Consultant: advise thyself
As a company that provides IT professional services, RCG IT knew it needed to spruce up its own technology, specifically in the area of collaboration.
Because its 2,000 employees are scattered in 22 offices across the United States as well as in an office in Manila, RCG IT wanted employees to be able to review projects or share information and best practices electronically with co-workers. They also could share project updates, deliverables and reports externally with clients.
“As our company continues to grow in both size and scope,” says VP Manny Rodriguez, “we want to improve the way we share information so that we can develop repeatable best practices and methodologies that will continually enhance the services we provide our clients.”
RCG IT chose a Web-based knowledge sharing solution from Practicity to address its collaboration needs. And, according to Leon Kish, a quality support group business analyst for RCG IT, the new system creates the kind of open knowledge exchange that’s critical to the success of all service organizations.
“Having a central repository is essential to our business, and we didn’t have it [before],” Kish says.
The new knowledge repository is based on the company’s own areas of interest, and can be easily searched and mined for information and expertise, according to company officials. It also allows RCG IT to securely extend information externally to clients.
With the new system, says Bill Gutches, regional VP for implementation quality assurance, “it’s easier to bring everyone together to share ideas. [Consultants] are out in the field dealing with our clients and solving project management issues. When they come up with some unique solution for their customers, I want them to be able to share that information with project managers who may have faced the same problem and solved it differently--or couldn’t solve it.”
Once information is posted, consultants can dig into the tools, artifacts, documents and discussion threads to find the right information to help with a given issue. “By sharing this information to build best practices, we are better able to meet our clients’ needs and develop more predictable and streamlined business solutions for future engagements,” says Rodriguez.
The solution also enhances the ability of teams to stay up-to-date on their projects, and feel confident that they are dealing with the correct versions of documents, according to officials. Consultants can view contract and pricing information, schedules, assignments and other details, while project managers and solution salespeople can analyze the status of a project and focus on what needs to be done. Selected clients can access the knowledgebase to view project status reports and updates online at their convenience.
“Having a central repository where the data is online, on time, accessible to clients, broadens the contact,” says Kish. “It gives our clients real-time access to what’s going on . . . And it gives us an edge over consulting groups that aren’t doing it, because clients want to know where they’re spending their money.”