The latest news and insights from the HarmonyPSA team

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How to model channel sales correctly

CRM, Order management and billing systems are generally designed for a direct sales model where the lead, opportunity, quote, order and invoice only involves two counterparties: a seller and a buyer. Simple.

But what happens if you sell via a reseller, or an agent who is on commission? What are the data modelling and contract implications? How do you track who is who, how do you model the end customer in a way that your service desk system understands this properly?

So, let’s dive into the detail around these two behaviour models to understand the control system needs as a guide to buying the right solution.

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Why we're aiming for a touch-free work to cash cycle

When we set out to write Harmony, we had a dream.

To build a business process management tool where every key-stroke adds real value.

A system that self-administers through the work you do.

A system supported by smart product objects that understand their own accounting behaviours.

A system that automates referred revenue calculations.

A system where balance sheet management in general is fully understood by the business process and so doesn’t need manual intervention or spreadsheets. And finally…

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A short guide to using BlueSnap in Harmony

Taking payments using Bluesnap from within Harmony could not be simpler, it breaks down into just four stages:

Stage 1

Open a Bluesnap account. From this account set-up process you will get a Bluesnap API username and a Bluesnap API password.

Save these, you need them in step 2

Stage 2

Connect your Harmony instance to your Bluesnap account. To do this, you go into Finance/Setup/System/Financial Settings and at the bottom of the page you will see fields for the Bluesnap Account name and password you created in Step 1. Insert them and save.

Now you are ready to start collecting money immediately.

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Resource management by team

Generally, it really worries us when our approach to solving a common problem is radically different to the majority of other solutions on the market.

But not this time, because this time all the other systems are wrong.

Every professional service company we talk to is looking for resource management, even small ones who should be able to hold the data in their head.

But, actually, what they are really looking for is a combination of functionality centred on the answer to (potentially) three questions:

  • What’s my revenue forecast from pure services time, by period, for work in hand (i.e. contracted work) and how will that change given an understanding of the various jobs we may win in the near term;
  • How busy are the staff, in particular when are they running out of work, what capacity do I have; and possibly
  • When can Joe start on something new
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Resource management vs task assignment

If you’re running a services business (or just a services team), it is very common to want to know the answer to two (possibly three) discrete questions:

  1. What’s everyone doing?
  2. When do I run out of work? and
  3. If I get that new project or contract, who’s going to do it?

In order to address these questions, there seems to be a conflation of functionality in the PPM/PSA software market. Indeed, when you look at some systems, you cannot recognise them as separate questions at all. They are often addressed by simply placing employees on work for the planned duration and seeing how over or under-utilised they are.

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6 PSA requirements for a MSSP

This year a new acronym has grown in common parlance: MSSP, short for Managed Security Services Provider.

This seems to have arrived from the trend in “Security as a Service” to replace the security consultants equivalent of break/fix, where they move in once everything is already in deep trouble.

The functions these firms offer cover round-the-clock monitoring and management of intrusion detection systems and firewalls, overseeing patch management and upgrades, performing security assessments and security audits, and of course, at the end if the protection service has failed, responding to emergencies and cleaning up the mess.

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Running a successful PSA implementation

There are many hurdles to overcome when selecting the right PSA tool for your organisation, including getting buy-in from the team.

But, in many respects, the problems really begin when you start to implement the system.

Like ERP, there are many failed PSA implementations out there.

We're not necessarily saying the software is not being used, but failed in terms of the benefits case that drove the decision to buy. This is a significant undertaking, both in terms of people’s time and also cost, so take a few minutes to think through how you are going to achieve a successful project that delivers the maximum benefit from the software you have chosen.

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The business case against using best of breed systems

In this final blog post on best of breed (BoB) system architecture, we look at the business case for replacing all those systems with a single integrated solution.

A BoB architecture is actually so bad, that the business case for replacing it with an integrated solution has many dimensions or categories.

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Why buying a timesheet system is a bad idea

In this fourth blog post covering aspects of best of breed (BoB) system architecture, we look at the advantages (and disadvantages) of buying a timesheet system.

Probably one of the earliest computer systems developed for companies to use internally were timesheet systems. They have certainly been around on mainframe platforms for 50 years and as cloud solutions since the beginning of the internet.

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6 disadvantages of using a standalone service desk

In this third blog post covering aspects of best of breed (BoB) system architecture, we look at the advantages (and disadvantages) of using a standalone service desk system.

The choice facing software companies has been really two-fold. Either buy a modern service desk system or use the service desk module of the market leading agile development tool (no prizes for guessing which one we mean).

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