Esri is a leading provider of geographic information system (GIS) software, location intelligence, and mapping. Esri software is deployed in more than 350,000 organisations and over 200,000 institutions worldwide. It also has a large services division.
It decided to select and deploy a Professional Services Automation (PSA) solution in 2017. Esri chose and deployed the Kimble Applications PSA and has since grown its services division by over 350 staff. It continues to leverage Kimble PSA, and the software has proven capable of scaling with the business.
Kevin Ochs, Director, Business Management Professional Services at Esri, said, “Overall performance has increased for the past three years. To bring on that many new hires and still improve utilization each year has been phenomenal.”
That performance improvement has been driven by streamlining the resourcing process, maximising revenues and better forecasting. Kimble PSA has helped drive improvements in key metrics for the services operation, notably billable utilisation and margin.
The cloud-based tool has also enabled better communication and collaboration between team members during Covid. Additionally, it has improved the business leaders’ financial projections for estimates at complete (EAC) and revenue forecasts. This has given the leadership better visibility across the operations.
Ochs added: “The real game-changer of Kimble is the windshield view of our plans. Any accounting system will tell you where you’ve been, but Kimble gives us an accurate, up-to-date, living, and breathing plan. Kimble shows us our future demand — if we see staffing challenges coming, we can turn some dials to hire and proactively make decisions that will influence the future.”
Simplicity from complexity
PSA deployments are not always successful. Organisations often find it challenging to adopt the new processes that can drive the true benefits from any PSA solution. ESRI seems to have done this continuously.
In the early days, consultants needed to update the solution with project updates, timesheets, and other information. Not only would this have improved time to revenue it also provided other benefits.
Lana Tylka, Program Manager, Esri, commented, “Prior to Kimble, we requested resources through calls, emails, chat, or whoever was in your network. Kimble has provided us with that centralized communication channel where we can openly discuss and document resourcing data such as skills, availability, and vacation. Before Kimble, we were trying to track and manage those details on a whiteboard — it was really chaotic.”
That adoption has continued with ESRI already taking advantage of some of the more recent features released by Kimble. Skills Lifecycle management was released in Winter 20. It is a feature that allows individuals some control of their career path and skills development.
Brad Johnson, Business Execution Department Manager, Esri, commented: “Kimble is actually allowing people to guide their own career path and skills development. They can say, ‘hey I want to work on this or learn about this kind of stuff.’ We never had that before Kimble. It was all about who you knew or who you were connected with.”
Enterprise Times: What does it mean
Esri is a good example of a company that has implemented Kimble and seen increasing benefits from the deployment.
As Sarah Edwards, Kimble’s Chief Product & Strategy Officer, said: “Esri has seen great results from Kimble and has been very diligent in working with Kimble to deliver even more potential, with Kevin Ochs serving on our Enterprise Advisory Board (EAB). We love how committed Esri’s team is in feeding back on the product and fueling improvement and innovation.”
The publication of the case study and press release indicates Esri is becoming a customer advocate for Kimble and one that is not small. Both companies have put a lot into the relationship. Esri became one of the inaugural members of the advisory board Kimble created early this year. With the merger with Mavenlink imminent, it is one of the key well-known customer brands that should help the combination become a success.