How Business Integra Made Their Vision a Reality with the Help of Deltek
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Government Contracting firm takes business from Unanet to Deltek to increase re-certification efficiencies, streamline business processes and help propel growth.
An American Dream
Since coming to America in 1999, husband-and-wife team Selva Jayaraman and Prathiba Ramadoss had a vision. That vision has propelled their company, Business Integra, from a niche IT services firm to the large, award-winning U.S. federal prime contracting IT powerhouse it is today. Of course, there were challenges along the way, but, for a company committed to continuous improvement, this was all part of the journey towards success.
The Early Years
Business Integra began in 2001 as a woman-owned and minority-owned staff augmentation firm in the commercial space. Over time, the team set its sights on the federal space with the intent to provide information technology, cybersecurity, aeronautic engineering, scientific solutions and mission support services. As they began competing for and winning contracts, it soon became clear that QuickBooks® wasn’t robust enough for their accounting and project management needs. It didn’t lend itself to the management of contracts, projects, timesheets and expenses. Upon considering Deltek Costpoint at that time, the company was met with warnings that the software was strictly “for the big boys” and instead selected Unanet.
Over the next few years, Business Integra used a combination of both Unanet and QuickBooks. The company continued to grow and went head-to-head with much larger competitors. Their first major opportunity was an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract with the IRS.
“I remember several days and several nights when we didn’t go home at all – just reading the RFP, understanding it, what it needed, what had to be done,” recalled Padma Shinde, Chief Financial Officer of Business Integra. She and her colleagues consulted thought leaders and outside coaches to get advice on how to tackle the monumental challenge.“ From that day forward, we decided that we wanted to be a process-oriented company, and we wanted to earn all the certifications and other things that would be necessary for our company to grow,” Shinde explained.
Make the Switch to Costpoint
Certification and the Need for a Comprehensive Solution
Later that same year, Business Integra embarked upon ISO and ISO 9000 certification and then moved on towards CMMI Level 2. These are industry best practices and industry-recognized, enterprise-wide standards of excellence. “In order to earn that certification, we had to be very process-driven. It started from there, getting CMMI Level 2 in 2009, bumping ourselves up to CMMI Level 3 in 2011, and—finally, in 2018, we were able to certify ourselves as CMMI Level 5, the highest level of certification any company can achieve under the CMMI. There are only 12 or 13 companies that have this level of certification,” Shinde said.
Business Integra recertifies every three years. This means that all of their projects and people have to align to the process and be ready to face the auditors. Repeatedly entering data and constantly uploading and downloading documents was becoming arduous. As Shinde explained, “We have a couple of NASA contracts, for example, and there’s a lot of reporting, and I had to download some reports and data from Unanet on a monthly basis and send it to another system and double up a report from there – the 533 Quarterly Contractor Financial Management Report and supplementary reports.”
It was an inefficient use of time and resources, but, upon further investigation, Shinde learned that Deltek Costpoint offered operational, self-service reporting across the enterprise. “Unanet, unfortunately, did not have the capability,” Shinde shared. “It’s still only a financial module, but when I talk about the process, the process is across the organization. It starts with my talent acquisition. It’s my BD; it’s my HR; it’s my contracts. I needed my overall process to be more straightforward and one process to flow into others without interference. We needed to marry everything together, and that’s why we moved to Deltek.”
An Integrated Future
As a Deltek customer, Business Integra looks forward to even further integration in the future. For example, they already utilize Deltek GovWin IQ to enhance their public sector sales and capture strategies, so integrating that with their Costpoint solution would help them automate more processes. Shinde stated, “Then, the contract will automatically come in, and from that, the execution – the hiring, on-boarding, contracts management, financials and reporting – until the contract close-out. I'm looking forward to having everything in Deltek from A to Z.”
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About Business Integra
Business Integra is an award-winning certified woman-owned business, a Certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), and an Inc. 500-recognized global provider of information technology (IT), cybersecurity, aeronautic engineering, scientific solutions, and mission support services. Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, BI now has more than 400 employees primarily serving civilian and military agencies within the Federal Government. Follow Business Integra on Twitter and on LinkedIn.
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