Professional services automation (PSA) software helps service-based organizations, such as IT consultants, IT consulting firms, and managed services providers (MSPs), ensure service delivery, manage projects and scheduling, optimize workforce and resource utilization, and improve margins.
The principal goal of implementing and relying on a PSA solution is to increase efficiency throughout the organization by automating repetitive tasks and workflows, eliminating management and operational silos, and enabling the workforce to focus on more value-creating tasks. In other words, PSA is to professional services organizations what ERP is to industrial manufacturers and retailers.
It is critical to define business requirements before vetting PSA solutions for your organization. This process brings clarity and transparency in decision making and ensures the chosen solution satisfies business needs and improves efficiency. For example, a PSA solution designed for financial services firms might not benefit a managed security services provider.
This article discusses some of the top PSA solutions in terms of their capabilities and ease of implementation.
SolarWinds® MSP Manager is a cloud-based PSA solution tailor-made for MSPs. It offers an enterprise-grade ticketing management system that helps deliver and manage IT services efficiently. It provides a quick ticket feature that enables logging problems or requests from any screen with only the most relevant information, rather than making techs fill out a full form, which can help increase productivity.
Technicians can log time spent on each ticket with automatic timers, making it efficient to track billable hours and raise invoices without manual processing. SolarWinds MSP Manager also integrates with popular accounting software, like QuickBooks and Xero.
MSPs can schedule technicians’ appointments and track their time, which also helps assess technician performance and track revenue. SolarWinds MSP Manager natively integrates with the SolarWinds RMM solution, allowing MSPs to seamlessly integrate technical operations with business management.
FinancialForce PSA is an application built using the Salesforce platform that closely integrates with Salesforce CRM, combining sales processes with service delivery and resource availability. Organizations can track expenses and manage billing in various currencies. Its real-time dashboards provide insights into service delivery, expenses, resource requirements, and tasks. Moreover, organizations can manage projects directly in the application and enable workplace communication using Salesforce Chatter.
Projector PSA offers four different modules in its PSA solution:
- Project Accounting: This is a GAAP and ASC 606-scompliant module that helps organizations track project budgeting and revenue recognition. It also integrates with existing accounting systems of organizations as a subledger.
- Resource Management: This module helps allocate resources to projects, manage resources based on skill sets, identify hiring requirements, and optimize resource allocation based on day-to-day operational analysis.
- Project Management: Organizations can use this module to gain insight into overall project progress and manage delivery-related risks. It seamlessly integrates with other modules of Projector PSA to provide a single source of truth.
- Advanced Analytics: This module helps teams analyze and visualize overall performance across projects. It also combines information from multiple sources to provide full-fledged business intelligence.
As a PSA solution, Changepoint SA integrates with most CRM and ERP systems to eliminate the need for manual processes. Organizations can use their opportunity data from their CRM to identify resource requirements, plan project delivery, and improve profitability. It helps to consolidate various types of billing and manage financials accurately. Moreover, organizations can track both billable and nonbillable hours—and manage benched resources efficiently in order to optimize resource allocation and reduce nonbillable work-related expenses.
ConnectWise Manage is a feature-rich PSA solution that offers:
- Help desk functionality that simplifies ticketing management and time tracking, and helps automate ticket assignment and escalations
- Agreement management that helps flexibly manage and track service levels
- Sales and marketing functionality that helps perform campaigns, automate follow-ups, and track sales opportunities
ConnectWise Manage also offers procurement, time tracking, billing, and project management features that help streamline processes and drive efficiency.
Autotask PSA is a cloud-based PSA solution that helps MSPs centralize business operations. A notable feature it provides is integration with some of the most popular tools via its open architecture and APIs.
It offers customizable dashboards for a better overview of the operations and helps address tickets efficiently. Moreover, it offers mobile apps to help teams track and manage the business on the go. Organizations can follow resource utilization, automate workflows optimally, and identify best-performing employees based on their contribution to revenue generation.
Because the efficiency improvements lead to better customer satisfaction, on-budget project completion, and increased ability to work on more projects, it is critical for service-based organizations to evaluate vendors and product fit thoroughly. A PSA solution’s ability to integrate into existing systems is vital to successful implementation; it reduces back and forth among multiple systems and leads to faster project delivery.