Using Industry Data to Set Business Goals

By Mounir Hilal – Senior Vice President of Global Services & Customer Success at Upland Software

goals

The daily demands of running a large global professional services group within an even larger customer success organization at Upland Software can make it difficult to stand back and plan for future growth. Fortunately, I have had the benefit of consulting with thousands of professional services organizations (PSO’s) for more than a decade and I have seen how important it is to set strategic goals and execute on those goals in order to have a solid plan to succeed.

As a starting point, understanding your organization’s current position is critical. But what about industry data? How can you bring it into a successful goal setting process?

There are many sources to pull from when looking for industry data, including primary research firms like Gartner and Forrester, as well as boutique firms that focus on the professional services market, such as PSVillage and SPI Research. The advantages of using data from boutique firms that focus on a specific industry is they tend to publish benchmarks and surveys that give you actual peer comparisons, so you can see how you stack up to others, including what to measure for improvement and the gaps/opportunities in your own organization. Additionally, these reports can be an excellent source of trends and challenges facing professional service firms, as well as strategic directions to consider.

For an example, let’s consider the latest SPI Research Benchmark. SPI provides very relevant insights for what is trending for PSOs in 2015:

  • Steady growth: Annual revenue growth (10%), headcount increases (8.1%), a slight increase in size of the deal pipeline and backlog delivered steady, consistent and manageable growth
  • Productivity improvements: Nearly all professional services organizations experienced significant improvement in revenue per consultant ($197K v. $193K) and revenue per employee ($167K v. $155K) due to moderate increases in billable utilization (71% v. 70%) and the percentage of the workforce that was billable (75.1% v. 71.2%)
  • Talent management the top challenge: Firms struggled to find and develop the talent they needed to sustain their growth. Attrition rose for the fifth year in a row to 8.9% versus 8.3% last year and will likely continue to rise as consulting demand outstrips supply
  • Sales effectiveness still difficult but improving: Although perennially cited as a top challenge, sales metrics improved with larger sales pipelines, shorter sales cycles and larger project backlogs, adding up to more firms reaching their revenue targets
  • Profits up: Embedded service organizations (software, SaaS and hardware) delivered exceptionally strong performance with net contribution margin increasing to 19 percent from 15.4 percent in 2013. Profits grew in all vertical markets and all geographies. Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) posted the best geographic profit progression from 12.7 percent in 2013 to 15.5 percent in 2014

When you reflect on these data points, how do you measure up? Are you on track, ahead of the pack or have more work to do?

To learn more, including which organizations SPI considers the Best-of-the-Best, click here to get a copy of the entire SPI Benchmark with our compliments. And, if we can offer our expertise and further discuss how Upland helps organizations establish and implement improvements using our Tenrox Professional Services Automation (PSA) software, reach out to us at info@uplandsoftware.com.

Free Professional Services Industry reports available on Tenrox.com:

About the Author: Mounir Hilal leads the Upland Customer Success organization, which is focused on driving adoption, value realization, retention and loyalty for its customers. With more than a decade of professional services experience, Mounir has extensive knowledge in enterprise software design, development and deployment processes, as well as business consulting and project management. In addition, he specializes areas of in operational control, compliance and business process optimization.  

 

 

Let’s Agree Before We Fly

By Brendan Holland – Implementation Consultant at Upland Software – March 16, 2015

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We spend a lot of time thinking about how to approve expense reports.  Usually, the money has already changed hands, so we are not really approving the expenditure, but rather, who should pay.  Does this seem a little backwards?  Perhaps this should be agreed before the travel reservations are made.

Tenrox offers a solution through the “Work Process” module. The work process module allows us to create a workflow for pre-approving expense reports.  There are as many ways to configure this workflow as there are Tenrox partners, but here is one that I particularly liked.

