A technology legacy to leave behind

As Montrose evolved, they adopted an ad hoc range of technology systems to meet their financial, administrative and customer needs.

“The majority of our solutions operated independently of one another. They weren’t robust or contemporary commercial systems, so they were never going to be suitable for our future needs.”

Peter Stewart, CEO of Montrose.

By 2014, many of their business applications needed replacing, as most were standalone with siloed data. In particular, the legacy financial, customer relationship management (CRM) and payroll/HR solutions were causing Montrose to shoulder the unnecessary expense of duplicated administrative effort particularly when preparing internal and compliance reporting. And to top it all off, they had no single source of truth for data across the organisation.


Moving to a modern solution

For an organisation experiencing continual growth and planning for more, it was clear that Montrose needed to review their technology environment and implement a modern integrated solution. They wanted advanced reporting, budgeting, forecast planning functionality and the ability to perform what-if analysis on their data.

And it was essential that whichever solution they chose could adapt, and keep adapting, to the mandatory new processes and reporting demanded by the NDIS.

In an already complex and highly regulated industry, NDIS presented significant new challenges.

“NetSuite especially enables us to be nimble and make rapid, low-cost changes.”

Peter Stewart, CEO, Montrose

“NDIS is still maturing their processes and requirements, so having something like NetSuite and Adaptive is important to us and our ability to work within the changing NDIS environment”, says Peter. “NetSuite especially enables us to be nimble and make rapid, low-cost changes.”

Partnering up with professionals

In 2014 Montrose went to market, and selected Fusion5’s CloudNFP solution. Fusion5’s success was based on their experience in the NFP sector, and their proven NDIS-compliant and integrated ERP, CRM, Client Management and Payroll/HR system based on NetSuite, Adaptive Insights, Enrite Care and EmpowerHR.

With no hardware to procure, middleware to maintain, or up-front license fee, the move to a cloud-based system promised Montrose a lower total cost of ownership. And their IT team would be freed up to concentrate on other services without the need to worry about managing, backing up, performing upgrades and testing applications.

Montrose wanted state-of-the-art products that were value for money, reliable, robust, and well supported. They didn’t want to develop customised solutions which might cause issues in the longer term. They saw NetSuite, and in particular Adaptive, as absolutely critical to what they could achieve.

Finance first

“Now that it’s in place, NetSuite has made a huge difference to everything we do. We’ve reviewed and introduced a new level of consistency to many of our processes. It’s been reliable, which is the key thing. The systems we were using previously didn’t meet our evolving business needs, and they were very much constrained. We know that we couldn’t survive with those systems in the long term, as they were getting to the end of their useful lives.”

Peter Stewart, CEO, Montrose

Fusion5 proposed a ‘bite-sized chunks’ implementation methodology which allowed Montrose to adopt the system at a speed which kept pace with their deployment strategy.

Peter originally joined Montrose as General Manager Major Projects and worked with Fusion5 to roll out CloudNFP. “Out of all the projects we were doing, the finance part was core to everything we do and could be rolled out without impacting too many people.”

The phased rollout saw the NetSuite component of CloudNFP implemented first, then Adaptive. Enrite Care was deployed as the last phase.

The beauty of the cloud

Over the last few years Montrose has implemented a number of cloud-based systems. “The critical thing for us was moving from our old server-based systems to cloud-based ones, and finally having everything beautifully integrated.”

“All of the cloud-based systems we’ve introduced, including NetSuite, brought a level of flexibility into Montrose which wasn’t here before,” says Peter. “Staff members are already working remotely via their tablets and laptops, and people are starting to understand the advantages of smartphone access. We’re no longer restricted by geography. I think the ability to use the system wherever you happen to be is important, and it’s quick to use - even remotely on tele-call connections. For example, I was in Europe 5 or 6 months ago, and able to access and use our systems without a problem.”

Happy users

“With a new system there are always questions around data security. Engaging with Oracle NetSuite is a really positive step for us,” says Peter. “They’re a large organisation with a brand and credibility to maintain, so you can be certain that the way they host the system will be appropriate for all of the organisations they support. That’s pretty beneficial for us, because as a small organisation, we couldn’t do it for ourselves.”

And with single sign-on across all of their business applications it’s easy for Montrose’s users to move from one application to another.

“Our previous system was not friendly, so our people actually enjoyed getting to grips with the new system and using it. Most people adapted very quickly, and I’ve had lots of positive comments.”

A partnership built on trust

Fusion5 now provides a single-channel of support for Montrose for CloudNFP, reducing the complexity normally associated with using a range of business applications.

“We have a very healthy, trusting and positive relationship with Fusion5,” says Peter. “They’ve been really helpful with the not-for-profit pricing on some of the licencing, which is obviously a major constraint for organisations like us. And their sector knowledge certainly made life easier for us.”

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