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Metastorm

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As the first breakaway business process management (BPM) vendor, Metastorm is a leader in BPM software and best practice methodologies for modeling, automating, integrating, and improving both human and system-based processes. In late 2005, the company tripled it services business, in both revenues and people, through its acquisition of CommerceQuest. It became clear that the company needed a robust resource for managing its consulting engagements and accounting.


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Epicor for Service Enterprises enables us to drill down and examine the profit margin for each consultant to better understand utilization, which helps us manage resources more efficiently.

Steve Scribner, Controller | Metastorm
Company Facts
  • Location: Baltimore, Maryland
  • Industry: Software
  • Number Employees: 160
  • Logistics: Serving customers in 41 countries

Challenge
  • Company expansion required solution that could provide strong project accounting capabilities and access to real-time data

Solution
  • Integrated solution with powerful reporting for managing consulting operations and back office financials worldwide 

Why Epicor?
  • Deferred maintenance billing enables 25% time savings; helps sustain renewal cycle
  • Project accounting efficiencies saves one-full time person
  • Streamlined data consolidation enables 10-15% time savings in financial reporting
  • Reduced billing time by one week per month

Benefits
  • Access to real-time data and analytics supports forecasting and resource utilization
  • Shift in focus from administrative tasks to strategic initiative
  • Increased accuracy and efficiency in business reporting and ability to understand profitability at a granular level

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The solution that Metastorm had been using to manage its financials was not adequate to support the company's growth. According to Steve Scribner, controller for Metastorm, the solution was cumbersome and didn't provide the integrated time and billing capabilities Metastorm needed to manage its consulting operations.

“We operate on a global basis and needed a solution to bring together financial information across our global operations. Our previous solution required us to consolidate data from separate databases, which was a time intensive process, and we never had access to real time data,” said Scriber. “We wanted a single solution that could provide project management and reconciliation as well as forecasting and reporting tools in one integrated database.”

Metastorm sought a solution that could accurately manage value-added tax (VAT) rules for its European projects, which account for about 40% of the company's business. Also important was the ability to automate the deferred maintenance billing process and provide powerful reporting and analytics. Metastorm evaluated other solutions, but quickly determined that Epicor for Service Enterprises offered the functionality they required.

Time Savings Equals Cost Savings

Epicor for Service Enterprises has improved efficiency across Metastorm's accounting and consulting organizations enabling dramatic time savings. Through the automation of Metastorm's deferred maintenance process the company can closely monitor maintenance revenues in real time. When a customer comes up for renewal, Epicor for Service Enterprises pings the renewal manager and automatically generates an invoice.

“Our customer base is the lifeblood of our organization and being able to efficiently process maintenance renewal is a key asset,” said Scribner. “The deferred maintenance billing automation has enabled a 25% time savings and helps sustain our renewal cycle.”

Scribner reports that Epicor for Service Enterprises enables a 10-15% time savings in the consolidation of financials. In project accounting, the solution saves Metastorm one full-time resource and has shortened the billing time for services by one week per month. “Epicor for Service Enterprises allows our finance people to focus on analyzing data rather than processing data. In addition, our consultants are spending much less time in administrative work and our key consulting leaders are freed from having to process data in order to bill time,” said Scribner.

Leveraging Business Transparency

Epicor for Service Enterprises has also enabled Metastorm to become more transparent in its operations. “We are not a public company, but we operate like one,” said Scribner. “Epicor for Service Enterprises provides real-time data which enables management to be proactive rather than reactive.” For example, Scriber can look at exchange rate values for projects abroad and determine what the impact could be on revenues as rates fluctuate, rather than at month-end reporting time.

“Overall, the solution provides more accuracy in our business reporting and more efficiency too. We can report on each business segment and understand profitability at a very granular level,” said Scribner. “Epicor for Service Enterprises enables us to drill down and examine the profit margin for each consultant to better understand utilization, which helps us manage resources more efficiently.”

The Integrated Advantage

Before selecting Epicor, Metastorm considered implementing a third party application to provide project management capabilities, but concluded it was not cost-effective as it would require the added expense of purchasing back-end code, involving multiple parties to complete the coding process and would ultimately place more burden on IT resources.

“As new business and technology needs emerge, companies often look to plug-in third party applications to existing systems. In my experience this approach is never as seamless and often more costly than an integrated solution,” said Scribner. “We like that Epicor for Service Enterprises is end-to-end solution.”

Scribner also commented on the quality of the implementation services provided by Epicor. “The services can make or break an implementation. You can have the greatest product in the world, but if the services aren't good, the project can be a failure,” said Scribner. “The Epicor Signature Methodology for consulting services was certainly effective. The consultants were very knowledgeable and always responsive.”

A Company-Wide Resource

Epicor for Service Enterprises is used by the Metastorm finance department and the consulting team on a daily basis. In addition, Scribner along with Metastorm's CFO and vice president of finance use Epicor for Service Enterprises as a strategic tool.

“We can pull current information from Epicor for Service Enterprises on demand. Project managers can have real-time access to job information to identify issues or low utilization quickly so adjustments can be made before problems arise,” said Scribner. ”We regularly utilize data from the system to serve other areas of the business such as marketing and sales.” Going forward, Metastorm is looking to utilize Epicor for Service Enterprises to manage its help desk and research and development operations.

About Epicor

Epicor Software Corporation is a global leader delivering business software solutions to the manufacturing, distribution, retail, and service industries. With more than 40 years of experience, Epicor has more than 20,000 customers in over 150 countries. Epicor solutions enable companies to drive increased efficiency and improve profitability. With a history of innovation, industry expertise, and passion for excellence, Epicor inspires customers to build lasting competitive advantage. Epicor provides the single point of accountability that local, regional, and global businesses demand. For more information, visit www.epicor.com.

Epicor solutions are designed around the unique operational needs of manufacturers and are available in the cloud or on premises. Customers can better manage complexity and focus on core growth activities.

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