The Future of the Services Industry


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OpenAir webinar on the future of the services industry. I presented a case study on an ERP type strategy for the professional services organization at ISCS.

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  • Thank you Mike. As Mike has presented, the enterprise resource planning model lends itself quite well to a services operation. As with selling a widget, there is a “quote to cash” lifecycle behind a services business whether it be within a product company or consultancy.Next Slide
  • Almost two years ago now, I joined a small enterprise software company that has a product for the Property & Casualty Insurance market that supports selling, administering, billing and supporting insurance products such as automobile, homeowners, and commercial liability. This software system, as with many, requires setup and customization to enable it to support each individual insurance companies products and operating model, for example where they might use captive versus independent agents, or centralized billing and claims departments versus field or branch offices supporting customers.Ultimately, each new customer requires an implementation team to setup the system to support their business lifecycle from sales (agents) to billing to customer service when an insured reports a claim.When I joined, I inherited a number of challenges affecting the professional services organizations ability to understand what work was in flight, it’s progress, and whether or not it was even approved work whereby its costs could be recovered from the customer. There were monthly write-offs due to confusion between project teams and customers paying the bills and a dedicated resource responsible for running around and asking folks what they were working on.Having come from a fairly well organized consulting company that had explicitly defined processes around contract management, staffing, billing, etc., I knew that I needed to put in all the basics.Next Slide
  • A few years prior I had led a software selection project for a large company that wanted to take advantage of an enterprise project management tool. During this project I became aware of many offerings on the market and had seen the idea of “Professional Services Automation” begin to be championed by several vendors. This lead me to dream big as I expected there would be great solutions to how I wanted to run this business.Services Resource Planning (SRP) really is about supporting the end-to-end business process. Fortunately, I was able to step back and think about how to put the pieces together. Specifically, at ISCS, I have new customers that need a project team to setup our product for them and have existing customers with ongoing service requests and product issues.Ultimately, I needed real-time visibility into all of this work, but more specifically need to be able to answer these questions:What new service opportunities exist (i.e., projects)?What issues are my customers having?What are people working on?Who’s available?Are they working on the right things?Are we billing for their work? How much?Did we bill for the work?What are the margins of my projects?What are the margins of my maintenance agreements?What are my margins by customer, by the whole department?With answers to these questions I can then make decisions on staffing, training, recruiting, and goodwill.More importantly, with this level of insight and transparency, I can better manage internal and customer expectations and plan for a more probable future rather than executive intuition. It was also very important to me that both our customers and employees could see all of the cogs in the wheel and where things are at in the assembly line.Next Slide
  • To support this vision I needed a multitude of capabilities that if not yet found in one system, needed to integrate with others to provide end-to-end business process supportIn a smaller company with staff focused on customers, I didn’t want to have a large IT investment in either software, hardware or administration. Similar to how my company enables our customers to run our system in the cloud with my team working in the background to make sure everything works behind the scenes, I wanted tools that were also managed by someone else so that I could focus on running my business rather than keeping operational applications running.I choose OpenAir as the heart of my Professional Services Automation vision and Salesforce Sales and Service Clouds to enable a SRP style operating model, and we already had QuickBooks, which is used by most small businesses. OpenAir supported my SRP vision Day 1 with pre-built connectors to and QuickBooks.Beyond just opportunity management, project delivery, and financials, I also wanted human capital management, as Mike defined it, supported as well to give me a complete picture of the Services Supply Chain. Having capabilities such as resource booking, skill tracking, availability are key components to streamlining and creating an efficient process for allocating the right resources at the right time to deliver customer value.Specifically, the tools needed to support project work and customer support, both with unique yet similar operating processes. Let me begin by walking through how I’ve leveraged these tools to meet my vision in supporting project work.Next Slide
  • We had all of this live in a couple of months and immediately received feedback from customers that they felt more comfortable with what we were working on even though our billings went up on account of better tracking of billable work. From their perspective they had better insight on the status of their requests and in real-time, everyone knew who was working on what, and we nearly eliminated the monthly dance of explaining the invoice and negotiating write-offs.The new operating model and tools have enabled us to reduce overhead on project staffing, project setup and the billing process.But most importantly, leveraging the decision sciences of ERP we are able to make more insightful business decisions on real operational data.Ed, I’ll turn it back to you for our closing Q&A.
  • The Future of the Services Industry

    1. 1. The Future of the Services Industry:“Quote to Cash” for Services Business<br />Darin Archer<br />Vice President, Professional Services<br />
    2. 2. Company Quick Facts:<br />Background<br />Enterprise software company<br />CRM/ERP Type Functionality for Property & Casualty Insurance Carriers<br />50-100 employees<br />Key Pain Services Points:<br /><ul><li>Lack of Transparency
    3. 3. Monthly Write-offs
    4. 4. Resource Visibility
    5. 5. Lost Revenue
    6. 6. Overhead</li></li></ul><li>Vision<br /><ul><li>Real-Time Visibility
    7. 7. Metrics-Driven Management
    8. 8. P/L Reporting
    9. 9. Transparency Across All Work for Customers & Company
    10. 10. Projects Active
    11. 11. Resource Allocation
    12. 12. Support Issues Open
    13. 13. Billing</li></li></ul><li>Tools<br />Sales & Support<br />Single view of customers<br />Better visibility into pipeline<br />Ability for more easily forecast revenues<br />Project & Time Tracking<br />Transparency into the work both internally and to customers<br />Better manage resource schedules<br />Track projects<br />Collaborate with customers<br />Finance & Accounting<br /><ul><li>Expense Reporting
    14. 14. Contract to Invoice</li></li></ul><li>ProServ Project Work Approach & Results<br />$<br />$<br />$<br />Hrs<br />$<br />Salesforce Opportunities<br />OpenAir Projects<br />QuickBooks Invoices<br /><ul><li>Resource Scheduling
    15. 15. Time Tracking to Plan with Democratized Estimates
    16. 16. Project Billing & Expense Tracking
    17. 17. Work Remaining
    18. 18. Increased project delivery
    19. 19. Services Sales Management
    20. 20. Forecasting & Planning
    21. 21. Sales View of Customer Engagements
    22. 22. Decreased invoice cycle
    23. 23. Reduced overhead costs
    24. 24. Automated Expense Management</li></ul>© 2010 ISCS, Confidential<br />
    25. 25. Customer Support Approach & Results<br />Salesforce Cases<br /> &Customer Portal<br />OpenAir Projects<br />QuickBooks Invoices<br /><ul><li>Profitability of Maintenance Agreements
    26. 26. Time Spent on Issues Captured
    27. 27. Complete Visibility of Customer Issues
    28. 28. Financial Tracking
    29. 29. Progress Reported by Timesheets
    30. 30. Show Customer Value of Maintenance Agreement
    31. 31. Allow For Quick Billable Requests</li></ul>© 2010 ISCS, Confidential<br />
    32. 32. The Future of the Services Industry:“Quote to Cash” for Services Business<br /><ul><li>Improved Customer Satisfaction
    33. 33. Reduced Overhead
    34. 34. Informed Decisions</li>