Case Study: CBE Technologies
“Before PBworks everyone did the same job differently and had a different version of every document.”
Alison Rossi, Project Manager
Unifying Professional Services
CBE Technologies first brought in PBworks to unify the style and workflow of their three branches. The goal was to organize their operations in Maine, Massachusetts, and Connecticut into three centralized units which could still work independently but would no longer suffer from the fragmentation common to big business. Streamlining and standardizing processes while storing all document templates and samples in one easy-to-access location would mean less time (and money) spent bringing coworkers and clients “up to speed.”
The company started off with Google Docs but soon dropped it because the approval mapping and real-time notifications that PBworks offered were simply not there. Other products lacked PBworks’ ease-of-use.
“We like PBworks because when we invite users onto it they don't feel uncomfortable,” said Alison Rossi, Project Manager with CBE Technologies in Connecticut. “We don't have to teach them how to use it, so they don't feel inadequate.”
Helping Budgets As Well As Users
Choosing PBworks allowed CBE Technologies to save almost $7,000 versus using an on-premise solution. Instead of acquiring two separate servers, buying costly software, and hiring an outside team to integrate and secure their network for external users, CBE opted for a hosted solution from PBworks.
“In order to support an on-premise solution that allowed client access (we have 400-500 active clients), we would have to buy licensing and dedicate an internal support resource,” said Alison Rossi. “In addition, we would have to look at additional security and backup solutions. PBworks allowed us to create a Customer Communication Portal that allowed guest access for free with security and backup being provided by PBworks as a company.”
Thanks to PBworks’ all-inclusive pricing, CBE knows that they’ll always have access to the information they need, along with all the secure back-ups and tech support they could ever ask for. In fact, integrating PBworks into your company is even easier than the proverbial “plug and play,” since everything is stored and updated in the cloud, eliminating the need for any plugging.
It was during a core upgrade for a major client when CBE first integrated PBworks into their daily routine. Normally, this required the creation and maintenance of at least ten different documents, with CBE in charge of the first draft, the client making changes, and then revisions occurring continuously throughout testing. During this process, the Project Manager is the central hub, with all changes going through her.
“In the past, sick days meant everything stopped,” said Alison. “PBworks allowed us to cut out the middleman without cutting out the structure. The approval process was still there, but there was no more, ‘Did you check your email?’ and, ‘Who has the latest version?’”
Instead, these constant back-and-forths were replaced with PBworks: one virtual location where anyone involved in the project could go to find out the current, real-time status of the project. When someone has a question, they just post it directly as a comment and can be answered just as directly. No more worrying about where a project stands; no more inboxes flooded with questions.
PBworks Fits the Bill
Fahey had a very specific set of needs. First, he needed one central place where everyone could log in and view all the latest documents. Second, while the majority of the wiki needed to be available to all three companies, he needed to reserve some areas solely for CBE Technologies’ information and personnel.
Fahey had already used PBwiki before, when he attended a Barcamp conference, so he knew the technology. He also knew that PBworks page- and folder-level access controls were perfect for meeting his security needs. He quickly set up a PBwiki and invited members of all three companies to join. Once they joined he quickly began seeing results.
A Vendor That Supports Your Needs
Integral to CBE’s adoption of PBworks was the prompt service and responsiveness of the PBworks team. “Everything we asked for that was not currently a possibility somehow ended up happening within a week,” said Alison. “We felt that we were really listened to.”
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