Case Studies & Testimonials

The Aurelius Group: Scaling Up with the Cloud

The Challenge

The Aurelius Group, a consulting firm that delivers innovative HR analytics and technology solutions, launched in 2011, winning a large contract to deliver a first-of-its-kind workforce assessment and analytics program for the US Department of Veterans Affairs. The Aurelius Group’s President and COO Shirl Nelson said, “We were very excited to win the competitive bid, and being a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), we  couldn’t have been more pleased than to deliver a service that supports our nation’s veterans.”

The company needed to scale up quickly, hiring a team and getting them productive as soon as possible to meet the government’s ambitious targets for the launch of the program. Shirl reached out to AscentPath for help. As she explained, “I knew we needed to set up email, calendars, collaboration and other supporting capabilities quickly. I had previously worked with Justin Devine, AscentPath’s CEO, and reached out to get some help setting up our IT infrastructure.”

 

Our Solution

The AscentPath team recommended Office 365, and was able to get The Aurelius Group up and running with email, Microsoft Office, file sharing, and communications in less than one day. Rob Gauthier, CEO of The Aurelius Group commented that “based on my previous experience I was amazed and pleased by how quickly we could be up and running with so many  tools at our disposal. The cost was also very reasonable, and the subscription model saved us from any big up-front IT investments. It was great for a young company and allowed us to easily scale as we grew.”

With their new platform to support them, the team was off and running. They began to stand up an innovative workforce development program for VA and won new contracts in consulting and training. The team found OneNote, Skype for Business, and SharePoint, which are included in Office 365, particularly useful tools. Program Manager Eric Saas claims, “this company runs on OneNote. We use it at nearly every meeting to capture notes, record decisions, and track action items. Integrating leading edge research, technology, and strong program management into a successful program requires everyone to stay on the same page, every day. OneNote helps us stay on track.”

The Aurelius Group also saw a lot of value in SharePoint and Skype for Business. The company’s work sometimes required collaborating with large teams of PhDs, statisticians, subject matter experts (SMEs), engineers, and client stakeholders, many of whom were remotely located. Access to shared files, chat, audio, and video conferencing from any location allowed The Aurelius Group to successfully employ large virtual teams in support of its clients’ goals. Recently, The Aurelius Group has gotten even more value from their Office 365 platform when the firm developed a custom SharePoint solution to support the needs of their largest program.

Incorporating the exciting new features of Power BI, the solution, named ADAMS (Assessment Development and Management Solution), allowed The Aurelius Group to overcome limitations of the available off-the-shelf software products and dramatically improve the sophistication of its content management processes. Reaching even deeper into the Office 365 stack to enable competitive advantages, TAG leveraged the project and portfolio management capabilities of Project Online to develop a unique and powerful workforce development portfolio management solution named OnPlan. The solution allows Chief Learning Offices (CLOs) to manage and optimize their project and program portfolio through a single pane of glass, incorporating project and program level metrics such as Return on Expectations (ROE). “Leveraging our investment in Office 365 allowed us to do something that, as a small company,” Shirl explains, “we never could have afforded to do from scratch. We were able to develop custom cloud-based, solutions, tailored to our proprietary process for pennies-on-the-dollar that it would have cost to build otherwise.”

 

 

The Results

With a strong and flexible technology foundation behind them, The Aurelius Group has continued to deliver success for their clients, achieving an impressive 95% past performance rating and winning a new assessment projects with the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) agency of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.

The power and value of Office 365 has allowed The Aurelius Group to do more for their clients, move quickly to stand up infrastructure and get talented teams moving forward, and control IT costs while providing the ability to scale up quickly as the business grows. AscentPath continues as The Aurelius Group’s service provider and technology strategy consultants helping the company get the most value out of the Office 365 platform for the firm and its clients. Shirl Nelson believes that “AscentPath and Office 365 are very much a part of our success story. They have enabled us to set up teams quickly and empower them with tools they need to be successful. By avoiding large upfront costs we’ve had much more flexibility. AscentPath did a great job rolling the platform out and continues to help us get more out of it every day.”