"Enabling digital growth and innovation!" - This is the motto of Munich-based eccelerate GmbH, which specialises in digital consulting for companies that want to optimise their growth and innovation capabilities. The clientele includes medium-sized companies as well as globally active corporations. The main sectors are production and trade. eccelerate uses the cloud-based software solution ZEP to record project working hours and project controlling across projects.
When Sigrid Schmid joined eccelerate as Operations & Accounting Manager in 2017, one of her first tasks was to find a new tool for time recording and project controlling. She remembers: "The existing tool was a bit outdated and no longer had the functionality that was expected from such a solution. In addition, a moderate user-friendliness made the work difficult in daily practice. Ms Schmid explains: "With the old software solution, it was not possible, for example, to create and evaluate evaluations on the current project status."
Through another consulting company, Ms Schmid then learned about the cloud-based software solution ZEP from the company provantis IT Solutions.
ZEP stands for Time Recording for Projects. The web-based solution has been on the market since 2000 and offers project-oriented companies a complete solution for time recording and verification, travel expenses, project management and controlling as well as invoicing.
"Already in the test phase, we could see clear advantages of ZEP compared to the existing system. This was especially true for user-friendliness and the intuitive user interface. The additional range of functions in the area of project controlling ultimately led to the decision to replace the legacy system with ZEP."
ZEP has been in use at eccelerate in the ZEP Professional product line since the end of 2017.
In addition to the hours worked in the individual projects, the eccelerate consultants also record their travel costs and expenses via ZEP. They access ZEP either via the web-based user interface or the mobile apps available for all common mobile operating systems. The administration of absences and holidays is also done via the ZEP system. In addition, eccelerate creates all project invoices with the invoicing module.
In order to successfully manage her work as Operations & Accounting Manager at eccelerate, Ms Schmid uses ZEP's extensive evaluation options for project controlling.
"I work with ZEP every day. As an administrator, I can access all ongoing projects and get a complete overview of the respective project status at any time."
In addition, Ms Schmid has set up a corresponding account for herself, through which she can access all special project costs. This allows her to post all expenses associated with a project, e.g. expenses for third-party service providers. These can then be compared to the income associated with the project.
As far as the operating model of ZEP is concerned, on-premise operation locally at the customer's premises or the use of ZEP as a cloud service is generally possible. In the latter case, the cloud solution is operated from a certified (ISO 27001, IT-Grundschutz) high-performance data centre on a fully redundant, highly available server cluster in Germany. The internet connection to the ZEP servers is provided at 1000 Mbit/s via redundant fibre optic lines. Online usage contract and contract for order processing for ZEP meet all requirements of the German Data Protection Regulation (DSGVO).
"The advantage of cloud-based use for us is especially the time and location-independent use of ZEP by our consultants. They are thus able to access ZEP and record their data both in the office, but also on the road or - especially important in Corona times - at home in the home office."
"We have not regretted switching to ZEP."
Sigrid Schmid is very satisfied with the three years of use so far. "The solution offers us the expected functionality and user-friendliness of a contemporary software solution for time recording and project controlling. In addition, we benefit from professional ZEP support, which is always there to help and advise us."
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