2018 CRN Impact Awards: Fronde and Carsales.com

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2018 CRN Impact Awards: Fronde and Carsales.com

Many companies aspire to rapid growth, but when that growth is driven by multiple acquisitions, it can create a litany of challenges.

For Carsales, the path to becoming Australia’s number one car website had seen it accumulate several finance systems and multiple complex spreadsheets, making it difficult to create a single view of the customer and the business overall.

As its main finance software approached end-of-life, Carsales faced the problem of how to integrate newly acquired and existing systems to bring together disparate data across the business.

The solution was an ambitious dual implementation project to deliver both Salesforce and NetSuite simultaneously, to provide a single source of truth for both customer and financial data. The project was made more difficult by the requirement for significant customisation to fit Carsales’ business model and to integrate with existing technologies.

Fronde was selected as the preferred partner in early 2017, with a deadline set for just seven months for a go-live in December that year, which would enable the company’s half year results to be produced from NetSuite.

Fronde teams were created for Salesforce, NetSuite, and integration, who immediately set to work.

“We chose Fronde because they were able to pull together a multi-disciplinary team across overall system architecture design, ERP and CRM, separate solution implementation, and also integrate both into our existing system stack,” said Andrew Demery, Carsales’ CFO.

“No other vendor was able to claim that for our NetSuite and Salesforce solution.”

One of the key challenges for Fronde was the need to reconcile the waterfall implementation methodology commonly used for NetSuite with the agile methodology favoured for Salesforce. Fronde called on 25 years of development history to implement the two systems in a cohesive way, which required the Salesforce, NetSuite and integration teams to have a thorough understanding of the whole solution, so as to understand how any changes in one system would impact another.

Change management was identified as a key requirement for the project, so a ‘super user group’ was established within the business, consisting of 20 to 30 people who would represent the users in the organisation. The super user group, along with internal trainers, became part of Carsales’ user testing and showcases that ran throughout the project.

Ultimately the project was delivered on time.

“From the start, the Fronde team listened to our needs and principles of system development and deployment and designed a flexible implementation approach to meet those needs and our aggressive implementation timetable,” Demery said.

“We were extremely impressed by the way Fronde met our challenging timetables and budgets and were able to continually work agilely and flexibly to respond to changes in available information, priorities and availability of Carsales information and resources.

“As a large and complex project, the project managers from Fronde and Carsales ensured the overall teams worked closely together as ‘one-team’, with shared objectives, timetables and goals and were able to seamlessly hands-off work between the two teams fluidly throughout the project.”

Fronde is a finalist in the 'Digital Transformation' category in the 2018 CRN Impact Awards. For a list of all finalists and further details on the awards, please head to the CRN Impact Awards hub. The awards take place during the CRN Pipeline conference. You can get more information and purchase tickets here.

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