NAPLES, Fla. — Kelly Roofing, a family-owned business based in Naples, Fla., since 1972, is one of 12 companies that received a 2015 Visionary Award during the Microsoft Convergence conference in Atlanta. Kelly Roofing won in the Modern Small or Medium Business category. Other Visionary Award winners include Pandora Jewelry, Barclays and AccuWeather. Ken Kelly, owner of the company with his father, accepted the award on March 17 while on stage with Microsoft staff to discuss how he uses Microsoft products.

The awards recognize Microsoft customers who have achieved new levels of excellence with their Microsoft technology. Kelly Roofing has approximately 75 employees working in Collier and Lee counties, and did more than $10 million in sales last year. In 2012, when Kelly anticipated the economic recovery had begun, he sought a technology solution to ensure that customers, sales staff and administrative employees had accurate and ongoing communication about where each job was in the company’s production cycle.

“I was looking for software that would allow us to manage customer relations as well as the operational side of the business,” Kelly said. He selected Microsoft Dynamics CRM, which provides personalized customer experiences, proactive tasks for customer contact, and analytics to identify patterns and predict outcomes.

“It doesn’t just manage customer relationships, marketing or the sales process,” he said. “It does it all from start to finish and then back to the front again to build the relationship with the customer.”

Kelly said the efficiencies of the software helped his company double in business without growing its staff. His staff can access the software from anywhere, which is important because most of his employees do not work in the office. The software allows everyone to add notes to a file, receive automatic reminders and spend more time with customers because mundane tasks are automated.

Kelly was surprised when a Minneapolis-based company he hired to help him implement and program the software nominated his firm for the Microsoft award, which was won by Delta Airlines last year.

“It’s an absolute honor,” he said. “I think it’s pretty unique. We’re just a little family business, a roofing company, that doesn’t typically win this type of stuff.”

Microsoft conducted several phone interviews with Kelly before selecting the firm as the winner. They flew to Naples to film and create a two-minute video about the roofing company. Microsoft paid Kelly’s expenses at the five-day conference, which include his presentation to 15,000 attendees and a live-stream broadcast to 60-100,000 people, a networking dinner, awards luncheon, industry luncheon, recognition breakfast, executive meeting, VIP lounge access and more.

Kelly said Microsoft not only evaluated his firm on the use of its software but praised his emphasis on volunteerism by himself and his employees. Kelly is the wing leader for the Southwest Florida Angel Flight, where he arranges missions and recruits pilots to transport people in medical need. Kelly himself has flown approximately 12 flights annually since 2009.

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