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The latest news and insights from the HarmonyPSA team

Feature Friday - Device Based Billing

Hi All

One of the new features in 3.10 is device based billing.  This feature allows you to specify contract prices (for example relating to maintenance) for different types of devices, and have Harmony pick up on the number of active devices when billing.  This means you do not need to amend your contracts within Harmony; you just specify on the original order\agreement with the customer the rates you are going to be charging for the devices which are being supported.  As usual this supports "look up" and "fill up" banded pricing mechanisms.

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Is it under contract?

Today we’re discussing a common opportunity for burning money that is, incidentally, one of the key attributes of a sound business case for buying a PSA solutions: working for free! We’ve all done it, you get the call and fix the problem, it’s what you are trained to do after all. However, what happens if the customer has cancelled support. Would your technician know?

So, your helpdesk logs a ticket in response to a call reporting a problem with an asset the customer believes is under contract. The helpdesk is trained to respond and ensure the customer’s needs are met and no SLAs are breached. The problem is that the finance department has recently sent out renewal notices with a price increase and the customer has decided not to renew support, without telling its operations staff. Would your helpdesk know this change had taken place or would they simply provide support anyway? Would they even be able to find the asset tag in the helpdesk system?

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The Internet of Things is finding its way onto MSPs' agendas for 2016

The Internet of Things is finding its way onto MSPs' agendas for 2016.  At the CompTIA EMEA Conference in London earlier this week Andy Dow, HP Enterprise Business Unit & Group Marketing Director talked about the opportunities that the Internet of Things (or IoT) presents to MSPs and what businesses need to do to position themselves to take advantage of the changes that are coming.

For MSPs who depend upon selling and supporting infrastructure for their livelihood, and who will be most negatively impacted by the growth of cloud platform services, the Internet of Things offers a real opportunity for growth.  Gartner forecast that by 2020 there will be a $309 billion incremental opportunity for IoT suppliers, mostly in services. And by 2020 it is reported that there will be 50 billion connected devices.  For MSP’s, this means more clients with IP connected devices as more and more businesses looking to use the Internet to connect and control different devices to monitor performance, control processes, and secure property, people and information.

As consumer IoT technologies are gaining ground, homes fitted with smart thermostats, increased usage of personal fitness trackers, internet-linked home entertainment systems, so too is use of business applications, connecting devices, vehicles and machinery to turn pockets of technology into networks, driving automation and data collection and analysis.

IoT technology can be employed to cover a wide range of functions, from industry specific applications to uses in utilities and premises security, for example, reconfirming doors and windows are locked, alarms set and movement within specific areas results in alarms being sent to law enforcement.

Companies operating fleets of vehicles can leverage IoT technology to monitor the current condition of each vehicle, perform vehicle diagnostics, alert when vehicles are outside their specified service area and much more.

Smart meters can give companies more control over consumption of electricity and other utility services.

Application in healthcare looks like it will be huge, monitoring patients and administering medicine as required. According to marketresearch.com healthcare IoT market is poised to hit $117 billion by 2020.

IoT factory automation, robotics, supply chain management, sensor monitoring of product movement with real-time analytics and many other techniques can all contribute powerfully a business’ bottom line.

So, the opportunities are definitely there for MSPs to take up, but to make this happen you’ll need to consider the following:

  • Keep a constant eye out for opportunities for your customers to leverage the IoT to increase efficiencies, keep up-to-date with the offerings in the market place that you could sell onto your client base
  • Be ready to deal with the big data and security issues that are associated with large scale data collection and analysis in the cloud
  • Set up your internal infrastructure to support IoT services. You will need the right internal billing infrastructure in place in order to handle to complexities of billing that IoT brings.  A system that can handle recurring revenue billing based on consumption or volume-based charges.

For more information on how to set up your billing infrastructure to prepare to take advantage of IoT growth opportunities get in touch.

 

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Using Harmony PSA for telecoms style billing

HarmonyPSA is designed to meet the challenges of the general move to multi-tiered volume-based billing models. This is a billing model which has always been common for telecoms companies; a billing model where a rate is agreed and you are billed for what you use. As there has been a general move towards cloud computing, service providers have had to adapt and provide consumption based billing which is more akin to how your classic telecom contract works than your traditional software contract.

This has brought in requirements for an ever-more complex administrative structure to ensure accurate and timely collection of consumption data and calculation of charging and billing information.

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

Bill promptly

Have a good look at your billing processes. Could you be getting your invoices out more quickly? Do you have an automated billing process? Using an automated system to manage your billing will create invoice events automatically, not only to reducing workload, but also making absolutely sure you never forget to charge.

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Company growing pains

You have reached the stage in the maturity of the business where you have a solid customer base. Your revenue is now less volatile as an increasing percentage is based on support-revenue arrangements. Following current trends in the industry, you are looking at, or already offering, hosted cloud-based solutions with no up-front license fees but more long-term revenue stability. Things should be getting easier.

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Revenue leakage

Some software promises to improve your sales, some to save you money. But software doesn’t make sales, people do, and cost savings are notoriously hard to deliver. Harmony is different. Harmony won’t make your salesman a better closer or necessarily save you any money. What it will do is help you manage the complexities of life in the software industry so that you are more efficient and revenue leakage is stopped.

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