Netherlands-based marketing and design group More has commissioned GeeFirm to transform its IT infrastructure. Following completion of the roll-out, planned for Q3 and Q4 this year, two of More’s business units will use the Zoho ERP solution and a range of Google for Work apps and products to manage their client endeavours and internal operations.
With a team of around 90 professionals across four offices in the Netherlands, More is a mid-sized player in the Dutch landscape for marketing, design and branding consultancies. The group consists of several brands that each serve a particular field of expertise, including The Brandcast Company, SlagBijAlmelo, NewCome, Adwise, Bcause and Catchy. The firm’s service portfolio spans offerings ranging from market research and branding to online communication, social media and the design & build of websites.
Over the past years More used a Microsoft Exchange system to support its primary front-office and back-office operations. In light of the changing demands from team members and clients, as well as the wish to bolster agility and lower operational IT costs, More’s management team last year decided to embark on a vendor selection trajectory. Karin Gombert, Controller at More, was tasked with assessing potential options and unravelling which solution(s) would best serve the firm’s needs. “We sought a solid cloud-based solution that could support, and more importantly, enable our primary processes,” she says. Gombert spoke with several software providers in the market – from the traditional incumbents to upcoming players – and following a ‘due diligence’ on possibilities she decided to engage GeeFirm.
Founded in October last year, through the merger between IT providers AllSolutions, Internet Overal and Synmotive, GeeFirm is an Amsterdam-based software firm that specialises in the professional services market. The solutions provider focuses purely on products from Google and the Google ecosystem, and is a Google for Work Partner and Reseller. Commenting on the reason for commissioning GeeFirm, Gombert says it was the combination of the firm’s approach and ERP platform (‘Zoho’), as well as the power of Google’s suite of products that proved decisive for More’s management team.
As part of the deal, More companies The Brandcast Company and SlagBijAlmelo will adopt GeeFirm’s Zoho solution as the core of its IT infrastructure, using the CRM/ERP package for among others business development, project management, time tracking and accounting. In addition, GeeFirm’s IT specialists will work with More to develop a range of tailored applications, building on Google’s suite of Google for Work / Zoho building blocks and other apps part of Google’s Marketplace ecosystem (e.g. Smartsheet, NMBRS and DocuSign).
The parties have agreed a phased roll-out approach. Two months ago The Brandcast Company – More’s unit that provides content marketing support – was the first to migrate to the new infrastructure, while SlagBijAlmelo – the branding and marketing arm – is the next to transition to the cloud solution. “Since go-live we have immediately seen results in terms of costs, flexibility and customer experience,” reflects Gombert. Besides slashing total costs of ownership costs by around 25% - 30%, although still a rough estimate according to Gombert, she points out that in particular the mobile-first way of working is being appreciated by the end-user base.
Jeroen Hovinga, Sales & Marketing Director at GeeFirm, says he is delighted to welcome More to the Zoho and Google Apps for Work platform, joining the likes of Axioma, Tribal and Boomerang. “By using the power of Google and our long standing expertise in the professional services arena, we are able to help More work more effectively and efficient. The platform not only supports critical processes, it also fosters (social) collaboration and makes internal operations tasks, activities regarded as tedious, a lot more fun to do.”
Looking forward, Hovinga says he expects to add a number of new players in the advisory landscape to the firm’s network. “Our Google-based solution leans itself well for small and mid-sized consulting firms that are seeking to embrace new technologies in order to gain agility and a competitive edge.” In a bid to provide professional services players, including advisories, with a further customised solution, GeeFirm is currently building a specific cloud project based ERP/PSA solution. Known as VOGSY, which is set to launch in September 2016, the ERP solution will, according to Hovinga, provide consultancies one single source of truth for all stakeholders in the value chain: professionals, project partners and customers. “In addition, VOGSY’s intuitive and social interface will enable easier and stronger engagement with customers and talent.”