by: Alf Abuhajleh
How do you run a professional services operation that is responsible for the vast majority of your company’s revenue on a single software solution? How do you track time, features, schedules, budgets, and costs, all while maintaining regulatory compliance? We asked one healthcare equipment maker what they do. Here’s an excerpt:
What were the challenges you needed to overcome to be successful?
At any one time, we have thousands of customer projects in our professional services group representing well over a billion dollars of revenue. We needed to be able to manage all of those engagements from one place and we needed to integrate with the rest of the organization, especially with our financial system for billing and payment information. We also needed to be able to manage resources — sometimes down to the hour — and we needed to do it easily and quickly so our staff could remain focused on their customers.
How did you go about addressing those problems?
We knew that a project portfolio management system was a good start for our needs, but professional services is a unique discipline and nothing was going to work for us out of the box. We therefore needed a solution that we could customize easily without compromising the quality of the platform, and we needed to be able to integrate it with our other enterprise applications.
What did you do, and how did it help?
We chose Broadcom’s Clarity solution in conjunction with their implementation partner Rego Consulting. That gave us the powerful enterprise application we needed with the ease of customization and the flexibility to use it for our needs. We liked it so much, we have been using it for over 15 years and without it we simply couldn’t run our business.
We use it for managing schedules, budgets, resources, costs, and time tracking, and it also gives us complete compliance with our Sarbanes-Oxley and other regulatory commitments, allowing us to focus on our clients and not worry about administration. Our finance team likes it because we can drive billing and payment information into their system directly as updates are made in Clarity, and our customers like it because they have transparency in the progress of their work while our staff are focused on them instead of administrative tasks.
How is this driving your success?
We simply couldn’t run our business without Clarity, and we certainly wouldn’t be compliant with our regulators. We like the solution so much that we have extended it to other areas of our business. The needs of the development team are very different from professional services, but they use Clarity in conjunction with the sister product from Broadcom, Rally, to deliver a Value Stream Management solution.