Deploying professional service automation (PSA) is a major undertaking for a managed services provider (MSP) or value-added reseller (VAR). Deploying a system that impacts every area of your business—from project management and resource allocation to time tracking and invoicing—requires careful planning and flawless execution.
As an MSP or VAR who has gone through PSA tool implementation, it may be a process you aren’t anxious to repeat. However, when the cons of continuing to use your current PSA tool outweigh the pros, you need to make a change.
Here are two reasons you may be considering migrating to a new PSA tool:
1. Underutilization and Cost
Matthew Adkins, service coordinator at SunPoint IT Solutions, LLC and member of The ASCII Group, says when he moved to his current position from another firm, he intentionally looked for a new PSA tool.
“We were using (the previous PSA tool) heavily for billing and ticket documentation but no actual workflow or projects, and there were minimal integrations,” Adkins explains. He says his team assigned tickets manually, and engineers picked their own tickets and didn’t use dashboards or refer to the weighting assigned to tickets. “We wasted a lot of time and busted a lot of SLAs,” he commented.
“Now, we use everything—project modules, integration with multiple vendors, a lot of automated workflows, and billing,” Adkins says.
“We learned that spending a lot of money on tools that you don’t fully utilize is a waste. At our company, we are all experienced engineers and our time is very valuable. Having everything in the PSA saves time, and as we become more project-focused, the automation, dashboards, and accessibility from any module help us keep up with the added work without adding more people,” he says.
ASCII member Robert Picard, VP and COO of Demand ITS Inc., says two years ago, his team began looking more closely at the security of their remote monitoring and management (RMM) and PSA platform. A breach of ConnectWise Control (formerly ScreenConnect) was the pivotal event that led to the search, and Demand ITS was well into exploring new platforms when SolarWinds RMM was compromised last year.
The MSP shared findings on Reddit, including how easy it would be for a malicious insider to upload a virus and that a default technician role that includes user management privileges could create a vulnerability.
Based on its research, Demand ITS transitioned to a new platform. Picard adds, “We now restrict access to running commands across multiple devices to just one top-level account that is only used for adding predefined scripts and not for everyday use.”
Tips for Making the Switch
If you decide that it’s time to make a change, there are measures you can take to make the transition to a new PSA tool as easy as possible on your team. Demo any software you are considering to understand fully how it will impact your teams’ workflows. If possible, choose a new PSA tool that supports the way they work to make training easier.
Once you’ve selected the PSA tool, your next challenge is planning. It’s best to migrate from one system to another in phases, working with one team at a time to make sure the new implementation provides them with all of the functionality they need, and it doesn’t disrupt your business.
Also, remember to back up data and test after migration to ensure that all customer, transactional, and operational data seamlessly transfers from one system to the other.
The Choice and Process Are Uniquely Yours
Whether to switch to a new PSA tool is a decision that only you and your leadership team can make based on what’s best for your business now and in the future. Furthermore, how you transition from one solution to the other should also focus on your team’s and your business’s needs.
The PSA software you are using today maybe be the perfect tool for your business. However, if you determine that you need to change to preserve security or the bottom line, invest the time and resources necessary to ensure a smooth implementation and lay the groundwork for your new PSA tool to provide value to your business long into the future.
About The ASCII Group, Inc.
The ASCII Group is the premier community of North American MSPs, MSSPs, VARs and solution providers. The group has over 1,300 members located throughout the U.S. and Canada, and membership encompasses everyone from credentialed MSPs serving the SMB community to multi-location solution providers with a national reach. Founded in 1984, ASCII provides services to members including leveraged purchasing programs, education and training, marketing assistance, extensive peer interaction and more. ASCII works with a vibrant ecosystem of major technology vendors that complement the ASCII community and support the mission of helping MSPs and VARs to grow their businesses. For more information, please visit www.ascii.com.