PS Business Solutions
There are hundreds of global Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) that provide software applications to the services sector.
SPI Research follows leading software providers to the professional services market, either role or process-focused (point solutions) and comprehensive (multiple departments, process and roles) solution providers. We cover the following solution areas:
- Resource Planning (ERP/SRP or Financials): Figuring prominently in professional services organizations (PSOs) ability to optimize operational effectiveness is the increased integration of information systems that comes through implementation of Enterprise Resources Planning (ERP) systems and processes.
- Professional Services Automation (PSA): SPI Research defines Professional Services Automation as an integrated suite of applications used to increase operational visibility and improve resource and project management efficiency in professional services organizations. The key differentiator for this market is the integration of people, process and capital. Professional Services Automation provides organizations with a solution to efficiently plan, sell, execute and charge for work. PSA gives team members the tools to collaborate and collect knowledge that can be further used to optimize resource and project management processes. The net effect of PSA is a more productive and profitable business, as well as improved levels of predictably and client satisfaction.
- Client Relationship Management (CRM): CRM supports the management of clients and is designed to improve sales and marketing effectiveness. CRM automates lead, contact and campaign management, sales pipeline forecasting and territory management. Many CRM applications also provide powerful call center functionality for call handling; trouble ticketing and problem resolution. CRM allows PSOs to track clients through the engagement lifecycle, and to specifically target customer segments and offers by understanding details of the relationship.
- Human Capital Management (HCM): HCM solutions manage the management and tracking of human resources from recruitment through termination. HCM benefits the PSO by maintaining a database of skills, benefits and pay rate information that is used for resource scheduling, recruiting and performance management. Effective HCM solutions provide rich applications that allow consultants to manage their own skills and skill development (training) and bid on the projects of greatest interest for them. Studies consistently show that effective HCM applications which facilitate career management result in improved employee satisfaction and retention.
- Business Intelligence (BI): BI helps PSOs manage the assembly and use of information to improve decision-making — leading to improved profitability, management control and faster growth. The BI market is relatively new compared to other core applications, however, it is gaining rapid acceptance in the marketplace. In 2007 the largest independent BI providers — Cognos, Business Objects and Hyperion were acquired by IBM, SAP and Oracle respectively, signaling a new era of powerful business intelligence and analytics as part of most major financial applications. As PS organizations mature, BI becomes a more critical tool to provide real-time visibility to all facets of the operation — allowing executives to spot trends and take early corrective action.
- Remote Service Delivery and Collaboration Tools area also covered by SPI Research.