Category Archives: News

Qlik with QGate

LUSH has been nominated for a Retail Systems Award!

lush-logoWe are proud to report that our customer Lush has been shortlisted for a Retail Systems Award in the category of Big Data Initiative of the Year.

Now in their ninth year, the Retail Systems Awards recognize technology excellence and innovation within the retail sector.  They present an opportunity for organisations to gain the prestige of public acknowledgement as being the leader in their field.

This award will go to a company who is able to show a real understanding and grasp of the Big Data challenge.  Retailers are sitting on huge quantities of their own data as well as information from other sources in the expanding digital universe.  The winning entry will show an organisation successfully taking on the Big Data challenge.

Poole-based Lush has 900 stores in 51 countries and is a manufacturer as well as a retailer.  In 2010 it needed a technology platform that could be used by employees at every level throughout the business to provide access to vital sales, stock, store and staff information.  QGate helped deploy the software, and we are still Lush’s main point of contact with QlikView.

Our QlikView deployment at Lush deployment represents a real-life example of how our fast path workshop can enable companies to do great things quickly, using their own internal resources and without incurring large external consulting costs.


For more information on the Retail Systems Awards, click here.

To read more about how we helped Lush make their data work for them, read the case study on our blog:

Finally, for more information about Business Intelligence solutions please contact us or visit the BI page on our main site.

QGate: To create a world in which data works – We Understand Data



QGate intelli-CTi for Microsoft Dynamics CRM

New Feature Preview – USD support

As part of the Leo Spring 2014 release, Microsoft has focused on the area of customer service.  A new module called the Unified Service Desk (USD) has been made available aimed at the larger call centre, customer service operations.

Watch our video on the preview of QGate’s intelli-CTi integration with the Microsoft Unified Service Desk (USD) module for Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Further information on this subject can be found in our recent blog article – USD, CTI and intelli-CTi

Featured image - intelli-CTi

Customer Success Story – Full Marks for Customer Service

Home Learning College, a distance learning provider with more than 65.000 students, learnt an important lesson when it gave its outsourced call centre notice and brought its student enquiry service in-house.

The college installed new technology to integrate its telephones and computer system – computer telephony integration (CTI). Now when prospective students ring to enquire about training, they’re talking to an operator who can find and deliver the information about the course they need more efficiently.

Home Learning College has given CTI full marks. “We’ve seen increased conversion rate since moving from the outsourced call centre”, says Robert Baber, the college’s system’s manager.

The college has demonstrated that with easy-to-use software, such as the Sage Saleslogix it installed, it’s not difficult to reap benefits such as cost savings, improved data accuracy and happier customers.

Until now relatively few businesses have used CTI. “But in the past 12 months we’ve seen a big increase in momentum”, says Rowland Dexter, managing director of QGate Software, a customer relationship management  (CRM) consultancy and business intelligence and CTI provider.

Dexter sees a range of business benefits for companies using CTI. For example, they can route calls to the right operator. Furthermore, because CTI software can do the look up work automatically, operators get the information they need on their screens quicker – instantly providing the information the caller wants.

“At every stage you’re saving here and a few seconds there, but over a lot of calls that can mount into quite a cost reduction”, says Dexter.

He makes the point that CTI is not just about call centres – it’s about delivering customer service which goes that extra mile. “Any business that aims to provide good customer service – and that uses CRM to achieve its aim and telephones as part of its communications channel – will benefit from linking CRM and telephony.”

Dexter maintains that the key to success in a CTI project such as this is “understanding why you’re doing it and communicate to your user base the reasons for it – why you’re providing this extra facility for them.

And with out-of-the-box software available for CTI , it need not take long to complete a project. At Home Learning College, the work took just four weeks from trial, testing, acceptance and installation to roll-out and going live.

“The technical barriers to CTI are coming down”, says Dexter. “It has become easier and more accessible technology. Any good vendor should allow you to try in your business at no cost so that you can evaluate it before you make an investment”.

