Digitization – good, fast and cheap: actually impossible, we deliver anyway!

In the case of our digitization project for VOICE, a number of challenges became apparent in advance: the demands of top CIOs, the tight budget of an association, and the time constraints of annual billing at the beginning of the year. In summary: It had to be good, fast and cheap - and CEYOND delivered!

The task was to create the prerequisites for sales optimization in an initial project. VOICE was to be enabled to maintain customer data in a structured and optimal manner in the course of the sales process. This required the establishment of a suitable IT system.

In the end, an implementation was created that not only allows data to be stored in high quality and quantity, but also guides through the business processes in a user-friendly and complete manner. Digital, innovative and – true to our motto – beyond! 

Replacing the legacy systems

Our customer relies on the market-leading CRM system Zoho. After the basic installation, we took on the challenge of transferring the historical data from an 8-year-old legacy system. In the process, we quickly realized that, in addition to a pure data migration, an enormous increase in data quality and a complex cleanup of the data inconsistencies that had arisen were also required. With the help of Zoho Analytics, we were able to completely import the historical information and, thanks to our data routines, prepare and cleanse it. The data transfer was done in iterative steps. With the help of reports, the degree of cleansing could be made transparent at any point in time and manual check steps could be targeted (e.g. for resolving existing duplicates).

We were able to gain speed and quality through this approach as well as create the possibility to preserve and archive legacy data in the form of a look-in and look-up system. This is especially important for financial data!

Digitization of billing

Using Zoho Subscriptions and Zoho Books, we were able to automate the billing of memberships and service packages. A particular challenge was to map VOICE‘s existing products into a Zoho Subscriptions subscription model. However, since billing is subject to special requirements, such as calendar-year and non-contract-year billing, CEYOND developed and integrated additional software components. This enabled us to individualize the complete billing logic and to meet the requirements 100%.

The time-related top-down specification of the annual billing limited the implementation period to a few weeks. Thanks to the boundless commitment of the entire project team, which even worked tirelessly overtime during the Christmas and New Year’s Eve period, the deadline was finally met.

Digitization of registrations and deregistrations

The complete registration and deregistration process for members has been digitized and automated. New members can register via an online form and are automatically created in Zoho CRM. There, the internal approval process is controlled automatically via blueprints and workflows. At the various event points, there are also automatic notifications for the employees and finally for the new members of VOICE.

With the help of Zoho Forms, the existing offline registration form could be digitized, simplified and finally replaced. The requirements regarding fields, processing logic and design could be implemented by customizing Zoho Forms.

Digitization of member communication

With Zoho Campaigns, the existing newsletter was replaced and a new tool for mass mailings was established. In addition, Zoho Survey is now used for online surveys. In this way, direct feedback from members can be obtained and processed or evaluated. Mail templates for the sales process were set up in Zoho CRM to standardize and simplify mail traffic.

A special feature is the additional integration with Microsoft Teams, the platform used for communication with and among members. Through a user-defined module in Zoho CRM and an interface to MS Teams from CEYOND, new members are automatically created after a successful registration and configured accordingly or activated to the different member groups.

Digitization of sales

A core element of the digitization project is contact and company management. The special challenge lies in the fact that both people and companies can be customers of VOICE. But even this high complexity of customer relationships could be managed with Zoho CRM. In addition, the financial tools (Zoho Books, Zoho Subscriptions) and the marketing tools (Zoho Campaigns, Zoho Survey, Zoho Forms) were also networked with the CRM system. The integration was completed with individual automations through workflows, formulas and functions. The result of the linked data and networked applications: a continuous 360-degree view of the customer.

In order to ensure high data quality with minimal maintenance over the runtime, CEYOND’s innovative data enrichment solutions were used:

Auto Gender and Salutation Detection

What do business cards, address books, registration forms or leads via webinars and the like often fail to provide? Correct: the gender. But that’s exactly what is so urgently needed in daily communication with customers, partners and other important people to avoid embarrassing salutation faux pas.

Personal Addressing Automated
Auto Gender Detection for Zoho CRM
The first automatic gender recognition
for a CRM system - and it's free!

Save your precious time with data maintenance
and do not compromise on data quality.


CEYOND’s Auto Gender and Salutation Detection Extension recognizes the correct gender in 99.9% of cases based on the first name and can generate the formal and informal salutation with special routines. This also solves the special requirements of the German-speaking world (Du and Sie form, title prefix and suffix, etc.).

Auto Company Detection

In practice, there is often a surmountable problem: on the one hand, you want to know as much as possible about the company and its customers, but on the other hand, you cannot provide the necessary data maintenance effort. The problem is well known: there are 100 attributes for a company, but very few of them are maintained and up-to-date. A consequential problem is the ongoing creation of duplicates. The different spellings of company names (e.g. with or without Gmbh, written out or in short form, etc.) result in duplicate entries, which lead to inconsistencies and can result in incorrect information for employees.

