Mission Australia has rolled out 1155 licences of Salesforce\u2019s CRM Enterprise edition aimed at boosting the efficiency of its employment services unit.\nThe unit, which assists the government in matching current job vacancies to unemployed people, had prior to implementing the CRM system, previously relied on a range of manual processes and spreadsheets to match jobs to the unemployed, track monies spent on job seekers, and manage relationships with corporate donors.\nDeriving much of its income, about $200 million per year, from the Federal Government for assisting job seekers in gaining employment, the not-for-profit required a better way to document its employment services work and processing of detailed claim forms.\nThe organisation also needed a better method of tracking the progress of job seekers well after they start their jobs, both for compliance reasons and to ensure successful outcomes for job seekers and their employers.\nMission Australia also needed a system that could manage the data for more than 27,000 job seekers per month, and easily integrate into the Federal Government\u2019s Job Network System, EA3000, to receive automated weekly information updates about job opportunities.\nAccording to Mission Australia\u2019s CIO, Ross Hawkey, the not for profit, which also has a community services arm and about 3500 staff at 400 locations across Australia, a RFP for a CRM system resulted in a showdown between an on-premise Microsoft Dynamics and a cloud-based Salesforce.com\u2019s Enterprise Edition.\n"We didn\u2019t go looking for a cloud solution -- just a CRM that matched our needs,\u201d he says. \u201cThe fact that Salesforce was hosted wasn\u2019t part of our initial thought process, but it became part of it when we could see that it would cost so much per user per month and there was no infrastructure cost, no up-front licensing cost.\u201d\nMission Australia rolled out Salesforce CRM to four major pilot sites in two states in April 2008. After successful trials with these sites, it was rolled out to the rest of Mission Australia\u2019s sites and was finalised from start to finish in nine months, Hawkey says. (For more, see the sidebar, Five Tips on Implementing CRM.)\n\u201cWe brought in a project manager who, along with the business experts, spent a significant amount of time with Salesforce to get them to understand what we were trying to do, and to ensure the solution fitted into the Salesforce architecture,\u201d he says.\n\u201cWe found that was the best way to do it: having a person who knows Salesforce intimately to understand what we needed, rather than us getting a product and developing it ourselves.\u201d\nPage Break\nWith the CRM system in place, Mission has since streamlined, standardised and automated many of its business processes, Hawkey says.\n\u201cIn some instances there were up to 150 validation rules for interactions and getting certain types of input into the system,\u201d he says. \u201cThere were so many things to track, so much data, and we were managing the best we could before Salesforce.\u201d\nIntegration with the government\u2019s EA3000 system was a simple process, and did not require the use of any third party middleware, Hawkey says. Now job opportunities are populated directly into Salesforce and are updated on a weekly basis.\n\u201cWe can also look at the individual job seeker and see what experience they have and what they want to do, and we can track them through the employment seeking process,\u201d he says. \u201cWe can also show the government what we have done for that individual as a process to get payment from the government.\u201d\nOnce Mission began using Salesforce it began to see other parts of its business which could benefit from using CRM, Hawkey says; particular in managing the relationship between corporate partners\/donors and our staff.\n\u201cIn our corporate partnership division we have implemented Salesforce for the 25-30 people managing relationships there,\u201d he says. \u201cWe have also made some deployments for government relationships and managing apprenticeships for apprenticeship seekers and organisations offering them.\u201d\nAnother benefit of opting for an in-cloud provider was that Mission would not have spend time and resources considering how the organisation\u2019s branches could access the CRM application.\n\u201cWe didn\u2019t have to think about how we would deploy the application or whether we needed some sort of remote desktop environment if it was on on-site application,\u201d he says. \u201cBecause it\u2019s in the cloud, as long as you can get to the Internet it\u2019s OK.\u201d\nAdmittedly, Mission has experienced an up-tick in its network activity and cost as a result of opting for the cloud option, however this has been a limited concern, Hawkey says.\n\u201cOur network traffic is now higher as a matter of course as people are accessing the Web more as a general trend,\u201d he says.\nHawkey says that the decision to move to a CRM system was a big one, but one that has already justified the investment.\n\u201cWhat\u2019s important for us is that this allows us to run the business more efficiently: having information at your finger tips, having a consistent interaction process with clients, being able to track the performance of sales reps. We can make sure things aren\u2019t slipping through the cracks,\u201d he says.