Automating a business process requires integration of vast amounts of data. This is especially true for professional services quote-to-cash lifecycles. They often require a single source of truth capable of managing disparate resources and tools. Thus when considering a Professional Services Automation software solution remember that, while it can serve as that centralized data repository, implementation typically occurs after other applications and systems you need to integrate the software solution with are already in place.
That is why you need a plan for developing integrations unique to your business. With every organization running its operations differently, integration plans help prevent business analysts on your team from getting lost quickly or not including all the systems necessary to automate the quote-to-cash process.
Effective integration planning is not done in a vacuum; it should involve business analysts along with leaders from all departments involved with professional services delivery. The goal is for everyone to understand the rationale behind the plan, how integration will help their department function better, and how they can get on board with its successful execution.
What is integration?
Integration helps services organizations identify, implement, and manage the transfer and processing of valuable data across its business information systems, reducing clicks and unifying overall project execution. PSA can integrate relevant quote-to-cash data from disparate systems to ensure it moves into the PSA system. That system then serves as the primary system of record to automate tracking, planning, managing, billing, and other components of professional services delivery.
Given the various automation components required for quality professional services delivery, effectively integrating PSA software and your unique applications, systems, departments, and resources is essential. A recent Forbes article supports this notion stating that, “80% of Business Operations leaders, including those from service delivery, manufacturing, and supply chain, say data integration is critical to their success.”
Components of an opportunity-to-cash integration
An organization’s integration strategy varies based on business needs, customer requirements and their underlying IT infrastructure. It is something we at Changepoint understand well. Changepoint Services Automation (SA) features a robust set of tools ideal for building solid integrations that optimize the quote-to-cash lifecycle. We have worked closely with services organizations, helping implement their integration strategies for devising integrations that impact:
- Applications & Systems: it is important to map the various applications and systems you want to connect, as well as the order of priority for those connections.
- Data: the goal of connecting applications and systems is to improve data sharing. This accomplishes two things, it gets the right data to the right place, at the right time. It also creates a centralized view of the most accurate, up-to-date information regarding your delivery projects.
- Process Optimization: a strategy for integrating applications, systems, and data culminate into automating the quote-to-cash lifecycle. A good place is prioritizing the processes causing your services projects to bleed revenue or acquire costs. Focus on those first, before moving on to others.
Quality professional services delivery hinges on connecting and collaborating more than ever, and integration is key to ensure your tools can collaborate. Successfully integrating a PSA software solution gives your team the ability to automate things like the creation of projects from opportunities, proposal, and contracts, as the process of billing, invoicing, and revenue recognition.
Changepoint Services Automation (SA) offers multiple integration options to choose from, along with a team of highly experience technicians who can help establish integrations that work best for your business. Contact us to talk more about how we can help.