By Nop Srinara, Director, Datto Asia
It’s no secret that one of the greatest challenges to growing a professional service business is the increasingly long list of things that need to happen in order to keep things jogging on. Running a business is never child’s play – particularly a fast growing operation where everything from data to workflows, to manpower and resources needs to be managed well in order to keep the cogs moving and the clients happy.
It’s unsurprising then that Professional Service Automation (PSA) continues to be popular among businesses of all sizes, acting as a central hub, optimising and streamlining operations while providing insight that can help business owners to make informed decisions which lead to healthier growth trajectories.
Truth is, this is what PSA was designed to do, however that doesn’t mean that this is always what you get. In fact, tipped as the must-have technology for professional services companies, PSA has come a long way since it was introduced more than 15 years ago – now promising customisable platforms delivering crucial visibility into customer data, transactions, internal operations and business performance.
But with options abound on the market – what will best serve your business and position it for growth, and what should you be looking for? We have put together a check list to help you navigate this increasingly noisy space.
1.Uptime, secure data and disaster recovery is key
Having a PSA with the right features to keep your business up and running when catastrophe strikes could make a real difference to your reputation and your bottom line. For this reason, it’s crucial that you look for a PSA which integrates both robust security measures to protect yours and your customers’ data, while also having in built features to backup data with integrated disaster recovery features that make sure you’re covered even in the worst-case scenario. Lastly, make a point of checking that your PSA guarantees a certain level of uptime in the contract – and do check whether the company in question has a good track record when it comes to uptime. This way, you can be sure they will be able to stay true to their promises if the worst happens.
2.A bird’s eye view with the metrics that matter most
A good PSA should include powerful analytical tools which provide insight into your business processes from all angles. It should help you to identify potential problems, pinpoint opportunities for growth and improved performance, while monitoring your assets. By tracking the metrics that matter most, such as ticket backlog, service level agreement compliance, resource utilisation and client satisfaction, you can be sure you have all the necessary information to make the best decisions for your business. Not only this, but by tracking KPIs like profitability, performance of sales pipelines and project status, a PSA can help you stay ahead of the curve and the competition.
3.Optimised workflows keep customers happy
Choosing a PSA that has in built features to help you optimise your workflow, offering more than just basic service delivery automation is key. Ideally, a good PSA should help you to streamline your service desk, manage your resources more efficiently, optimise project queues and track contracts, billings and compliance issues.
Look for a PSA which offers configurable ticketing and timekeeping functionality, to provide you with better staffing and resource allocation.
Since customer satisfaction is the number one priority for any successful business, select a PSA that lets you set the rules in order to optimise the processes that involve your customers, as well as effectively manage manpower, infrastructure and resources. Choose wisely, and you can be sure that nothing falls through the cracks and be confident of customer satisfaction every time.
4.Get the most out of your PSA with RMM & CRM
Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) helps you oversee, analyse and optimise your entire IT infrastructure, while Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools are all about managing customer related business processes and enhancing business-customer relationships. Choose a PSA that includes both and you’re winning – giving you the ability to focus on both your business and your customers by tracking and analysing sales performances and client histories, isolate new opportunities and sales pipelines as they emerge, and ultimately secure new customers and boost business growth.
5.Value-added features can mean a lot
To get the most out of your PSA, pick a solution that goes beyond the previously discussed mainstay features. Look for features that speed up commonly used processes, allowing you greater flexibility and control. For instance, a PSA which provides a dashboards with clear visuals to let you understand real-time data at a glance.
A PSA which allows you to fully customise different levels of access depending on audience is also handy. For instance, letting you set controls around how much or how little information different audiences can see when accessing contracts and other sensitive documents.
It might seem that value-add features won’t make a big impact to your business, but trust me, the effects add up and can provide a notable boost in optimising the performance of your business and the satisfaction of your customers.