CEYOND’s Auto Company Detection provides a remedy. Based on unique characteristics, such as company name, website, domain or phone number, the CEYOND extension recognizes the company to be created or updated. Further information is queried in the background via a central database and automatically written to the Zoho CRM system by VOICE.

The following information is enriched by Auto Company Detection:

  • Basic data: Name (according to company register), description, logo, industry, website, phone, email, address.
  • Key figures: Turnover per year, number of employees, IT budget
  • Enhanced: Vat-ID, company register no. / commercial register, management, owner, date of foundation, technologies used
  • Social Media: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Xing, Youtube

The data for this data enrichment is provided by CEYOND on the one hand and continuously maintained by the community on the other hand. This is done by the implemented self-learning routine and is based on the following approach: if a gender cannot be resolved for a name or if no information is found for a company, a manual entry is made by the user. The data is also stored in the central database so that the information can be made available the next time a query is made. This exclusive innovation ensures sustainable data quality and a large volume of data. Currently, approx. 80,000 first names and 300,000 companies are known.

Implementation of digitization

In order to achieve the high degree of digitization and automation, the CEYOND project approach was applied. After an intensive 3-day workshop at the beginning of the project, a rough concept for the implementation was created. In this, the implementation goals, the business procedures for the individual processes and the tools and technologies to be used were recorded. This was followed by an agile implementation in 3-week sprints. Progress was reported transparently to the core team and the project steering committee – of course with a dashboard in Zoho Analytics.

Operation and maintenance of the digital implementation

After the successful project implementation and establishment of the new tools and processes, a maintenance mode for VOICE was agreed upon and started. CEYOND is available as a Single Point of Contact (SPOC) and intervenes within defined response times in case of need or error. A ticket system (of course with Zoho Desk) regulates the troubleshooting processes and creates transparent traceability.


The goal was to digitize customer management through an innovative CRM solution, integrate modern marketing functions and fully automate billing. This was to create the basis for the further rollout of the Zoho One Suite and a subsequent process optimization.

As a result, the employee is guided through the process and has an application available that stores and provides all relevant and desired information in a structured manner.

The result, in addition to the establishment of the Zoho One Suite, is an optimization and expansion of the business processes. The processes were automated as far as possible and mapped by workflows. Users are informed event-driven and prompted for required work steps.

As a result, a toolset was introduced and configured or expanded so that the employees concerned are guided through the process automatically.

Or expressed differently in pictures. You are probably familiar with the following illustration from IT and digital projects. In this project, together with the customer, we proved that it is possible to implement a digitization project inexpensively, quickly and in high quality.

In summary, we delivered the project “on time”, “on budget” and with a greatly increased scope. Congratulations and a big thank you to the joint project team!

Who is VOICE?

With over 2,600 companies, VOICE is now the largest representation of digital decision-makers on the user side in the German-speaking world. They represent a cross-section of DAX, MDAX and medium-sized companies. The federal association brings together decision-makers in IT and digital business from leading companies of various sizes and industries. VOICE‘s primary goal is to further strengthen the competitiveness of member companies through the use of digital technologies.

Success Story: Wie wir die Grenzen von Zoho gesprengt haben

The work of the association comprises three pillars: The knowledge platform. Here, the classic exchange of information takes place via a digital platform. The network, on the other hand, brings members together in specialist and regional groups and thus facilitates the exchange of experts. The representation of interests as an important pillar in politics supports the protection of the interests of user companies vis-à-vis national and European politics as well as vis-à-vis the IT provider community.

How did VOICE benefit from Zoho and CEYOND after only a short time?

Process optimization has made many business processes simpler and thus more efficient. Manual activities were reduced or automated. All processes were documented as part of the system implementation.

The improved data quality now enables target group-oriented sales and marketing activities. Dashboards now provide immediate information on various business key figures.

All employees, regardless of location, now have access to all relevant member data and work together in the new CRM system.

Communication with members is now state of the art with automatic workflows, e.g. in the onboarding of new members. With Zoho One, VOICE has a scalable and future-oriented CRM system.

What does VOICE say about CEYOND?

There are not many professional CRM implementers. With CEYOND, we found a reliable and highly competent partner with whom we immediately felt in good hands. The commitment of all project members went far beyond the normal level. Even weekend assignments during the “hot phase” were therefore no problem.

The cooperation was always friendly and result-oriented. Together we have achieved a lot in this project, thank you CEYOND!

We are looking forward to the further joint projects!


Do you have further questions or would you like to meet the project team in person? Then please leave us a short message and we will get back to you shortly.

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Customer Happiness Manager


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