Organization: Gainer Donnelly
Customer Since: 2007
Headquarters: Houston, TX
People really use it. Plus it really keeps us out of the email, and that makes us very happy.
The tax department especially uses Future Status for scheduling vacations, so that there's always someone in the office for client consultations.
Employees that spend a significant time out of the office also find the EIOBoard valuable so they do not have to check in as often and can be reached wherever they are.
Gainer Donnelly* is a full-service certified public accounting firm in Houston that provides tax, audit, and consulting services for both corporate and individual customers. The firm specializes in the real estate, energy, healthcare, and manufacturing sectors. Gainer Donnelly employs over 200 people and has been in business for over 60 years.
Tricia Long, IT Director, knew Gainer Donnelly needed a better communication system in the office. In 2007, when someone would come into the office, the receptionist at the CPA firm would notify the employee of their visitor using a loudspeaker intercom system. Many employees found the intercom intrusive and unprofessional in the busy office environment. In addition, when the employe wasn’t in the office, the loudspeaker seemed to “broadcast” the fact that no one seemed to know where anyone was. Gainer Donnelly needed a better way to manage outside visitors, communicate with employees, and to track the whereabouts of employees that spent a significant portion of time out of the office.
Many accountants worked from their homes, while others might spend the day visiting clients. Also, employees that took a vacation or sick day might notify their supervisors or receptionist, but perhaps not everyone that might need to know.
Tricia Long searched online for solutions to solve some or all of these issues. She wanted something that could keep track of employees so that office visitors and coworkers did not have to use the intercom to locate one another. Long’s search led to Savance, a networking and software company that specializes in automating business functions. Long was particularly interested in Savance’s Electronic In Out Board (EIOBoard) solution.
Savance EIOBoard provided a real-time, online solution that let employees check in and out right from their desktops or mobile devices. With EIOBoard, Long knew, clients and visitors could be notified right away that their party was out of the office instead of having to wait while the receptionist unsuccessfully paged the employee.
Not only did EIOBoard provide a real-time digital status board, but employees at Gainer Donnelly also quickly found value in several additional EIOBoard features. Now they could communicate with one another right from the EIOBoard application using instant messaging, something that completely eliminated the need for the intercom system. When a visitor came to the office, the receptionist simply referred to EIOBoard to see if the employee was available and sent an IM notifying the employee of the visitor. In fact, accountants and staff at Gainer Donnelly found this feature most useful for communication, particularly when a quick question needed an answer, or simply to check on a lunch companion. “It eliminates the need for a lot of email,” Long said, “which is extremely useful for instant collaboration also for server storage”.
Another feature that Gainer Donnelly found useful is the Contact Sync. EIOBoard syncs with most contact applications, including Outlook and Groupwise, so that users don’t have to open another software program to find someone’s contact information. Instead, the user simply hovers over the name in the EIOBoard application and the contact information is shown immediately. “It is much easier to find contact info,” reports Long. “You just hover over it and it’s there.” Gainer Donnelly also utilize Presence Sensing, so that when an employee goes into a meeting but neglects to change his status, EIOBoard’s Presence Sensing feature detects that the user is not at his desk and automatically updates the status. “That’s what we were initially looking for,” said Long.
Future Status is another feature many departments use, particularly in departments where coverage is essential during busy periods. “The tax department especially uses Future Status for scheduling vacations,” says Long, so that there’s always someone in the office for client consultations.
There was very little buy-in required after EIOBoard was implemented. Employees grasped its value immediately, and found further value in the solution’s communication and information features. Now accountants no longer have to search for one another to collaborate; client visits are much more professional; and scheduling coverage is simpler. In fact, new employees are required to take training to understand and make use of the EIOBoard right away, so it is a part of the new-hire orientation.
Gainer Donnelly wanted something that would enhance their professionalism when clients and other office visitors came into the building. EIOBoard enabled Gainer Donnelly to do just that, by eliminating the intercom system and employing the EIOBoard private IM feature. In addition, all employees have made use of features included the EIOBoard base application. Presence sensing is particularly helpful in an office environment so coworkers can simply check the EIOBoard before picking up the phone or making the trip down the hall. Employees that spend a significant time out of the office also find the EIOBoard valuable so they do not have to check in as often and can be reached wherever they are. “People really use it. Plus it really keeps us out of the email, and that makes us very happy,” concludes Long.
Note: In fall of 2013, Gainer Donnelly merged with accounting and business advisory firm Carr, Riggs & Ingram, LLC (CRI).