Interview with Nicolas Rousseaux, Sales Manager of the Notilus team. He has been supporting companies in the deployment of expense and travel management solutions for almost 10 years now.
Notilus assists its customers from A to Z as they go through the implementation of our solution. We know that Travel & Expense Management projects are delicate. To avoid waste of time, we have put in place a well-developed methodology. In this article, we will look at two things: the project itself through the lenses of the company’s organization, and the support provided by Notilus.
A delicate and transverse project
One of Notilus’ strengths is to offer strong support to the client firm throughout the project, and a methodology that benefits from 25 years of experience in the expense management market. We know that for our customers, projects are complex and necessitate competent and robust assistance.
Nicolas ROUSSEAUX, Sales Manager, adds:
“All employees of a company will make a trip or an expense report at least once a year. Everyone is impacted, meaning ours is a very visible tool used by all employees and we have to be all the more vigilant when deploying it.”
Discover now the different steps to successfully implement your new expense report and business travel management tool. It should be noted that these may vary as they adapt to the client’s wishes.
For those who want a quick implementation, we have designed a “quick start” offer. This allows you to have an adapted project methodology and to deploy Notilus in just a few days.
The different steps of a Notilus T&E project
It all starts with a joint project kick-off workshop. We gather all stakeholders and communicate together on the different key steps. Deadlines and deliverables are set up, and the goal is to ensure that everyone is mobilized and moving in the same direction. The workshop is also an opportunity to meet the project team who is here to answer all the questions. A project team is usually composed of a functional consultant and a technical consultant. For some projects, the team will bring onboard a project or hosting manager, or an ESB (Enterprise Service Bus, for the flows/interfaces).
2- Designing the solution
This second phase is centred on functional and technical analysis. This allows us to collect users’ needs. This meeting takes place on your premises in 90% of the cases and is crucial to guarantee the success of the project.
“To avoid confusions or misinterpretations, we exchange face to face. We will think about the functional and technical specifications that make the backbone of the project, including all the requirements for parameterization, rules, limits, and interfaces. In concrete terms, we put everything in writing and the rest of the project will proceed on this basis,” says Nicolas ROUSSEAUX.
Very often our customers start working on the project before these first days of collaborative analysis. Some of them would have already formed a project group and written a specification or an expression of requirements. In this case, we can accompany them by sending, for example, preparatory documents to aid their analysis and help them carry out internal workshops, and reflect on the topics that need to be addressed.
With our OCR, all fields such as VAT, currency or amount are automatically detected. With the electronic archiving, your expense receipts are stored in a secure cloud, no more paper.
3- Implementation of the solution
This phase essentially consists of skills transfer. In order to set up Notilus -following the analyses made during the previous phase – our consultants provide you with all the necessary knowledge to make the solution evolve later on.
“This is how we set ourselves apart from our competitors: we make our clients autonomous and independent in our projects. We know that the market for expense reports and business travel often changes and we want our customers to be able to tweak a rule, a limit, a type of expense accordingly without our intervention or additional costs,” continues Nicolas ROUSSEAUX.
This phase allows you to connect Notilus to your information system. This is one of the most important phases of the project. It allows for the automation of as many exchanges as possible and the prevention of double entries, which automatic interfaces an important source of time savings. At this stage, the tool is almost ready to be used and the trials begin.
“We have to think about the input interfaces, which send information to Notilus, and the output interfaces which extract and transmit information from Notilus to other tools in the information system, such as the accounting interfaces for expense reports, payment, payroll, etc. We use the most efficient technologies to set up and integrate simple or complex interfaces with our customers’ HRIS or ERP systems.”
5- Solution validation
In some projects, we set up a “recipe” group to test the configuration and interfaces before going into production.
“We twist the product in all directions to see if we have forgotten anything and check that everything is functional.”
6- Going into production
The solution is now operational.
“Sometimes we deploy the product for all users at the same time, while sometimes we proceed with small groups of users at different times. We can set up a pilot group with a scope limited to a department, a company, or a country, who will be able to test Notilus in real conditions before a global deployment. All this is up to the client and according to their preferences.”
In parallel, we also train pilot groups and users, although, with the intuitiveness of the product, this has become less and less necessary.
“We can provide user guides and tutorial videos to understand how to make the first entries. But end-users typically don’t take long to understand how Notilus works.”
7- Real-life conditions
With Notilus it is possible to go very deep in the analysis. We generally wait one month after deployment to gather enough data in the database, before using our reporting tools and training the customers.
“In terms of deadlines, from the launch of the project, it takes two to three months. During the first month, we carry out the analysis, implementation, and parameterization. In the second month, we focus on interfaces and revenues before going into production at the beginning of the third month.”
Now you know everything about the implementation of a Notilus T&E project!
Read on to discover some tips to make your project a success and better understand it!
3 key points to succeed in your T&E project
Involve everyone in the company, since everyone is concerned, including the training, HR, audit, IT, and accounting departments. The earlier they are involved, the easier the project will be.
Consider some topics beforehand, such as the internal organization of your company, the rules, the workflows, the countries, etc. In “project mode”, you have to think about the contours so that you are more efficient when deploying Notilus.
Have a “sponsor”, a decision-taker from the company who will be able to make decisions when questions will inevitably arise during the development of the Notilus project so that less time is wasted.
Our solution is dedicated to the moblity management. In addition to the expense reports management you can plan, book and track your business trips. It is also possible to manage your car fleet.