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Challenges addressed:

Multi-disciplinary property partnership Carter Jonas was looking to overcome the following challenges:

  • Upgrading from their old on-premise CRM, Microsoft Dynamics 2011 CRM, to the latest Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement version. This move would better align with their cloud-first strategy
  • Improving their customer profiling process as it's currently not as efficient or as simple as it could be
  • Bringing disparate information into one centralised location and improving the efficiency of data analysis in the process

The value we added:

By moving Carter Jonas from Microsoft Dynamics 2011 CRM to the latest Customer Engagement version and installing some additional solutions (Columbus Profiler and Power Apps), we helped the team:

  • Leverage the additional features and benefits of the latest D365CE version
  • Align with their cloud-first strategy
  • Improve their management information
  • Achieve GDPR compliance
  • And more

About Carter Jonas

Headquartered in London with 33 UK offices and over 800+ staff, Carter Jonas is intent on helping clients realise their goals and aspirations by providing the mantra of ‘simply better advice’.

Their core property services are focused on:

  • Rural
  • Residential
  • Planning and Development
  • Commercial

The Carter Jonas vision is to balance a distinguished history with modern services and a cutting-edge approach that focuses on two core areas:

  • To strengthen their position as a major and distinctive national firm, providing a full range of integrated property services to both corporate and private clients
  • To deliver these services by providing outstanding client advice against a culture of constant innovation


Carter Jonas London headquarters


Challenge #1: Upgrading from an on-premise CRM to a modern cloud version

Carter Jonas was using Microsoft Dynamics 2011 CRM to manage their business and while the platform performed well, it was a highly modified on-premise environment. In line with their ‘Strategic Roadmap 2025’, the business decided to update their on-premise Dynamics CRM platform to the latest Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement (CE) version and align with their cloud-first strategy.

Benefits of the cloud

"As part of the IT vision and in context of the business strategy leading to 2025, we needed a contact management system which could handle a multi-disciplined business. It's part of our cloud-first approach - to ensure we have a secure and robust system to manage our business-to-business contact data."

Tim Spencer, IT Director at Carter Jonas

The objectives Carter Jonas set out to achieve with their roadmap included:

  • Leveraging the additional features and benefits of the latest D365CE cloud solution
  • Removing unwanted modifications in the old CRM - to be as close as possible to Off-The-Shelf (OTS) without compromising their key business requirements
  • Improving management’s information to help better serve their marketing and other commercial activities
  • Providing full support for GDPR compliance to the business and to re-assure their customers
  • Providing mobile access for all staff
  • Improving integration between their CRM, Outlook, NAV and other business systems

The journey to Microsoft Dynamics 365

Carter Jonas worked with the Columbus team’s methodology and project governance processes to update their old solution to the current Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement. This was a step by step process – the critical elements were:

  • The overall end to end management of the upgrade process by Columbus Global
  • To create a clone of the existing system
  • To review the system, remove non-critical developments and replace these with core capabilities
  • To execute the formal documented upgrade strategy
  • To re-design website integration
  • To build new features on the updated Dynamics 365 platform

The upgrade process was done quickly and has proven for Carter Jonas to be a very valuable exercise, removing old out-of-date custom processes with a much cleaner, easy-to-use solution that’s much closer to the standard Dynamics 365 platform.

Columbus methodology

The Columbus methodology


Challenge #2: Improving the customer profiling process

Carter Jonas has always taken care to make sure customers and prospects receive only the appropriate communications for their particular interests.


The task of profiling customers was taking staff through multiple screens and systems which was less efficient than they wanted. So one of the challenges was to make profiling customers and contacts a much simpler, more effective process.

improving customer profiling

This is where the Columbus Profiler came in, allowing staff to:

  • Easily capture a contact’s interests
  • Mark them in a simple drag and drop single screen

And this could happen on any device while totally mobile. This meant that the customer service staff and the marketing team could confidently:

  • Segment their customers and contacts
  • Collate and sort the information they needed
  • Offer their customers accurately tailored messages

Columbus profiler screenshot - Carter Jonas

An example profile in Columbus Profiler


Challenge #3: Consolidating disparate information and improving the efficiency of data analysis

Carter Jonas receives a large amount of very valuable information from their website. This was historically reviewed using complex queries and often meant the information was held in separate places. This then led to staff requiring too much time querying and navigating of the system.


The introduction of embedded Power Apps has significantly improved the user experience by enabling visualisation of the information feed from the website in a single location.


In addition, this has enabled custom-made dashboards, views and documents to be created based on user needs without the need to introduce custom code.

Power Apps screenshot


"Carter Jonas gave us the creative freedom to explore the best options for their system and the new world of Dynamics 365, supported by the amazing features offered by the Power Platform.”

Craig Hamer, CRM Solutions Architect

A summary of what Carter Jonas has achieved

The upgrade process to D365 CE has enabled Carter Jonas to:

  • Leverage the additional features and benefits of the latest D365CE version
  • Align with their cloud-first strategy
  • Remove unwanted modifications
  • Run the software off-the-shelf without compromising their key business requirements.
  • Improve their management information
  • Improve their marketing and commercial activities with Columbus Profiler
  • Achieve GDPR compliance
  • Improve integration with Outlook, Microsoft NAV and other business systems
  • Give mobile access to all their staff
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