The emergence of new platforms and tools continues to grow as our world digitally transforms. These tools are targeted at every industry—including professional services. In recent years, professional services automation (PSA) solutions have become more widely adopted. In fact, the PSA software market brought in $8.27 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach $16 billion by 2025.
The reason for this explosive growth is simple: PSA solutions deliver a ton of upside to professional services organizations—such as increased win rates, improved profitability, accelerated cash flow, increased productivity, and more visibility into every project, among other things. If your professional services company is still managing work in spreadsheets, then it may be time to consider adopting a modern PSA solution. However, you can’t just implement the first PSA tool you come across and expect to get great results. Instead, you need the right tool for the job.
The 3 Types of PSA Software
There are three are types of PSA solutions, which we’ll briefly explore next.
1. Project-focused PSA software
Like the name suggests, project-focused PSA tools are designed to improve project management, help project managers allocate resources more effectively, and support job costing activities.
Although these tools can generally help improve project management, they lack a broader view of the organization, which is needed to build a fully optimized operation. In many cases, these solutions can’t integrate with customer relationship management (CRM) or enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. This can be a potential barrier to your organization's long-term growth.
2. Enterprise-focused PSA software
On the other hand, enterprise-focused PSA tools help improve organizational efficiency and productivity by giving project managers access to a bird’s-eye view of what all departments are working on at any given time.
At the same time, however, such tools often lack the more granular features needed to take project management to the next level. Complicating things further, unlocking the full potential of these solutions requires enterprise-wide adoption.
3. Pure-play PSA software
Unlike project- and enterprise-focused tools, pure-play PSA software isn’t built on top of a CRM or ERP system. In fact, these solutions integrate with leading CRM and ERP tools.
Pure-play PSA software delivers a number of benefits to organizations, making it easier to manage opportunities, contracts, resources, projects, programs, finances, time, and expenses. What’s more, pure-play PSA software also helps professional services companies with revenue recognition, analytics, and capacity and resource planning.
Note: Changepoint Services Automation is the only pure-play PSA solution for global enterprise services organizations that have complex business needs.
Now that you understand the different kinds of PSA systems, let’s turn our attention to what to look for in a solution.
What to Look for in a PSA Solution
The right PSA solution has the power to transform your organization. With so much at stake, it is critical that you do your due diligence to make sure you pick the solution that makes the most sense for your business’s unique needs.
Be sure to choose a PSA solution provider or vendor who will partner with you during the buying process. This way you can rely on them to assist with choosing a solution that fulfills your unique requirements and help implement the solution so you can assure a smooth implementation and adoption process. The last thing you want is to overhaul your tech stack only to find out that the vendor isn’t there when you need them the most—or, even worse, that they have gone out of business.
Because the needs of your organization will change over time, you should also look for a solution that’s future-proof. The ability to integrate with other systems and a proof of a strong track record with other similar businesses can help you. For example, you might not want to buy a prototype from a startup that’s been around for less than a year. A vendor with a storied history, lots of educational resources, and plenty of positive customer reviews, on the other hand, may make a better partner.
Although you might be tempted to be blown away by all the bells and whistles a vendor advertises, the quality of the tool and how easy it is to use matter most. Your PSA solution doesn’t necessarily have to be a Swiss Army knife of sorts. Instead, focus on how, specifically, the tool can improve your business.
Changepoint Services Automation: The Go-To Solution for the Modern Services Organization
Changepoint Services Automation is a pure-play PSA solution designed to meet the needs of today’s fastest and most demanding professional services organizations. With robust out-of-the-box functionality and the ability to integrate with popular CRM and ERP tools, Changepoint Services Automation can help your professional services firm streamline the management of the quote-to-cash cycle while increasing productivity and visibility across your entire organization.