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Pivotal CRM

The organisational workhorse

Workhorse ~ noun

A person, machine or solution that dependably performs hard work over a long period of time.

 

When mainstream doesn't do it for you

Launched in 1996, Pivotal CRM to this day has a loyal, committed and mature customer base.

Businesses and organisations around the world recognise and value Pivotal CRM's exceptional capability to bend and flex to their specific organisational needs.

And even while under fire from the 'big-brand' CRM/customer engagement solutions, Pivotal CRM still holds a secure and well-established position in a demanding market. Its strength lies in supporting organisations that require a platform with the capability to embrace their uniqueness, and where a mainstream solution will simply fail to cut the mustard.

Given that Pivotal CRM is now close to 25 years old, it's a testament to its endurance that the (upgraded) application has underpinned customers' businesses for nearly two decades. Over that time, customers have invested greatly in the platform to adapt it to meet their ever evolving and unique business requirements.

Why? Quite simply - because they can. Unlike other products, Pivotal CRM enables organisations to tailor a custom solution – it’s a platform built to be customised.

 

Built to be different

We know Pivotal CRM isn't for everyone. But then Pivotal CRM customers aren't 'everyone'.

Pivotal CRM has carved out a strong following in a niche market. In some ways, the inclusion of 'CRM' in the name does it an injustice. It's a unique solution, with understated capabilities that our customers recognise and appreciate.

Mainstream CRM vendors focus on delivering customer engagement functionality. Meanwhile, Pivotal CRM (despite its name) stands alone in providing customers with a more 'ERP-like' platform which underpins operational processes, and risk/compliance centred around people. It has a level of customisability unrivalled by mainstream products.

Pivotal CRM has most definitely found its place as a reliable, robust application workhorse for the enterprise. While developed on CRM people-centric principals and functional architecture, Pivotal CRM offers an engine that can be moulded to specific organisational needs and helps customers remain innovative, flexible and competitive.

Customers who have leveraged the solution now face their next decisions: How can they continue to extract and build on the value injected into the platform over the next five to ten years, while continuing to modernise and evolve?

 

The operational workhorse

Customers around the world trust their Pivotal CRM platform to reliably contain and run their organisation with years of built-in IP and unique processes to meet their specific needs.

For most customers today, Pivotal is the operational workhorse of their business.

Running processes which are 'ERP-like' in nature and typically cover compliance, risk, finance, and customer transactions, Pivotal's role is deep and wide, and near impossible to replicate without a substantial financial investment.

 

The freedom of customisation

With over 20 years of providing implementation, development and support services, we've seen our customers continue to value the flexibility of Pivotal CRM.

Over this time, our customers have embraced the powerful customisability of the Pivotal CRM platform, and continue to trust and invest in the platform.

Although each customer has individual needs leading ultimately to a unique implementation of Pivotal CRM, they confidently use its capability to run their organisation in a landscape where no off-the-shelf solution would easily do. Or where custom development was the only reliable, yet costly, alternative.

The same qualities which keep customers dedicated to Pivotal CRM are also attractive to specialist industries - such as trade waste, education and student management, financial services and superannuation providers, and grants management systems.

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But, where to from here? Develop a strategy to get more from your workhorse.

 

1. Overcoming the challenge of being 'niche'

Some organisations find it challenging to position Pivotal CRM in their IT strategy. And we understand that. Justifying a niche solution without all the PR, marketability and cloud finesse of a mainstream vendor product, can be daunting for CIOs and IT strategists alike.

The risk profile of such a solution requires a different appreciation and perspective in terms of value.

Fusion5 understands the unique value propositions and financial commitment our customers have to their Pivotal CRM platform. Business value and outcomes need to be at the forefront of any IT investment. So, we can ensure that your investment in Pivotal CRM will align with your IT strategy by including the right components of risk mitigation, cloud, security, agility, and automation. All of which lead to positive business outcomes and a viable ROI.

You have the added comfort that Avolin has a sound evolutionary strategy for the product that will keep it performing as you need it. For example, they are aggressively investing in enabling the solution to take advantage of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud, bringing the value of cloud-enabled platforms to Pivotal CRM's operations and data.

Avolin places a high value on its loyal and committed customers and has a strong retention strategy. Recognising that Pivotal CRM is a niche solution, Avolin's R&D investments are fully geared to empower customers to leverage all the advantages of modern technology platforms.

By investing in AWS and connectors, Avolin enables customers to easily tap into AWS capabilities and gain new IP, while ensuring the Pivotal CRM platform continuously meets their needs.

 

2. Embrace your investment

Anyone new to Pivotal CRM might be tempted to say: 'We should move to a mainstream vendor'. However, the reality for those organisations who have extended their implementation beyond the 'just CRM' stage, and embraced and leveraged the customisability of the platform for operational and compliance-based applications, is that moving to a 'mainstream solution' is not as simple as it may seem on the surface. Many have tried and failed – not seeing the value of that flexibility until it's too late. 

It's easy to underestimate the IP and worth of a solution aligned to your unique organisation. And the amount of change and investment to move to a new one.

Organisations which have considered another solution, tend to rapidly back away from the cost (up to $10M in one case!) and time it would take to replace their Pivotal CRM platform.  

