Cirrus Nova - White Papers

The Benefits of standardising your Recruitment Agency on a Microsoft Dynamics platform

TVision has long been providing a fully integrated accounts and pay/bill solution to the recruitment industry, with their Agency Time software package. Over the years they have often been asked about front office functionality and whether Agency Time could be extended to provide the single solution. This has always been the vision and now they are in a position to make that vision a reality. TVision’s partnership with Cirrus Nova brings together two Microsoft Dynamics solutions, one aimed at front office and the other at back office.

Reduced Costs

By standardising on Microsoft technology TVision can help you leverage the knowledge and skill sets in your organisation. Training is reduced, maintenance and support is reduced. This is all before we look at the operational benefits, for example, time saved in producing Gross Margin or Return on Capital Employed analysis.

Increased Efficiency

Again, simply by implementing systems that are easy and familiar to use automatically provides efficiency gains. Data accuracy and integration means no more time wasted correcting errors and reconciling data between systems.

Reduced Risks

The scale of the Microsoft investment in its products and partner channel means you can draw on a large community of skilled professionals to support your systems. This is one of the incentives to ensure that TVision and Cirrus Nova provide excellent customer service; we know our customers have a choice, this means we need to be competitive as well as provide exemplary support. And we work together, as a team becoming, part of your team. There is no culture of blaming the “other” technology for any issues that may arise.

Implementation Approaches

Big Bang

There is no requirement for an agency to implement both systems - Big Bang approach - and it is unlikely that an organisation would deploy both systems as part of the same project as the impact on the business would be great, so our advice would always be to phase. However, part of the proposition is that we can help agencies plan their IT strategy to achieve a fully integrated solution on an end-to-end Microsoft platform and therefore to realise all the associated benefits.

Implement Separately

The Microsoft Connector and other tools developed specifically for integrating Dynamics CRM with Dynamics ERP solutions mean that we can easily bring the front and back office together, even if your installation has been further developed.

Bring CRM and ERP Together

The Microsoft Connector and other tools developed specifically for integrating Dynamics CRM with Dynamics ERP solutions mean that we can easily bring the front and back office together, even if your installation has been further developed.

Why a single Microsoft Dynamics vision?

Historically the recruitment industry has had three elements to their systems: front office (CRM), middle office (managing the payment of the workers and client invoicing, typically referred to as pay/bill) and a back office accounting system. Front office and middle office have been delivered by niche players who, like many industry specialists, deliver great functionality but less great technology and service levels as they do not have the R&D investment or resources available to companies such as Microsoft. Early entrants to the market have become well established by default, but are now struggling to adapt their product offerings to cloud for example; feedback from existing users suggest that they may also suffer from a poor reputation for performance, reliability and customer service.

Back office accounts tends to be an off the shelf package, ranging from GP to Sun to Sage. Integration is poor, typically manual and reconciliation a continual battle. For most recruitment agency FDs the question of how much time do you spend reconciling data to produce meaningful, reliable management reports is a painful one.

What is the Microsoft Dynamics solution for Recruitment Agencies?

Agency Time, based on Dynamics NAV, provides fully integrated back and middle office in a single system. This is unique in the mid-market / enterprise sector of the recruitment industry. Agency Time particularly addresses the processing of timesheets, calculating the pay and bill based on a timesheet ledger and a sophisticated rate rules engine. Standard NAV Jobs and Resources do not fit the volume based processes of recruitment agencies whereas Agency time has been delivering ROI to UK recruitment companies since 2003. One of TVision’s clients describes it, “Agency Time is the engine behind our Gross Margin analysis on which we build our business strategy”.

Cirrus Nova’s Recruitment Solution, Prism provides a fully featured front office Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Like Agency Time, it combines the benefits of Microsoft foundation with industry specific functionality. The core processes of candidate profiling, search and vacancy fulfilment are managed within the CRM. The integration tools mean that Prism naturally extends through recruitment industry applications such as job boards and CV parsing technology.

Both Agency Time and Prism benefit from their standard Microsoft Dynamics bases and many of the features that competitors consider USPs come out of the box. Apart from easy user customisation, a particular strength is integration with the Office suite especially Outlook, which many recruiters use as their main workflow tool.

The Microsoft investment factor: technology, integration with Office, ability to take advantage of leading features such as SharePoint and mobile integration, is mammoth even compared to the combined resources of all the industry “specialists”. The foundations of both Agency Time and Prism have roadmaps covering the next decade. Add to that the number of skilled professionals available to support the systems compared to the one-man band support desk of the niche players and the flexibility in how the systems are deployed, it becomes a compelling business case.

TVision and Cirrus Nova are Recruitment Industry Specialists

Both TVision and Cirrus Nova have solid backgrounds of providing solutions to the recruitment industry so in this respect we are as skilled and knowledgeable as the niche players. The difference is the Microsoft factor. Microsoft develops the standard foundation so we don’t need to worry about VAT compliance, on-line submissions, mobile technology, cloud etc. All we need to worry about is the specific functionality that provides a competitive edge to recruitment agencies.

We understand functional requirements and build these into the system; we understand recruitment agencies’ operational requirements which is why our data centres and support is all UK based (we’re both UK companies) and why we provide extended support on a Wednesday until you tell us that the BACS has been sent.

Realising a Microsoft-centric IT Strategy

As more and more companies realise the benefits of standardising their business systems on a Microsoft platform, those partners who are able to form strategic partnerships will thrive. The bringing together of TVision and Cirrus Nova forms a compelling offering for recruitment agencies. It doesn’t end there, other Microsoft experts may be brought in as required to ensure that every single piece of Microsoft technology in the organisation is providing optimal value.