“sa.global has been a great partner. They’ve consistently shown a high level of functional and technical expertise around Dynamics 365, and have been very responsive to our needs.“
CIO, Thruline Marketing
Complex Needs Require a Sophisticated Solution
Thruline’s diverse line of services requires a specialized set of information systems to manage the quoting, acquisition, placement, and billing of their services, which include pay-per-click advertising, search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, traditional media placement, and other services, including their unique inquiry-based model (pay-per-inquiry) and Online Program Management. Having the ability to easily exchange data that is collected in these specialized software tools with key administrative systems and processes is a key to maximizing operational efficiencies within Thruline’s business.
As Thruline had continued to expand their business, including growth outside the United States, the organization had started to outgrow the capabilities of their existing financial software system, MAS/200. To support further growth of the organization, it became imperative to put a platform in place that would help Thruline grow and expand in a profitable and efficient manner. “Relative to the size of our business, we have some very complex processes due to the breadth and varied needs of our services”, explained Jai Shankar, Chief Information Officer (CIO) for Thruline Marketing. “As our business continued to grow, we understood that we needed to get in front of some key process automation challenges. It was critical that we have a platform that would not only help us maximize efficiency levels, but also help improve our visibility of key business metrics such as client and product profitability and support our global operations.”
The Microsoft Dynamics 365 Solution
After evaluating NetSuite and Microsoft Dynamics 365 (formerly Dynamics AX), Thruline chose Microsoft Dynamics 365 as their new ERP platform. They also selected leading Microsoft consultancy, sa.global, to help them implement their new solution.
“We did a thorough evaluation of cloud-based ERP platforms”, recalled Shankar. “We felt that Microsoft’s model for allowing customer controlled environments, even in the cloud, gave us the flexibility that was critical to building an integrated environment customized to our needs. And because we’re already a Microsoft shop, having invested in both the Office 365 and Dynamics CRM platforms, Dynamics 365 ERP fit quite nicely into our IT portfolio”, Shankar explained.
Thruline worked with sa.global to implement Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations as Thruline’s new financial management and ERP platform. The system is used not only for Thruline’s core accounting processes, but also key project billing and project accounting activities, and as their core platform for BI and reporting.
sa.global leveraged their Projects+ industry solution for Dynamics 365 to provide advanced functionality around project billing and other project accounting areas, as well as their Projects+ BI solution that leverages Microsoft Power BI and the embedded Dynamics 365 in-memory BI solution for analytics and reporting.
A key element of Thruline’s implementation is the tight integration that was deployed between the Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations (ERP) and Sales (CRM) solutions. sa.global worked with Thruline to develop an integrated data and process model where key activities performed in Thruline’s Dynamics 365 CRM solution would trigger and automate related processes in their Dynamics 365 ERP system.
Since implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365 in North America, Thruline has been able to achieve many of the benefits that they set out to accomplish:
- Automating the flow of information across their various systems to streamline key processes like client billing and vendor payments.
- Gaining improved visibility of key metrics such as client profitability and the contribution of their products / services to the business.
- Improving financial controls, as well as the financial close, consolidation and reporting process.
“With Dynamics 365, we have made great progress towards our vision of driving process automation through the organization”, said Shankar. “And more importantly, we’ve put a solution in place that enables our businesses to scale through improved operational effectiveness.”
With over 700 employees worldwide, 100% dedicated to Microsoft Dynamics 365, sa.global is the world’s leading provider of Dynamics 365 ERP, Dynamics CRM, Project Service Automation (PSA) Solution, and HCM solutions and services for professional services organizations and other project-driven businesses.
sa.global offers industry-focused software solutions, expert consulting services, and industry best practices to help our clients facilitate their digital transformation, and to reimagine how they engage their clients, empower their employees, optimize their operations, and transform their service offerings.