  1. Plan: When planning to travel, the traveller defines the basics of the travel – where, when, how long, requirements, etc.
  2. Estimate: The traveller, or travel coordinator finds estimates for the trip – airfare, hotel, ground transport, meals, per diems, etc.
  3. Communicate: traveler summarizes the travel estimates in a workflow request.
  4. Agree: The project manager approves the request, perhaps attaching pre-approval from the client.   The project manager may include special requests – which task to use for expense tracking, budget, contingency plans, what is billable to the client.
  5. Book it: Once, approved, travel is booked.  On approval, traveler notes the request # from the pre-approval.
  6. Report: The traveler then creates the expense report, with the pre-approval request number.
  7. Reconcile: For expense report approval, the approver simply compares the pre-approval request with the actual expense report.

 What have we gained? 

  • We are less likely to find ourselves absorbing the cost of an inappropriate expenditure.
  • The client is less likely to be surprized.
  • A documentation trail solidifies our agreement, before the travel is booked.
  • Expense report is streamlined and more rapid, as the pre-approval process has overcome the most time consuming obstacles for approval.
  • A clear estimate of upcoming costs in the project, which can easily be entered into the financial planner.

About the Author: Brendan Holland is an Implementation Consultant at Upland Software with over 10 years’ experience implementing project management and medical software.  

 

 

Time Tracking: Trimming Off the Fat

By Timothy Ho – Implementation Consultant at Upland Software - March 9, 2015

efficiency

One of the most common challenges Tenrox clients face is deciding how much detail they should bring into the Tenrox application project activity time tracking. When we ask clients for a list of generic activities they perform on any given project, the list can be in the hundreds and sometimes thousands! We usually follow up with the question “do you really need all of these?” and the most popular response usually sounds something like “No, I really want to simplify this list. It’s gotten out of hand over the last few years!” This is the perfect time to simplify. After accumulating so many different activities (many are redundant or obsolete), implementing the Tenrox Timesheet module gives customers the chance to trim those unnecessary activities that were probably doing two things:

  1. Bogging down the Timesheet user with too many detailed tasks
  2. Complicating the reports used by upper management.

So start the trimming!

About the Author: Timothy Ho is an implementation consultant with 5+ years of experience in consulting. He has worked with hundreds Tenrox clients from various industries to implement the Tenrox application including integrations with CRM, accounting, and payroll systems.  His key focus is to understand client business requirements to configure Tenrox PSA to meet those needs.

Agreed, Estimated, Actual and Bewildered: The Financial Planner

By Brendan Holland – Implementation Consultant at Upland Software – March 2, 2015

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When managing a project’s budget we often find ourselves balancing three factors:

  • What we have agreed with the client
  • What we have actually done
  • Our estimate of what remains to be done

How can Tenrox help balance these factors?

Agreed

In Tenrox, there is flexibility in what the project budget actually means.  Often, we define the project budget as what has been agreed with the client.  However, the Tenrox budget can be divided into two “snapshots”.  The first snapshot is called “Baseline”, the second “Current”.  This allows us to define the baseline budget as the “As Sold” or “Original” budget.  The Current budget usually represents any changes to the budget that have been approved.

Estimated

Our estimate for the future labor of project can come from the Tenrox work plan. The financial planner can multiply hours on the work plan by each user’s forecast cost and billing rate.

We may also choose to manually enter forecast non-labour costs and revenue in the financial planner.

Actual

The financial planner also allows us to view actual non-labour costs and revenue of various types.

As with forecasts, we may drill down to cost or revenue by site, by group, or by charge.

Bringing it all together – EAC

Estimate at Completion (EAC) can be calculated as [actuals from last month and earlier] + [forecasts for this month and beyond].  The financial planner shows a “Grand Total” for EAC at project end, or a running total of a particular period.

  • The financial planner allows the user to see actuals along with estimates for cost and revenue of various types.
  • On the financial Planner, we may also the financial planner allows the user to view the budget (agreed) along with the financial planner (actual and estimated).
  • This brings the Agreed, Estimates and Actuals to one convenient view!

blog budget summary

About the Author: Brendan Holland is an Implementation Consultant at Upland Software with over 10 years’ experience implementing project management and medical software.  

