Professional services automation (PSA) software offers several advantages that help a company perform to its fullest potential. A PSA facilitates better decision-making, better collaboration, and optimized business processes. The only disadvantage to consider is the high capital investment in purchasing a professional services automation solution, but the cost can typically be recouped in two or three years from efficiencies gained.
Table of Contents
- Our Picks: The Top PSA Software Solutions
- What Is PSA Software?
- How Does PSA Software Benefit a Business?
- Must-Have Features in a PSA Software Solution
- The Best PSA Software Compared
- What Decision-Makers Need to Look for in a PSA Solution
Our Picks: The Top PSA Software Solutions
We looked at many professional services automation solutions, checking reviews, user feedback, and their capabilities. Here are our top recommendations:
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What Is PSA Software?
Professional services automation is a comprehensive software package that allows organizations to execute their most frequent day-to-day activities. Several examples of routine activities for an IT business include project management, relevant daily document processing, employee time tracking, resource utilization, labor usage, and a customer relationship management (CRM) module.
This article will review some of the top-rated PSA software solutions, so organizations can make an informed decision.
How Does PSA Software Benefit a Business?
Professional services automation software uses a centralized database that gives managers an omnipresent view of all project-related activities. PSA tools allow managers to hone in on any key performance indicator (KPI) slippage, combining the ability of a manager to see the real-time progress of all projects and business activities with the functionality of predictive analytics.
A PSA provides the ability to continually optimize processes through features like time-tracking functionality. Managers can quickly evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of all business activities.
Other benefits a company can gain from using professional services automation software include:
- Optimized administrative tasks
- Improved resource utilization
- Minimized budget overruns
- Improved customer satisfaction
Must-Have Features in a PSA Software Solution
Professional services automation software is an effective tool for IT organizations, as it can monitor independent tasks and projects or entire business units. Embedded artificial intelligence (AI) functionality for reporting and analytics is helpful to managers in identifying potential cost overruns or missed project deadlines.
Automating repeatable processes, time tracking, third-party integration, and smart invoicing are key features that help streamline business operations.
The Best PSA Software Compared
This PSA solution has garnered high praise for its time reporting, expense tracking, invoicing, and online real-time entries. Customization repeatedly received positive reviews, although one review stated more customization needs to be added to more field elements.
In one case study, BigTime helped a company save a significant amount of time, as the business eliminated using spreadsheets and opted for using BigTime project management features.
On the other hand, BigTime has a few drawbacks to note. One customer does not like how the invoicing portion of the application functions. Moreover, the UI is noted for not being intuitive; however, the reviewer said the capabilities of BigTime far outweigh the non-intuitive UI.
Despite these few drawbacks, the one common theme in reviews is the optimistic attitude that the BigTime developers will correct any noted concerns.
Tracking financial information and hours spent on business activities becomes much easier with Birdview, a PSA solution that is touted as being more user-friendly than Microsoft Project.
Using this professional services automation solution eliminates having to track and update multiple spreadsheets from different departments. Further, the approval feature in the document management module eliminates the need to email, print, sign, and scan before a document is approved.
Birdview lacks some of the functionality presented in other professional services automation software. Negative comments from clients note that Gantt charts are difficult to create. Generated meeting minutes are in a text-based format and require processing before distribution. Resource loading is also identified as a lengthy process, but customer support is aware of the issue and working on a solution.
Customer reviews stated that Changepoint supports the complete project life cycle. In addition, Changepoint’s ability to tie resources, projects, and financial information together to generate billable time and fixed fees received several compliments.
Two other features routinely complimented are Changepoint’s configurability and offline mode for data entry.
Customer reviews also show there are issues with the UI, and navigating in Changepoint is not intuitive. In addition, the initial setup of the software takes time to implement fully.
Even though the configurability feature is fantastic, organizations need to clearly understand their business processes to take advantage of Changepoint. Finally, upgrading to new Changepoint versions was noted as an issue for some customers.
Mavenlink reporting functionality is often rated as excellent because it provides better visibility between projects, programs, and resourcing data. The reporting also offers superb KPI and key risk indication (KRI) information, helping managers make more informed decisions.
Mavenlink also clearly values customer feedback, as some customers have noted suggestions they made were implemented in later versions. The UI is logically designed, making it easier to track all projects.
Some customers have noted that invoice build-outs could be more flexible, and manually forecasting hours by the week or month is time-consuming. One customer complained about the reporting and said the training was not adequate.
Another customer stated the application got slower at the end of the month due to the high volume of users. Another noted concern is recurring projects that should generate the same or similar information are incorrect each month and require manual input.
Mission Control allows project managers to oversee and track all aspects of a project. This PSA product facilitates teams working together and makes it easier for team members to understand task assignments.
ers commented on how easy it is to create project milestones and allocate resources. The customer support is rated as excellent by several clients, and the Gantt chart is said to be easy to use and understand.
One customer noted Mission Control lacks a project dashboard that can show all the project attributes. Another complaint from some users is the application is too clunky and takes too many clicks to execute an action. Other reviewers suggested minor tweaks to the UI. The product mainly received positive comments overall, though.
Projector PSA has a GUI that is generally regarded as more friendly than other solutions, and the product is typically easy for new users to learn. The reporting feature works with Power BI to monitor project KPI performance.
In addition, the customer service provided by Projector PSA has received positive reviews. One case study said that since the company has started using Projector PSA software, the efficiency of the company has dramatically improved.
As Projector PSA is a feature-rich software application, it will take a company time to become competent in fully utilizing the software. The learning curve is noted as a drawback, but the robustness of the application is considered a plus.
Users request improving the credit card transaction input, including different ways to audit data, and updating the no-frills UI. Overall, clients of this application seem very content.
Ruddr integration with Slack and Quickbooks Online was viewed favorably in several reviews. Additionally, features for tracking time spent on projects and the intuitive display of charts and graphs reportedly help managers make decisions with up-to-date data.
One customer stated that Ruddr immediately addressed over 90% of their business needs without customizing the out-of-the-box application. Customer service was reviewed as excellent.
Though integration works great with Slack and Quickbooks, customers would like to see more integration with other software products they already use. One customer voiced concern about invoicing and timesheets, and other claimed resource utilization and budget features are not fully developed. Even negative reviews of this software were optimistically written, due to Ruddr’s customer support.
What Decision-Makers Need to Look for in a PSA Solution
As you can tell, there is a wide variety of professional services automation software solutions available for businesses to select. These key features of PSA software allow IT businesses to make the most informed decisions, optimize their internal administrative activities, and continually improve their external customer service processes.
- Reporting analytics is an AI-based function that records and analyzes organizational events to help managers make an informed decision.
- Task management oversees the entire lifecycle of any internal or external task from planning, to assignment, execution, and completion.
- Third-party integration allows a company to add additional features to an existing business application without going through the software development process to create the required functionality.
- Collaboration tools promote or enhance a company’s ability to communicate amongst employees in a distributed work environment.
- Time management and tracking helps businesses gauge efficiencies gained in business operations.
- Resource management involves planning, scheduling, and allocating personnel, technology, and money to complete a project.
- Customer relationship management can be included as a module within a PSA to track all customer interactions.