One week to plan and less than two weeks to build and deploy – that was the experience of MBIE’s New Zealand Government Procurement (NZGP) when integrating the New Zealand Business Number (NZBN) with its Client Relationship Management (CRM) tool.
The NZBN is a globally unique identifier for all government agencies and Kiwi businesses. It links to core business information – including trading names and addresses – and makes that information easily and digitally accessible.
The NZBN legislation came into effect in April 2016 and included Government Directions that set out requirements and timeframes for the NZBN’s implementation by more than 90 government agencies. NZGP has already met the next milestone for many government agencies, December 2020, when they need to be using the NZBN and the NZBN Register electronically.
NZGP supports the public sector with their procurement needs, and sets the standard for good procurement practice across the sector.
While NZGP could see the potential of the NZBN, and its power to automatically connect NZGP’s CRM to validate business data using NZBN’s Application Programming Interface (API), they thought the integration would need to be run as a separate project. However, a change of plans left a window in their product enhancement programme, and the NZBN integration easily slotted in to business as usual.
The three week turnaround was also possible because:
- NZGP uses Dynamics 365, a CRM common in the public sector.
- Intergen had already created a white paper for a Dynamics 365 integration and the necessary open source code.
- Datacom’s Microsoft dynamics team had the source code and provided design, development and consulting to develop this product for the NZBN.
At a very practical level, NZGP is now enjoying the same time saving and data accuracy the NZBN enhancement has given many Kiwi businesses. Their contract admin team used to have to manually enter new supplier details when on-boarding new vendors. Now the team just starts typing the business name and the core business information auto-populates (much like NZ Post’s address and postcode finder).
NZGP’s Senior Business Systems Analyst Alex Collie says “the team loves using the NZBN, as it makes the process much easier for them and they can trust the data that’s going into their CRM and other systems.”
There’ll be future enhancements too, as NZGP identifies more ways to make use of the NZBN API. NZGP expects to soon have the NZBN fully integrated as a field on the Government Electronic Tender System (GETS).
“The simplicity of the CRM integration made us more confident about how we will integrate the NZBN into our other systems,” Alex says.
NZGP’s use of the NZBN is a great example of New Zealand government and businesses being digitally enabled and directly transacting with one another. As more government agencies and businesses embrace the NZBN, it will transform the way we work together.