PSA: Professional Services Automation: Optimizing Project and Service Oriented Organizations
||Author: Rudolf Melik, Ludwig Melik, Albert S. Bitton, Gus Berdebes, Ara Israilian|
List Price: $55.00
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Publisher: John Wiley & Sons (19 April, 2002)
Sales Rank: 173,932
Average Customer Rating: 4.09 out of 5
Customer ReviewsRating: 5 out of 5
Thorough, informative and practical - this book is GREAT
Thorough, informative and practical - this book is a great read. The authors have done a commendable job in addressing the topic of PSA solutions. The book provides the reader with a clear-cut roadmap for keeping your projects and services on track- from the initiation phase through completion.
What I liked most about the book was the fact that the concepts were presented in a way that could easily be understood. The most prominent factor that made this book so good and useful is that it offered an exceptional tutorial on successful project and service management through a PSA implementation.
Rating: 1 out of 5
I did not get much out of this book, and I do not think
it is a fair representation of what PSA really is. They seem
to focus on the technology represented by one particular
vendor's solution instead of an industry overview.
Rating: 5 out of 5
Optimized and Specialized ERP for White Collar PSORGs
"The primary focus of traditional Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems is the blue-collar world of factory automation and the world of accounting systems, where the raw data tends to be rolled up and summarized into the organizational structures that were built to conform to the accounting view of the enterprise. These accounting views are useful in the production of general ledgers and other high-level accounting snapshots of the enterprise, but they usually bear little relationship to the dynamic way project-focused organizations are structured and continually restructured around new projects...Regardless of the acronym used, whether it is PSA (Professional Service Automation), SPO (Service Process Optimization), SRM (Service Relationship Management), or any other variation, they all refer to the same thing. Their ultimate goal is also the same: Maximize the performance of white collar project-and-service oriented organizations (PSORGs) ant their staff...These solutions automate and integrate core business processes with the intent of increasing the efficieny of how projects are planned, budgeted, created, staffed, scheduled, implemented, and billed in the real world...Very few PSORGs efficiently deliver their projects or services. Due to increased industry complexities and inefficiient corporate processes, service workers are not focusing on their key responsibilities. Instead, they are being bombarded with increasing numbers of administrative tasks, technology issues, unmanageable workloads, and either a lack of useful information or an inundation of useless detail (or both). There is a great need and an increasing demand for software applications to make PSORGs more productive and more profitable. PSA applications, or the many other similar acronyms, descriibe a set of software solutions that have been designed to achieve such a goal" (from the Preface).
In this context, Rudolf Melik et. al. define this invaluable book's goal is to assist the reader in identifying the key concepts of PSA solutions, their principle features, criteria for selecting them, and their implementation requirements. According to them, PSA functionality can be divided into following multiple core components and extended components:
I. Core Components:
* Performance analysis: Executive reporting, OLAP-based multidimensional data analysis, ROI, and decision support. Quick and customizable home, portal, and dashboard views and peer reviews.
* Operations: Organization breakdown structure (OBS) management, site management, scoping, business rules, component-based security profiles, access rights, audit trails, general ledgers, and terminology settings.
* Resource management: Skills and expertise assessment and matching. Resource allocation, search, scheduling, leveling, forecasting, and availability.
* Project management: Work breakdown structure (WBS) and engagement tracking. Multiple levels for budgeting amounts, duration, schemes, thresholds, and estimate to complete (ETC). Project scheduling, quality control, and R&D claim management. Seamless integration with major project management applications.
* Revenue & cost accounting: Cost and billing rate engine, support for dependencies, history, custom rules, fixed, hourly, daily, custom, WBS, and split billing settings. Multicurrency support, tax category and jurisdictions, Invoicing and payroll wizards and payment processing.
* Timesheet management: Timesheet submission, validation, and approval, compliance reporting, supervisory controls, automatic approval, notes, document attachments, and work assignment. Regional holiday, overtime, and administrative task processing, constraints, validations, and usage rules. Adjustment, status indicators, and mass update. Compliance to regulations for govermental and regional guidelines.
* Expense reporting: Expense submission, validation, and approval, compliance reporting, markups, business rules, document/receipt attachment thresholds, foreign currency conversions, supervisory controls, automatic approval, and work assignment. Offline expense reports and multiple expense report views from which to choose.
* Knowledge management: Hierarchical view of the entire organization, knowledge repositories, document management, full text searches, best practice templates, keyword searches, advanced queries, company policies, coorporate handbooks, and collaboration.
* Strategic sourcing: Requisitions, purchase orders, suppliers, customizable workflow engine, document attachments, staff purchasing, and receipts.
* Request and issue tracking: Call tracking and escalation, change and process management, help desk, classification, notes, document attachments, and a customizable workflow engine.
II. Extended Components:
* Customer and partner relationship management (CRM and PRM): Some PSA solutions include CRM and PRM functionality. CRM includes customer self-services, contact management, marketing campaigns, and a more sophisticated demand management system. PRM automates the workflows and processes of finding, training, and managing partners.
* Human resource management (HR): HR systems process the staff requisition, purchasing, and recruitment process.
* Complete enterprise accounting: Invoices, accounts payable/receivable, revenue recognition, and other such information generated by a PSA solution is exchanged with the organization's accounting system.
Finally, they write that "PSA is the first class of software that provides a comprehensive end-to-end solution that uniquely addresses the needs and problems of PSORGs. This class of software solutions is rapidly evolving into the ERP for white collar project- or service-driven organizations...Every PSA solution has its unique set of strengths and limitations. Determining which areas are important to your business is the key to selecting the most effective solution. PSA is no longer a way to have software or a means to gain competitive advantage; PSA is rapidly becoming a must-have tool for project and service oriented organizations" (pp.339-341).
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