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Why PSA Isn’t ‘Sexy’ – But Absolutely 100% Matters More Than Ever!
We’re starting to talk more here on the V1 website about the world of Professional Services Automation (PSA). This is mainly due to the on-going success and momentum we’re seeing with our PSA solution, V1 PSA (which recently came into the V1 family; you may possibly be more familiar with it under its older name, SharpOWL).
But it strikes me that we might have a ‘problem’ here – talking about PSA, that is…
Is it ‘sexy’ enough?
What do the IT press (and the IT market that it reflects) want to talk to CIOs and IT professionals about right now?
Think ‘cloud,’ ‘apps,’ ‘BYOD,’ ‘mobile,’ ‘tablets’…
That is where all the buzz in the marketplace seems to be right now. Is there any space at all left for discussing Professional Services Automation issues?
I just did a bit of unscientific research with Google News to ‘test’ my ‘hypothesis:’ I typed ‘PSA’ in to see what would come back. I was actually relieved to see the first hit was actually relevant coverage, but as you will see if you repeat the exercise for yourself, the rest really weren’t (the search engine picks up the separate words ‘professional’ etc.).
I do appreciate that PSA is not relevant to everyone in the market and is not a horizontal, universally applicable thing like cloud. But it does strike me that there’s a lot of noise out there that is obscuring the message a bit too much.
Which is this: for a growing band of customers, PSA is genuinely becoming more and more of a hot topic – no matter what the shouty headlines may tell you.
Appearances can be very deceptive!
How can that be? Isn’t PSA a very mature market? Doesn’t every professional services outfit out there have some sort of a solution that meets this need by now?
I can only answer that by telling you about a genuine customer of ours – a mid-range (300 consultants) software development house.
On paper, all looked very rosy. Staff out in customer locations, no fiscal crisis: what’s to worry about?
Until a few odd bits of data prompted the management to probe a bit further – and this is what they found:
The Training team just wasn’t able to keep up with demands from customers – mainly down to a resource gap no one had spotted.
Yes, there were lots of guys out on-site… not doing very much and not being properly allocated/charged for.
Yes, it all looked very ‘busy’… but there was a growing imbalance between the field staff and software development that was leading to expensive people doing too little and cheap people sometimes not being used at all!
The appliance of science?
It turned out that even this modern, switched-on organisation that thought it was cooking on gas just wasn’t using its resources in the most effective, efficient way.
How do situations arise in 2014? Don’t we have all this automated by now?
The reality is that we may have lots of billing systems, time management systems, accounting packages, the inevitable spreadsheets all over the place – but in far too many cases, even today, there is no one single system that is in there to give managers the holistic, overall picture they need to see how to stop people doing the wrong thing and push them to where their contribution really will make the difference.
That’s why we still need PSA.
That’s why even a ‘mature’ market still needs integrated solutions like ours.
We still lack a proper way – in contrast to my little Google experiment, you might say a really ‘scientific’ way? – to track what is going on to deliver the real profitability that comes from exact allocation and maximisation of resource.
Which, in the case of our software customer, once it started to use modern PSA from V1, translated into money saved – and then money coming in as profit.
Don’t know about you, but that’s ‘sexy’ enough for me –I think, a lot of service organisations out there need help. Including you?
That’s why we’re starting the PSA conversation.
PSA may not be trendy.
But it really does matter.
Unless you think cloud or BYOD will make you more profitable.
Head of Marketing