Silverbear technology supports Royal College of Nursing’s vital work during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond


The Royal College of Nursing (“RCN”) is a membership organisation and trade union helping nurses, students and nursing support workers caring for patients across the United Kingdom, by looking after their interests and supporting their work. It has been one of the most vital organisations working on the frontline to help get people through the pandemic. In 2018, the RCN signed off a plan to outsource their Microsoft Dynamics 365, transitioning to a full SaaS model to minimise support and operational costs. The RCN has over 800 staff users, over 450,000 members, and generates nearly £7m of subscription income through its CRM platform each month. It was imperative that the RCN invest in a CRM platform that was reliable and robust. 

The Problem

Previously, the RCN was finding it costly to maintain the level of resource they needed to effectively run and develop their CRM. It was also seeking more innovative customisation and flexibility in its systems. To facilitate the optimal CRM advancements, the RCN needed to migrate to a cloud-based platform. The migration to cloud software often poses a risk and challenge to organizations, and this was exacerbated by the remote working challenges of COVID-19. It was impossible to predict how the 800 users would be able to adjust and adapt to a new system remotely, whilst the team was not able to offer support in person. Since the pandemic started, the RCN has been receiving a great deal more calls into its operational centre from members who rely on the software to help them do their jobs day-to-day. COVID-19 presented the challenge to the RCN team to ensure they could continue to provide necessary support to those in nursing working around the clock.

The Solution

Since 2018, Silverbear have been working to integrate their membership solution with RCN’s Dynamics365 CE platform. Together, they overcame the challenges of processing high volumes of data in a secure and effective manner. Silverbear worked hand-in-hand with Microsoft, who made its highly specialist resources available to both partner and customer.’This was a great example of technology partners working together during unprecedent times to ensure important organisations, such as the RCN, could continue to operate at full throttle. RCN recently signed a multi-year service and support contract with Silverbear.

Microsoft and Silverbear’s technology has allowed us to take our organization to a new level and we’re proud to be able to offer this innovation to the nursing communityMark WilliamsCRM Programme Director at RCN

Silverbear’s technology was integrated seamlessly with the Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform, enabling an easier transfer and a better experience for users. The platform is also compliant with Microsoft’s Common Data Service, which allowed the RCN’s system to interoperate with Silverbear function and design, so the RCN team could add its own strategic value and customization. With Silverbear’s consultancy, the RCN was given the right platform to develop case management capability themselves, rather than having to outsource the work as they had done previously. This advancement allows RCN’s IT staff to shift their focus solely to system development and progress, without distraction.

After months of preparation and a continued commitment to the project during difficult times in lockdown, the technology officially went live last month. Silverbear carried out testing to make sure the transition would run smoothly, inspiring trust and confidence in the team and the system. When minor fixes do need to be deployed, Silverbear ensures they are carried out at with as little dispruption as possible to the RCN, resolving issues at times that do not interfere with the system’s operational activity. The new system also delivered an upgrade to the user experience. It is simpler to navigate and quicker to use, which makes it easier to get new information for RCN staff working under time pressure.


Carl Grieves, Chief Executive of Silverbear, commented: “We are delighted to have worked with RCN on such a large-scale project that can improve services provided to nurses across the UK. Silverbear's technology platform has been able to deliver tangible results for RCN, adding strategic value not just online support to its members. We are proud to have given RCN the platform to provide members a better user experience, and ensure that it is optimized to process the large amounts of revenue and member data it receives daily in a cost effective manner. Working collaboratively with Microsoft during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been able to support such an important organisation at a crucial time.'

Mark Williams, CRM Programme Director at RCN, said: “To pull off a transformation project of this size is not an easy prospect, let alone at a time when we have never been busier and staff on both sides are working remotely. Silverbear provided the guidance we needed to get the project successfully across the line to support our members in challenging times. The software is now live and initial feedback from users has been positive.  Microsoft and Silverbear’s technology has allowed us to take our organization to a new level and we’re proud to be able to offer this innovation to the nursing community across the United Kingdom.”

Marie Abery, Dynamics Business Group Director, Microsoft UK, commented: “I am delighted to see SilverBear’s membership solution successfully live for the Royal College of Nursing, supporting the 450K nurses, midwives, Healthcare Assistants, Assistant Practitioners and student nurses. Bringing the membership solution & expertise of SilverBear together with Microsoft Dynamics and RCN’s knowledge of their members, we can launch a platform to provide services, resources, advice and support to this highly valued nursing community”.