Enterprise Resource Planning: New Research: Page 2

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SPEX scrutinizes PSA software

Research reveals key insights for early adopters as emerging players clamor to capture $2 billion market.

SPEX, a Reston, Va.-based end user-oriented information technology (IT) research firm, has introduced a new on-line research module of professional services automation (PSA) software packages.

Professional services organizations (PSOs) focusing on increased efficiency and higher productivity rates require services-oriented solutions to manage human intellectual capital and other enterprise resources.

According to SPEX research, the list of desirable functional components of a PSA solution include:

  • Opportunity management, including managing contacts, leads, proposals, and customer relationships;
  • Resource planning, including staff and skills forecasting and other resource planning;
  • Human capital management, including managing employees, contractors, time, and expenses;
  • Knowledge management, including best practices, methodology, content, and document management;
  • Management of programs, projects, activities with scheduling, resource optimization, risk management, tracking, and quality management tools;
  • Workflow and collaboration, including Web access, enterprise portals, and more;
  • And billing, accounting, and performance measurement.

PSA packages provide the impetus for PSOs to have project management functionality; they also afford them an opportunity to forecast, manage, and allocate resources, as well as analyze various win/loss scenarios.

"The current market leaders have secured a significant client base and continue to deploy new product deliverables at a rapid clip," stated Audrey Mickahail, program director at SPEX. "Their window of opportunity might be short-lived due to market consolidation and increased competition. We expect ERP and project management vendors to leverage their existing functionality and professional services organization's client base, and enter the PSA space with the promise of tight integration with front- and back-office applications."

Mickahail continued, "There is no silver bullet. Users should consider what functionality is most critical and which vendors are best positioned to survive the frenetic pace and vigorous ride."

The SPEX Professional Services Automation research module helps PSOs evaluate and select the appropriate package for their business environment. In addition to pricing, licensing, standards, integration, design, and architecture, the research module includes extensive evaluations of relevant features and functions covering all PSA areas.

SPEX's evaluations of PSA software packages include:
  • Account4.com, from Account4.com Inc.;
  • Changepoint, from Changepoint Corp.;
  • eServices, from Novient Inc.;
  • PlanView, from PlanView Systems Inc.;
  • ServicePort Enterprise, from Portera Systems Inc.;
  • and ServiceSphere, from Evolve Inc.

SPEX research deliverables contain a comprehensive Guide and Checklist of questions and criteria for selecting the best package, positioning graphs illustrating functional depth in critical areas, and SPEXmark ratings summarizing each package's functionality, user friendliness, technology, and market strength. SPEX evaluations can be customized to meet users' specific needs, using the SPEX Compass, an Excel-based model that provides the details of the scores used to build SPEX's product positioning graphs. All components of the SPEX research module are available from the Client Area of the SPEX web site.

For more information, visit the company's web site at http://www.spex.com.

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