Customer Success Story – Lush Cleans up on Data with QlikView

QGate and our customer Lush feature in Computer Weekly article…

Poole-based Lush has some 900 stores in 51 countries and is a manufacturer as well as a retailer. It has a range of datasets, including retail data within EPOS systems, supply chain and stock management, payroll and timesheet systems. In 2010 it needed a technology platform that could be used by employees at every level throughout the business to provide access to relevant sales, stock, store and staff information. A CRM consultancy and BI provider QGate, based close to Lush’s headquarters in Fareham, helped deploy the software, “and they are still our main point of contact with Qlik”, says Silverthorn.

The full article can be read here.

Featured image - MSCRM

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Spring ’14 Release


Microsoft have been working hard to improve the capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. The Spring ’14 release includes improvements for Marketing, Customer Service, and Social. This article takes a look at the new features Microsoft Dynamics CRM Spring ’14 release has to offer including some of Microsoft’s latest acquisitions; Marketing Pilot, Parature and NetBreeze.

“At Microsoft Dynamics, our vision is to help our customers deliver the kinds of amazing customer experiences that will help their business thrive. To do this, we feel there are three things organizations need to be able to do:

  • They need to be able to market smarter – planning and delivering engaging campaigns, then being able to prove the quantifiable results of their efforts.
  • They need to be able to sell effectively – enabling their salespeople to focus on what matters so that they can close more deals, faster.
  • And they need to provide customer service everywhere – they need to be responsive, delivering relevant information so that in every moment of truth, they can earn customers for life.”


New Look and Feel

Built around Marketing Pilot, the new marketing area offers a new drag and drop visual campaign designer. The intuitive visual designer makes it easy for marketers to create multi-channel campaigns integrated with email marketing and social channels.


New dashboards, KPI’s, reports and charts allow marketers to quickly identify leads generated, email effectiveness, landing page opens, and budget performance.

Email Marketing

You can now send highly personalized email messages to drive improved open rates. Personalize the content per sender, recipient, subject & content allowing you to send fewer emails with greater business results.

Sales and Marketing Connector

The Dynamics Marketing Connector is new and improved, with easy configuration and a UI for data mapping. Users can configure data mapping to bring in important information on the contact and lead to assist in better lead scoring. Sales gets better quality leads as a result. Rich information means that reporting on lead pipeline and lead conversion is easily accessible in reports.

Customer Service

Microsoft have put in a considerable amount of effort to make Customer Service the force it should be. Microsoft Dynamics CRM enables companies to earn customers for life by providing relevant, responsive and personalized service. Companies can connect their customers with the right answers to their service inquiries at the right time, via their channel of choice across web, social, chat, mobile and phone. Agents are empowered with a single, unified experience to deliver amazing customer experience with cross-channel context.


With the inclusion of Parature, a full suite of Customer Service tools are now available for Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Parature includes.

  • Parature Portal
  • Parature Mobile Self-Service
  • Parature Facebook Portal
  • Parature Real-time Chat
  • Parature Knowledgebase

Unified Service Desk

The new Unified Service Desk offers powerful desktop designed to improve key business metrics such as Average Handling Time, First Call Resolution and Customer Satisfaction by providing agents a unified experience to access all of the tasks and applications across their environment. Customers can easily create agent desktop applications through a configurable interface within Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Case Management

Case management has been improved with an updated case form. You can now view merged cases, view or add child cases, review entitlements, and even add a Timer to ensure you do not exceed/breach your SLA’s.


Microsoft Social Listening

Microsoft Social Listening is a powerful new service powered by NetBreeze. It can be used to monitor social media channels like Twitter and Facebook. Use Microsoft Social Listening to track products, brands, competitors, and campaigns globally and in real time to gain a true understanding of your customers and your business across the social web.

Social Insights

Microsoft Social Listening visuals can be added your CRM dashboards and forms. These Social Insights charts and graphs help you identify buzz, trends and sentiment related to things like your customers, campaigns and competitors.


