One of the most common questions customers ask us is: “How long will it take to implement Esper?” If you’re considering taking your policymaking system paperless, the implementation process and timeline is one of the most important factors in your decision. As a responsible steward of your agency’s time and resources, you want to make sure the investment is worth it. We get it and we’re here to help.
👋 Meet Alden Wood, Esper’s Director of Professional Services. Alden joined Esper in 2019 and oversees all customer implementations. She’s an absolute pro at getting customers set up for success and is going to walk you through what a typical customer launch looks like in this Q&A guide.
Q: What’s the first step in a new customer implementation?
Alden: Unlike a lot of other software vendors, Esper’s Professional Services team meets with customers before the contract is signed. We host a scoping meeting where we map out your existing business processes, get an estimate of the number and types of users, and identify where your policies are located today. After the scoping call, we have a better understanding of your agency’s needs and can hit the ground running when the contract is signed.
Q: Can you share an overview of the steps in Esper’s implementation process?
Alden: Of course! Esper’s implementation process is broken down into 4 stages and typically takes between 2-5 months depending on the complexity and scope of your agency:
- Detailed mapping of your workflows, user permissions, document templates. This sets us up to successfully configure your requirements in Step 2.
- Esper has built-in internal tooling to easily configure your workflows, roles & permissions, and document templates. All of this will be preloaded and ready to go when you log into Esper for the first time.
- Validation & Testing
- After everything is configured in Esper, you take it for a test run! We have a testing checklist that we go through with you to validate that all of the workflows, permissions, and templates match your needs
- We may go through a few rounds of this depending on whether or not needs have shifted during the implementation process.
- Launch & Training
- Time to go live! We usually come on-site to your agency’s location and do training in-person. Training is hands-on and requires participants to have their computers in front of them to practice using Esper. Training is usually equal parts informative and fun. And sweet treats are known to make frequent appearances at Esper trainings 🍩 🍭
Q: What’s required of my agency in order to implement Esper?
Alden: We’ll need a dedicated “Project Manager” from your agency to be our point of contact throughout the implementation. Usually the project manager was involved during the purchasing process and is a key stakeholder in policymaking activities.
Q: How often does Esper check in with us during the implementation process?
Alden: We typically hold weekly meetings throughout the implementation process to share status updates, answer questions, and advance the project forward. As we approach the go-live date, these meetings may ramp up to twice a week.
Q: My agency doesn’t really have well-documented workflows for how we make policy. Can Esper help us create them?
Alden: You’re definitely not alone! In fact, many customers sign up for Esper because they want to create more consistency & standardization in how they create policy. If you don’t have pre-mapped policy workflows, we will work with you to create them. Our team are experts in the policymaking process and can provide insights and best practices based on our experience working with other government agencies. We’ll make sure you get everything you need 🙂
Q: Does Esper digitize our agency’s existing paper records or policy files during implementation?
Alden: There’s no one size fits all answer here. We’ve been able to support digitization of policy files with previous customers. We’d need to get a better understanding of the number of policies you want digitized, file type, and organization structure in order to give a better answer.
Q: What happens after we launch? Does Esper still have staff on standby?
Alden: Yes! You have a dedicated Customer Success Manager who checks in with you regularly to answer questions, provide additional training, and make sure things are running smoothly. You also have access to Esper’s robust knowledge base, product feature upgrades included in your subscription, and 24/7 support through our in-app chat function.
We hope this guide is helpful to you as you evaluate modernizing your policymaking system. If you have any additional questions about how Esper implementations work, reach out to us here.