 

 

Upland’s Tenrox Customer Pariveda Solutions Achieves Top 5 Percent Rating in SPI’s 2015 Professional Services Maturity™ Benchmark

AUSTIN, Texas (February 24, 2015) – Upland Software, Inc. (Nasdaq: UPLD), a leader in cloud-based Enterprise Work Management applications, today announced that Pariveda Solutions, a customer of Upland’s Tenrox Professional Services Automation (PSA) software, has been rated in the top five percent of professional services organizations in Service Performance Insight’s (SPI) 2015 Professional Services Maturity™ Benchmark. Pariveda Solutions is a leading technology consulting firm delivering strategic services and technology solutions.

According to SPI’s 2015 benchmark, Pariveda is a “Best-of-the-Best” by excelling in all five service performance dimensions – Leadership, Client Relationships, Human Capital Alignment, Service Execution and Finance, and Operations. Pariveda’s solutions include custom application development in areas such as cloud computing, business intelligence, mobility, portal and enterprise content management, and customer relationship management.

“We congratulate Pariveda for ranking in the top five percent of SPI’s 2015 Professional Services Maturity Benchmark,” said Kevin Sequeira, Upland Software’s general manager and director of product management for the Tenrox line of business. “It is exciting to see an Upland customer that is successfully leveraging our Tenrox Professional Services Automation software be recognized as one of the best professional services companies.”

Pariveda has been a customer of Upland’s Tenrox PSA software for over ten years, leveraging Tenrox to help scale and manage its rapidly growing business. With more than 400 users in nine offices across the U.S., Tenrox provides the Pariveda management team with the ability to review and analyze critical business data, including forecasting revenue and managing time, expenses and resources.

The Top 11 firms in SPI’s 2015 Professional Services Maturity Benchmark outperformed their peers and the benchmark average with significantly higher profit, larger projects and more satisfied clients:

Best-of-the-Best Professional Services Organizations Comparison

Measurement Top 11 Firms All Others Average Advantage
EBITDA 25.2% 12.2% 106%
Year over year revenue growth 14.4% 9.7% 48%
Average revenue per project $252K $185K 36%
Annual revenue per employee $216K $163K 32%
Projects delivered on-time 87.7% 77.8% 13%
Reference clients 79.2% 73.4% 8%

SPI, Pariveda and Upland will host a live webinar on April 7, 2015 at 11 a.m. ET to discuss SPI’s 2015 benchmark and what made Pariveda one of the “Best-of-the-Best.” Register for the webinar at info.tenrox.com/WBN-2015-04-07-SPI-Research-and-Pariveda-Webinar. For a complimentary copy of SPI’s 2015 Professional Services Maturity Benchmark, go to info.tenrox.com/WC-2015-SPI-Research-Benchmark.“We are honored to be named a Best-of-the-Best services organization,” said Kerry Stover, chief operating officer of Pariveda Solutions. “Throughout Pariveda, our employees seek to deliver exceptional services that provide the highest value to our clients. This recognition reflects on how that same focus is brought to all aspects of our business, from developing our people to reach their fullest potential to managing client relationships. Upland’s Tenrox is core among systems used to achieve our maximum performance.”

About Upland Software
Upland (Nasdaq: UPLD) is a leading provider of cloud-based Enterprise Work Management software. Our family of applications connects people through technology, automates the flow of work and brings visibility to all aspects of the organization. With more than 1,200 enterprise customers around the globe, and over 200,000 users, Upland helps teams in IT, marketing, finance, professional services and process excellence run their operations smoothly, adapt to change quickly and achieve better results every day. To learn more, visit www.uplandsoftware.com.