As well as all the new features around marketing, customer service and social, Microsoft Dynamics CRM has improved the platform and mobile capabilities.

Mobile Apps

The mobile app has been extended to include Customer Service capabilities optimized for people who are always on the move but want to keep an eye on high priority Cases, monitor Queues or route items across the queues to deliver amazing experiences no matter where they are.

Server-side sync and SharePoint integration

There have been improvements to Server-side synchronisation and SharePoint integration for CRM Online. Server-side sync now offers greater stability and SharePoint integration no longer required list components for CRM Online and SharePoint Online.

Sandbox Environments

There is now the concept of Sandbox Environments to allow users to develop and test customizations in an isolated, non-production online environment. Administrators can copy a CRM Online instance into a sandbox instance.

New CRM Online Admin Centre

This can be made possible with the new CRM Online Admin Centre. Administrators can easily manage their test and production Dynamics CRM Online environments.


Support has been added to the follow products

  • Windows 8.1
  • Internet Explorer 11
  • iOS7 Safari on iPad (web application)
  • iPad Air using Safari (web application)
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 (CRM server)
  • iPad Air using CRM for Tablets


The Microsoft Dynamics CRM Spring ’14 release has lots to offer and covers a lot of ground for marketing, customer service and social. There are also improvements for administrators who look after CRM.

Pricing and Licensing

Some of the new features such as Microsoft Social Listening and Parature require additional licensing. Please contact your Partner or QGate for more information.

CRM Online and CRM On-Premise

This release is available for both CRM Online and CRM On-Premise although some features may differ between versions. CRM Online customers will have the ability to “Opt-In”. The On-premise update will be in the form of service pack 1.

Further Information

Further information is available from Microsoft by visiting their Get ready for the next release page.

If you need any specific information on any of the new features and changes to licensing contact your partner or visit the QGate Knowledgebase.


intelli-CTi for Saleslogix

Press Release: QGate launches its next generation of their telephony integration solution, intelli-CTi for Saleslogix

Every business in today’s difficult economic world wants to grow, retain their existing customers, reduce costs and have competitive advantage. They can do this by improving the service they offer their own customers – all they need is the right tools to do the job…

QGate Software Ltd, specialists in Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) and CRM, today launched their latest version of their CTI solution – intelli-CTi for Saleslogix.

QGate’s intelli-CTi™ solution enables the simple integration of phone systems to software applications such as CRM, increasing the efficiency and productivity of phone centric activities. Benefits include:

• Improved customer relationships, service levels and customer satisfaction
• Personalised telephone interaction by identifying callers automatically
• Increased telephone call efficiency and throughput
• Increased business productivity and ease of use
• Accurate logging of calls and notes
• Straightforward deployment
• Rich function with no development cost
• Customisable if required
• Over 60 phone system makes and models supported

Our latest release of intelli-CTi for Saleslogix continues our commitment to Saleslogix and mirrors the investment being made by Swiftpage into the product” said Rowland Dexter, QGate’s Managing Director, “We have extended the benefits of intelli-CTI for Saleslogix web client users and simplified installation where a large number of users are to be rolled out, both areas where we are seeing an increasing trend for Saleslogix.”

This new release provides both new features and enhancements including:

      Compatibility with Saleslogix v8.1 for both Hosted and On Premise, whilst retaining compatibility with previous versions of Saleslogix from Saleslogix v7.5.4 upwards.

• Compatiblilty with Microsoft Windows Version 8 Desktop Mode

• New Feature – QGate Solution Center– a diagnostic feature that checks compatibly across the installation. The Solution Center feature will highlight potential conflicts and provide references to online Knowledgebase articles. This is a unique feature designed to assist and simplify installation and of the solution.

• Support for Large Scale Deployments via silent installs, first time execution prompts for user personalisation of the solution and the ability to provide managed central configuration management

• Enhanced Call Wrap-up. At the point of post call wrap-up, provides the ability to summarise the call, capture further information.

