Managed Services Providers face a real problem in managing business and the growing complexity of IT.
Professional Services Automation tools, or PSAs, hope to bring some order to the chaos in order to improve services delivery and lower Total Cost of Ownership.
Here’s my beef:
The most established PSAs (Connectwise, Autotask, Tigerpaw) seem to be more appropriate for VARS transitioning to the MSP model. Or, stated another way, they do not embrace a Services perspective. They are Asset centric at best.
So, what do you do? Embrace traditional PSAs? The promise of PSA 2.0 tools that are not yet mature? Customize your own process?
Here are 3 approaches to consider:
Traditional PSAs: (Connectwise, Autotask, Tigerpaw)
+ Established and mature products
+ Eliminate much of the chaos if you have not had a system
– Seem more focused on traditional VAR needs
– They do not put Services first.
PSA/ITSM 2.0: (OpManager, Triactive)
+ Embrace Services perspective
+ Embrace ITIL lexicon
+ One stop for both PPSA and ITSM
Customize your own: (NetSuite, SalesForce, MS CRM, Sharepoint)
+ Custom processes
+ Able to embrace and push the envelope in improving processes
– Higher cost to implement and change
– Limited templates for building MSP tools
Her are my questions for you:
1) Which approach did you take?
2) Do services come first in your MSP model or assets?
3) What best practices Do you embrace in your PSA? (e.g. ITIL v3)
4) Does your PSA fulfill the promise?
5) How do you manage the increasing complexity of processes?
6) Does anyone know of any templates for Sharepoint, NetSuire, MS CRM etc…?
7) Do you think MSP maturity and business stage correlate to which approach you chose? Where do you fall? (e.g. MSP start-up, VAR to 100% MSP 5 years ago now $5M in sales)
What are your thoughts?
PS I intentionally left out the debate of 1 tool versus many. (e.g. Autotask/N-Able vs OpManager)