One of Jonathan’s passions is the use of technology to solve problems and make organizations more efficient. We have recently researched vendors and implemented solutions including deploying the program without IT resources and training all the staff for the following:
CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
Because our client had very lean IT resources we only looked at online, hosted CRM solutions. We examined NetSuite, salesforce.com, Microsoft Dynamics and Entellium over a 2-month period. We ultimately chose salesforce.com based on the client’s unique needs.
Mass email management
Our client needed to send several thousand emails every 2 months and used to have a staff member spend several days preparing the lists in Excel and then sending out the emails using Outlook in batches of 100 email addresses in the BCC field. They didn’t know that most of these email will never reach the intended recipient because they will get stopped by spam filters that look for multiple addresses in the BCC field. We looked at Constant Contact, Campaigner and Vertical Response and ultimately chose and rolled out Vertical Response because of their offer of 10,000 free emails a month for registered non-profits, which our client was. The client recently sent out a far more professional looking mass email and it took the staff member a fraction of the time to send it. They are extremely happy with the solution.
One of our clients runs several live conferences a year. These events are a huge drain on the staff for the weeks leading up to the event. They used to manage all the registrations manually via phone and email and capture the data in a spreadsheet. Fees were processed through a special online merchant account but the data did not connect to any internal system. All outbound communication to attendees was handled manually.
We researched several online event management solutions and chose RegOnline.com for them. RegOnline is a hosted, pay per use, solution that automates almost every conceivable aspect of running a large event and massively reduces the staff required to pull the event off.
Web conferencing & archiving
The same client as above also wanted to know how much it would cost to have a company come to their live events, capture the audio and video, stream it out via the web to a disparate audience, allow for Q&A with online attendees and then archive it online for later on-demand viewing. We researched several providers and found a Toronto based company that provides this service at the right level of cost and quality for our clients needs.