Outsourcing report development leads to costly delays and inflexibility. Integrating your reporting solution can increase your agility and be a great value too.
It’s hard for smaller organizations to handle every task effectively in-house, and there can be situations where outsourcing makes good business sense. However, if you’re outsourcing your development, you almost certainly know the pain of the time-consuming back-and-forth required for every individual change. It can be expensive in both time and money, not to mention a headache.
Consider a typical reporting solution that is configured to generate specific reports. Over time, as you learn more about your customers and business priorities evolve, the reports you want to generate are sure to change. If every small tweak to a custom field or parameter requires a fresh build to be developed, shipped, tested and deployed, innovation is hampered and change becomes overly costly.
Ascendas, a business solutions provider based out of Ireland, was facing this exact problem. They focus on empowering other companies with cutting-edge tools, facilitating the digital transformation of numerous organizations, including government agencies. With outsourced development of their CRM, the process for customizing and improving their reports was cumbersome, and they needed a better solution.
The Ascendas CRM was originally built on Telerik Platform, which made Telerik Report Server a natural fit for Ascendas to address their reporting issues. While familiarity with Progress was helpful, the choice would not be a success unless it really solved the problem at hand and represented a better value than the alternatives. In the end this came down to more than just cost—ease of use and customer service were also key considerations.
Report Server was easy to integrate into the existing CRM application, and immediately solved the key problem—users could create reports as needed from within the CRM, and also easily make changes or download reports whenever they wished. Report Server was affordable even as it provided advanced features like notifications and data alerts standard, while other solutions ordinarily hid them behind expensive Enterprise Edition tiers.
On top of that, the customer service provided by Progress—something we pride ourselves on—proved to be a key selling point. Gerry Connolly, Director of Ascendas, reflected on his past and present experience with Progress, noting, “If we ever have an issue, we contact the support desk and they’re excellent. They always respond promptly and give great advice—more so than any other software company I’ve purchased from.”
Ascendas saw major gains after they integrated Report Server into their CRM. Reports could be created in an hour, and several steps were cut out of the previously lengthy development process. On the whole, Connolly estimates that they cut reporting time down by as much as 50 percent. All that and no longer being reliant on outsourced development to make changes means this is a clear win for Ascendas, and they are currently rolling out the integration to all 20 CRM installations.
The process has been so smooth that they’re keeping Progress in mind for the future. Unafraid of digital transformation and confidently supported by Progress, Connolly has plans to bring the Ascendas CRM to mobile platforms in the future, and knows products like Kendo UI can help them get there.
“We are a smaller company,” Connolly explained, “so I put a lot of faith in Progress to identify the best trends and then I just follow Progress. That’s why we have three applications that are completely built using Progress tools.”
Galia is a Product Marketing Manager for Telerik Reporting, Telerik Report Server and DevCraft Bundles at Progress. She has 18+ years in marketing, improving the sales, performance and reputation of a great number of international companies. Off work she enjoys reading, psychology, mountain climbing and music.