Blog

The latest news and insights from the HarmonyPSA team

5 impediments to business growth (and how to get over them...)

Your business is successful, you have sorted your pricing and your customers love the products and/or services you deliver.  The market, both domestically and abroad is primed for exploitation and growth, so what will stop you making the most of opportunity?  What can possibly go wrong?

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Why not write your own PSA solution?

We talk to many ISV’s (software developers) and often the topic of them writing their own solution comes up.

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Is it possible to run complex businesses with multiple regions, currencies, legal entities and brands through one unified platform?

Life used to be simple.  Companies operated in one region, through a single legal entity, selling one brand in a single currency.

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Document based or Journal based PSA accounting interface? Get it right from the start and you'll save time and money in the longer term

If the PSA tool you use does not contain its own ledger, it will need to support an interface to a third-party accounting package.  There are two ways to do this and here we discuss the pros and cons of both.

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Beyond Professional Services Automation – Are new breed PSA systems are changing the way technology providers do business?

It’s hard to stay on top of data stored in more than one place. Valuable time is wasted cross referencing and data integrity is difficult to maintain. A PSA solution puts all your sales, service desk and billing data in one place, allowing automated, standardised processes that can grow with your company. Everyone has access to current customer data. Everyone is an expert.

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1.45 Release Notes

We have been working hard this month on some key new features and updates:

  • Improved events, action and posts functionality -  brings your calendar onto your homepage with additional clever features designed to help you manage your (and your team's) daily workload more effectively
  • Work scheduler improvements -  additional useful features make the scheduler more user-friendly
  • Improved time booking functionality - you can now add multiple time booking against a project task or ticket on same day
  • Using Basic Authentication to run api calls - use Harmony's RESTful HTTP end points to automate actions in Harmony and to retrieve data out of Harmony
  • Create Alerts and Communicate - create alerts against any objects for effective communication across the system.

As this is a big release these notes are going out in advance of the changes going live. Read through the notes below and let us know if you have any questions!

Improved Events, Action and Posts functionality

The first thing you will notice is that your home page looks different! We have added far more prominence to Actions and Events which make up your calendar:
  • Actions - these are essentially 'to-dos' which happen either at a point in time, or are due by a point in time. You can create them for yourself or other people
  • Events - these have a start and an end time and usually represent meetings, or blocked out work time
  • Posts - these are purely notes made against the related object for future reference.
You can now create actions and events against your calendar from dashboard or from your own my activity page . Our new dashboard has Action and Events on the top and Quick Reports on the bottom which contains all other portlets.

To integrate your Harmony calendar with your other calendars simply follow the instructions on your Harmony profile page.  We integrate with a variety of calender clients including Microsoft Outlook and Google Apps.

Actions in Action :)

Select Add Action from Your Actions.  
Now an Edit window is opened where you can create action. The Assigned to is automatically assigned to you by default. You can choose the time for the action to occur.

You can have option to choose the end time of action as:

  • Happens at (supposed to happen at that time)
  • Due by (supposed to be done by that time)
When  an action is created and it is assigned to you, it will appear in your calendar and also in the Actions Assigned to me.  You can allocate an action to somebody else by adding action and
assigning it to them. Then you can monitor the progress and details of their actions in  Actions Assigned by me section and in their actions section. The actions will also appear in their event calendar. Actions are highlighted as follows:
  • Today: Any actions which have a due date of today either Due By or Happens At and are not done
  • Working On: Any actions which are Due By and are not done
  • Overdue: Any actions where the due date is in the past and not done.

You can mark any action as done by just checking the done flag and it will then now disappear from all the logs.

Events in action

Events have a  duration, in other words a specific start time and end time and can be created in a similar to actions. They can be created by clicking on the event calender wherever you want to create an event. You can choose either start date and end date of an event or choose start date and duration (in hours). You can also drag the events in the calendar to new date in calendar and the event is now rescheduled with a new start date .

More about actions and events 

  1. Post/Actions/Events: You can go to Post/Actions/Events either by going to Activity-My Activity - Post/Events/Actions or by just clicking on enlarge icon on top right corner of event calendar in dashboard.
  2. Adding  Actions against objects:You can now add actions/events against objects. Any action/ event that will be created will appear in the object's Activity tab Actions and Events grid and in the calendar. In other words, objects can be tagged against an action.
If you want to create an action against object ( For Example :ticket), all you need to do is  just going   into the activity tab of the ticket and  clicking add action button.The Action will now appear in the Actions & Events list  and also in the calendar in the Activity tab of ticket.
An Action can also be created by can searching for object and add action/event by clicking on the event calendar icon right hand corner. While creating an event against an object, the object is automatically shown as relates to in the event.

    3.   If you are creating an action against an object, there is option to add  multiple tags for different objects as well. Then this actions will also be appearing in the objects that are being added.

For example : You can now tag corresponding contact against customer action created:

4.  You can now go and schedule your entire time by checking harmony calendar against outlook calendar . If you go to your outlook calendar and add the harmony calendar to it , it will now give a  overlap of the calendars which gives you the exact 'things to do' for today .

Work Scheduler Improvements

The work scheduler is now accompanied with more useful features that helps in improving user friendliness which includes :
  •  Assign  more than one person against a single ticket

         Now you can schedule particular ticket task against more than one  person at a time in the work scheduler .Work scheduling has now become lot easier as the work scheduler will have all schedules (against tickets/projects) being assigned to each team member of selected team.

