What the Heck is Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation?

One of the most common questions we’ve heard from professional services companies lately is: What the heck is Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation (PSA)?

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation is a Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales (CRM) solution. It helps professional services companies run their business more productively by bringing people, processes, and automation technology together through a unified experience. PSA is a powerful addition to Dynamics 365 that enables project management capabilities in Dynamics 365.

Simply put, Microsoft Dynamics 365 for PSA unites opportunity management with project planning and management. After the sales and planning stage, Microsoft Dynamics 365 PSA excels at handling resource management, team collaboration, time and expense management, customer billing and service analytics.

Dyn 365 PSA

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Project Service Automation

I guess the first pertinent question might be, why do I need PSA? After all, we already have Microsoft Project which is an advanced project management tool! Microsoft Project is a great tool for project managers and in some circumstances, might be the only tool you need, Microsoft Dynamics 365 PSA won’t be for everyone! But you will find that Microsoft Dynamics 365 PSA has a slightly different focus, it is not “just” about project management. It is more focused on the engagement with the customer. By this I mean it covers the full life cycle of the project right from initial estimate to completion.

SBS Group has partnered with hundreds of professional services clients to help them utilize technology solutions that lower costs, improve visibility and enable efficient allocation of resources. Our solutions for project-driven firms are:

Microsoft Dynamics 365 PSA for companies with Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales (CRM)
Progressus for small to medium sized companies
AXIO for enterprise companies

All three products are based upon common data services, and interact seamlessly together, and with Microsoft Dynamics 365. Progressus and AXIO run on the back-office ERP side of the business, while Microsoft Dynamics 365 PSA is on the front-office CRM side of the business.

We cover this in more detail in our webcast, 5 Reasons Project Driven Firms Switch to Dynamics 365. Interested in learning which solution is right for your company? Start a discussion with one of our business technology experts today. Contact us for a free evaluation.

Best Regards

Eric

About Eric Forgo

Eric serves as the Director of Business Intelligence and CRM for SBS Group. He is responsible for developing and driving innovative solutions, overseeing related services and ensuring SBS Group customers derive maximum business value from their technology investments.

Eric has spent more than 20 years in the Microsoft ecosystem, holding executEric Forgo, SBS Group Directors BI and CRMive positions with leading ISVs and consulting firms where he led teams in the deployment of Microsoft ERP and CRM. In addition to his technology background, Eric spent the early part of his career in financial management. He is a CPA with a BS in Accounting from the University of Connecticut and an MBA from Boston University with a concentration in Finance.

 

The Real Answer to the Question Professional Services Have all Been Asking: Why Budget?

Why prepare a budget?

You may answer:
• My business has been going for many years and I have never had one before.
• I make pretty good money, so why do I need one?
• If I focus on keeping my billable hours up, everything else will take care of itself!
• I watch my debtors and WIP; this is enough to keep everything on track!
• I am a professional, with more than enough on my plate and I don’t have time for this financial stuff. My bookkeeper is on top of all of this.
• I don’t have time for this business planning nonsense. ¹

Many of the professional services firms we work with don’t place importance on budgeting. However, we believe that budgets are enormously important to the operation of your business; not only do they help you manage your costs, but they also help you determine whether your profit goals are within reach and keep you on the right road from month-to-month. In its simplest form, a budget is a detailed plan of future receipts and expenditures. Think of a budget as a tool for providing control. For example, by looking at next quarter’s budget you can anticipate peak periods and schedule stock and labor to handle the sales volume. You can also plan vacations, marketing activities and inventory taking for slow periods.

The resource planning cycle for a company typically consists of planning, budgeting, and forecasting activities. But how is this process different for a professional services company?

Learn how to budget in professional services, and the seven tips and practices for creating a budget that supports your project in our eBook: Why Budget, as well as information about our two professional services automation tools (AXIO for Enterprise companies, and Progressus for small and medium sized companies). Let us know if you have any questions in the meantime.

