Edelman Uses OpenAir to Streamline Operations Across Four Continents
Edelman Public Relations Worldwide is a top-five public relations firm with
over 2000 employees in 42 offices around the world. Although Edelman was using
Proamics system to track time, it was looking for a solution that could handle
its advanced feature requirements and deploy to offices around the globe,
including its headquarters in New York and offices in London, Sydney, and
Edelman specifically required a single time-tracking and billing system
that it could deploy across multiple offices, and which could accommodate
multiple currencies. The system also needed to meet the specific demands of
its monthly retainer clients. Many of these customers expected precise
documentation about how Edelman spent its time servicing their accounts, right
down to the activity level. Edelman further wanted to provide their clients
with real-time views of and accurate reports detailing this vital information.
Proamics was unable to provide this kind of activity detail or to supply
Edleman's clients with the access they demanded.
Edelman evaluated a number of options and then chose the OpenAir solution
for five primary reasons:
They specifically wanted the flexibility of a web-native solution.
Edelman's professionals and clients are located in a variety of locations
worldwide. Consequently, they wanted a solution that offered their clients and
employees ubiquitous access, even when traveling. OpenAir can be used through
any Web-enabled computer, a Palm® Pilot, or a WAP-enabled phone, so it
offers the greatest flexibility for collaboration and data entry.
They wanted a solution that could be adopted broadly and quickly
throughout the entire organization without extensive training requirements.
They found OpenAir to be intuitive and easy to use.
They required a system that could also be implemented quickly.
Because OpenAir is delivered through a pure ASP model, the implementation
times are minimal, usually measured in days or weeks, not months or quarters.
Cost was also an important factor. They did not want to pay more than
was necessary and were very pleased with the value that OpenAir offered.
They needed their clients to gain access to the appropriate
information within the OpenAir system. OpenAir fulfilled this requirement by
offering highly customizable access privileges for employees and clients.
Once they had decided on OpenAir, the implementation was extremely easy and
rapid by industry standards. In fact, Edelman was able to open an account
through the Web and provision the application throughout the company using
only in-house resources. They were even able to handle training internally by
assigning a few key employees to train their colleagues.
Edelman was able to start using the system without any specific
customization requirements: OpenAir supplied all of the critical core
functionality. Edelman did, however, desire some features that OpenAir didn't
offer. Rather than delay implementation, Edelman took advantage of OpenAir's
ability to respond exceptionally fast to customer feature requests. For
example, they wanted employees to be able to enter information into OpenAir
through a PDA, and OpenAir quickly introduced the functionality in one of its
30-day system updates. At no additional cost, Edelman's employees can now
enter data through any device that is compatible with the Palm® OS.
Edelman realized the following quantifiable benefits almost immediately:
More accurate billing: Because it was easier to complete and
submit timesheets, Edelman professionals entered billable hours more
accurately, reducing by approximately 5% the amount of lost billable time.
Reduced administrative time: The firm's professionals now save
an average of ½ hour per week on such administrative tasks as logging time
Faster invoicing: Employees entered billable data into the
system sooner, so Edelman could invoice clients earlier, accelerating
receivables by an average of one week.
Better project profitability analysis: Edelman implemented the
OpenAir reporting tools to immediately analyze the resources devoted to
different projects, providing a much clearer picture of project
profitability. This further enabled them to bid more accurately on future
Increased employee satisfaction: Employees were happy to
expedite time-consuming administrative tasks.