Mark Gjaltema, Chief Rebel from Rebel Projects, shares his story
When our business started to grow a few years ago, we went looking for an online collaboration tool. Since we only work with freelancers and without a physical office, this tool would be the backbone of our company.
We tried a simple setup with Google Apps and various task-extensions and the more complex with custom workflows in Podio. Neither did the job. They were either too limited or the interface was too complex for our users. Then we tried Basecamp and it did the trick: users liked the simple interface and they adapted quickly. We were happy!
But after some time, we wanted more from the platform, especially to track time and get insight into project expenses. We learned that Basecamp had no plans to extend their platform with such functions so we had to use third-party add-ons. Unfortunately, this doubled our monthly costs and wasn’t a winning combination. We struggled each month to retrieve the hours and expenses for each project and merge them with yet another system for the invoices.
We split up the company recently and started fresh with a new team and a new name. With renewed energy, we decided it was time to find another platform — a platform with an appealing interface that is not too complex for the average user. But more importantly, a platform that extends online collaboration with management tools such as time tracking, reports and invoicing.
We came across a blog that introduced ActiveCollab and was instantly thrilled. It looked like the perfect “next step” from Basecamp because it had a similar clean interface but provided all the extras we were looking for. We immediately canceled our other subscriptions and eagerly copied our projects into ActiveCollab.
Our users loved it from day one, and we’re actually impressed that we found a system that made time tracking easier for them. On a management level, ActiveCollab has already pleased us by giving insights on a project level. We monitor project budgets much better now. We even send more invoices for time-tracked tickets because it’s all in the same system.
So yeah, we’re happy we made the switch and well… we just never looked back. We have a clear focus on the future again.