Best regards,

Robbie Morrison
Chief Solution Strategist, SBS Group

About Robbie
Robbie Morrison has spent nearly 20 years helping customers build and deploy elegant technology and business solutions.  From start-ups to enterprise-class organizations worldwide, his knowledge of the Microsoft Dynamics ecosystem and Robbie-2017products helps SBS Group customers maximize ROI on technology investments.

Today, Robbie serves SBS Group customers in his role as Chief Solution Strategist where he provides thought leadership and manages the development of B2B solutions.  Robbie received his MBA from the University of Georgia, Terry College of Business.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/robbiemorrison

 

Young Love, Project ROI and Microsoft Dynamics 365

Do you remember when you first started dating? Young love, holding hands, all of that business. You wanted to make sure that whatever you put into relationships, you would be getting back out of it. Did they make you laugh? Did they have a positive outlook on the world? Where they into the same activities as you? Hey, I did say YOUNG love. Or maybe you have kids who are going through this right now. It’s an investment. The same is true for any investment in life, as well as business.

Businesses are in business to make money. But when it comes to projects, calculating the true value of any project with respect to its impact on margin has always been challenging, mainly due to the ambiguity of turning notions into dollar values.

For instance, training employees will improve expertise and productivity, but how does that translate to bottom-line savings or revenue growth? Spending thousands of dollars on automated systems and software is likely to improve work efficiency, but what’s the dollar-value improvement of that efficiency?

Return on investment (ROI) is a key calculation in answering these questions, as well as showing the project value and its impact on the margin.

In a previous post, we talked about how a project-based environment helps companies better project a return-on-investment (ROI). Why is this important? Your customers want to know what their ROI is going to be if they do business with you. And you want to improve project profitability, as well as determine what ROI you are receiving from your own internal projects (when you implement Microsoft Dynamics 365 for instance 😊).

Project ROI

So what is Project ROI? It’s an indicator used to measure the financial savings/gain (or loss) of a project in relation to its cost. Typically, it is used in determining whether a project will yield positive financial benefits, and in turn giving approval to proceed. In six sigma, the formula is:

Project ROI = ((project’s financial gain or loss – project’s cost) / project’s cost)) X 100.

SBS Group has two products for companies who need project management, both based on Microsoft Dynamics 365: AXIO for larger, enterprise companies, and Progressus for small and medium sized businesses. Both products help you predict, manage, and track ROI.

axio-for-professional-services

AXIO helps you run your business and projects more effectively with enhanced resource management, invoicing, accounting, revenue recognition, collections, contract management, project budgeting and beyond.

Progressus monitors ROI every step of the way from project setup, budgeting, resource management, cost tracking, and time and expenses.

Let us know how we can help you measure ROI, and if you have any questions.

Best regards,

Robbie Morrison
Chief Solution Strategist, SBS Group

About Robbie
Robbie Morrison has spent nearly 20 years helping customers build and deploy elegant technology and business solutions.  From start-ups to enterprise-class organizations worldwide, his knowledge of the Microsoft Dynamics ecosystem and Robbie-2017products helps SBS Group customers maximize ROI on technology investments.

Today, Robbie serves SBS Group customers in his role as Chief Solution Strategist where he provides thought leadership and manages the development of B2B solutions.  Robbie received his MBA from the University of Georgia, Terry College of Business.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/robbiemorrison

Learn How Professional Services Firms Like Yours Boost Revenue with Better People Management

In a recent post this summer, we talked about minimizing seasonal resource management challenges with cloud PSA. What about all resource management challenges outside the summer lull? People are your most expensive resource at your professional services firm. Better manage them and boost resources in the meantime.

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Grab a cup of coffee, read through this 7-minute eBook and learn:

• Employee development challenges and how to retain employees
• How to define and fill roles
• Managing Limited Resources with PSA Software
• The Importance of Cloud Computing for Professional Services Firms

Meanwhile, let us know if you have any questions about resource management.

