How JLL Increased CRM Adoption by Six Times

JLL (Jones Lang LaSalle) is a Fortune 500 real estate and investment management company with nearly 92,000 specialists in 230 offices operating around the globe. For more than 10 years of partnership with JLL, we’ve helped multiple offices worldwide re-engineer their CRM usage, create apps for vendor management, event management, brochure, and report generation.

Background

JLL (Jones Lang LaSalle) is a Fortune 500 real estate and investment management company with nearly 92,000 specialists in 230 offices operating around the globe.

Ascendix Technologies has cooperated with JLL since 2010.

Thanks to our CRM solutions and products, we significantly simplified and improved the CRM usage of JLL employees and helped JLL to integrate their real estate information into Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Apart from CRM consulting and custom development services, we oversee system maintenance and its uninterrupted operations.

Instead of building a custom CRM from scratch, JLL selected our AscendixRE on top of Microsoft Dynamics and partnered with us to customize it and build additional functionality.

As a result, the JLL team focused on what they are good at, and we focused on the technology.

This approach allowed them to focus their time on integrating other business solutions and problem-solving in more pressing areas.

Chad Lindsey
VP Global IT
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Location
Chicago, Illinois, US
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Employees
92,000
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Industry
Commercial real estate, Capital markets
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Services
Dynamics 365 Implementation, CRE technology consulting, Data Migration, CRM Concierge Service, System Integration, Data Consolidation, Cloud Migration, CRM Adoption, Custom Software Development

JLL is working smarter by taking our approach to buy and then build from the AscendixRE platform. From the get-go, we were able to quickly match up tenants/buyers with available space. We were able to segment and target marketing campaigns based on previous interests. In addition, our data intelligence team was able to forecast better which gave us a competitive advantage. We can now look at opportunity information for trend analysis and prediction. We also have future plans to reward users for adding key data that assist with forecasting.

Pushpa Gowda, Executive Director, Global Technology Engagement, JLL
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Challenges

What challenges were you trying to address with Ascendix Technologies?

Chad: Our initial challenge involved poor CRM adoption. We needed help integrating our real estate information into our system, so we could track properties, leases, sales, and other opportunities.

What was the scope of Ascendix involvement?

Chad: Ascendix integrated our Microsoft CRM into one of their products initially, but we also now use several of their products for many of our locations around the world.

They provide services from three different teams: support, concierge, and operations. If we ever want to do additional work, they’ll help us scope it out and provide a plan for implementation.

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What is the team composition?

Chad: We work with three separate teams that are each supported by a lead manager. Their operations team and concierge teams handle a lot of support for us, while the data team provides developers and data team members.

They also handle any communication needed to Microsoft regarding questions about integrating their tools into our CRM.

I work with up to five developers, depending on the size of the project, as well as a QA analyst and engineer.

Ascendix: We also provide a 24/7 Support team to help JLL users use the system efficiently wherever they are located. Our DevOps team makes sure uninterrupted work of the CRM and optimal hosting.

Ascendix are true consultants, meaning they don’t just do as they’re told without providing feedback and input where they feel it would be helpful. They actually think through the process and are knowledgeable about the commercial real estate. Not many consulting firms can offer that kind of expertise and industry knowledge.

Chad Lisney, Vice President Global IT, JLL

Solutions

1
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Better Forecasting and Marketing Capabilities

Now JLL team is able to segment and target marketing campaigns based on previous interests. In addition, their data intelligence team was able to forecast better which gave them a competitive advantage. They can now look at opportunity information for trend analysis and prediction. They also have future plans to reward users for adding key data that assist with forecasting.

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2
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Robust Map Search

We completely rebuilt a search functionality and made it lightning speed, user-friendly, with multiple advanced search filters including map search. So broker can display a map on an iPad and discuss availabilities. For example, they could pull up a map and show availabilities along a train line per a prospect’s request. Then, they could show pictures of those that meet their specific requirements.

3
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Brochure Generation Tool

Additionally, by using our add-on xRE Composer, they can email the clients’ brochures without leaving their side. The system generates branded brochures and reports automatically by pulling up-to-date property data and images right from CRM. Without this feature, a broker has to take down the information and spend a few days looking at spreadsheets and making calls internally to send the same information to the customer. Speed is key in this business and these tools can provide those out of the gate.

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Duplicate Detection Optimization

Over 5,000 users of JLL CRM interact with data and add new records every day. We created a powerful data duplicate detection tool to notify the team about potential duplicates and to help JLL keep its database clean. Now, every time someone creates a new Account, Contact, Property, Availability, or any other record, we’ll compare these records under the hood with the whole database and let a user know if it is a potential duplicate.

5
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Easy and Secure Data Import and Export

Quite often JLL team needed to create multiple records in bulk instead of manually adding them to the CRM. They also wanted to have a simple way to get the selected data into Excel for further analysis. Ascendix team developed the Excel & CSV export and import tool that made data export and import easy.

