what you're looking for? Leave us your contact details and we'll be in touch!