Plante Moran has provisioned over 500 client extranet sites and 1,500 engagement sites. Extranet Collaboration Manager Professional Edition has saved us at least 3,500 hours of effort, which would be over $260,000.
Plante Moran is the nation’s 12th largest Certified Public Accounting and business advisory firm, providing clients with financial, human capital, strategic planning, technology selection and implementation, wealth management services.
The company has a staff of more than 2,000 professionals in 22 offices throughout Michigan; Ohio; Illinois; Monterrey, Mexico; Mumbai, India; and Shanghai, China.
Plante Moran has been recognized by a number of organizations, including FORTUNE magazine, as one of the country’s best places to work for 14 consecutive years.
Plante Moran previously used Lotus QuickPlace to collaborate and share files with its geographically dispersed staff and clients. In addition to QuickPlace, the firm had several locations where staff could store data, making it confusing and inefficient to manage their data. Plante Moran began a content management initiative to simplify storage of their staff and client data and upgrade their extranet solution.
The Plante Moran Technology Services Team started by evaluating other products that were not SharePoint specific, but concluded that SharePoint Server, a business collaboration platform, was the best fit for the firm’s needs. After reviewing competitive products, they chose Extranet Collaboration Manager (ExCM) Professional Edition for SharePoint Server and SharePoint Foundation, a PremierPoint Solutions add-on that creates, secures, manages, monitors and streamlines a company’s extranet.
In addition to simplifying and securing extranet use and management, ExCM Professional Edition provides a simple and consistent method for automatically creating and configuring (provisioning) new SharePoint extranet sites, while automatically enforcing company standards and uniformity (governance), saving Plante Moran significant time and money.
“Based on our requirements, to manually create a client site we average about two hours and another two hours to build an engagement site plus there’s always opportunity for human error,” Brian Dunat, SharePoint Architect explained. By using ExCM he estimated that the team invested about 500 hours to design the automated provisioning process.
To date, Plante Moran has provisioned roughly 500 client sites and 1,500 engagement sites. ExCM Professional has saved at least 3,500 hours. In terms of actual dollars, Dunat said the firm so far has saved more than $260,000 by using ExCM Professional and that doesn’t count time saved creating customized My Site, Team and Project provisioning profiles. “We’ve definitely seen a huge return on investment,” he stated.
Dunat noted that Plante Moran also uses ExCM Professional to handle parts of account management, such as allowing a client to initiate a workflow and add members to his or her group. “If we had gone the manual route, we never would have been able to scale to the volume of sites we have today.”
“ExCM Professional definitely provided what was needed for our extranet solution,” he concluded, stressing, “The ROI has been huge.”