January 18, 2018 - Tom Symoens, the CEO of Evoqia, one of the most successful bpm’online partners, is sharing the insights on the CRM implementation business and crucial qualities of a reliable CRM vendor from partner’s and client’s perspectives, as well as gives valuable recommendations to those who are looking for a quality business process automation platform.
HELLO TOM. PLEASE, SHARE HOW YOU CAME TO THE DECISION TO LAUNCH YOUR OWN BUSINESS?
Yes, sure. It all started in the city of Antwerp in Belgium, where I obtained my Masters of Economic Sciences degree. After graduation, I started working for multinationals like Orange (Mobistar), Intel (Xircom) and Bridgestone, fulfilling various European Sales & Marketing Management positions.
At age 40, I decided to pursue my own path and launch my first company, which was a consultancy firm for the SME market.
PLEASE, TELL US WHEN THE IDEA OF BREAKING INTO THE CRM MARKET WAS BORN?
After starting with Sales & Marketing focused Consulting, I realized that unfortunately utilizing systems and processes was more likely to be the exception than the rule for the majority of SMEs. This got me thinking about fixing it and filling this gap in the market. This is why I decided to launch The CRM Warehouse.
TOM, WHAT IS THE STORY BEHIND CHOOSING A CRM PARTNER FOR YOUR DIGITAL AGENCY?
Formerly Evoqia was known as The CRM Warehouse back in 2010 when we entered the CRM market as an implementation partner of SugarCRM.
In 2015, we decided to add another CRM solution to our product portfolio. And that’s when we started digging around for the best available CRM solutions in the market. We’ve heard about all of them, but we needed to analyze them in further detail.
Our findings on bpm’online impressed us a lot. The system appeared to be a truly new dimension of CRM technology that operates in accordance with best industry practices. By that time, Evoqia had a team of passionate and experienced professionals who worked on the improvement of customer experience day in day out. So we picked up bpm’online, one of the 4 leading CRM providers in the world, and in short time, it became our core platform for business process automation services.
And we did the right thing. This cooperation became so successful that we’ve already reached the 4th level out of existing 5 in bpm’online partner program. With a solid solution bpm’online provides, Evoqia shows a growing trend in sales and enjoys getting all the benefits of the offered partnership.
WHAT ARE YOUR PRIMARY REQUIREMENTS FOR A CRM VENDOR AND THE PRODUCT ITSELF?
There were a number of demands we initially made when looking for the best fit on the market. They are mostly focused around the opportunities CRM provides to develop and keep pace with an increasingly fast-moving business environment, enabling us to stay competitive in the global market and deliver high-quality services and solutions to clients.
It’s critically important that the software is very innovative and agile, includes a user-friendly and intuitive interface and has powerful tools for managing marketing, sales and service processes. Traits like having an open architecture to easily integrate it with other systems, a flexible system that is compatible with most business models, powered by a BPM platform, with a solid corporate & financial structure were also evaluated in the decision. On top of that, we were looking for a vendor operating globally and offering a competitive pricing structure.
Lastly, we turned to the most reputable 3rd party research advisory firms in the industry – Forrester, Gartner, and Nucleus - for references. And those definitely became crucial in the final stages before we selected bpm’online among our shortlist of the 3 most suitable options.
WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT BUSINESS DEMANDS COMPANIES MAKE WHEN CHOOSING A CORPORATE SOFTWARE VENDOR?
Choosing new software is always a challenge as companies look for a system that will not only meet their business requirements but will also be highly customizable, while at the same time enable integrations with all the required applications the customer needs operationally.
Businesses are very cautious and demanding when choosing the right vendor, and every minor detail is considered prior to selecting the system, including the implementation process, human and tech resources required during both implementation and operation stages, vendor support, etc. Among other valuable decision-making attributes of a credible system for our clients are the references of other companies and reputable independent analysts.
With the inclusion in the most highly-regarded reports by Forrester, Gartner, Ovum, etc. and with the availability of multiple customer references, bpm’online prepared a perfect ground for the Evoqia team to easily explain to potential customers why this software worth giving it a try.
GIVE US AN EXAMPLE OF THE PROJECTS YOU’VE COMPLETED. ARE THERE ANY THAT STAND OUT WITH SOME IMPRESSIVE RESULTS?
Our clients come from a variety of industries. We’ve already implemented 20 projects in 5 different countries and these are organizations of different shapes and sizes. In fact, the multitude of vertical solutions of bpm’online allows us to implement it in any company, regardless of business model and industry.
One of the recent projects that really stood out was Quint Wellington, a well-known Dutch company operating globally, that was looking for a solution to replace Microsoft Dynamics.
As a result of implementing bpm’online, Quint Wellington received a 2017 Technology ROI Award by Nucleus Research with a ROI of 1,566% after less than two months. Quint Wellington was selected as an award winner with the highest ROI index among the other 268 nominated companies that have implemented solutions from vendors such as Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, SAP, Zendesk, and others.
WHAT IS THE MOST INTERESTING/CHALLENGING PART OF IMPLEMENTING CRM SYSTEMS FOR COMPANIES?
For us, it’s always exciting to see how the implemented system will apply to the companies coming from a variety of industries. It’s a great pleasure to see how the processes are streamlined across departments, how employees start to cooperate more productively through their internal network and how it all influences the bottom line, sometimes in impressively short periods of time after CRM goes live.
WHAT DO YOU RECOMMEND TO COMPANIES THAT ARE ON THE HUNT FOR A QUALITY BUSINESS PROCESS AUTOMATION PLATFORM?
In today’s business world, customers are the most valuable asset, which companies are afraid to lose. That is why it is extremely important to equip businesses with the best possible tools to provide an outstanding customer experience.
It’s important to remember though, that customer centricity is not only a matter of automating all customer-facing processes but also the result of orchestrating processes and workflows across key functional teams.
The leading solution is all-inclusive, scalable, intelligent, in line with the latest technological tendencies, and ideally available through a low-code environment. This blend will ensure your ability to stay competitive and keep pace within a fast-changing business environment.
Bpm'online is a global business software company leading in the space of business process automation and CRM. The company has been highly recognized as a market leader by key industry analysts. Its intelligent platform accelerates sales, marketing, service and operations for thousands of customers and hundreds of partners worldwide. The mission of bpm’online is to help companies ACCELERATE!
For more information, please visit www.bpmonline.com
Evoqia represents a motivated and experienced team, driven by the digitization of business processes. The company pursues the mission to support organizations, both profit and non-profit, in coping with the digital revolution challenges. Evoqia provides services that cover the complete customer journey, from marketing automation to customer service, all based on world leading cloud technologies. The company implements fully customized platforms that integrate in customer's existing environments.
For more information, please visit www.evoqia.eu