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Environmental Partners Reduces IT Costs and Improves Productivity by Moving to the Cloud

Environmental Partners (EP) is a winner, with over a dozen ACEC/MA Engineering Excellence Awards since 2017. The firm has earned multiple spots on the Zweig Group Hot Firm List of “the 100 fastest-growing architecture, engineering, planning, and environmental consulting firms in the United States and Canada,” as well as spots on The American Public Works list of Top 25 National Public Works Projects.

Thanks to Controller Marie Gertje, EP’s accounting system is a winner, too. However, when she joined the Quincy, Massachusetts-headquartered firm in 2015, she faced an older version of Deltek that was running on a failing server with features and options that didn’t meet the needs of a growing firm. In order to bring the accounting system up-to-date and utilize it more fully, she realized that moving Vision to the cloud made sense. Since the outside IT consulting firm wasn’t willing to work with Deltek software, Marie was an intermediary between CCG and the IT consultants.

“It was tiresome and expensive every time there was a software maintenance or hardware issue,” says Gertje. “The one-time user licensing fee and annual maintenance costs added up, and we were limited to adding user licenses in groups of 10, which were irrevocable.”

In addition to mounting expenses, Gertje understood the need to modernize for an increasingly younger staff. “We have approximately 30 field employees working all over Massachusetts and Connecticut, and late timesheet submission was a real problem,” says Gertje. “Our young, mobile staff asked to do timesheets on their smart phones, but our VPN has limited seats, and completing timesheets would not be good use of it.”

Getting ready for the cloud migration was fairly simple. Deltek sent instructions on how to submit a current copy of the data, and CCG helped provide the data to Deltek for setting up EP’s test environment. After test data became active, Deltek notified the firm, and it tested some processes such as printing checks and reporting operated to ensure they operated correctly.

“The actual migration took about a day for Deltek to upload our data, then for me to review and update security settings and send out welcome emails to all employees,” Gertje says. “We were off and running, and employees saw no real differences between the two versions, so it was seamless. We just had to get used to previewing a report in the cloud before printing it.”

In addition to reducing IT and hardware costs and easier budgeting with monthly pricing, EP’s cloud solution is reliable since periodic maintenance is done on weekends in the middle of the night. Now that their accounting firm has remote access to the system, year-end processing is much easier.

“Perhaps best of all,” Gertje says with a smile, “staff has no excuse for late timesheets and other finance-related tasks, which has improved efficiency. And we’re secure in knowing that our data is protected by Deltek through Amazon Web Services.”


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