Craftware has been running a Managed Service for 4 years for one of the global pharmaceutical companies. It is a continuation of previous cooperation. Previously, Craftware was responsible for implementing a CRM system based on Salesforce App Cloud and Sales Cloud, its development, and the first years of support (in the Time & Material model).
The main objective of the Managed Service is to ensure the handling of errors and requests from users, to answer their queries, and develop a system based on Salesforce Service Cloud. The system is used, among others, by medical and sales representatives to plan and monitor daily activities, as well as to manage communication with doctors and health centers. The system is available both through a web browser and in a mobile version. About 5.500 users in Europe and EEMEA (Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Africa) are working on this solution.
Users in 90 countries work on this system. This requires the system to adapt to their different legal regulations and regional needs, and business specifics. Due to the system’s many essential processes, one hour of its unavailability for users is a loss of even several tens of thousands of euros for the organization. Guaranteeing constant and reliable access to the system was crucial for the customer. Another critical issue related to the Managed Service was the urgent adjustment to the GDPR standards, which came into force in 2018.
Craftware offered the 8×5 support (8 hours a day, Monday through Friday) with second and third support lines. The service team consists of specialists in various areas, including business analysts, programmers, testers, and support specialists. The Managed Service team uses the Jira tool provided by the customer to record errors, while ServiceNow is used to handle incidents.
According to the SLA, parameters (SLO – Service Level Objective) are measured in the following areas: incident management, change management, problem management, and request management. Within each of them, several KPIs have been defined, which allow measuring the service’s effectiveness.
Figure 1. Examples of KPIs for the incidents.
Figure 2. Response times for the incidents, divided according to the importance of the problem to be solved.
Craftware provided a comprehensive configuration for all systems covered by the service. To ensure cross-region compatibility, individual functions can be run separately for each country as required. Most of them can also be customized to meet regional requirements.
Constant access to the system is ensured, among other things, by careful planning of subsequent releases, which are scheduled for the whole year. Preparation for each of them takes about a week. During this time, it is checked how the update will affect the system’s availability and whether it will require its temporary suspension.
However, this is strictly preventive action and only occurs in case of large changes. The aim is to limit the effects of possible system malfunctions, such as incorrect data input by users, and so on.
The system downtime has also been reduced by minimizing errors resulting from high-quality code created by experienced developers (the incidents number dropped by 40% during the year). The fast response time to problems and their immediate removal also contributed to the efficiency improvement.
Within the Managed Service, the system has also been adapted to the GDPR requirements. It allows auto-verify the entered data and its compliance with the regulations (adding or removing data and changing the access possibilities after meeting the relevant conditions).
Additionally, the following functionalities and integrations have been introduced as part of the service:
- Integration with CTI (Computer Telephony Integration) – a tool enabling outgoing calls and receiving incoming calls from the system level for the user service department. CTI identifies the phone number and automatically forwards the customer data to the user. The solution additionally supports the automatic task creation after answering the phone or responding to e-mail. The system also stores e-mails with sent incidents.
- Relationship maps for sales and medical representatives – the system shows graphical visualization of relations between entities, for example, between two health care organizations. Thanks to this, a salesperson can conveniently track various relationships and decide on his strategy.
The service effectiveness was measured using the previously discussed KPIs. Their implementation in the last period (data for the third quarter of 2020) was at the following level:
- The Managed Service introduction in the organization also helped reduce the incidents’ frequency, which fell by 40% (from 44 to 25 monthly). This change is caused by the fact that modifications made by experienced developers, who know the system well, and write high-quality code, do not generate errors. It also translated into minimizing the cost of system unavailability, which previously led to losses of several thousand euros per hour.
- Introducing the possibility of adapting the regional versions of the system to local requirements. It allows the system administrator to enable or disable individual options as needed.
- Improving the work of key sales agents and medical representatives – relationship maps and market access agents – CTI.
Figure 3. Trends in incident resolution December 2018 – October 2019
On behalf of our customers and our management, I would like to thank you for the big effort you put into making it possible to fix the issue.
This required being online many hours – trying to first troubleshoot and then fix the issue.
Thanks to you, we are now handing the complete system back to the users in good condition and they can work normally again.Client statement
In individual markets, the system differs in terms of implemented functionalities, which is a consequence of formal regional requirements and individual expectations. The biggest challenge in this website is the need for advanced specialization of the system for each country. Moreover, a Product Owner who would regularly oversee the direction of the system’s development and set priorities has not been assigned.
In our daily work, we react on an ongoing basis to problems or proposed changes reported locally by system users. Since we have an overview of the entire system, we can quickly assess whether the solution of an incident at the level of a given country’s system will not cause a problem in others.
To meet this challenge, we emphasize business analysis (we have analysts in our team) and deepen the knowledge of the system by all team members. It means that at every stage of work: analysis, development, or testing, we pay attention to whether a given functionality may directly affect the system’s operation in other regions.Maja SkowrońskaService Manager, Craftware