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Professional Services Automation:Optimizing Project & Service Oriented Organizations Print
For the past decade, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems have been utilised in large enterprises worldwide. Intended to streamline and manage manufacturing and distribution business processes in areas of products and parts planning and purchasing, inventory, order tracking, HR, accounting, and supplier interaction, ERP systems have been found to be costly to implement, have high learning curves, and serious scalability issues.

Authors: Rudolf Melik, Ludwig Melik, Albert Bitton, Gus Berdebes, and Ara Israilian

When used in project or service-oriented enterprises, ERP systems get the job done, but often require more work with greater time and cost expenditures.

A new generation of software has been developed to address the needs of companies whose main function is to deliver services through its people rather than the production and selling of tangible goods.

Professional Services Automation (PSA) software has been designed to specifically meet those needs, complementing ERP packages to streamline business processes and project and service engagements for Professional or Service Organisations (PSORGs). Experiencing a period of rapid growth, the PSA industry is still more or less in the beginning stages but is gaining momentum in popularity, specifically since the introduction of software designed with PSORGs in mind.

Professional Services Automation: Optimizing Project and Service Oriented Organizations is a newly released title that discusses the new approach to managing PSORGs with PSA software. Written by Rudolf Melik, Ludwig Melik, Albert Bitton, Gus Berdebes, and Ara Israilian of the Montreal, Quebec-based company Tenrox, Professional Services Automation examines the PSA industry and how companies can implement and benefit from the emerging PSA applications.

Professional Services Automation is the first book of its kind in the history of PSA software. Its 25 chapters span 300 pages that include a large range of figures, charts, diagrams, and workflows (Figure 1) that describe every PSA element and concept so that project and service organisations can become better informed about this quickly emerging class of enterprise-level software.

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Figure 1: The Professional Services Automation Cycle 

The authors give plenty of attention to establishing the meaning of professional services automation as well as the variations-on-a-theme of such terms as business process automation (BPA), enterprise service automation (ESA), enterprise service management (ESM), service process optimisation (SPO), and service relationship management (SRM). But before you begin to think this is nothing more than alphabet soup, think again.

A comprehensive range of professional services automation components are examined with a professional and unbiased eye toward helping companies and their resources operate more efficiently and productively than ever before. This collaborative effort views components such as opportunity management, project management, resource management, invoicing, purchasing work flows, revenue and cost accounting, timesheet management, labour management, knowledge management, request and issue tracking, and performance analysis, using the PSA lifecycle, ROI calculators, best practice, and RFP template to put the entire topic into an understandable and extraordinary resource.

Extended PSA components like CRM, HRM, and enterprise accounting are also dealt with in a clear-cut, concise, and factual manner. Professional Services Automation then goes even further by teaching its readers how to best select and implement the PSA software solution that is right for individual organisational needs.

The appendices that close out the book offer a wealth of information. Especially brilliant was the inclusion of a template designed to help readers better evaluate PSA solutions. Its extensive range of questions leave no PSA software stone unturned, and companies utilising this template will undoubtedly be able to make more informed choices about what PSA product to implement for their specific enterprise situations.

Written by veteran project managers, IT experts, and business executives with real life PSA experiences, Professional Services Automation shares the many ways PSA can assist companies in streamlining client invoicing to increase cash flow, tracking project status and costs, implementing accurate revenue recognition methods, and improving resource productivity, efficiency, and utilisation.

Rudolf Melik and company took the better part of six years to develop and write what can be defined as THE textbook for those interested in learning more about PSA software. Don't let the term textbook put you off, though. This is no boring, fall-asleep-in-the-library, university-style textbook. Perhaps Professional Services Automation should be described as THE bible of PSA software. It is engaging, educational, informative, and a highly interesting read. If you weren't all too sure about what you're getting into with PSA, your apprehensions will be quickly quelled.

This book is perfect for any project or services organisation that wants to improve their services delivery. The depth of coverage of a potentially complex subject is outstanding, and the information provided is extraordinarily presented. This is a reference book that is a must-have for any enterprise library and one that won't gather dust from lack of use.

Professional Services Automation is published by John wiley and Sons, and is priced at US$49.50/CND$74.00. Further ordering information can be obtained by visiting http://www.wiley.com/ .

Additional information about Professional Services Automation can also be found at http://www.psabook.com .

 

Or, buy at discount prices through Amazing Amazon.com

 

Professional Services Automation
receives a PROJECTmagazine rating of
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5 bananas

 

2002 © Lee Appleyard

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