Why the only way is up for the services industry

TRP: How can PSA support improved customer relationship management (CRM)?

LE: For most services businesses, their people are their product; customer satisfaction is therefore one of their key differentiators. PSA can support CRM significantly because it facilitates the full customer lifecycle. Through integration with the CRM function, PSA software manages customer interactions from first inquiry through to end of life.

This ensures that no customers slip through the cracks, whereas traditional manual processes run the serious risk of information voids. In a people based business, the ability to start to forecast resource requirements during a sales cycle is critical in order to remain competitive and to help close the deal.

And don't forget about the importance of customer feedback; through better integration with CRM, services businesses can assign and track resources from initial contact all the way through to capturing their feedback – enabling them to keep improving their service to customers.

TRP: What can PSA do for overstretched finance departments?

LE: Visibility into financial operations, whatever sector you operate in, is vital in guaranteeing that services are delivered within promised timescales and agreed budgets; if either of these factors is not met, it directly impacts revenue and profitability.

CFOs are increasingly involved in decision-making about technology purchases, particularly those that optimise finance, accounting and treasury processes.

Essentially, CFO's are concerned about three things as it relates to the services part of their business: how to improve their order to cash cycle; the profitability of engagements and having visibility into these engagements and accurate forecasting.

PSA software can be the technology solution that supports this. PSA provides complete project financial management and operational visibility, and ensures that data is more consistent and reliable; this gives finance departments' confidence in their decisions and supporting their crucial role.

TRP: What does the future hold for services companies?

LE: Services businesses in all sectors will continue to grow, but particularly in sectors like technology services, as technology continues to dominate enterprise change – with trends such as mobility and cloud here to stay.

As services organizations continue to grow and as they become strategic to a business it is important that service portfolios evolve as well. Increasingly, services organisations are looking to introduce value/out-come based models. Additionally, I think the future will see services business starting to make greater use of Analytics, as part of a PSA solution.

For services companies, the only way is up. We are in a services-led economy that presents great opportunity to businesses – but only if they have the means and tools to capitalise on this growth as part of their continued global expansion.

Desire Athow
Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.