Global charity organization meets demand for CRM tools

Business Situation

The organization prioritized CRM activities in 2011 when it realized the need to function more like an enterprise because of the scope of its charity operations. The IT manager explained: “Microsoft Dynamics CRM became a pillar platform in our IT plan to better support the users in our organization and affiliates who constitute our customers.” The charity organization initially intended to use internal staff to support its CRM platform and develop the associated applications and portals. However, it found it challenging to reach the level of expertise needed because of hiring restrictions and the limited availability of skilled individuals.

"With Avanade, when we get a request for a new solution we can scope it out and get back to the user within a week. Before we had to say we’d get back to them in a few months, and that’s before beginning the work."

IT Manager, Global Charitable Organization


The organization turned to Microsoft for advice. According to the IT manager: “We had a good relationship with Microsoft, having deployed many of the company’s products in addition to its CRM platform." Microsoft suggested that Avanade’s managed services could be the answer to the challenges facing the charity organization. “We did our homework and concluded that Avanade had the required skills and experience,” the IT manager said. “Before we couldn’t focus on new projects because we were fully occupied meeting the demands of existing projects. Avanade gave us the resources to handle existing projects and still deliver new ones.”

The charity organization's working relationship with Avanade has evolved in the two years since it began using its services in 2013. “We began the relationship by issuing work orders for each project, but we now have a more flexible arrangement, which helps us to deal with the ebb and flow of our workload,” the IT manager said. “This engagement model allows us to use all of Avanade’s tools and capabilities across our CRM operations as needed. The Avanade people operate as members of our team and we introduce them that way when we meet with our users.” Avanade typically has from six to eight people on site at the charity organization every other week with another three who work remotely.


By conducting several interviews with the IT manager at the charity organization and asking questions about operations before and after beginning to use the Avanade managed services, IDC was able to quantify the benefits realized from the deployment. When projected over five years, the benefits from staff productivity gains and the ability to provide substantially more CRM tools and applications to users averaged more than $7.1 million per year.

For purposes of this study, IDC has quantified the value it projects the charity organization will achieve by analyzing the impact of Avanade managed services on its CRM team. It has identified three major areas of value for the CRM team by making them more efficient and enabling them to do more to support the charity organization's operations even with fewer staff members:

  • Net-new projects. Since beginning to use Avanade, the charity organization has increased the number of net-new CRM-related projects that it delivers to users by more than seven times. IDC projects that this much-improved ability to deliver on new projects to support operations has an annual average value of $2.71 million over five years.
  • Managing existing projects. With Avanade, the charity organization can support more than double the number of CRM applications, portals, and services being used with a lower staff count. IDC calculates that this will result in a productivity benefit worth an annual average of $2.78 million over five years. 
  • Reallocate staff time. With Avanade, the charity organization has been able to reallocate more than half of its CRM staff to other areas, providing it with a productivity benefit worth an average of $1.14 million per year when projected over five years. 

In addition, by minimizing red tape and other inefficiencies that characterized the organization's CRM landscape before Avanade, the charity organization is realizing time savings for various employees of approximately 150 hours with each net-new project. These time savings have a total value worth an average of $125,100 per year when projected over five years. 

Return on Investment

IDC projects that the charity organization will leverage its use of Avanade managed services to realize discounted total benefits of $24.02 million in staff productivity gains over five years, compared with a discounted investment of $8.37 million. This results in a five-year ROI of 187% with payback on its investment in Avanade managed services occurring within 3.5 months.

Client Story
Global charity organization meets demand for CRM tools

IDC ExpertROI® SPOTLIGHT Case Study - Global Charity Organization

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