Spectrasite Finds Success with BPM

August 30, 2004

Taking a closer look at how a company has successfully implemented Business Process Management is an effective tool for organizations considering BPM solutions. It offers a chance to better understand product selection criteria, implementation issues, best practices, and tangible business benefits. Upside Research has spent the past year and a half speaking with companies that are in the trenches with BPM, evaluating, purchasing, implementing, and maintaining the technologies. The companies have shared with us their best practices and lessons learned as a way to help other organizations in similar situations succeed with BPM. This month, we introduce a new BPM Success Story, SpectraSite’s implementation of Ultimus BPM Suite.
SpectraSite is a $350 million owner and operator of wireless antennae sites on towers and rooftops nationwide. Chances are, if you own a cellular phone and you’ve made a call inside a shopping mall, you’ve used SpectraSite’s services. The company had a number of processes that were taking too long to complete, bogging down business cycles and slowing revenue. One specific business challenge was finding a way to reduce the company’s existing order process, which was currently taking 60 days. The current process was time consuming and the faxing technology was inadequate for the company’s needs.
After a comprehensive evaluation process that involved several vendors, SpectraSite chose Ultimus BPM Suite. According to Chuck Schroeder, IS Director for SpectraSite, “we chose Ultimus because we didn’t want programmers to write the code.” The fact that Ultimus was local (also in North Carolina), well funded, and used Microsoft infrastructure extensively were also considerations. Ultimus fit right into SpectraSite’s existing architecture, making implementation easier. In addition, the graphical designer, org chart components, process-modeler, integrated forms designer, and role-based routing were features that particularly impressed SpectraSite.
Upside Uptake
As we’ve mentioned in recent reports, Upside Research believes that organizations should evaluate BPM products from both a business and IT perspective to identify the most appropriate solution. SpectraSite did a good job of aligning the technology solution it chose, Ultimus BPM Suite, with its existing IT infrastructure, easing implementation and adoption. On the business side, SpectraSite hit the jackpot with Ultimus. The company was able to use the pilot application it created immediately in production, and the process that had taken up to 60 days to complete was reduced to 10-14 days. SpectraSite has seen measurable ROI from the Ultimus BPM Suite. In this process alone, the resulting earlier income is considerable, and Schroeder believes the product has paid for itself in about six months.
Upside Research believes this kind of measurable return on investment for BPM is critical for companies that are evaluating solutions. Understanding exactly how the investment in a BPM technology will pay off to the business, and more importantly, how quickly it will pay off is key to gaining upper management support.
SpectraSite’s implementation of Ultimus BPM Suite has been a resounding success. Since the initial process automation, the company has completed an additional 30 process pieces, and they’re working on another 50. SpectraSites anticipates that Ultimus BPM Suite will be useful for its SOX requirements as well. The value of Ultimus BPM Suite to SpectraSite is exponential, as the company keeps finding ways to leverage the solution to solve pressing business needs.

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