If you’re an executive and the core of your business is several miles up in space, the term “overview” takes on extra meaning. ImageSat Corporation is one of the four leading providers of satellite imaging services, with customers including security firms, governments, and individuals worldwide. Privately held and based in the tranquil Antilles Islands, ImageSat has two key representatives in the Mediterranean region: One in Israel and one in Cyprus.
In 2000, the company embarked on a challenging project – a cooperative agreement with ImageNet, a worldwide distributor of satellite images delivered over the Internet. The agreement required ImageSat to implement an extremely capable and flexible management platform.
“Every satellite image we supply must have the highest possible resolution and must give the viewer the ability to see the smallest detail,” says Ori Ben-Amotz, ImageSat Israel’s chief financial officer. “We wanted to provide that resolution, but we also needed the ability to analyze and control the processes integral to ImageSat. The need for an Internet-based commercial management system became acute when we started the partnership with ImageNet.”
“In fact, we had to build this system from the bottom up. We had no connection to the network – in particular, no e commerce interface that would connect between the Internet and our relevant business processes, such as managing receivables, credit checks, and invoicing.”
…and the solution
ImageSat reviewed the software packages addressing its requirements. The decision parameters included cost of solution, flexibility with an external interface, short implementation time so that existing business processes would continue uninterrupted, and the ability to work in a decentralized environment.
“We looked for software with management possibilities in a decentralized environment that would connect between ImageSat Israel, the Cyprus office, and our partners for anything pertaining to managing the archive and special orders,” says Ben-Amotz. “The software we had was not designed for this type of application. It could not manage e-commerce processes, and it was not Windows-based.” All indications led ImageSat to SAP Business One, which met all its key requirements.
Implementation and integration
The software was implemented within two short weeks. “SAP Business One’s most significant contribution was providing transparency and control over the cash flow – online and at the click of a button,” says Ben-Amotz. “Each entry was entered into the profit-and-loss statement without any manual intervention, and it became much easier to access the data and perform the required verifications.”
Return on investment
ImageSat recognized savings at a number of levels. For one, SAP Business One adapted to the company’s existing infrastructure, requiring no structural changes during implementation. The system also integrated the company’s bookkeeping activity, eliminating the need for external bookkeeping services. In addition, adds Ben-Amotz, the payback was realized within just two months.
“We received a high-quality tool for managing business processes, and we continue to discover more features that provide additional efficiency,” Ben-Amotz says. “In the first stage, we implemented SAP Business One as a tool to help us with bookkeeping and finances. We subsequently added the purchasing management module, which gives us complete transparency over our purchase orders and their status.
“In fact, working with RELS, an SAP Manage business partner, we built an e-commerce system that manages the Internet marketing effort, performs ongoing tracking of inventory and receivables, and provides online and current reports. To reinforce our customer service capability, we intend to integrate the customer-relationship management module.”