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Software Functionality Revealed in Detail
We’ve opened the hood on every major category of enterprise software. Learn about thousands of features and functions, and how enterprise software really works.
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 professional services automation tools


Enterprise Resource Planning for Services, and Professional Services Automation: Where Do You Draw the Line?
Since the late nineties, enterprise resource planning (ERP) vendors have developed functionality for vertical markets in the service industry. Simultaneously

professional services automation tools  Planning for Services, and Professional Services Automation: Where Do You Draw the Line? Introduction Since the late nineties, it has been evident that the enterprise resource planning (ERP) vendors that originally serviced the needs of manufacturing organizations have slowly extended their functionality to service the needs of non-manufacturing industries also. By the year 2000, when many of the major ERP implementations for the manufacturing industry had tapered off, tier one ERP vendors, such as SAP

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Software Functionality Revealed in Detail

We’ve opened the hood on every major category of enterprise software. Learn about thousands of features and functions, and how enterprise software really works.

Get free sample report
Compare Software Solutions

Visit the TEC store to compare leading software by functionality, so that you can make accurate and informed software purchasing decisions.

Compare Now

PPM for Professional Services Automation

A business practice that assists organizations to align their portfolio of projects with their business strategy. Professional services automation (PSA) refers to a system designed to streamline and track resources, projects, portfolios, revenues, and the costs of professional services organizations (PSOs), which provide billable services to their clients. Consequently, PPM for PSA provides both the high-level monitoring of project portfolios as business investments and automates the project-specific functionality of time, billing, expense reporting, opportunity management, and resource management, linking back office functionality with the PSO’s portfolio of projects. 

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Documents related to » professional services automation tools

TEC 2012 ERP for Services Buyer's Guide


ERP for services solutions are changing the way professional services companies do business by combining powerful project- and resource-management tools with essential back-office functionality. Learn all about these solutions in TEC's 2012 ERP for Services Buyer's Guide. Plus get detailed product comparisons, a comprehensive vendor directory, customer success stories, and thought leadership from industry experts.

The scope of this guide makes it practically impossible to describe all the software requirements and offer existing solutions for services organizations of all types and sizes in an extremely diversified and highly specialized market. But the good news is that there are some commonalities among services-oriented companies, and the software solutions that address their needs can be suitable for a broad range of services-based organizations. The majority of services-based businesses, regardless of their market niche, will find their typical business processes covered in this guide. We will discuss the business challenges and pain points that services organizations face in fulfilling their objectives and the need for a specialized enterprise resource planning (ERP) software system to help them address these challenges and enable better decision making.

The primary audience for this buyer’s guide is services organization managers, business subject matter professionals at all levels, IT managers and experts, and consultants in the software selection market space who are directly or indirectly involved in corporate software selection processes, or, at least, influence those who make such decisions. This guide addresses the software needs of services-based companies that fall under the following example categories:

  • Managerial and/or specific consulting services companies
  • Financial services and auditing firms
  • Research organizations
  • Law firms
  • Advertising, public relations, and marketing agencies
  • Customer-specific software development companies
  • Recruitment and staffing companies



Table of Contents


Preface

2012 ERP for Services Buyer’s Guide

Definition of a Services Company

Business Challenges of Services-Oriented Companies

The Need for ERP for Services Software

Conclusion

Product Comparison

TEC Resources

Casebook

Counter-economy Factors Driving North American Steel Fabricator: While Landscape of Energy, Abundance and Employee Competition Defies Prevailing Market Trends, Waiward Steel Taps UNIT4 ERP/Business Change Support to Add $700k (5%) New Annual Profits

IFS Customer Success Story Todd Pacific Shipyards Chart a Course for Success with IFS Applications

Project Insight Customer Success Story NFI Industries

Epicor Customer Success Story Portenntum de Mexico Uses Epicor to Help Streamline Business Process

Thought Leadership by Epicor Increase Enterprise Visibility to Provide a Competitive Edge in Professional Services

KeyedIn Solutions Customer Success Story Pharmaceutical and Health Care Leader Solves Project Control and Health Problems at Division and Country Level


Vendor Directory


Download the full copy of the TEC 2012 ERP Buyer’s Guide for services.



