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Considering the power of customisation

  • 2 minute read

Buying any business software product always involves a degree of compromise.

The extent to which that compromise impedes productivity and effective use of the system, while still allowing you to run the business the way you want, is the difference between success and failure in your choice of PSA.

Minimising these compromises depends on how configurable the solution is. How easy it is to add custom data and functionality without requiring code changes the vendor is unlikely to want to deliver just for you.

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How to make your customer service more human

  • 2 minute read

I've been lucky enough to be invited to speak at a few tech conferences and webinars recently.

It seems a good gauge of interest levels during any presentation these days, is by the number of people taking photos of individual slides! Most of mine are just images, however there's one part of my speech which constantly has people snapping away and talking to me about afterwards. I've also had emails thanking me for the tip too, which has surprised me.

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The challenges of managing deferred revenue

  • 2 minute read

Where the value of an invoice does not relate to revenue 100% earned in the period of the invoice, some degree of deferred revenue treatment is necessary. Without making a process separation between revenue recognition and cash-flow, period accounting will be incorrect and so misleading.

Worse, the effect of this at year end will lead to an overstatement of revenue, in turn driving the business to pay more corporation tax than is necessary.

Lastly, under ASC606, ensuring revenue is taken over the life of a contract is key to accounts compliance.

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What is SAML and why is it a good thing?

  • 2 minute read

What is SAML?

SAML stands for Security Assertion Mark-up Language and is an open standard for managing the separation between the authentication of a user by a service provider and the identity provider that grants the assertion providing access right to the service.

While alternatives for Single Sign On (SSO) exist within an organisational domain (such as Microsoft Active Directory) and for consumer access (such as OAuth used by personal web applications), SAML is the preferred standard for creating a federated security access model for cloud (internet) business applications such as Service Desk, CRM and of course PSA.

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The challenges of sales commission functionality

  • 3 minute read

Every business blog needs to find a reason to include a cat picture - everyone likes cats, right?

So here we go, a business blog featuring a cat in a box.

You may have heard of the 1930s thought-experiment called Schrödinger's cat.

If not, Schrödinger postulated that a cat in a closed box could either be alive or dead and the only way to determine the state of its health was to open the box and observe it.

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Website design tips for MSPs from a specialist

  • 4 minute read

Can you imagine how difficult and expensive it was marketing a business in the dark ages… the 1990s!

You were reliant on archaic tools like the Yellow Pages. And advertising in newspapers and magazines. Makes me shiver just to think of it.

We are smack bang in the middle of a communication and information revolution. It’s happening right now. It’s changing how people think, research, and make buying decisions.

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Is your PSA system HIPAA compliant?

  • 2 minute read

For those who are not aware of this acronym, HIPAA stands for Health Insurance, Portability & Accountability Act. It is US legislation that addresses patient confidentiality and ensures your records can be moved between healthcare providers without hindrance.

If you provide services to the healthcare sector in the US, you will be aware of your responsibility to make that service provision HIPAA compliant.

Obviously, for software that deals with patient records this is a key requirement built in from day one. Similarly, cloud storage and backup solutions used by healthcare providers have clear responsibility to ensure patient records are protected by multi-level secure access controls.

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Intelligent Swarm vs Agile Service Delivery

  • 2 minute read

Those of you who follow trends in service desk methodology will have heard of “intelligent swarm”.

For those of you who haven’t heard of it, this blog looks at the commonalities and differences between this methodology and Agile Service Delivery, the other current evolutionary trend which we have discussed in our blog on agile service delivery.

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The difficulties of forecasting professional services revenue

  • 4 minute read

If effective and simple resource management is the Holy Grail of professional services automation (PSA) software, the ability to produce a revenue forecast worth reading must be the golden Unicorn’s horn.

Why is this so hard?

Well, first let us discuss what is meant by a revenue forecast and the many equally valid interpretations people place on this seemingly simple concept.

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What is a PSA and why do I need one?

  • 2 minute read

It may sound strange, on the blog of a PSA system, that we should ask this question. It turns out that while we live and breathe PSA functionality all day long, there remain many people who don’t know what one does and why they should buy one.

So, here goes, PSA 1/1...

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