About Tenrox
The Tenrox workflow-driven, cloud application is designed to meet the challenges of managing globally dispersed services organizations and project workforces. It automates project initiation, resource management, time and expense, and reporting and analytics to enable customers to improve the management of billable projects from pipeline to close. The Tenrox application offers configurable cost and billing rules, including chargeback or invoicing, with certified integrations to all major CRM and accounting systems. Organizations worldwide, including Abbot Vascular, Autodesk, Estee Lauder, Eaton, General Electric and JDA Software trust the Tenrox application to meet their requirements in the areas of Professional Services Automation (PSA) and time and expense tracking. Tenrox is part of the Upland Software family of cloud-based Enterprise Work Management applications. For more information, visit www.tenrox.com.

Forward-looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements, which are subject to substantial risks, uncertainties and assumptions. If such risks or uncertainties materialize or such assumptions prove incorrect, the results of Upland’s Tenrox application could differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements and assumptions. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements, including any statements concerning expected performance associated with Upland’s Tenrox application; anticipated operational and financial benefits from Upland’s Tenrox application; any statements of expectation or belief; and any statements of assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. Risks, uncertainties and assumptions include issues relating to the performance of a third party caused by forces outside of the control of Upland; changes in the economy, technological and competitive factors, and other risks that are described in Upland’s Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2014, filed with the SEC on December 22, 2014. Additional information will also be set forth in Upland’s future quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, annual reports on Form 10-K and other filings that Upland makes with the SEC. Except as required by law, Upland assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements publicly, or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future.

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Contact Information:
media@uplandsoftware.com
512.960.1010

The Top 7 Things Service Organizations Need to Understand in 2015

By Kevin Sequeira, Tenrox General Manager and Director of Product Management, Upland Software - February 9, 2015

First Appeared in PSVillage Pulse. It’s easy to start a year by saying the upcoming period represents the start of a new era, a time of dramatic change, and to suggest organizational success or failure hinges on the decisions you make in the coming months.  Some years might be like that, but 2015 isn’t one of them.  Success in 2015 isn’t going to come from a single dramatic shift, rather it is going to be about evolving on multiple fronts, succeeding by improving multiple areas of your professional services organization, or failing because of your inability to do so.  That’s good news and bad news – good because all of those trends you are seeing will continue, bad because what you have done so far won’t be enough to remain competitive.

So how do you succeed in this environment?  The key is still to differentiate yourself from the competition, but if everyone is competing on the same points – customer service, effectiveness, efficiency, etc, differentiation has to be in how you deliver those areas.  In this paper we look at what you need to understand to set yourself apart while focusing on the same things as everyone else!

Customer Success Is Your Most Effective Tool

As software as a service (SaaS) becomes the norm, the ability to differentiate on unique abilities is becoming less relevant.  Implementations are becoming simpler and independent of geographic locations, requiring service organizations to stand apart in other ways.  Clients no longer have to remain with a service provider because it is too difficult to move, so you need to create an environment where those clients want to remain with you.  The obvious solution is to focus on customer service, but this too is evolving – to the discipline of customer success.

Customer success management takes the concept of customer service to a new level – enabling your clients to fully leverage the solutions that you have provided them.  While technical implementation is simpler, the challenge of ensuring effective, client wide adoption is just as significant as ever, and service organizations that can facilitate adoption will forge strong bonds with their clients.  That in turn will drive repeat business through ongoing licensing and support as well as expansion into new initiatives.

Your Existing Customers Are Under-Utilized
Customer success management also helps you leverage those strong bonds with your clients, but only if you know how to do so.  Service organizations need to do a better job of utilizing their client base when looking for ways to improve.  What are your organization’s strengths and opportunities?  What sets you apart from your competitors?  You have ideas about those things, but so do your clients, and their ideas may not align with yours.  Understanding how you are perceived, and how clients feel you should grow and evolve will improve the quality of your own plans, and ultimately drive success.  Those clients are also your lowest cost sales channel – they need to be nurtured and listened to!

