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Dallas Cowboys Tackle Challenges of Spreading Line of Business by Teaming Up With Microsoft Dynamics Technologies


Much more than a football team, the Dallas Cowboys draft Microsoft Dynamics AX and Microsoft Dynamics CRM to consolidate business data from across all the organization’s businesses.

REDMOND, Wash.— The Dallas Cowboys Football Club, accustomed to drawing X’s and O’s on paper to diagram its next moves, has chosen a team of integrated Microsoft technologies, including Microsoft Dynamics AX and Microsoft Dynamics CRM, to consolidate customer information from its broad range of businesses into a single integrated database. Microsoft Corp. today announced the decision by the Dallas Cowboys, an ever-changing business enterprise covering a multitude of products, services and locations.

The Dallas Cowboys team also is designing, developing, constructing and implementing the new state-of-the-art Cowboys Stadium that will become its home in 2009. Some of the enterprise’s businesses include managing 35 retail pro shops selling Cowboys merchandise, the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, a medical MRI center, and oil and gas companies. The football team previously used Microsoft Dynamics NAV as its accounting system; however, the rest of the enterprise businesses relied until now on a variety of desktop databases, spreadsheets and pen-and-paper methods for their operations.

To better accommodate its growth, the Dallas Cowboys evaluated a number of enterprise resource planning systems, including those from SAP, Oracle Corp., JD Edwards and PeopleSoft, before choosing Microsoft Dynamics AX as the foundation for its infrastructure and Microsoft Dynamics CRM to spearhead its plans to create a single view of its customers. The team’s new technology also incorporates the Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management System to provide centralized control for all its retail stores, Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server 2003 for routing forms and for intranet communication, as well as Manhattan Associates’ Warehouse Management system.

“The Microsoft suite of products fits the business architecture we envisioned for the enterprise, the new stadium and beyond,” said Pete Walsh, head of technology for the Cowboys. “When we developed the IT strategy in 2005, we were looking at integrated solutions for all the enterprise businesses, not just one. This would allow technology to be a business enabler for now and into the foreseeable future.”

The Cowboys saw the following primary advantages in Microsoft Dynamics AX and Microsoft Dynamics CRM:

Comprehensive supply chain management. Microsoft Dynamics AX and Microsoft Dynamics CRM allow the organization to track the supply chain management processes, including sales, receiving orders for Cowboys merchandise, and retrieving items from the warehouse and sending them to retailers, wholesalers or directly to fans. The organization found a strategic advantage in being able to rely on one system across the entire enterprise for its supply chain needs

Consolidated revenue data. The Cowboys organization plans to migrate most of its businesses to Microsoft Dynamics AX before moving into the new stadium in 2009. Suite sales, catering sales, season ticket sales, concession sales and other revenue streams will be consolidated within the Microsoft Dynamics AX accounting functions.

Consolidated customer information. When Cowboys fans buy merchandise from one of the team’s pro shops, purchase a ticket to a game or concert at the stadium, register for cheerleader camp, or use any of the other services from the Cowboys enterprise, all customer information is captured and tracked in up-to-the-minute fashion through Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Walsh believes this information alone, when shared across the enterprise, will open up avenues of integrated revenue that have previously been untapped.

Implementation support. For such an extensive systems upgrade, the Cowboys internal IT team was too small to accomplish the implementation alone. The organization looked for and found a business partner with the breadth and depth of expertise the Cowboys IT team was seeking. Microsoft aligned the Cowboys with several strategic business partners that teamed up to fulfill the technology’s potential.

“The Microsoft Dynamics technology provides a seamless opportunity for our fans and our customers to take advantage of all the different products and services we offer,” Walsh said. “We believe the Cowboys implementation team, coupled with the integrated Microsoft team, has developed a sound business strategy and is refining many of our business processes to make us successful both on and off the playing field.”

Microsoft Dynamics AX will provide the Cowboys with the common platform the company has been seeking for financial transactions while enabling alignment of all the organization’s disparate accounting and reporting systems. Microsoft Dynamics CRM allows the enterprise to capture customer data from merchandise, marketing, fan clubs and other sources in one database, replacing the 15 to 20 databases previously used to store customer information and providing the management team with up-to-date figures at its fingertips.

“The Dallas Cowboys’ selection of Microsoft Dynamics AX and Microsoft Dynamics CRM reflects the organization’s recognition of the true competitive edge that integrating information can provide in any field, from the back office to cheering customers to a hundred other points of contact,” said Michael Park, corporate vice president for U.S. Microsoft Dynamics business at Microsoft. “By automating the links between individualized customer behaviors, enterprisewide sales and financial accounting, Microsoft Dynamics technology allows the Cowboys to spot new opportunities and new routes to catch more of the marketplace.”


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