In order to facilitate rapid growth, Imagine – Ireland’s second largest telecommunications company – worked with Sage and Sage business partner Advent to centralise their back office processes. Here we see how Sage 200 increased efficiencies, productivities, and customer service levels.
The Imagine Group has established itself as the number one alternative to eircom in the Irish telecoms market. The company constantly develops new technologies to help fuel its ongoing growth. To this end, Imagine recently launched WiMax, a new 4G phone and broadband technology. As the
only company in Ireland to offer this capability, The Imagine Group is at the forefront of Ireland’s developing telecom industry, facilitating the replacement of older DSL and cable services with state-of-the-art capabilities.
The Challenge: Centralising Disparate Back-Office Functions
Due to the rapid growth of the company, Imagine – a long time Sage customer was quickly outgrowing its legacy accounting solution. Its older Sage 50 accounting software, while serving the company well for years, simply wasn’t able to accommodate the quick expansion that the company was enjoying.
“While we were perfectly happy with Sage 50, it simply wasn’t big enough to handle our growth,” Imagine Accountant Eimear Raftery explains. “Imagine had grown both organically and though acquisition. We needed a solution that could grow as our company grew.”
Imagine also required a solution that could facilitate its many other backoffice subsystems. “We already had in place a number of stand-alone systems including separate Cash Management, Billing, and Direct Debit systems,” Imagine Administration Cash Manager Claire Mooney adds. “We required a powerful accounting system that could somehow centralise these various functions into one companywide solution. By doing so, we recognised that we could facilitate future growth, as well as increase our productivity and efficiencies.”
However, Imagine also recognised that they might require additional expertise in order to achieve their objectives.
A Centralised Solution: Sage 200 at the Heart of the Company
Five years ago, Imagine purchased the first version of Sage 200. Since then, they have continually upgraded the solution to achieve even more. “Sage 200 has provided us with a centralised back-office accounting solution that has empowered the company to integrate its disparate systems,” Eimear states. “Its robust database and flexibility has enabled us to significantly increase our productivity and efficiencies.”
Sage 200 is the powerful, robust SQL database-driven accounting software solution that facilitates growth through flexibility. With a broad range of standard accounting functions including nominals, cash book, debtors, creditors, invoicing, VAT analysis, and similar, Sage 200 also incorporates a broad range of management reporting capabilities that allow managers to accurately track their business’s progress toward financial goals. “We find Sage 200 to be very flexible,” Claire says. “It has many different modules, providing us with exactly what we need. As importantly, Sage 200 helps us to integrate all of our other systems, such as our Cash Management System. Without Sage 200, we couldn’t import or export files. It acts at the heart of our accounting capabilities.”
Advent for Complete Integration
But if Sage 200 is the heart of the solution, Sage Business Partner Advent worked to create bespoke software capabilities that facilitated complete systems-wide integration. Eimear comments on the critical role that Advent and their software development capabilities played in achieving their objectives: “We approached Advent because we required a completely integrated back-office solution. In our case, we were doing things somewhat
backwards: we already had Sage 200 and the other separate systems like Cash Manager and our Direct Debit system. But we required complete integration to achieve our objectives.
“Advent was very responsive. They developed a variety of bespoke addon’s
that allow us to migrate data back and forth between Sage 200 and our various sub-systems. The benefits that Advent has helped us to achieve are wonderful. “For instance, before integration we used to have to upload receipts
manually. This took 2 to 3 days. After deploying the Advent add-on bespoke software solutions, that same process takes only hours.”
Advent continues to act as a true partner with Imagine, providing them with comprehensive Support. “Advent provides us with support that is highly responsive,” Claire states. “If they tell us they’ll get back to us within a specific time-frame regarding a query, that’s exactly what they do. Advent listens to us and our needs. They put forward solutions and methods that help us to achieve our ongoing objectives.”
The Many Benefits of a Sage 200 Integrated Solution
Eimear is enthusiastic regarding the many benefits that the company has received as a result of the Sage 200 solution combined with Advent software development capabilities. “The solution empowers us,” she states, “by saving us substantial amounts of time and increasing accuracy. For instance, our month end billing – originally a manual process – used to take a full day. We would have to manually input receipts, credit notes, and similar into our Billing System, then compare any differences with Sage 200 reports in order to reconcile the data.
“Now, we simply migrate the data from Sage 200 into our Billing System. Today, the process that used to take days only takes 3 hours.”
Claire Mooney also notes how the Sage 200 integrated solution has increased the efficiencies of the company’s direct debiting processes. “Again, this used to be a manual process. Now we can just migrate the customer data from our Billing System into Sage 200. The manual process took 2 days. Now it only takes a half a day. Additionally, this integrated solution is more accurate because it minimises double entry of data. We still have checks and balances, of course, but it is much more efficient than our older legacy processes.”
Eimear Raftery and Claire Mooney highly recommend both Sage 200 and Advent to other companies. “Sage 200 acts at the heart of our back-office capabilities. Data streams seamlessly to and from Sage to our other sub-systems via the software add-ons that Advent has developed for us,” Eimear explains. “This has increased our productivity, efficiency, and accuracy, and provides the flexibility to meet our future growth targets.”
“Both Sage and Advent act as true partners,” Claire concludes. “Imagine embraces only state-ofthe-art technologies. Which is why we chose Sage and Advent in the first place.”
Interested in what Sage ERP can do for your business, visit Sage ERP or call 1890 88 25 22