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The quality of work Ascendix provides is second to none. They’ve provided CRM solutions that no one else has been able to. Their efforts have helped both our sales force and the dynamics of our practice. The technologies they’ve employed have significantly simplified our CRM usage. Many of our locations require customizations that Ascendix has been able to provide solutions for not available in our native CRM. Their work has driven our adoption, which has increased by about six times what it was before we started working with them

Chad Lisney, Vice President Global IT, JLL
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Results & Feedback

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Chad: The quality of work they provide is second to none. They’ve provided CRM solutions that no one else has been able to. Their efforts have helped both our sales force and the dynamics of our practice.

The technologies they’ve employed have significantly simplified our CRM usage. Many of our locations require customizations that Ascendix has been able to provide solutions for not available in our native CRM.

Their work has driven our adoption, which has increased by about six times what it was before we started working with them.

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Deploying AscendixRE CRM for Dynamics CRM increased the adoption of our CRM solution by making it more relevant and able to manage the specific commercial real estate data necessary to run our business.

Moreover, we were able to bring this rich set of features/functionalities to market in months as opposed to years if we had tried to develop it ourselves.

How did Ascendix Technologies perform from a project management standpoint?

Chad: They’re very organized and responsive. We’re somewhat of a difficult client, consisting of multiple regions with varying requirements and we’re constantly moving things around at the last second, but they do a great job of juggling and prioritizing the workload. I work closely with them if they ever have any questions and we meet regularly.

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What did you find most impressive about Ascendix?

Chad: They’re true consultants, meaning they don’t just do as they’re told without providing feedback and input where they feel it would be helpful. They actually think through the process and are knowledgeable about the commercial real estate. Not many consulting firms can offer that kind of expertise and industry knowledge.

Are there any areas we could improve?

Chad: I just wish the Ascendix team was a little bigger, so I’d have more resources to pull from for last-minute requests.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Chad: Be open to their suggestions and trust their knowledge and expertise in CRM and even in commercial real estate—it’s top-notch.

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Tips on How JLL Achieved a SixFold Increase in CRM Adoption

  • You have to show that CRM can be a market intelligence tool if you capture the data and it can act as a feed to research from brokers.
  • Running meetings using the dashboards makes reporting easier on both managers and brokers. These are two common complaints within the brokerage world that can be fixed by tracking data within the system.
  • Not over-engineer. Start simple. Build from there. And prove the “WIIFM” – What’s In It For Me to the brokers.
  • Automate as much as it is possible to get rid of spreadsheets and endless email sequences.
  • Don’t reinvent the wheel. In most cases, it is much easier to customize the existing good product rather than building it from scratch.
  • Have a CRM evangelist in the team to help your team raise awareness of and promote your technology offerings

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Dynamics CRM 2011 On-premise to Online Migration

When we first installed AscendixRE as an on-premise solution for JLL, we didn’t fully appreciate the integral role our product was going to have in centralizing their property data as a repository for employees across the globe.

After five years of active usage, the project expanded across new lines of business and international borders which in turn increased the value proposition of this investment to JLL’s global operations.

Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), an innovative leader in global commercial real estate, operated smoothly on Microsoft Dynamics CRM, SharePoint, and Office 365, but as they looked ahead to the future, they weren’t going to have the agility and flexibility they needed to grow.

It became clear, that supporting on-premise CRM is not a good idea anymore.

Moving to the cloud was the answer.

Migrating our AscendixRE solution from on-premise to the cloud increased our ability to reach corners of the globe that would not have been possible in the past.

I’ve been at JLL for 16 years, and we’re not the same company we were when I started. We need technology that grows with us and allows for customization across all business lines globally. If we are going to remain a thought leader in commercial real estate, it’s crucial that we not only have the right data analytics tools but also have systems that are agile and flexible.

Greg Adams, Managing Director of Information Technology for JLL

JLL Sees Cloud as the Answer

As leaders at Jones Lang LaSalle looked ahead and anticipated future growth, they could see that the tools they used would be a barrier to growth.

JLL used Microsoft Dynamics CRM on-premise for several years when decided to add 3,500 Microsoft Dynamics CRM online seats to their current 2,000, allowing their offices in Asia, EMEA, Australia, the US, and beyond to have access to the same data analytics tools and more seamlessly integrate across continents.

Their systems would need to be more agile for fast-decision making, and more flexible to allow for rapid changes as they grew. Going to the cloud would provide the freedom they needed.

We successfully migrated Microsoft Dynamics on-premise CRM to the cloud as well as their full Microsoft stack.

As a result, JLL started using their Microsoft Dynamics CRM system as a hub of information for their properties, accounts, and services so their people not only have the right information, anywhere, on any device but also can be more proactive in their discussions with customers.

With a company of our size, you have to have customizations around business processes – both for individual offices and across the entire company. As we look to the future, if it can’t operate in the cloud, we will probably look elsewhere.

Greg Adams, Managing Director of Information Technology for JLL