Defining your PSA software needs

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    Written by HarmonyPSA on 2014-01-28 Last updated 2018-07-04 - 101 minute read

A crucial part of your journey to selecting and implementing a PSA system into your business is the definition of your functional requirements.  To help with this process we have defined seven key stages of growth and outlined functional capabilities required at each stage.  First, identify your stage of growth and then use our Capability Map as a functional checklist.

Stages of growth

The diagram below illustrates the key stages companies go through from incorporation to a multinational corporation.  Not all companies get there and not all stages are discrete, however, in general, this is the journey to success most businesses strive for:

 
7 stages of business growth
 
The main aspects of each stage, when considering your control environment:
 
Stage 1.   The system support for this stage is almost non-existent.  It’s helpful to have an accounting system but if you can’t hold everything else in your head, spreadsheets will do.  Invoices need to look professional, but this is easily accomplished with word documents. Enjoy this stage, the world gets harder
Stage 2.   Customers are signing up and going live and the operating model is shifting focus to multi-customer support and regular billing. This shift in emphasis delivers contact management and data discipline requirements
Stage 3.    At this stage you should have a solid customer base and revenue will be less volatile as an increasing percentage is based on recurring payments.  To manage things you need a solid contracts database and sales support tools.  Also, customer profitability starts to matter as does effective time management
Stage 4.   You’re running a successful technology business but to fully exploit your market position you may need some external investment.  Any investors will want to see clear management reporting and the due diligence process will through up any weakness in control you have been living with
Stage 5.   The product is successful at home and opportunities exist to drive out into overseas markets.  The reseller route has immediate attractions, bringing rapid entry, local market knowledge, support in the time zone, an existing sales force and low cost of entry.  Alternatively, you may open an overseas office requiring more management time and far better MIS.  Again, this is a key growth stage from a
control perspective
Stage 6.   Whether you are the one acquiring another business, or have been acquired, the needs of consolidation are many and complicated. At this point, a well-designed control environment is the key success factor above all others
Stage 7.   Overcome all these stages and you may end up with a global enterprise.  Get to this point without an integrated control environment and you will be missing revenue, sales opportunities, control and visibility across the enterprise

The table below summarises the control system needs of each stage.  Once you’ve decided which stage best reflects where you are in your own journey, use this grid to checkout your own control solution sophistication and confirm that you are on track for further growth:

Capability Map

Capability/Stage
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Finance
Basic Accounts
             
Deferred Revenue Control
             
Contract Management
             
Central Product Pricing
             
Purchase Orders
             
Consolidated MIS
             
Multi-currency Accounts
             
Client Master Data
             
Multi-entity Accounts
             
Sales
Basic CRM
             
Pipeline Reporting
             
Quote/Order Management
             
Target Reporting
             
Campaign Management
             
Revenue Recognition
             
Reseller Management
             
Multi-tenant CRM
             
Global Reporting
             
Operations
Billable Only Recording
             
R&D Claim
Back-up
             
Incident Management
             
Expenses
             
All Time Recording
             
Project Budgeting
             
Formal Billing
Control
             
Support Time
Tracking
             
WIP Accounting
             
Inter-company Sales
             
                 
Capability Legend
No capability
required
 
Essential to support growth
 
Useful but not essential
 
Control gap impeding growth
 

Getting the control environment right and fit for purpose is a key aspect of running a successful technology business and making the most of the growth opportunities presented by the products you sell.  If you are missing control solutions for the processes above, this is a gap that should be addressed at the earliest opportunity.

Harmony is designed to deliver all the capabilities listed above, in one simple integrated solution.  With Harmony, you will never need to replace your control environment, it will grow with you and support all aspects of your journey.  For more information about how Harmony can help support your growth get in touch and we will give you a free personalised demo.

 

About the Author: Harmony Business Systems Ltd (HBS) is the company behind HarmonyPSA, the most complete cloud PSA software on the market. Developed with functionality to cater for even the most complex needs of MSPs, VARs, ISVs and Professional Services organisations, HarmonyPSA truly is the next generation of PSA systems. HBS is an independent company based in the UK. Follow HarmonyPSA on or LinkedIn


Tags: defining psa software needs, implementing PSA, integrated solution, General PSA, psa functional requirements, psa software, psa system, selecting a psa system

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