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August 7, 2006

What is Professional Services Automation (PSA)?

Back in March I started a new job at OpenAir and I think it's finally settled in that (1) I really did change jobs and (2) it was a really good move for me for a number of reasons.

Before I can really talk about what I'm doing I should start with some information about the industry I've moved into, Professional Services Automation or PSA. I was in academia for many years so it's been interesting to shift to an industry with a completely different vocabulary, set of standards, history etc. It's been a gradual process, but I think I'm starting to fit in and am finding myself more and more excited to be doing something new and different.

The OpenPSA project has a nice summary of PSA:

Professional Services Automation (PSA) is a term invented by market analyst companies to describe a wide field of software products - from extended financial management packages to specialized ERP systems.

Professional Services Automation software enables services organizations to manage and improve their operations. Potential users of PSA software include consultancies, corporate IT departments, R&D teams and other service groups who need a better way to manage their projects, client relationships and documentation.

What does PSA do for you? I like this little bit on our homepage . . . I tend to use pieces of this description when I tell someone where I'm working and they haven't heard of OpenAir or PSA (99% of the cases):

Improve utilization—keep your team on the right projects.

Improve cash flow—accelerate billing and collections.

Our full suite of on-demand, integrated applications, from timesheets and expense reports to complex project and resource management, requires nothing more than a browser, and supports a variety of mobile devices, including Blackberry.

My understanding is that Professional Services Automation is considered a fairly new sector in the industry and is just starting to get recognized.

There are several companies going head to head to be positioned as the top player in this space, I like to think OpenAir has the best shot (currently the number one Google result for "Professional Services Automation"). More on that later . . .

Posted by mike at August 7, 2006 10:09 AM