Thursday, March 6, 2014

Are You Ready for a Professional Services Automation (PSA) System?

So, you’re running a Professional Services Organization (PSO), but are relying on no systems, manual systems and spreadsheets or a bunch of disparate systems. Whether your PSO is large or small, domestic or global, you’re running it by getting information through sheer brute force.

The problem with the above process is that data slips through the cracks. Information you are getting is likely stale by the time you cobble together twenty spreadsheets, which makes you feel like you’ve lost visibility into and control of your services organization. Perhaps this is when you realize it’s time to turn to Professional Services Automation (PSA) system – a single system that incorporates time and expenses, billing, revenue recognition and forecasting, project health, project management, metrics and KPIs, dashboards and reports, automation and notifications.

As a services executive, you want real time, reliable data at the click of a button – data that’s meaningful which you can turn into information and knowledge.

But are you ready for a PSA system?

Too often, when management evaluates PSA systems, they base their decision on if the PSA can replicate clunky, manual processes in the cloud. It’s the age old mentality, “This is how we’ve always done it.” These existing processes and systems were probably fine when the organization was smaller. However, as the PSO grew, more duct tape and bailing wire was added. And so PSOs think they’ve cracked the code and created the standard for how PSOs are run.

What management should always do in selecting a PSA is keep their eye on the prize. They should look for a fully integrated system with both front and back office systems that offers a single repository of information, single source of truth for all things PSA, data at their fingertips in order to make informative decisions and complete visibility into the organization to maximize value and mitigate risk.

So the question PSOs need to ask themselves is, “Are we prepared to change some of our processes and maybe even how we look at our business?”

Remember there are different ways of doing the same thing and still achieve the same result. If a PSA satisfies 80 percent of the feature functionality you “require,” that’s enough for getting out of spreadsheet quicksand. I’m not saying that you should dismiss all of your feature requirements and simply bow to what the PSA does. Rather, I’m saying this is an opportunity to go to the white board and figure out if your PSO can do things better, more efficiently or differently.

Remember to keep your eye on the prize.

Source: B2C_Business

Are You Ready for a Professional Services Automation (PSA) System?

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