Kantata continues to see success following its creation two years ago. Since it was created with the merger of Kimble Applications and Mavenlink in late 2021 and its subsequent relaunch as Kantata in May 2022, it has added more than 500 new clients. One of whom is the rapidly expanding New York-based IT services company Hakkoda.
Hakkoda offers cloud data services, especially around Snowflake, boosted by the funding it received in 2021. More recently, it raised more funding earlier this year. It has expanded from six to over 200 employees. With an appetite for further growth over the last couple of years.
With that growth, Hakkoda outgrew its legacy operational system. It realised that the solution would no longer scale and meet the new requirements that the company has. As it grew in both size and geographic footprint. The previous tool was more focused on SMB use cases. After using it for a year, it became clear that it was not sophisticated enough. It didn’t have enough business intelligence tools built in to surface the data the business needed to scale.
In May 2022, after a review of the market, they selected Kantata OX (formerly Mavenlink) to power their professional services for the future. Corey Ariss, VP of Operations & Technology, Hakkoda, explained why. “The thing that I fell in love with the most was the resource planning functionality. Being able to visually see where people were staffed, what percentage are staffed, and where we can actually allocate them further, that was the primary driver for choosing Kantata. I wish I would have moved to Kantata sooner. There were a lot of blind spots previously, and Kantata gives you the tools and the data you need to be able to run your business.”
It is a mistake that many fast-growing companies make. Do they invest in a more mature PSA solution, buy something fitted for a small team or use spreadsheets? Investing in a mature PSA makes sense for a fast-growth business. Especially if one has previous experience deploying it. While Hakkoda took the second option, a little over a year later, it switched to Kantata OX.
The implementation project commenced in May 2022 and was completed by August of the same year. The resulting changes were impressive. Kantata OX increased project margin by 10% and resource utilisation by 5%. Which is impressive for a small and growing company.
The project margin increase is attributed to greater efficiency and automation of daily operations, greater cost visibility, and faster, data-driven decision-making.
However, improving forecasting has proven to be the bigger benefit. With Kantata deployed, the firm can forecast with confidence 3-6 months into the future. Hakkoda has achieved this without integrating a CRM solution, which is on the roadmap.
The Hakkoda team has begun adding estimates into Kantata. Creating projects and building out the estimates as the projects are scoped. As these are entered, the resource forecasting report within Kantata enables business leaders to identify the resource requirements in the coming months and plan accordingly. It helps keep Hakkoda headcount growth aligned with their revenue growth, ultimately feeding that margin improvement and utilisation.
Ariss added, “Our overall project success and delivery has gone up because we’ve got the insights and the metrics to be able to see how projects are tracking. The past couple of quarters we’ve had really high margins because we’ve been able to see where people potentially have an issue of capacity or have additional hours they could be logging. Client satisfaction and the ability to better manage our resources is driving margins up.”
As a cloud solution, Kantata OX is always improving. Hakkoda is also looking to move its solution forward. It is currently working to integrate its financial management solution, Sage Intacct, into Kantata.
A Kantata spokesperson revealed, “The goal is to eliminate manual import of data into Intacct and to enable them to centrally locate reporting in Intacct instead of having financial reporting and operational reporting in separate systems. Other mentioned areas of focus are: building on their use of the AI resource recommendations tool which they’re using a little bit right now; building out use of tasks on the project level is also something they’re working towards.”
Jared Haleck, Chief Product Officer, Kantata, concluded, “We know from research Kantata has sponsored that resource forecasting is the top challenge professional services organizations like Hakkoda face. According to the Resource Management Institute, 50% of businesses say they can only forecast resource needs accurately two months in advance, which is not enough time to hire or plan confidently ahead of demand. Hakkoda’s story highlights the impact a purpose-built solution like Kantata can have in addressing this and driving better business outcomes in the process — not just financial outcomes like higher margins, but also better outcomes for happier clients and a more productive, engaged workforce.”
Enterprise Times: What does this mean
Hakkoda, possibly a year later than it should have done, has selected a market-leading PSA solution to help continue its growth. With the powerful resource management and other capabilities that the solution has, it should fulfil their needs for years to come.
While it isn’t clear which CRM solution Hakkoda has opted for, integration with that solution should bring further enhancements to resource forecasting once complete. If, in the future, Hakkoda does outgrow Kantata OX, it can remain on the Kantata Cloud for professional services by moving to Kantata SX, whose solution, on the Salesforce platform, is used by large enterprises with thousands of users such as Deloitte Central Europe, Finastra and Hitachi Ltd.