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Business Challenges of Services-oriented Companies


The services provided by services-based organizations as described above are commonly referred to as professional services. Consequently, the software market segment that caters to such businesses and provides specific application products is known as professional services automation (PSA). Another cluster of software packages is very similar in design—project portfolio management for professional services automation (PPM for PSA). This type of software is intended to support business activities similar to those addressed by PSA; it usually originates from a simpler project portfolio management (PPM) system that is expanded with the addition of billing, time tracking, and other PSAspecific activities. Usually PPM for PSA systems lack or do not offer extensive support for back-office processes—financial management of the entire organization, human resources management, purchasing, and so on—as these systems are more focused on project delivery to clients. ERP for Services software, on the other hand, is a broader type of solution that includes support for both project delivery business procedures and backoffice processes that are not visible to clients but are still essential for running a company.

Because of the project-based and people-oriented nature of services organizations, this business segment requires software applications that are capable of supporting servicesoriented business processes and adequately handling multiple internal challenges that are intrinsic to this industry.



Download the full copy of the TEC 2012 ERP Buyer’s Guide for services.

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Sales Force Automation Buyer’s Guide


No matter how effective your sales staff is, there’s always room to boost efficiency and increase sales. But how you go about doing so may be a point of contention. Sales force automation (SFA) solutions come in many flavors, but they don’t all offer the comprehensive SFA functionality you need. Find out how to avoid the pitfalls of choosing SFA software, and get help matching your needs with the right solution for you.

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Two Mistakes Most Professional Services Organizations Make-How Metrics and Automation Tools Drive Profits


Many companies strive to effectively measure and analyze their service operations. But while management struggles to measure too many (or too few) metrics, they often overlook the basic measurement question: what to track, and how? By using the concept metric perspectives to define what data provides the most insight, you can move closer to a comprehensive metrics strategy.

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FinancialForce Professional Services Automation (PSA)


FinancialForce Professional Services Automation (PSA) is a cloud-based services solution that leverages the power of Salesforce customer relationship management (CRM) and Force.com to manage people, customers, projects, and financials. FinancialForce PSA allows users to maintain a single view of customers, use social tools like Chatter to tap into the knowledge of the entire workforce, and leverage system-wide tools to break down silos. Businesses can administer, customize, and tailor the application themselves or through a partner.

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Wellesley Information Services


Wellesley Information Services (WIS) is a publishing and training company. Its editorial work includes magazine publishing, mobile content, and case study creation. WIS offers event management and conducts research on market profiles, habits, and product positioning.

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Advisory Services


TEC's Advisory Services are designed to supplement your selection project with on-site support and guidance from our software selection experts.

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Complete Guide to Sales Force Automation (SFA)


Complete Guide to Sales Force Automation Get the buyer's guide that gives you everything you need to know about sales force automation solutions.

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12 Steps to Enterprise Automation


Enterprise environments such as Windows, UNIX, and Linux often have timed or manual tasks that have to be monitored every time they run. Automating your job schedule could be a cost-effective way to free up operators to perform more important tasks. Here are 12 areas that you should consider when seeking to automate job scheduling or upgrade your automation.

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RP Software Review: IFS Application version 8.0 for ERP for Services


This enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution software review report examines the ERP software by IFS and its support for business management processes against known benchmarks. It assesses IFS Application (v. 80) for ERP functionality and reviews the product’s support capacity with a focus on:

  • Portfolio and Project Management
  • Resource Planning and Scheduling
  • Opportunity, Contact, and Contract Management
  • Time and Expense Management
  • Budgeting, Costing, and Billing
  • Knowledge Management, Collaboration, and Analysis
  • Third-party Integration
  • Back-Office Functionality

The report also contains an independent analyst’s review of the ERP software based on a demonstration provided by IFS. The review identifies the features of IFS Applications that distinguishes it from other business process management solutions, including its compatibility with multiple sites and companies, its integrated document management feature, and its support for mobile operations across various devices. In this review, the analyst outlines the software provider’s implementation process, support model, and target user base.

IFS Applications achieved TEC certification status for its ERP software solution by completing TEC’s certification program, which includes a demonstration of the ERP software’s support for specific real-world business process and a detailed functional benchmarking analysis.

Based on a demonstration of IFS Applications, a TEC analyst has assessed the ERP software’s features, evaluating the software against known industry benchmarks, to determine that IFS Applications by IFS is a strong services support ERP system.

Download this software review report for product analysis and comparison, an in-depth analyst commentary, and to learn more about how IFS Applications can help businesses achieve their ERP objectives.

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Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2007 Product Guide


To address the needs of customers as well as emerging workplace trends, Microsoft focused the design of Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2007 around four key goals. They are: working more efficiently with better results, collaborating with others across boundaries, making better use of information, and streamlining processes and controlling content. These goals correspond to long-term investment areas that Microsoft began with Microsoft Office 2003 and continues to focus on today.

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