The Government of Canada

Employment and Social Development (ESDC) Canada is one of the largest Canadian federal government departments. ESDC delivers a range of programs and services that help Canadians in all stages of their lives—from childhood, through adulthood, to retirement—including providing seniors with basic income security, supporting unemployed workers, helping students finance their post-secondary education, and assisting parents who are raising young children.

ESDC also provides specific support to vulnerable populations such as seniors, people with disabilities, Aboriginal people, homeless people and recent immigrants. ESDC’s planned 2016/2017 budget expenditures on programs and services are $128.1 billion.

The Challenge

The ESDC Processing and Payment Services Branch (PPSB) is an organization that provides Canadian citizens with a multitude of services including Canadian Pension Plan, Old Age Security and Employment Insurance. A critical aspect of the overall processing of these payments to Canadians, is that of “workload management” for the thousands of Canadian public servants who track activities and overall processing for each individual case. ESDC was experiencing significant challenges in workload allocation that sometimes resulted in making it challenging to provide payments to citizens in a timely fashion. ESDC was using an old, custom built application that was not meeting their needs for case management – it was rigid, it did not integrate easily with other systems, it did not provide business intelligence, it was not easy to use, and the overall inefficiency was very frustrating for users. Even though the status quo was very challenging, the ESDC team worked hard, used manual processes and extensive resources to manage the existing case management system, while delivering billions of dollars to Canadians in need.

The Approach

The Microsoft team worked for 14+ months to position the value drivers of Dynamics CRM with both the business and technical teams at ESDC. Initially, IT management would not seriously consider Dynamics CRM for large applications believing in error Dynamics was only suitable for small applications. We knew we needed to focus most of our energy with the business team and obtained Executive Sponsorship at the highest level at ESDC. We convinced this team to go ahead with their own feasibility analysis and engaged “A Hundred Answers (AHA)”, one of the most experienced Microsoft Certified Partner for Dynamics CRM partners in Canada. AHA assisted ESDC with a feasibility analysis that considered the replacement of the existing “Work Item Inventory Distribution (WIID)” legacy system, with a solution built on the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 platform. A Hundred Answers (AHA) conducted a fit-gap analysis, reviewed documentation, and engaged client feedback through workshops and demonstrations with key stakeholders. AHA estimated a 91% Degree of Fit between Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 and ESDC’s currently-stated core business requirements. This means that 91% of the core business requirements are achievable without the use of customization through Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015! Usually, 85 percent or better is considered a high degree of fit. ESDC’s IT team could not dispute the results of our partner engagement. Through the engagement of AHA and the Microsoft team, ESDC was able to obtain project approval with over 10 Canadian Government Assistant Deputy Ministers. The project has started and is targeted for completion November 2016 using Dynamics 2016.

The Result

ESDC now owns 10,000+ Dynamics CRM licenses, and ESDC plans to deploy 50+ new applications, that will utilize the vast majority of capabilities of Dynamics CRM, including new features such as FieldOne and ADXStudioPortal. FieldOne will provide a complete mobile workforce management solution, including the scheduling and dispatch functions for ESDC’s mobile workers delivery citizen services. ADXStudio portal will provide ESDC with a more modern interface to key stakeholders and citizens. The Dynamics revenue for Microsoft has been $1.5 million+, and will also pull in SQL, Windows Server, Azure, Microsoft Consulting Services and partner revenue.  
About A Hundred Answers: A Hundred Answers (AHA) is an award-winning, employee-based management consulting and systems integration firm located in Ottawa, Ontario. AHA is one of Canada’s fastest-growing companies (#10 and #15 according to Profit 500 for two years in a row) and one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers. 

As a Microsoft Certified Partner with a Gold Competency in Dynamics CRM, AHA has been integral to the adoption of Microsoft Dynamics CRM as the standard Case Management System by the Canadian Federal Government in early 2014. Since then, AHA has been involved in more than 15 case management Microsoft Dynamics CRM projects varying from 50 to 8,000 users with budgets of $100,000 to $10 Million CDN.

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