“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. This also includes pay-per-click advertising, search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, traditional media placement, and other services, with their unique inquiry-based model (pay-per-inquiry) and Online Program Management. Being able to easily exchange the data that is collected in these specialized software tools with administrative systems and processes is a key to maximizing operational efficiencies within Thruline’s business.
As Thruline Marketing 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 Marketing 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.”
Cloud-based environment brings flexibility
After evaluating NetSuite and Microsoft Dynamics 365 (formerly Microsoft Dynamics AX), Thruline Marketing 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 are already a Microsoft shop, having invested in both the Office 365 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM platforms, Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP fit quite nicely into our IT portfolio,” Shankar explained.
Implementing a new financial management and ERP platform
Thruline Marketing 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 projects360 (formerly known as Projects+) industry solution for Microsoft Dynamics 365 to provide advanced functionality around project billing and other project accounting areas. sa.global also implemented their projects360 BI solution that leverages Microsoft Power BI and the embedded Microsoft 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 Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations (ERP) and Sales (CRM) solutions. sa.global worked with Thruline Marketing to develop an integrated data and process model where key activities performed in Thruline’s Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM solution would trigger and automate related processes in their Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP system.
Streamline business processes, automate flow of data
Since implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365 in North America, Thruline Marketing 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.”