We are experienced in helping organisations assessing the complicated task of disentangling the myriad functions of Pivotal CRM from your business, or make recommendations on continued investment. Importantly, given our extensive experience with CRM products, we can give you objective advice on solution fit.

 

3. Modernise your workhorse

User experience (UX) is an important factor which often comes up in conversations with customers.

One of the great benefits of the power and longevity of the Pivotal platform is that you realise the return on investment for a long time. The flip side is that approaches and attitudes to UX have significantly evolved since you first implemented Pivotal CRM.

Updates to the platform over the years have included new UX capability and improvements. Avolin has introduced new ways of sharing data, modern UI controls, and the industry as a whole has developed a different approach to information and form layouts. 

Yet many Pivotal CRM customers haven't developed or updated the UI in their Smart Client forms and navigation experience to keep pace with the expectations and preferences of a new generation of users.

Fusion5 has been working with customers to help them recognise the change in the UI expectations of the new generations of workers. We’ve helped them improve the user experience of Pivotal CRM to reflect these changing demands. And the good news is there are great ways to revolutionise the user experience without abandoning your investment. For example, you can reorganise forms; information and introduce modern UI controls which deliver better user insights, simplify the navigation to what’s relevant today, along with a more contemporary look and user experience. A big step up and away from the tradition of 'old' data entry' type layouts

While many of our customers have made substantial investments in Smart Client, Pivotal UX (Pivotal CRM's web client), has also proven a popular alternative. It's ideal for organisations who want to provide access to different groups in their business – especially those who have needed only "mission-critical" information - and where the heavy, functionality-rich capability implemented in the Smart Client is viewed as 'overkill'.

Fusion5 has rolled out Pivotal UX in many internal, B2B and B2C use case scenarios. For example, one of our latest and most successful projects was the development of a student portal accessed by thousands of students daily.

 

4. Outsource it and move it

Cloud solutions have freed IT teams from taking care of the onsite technology required to support essential line of business technology. A modern IT department is both cloud- and customer-centric.

Fusion5 recently launched Pivotal Cloud, a fully managed service offering for Pivotal CRM.

Our highly experienced Pivotal CRM team has the skills and knowledge to host your application securely in the Azure environment and to provide as-a-service-like benefits. These benefits include rolling upgrades, applying service packs and ongoing database performance tuning and optimisation. We've invested in tools to simplify deployments and rollouts of Smart Clients and are experts at optimising back-end Azure constructs, architecture, and database servers. It's something the team do day in and day out – a specialised skill that does not need to sit in the hands of every customer's IT team.

While there is an additional cost associated with the service, it removes the expense of having internal knowledge and expertise, plus streamlines maintaining the platform and eliminates the stress associated with managing an essential business application. Pivotal CRM customers have also become accustomed to lower annual fees when compared to the equivalent functionality in other cloud solutions. And it's our experience that the additional costs of moving to the cloud are still more competitive when comparing a like-for-like capability with other vendors.

In summary, Pivotal Cloud is the same product you use today. But without the worry of infrastructure and upgrades. There's no impact on your users (and it's unlikely they will even notice the difference) and no change to the toolkit capability. Your IT Team will undoubtedly appreciate having time back to do more value-adding work for the business, confident that experts are handling the essential work. Best of all, everything we do is covered in one monthly fee. 

 

5. Innovate with AWS

2020 will see Avolin release its 'infinity connector'. The connector will allow Pivotal CRM customers to share data with Amazon Web Services (AWS), creating opportunities to take advantage of the AWS platform and all it offers.

It's always been possible to integrate with cloud platforms like AWS and Azure, but these projects have always come at a, sometimes unpalatable, cost. Avolin's connector, built for Pivotal CRM, will significantly reduce the cost of building workloads and services using the AWS cloud constructs and services.

Fusion5 has extensive experience in building IP on both Pivotal CRM and AWS. We're leveraging this experience to help our customers better understand the power of AWS. Not only its capabilities, but how it can transform where they can go next with their Pivotal CRM platform.

To substantially extend the power of your Pivotal CRM system, your overall strategy should now also include an AWS strategy. This will present you with some great opportunities to deliver tangible business benefits, including:

 

  • Automation. By integrating machine learning and AI into your transactional processes, you can further streamline your business processes. Applications can be evaluated, workflows progressed where criteria are met, documents checked for validity (e.g. read what should be an ID document and verifying it), and trends tracked. And when an exception is identified, an automated alert can highlight the issue to the correct person.
  • Mobile apps. Provide your customers or staff with custom mobile apps to interact with Pivotal CRM data through AWS' mobile application capability.

 

You're in good company

There are over 4,700 Pivotal CRM end-users across our customers in Australia and New Zealand. And over 11,000 external stakeholders who use Pivotal UX in the business-to-business and business-to-consumer space.

The most common industries to embrace and extract the greatest value from Pivotal CRM are financial services, not-for-profits, trade waste, training and student management, education, and membership. Each has a unique requirement needing to be combined with strong operational workloads: people management and service with compliance.

Fusion5 has also used the platform power of Pivotal for some of its industry solutions which include:

 

Ready to modernise your workhorse and become more innovative with Pivotal CRM?

Innovation is always a big unknown. It's a challenge to know what to innovate, the value it will add, how much it will cost, and what opportunities it will help you realise.

Ask how Fusion5 can assist. Get in touch below!

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