To mark this week’s Convergence 2012 event, being held in Houston, Bull and Microsoft have announced today that they entered into a strategic, worldwide agreement around the Microsoft Dynamics offering. Bull will adapt the Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft Dynamics AX solutions for the local authority market, and becomes a Microsoft ‘Global ISV’ Partner.
In 2011, Bull Business Integration Solutions established a Software Solutions Division, bringing together three activities:
- Coriolis Finances, which provides financial management solutions and holds a 30% market share among the major local, regional and city authorities in France
- Bull’s subsidiary Sirus, with its Genesis solution, which delivers community care management solutions for French Départements
- Taxation and Customs, whose e-ris and e-biscus solutions are currently used by 40 major countries worldwide, including Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Ireland.
To further expand and enhance these offerings, Bull launched in 2012 an investment program to provide local authorities with solutions to optimize their use of public finances and develop better relationships with their citizens.
Bull has chosen Microsoft Dynamics as the basis for this program, and has concluded a worldwide agreement with Microsoft Corporation to adapt the solution for the specific requirements of local authorities. “The decision to use Microsoft Dynamics is totally in line with Bull’s strategy to further strengthen its partnership with leading players in the market, especially Microsoft,” commented Thierry Siouffi, Executive Vice-President, Business Integration Solutions at Bull. “Through this collaboration, we will be pooling our expertise and resources to provide our local authority customers with solutions featuring state-of-the-art technologies, combining paperless exchanges, multi-channel processes, mobility and ease of use.”
Bull will continue to develop the Coriolis financial management and Sirus activities to meet the specific requirements and regulatory demands of the French marketplace. In parallel, Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft Dynamics AX will enrich these existing offerings, by providing complementary, more business management and collaboration-oriented modules. The new agreement covers all countries where Bull has a presence, most notably France. It may eventually be extended beyond the local authority sector to other vertical markets.
“This milestone is testament to Bull’s commitment to delivering leading public finances and citizen service solutions and expertise for our customers,” said Doug Kennedy, Vice President, Microsoft Dynamics Partners & Support Services, Microsoft Corporation. “Through the Microsoft and Bull partnership, our customers will benefit from the full potential of Microsoft Business Solutions.”
Today Bull’s local authority customers – faced with the pressing need to cut costs and improve their competitiveness – see optimizing their purchasing as a new means of improving their productivity. Cutting procurement costs has a direct impact on the balance sheet, with a 5% improvement creating up to 5% of financial flexibility. As a result, optimizing purchasing is a key priority for local government, in the current difficult economic climate. The recent advent of notions such as ‘responsible procurement’ and ‘sustainable development’ adds even more weight to this imperative. Bull already provides a public sector procurement management solution, Coriolis Finances Publiques. The Group will be complementing this regulatory compliance solution with additional tools designed to optimize the procurement function: mass purchasing, supplier benchmarking, collaborative requirement specification, and indicators to ensure purchasing aligns with needs.
Managing relationships with citizens and/or users has now become a genuine priority. As a result, Local authorities are developing more open relationships with people by offering them dynamic interactions and ways of accessing their services, via multiple channels. Under the new agreement, Bull will be adapting the Microsoft Dynamics CRM solution to optimize relationships with citizens claiming welfare benefits, including integrating the management of case files into its Genesis Sirus solution. The work will be carried out in partnership with the Seine-Maritime departmental council, which will be piloting this approach.
As more and more channels of communication appear and services offerings are increasingly enhanced, it is essential to use technologies that enable better relationships between all user interfaces customer services centers, Web sites, call centers, etc.) and management applications serving citizens,” commented Benoît Dehais, Information Systems Director at the Seine-Maritime council. “The collaboration with Bull and Microsoft on the management of welfare benefits will help us significantly improve the services we provide to our citizens.”
Bull extensive skills in the local authority sector enable it to take full account of the particular demands of this market and personalize the integration of regulatory and legal requirements, as well as external and internal business tools. The alliance between Bull – a leader in the local authority market – and Microsoft, a world leading software provider, creates a powerful combination of expertise and resources to successfully integrate new technologies that enable collaboration, e-government processes and mobility.