  • Option to see the week view and month view of work scheduler  (1 week or 4 weeks can be chosen as an option for work scheduler view) 
  • Ability select working hours  You can choose/check working hours checkbox in the scheduler and scheduler now shows only working hours which helps to schedule only in the working hours
  • Schedule this Ticket button On the ticket form, Schedule  Ticket button is now added to the ticket buttons dropdown list. It will  load the scheduler in the wizard panel and  the scheduler  filter the list of tickets down to just that particular ticket to be scheduled and we have options to do work scheduling against this ticket.

An important feature is that we can add as many hours you want and it will then be split into working hours in the  time scheduling if needed.

Improved Time Booking Functionality

Now you can add multiple time booking against a project task or ticket on same day. In addition to that, more than one time booking can now be added in a single cell.  The time bookings that are added in the ticket details will also be populated on the corresponding day as a new time booking.
Also activity type is now  listed in the time booking dialog by which we can add activity type based on what activity types are allowed by project task. You can choose an icon for activity type to make the time sheet approval lot easier. We can also add From time,comments External Ref etc. The booking in the cell shows an clock icon if a start time has been entered and if you hover over it you see the time. Also if there is comments, it can also be shown in the booking cell as different icons.

Using Basic Authentication to run api calls

You can now use Harmony's RESTful HTTP end points to automate actions in Harmony and to retreive data out of Harmony.
To simplify writing code which interacts with those end-points, we now support Basic Authentication. All you need to do is include your login credentials either in the http headers or in the url such as https://user:[email protected] and also prefix your url with /api.
Using this method you can:
  • Post transactions to Harmony
  • Query data out of harmony, even specifying filter parameters and paging information

Create Alert and Communicate

Now you have an option to create alert against any objects for effective communication across the system. You can find an  alert in  details of object and also when we you are looking for that object an alert icon appears against the object.
For  instance, If you are need to set an alert against a customer, you can add alert against the customer by just clicking at the alert icon in the details view of customer. Type in whatever alert you want to show on the screen. This will now appear on their details view as shown below.  
Now if you try  lookup for that particular customer, you can see that an alert icon will be shown against the customer name. This helps to communicate any relevant alert  information  among different departments of a company. It can also be created against other objects like contacts, tickets, suppliers as well and can be used for alerting different issues related to that particular object. We can also delete the alert as and when required as shown in the figure.
RefNumber Type Name
#20140429.1 Bug activity alert still showing when you delete a line awaiting initialisation
#20140425.18 Feature Schedule related changes
#20140425.5 Bug Filtering out none due purchase invoices
#20140422.7 Bug Renewals due activity count not updated when schedule is terminated
#20140326.4 Feature Customisation of Upgrading landing page.
#20140312.5 Feature Customer and supplier activity view
#20140502.13 Bug An invalid character was found in the mail header: '.' (user was created with invalid email address)
#20140520.12 Feature Schedule This Ticket button
#20140422.11 Refactor Remove the in memory cache functionality in harmony and hijump
#20140510.1 Feature Add a field to Activity/My Activities
#20140520.7 Feature Additional column for Customer Account number
#20140424.4 Bug Timesheet (Printing internal tasks)
#20140220.23 Bug Alert error
#20140220.13 Bug My Unassigned Invoice lInes
#20140503.1 Feature Ability to use basic authentication when using Harmony API
#20140328.11 Bug Unabandoned PO
#20140512.2 Bug Adding events to campaign errors
#20140508.11 Bug Print view bug
#20140501.24 Bug Remove Unassigned Ticket count from portlet
#20140501.22 Bug Routing rules not being applied when creating ticket internally
#20140327.15 Feature Employee search grid
#20140508.6 Bug 'Services are running' present on the ExternalUser portal screen
#20140317.1 Bug Delegation: 'Undelegate All Roles' button asks for a role
#20140430.9 Bug Editor on ticket comments reverting back to text boxes
#20140506.5 Bug Earned Spent Time Report Grid Issues
#20140501.28 Bug Mail rejection patterns should be doing an AND not an OR
#20140402.4 Feature Link to ticket on timesheet - open in new tab
#20140207.3 Bug Tooltips missing on a couple of buttons
#20140113.13 Feature Move Activity Type from Project Task to Time Booking
#20140501.20 Bug Issue with category names
#20140516.4 Bug DLS subscriber error
#20140430.12 Bug Object link causing object ref not set
#20140501.7 Bug validate regex entered in (setup > tickets > email interface)
#20140327.16 Bug Minor bug: no cancel option when cloning ticket
#20140219.21 Bug Do not show Convert To Order button if there are no lines on the quote
#20140226.30 Bug SLA Report: Filters don't work
#20140520.3 Bug Timesheet undefined bug
#20140210.7 Bug journals
#20140501.4 Bug AsCheckBox() being used where AsBooleanCheckBox() should be
#20140428.6 Bug Creating new contact does not pre-select previously selected customer
#20140219.5 Feature Make Renewal Due email timing a setting
#20140411.6 Bug Empty comments on a ticket
#20140218.6 Feature Ability to have contacts send emails from blacklisted domains as long as their email address exists
#20140225.11 Feature Low Priority feature request: Addition of Account ID to Customer Contractuals
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Cloud MSP billing solutions

The market for cloud computing is on fire in the US.  A recent article in MSP Today claimed that in the US, IAAS (infrastructure as a service) is growing at over 40% CAGR between 2001 and 2016.  That’s amazing growth in anyone’s books.

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Cash Slow? 5 tips to speed up your billing processes and improve cash flow

Bill promptly

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Is it covered? How to make sure you only provide support when the customer is paying

The Situation

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Understand who is making a financial contribution to your business

Technology and professional services businesses spend over 70% of their fixed budget on staff.  However, the connection between their revenue streams and employment spend are often very hard to analyse and even harder to optimise.

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