Metinvest Scales Up With New Customer Relations Management (CRM) Capabilities
(Photo : Metinvest Scales Up With New Customer Relations Management (CRM) Capabilities)

On April 15, 2021, Metinvest announced the release of a Customer Relations Management (CRM) system with two modules C4C and CPQ. The company stated that it created the CRM with help from Microsoft and Infopulse. Metinvest is the first company in Ukraine to launch a CRM with two modules to improve customer service at all levels.

Understanding CRM

CRM is a software application that enables businesses to manage customer interactions. The primary purpose of a CRM is to automate strategies used in customer service and relationships. Improved customer service benefits the company by optimizing its marketing efforts and enhancing sales.

Metinvest Group based its CRM on the SAP Sales Cloud platform, which includes two modules. The first is C4C, or customer module, and the second is CPQ, or price quote module. C4C is a sales management platform that enables Metinvest employees to interact with customers and exchange information with them in real time. CPQ is an online catalog that makes it possible for Metinvest employees to create orders according to customer specification.

Why Did Metinvest Decide to Invest in This Technology?

Leadership of the Metinvest Group realized in 2018 that the company needed to better scale. However, it would need to expand its existing datacenters in order to do this. The parent company partnered with its technology arm, Metinvest Digital, to form a strategic alliance with Infopulse and Microsoft. Infopulse is a local information technology (IT) company in Ukraine. 

Together, the teams moved 680 servers from their current location to the cloud platform Azure.

Metinvest Digital, Infopulse, and Microsoft accomplished re-platforming and migrating its IT infrastructure and a significant amount of data to Azure in less than one year. The Metinvest Group anticipates a cost savings equal to $3 million in United States currency over the next decade.

Metinvest has long been a leader in implementing new technology. Sergiy Detyuk, the CEO and Chief Technology Officer at Metinvest Digital, explained that the company chose to partner with the Microsoft Azure cloud platform after comparing costs with other providers. With a more scalable electronic storage system in place, the company can provide excellent and uninterrupted customer service for years.

Project Specifics

Before undertaking the re-platforming project with Infopulse and Microsoft, Metinvest stored 240 TB of data that provided more than 200 services in two separate data centers in Ukraine. Although the teams did not start out to complete a re-platforming, it quickly became evident they would need to do so. They also had to adapt the application to ensure the most efficient use of the Azure cloud infrastructure.

The chief IT Architect of Metinvest Digital, Dmitry Kireev, explained that the teams used Azure Site Recovery to replicate workloads. This decision ensures a smooth failover in case of a system outage. He went on to explain how the teams used Azure Backup to store additional copies of backups in the cloud.

Another aspect of the project was to transform 85 terminal servers from their current location to Windows Virtual Desktop. Because of the change, 2,000 users can now access internal business applications. Examples of apps include CRM, accounting, and human resources. Employees can access any of these applications immediately without having to install them locally on their computer. Kireev stated that Metinvest employees now use Windows Virtual Desktop every day for their normal work functions.

Security Concerns

The Metinvest Group uses Azure Security Center to protect all operations from digital threats and to manage its security in a uniform manner. According to Kireev, all company services connect to the Azure Security Center. A major benefit of using the Azure security program is that it provides a big-picture overview of activities, subscriptions, and tenants. Azure Bastion provides secured access to all systems while Azure Files has replaced on-site file servers, which has resulted in fully manageable files with widespread secured access.

Future Projects

Metinvest has already secured future deals with Microsoft and local partners for large-scale analytics. The company plans to utilize Azure Synapse Analytics and Azure Sentinel for these purposes.

Metinvest International First to Implement CRM

The first of Metinvest Group's subsidiaries to use CRM was Metinvest International to bring together regional offices in Asia, the Americas, the Middle East, and North Africa. The Metinvest Group will install the new CRM at Metinvest-SMC throughout 2021. This division sells products in Ukraine and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries, and its trading companies are located in Western Europe.

Metinvest Group will continue to roll out the CRM for the remainder of the year in addition to a pilot online customer account. The company has service centers in nearly 100 countries, and it provides quality products and services to more than 7,000 customers. Metinvest Group maintains 45 sales offices in 22 countries.

About Metinvest

Metinvest is an international mining and metals company with mining and metallurgical assets in Ukraine, United States, and Europe. This is in addition to its global sales network. The company manages the entire production chain that starts with mining iron ore and coal and ends with the production of finished and semi-finished steel products. Metinvest supplies steel products and raw materials to any location in the world due to its proximity to railway lines.

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