Revenue Only Matters When It’s Realized
Winning and maintaining clients is only part of the story, and for many organizations it’s not the most difficult.  We all have war stories when it comes to billing challenges, and yet many service organizations still have challenges when it comes to determining billable milestones and issuing invoices.  Often the problems stem from unclear statements of work and payment schedules that leave too much room for interpretation when it comes to determining when interim invoices should be issued.  Service organizations must work to improve their negotiations and documentation to ensure that both parties clearly understand the interim milestones along with the deliverables and payments that accompany them.

Even when that clarity does exist, many service organizations still struggle with delays in issuing invoices, which of course results in delays to payments.  This costs real money that directly impacts the bottom line and may cause significant cash flow issues.  Internal processes and systems must be effective enough to trigger invoices as soon as milestones are achieved – you’ve done the work, the client has signed off, and now it’s time to get paid.

Competitiveness Is Driven By Internal Effectiveness
Service organizations spend a lot of time focusing on utilization rates for their employees – making sure that they are billable for enough of their working hours to allow the company to achieve its goals.  However, that’s only one element of profitability.  Every sales, marketing, estimation, scoping, process, etc. mistake dries additional direct and indirect costs, and those costs go straight to the bottom line.  Top line revenue growth is tremendously important, but it is far less efficient at driving bottom line improvement than cost reduction, and yet many service organizations fail to build an environment focused on learning from, and eliminating, mistakes.  That either reduces margins, drives higher prices, or both, and that reduces competitiveness.

You Need That Tool Suite You Think Is Too Expensive
Professional Service Automation (PSA) software has had far slower adoption rates than comparable tools in other industries, in part because growing organizations feel that they can’t afford the tool, preferring to stick to their standalone, often Excel based, processes and tools.  These are a major cause of the errors and costs referred to above and in many cases are costing way more in ‘hidden’ costs than is needed to invest in a tool suite.

Without an integrated suite your employees are working in a series of technology and process silos, and this is reducing your efficiency and effectiveness.  Work ends up being managed using the wrong tools – spreadsheets and sticky notes and the output of that work is not visible beyond the people immediately doing the work.  To try and improve visibility at higher levels, more manual work is undertaken, duplicating effort and introducing more problems.  With the right tool your entire organization can work together, using the right tools for the job, and with clear visibility (in real time) to what is going on, and that in turn drives better decision making.

Resource Management Must Be Integral To Everything
Enterprise resource management is becoming one of those trends that everyone wants to be a part of.  However, very few organizations understand what it really means, or how to deliver it.  Successful resource management puts people at the center of everything – defining goals and objectives around the capability and capacity that you have and building that capability and capacity to drive greater achievements.  Resource management has to be a process that engages with your employees, that makes them a part of what is happening and considers their needs and ambitions.

Modern resource management is more than a process or an approach; it is a fundamental shift in culture that an organization has to ‘live’.  It must be applied consistently, and it must be a part of every organizational area.  For service organizations it needs to recognize how resourcing needs tie together and it requires an understanding of how resource needs are driven by the organization.  That may be as simple as more sales people driving the need for more implementation consultants, or it may be the more subtle shift in skills required by an evolution from customer service to customer success.

You Can Plan Your Projects, In Fact You Must
Service organizations frequently suggest that project portfolio planning is difficult because projects are driven by customer needs and you can’t know those needs months and quarters in advance.  While that may be true at an individual initiative execution level, it is certainly not true when it comes to planning.  One of the first things that you do to prepare for the next period is develop your sales plan, and that will identify the expected volume of work that your organization will see.  It will also help to provide parameters around the type of work, the level of complexity and the timing of that work – and that’s high level planning.

As we saw in the resource management section above that should consider the skills and number of people that you have to perform the work and can drive recruiting and training activities where needed.  These items require significant lead time and unless you plan to have the right people with the right skills in the right place at the right time then you are driving costs and risks into your organization.

