Non-profit organisation the Alzheimer's Society has opted for Salesforce.com over Microsoft Dynamics because it was "easier to use" according to the charity's head of IT Phil Shoesmith.
Shoesmith told Computing that the charity needed to improve the way it tracked service delivery throughout the UK.
Another goal was to get greater insight into the kinds of people the charity supported, including demographic information that it could use for fundraising and campaigning purposes. Finally, Shoesmith wanted to a solution that would enable the Alzheimer's Society more easily leverage technology advances.
"We needed a system that leverages new technology that can help us drop costs dramatically, standardise ways of reporting outcomes so we've got consistent ways across all locations and prepare us for personalisation," Shoesmith said.
Changes to the way social care is funded have made a big difference to how the charity processes invoices, for example.
After launching a formal tender process in spring 2011, the charity narrowed down its options to Microsoft Dynamics and Salesforce.com.
"We looked at both offerings by involving a lot of people within our front line – so we had front line service delivery workers and managers involved as part of the service decision. They had to score each option," said Shoesmith.
"From a technical perspective, there were pluses and minuses on both scores but the overall perception of front line staff was that Salesforce was much more usable," he added.
Usability was a key issue as Shoesmith wanted to keep the need for training to a minimum.
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