The Claranet Story
Founded in 1996, Claranet are one of Europe's leading managed IT services providers offering hosting, networks and communications services.
Claranet have over 5,500 customers and an outstanding record for delivering high quality solutions, across a wide range of industries. They have 18 offices across Europe, 35 data centres and over 1,000 employees, all ready to service their customers’ needs.
A high flyer, Claranet has featured in the Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200 and has also been recognised as a leader in Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Cloud-Enabled Managed Hosting, Europe 2015, for a third consecutive year.
What makes Claranet different from most other providers? It’s their expertise in both hosting and networks, combined with a dedication to delivering the highest standards of service. They take pride in what they do, and strive for excellence. And in order to achieve such excellence, they need a powerful and flexible platform from which to run the business.
Having grown rapidly in recent years through a series of acquisitions, Claranet were faced with the challenge of rationalising the multiple financial systems inherited with each purchase. Their plan? Migrate all of their financial operations on to one platform.
It was a tall order! With annualised revenues of £164 million, Claranet needed a solution that was robust; that could keep pace with their ambitious growth plans and that could automate some of the manual tasks which would help drive efficiencies across the finance division.
"The new automated process has saved the finance team at least two man-days each month."
After taking the plunge to overhaul their financial systems, Claranet found that Microsoft Dynamics NAV, which was one of the solutions already being used in the company, was best placed to meet their existing and future needs.
Alison Steadman, Systems Accountant, from Claranet remarks: ‘After assessing the various solutions, Dynamics NAV was a clear choice, it offered the flexibility we needed and in The NAV | 365 People (TNP) we had an IT partner who understood our requirements and pain points. They were mindful of the sensitivities and complexities of integrating employees following a corporate restructuring and provided the support needed for a smooth transition.’
Optimised and tailored financial solution
Today, Dynamics NAV is used across the Claranet finance division for the following functions:
- Accounts Payable
- Accounts Receivable
- Fixed Asset Management
- General Ledger
- Expense Management
"Without sounding dramatic, Dynamics NAV has improved the daily working life for employees by automating the mundane"
Over the four years that Claranet have been using the solution, TNP have designed and implemented enhancements to simplify processes and increase efficiency.
When Claranet wanted to streamline the direct debit process and provide customers with more information, TNP set to work. The result - remittance advice slips are now automatically generated and emailed to the customer.
Alison explains: ‘We often received calls from customers uncertain of the invoices included in the monthly direct debit collection run. TNP developed a solution that provides customers with the information they need to reconcile their records; the result is better information to our customers and fewer calls to our customer service team. The new automated process has saved the finance team at least two man-days each month.’
Streamlining Fixed Asset Management
Due to the scale of their operations across Europe, the task of managing fixed assets within Claranet is no mean feat! The company wanted to explore ways to automate the process of posting fixed-asset transactions such as acquisitions, depreciation, write-downs, appreciation and disposal.
After consultations with the Claranet team, TNP evolved the fixed asset management system streamlining and almost completely automating the previously labour intensive process, saving considerable man-hours in manual and to be honest, very boring data entry.
"…in TNP we had an IT partner who understood our requirements & pain points"
Why do everything yourself when you can employ the services of a specialist? And none come more specialist and highly recommended than nOra!
nOra is an acronym for NAV Open Response Architecture, an automated user that is permanently logged into Dynamics NAV and has access to her own email. nOra has an unrivalled appetite for working 24/7 and her primary role at Claranet is ensuring the workflow processes run smoothly.
nOra has taken over several key but labour intensive administrative tasks including the generation of purchase orders, creation of new vendor accounts and the execution and delivery of several key weekly reports.
Alison explains: ‘We can now manage and easily amend approval hierarchies following work by TNP. This added functionality saves us at least one man-day a month in administration time, however, during acquisitions and reorganisations, the time saved is almost incalculable.’
"It was a tall order! With annualised revenues of £164 million, Claranet needed a solution that was robust"
- Future proofed for growth: Dynamics NAV has provided the ideal business platform for Claranet to grow by acquisition, ensuring the merger of new companies into the business is a smooth operation that provides tangible benefits to new employees immediately.
- Improved efficiency: Claranet has been able to streamline processes, increase efficiencies and deliver a consistent level of business support to the organisation by standardising on Dynamics NAV.
- Reduced overheads: The automation and simplification of labour intensive tasks has enabled Claranet to redeploy skilled employees to higher value business activities.
Alison concludes: ‘Working with TNP has enabled us to improve our processes and workflows, resulting in a more efficient operation. For example, during the recent acquisitions of Techgate and LinuxIT we were able to integrate the new employees seamlessly into the company. Without sounding dramatic, Dynamics NAV has improved the daily working life for employees by automating the mundane and streamlining processes and workflows to simplify the complex. All of which could not have been achieved without TNP as our go-to technology partner.’Read more