Summing It Up
As I said at the outset, there is nothing inherently ‘new’ here, 2015 will see the same priorities that you are already familiar with.  However, differentiation in these areas is becoming increasingly difficult for organizations and that allows those that can succeed to stand further apart from their competition.  If you can demonstrate a meaningful ability to help your clients deliver success, if you can learn from those clients, and you can improve your internal operations you will succeed this year.  You will also build a tremendous foundation for 2016 and beyond

About the Author: Kevin is the General Manager and Director of Product Management at Tenrox. Kevin has been in the frontlines of the PSA space for 10+ years and is responsible for the Tenrox & timesheet.com product lines at Upland. He also has the pleasure of managing a team of talented product owners and drives product direction & vision in his role as the Tenrox Product Manager.

 

 

Palmetto Security Group Selects Upland’s Tenrox to Track Resource Utilization

Workflow-driven professional services automation application will improve services delivery for firm specializing in cyber security

AUSTIN, Texas (January 27, 2015) – Upland Software, Inc., a leader in cloud-based Enterprise Work Management applications, today announced that Palmetto Security Group (PSG), a firm specializing in helping companies understand how business processes and security requirements can work together to deliver improved efficiencies while strengthening security, has selected Upland’s Tenrox professional services automation application. Palmetto Security Group will rely on Tenrox for its ability to accurately track resource utilization, including time tracking and forecasting.

“We selected Tenrox to solve the issues we had tracking resource utilization, both from a time input standpoint and a forecasting standpoint,” said Ken Anderson, chief operating officer at Palmetto Security Group. “Unlike other applications we considered, Tenrox had all the facets we were looking for, including easy time entry, task-based hour input, utilization planning, project planning, robust reporting and integration with our accounting software.”

Additional reasons for Palmetto Security Group selecting Tenrox include:

  • Moving to a best-of-breed professional services automation application from the Palmetto home grown application, which was taking away billable resources for development and maintenance
  • Eliminating late invoicing, and improving cash flow and integration to QuickBooks Online
  • Reducing the time it was taking managers to get basic project information, and the internal confusion as to what resources are available and when
  • Adopting a solution that was easy to use with automatic project updates, time entry constraints, forecasting tools, a standard dashboard for management, and implementation utilization planning capabilities

“We are excited to have been selected by Palmetto Security Group to help improve the automation of their service delivery,” said Kevin Sequeira, Upland Software’s general manager and director of product management for the Tenrox line of business. “PSG provides critical cyber security consulting to companies, and Tenrox will enable a more efficient and streamlined process to better support their customers.”

About Upland Software
Upland (Nasdaq: UPLD) is a leading provider of cloud-based Enterprise Work Management software. Our family of applications connects people through technology, automates the flow of work and brings visibility to all aspects of the organization. With more than 1,200 enterprise customers around the globe, and over 200,000 users, Upland helps teams in IT, marketing, finance, professional services and process excellence run their operations smoothly, adapt to change quickly and achieve better results every day. To learn more, visit www.uplandsoftware.com.

About Tenrox
The Tenrox workflow-driven, cloud application is designed to meet the challenges of managing globally dispersed services organizations and project workforces. It automates project initiation, resource management, time and expense, and reporting and analytics to enable customers to improve the management of billable projects from pipeline to close. Tenrox offers configurable cost and billing rules, including chargeback or invoicing, with certified integrations to all major CRM and accounting systems. Organizations worldwide, including Abbot Vascular, Autodesk, Estee Lauder, Eaton, General Electric and JDA Software, trust the Tenrox product to meet their requirements in the areas of Professional Services Automation (PSA) and time and expense tracking. Tenrox is part of the Upland Software family of cloud-based enterprise work management applications. For more information, visit www.tenrox.com.

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Contact Information:
media@uplandsoftware.com
512.960.1010

Why Service Professionals Should Reason Like Aristotle

Written by Blake Bisson – Product Marketing Director, Tenrox by Upland

Elon Musk

In a recent interview by Kevin Rose for Foundation 20, entrepreneur Elon Musk who is the founder of SpaceX and a cofounder of PayPal, Tesla Motors, and Zip2 discussed the advantages of approaching problems differently. According to Elon, “The normal way we conduct our lives is we reason by analogy,” he said. “[With analogy] we are doing this because it’s like something else that was done, or it is like what other people are doing. [With first principles] you boil things down to the most fundamental truths … and then reason up from there.”