• Several User Interface enhancements focused on improving the user experience, including support for Windows large fonts.

• Supports over 60 makes and models of phone system both on premise and hosted including Microsoft Lync further information is available on QGate’s Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) Phone System Compatibility List,

Further product information and Feature Highlights for this Release can be found on our website at

For a 30 day test drive go here 

Qlik with QGate

Latest QGate Customer Success Story – LUSH Cosmetics

Our Qlik and Lush deployment represents real-life examples of how our fast path workshop can enable companies to do great things quickly, using their own internal resources and without incurring large external consulting costs. 

Here is an overview of this success story:

LUSH make headlines with their Business Intelligence Solution, Qlik,  from QGate

This latest customer success story has received a lot of press coverage and has been featured in The Evening Standard and on BBC News as well as many other sites globally.

For more detail read our blog article:

QGate’s customer and solution features in London Evening Standard

To find out how Qlik can help your organisation, contact us to download a free trial and see for yourself how it easy it is to use.

News – Latest QGate Update for Our Microsoft Customers

October 2013 EditionQGate Logo

We are in the midst of exciting developments for Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Not only are we at the CRMUG Summit this week, with TWO more Microsoft events fast approaching – eXtremeCRM 2013 Anaheim and Microsoft Convergence 2013 Barcelona - Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 is also being officially launched at Convergence!

We have been involved in testing the beta version and are currently testing our own solutions against this latest version. If Black and White Media requires any help or advice, then please contact us or visit our specific Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 News Page.

I hope you find the content of this QGate Update useful. To keep up to date with us and the industry, follow our Social links below, or subscribe to the QGate Blog.

Kind Regards,

Rowland Dexter
Managing Director

Our latest newsletter had further details and other interesting Microsoft Dynamics CRM information, you can find this latest update here.

QGate’s customer and solution features in London Evening Standard

Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics Cleans Up with Qlik, Achieves Savings of £1 Million

QGate’s customer, LUSH,  featured in the London Evening Standard:  “Fresh Idea:  Cosmetic retailer Lush’s new application will give shop staff access to data, which they can use to improve sales and performance” on 1 April 2014, full details of this Business Intelligence solution supplied by QGate, can be found in this press release.  

Extract from London Evening Standard dated 1 April 2014:


Big data is changing the way we work, with the latest app introduced by Lush, the fresh, handmade cosmetics retailer, designed to get staff competing for sales. 

Shop staff will be given access to data analytics to see how sales compare to other stores in a bid to tap into their ambitious natures and drive up competition.

Gamification (game-playing) is increasingly being used to attract and engage staff, with recent research from IBM showing that seven in 10 of the world’s biggest firms will use some sort of gamification by the end of this year.  Firms such as KPMG are already using gamification to increase their graduate intake.

However, the QlikView system doesn’t just generate sales, it saves overheads.  As all products are created from fresh ingredients, the retailer has saved £1 million through ensuring it only orders exactly what it needs.  Scott Silverthorn, head of data services at Lush, says:  “Our colleagues are naturally very inquisitive people and giving them access to data means they can find ways to improve performance and do a better job.”

Further stories regarding our customer success story can be found at the links below:

BBC News : Big Data Retailing Offers Tailor-Made Shopping for All

Business Wire: LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics Cleans Up with Qlik, Achieves Savings of £1 Million 

Data Clear Group: Cosmetics Company LUSH Saves £1m with Analytics

Essential Retail: Lush fostering healthy staff competition with data tool

Information Age: LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics saves £1 million with user-driven BI

IT Pro Portal: Lush saves £1m through innovative in-store data analytics

Retail Gazette: Lush saving £1M using in-store analytics to drive sales

Retail Systems: Lush Taps into Data Analytics

Tech Bubbles: LUSH uses Data to Improve In-Store Performance