Company: BTCustomer: MCP PlcSubmitted by: HarvardMaritime Cargo Processing Plc was set up to manage, market and develop the advanced port community system known as the Felixstowe Cargo Processing System (FCPS). After the launch of FCPS at Felixstowe MCP now controls and develops the system, as well as specialising in the promotion and implementation of integrated port information systems in the UK and abroad. MCP regularly undertakes consultancy services to advise on the benefits under takes consultancy services to advise on the benefits of such systems and their implementation elsewhere in the world and has undertaken work on behalf of the world Bank and the European Commission. With 17 employees MCP generates sales of £3m.
Setting the Scene
MCP Plc has been using BT FinanceManager for the last 12 months.
BT FinanceManager is the accounting application for the BT BusinessManager family of applications. BT BusinessManager has been designed to offer the benefits gained from using an ASP (Application Service Provision)model. This model allows MCP to rent packaged applications without the upfront capital investment. The BT BusinessManager applications are run from a central point, require little customisation and are accessed via dedicated IP dial line, such as ISDN. This ensures quick and risk free implementation.
Before BT FinanceManager MCP was using an in-house developed bespoke accounting system using DOS.
This system was not year 2000 compliant and did not offer the project accounting functionality that the business was now demanding. MCP choose the application service model with BT BusinessManager as it gave them access to the level of application functionality they normally would not get for the low price.”The delivery of SAP R/3 software via the BT BusinessManager application software provider service has given us access to a range of software that we would not normally consider cost effective.”
David Copsey, Financial Controller
David Copsey, MCP’s financial controller, was proactive in the adoption of the ASP model for delivery of MCP’s accounting application.
He believes that once you over come internal concerns around security and company data being held in the network, the ASP model will deliver significant benefits to the business. That is why BT FinanceManager was selected above other methods of delivering applications for MCP.
MCP hold a standard 3 year rental contract with BT. BT is responsible for running and managing the BT FinanceManager application and infrastructure, as well as providing support, upgrades and legal patch changes. On termination of contract BT will return all MCP’s data in an agreed format.BT BusinessManager is positioned as a low cost quarterly rental service that gives predictable costs.
After an initial connection charge of £1,750 there is a per user quarterly rental fee. The amount is dependent on what application area is subscribed to by the customer. Customer configuration, training and consultancy are all additional customer services that are be tailored to meet individual needs and are charged accordingly.
BT BusinessManager offers a fixed level service agreement. These service levels are set around availability of the service, response times to fixing faults, and performance.
MCP’s implementation of BT FinanceManager is a standard configuration of SAP SME R/3.
Little or no customisation is needed. After completing an implementation questionnaire the chartered set of accounts are configured. For MCP this took 36 hours. Configuration work for MCP was conducted onsite, since this was the first implementation of BT FinanceManager. However, configuration is usually conducted off site.
After providing two ports on the local area network implementation for MCP was quick, taking just under two weeks.
The implementation of BT FinanceManager at MCP is not integrated with any other applications. For MCP the integration of BT FinanceManager with other applications is not a critical issue. BT BusinessManager can integrate with other applications through a series of standard interfaces.
The Role of the ASP
BT has been heavily involved in the implementation of BT FinanceManager at MCP.
The company was keen to test the concept and understand areas where the service can be improved. For MCP the main areas of learning have been around distinguishing ownership around network management. The additional involvement of third party suppliers for LAN management & ISDN provision has left a grey area with no clear ownership for fault reporting. These issues are currently being addressed by the BT BusinessManager team.
Experience & Conclusion
On the whole MCP is satisfied with the implementation of BT FinanceManager. It has provided MCP with access to functionality that normally the company would not be able to justify.
“It gives us lots of Fortune 500 functionality at an small business price”David Copsey, Financial ControllerAccess to this advanced functionality has helped MCP organise its financial data more effective as well as offering an increase in the speed of transactions & processes. This equates to a saving of 20% in time.To conclude BT FinanceManager has provided MCP with a managed solution which gives them access to world class functionality and resources. Experience to date shows that implementation of BT FinanceManager was quick and that small companies can benefit form access to world class applications, such as SAP R/3.