In the second of our two-part Microsoft Power Virtual Agents series, we examine the difference between Chatbots and Intelligent Chatbots, and how AI can elevate chatbot capabilities and improve user experience.
Key Surgical first implemented Dynamics CRM in 2004. By 2008, the company had grown to the point where they were ready for a technology partner that specialized in CRM so they could tap into the technology’s full potential. They partnered with HCL-PowerObjects and have been a loyal customer ever since. As their long-time technology partner, HCL-PowerObjects has guided Key Surgical through several upgrades, enhancements, and customizations over the years with the biggest change in 2019 when they migrated from an on-premises version to Dynamics 365 online.
After a successful migration, Key Surgical was able to reduce per-user costs and began benefiting from a suite of new functionality only available in the online version. They also continue to be part of PowerSuccess, HCL-PowerObjects’ service-as-a-subscription support program that provides them a dedicated systems engineer who knows the Key Surgical Dynamics 365 instance inside and out. Users at Key Surgical are taking advantage of several PowerPack add-ons as well, including PowerMap, PowerOneView, and PowerCTI. These productivity and marketing automation tools designed by HCL-PowerObjects are complimentary for PowerSuccess customers.
Key Surgical first partnered with HCL-PowerObjects in 2008 on a project to upgrade their Dynamics CRM. They had been using Microsoft technology to manage their CRM needs since 2004, but with their initial technology partner, Key Surgical was concerned they were not maximizing their system’s potential benefits. In fact, many users had simply stopped using it because it was clunky and outdated. With HCL-PowerObjects as their new partner, they wanted to start with a clean slate – so they implemented the latest version of Dynamics, customized it to meet their unique needs, and rolled it out to their sales and customer service teams. It was a great success, immediately streamlining internal processes and created alignment amongst the team. Over the course of the next decade, HCL-PowerObjects guided Key Surgical through several upgrades, enhancements, and customizations.
As a long-time PowerSuccess customer, Key Surgical has relied on HCL-PowerObjects for basic maintenance, as well. PowerSuccess is a service-as-a-subscription support program that provides subscribers with a dedicated support engineer, a single point of contact who knows the intricacies of their Dynamics 365 instance inside and out after working with them for several years. When asked about the HCL-PowerObjects engineer dedicated to their account, Key Surgical’s Erik Hromatka, Director of National Accounts (and the closest thing they have to a system administrator), says, “It makes life really easy to be able to just go to him, as he already knows all of our processes because he's worked on all of them. And he understands how things should be interconnected, so he doesn't have to relearn it every time a question comes up.”
An additional benefit of the PowerSuccess program is that subscribers enjoy unlimited complimentary access to the full suite of PowerPack add-ons. HCL-PowerObjects designed and built these 25 tools to extend the capabilities of Dynamics 365, especially with respect to automating marketing functions and increasing user productivity. Key Surgical has benefitted from the use of several add-ons, including PowerMap, PowerOneView, and PowerCTI. When Key Surgical recently split their salesforce into three different teams, they were concerned that they might start to see either redundancies or tasks slipping through the cracks. A simple add-on tool like PowerOneView helps to eliminate those concerns. As Hromatka notes, “Specifically with our three different teams, PowerOneView provides transparency on account activities, making sure that more than one person isn’t calling the same account/location at the same time.”
The long-term partnership between Key Surgical and HCL-PowerObjects has played an important role in the sustained success Key Surgical has achieved while simultaneously growing the team, increasing revenue, and expanding their global footprint. In 2019, the partnership faced its biggest test, as Key Surgical made the decision to migrate to an online version of Dynamics 365. Initially, Key Surgical was not interested in the additional cost associated with the online version. “We had to put it in our three-year plan, basically,” says Hromatka. “But HCL-PowerObjects came to us and said, ‘Hey, we can do it and it's not going to cost anywhere near as much as what you guys were probably planning on in the past’ and that was really impactful in helping us to just start moving forward with it.”
Fortunately, the process was smooth as silk, primarily because of the longstanding relationship between Key Surgical and their PowerSuccess support engineer. He was able to manage all of the prep work necessary to be ready for the migration. “And then the cleanup from a migration to a somewhat different platform was infinitely easier because he could block out time and prep us for it and understand what was happening when we went into a test environment and understand where we were failing,” says Hromatka. “After the migration, we did have a few problems the first couple days, but they were pretty minor and related to user rights, that kind of stuff, because he had to rebuild all users in the new system. He was so helpful in that, because you just point him at something and he knew what was wrong, and in an instant could fix it.”
After a successful migration, Key Surgical was able to reduce per-user costs and begin benefitting from a suite of new functionality only available in the online version. As Hromatka says, “I've always wanted to migrate to the online application because it's been obvious to me for the last seven or eight years that that was the way Microsoft wanted everybody to go. When you see them turning on all the new bells and whistles online and then you hear crickets for what's happening to on-premises, it just makes you realize there’s a lot more options if you can just make the move and get online.” Now that Key Surgical is online they are right back into a groove with their PowerSuccess support engineer who is helping them tap into all those new bells and whistles.
For more than a decade, Dynamics 365 has allowed Key Surgical to be innovative and successful within the healthcare industry. For one thing, Dynamics gives them the flexibility to easily create their own entities within CRM, which allows them to run with new ideas quickly. For example, when the global pandemic hit in early 2020, they created an entity for COVID-related products like PPE. “When a customer had a request for PPE, we could log those specifically and then watch the requests in real time to see if they grew,” says Hromatka. When requests for certain products did increase, we could see it in real time and pivot nimbly. And that’s the power of Dynamics 365."
Looking towards the future, Key Surgical is focused on realizing the full potential of online versus on-premises – those bells and whistles. Hromatka notes that the migration has created a great deal of enthusiasm and momentum internally. “We’ve always had great user adoption at Key Surgical, but for a long time, I was the only person that was really an advocate of customizing the system to meet our evolving needs. Now that we’re online, there's much more interest across departments to build it out to help our teams work together better.” When you add in their support engineer, Key Surgical now has a whole team of Dynamics 365 enthusiasts. “I'm really excited about what the future will bring. With so many people excited about it and always trying to make it better, the sky is the limit.”
Why would we recommend HCL-PowerObjects to a business looking to implement Dynamics 365? That’s easy: because they’re the best in the industry. There is simply no question about that.