Podcast: How to Estimate CloudSuite Projects and What’s Important

Estimating large million dollar technology ventures is part-art and part-science. Rick Whitten, RPI Consultants Solution Architect chats with Michael Grace, Tech Pro Unicorn, on how RPI Consultants estimates large projects and what he thinks should be your most important considerations. 

Transcript

Speaker 1:

Welcome to the Tech Pro Unicorn Podcast brought to you by RPI Consultants, a podcast about the magic of digital transformation through technology. Each week we’ll cover topics related to ERP, RPA, business transformation, leadership, healthcare, and unicorns.

Michael G.:

And welcome back to another episode of Tech Pro Unicorn Podcast. Today, I am joined by the infamous Rick Winton, who is the guru of all related to estimations here at RPI. And I’ll let him tell you a little bit about himself and where he came from, and what he does. So Rick, could you tell the group a little bit about yourself?

Rick Winton:

Sure. Thanks, Michael. So my name is Rick Winton and I’m a solutions architect and been around in the Lawson world for about, well, a little over 20 years this year. And my role is, I really get engaged during pre-sales. I do a lot of scoping and understanding clients, getting to know them and understanding their needs, and then really working as a liaison between our clients, our sales group and our delivery groups.

Michael G.:

Awesome. So you’ve been busy estimating all kinds of things, but probably some of the larger things that you’re estimating are these, these CloudSuite upgrades or implementations, right? The migration to the Cloud that our customers are going on.

Rick Winton:

Sure. Yeah, absolutely. [crosstalk 00:01:58]. Go ahead.

Michael G.:

Oh, I was just going to say, and our customers, I think, really debt get a lot of value out of the level of detail that you provide, that RPI provides them, in their estimates because we estimate not only here’s your consulting cost, right, but you really break that down and maybe you could share a little bit with the group on that level of detail that you get down to once you understand the customer.

Rick Winton:

Yeah. I’ve been doing this for a long time. I’ve been, a solutions architect for, I guess, a little over nine years, through various iterations. But at RPI, I think we do the best job of transparency. I think not only do we break it down by task, but by role. And not only do we break it down for RPI resources, but also for the client resources.

Rick Winton:

So, we’ll tell you at a high level what resources the client’s going to need and estimate the amount of time that the client’s going to be engaged during the project, which is helpful. You can throw a estimate over the fence and say it’s going to cost X to implement CloudSuite financials by management, but what’s the internal costs to that from a resource standpoint?

Michael G.:

That’s awesome. That’s really where, I think, customers sometimes missed the boat, right? They just take this number forward and they’re like, “Well, our licensing is this. And our software vendor or consulting partner says we need X, and they don’t plan for things like backfills, right? So when you call out, “Hey, you need to dedicated financial resources for your FSM journey,” it is a bit of a pause button or slap in the face for them to go, “Oh. Well, we’re not going to have that. We have real jobs that we have to still do in month end close and year end close, and all these things that still go on. Oh, and mergers and acquisitions and typical business opportunities that happen.” And it causes them to figure out how they staff this. Right?

Rick Winton:

Sure. Yeah, and I don’t know many organizations, in fact I’ve never run into one, that has a financials group that has a couple of people just sitting around doing nothing. They’re usually very busy all the time, and especially busy during year end and month end closes. So, to of bring that forward and say, “These are the FTEs you’re going to need,” it gives them a view of, maybe it’s a soft cost, maybe it’s not, but doing a total cost engagement instead of just looking at it one dimensionally.

Michael G.:

I love it. Yeah. And