Aristotle was a proponent of first principle thinking over 2300 years ago and stated that it is the key to doing any sort of systemic inquiry.

What if professional service professionals approached client problems this way instead of always building their deliverables on past projects?

No one is saying throw away all that accumulated knowledge and experience but, think about the value you could bring to your clients if you took the time to look at problems differently. Musk admits while first principles “takes a lot more mental energy,” you can end up with novel or even groundbreaking results.

When Musk and his team were trying to estimate how much the first SpaceX rockets would cost, they decided not to just look at the products on the market. Instead, they figured out what the necessary parts of a rocket were, and then found out how much the raw materials of those parts would cost. The result was startling: SpaceX could build a rocket for about 2% of the typical price.
Do you think this process could help you add more value with your service clients and result in more business? 

Technology doesn’t replace your brain but it can be a great tool for organizing and communicating your work. Selecting an easy to use application that is designed for professional services can reduce administrative overhead and free up that time you need to deliver better results to your clients. Make sure you check-out Tenrox by Upland and ask about how to make user adoption easier and how to catch that lost revenue. With decades of experience delivering software solutions for service organizations, we literally wrote the book on this market “Professional Services Automation: Optimizing Project & Service Oriented Organizations”.

About the Author: Blake Bisson has decades of experience as a senior executive in start-up and large publicly traded companies in product management, product marketing, marketing and sales. At Upland Software he has run product marketing for both PowerSteering and most recently Tenrox/Timesheet.

 

 

Timesheet Problems Costing Billions Every Day

Written by Blake Bisson – Product Marketing Director, Tenrox by Upland

In a recent article in the Harvard Business Review titled Workers Are Bad at Filling Out Timesheets, and It Costs Billions a Day, Associate Editor Gretchen Gavett explores the costs associated with lost or poor reporting of billable hours by professional service organization employees. Gavett cites research that surveyed over 500 professional service workers that each person “lost $50,000 per year in revenue due to insufficient tracking of emails with clients and others.” 

Even though half of survey respondents indicated that their employers directly uses timesheets to bill clients hourly or determine retainer amounts, almost 40% of respondents reported never tracking time spent reading and answering email,” with only 33% of respondents saying they “always” or “often” do.

Taking into account the size of the professional services sector, the study estimates that the U.S. economy is losing 50 million hours, or $7.4 billion a day, in productivity.

Users expect they will catch up and make the entries at the end of the day or work week but according to the article, Sanford DeVoe, an associate professor of organizational behavior and HR management at the Rotman School of Management, says it doesn’t happen. “Email occupies that liminal space between tasks, and it hurts a lot that we often write and receive personal emails while we’re reading or composing a response to a client. That integration between the personal and professional makes it seem like it’s not a task you’re supposed to keep track of,” he says. “If we spend time writing an internal memo, it’s much clearer in our mind that we’re spending a specific amount of time on a work task.” 

Technology is a key way of capturing this lost revenue and improved ways of entering data as well as user adoption at the center of the problem. Selecting an easy to use technology that is workflow driven is a critical part of catching and invoicing more of the billable events. Make sure you check-out Tenrox by Upland and ask about how to make user adoption easier and how to catch that lost revenue. With decades of experience delivering software solutions for service organizations, we literally wrote the book on this market “Professional Services Automation: Optimizing Project & Service Oriented Organizations”.

About the Author: Blake Bisson has decades of experience as a senior executive in start-up and large publicly traded companies in product management, product marketing, marketing and sales. At Upland Software he has run product marketing for both PowerSteering and most recently Tenrox/Timesheet.

