Forrester Consulting has completed another Total Economic Impact report that looks at the benefits of implementing the Kimble Applications PSA solution. In collaboration with Salesforce, Kimble commissioned the document, and there are some good insights within it for any professional services leader.
The headline statistic is that organisations investing in Kimble PSA experience a 489% 3-year return on investment. Three other key findings are:
- Increased overall project margin by 8%
- Improved utilization of billable resources by 10%
- Over $1.8 million in saved costs from decommissioned systems and admin resources
As with other TEI reports that Enterprise Times has read, its figures are open to critique. However, once the reader gets beyond the rather long executive summary, some of the findings and quotes for customers are worth reading.
Kimble CEO Sean Hoban said: “The findings in the Total Economic Impact of Kimble study will be invaluable for organizations looking to optimize their end-to-end project delivery journeys. We’ve been hearing from our customers how essential Kimble has been to their success and growth, and that has been reflected in leading results on peer-to-peer review sites like G2.
“The ability to easily quantify the benefit Kimble is delivering to customers, as well as the value it is able to drive for businesses, means professional services leaders will be able to more effectively build the case for investing in a PSA solution to help them overcome the challenges that hinder profitability, scalability, and client success.”
The report is based on qualitative interviews with six Kimble client of varying sizes from the UK and the US. The report is split into five sections and runs to a total of 24 pages. The full report is available here (registration required).
The long, five-page executive summary contains a synopsis of the paper and details of the framework and methodology that Forrester uses. We would advise reading the first page and skipping the rest to get to the meat of the paper. The only other take out is a significant quote where one customer describes Kimble.
“Kimble is not just an operational service, but a fully connected workflow from opportunity management, straight through project resolution.” – Head of Service Delivery, IT Consulting
The Kimble PSA Customer Journey
This is a brief look at the common challenges faced by the organisations interviewed for the report. It includes:
- Limited visibility in resourcing and revenue forecasting
- Inconsistent and time-consuming time entry systems
- Siloed operational systems that do not scale.
The interviews reveal the reasons why the customers selected Kimble during their procurement process. The authors then explain the composite organisation that is used for the analysis.
Analysis of benefits
While the benefits that the organisation gained include quantitative and qualitative information, the qualitative information gives the most valuable insights. Any quantitative data include must recognise the small sample size and the eclectic mix within it. An example of this is the project margin improvement. Forrester attributes Kimble with delivering 5% of an 8% improvement in margin. The big unanswered question is what the other 95% is attributed to.
The reader should focus on what improvement Kimble delivered and how it helped improve margins, billable utilisation, and operational efficiency. It evidences these through numbers and by the quotes and analysis in the text.
For example, one senior Director of Services Operations commented: “With Kimble, we don’t have to administer several other systems, so we can keep the same size of operational team, but double the delivery team.”
What is useful within the report is the list of operational gains achieved. Professional Services organisations would do well to benchmark their capabilities to measure improvements. There is also a section on unquantified costs, again with supporting comments from customers and organisations. They include:
- Improved consistency of operational data
- Increase forecast accuracy
- Improved resource management
Arguably it should be possible to quantify these benefits. However, obtaining those numbers would have been difficult and beyond the scope of the analysis. The interviewees also highlighted other benefits that Kimble offers, including its flexibility and regular upgrades.
Analysis of the costs
The numbers in the cost analysis are again indicative and will vary for every PSO. The breakdown is simple and contains most of the elements to include in a business case. There is also a more detailed breakdown of direct implementation and ongoing costs, which is worth noting, again for use in a business case.
The summary contains a risk-adjusted cash flow over three years that indicates the benefit of investing in Kimble for the composite organisation. In this case, the ROI is less than six months. PSOs will need to create their own analysis based on their own figures.
Enterprise Times: What does this mean
Total Economic Impact reports are often worth reading. They can provide a benchmark for what prospects can expect from a software investment. This report provides some interesting insights into the challenges faced by several PSO’s and how Kimble helped to overcome those challenges. For the reader, the detail contained within this report will help build a business case internally for investment into a PSA.