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The latest news and insights from the HarmonyPSA team

Pointless Hand-offs

A common arrangement we see in software companies is the system separation between:

  • Help Desk;
  • Quote and Order Management;
  • Feature Management;
  • Task/Sprint Management; and
  • Time recording

So, why does this matter? You’ve bought the market leader in each category and you’re operating each using the best practice; the problem is sorted.

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Integrations

 
What is the right integration strategy for a full functionality PSA tool?  An interesting question and one we spent many hours debating.

There are actually two classes of integration we consider:

  1. Integrations to solutions that deliver functionality that does not sit naturally in the PSA space
  2. Integrations to systems that replicate HarmonyPSA functionality where the customer does not wish to migrate off their existing platform immediately
  3. A RESTful interface that allows our customers to develop their own bespoke integrations. We even offer a community shared code repository so that customers can post their code for others to benefit from
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Suite vs Best of Breed

  
Microsoft recently circulated a report by Constellation Research Inc discussing the decision facing organisations when choosing process- and project-centric solutions (PSA and ERP in other words).
 
The report came down firmly in favour of suite software, something (as a suite provider) we obviously agree with.  However, the reasons they gave are interesting and not ones we’ve heard expressed in this way before and so this has prompted us to share some of these conclusions.
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PSA for ISVs

We’ve been writing a lot recently about MSPs and the uspecific requirements they have from PSA platforms.  So, to change tack, we thought we’d discuss the niche functionality ISVs require, in particular those selling their software as a service from the cloud.

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Planning: achieving the right balance

 
I drive past this flat every day on my way to work.  It is a constant reminder to me of the importance of planning.  I love the fact that the lamp-post is more or less exactly in the centre of the front door, with its helpful parking restriction signs.  The fact that the flat sold straight away says more about the London property market than the aesthetics of having a lamp-post bang in the middle of your entrance. What were they thinking of?  I guess having your own lamp-post saves electricity - no need for that light by the side of the door.
 

So, planning is important when it comes to front doors, but how important is planning functionality in a PSA tool?  After all, everyone uses a well-known office suite product to do their planning, don’t they?

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Multi-currency expenses

“How many currencies do you support on an expense record?” is an odd question, however we get asked it now and again.

The easy answer is three:

  1. The expense currency
  2. The accounting currency
  3. The billing currency
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PSA or ERP?

 

PSA (Professional Services Automation) software is an established term in the US and becoming better known in the UK and Europe where adoption levels are presently far lower. But, you might ask, what are the key differences between traditional ERP systems and PSA systems?

Well, ERP systems were traditionally written for warehousing and merchant businesses, with the kind written for manufacturing known as MRP. Increasingly, vendors are launching ERP solutions for professional services companies, where stock management is replaced by resource management and timesheets to billing and project management functionality is beefed up. These functions exist in good PSA tools, the better of which also incorporate integrated service desk, enabling time on tickets to be tracked and billed directly.

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Implementing Professional Services Automation - Where to start?

Implementing an all-in-one management system which will touch every part of your business is a daunting prospect.  However, with careful planning, and the right support from your vendor, it is possible to make it a smooth transition from current systems and to reap some real business benefits in the early stages of integration.
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Re-working the WORM - centralised and shared organisational data

What does WORM mean when it’s related to data (as opposed to it’s old use relating to drives). Well it means the same thing, Write Once Read Many, but now the applicability relates to centralised and shared organisational data.

How many customer lists do you have? Typically, we see them contained in your CRM system, your accounting system, your service desk system, your timesheet system and the list can go on...

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Time to automate management of your quotes and orders?

One of the elements of Harmony on which we get great feedback is our quotes and proposals management functionality.  Used correctly, this functionality can save substantial time and result in the production of more professional looking, consistent quotes.

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