 

 

Upland’s Tenrox Professional Services Automation Software for Concur Now Available

Tenrox integration with Concur travel and expense management solution delivers seamless data transfer and service delivery

AUSTIN, Texas (January 6, 2015) – Upland Software, Inc. (Nasdaq: UPLD), a leader in cloud-based Enterprise Work Management applications, today announced that a certified integration to its award-winning Tenrox application is now available for Concur (Nasdaq: CNQR), a leading provider of integrated travel and expense (T&E) management services. The partnership between Tenrox and Concur gives Concur customers the ability to purchase and integrate to a leading professional services automation (PSA) application that streamlines service delivery, resource management, tracking and billing.

“The combination of Tenrox and Concur extends the capabilities of both products,” said Kevin Sequeira, Upland Software’s general manager and director of product management for the Tenrox line of business. “Now service organizations can leverage the best application for managing service delivery with an integrated travel planning and expense management application.”

Called the Tenrox PSA – Concur Integration, the cloud-based connection provides Concur travel and expense management customers with a streamlined way to move data seamlessly between the Tenrox and Concur applications. Concur customers will be able to leverage Tenrox for:

  • Time tracking to gain real-time insight into utilization and project cost information
  • Resource management for capacity planning, skill management and resource planning
  • Automating project cost and budgeting, billing and invoicing, and revenue recognition processes
  • Project status updates and planning

With the integration between Tenrox and Concur, all project related expense report data will be imported into Tenrox and will allow for:

  • Generating invoices that include the expenses from Concur and time and non-labor actuals from Tenrox
  • Getting an overall view of all project costs and revenues, including those from Concur expense reports

The Tenrox PSA – Concur Integration is available through Upland on the Tenrox App Center and through Concur on the Concur® Application Center. To learn more about the benefits of the integration, view this short video.

About Upland Software
Upland (Nasdaq: UPLD) is a leading provider of cloud-based Enterprise Work Management software. Our family of applications connects people through technology, automates the flow of work and brings visibility to all aspects of the organization. With more than 1,200 enterprise customers around the globe, and over 200,000 users, Upland helps teams in IT, marketing, finance, professional services and process excellence run their operations smoothly, adapt to change quickly and achieve better results every day. To learn more, visit www.uplandsoftware.com.

About Tenrox
The Tenrox workflow-driven, cloud application is designed to meet the challenges of managing globally dispersed services organizations and project workforces. It automates project initiation, resource management, time and expense, and reporting and analytics to enable customers to improve the management of billable projects from pipeline to close. Tenrox offers configurable cost and billing rules, including chargeback or invoicing, with certified integrations to all major CRM and accounting systems. Organizations worldwide, including Abbot Vascular, Autodesk, Estee Lauder, Eaton, General Electric and JDA Software, trust the Tenrox product to meet their requirements in the areas of Professional Services Automation (PSA) and time and expense tracking. Tenrox is part of the Upland Software family of cloud-based enterprise work management applications. For more information, visit www.tenrox.com.

Forward-looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements, which are subject to substantial risks, uncertainties and assumptions. You should not place reliance on these statements. Accordingly, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. These statements often include words such as “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “estimate,” “seek,” “will,” “may” or similar expressions. Forward-looking statements include information concerning our financial performance and our ability to achieve or sustain profitability or predict financial results; our ability to attract and retain customers; our ability to deliver high-quality customer service; the growth of demand for enterprise work management applications; our ability to effectively manage our growth; our ability to consummate and integrate acquisitions; maintaining our senior management and key personnel; our ability to maintain and expand our direct sales organization; our ability to changing market conditions and competition; our ability to successfully enter new markets and manage our international expansion; the operation of and reliability of our third-party data centers; and other risks and potential risk factors that could affect Upland’s business and financial results identified in Upland’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), including its prospectus filed with the SEC pursuant to Rule 424(b)(4) on November 6, 2014. All such statements speak only as of the date made. Additional information will also be set forth in Upland’s future quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, annual reports on Form 10-K and other filings that Upland makes with the SEC. Upland does not intend or undertake any duty to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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Contact Information:
media@uplandsoftware.com
512.960.1010