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NETSit - Structure for project management

“ With Projectplace, we can work in a very structured and efficient way. We just could not do without it.”
Waldemar Schlagner, qualified telecommunications engineer at NETSit GmbH

The company

Communications consultancy

When a telephone system was still a telephone system and a data network a data network, most companies could get on with their individual trades fairly well alone. Then, however, the telecommunications industry changed radically: the Internet took over the leading role in communication technology and the Internet Protocol (IP) took on a key position.

“Today the internet forms the foundation on which telephony and data networks are built, almost as applications,” explains Waldemar Schlagner. This has made communication technology so complex that projects in the field of communications infrastructure can hardly be carried out without specialist knowledge. This is where NETSit GmbH comes in: the company, which has grown steadily since it was established in 2005, now comprises 18 permanent employees across Germany. It provides highly skilled and innovative support to larger medium-sized companies and major corporations with all questions relating to voice, data and network communications and accompanies clients throughout all the stages of their projects from analysing the current situation and proposing appropriate action through to implementing the project.

The requirement

One document for everyone

At first, NETSit used a wide range of tools with their clients’ access rights when implementing projects: while one provided access to their intranet or rights for their FTP server, another provided SharePoint, PowerPoint or traditional Excel files. These very different systems had only one thing in common: working with them was really awkward, time-consuming and sometimes insecure... For example, if there was no authorisation to open documents on the client's network, the relevant file had to make a detour via the client's PC to be saved again and sent via e-mail before it could be used at its destination.

“We always had to switch between different systems,” says Waldemar Schlagner. With Excel lists, it was also often unclear which was the latest version, who had worked on it last and whether the document was saved in the right place. “The files had to be sent back and forth via the Internet. After one week at most, no one knew which version of each document was which anymore.” No one knew whether everyone was working on the same version either.

NETSit looked around for an alternative; a professional project management software was needed. After a thorough analysis of the company’s own requirements and the options on the market, Projectplace was chosen. The need for software that can be accessed from anywhere and that does not need be maintained by NETSit itself was at least as important as the need for a central data storage system.

The solution

Structure within the projects

With Projectplace, NETSit brought a consistent structure and system to its projects. Ideas on how to carry out the project are incorporated into the documentation, targets are set and a team of internal and external employees is formed. And above all: everyone has access to a shared database. The documents are saved centrally. “And only these documents from the central storage system are used,” says Waldemar Schlagner. This ensures that all participants always have the same, latest version and two different versions of the same document cannot be created.

“Efficient work is only possible with this type of coordinated storage system.” The fact that Projectplace is web-based was an important requirement for its introduction. This means that the NETSit employees, located throughout Germany, can access the project anywhere, and the clients can too.

Its simple integration is very important to Waldemar Schlagner, not least because the clients need to check and approve certain steps of the process. With Projectplace, each individual action can be recorded and the history can be displayed. “We can verify who did or decided what and when without any gaps.” Above all, the fact that the software is based online enables NETSit to focus on its core business. “We are a consultancy company – caring for and maintaining the system environment are not in our remit,” explains Waldemar Schlagner. Therefore, NETSit virtualised its own system environment and transferred all of its applications to the “cloud” long ago.

At the same time, although NETSit does not operate its own server after the transfer, the security of the data is the company's top priority. “For example, when selecting a provider, we take note of where the providers’ servers are and concentrate on other European countries.” Swedish company Projectplace was chosen because it met NETSit’s selection criteria as well as the strict European legal conditions.

For Waldemar Schlagner, using and working with the software has become a significant part of the projects, and Projectplace is therefore also presented to clients. Although some people have to get used to the disciplined way of working with the program first, Schlagner has been won over by it. “We just could not do without it.” Its success proves him right.

Clients are delighted with the structured working process. One has also even had a completely new experience: “At the end of the project, the client was amazed and extremely pleased to admit that it was the first project in ten years that had been completed on time and on budget.”