Located in London, U.K., Priocept is a technology consulting firm specializing in assisting clients in managing Internet technology projects and in building Internet- based products and services. The firm provides project management, technical consulting and software development services aimed at helping clients translate their respective investments in Internet technologies into real-world products and services.
Complicated spreadsheets and various ad hoc tools are still very much the standard fare for services businesses. But Priocept executives wanted to take a different approach to managing their consulting firm. The company wanted a solution that would keep projects running on schedule and help improve Priocept’s bottom line, but also one that was designed to be implemented quickly and easily adopted by project managers and field consultants.
As a growing firm, Priocept envisioned automation capabilities that would be able to expand with them, and not put them in a position of having to waste time and resources switching to a more robust solution in the future. Providing services to high-profile clients like Panasonic, London Stock Exchange (LSE) and Virgin Mobile, the company couldn’t afford to risk its reputation on a professional services solution that might not be able to meet internal and external demands.
Changepoint for Professional Services Automation (PSA) met Priocept’s high expectations. The solution provides the firm with an ability to see and track critical project information from beginning to end—from initial contact through invoicing and payment—and does so through a process that is easily implemented, and allows for growth. Just as significantly, the simplicity inherent in the Changepoint PSA single database allows for improved management throughout the project life cycle.
Mobile access was also an important selling point for Priocept. Consultants in the field use Changepoint to record time and expenses associated with client engagements. And project managers can coordinate ongoing engagements with specific emphasis on time reporting and tracking of burn-rate against time, materials and fixed-fee projects. In addition, Priocept relies on Changepoint to produce accurate invoicing and track the organization’s monthly revenue flow and billings.
Throughout the company’s experience, Changepoint has proven to be immensely valuable in helping the company maintain its margin and keep projects on course. As the company has grown and matured, Priocept has moved more and more of its services business into the system allowing its team to fully leverage Changepoint’s services automation capabilities.
“Changepoint has more than paid for itself in terms of the increased profitability it has brought us as well as the administrative time it has saved. We have been very impressed with Changepoint’s power. We are exploring more and more of the system as we grow,” says Matthew Skelton, technology director at Priocept. Skelton also noted that since Priocept began tracking support issues within Changepoint, the team has been able to take even greater advantage of the system’s resource management features.
Changepoint’s reporting capability is another compelling capability for Skelton. “The built-in reports are very comprehensive and incredibly useful. They capture valuable
information about your everyday business activity. We’ve also been able to use Changepoint’s report design function which is exceptionally powerful. You basically dream up any report you’d like, call up the information in the browser, point, click and that custom report becomes part of our standard business process.”
Changepoint assists Priocept in managing its existing projects and in tracking revenue against each engagement. It also allows the firm to take a retrospective look at its business, providing a mechanism for continuous improvement.
“We can see from day to day those people who are billable, and those who are not. We can exactly determine how much of an individual’s time is expected to be used in the next week, or month. This allows us to plan better and allocate available resources across ongoing projects within the company. When a project is completed, we can also look back on that resource allocation, and use the information gathered to estimate future projects with greater accuracy,” says Skelton.
Recently, the company transitioned from using Changepoint’s software as a service model to an in-house hosted version. “Application migration is actually one of Priocept’s standard service offerings. It can be pretty ugly. The migration of Changepoint in-house was very, very simple. We were impressed with how smooth it was. We had some small
involvement from Changepoint’s support team to assist in migrating over some custom reports, but even that went very smooth.”
Skelton does not hesitate to recommend Changepoint and its team of professionals to others. “Changepoint has given us greater control over our projects and improved insight into project health. And from that, we have greater insight into the financial health of our business. It is an incredibly powerful tool and I’d not want to do without it.”