WorkPoint Management System For Companies Selling Professional Services Employees

Today in category “Startups” — WorkPoint system for project management, time tracking, cost control and profitability. The service primarily focuses on consulting company. Pass the microphone.

Hello, my name is Alexander, Im 29 years old and I am from a startup team WorkPoint. We make a system that helps the companies providing professional services, establish labor cost accounting, cost control and profitability of projects. The idea was born spontaneously, it is a conscious choice of the market in which we want to work. The process of analysis, strategy selection, development of MVP and receiving a response took more than a year.

The members of our team with extensive experience in it consulting, so it is not surprising that in the end created a solution which we lacked in the “past” life. March 1, 2017, exactly a year since the release on the market, and we decided to share the experience. At the start of the project after the studies of foreign and Russian markets our target audience we have identified a small company numbering from 40 to 100 people, providing professional services. These companies traditionally called consulting.

For example, it integrators, design offices, legal practices, auditing office. In General, all those firms, who earn by selling customers time and competences of their employees. As often happens, after graduation and the start of sales had to adjust the idea about our target customers, but more on that later. There is a class of systems — Professional Services Automation.

The objective of these solutions is to automate the key business processes of professional services. Since the main production resource of such companies — time employees, WorkPoint everything is based around his account. WorkPoint consists of three large blocks: The main element of the system, which operates the majority of users — this timesheet.

The filling of the timesheet — a massive operation, so we tried to make it as clear and user-friendly. With the help of timesheets collect information about the work in terms of clients, projects and tasks, as well as some additional custom dimensions. In the project profile available visual representations that help monitor current performance, such as actual work, cost and revenue for projects of type T&M (Time & Material): In addition, using the WorkPoint planned resource utilization in the context of projects:

We did a quick and simple solution, with which comfortably to work every day. In part, this happened, although functions are still many, and some customers it repels. Backend WorkPoint built on Azure.

Use various platform components — computing environment, relational databases, message bus, distributed cache, and so on. The main task is to build a scalable architecture with high computing density. And if is easier — to reduce the cost of ownership of the platform. The web — app to Angular.

WorkPoint is a classic SaaS with a subscription. But part of the proceeds in the first year have formed a support services and implementation solutions. For the development of the first version took about 25 thousands hours. Outside investment was not involved. The yield on the break-even point expected for 2017, 100% ROI — no earlier than 2019.

During the year we have a few dozen clients, but despite the extensive training we have encountered a number of surprises and difficulties. First, a substantial interest in our system began to show the representatives of big business, and a number of introductions performed in companies from 300 to 1500 users. Corporate business imposes different requirements and we adapt to them, for example, has implemented several projects with the installation of on-premise. Second, initially relied on a quick sales cycle.

Choosing the SaaS model, suggested that our efforts will be focused on product development and marketing, and customers will self-register and use the WorkPoint with minimal support. In reality, only 20% of our customers start to use the system completely independently, in other cases, required a personal touch, starting with presentation and ending with a full implementation projects. The result has adjusted the development model and identified individual project direction, responsible for implementing and consulting in Russia. For 2017 we plan to pull the functionality up to Western leaders.

In the plans, mobile app, open API for all clients, integration with Office 365, Azure, AD, Power BI and MS Project Server. One of the main problems is the underdeveloped market and the immaturity of the small business professional services. Leaders of small companies is not always clear why this is necessary, and the words “recycling staff” is often laughable. Therefore we develop our methodological support and improve help — seeking to tell clients how to not only automate processes, but how these processes are organized. Want to get the word out and to tell about your startup.

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