diCarta's professional services team streamlines operations using OpenAir
The professional services arm of diCarta®, the market leader in
enterprise contract management solutions that automate and manage
the entire contract lifecycle, was looking for a more efficient
way to track and bill time, improve collaboration on projects,
and analyze project costs. Prior to using OpenAir all of these
functions were performed by a manual, paper-based system diCarta
described as "slow and painful."
diCarta recognized that by automating and improving the
management of these processes, significant improvements would
occur in at least four areas:
The capture of billable hours: Consultants were
under-reporting billable hours, adversely affecting the
department's profit goals.
Project efficiency: Project teams were not collaborating
and communicating as effectively as they could.
Project profitability analysis: It was very laborious
for management to determine how profitable a given project
Revenue acceleration: Difficulty in capturing billable
time and a complex process for creating invoices was delaying
Mike Cram, Director of Professional Services, was assigned the
task of automating core processes. After researching several
professional services automation solutions, he selected OpenAir
based on "the richness of the functionality, the maturity of
the product, and the overall value proposition relative to its
Using the online database reference documentation provided with
OpenAir and the data import tools, Mike was able to convert all
existing project time and billing data into the OpenAir system
in less than a day. diCarta then launched a pilot team with the
intention of introducing it gradually throughout the group over
several weeks. After just two days, the user feedback had been
so overwhelmingly positive and the benefits so clear that diCarta
cut the pilot short and rolled out the system immediately.
The implementation went very smoothly, and training was
accomplished largely through OpenAirís extensive documentation.
Cram described the experience of working with OpenAir as
"phenomenal" and the support as "exceptional," adding that
OpenAir was "the first company and software product I have ever
used that inspired me to become an evangelist for it."
diCarta has very quickly begun to reap considerable benefits.
The gains from just time and expense tracking and billing are
easily quantified by diCarta:
On a more qualitative level, employee reaction to OpenAir
has been "extremely positive" across multiple functional areas:
Professional service teams are working together more effectively
and are better able to answer clients' questions by having instant
access to a very flexible reporting system.
Financial managers have streamlined the process and dramatically
reduced the time to close the books at the end of a month or
Senior executives have gained visibility into project status
and have better tools for assessing project costs and analyzing
how employees spend their time. Going forward, they see OpenAir
as a key component of their overall effort to improve profitability
of the professional services organization.
Cram concluded, "As a company whose own software value
proposition is the efficiency gained by automating the contract
life cycle process, we can easily see the bottom-line benefit
OpenAir has provided by automating the key functions of our
professional services team."