What’s the Difference Between Professional Services Automation (PSA) and Project Management Software?

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How does Professional Services Automation (PSA) differ from project management (PM) software? And how can you choose the right comprehensive solution to run your business?

Here are a few key differentiators between PSA and PM.

1. PSA Puts Customers at the Center Instead of Projects

With project management software, the emphasis is on projects.

PM software helps you track tasks and collaborate so employees can keep up with their day-to-day work. Your customers may see the end result of your internal team’s work, but that could be incidental. A PM tool could be purchased solely for the benefit of your employees, regardless of how it affects your customer experience.

Professional service automation (PSA) puts customers at the center. The focus is on optimizing the client’s experience, not just on tracking individual tasks.

Because the system has multiple touchpoints with the customer’s experience, employees have greater access to customer information across the board, while customers feel more taken care of across the entire scope of your business.

2. PSA Connects the Front Office to Sales and Service Delivery

Beside providing your customer with an better end-to-end experience, a PSA system provides your employees with much better visibility across the entire service delivery pipeline. The front office, the back office, and every service employee in between can see what the other departments have contributed to the customer’s account, whether that’s contact information, projects working and delivered, or expectations for future services.

3. PSA Integrates Seamlessly From CRM to Accounting

Many PSA or PM systems can integrate with your CRM. But many of them also aren’t easily set up, a problem that usually results in service delivery being run separately from the CRM.

A great PSA will include a strong PM feature set and integrate closely with your CRM. Krow Software is built natively within Salesforce, meaning integration isn’t a concern — it’s built to run together from the outset.

From the moment a customer is entered into the CRM as a contact, everything can run seamlessly with the PSA.

4. PSA Generates Revenue

Professional services automation systems are particularly helpful for generating revenue, for a few reasons.

If you have billable hours or services and you’re using a Configure-Price-Quote (CPQ) system, having a PSA system to help you adjust profitability, margin, bookings, and revenue on the fly can lead to easier and greater revenue increases.

Additionally, SPI Research recently conducted an ROI study on professional services automation. The results found that a $200,000 investment in software and implementation could lead to nearly $23 million in increased revenue and reduced costs, based on a firm of 172 people  — an ROI of 115 times the initial investment.

5. PSA Includes Many Other Modules Beyond Project Management

Professional services automation isn’t just different from project management — it encompasses it. But PSA also encompasses many other services and modules. This includes (but is not limited to) time entry, billing, invoicing, CPQ, proposals, document management, expense tracking, calendar management, revenue recognition, forecasting, and customer communities.

Because PSA includes so many more options than just project management, it’s capable of replacing many more systems than just PM.

Conclusion: PSA Is an End-to-End Service Delivery Solution

The right PSA system for your organization can provide or replace a PM-only tool while providing many additional solutions for your business. And because all of these tools work together within one PSA, everyone at your organization will have greater access to your customers’ information.

That means more profitable client engagements, increased customer retention, and more revenue over the life of the customer, just by using the right PSA system.