By now, all VARs are selling more services. The Professional Service Automation (PSA) tool helps VARS to manage all aspects of service including break-fix, managed services and SLA’s. It allows VARs to service more customers efficiently with more resources. It allows VARs to develop recurring and predictable revenues by charging your customers a fixed fee pre user or pre device. It helps VARs expand into a MSP.
There are several tools on the market including Autotask, Connectwise, TigerPaw, Logmein and Naverisk. Even some RMM companies are also building out service management functionality into their application.
While these tools roughly do the same thing, there are challenges to using each. You do need to do your research to find the tool that is right for your business. These tools can be heavy to use and will require serious training as well as significant changes to the way you work. That said, if implemented correctly, it will help you to do more services effectively and with less resources – meaning you make more money.
An important part of service automation (PSA) is the connectivity with RMM tools such as GFI, Level Platforms, Kaseya and N-Able. Some PSA’s have deep partnerships with specific RMM tools so this may be a significant limitation factor to consider. Some RMM tools are building out PSA functionality but they would also lock you into their brand. When RMM tools are sold, the new parent company may also change the game yet again. Pick a PSA solution that does not have ownership with any RMM solution. This will allow you to switch to different brand that may better serve your needs in the future. Keep in mind that the PSA space is still gelling. Hardware vendors are already getting into the game by offering remote management services.
Once you are comfortable with a particular service automation solution and it gets the job done, then you are all set. Sure you could change to another solution with more features, but the migration and re-training may not be worth the effort. And, if you wait long enough, your current solution will probably add similar functionality like the others.
If you find PSA solutions too heavy for your needs, then consider other solutions like Logmein or GFI’s service desk.
We suggest that you review each solution with your team very carefully and decide which works best for you.
Word of caution…While some of these PSA tools claim that they have a CRM package, it is not truly a full CRM solution. You really need to understand the difference because using a proper CRM solution with the proper sales process will probably be the most powerful driver for your sales, profits and customer service. Explore one of our VAR Office Suite CRM partners so they can demonstrate what a true CRM solution can do for your business.
Before you implement any PSA solution, you must figure out your service catalog, service level agreements and pricing strategy. You will also need to know how to market and sell managed services. This is not easy to do, but can be done! Most PSA providers have lots of great information and tools to help you market and sell managed services. This is actually the first step you should do before you implement any PSA. At our events, you can meet and talk to other VARs who use each of these tools to get their feedback.
Finally, you also need to decide if you will be bundling products with services. For this, you will need an e-commerce or sales quoting solution that will combine both products and services and push the services as opportunities directly into the PSA. VARs can make a lot more profits by selling the right combination of products and services. We can send you a 60 min video presentation if you would like to learn how you can combine products with services to increase your profitability by as much as 30%.