Best regards,

Robbie Morrison
Chief Solution Strategist, SBS Group

About Robbie
Robbie Morrison has spent nearly 20 years helping customers build and deploy elegant technology and business solutions.  From start-ups to enterprise-class organizations worldwide, his knowledge of the Microsoft Dynamics ecosystem and Robbie-2017products helps SBS Group customers maximize ROI on technology investments.

Today, Robbie serves SBS Group customers in his role as Chief Solution Strategist where he provides thought leadership and manages the development of B2B solutions.  Robbie received his MBA from the University of Georgia, Terry College of Business.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/robbiemorrison

PART II: Is your ENTERPRISE Business Project-based and you Don’t Even Know it?

Last week I talked about how SPI Research has seen a strong trend toward making virtually all work, project-based work. This is especially true for Enterprise companies (larger companies that need expended capabilities).

To recap, companies in every industry have turned their focus toward projects. A project focus makes sense as organizations plan work with a beginning, an end, and all steps in between. The key with projects are that there is a cost and time associated with every phase or task, and there should also be value delivered. Every dollar spent on an initiative must be tracked to determine whether it was worth the investment.

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Projects are easier to qualify and quantify
A project-based business environment makes perfect sense to executives. Projects begin neat and orderly, with specific start and stop dates, projected cost and expected value. Leading organizations have also incorporated a structured delivery methodology into the project-based work to track everything related to it more closely. This environment helps companies better project a return-on-investment (ROI), which in today’s economy has become increasingly important to customers and clients purchasing products and services.

But very few projects go exactly according to plan, as unforeseen conditions, or changes by the customer impact the project or service to be delivered. Those organizations that have taken a project-based approach to work can more easily change the scope of what is to be delivered, as well as its cost and expected change in duration. Again, this gives executives greater comfort in the work being delivered and its value to both the organization delivering it and its customer.

Better tools are now available for customer and client facing organizations
Tools for enterprise businesses can increase billable utilization, increase profitability per consultant, and increase customer satisfaction as projects are completed more frequently on-time and on-budget. Additionally, PSA software increases employee satisfaction, as they better understand what is required of them and the value they must deliver. Companies also have greater financial governance, tracking all costs associated with project delivery and comparing them to the revenue generated.

PSA’s benefits have been demonstrated for some time, especially in larger project-based organizations. SPI Research found that enterprise organizations increased billable utilization from 71% to over 75% with PSA, meaning roughly 80 additional billable hours annually per consultant. Even more important, PSA helped increase profitability per consultant by over 200%, from $7,575 to $24,018!

AXIO for Professional Services from SBS Group is a global ERP solution designed specifically for organizations that deliver customer-facing, project-based services. Built on the Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform, AXIO combines SBS Group’s award-winning implementation methodology, industry expertise, and a rapid deployment model to bring you the best in ERP, CRM and Cloud.

AXIO for Professional Services spans all the important processes in your firm, including resource management, project management, marketing, human capital management, and financial management. Optimized for cloud, AXIO can also be deployed on premise and is compliant with all GAAP, IFRS, Sarbanes-Oxley, and DCAA requirements.

If you aren’t already using Projects to manage your business, consider shifting today. Let us know how we can help. Check out our upcoming webcast, 5 Reasons Project-Driven Firms Switch to Dynamics 365.

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Best regards,

Dave Drouin
EVP of Professional Services, SBS Group

About David Drouin

David is a graduate of Wharton School of Business with a B.S. in Accounting and Economics.  After graduation, he began a twenty year career in public accounting, including five years as a partner where he built a successful systems advisory practice and managed it as partner-in-charge.

David joined SBS Group in 2006 as the Executive VP of Finance before taking on his current role as Executive VP of Professional Services.Dave Drouin, Executive Vice President, Professional Services at SBS Group

In addition to his business and accounting background, David has strong technical skills which he has leveraged in helping hundreds of small businesses and large enterprises evaluate and implement ERP systems in his nearly thirty years in technology services sector.​

https://www.linkedin.com/in/daviddrouin

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