Integration Is the Linchpin for CRM Success

Collecting taxes is big business. And to maximize that business the State of Florida (SoF) wanted to ensure that is call center agents had the data they needed to most effectively serve taxpayers. "We wanted to give our agents a tool to manage their inbound call flow and to bring data to agents in one place," says Todd Gardner, revenue program administrator. The tool SoF selected was mySAP CRM. One of the main reasons for that choice was the organization's existing relationship with SAP. "We have been an R3 customer since April 2001," Gardner says. "It's one of the big success stories, because we were able to integrated it very cheaply. [We] weren't looking for best-of-breed, we were looking for the one that would integrate best." According to Gardner, SoF used about 20 lines of code and "one-and-a-half {Deloitte} consultants" to complete the integration. "It probably would have cost a lot more to implement something else," he says. "Plus, it allows us to leverage all the work we had done in R3." Additionally, "agents were used to SAP, so the training was much less." The mySAP CRM deployment, launched in April 2003, is part of a larger initiative called Sun Tax, which administers 36 state taxes through R3. "We had a methodical, planned attack for implementing SAP," Gardner says. "We very deliberately chose the taxes to administer through SAP. Now the majority come through SAP." Now that the systems are integrated, service levels have drastically improved. "Customer service is the huge impact," Gardner says. "Seventy-eight agents use [mySAP CRM] now who are located in Tallahassee; we have about 2,000 who use SAP overall." The state is also using mySAP CRM for inbound customer service and for collections. The system is also integrated with telephony and IVR systems, and grabs information from the various systems. Once agents log on to the IVR through a customer interaction system, they can review a taxpayer's information, then connect to the call. "The most important thing we do is treat [taxpayers] with one-stop interaction," Gardner says. "We know all their commitments and obligations with us, and can handle them in one call." Call-connection time is shorter as a result of the improved access to information. "We save about ten to fifteen seconds per call," says Tony Powell, SoF CRM project manager. And, he says, "we're able to collect more money" because of the immediate access to the data. The state has not tracked how much more yet, because of the volume of ongoing initiatives. According to Gardner, however, $22 billion of the $29 billion the state collects is administered through SAP. The state is considering using mySAP CRM's service-order functionality to process income taxes based on the product's success so far. Additionally, Gardner and Powell are examining the Web-enabled case-object functionality for handling bankruptcy processing.
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