The latest news and insights from the HarmonyPSA team

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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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How many ways do you sell?

That may seem a stupid question, indeed, you may ask, what do you even mean by “way of selling”?

So, if you’ve never given it any thought, perhaps a couple of minutes reading this blog will be time well spent. It could save you $1,000s in wasted PSA fees when you find that you’ve chosen one that doesn’t support one of your ways of selling.

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Why selling Cloud software makes a PSA tool essential for ISVs

Things were better in the old days”, or so the saying goes.

Well, whether better or worse, they were certainly different when it came to building a business software company.

In truth, it has always been hard to get started. The lack of choice of software products in the marketplace could very often deliver a friendly large customer who would fund a build to ensure they had just what they needed. That could then be turned into a product and licensed, and that’s where the major differences in the old and new software models began.

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Project planning using Work Breakdown Structure

This post deals with a concept called the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) a way of logically and hierarchically decomposing a project to help plan, manage and control delivery.

The first message is that a WBS is not a random sub-division. Each level of the hierarchy matters, it has a role to perform and this should be maintained both in the plan and also during reporting cycles.

The second message is that a WBS is also applicable to Agile development projects, though I guess many Agile purists may dispute this.

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Climbing the Capability Maturity Model (CMM) ladder

CMM is a concept that dates back to the US Department of Defence assessing their software contractors and developing a maturity model that enabled the contractor’s process maturity to be compared.

You sometimes see outsourced companies advertising themselves as CMM level 5 (the highest) with direct reference to this model.

There is significant debate about whether CMM Level 5 even makes sense as an operating model, in particular for innovative software development. However as a lens through which to review your processes, it has good applicability and is a stepping stone to ISO accreditation.

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PSA needs for cloud ISVs

Not only did the world in which Managed Service Providers operate change dramatically with the advent of cloud computing, it is impacting Software Vendors (ISVs) as well. These changes drive a similar set of demands into the PSA space supporting those businesses.

The world of writing software for small and medium business, once begun in the 1980s, also stayed quite consistent for nearly 30 years.

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The most important question we aim to answer immediately on the first discovery call is: Is HarmonyPSA suitable for my business?

Now, where the enquirer is a Managed Services Provider (MSP) or software business (ISV), we pretty well know that the answer is going to be yes because these are the business types we designed it for.

For these businesses, we have added a wide range of unusual, in some cases unique, niche features to address needs specific to their sector. These are our sweet spot and in most cases we can repeatedly say “Yes, it also does that…” to (what are often) hours of questions.

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PSA trends for ISVs

One thing we know from our enquiry stream is the imbalance between MSPs and ISVs looking for PSA solutions.

MSPs are an established market, actually quite a mature market in the US and increasingly so here in Europe and elsewhere. They knew they needed software to book problem tickets to and as that drove their income, it was natural to develop PSA tools targeted at them. They also prefer to work for others instead of writing their own solutions.

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Migrating between PSA tools

For followers of the PSA suppliers to MSP market, there is an interesting ongoing row between one of the large established suppliers and a simplified challenger product, part of a mature RMM business.

As part of that argument, they are swapping blows on the challenges of migration between PSA tools, an interesting topic and one of relevance to anyone tired of using a legacy PSA tool.

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