Time Tracking at softaware gmbh with Time Cockpit
From November 19th to 21st the BASTA software development conference took place in Vienna. We took the chance and interviewed Mr. Roman Schacherl, CEO and co-founder of softaware gmbh, about the time tracking challenge in general and his experience with time cockpit in particular.
The Company softaware
softaware is a young Austrian software development company. The team’s passion is to develop custom software solutions that really work for their customers. softaware does not focus on specific branches. Their core competence is developing software on Microsoft’s technology stack. Although softaware has been on the market for only three years, the team is already well known for its expertise and ability to drive innovation by using latest findings in software development. The softaware team is proud that they were one of the first Austrian Microsoft partners who launched apps in the Windows 8 Store.
From Excel to Time Cockpit
Detailed time tracking is a must-have for the softaware team. “Knowing start- and end-time of a working day is not sufficient for us. Our detailed time tracking database is an essential part of the project documentation that we offer our customers. We use it to monitor our projects’ progress, it is the basis for our billing process, and we need it for our internal final costing process. Time tracking is definitely a critical system for our business”, says Roman Schacherl.
Before moving to time cockpit, softaware had been using Microsoft Office Excel for time tracking. It did not work for them. Roman Schacherl: “Even for a small team like ours, a dedicated time tracking tool like time cockpit offers a lot of advantages: No manual effort for consolidating Excel time sheets. I can create a report or analyze data with just a few mouse clicks. Even in a busy week the activity tracker of time cockpit reminds me of what I did and increases data quality a lot. You cannot achieve this level of professionalism with simple Excel-based time tracking.”
Tailoring Time Cockpit
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A distinguishing feature of time cockpit is that customers can extend and customize it to a large extent. The softaware team tailored time cockpit to their specific needs. Roman Schacherl’s example: “In the past it sometimes happened that team members were totally focused on customer projects and simply forgot about time tracking. Focused work is great but time tracking is an inevitable necessity for our business. We have used time cockpit’s scripting functionality to implement a weekly status email with project times. This works great for us. We do a lot of work outside of our office at the customer’s site. The status email helps everyone to stay informed about the work done in the different projects. In addition to that, making project times transparent is an additional motivation for all of us to keep the time tracking database up to date.” The softaware team has used time cockpit’s scripting functionalities to implement this extension. Roman Schacherl said that it literally took them only minutes to setup the weekly status email based on the tutorials and manuals in time cockpit’s online help.
Why SaaS is Important For softaware
Time cockpit is not the only cloud-based SaaS offering that softaware is using. They utilize Microsoft Office 365 for email and document management as well as Microsoft Azure for providing some of their own web-based services. “I do not want to invest time in a time tracking solution by creating the necessary infrastructure to run it. A time tracking software has to save time for me. We concentrate on our core competencies and therefore SaaS was a must-have-criteria when evaluating time tracking solutions”, says Roman Schacherl. He adds: “Besides not having to build the infrastructure for time tracking, the SaaS pay-as-you-go pricing model is a big advantage for teams like us. We are growing rapidly, we have trainees, and sometimes we work with freelancers. In time cockpit you pay exactly for what you need. If we employ a trainee for 14 days we only pay for 14 days. This model gives us the flexibility that we need.”
Automated Processes as an Enabler for Growth
Asked about the most important topics regarding time tracking, Roman Schacherl mentions two things: Firstly he wants to support all team members with the right tool. Every member in the softaware team can optionally install and use time cockpit’s activity tracker. This reduced the effort for time tracking and raised data quality. Secondly he focuses on optimizing softaware’s processes: “As a growing team we need to get our processes right. Time tracking has to be seamlessly integrated into our back office processes. Automatic creation of invoices, progress reports, final costing – we automate these processes as much as possible. Time cockpit helps us to achieve this goal.”
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