New Breed of Firms Rethink Biz Management

Kalido is a Melbourne-based company which describes itself as a “customer experience firm.”

"We build more effective consumer engagement driven by customer data and delivered through marketing automation, digital experience, and content creation," Eugene Neborak, Head of Delivery at Kalido said.

"By bringing together strategy, data and technology with the magic of creativity and design, we provide innovative solutions to our clients which optimize brand experiences, facilitate speed to market and unlock value at every touch point,” Neborak added.

In this very 21st Century remit, Kalido uses a number of applications: Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Sales Cloud and Commerce Cloud, Adobe Campaign and Analytics platforms such as Google Analytics, Kissmetrics, and Tealium.

The company uses each to deliver particular services to clients. But to bring it all together and manage the projects through to delivery Kalido is using the solution provided by Mavenlink.

Founder and CEO Ray Grainger was in Australia recently to open Mavenlink’s new Asia Pacific office in Melbourne and liaise with clients.

He describes Mavenlink as providing a cloud-based business management platform for professional services firms, which enables better collaboration between workers and clients and improves project management.

It is designed for companies such as digital agencies, architecture practices and civil engineering firms with large client bases, and with headcounts of 20 or more but also using subcontracted creatives.

“I came out of Accenture where I was a managing partner in their high-tech practice for two decades,” Grainger said.

“A lot of this was about technology enablement, and we ended up building the technology to support the services part of their business because the marketplace was lacking in the kind of capabilities which clients needed and it was very fragmented.

“So, I built Mavenlink based on all of this customer software development I was doing.”

Mavenlink also came out of Grainger’s view that the professional services market was changing.

“Clients had become much more sophisticated in the way they procure services, which were being procured in smaller project-based increments,” Grainger said.

"The technology was also the changing the skills that were required, and consultancies had difficulty in hiring, so they were leveraging subcontracts on shorter durations, and that was squeezing margins,” he said.

“And the other dimension is that people were working not only across company boundaries but also across geographic boundaries.”

The result was an “online venue” based in the cloud and delivered on a SaaS model that supports collaborative work, and manages all aspects of the workflow.

At Kalido, the company uses Mavenlink functions around project and budget tracking, timesheets, forecasting, scheduling, and insights reporting.

“Initially Mavenlink was brought in by our Operations Manager to improve project budget management, and specifically time tracking against projects,” Neborak said.

“We were also looking for a collaboration solution to serve as a central digital platform to store and track project related documentation and discussions.”

A key advantage is that it allows Kalido to have everything related to projects in one place, which allows for "easy transition" when staff switches across clients or projects.

“We can view any project at any time and get complete visibility on important details. For example, how are the tasks tracking against the schedule and where the budget is at,” Neborak said.

Mavenlink’s Grainger highlighted that the company is working on a Phase 2 product which should roll out in the next 18 months that he claims as a game changer in professional services both regarding procurement and collaboration.

He describes it as a “multi affiliate network where anyone can participate in anyone else’s network.”

“The next layer is allowing companies to work more seamlessly with other companies but also to discover new relationships and work with them commercially,” Grainger said.

“The next phase will be to identify expertise in the relationship, develop new subcontractor relationships and get the work done more collaboratively and efficiently,” he added.