Could you describe the scope of the project in terms of components: did it include custom design, development, training, support, etc.?
The scope of the project was very large. One aspect of it was change management, because for over 30 years, individual locations were allowed to do what they wanted to do. The change aspect required helping them accept that there would be a consistent approach, and ‘corporate’ would be communicating with their customers on their behalf. Our headquarters had very little experience with enterprise software applications of this nature, so internally we did not have the experience to know really what it was going to take from a hardware side to run this thing, the staff we needed, what this really meant for the whole organization, what we were going to have to do to expand it and maintain it. We were looking for guidance. That’s particularly where TopRight came in.
How long did the implementation process take?
From the time that the Aprimo host came on site and installed it to when we sent our first communication in beta, I would say it was approximately ten months. And during that timeframe we were led through the project definition and standup by a TopRight consultant that was on site with us most days of the week.
Is there any particular reason that you chose Aprimo over some of its counterparts?
We conducted a definition of our business needs. We created a document that was essentially our RFP document. And it was really about our business needs versus our technical needs, because again we did not exactly know what those technical pieces were. So we evaluated Aprimo and many other products as well. For example, we also looked at systems like Eloqua and Unica. But we after much discussion and evaluation from a quantitative standpoint, we felt that Aprimo was the best fit for not only what we wanted to do in the near term, but also what we wanted to do in the long term as far as scalability.
How did you actually select TopRight Partners as your solution provider?
We had some internal knowledge of TopRight. They had a pre-existing business relationship and business experience with some of our executive team. TopRight was also a certified Aprimo implementation partner. So, a: I was thrilled as the champion of the solution to get the green light to have support, external expertise to teach us what we needed to know versus us stumbling through the dark and trying to figure it out for ourselves; and b: I was also reassured that there was experience with their work previously.
What parts of the project were you directly involved with in terms of in-house contribution?
TopRight was able to assist me in defining my staffing model. I was able to bring on additional team members based on their help in validating the roles. We eventually brought on a campaigns manager – someone who was working day to day building campaigns, etc. We hired a systems engineer who was dedicated to the Aprimo implementation. We hired a systems analyst that was responsible for translating business needs into technical specifications and project plans as well. As the implementation progressed we were consistently adding team members to augment our ability to manage the work processes.
Could you give me a sense of the size of this initiative in either monetary terms or the number of personnel that TopRight dedicated to the project?
From the TopRight side we started off with two consultants, and we ended up really working so well with one of them that he became dedicated to our initiative and he worked with us through the whole time period.
In terms of cost would it be possible to provide a range at all?
I recall it was over $300,000.
Do you remember exactly when this was completed?
I believe it was August of 2009.