Professional services organizations are facing a wave of new challenges. But they are also equipped with some of the best business tools to help them meet those challenges and handle the job efficiently and effectively. Laser-focus on the execution of projects, supported by integrated IT systems, elevates the best professional services organizations above the rest. In our experience, there are three pillars that top-performing professional services organizations treat with the utmost importance. The focus on these three things differentiate them from the competition. These are: the caliber of employees/contractors they retain, the internal business processes they have automated, and the integrated systems that the completion of their projects rely on.

Hiring and retaining motivated and productive people is the foundation of any successful professional services organization. Your clients are banking on the expertise of your employees, and if they can’t deliver, your clients won’t be returning. Human capital is your business. So having stellar employees is key to any thriving professional services organization. Equipping those great employees with the right tools will bring their work and their abilities to the next level.

The cloud can exponentiate the human capital you already have. The emergence of the cloud empowers your employees to be more productive than ever. Having a mobile workforce that is always connected means work can be done anywhere, anytime. A cloud-connected workforce also means cloud-level collaboration. Tools like Google Apps enable employees to collaborate both internally with colleagues and externally with clients. Real-time collaboration not only collapses project timelines into shorter time-frames (on to the next one!), but keeps everyone on the same page. When everyone is on the same page, missed comments and last minute changes that do nothing but waste time, are a thing of the past. Quicker and cleaner collaboration, and meaningful work being done in the usually-most-unproductive-of-places, means more billable hours. If “time is money”, your employees can make the most of their time with the communication and collaboration tools of the cloud.

Business Process
Automated systems cut down on unnecessary and tedious back-office work, allowing you to focus on what your clients are actually paying you to do. A customized suite can be tailored around the best practices within your area of service. Customize it to accommodate your specific business workflows, and automate it across the organization, so that best practices are literally ingrained into the service provided, and that service is exceptional and consistent. Professional services automation brings processes into alignment with company goals, so every action taken feeds into the company’s overarching mission, and your organization presents itself from a unified front. Explore the features of Netsuite OpenAir for more information on the possibilities of professional services automation. Industry leaders within the professional services space, from our experience, have been able to standardize enterprise-wide procedures for all of their processes.

Integrated Systems
Seamless professional service platforms that tie in ERP, CRM, CMS, and other systems into one end-to-end solution give companies an edge in any service environment. Netsuite OpenAir does an excellent job of this. Integrated IT systems, when combined with tight management controls give professional service organizations real-time visibility on prospects throughout the sales cycle and projects throughout the life cycle. Integration allows project and resource information from various and previously disjointed applications, like accounting software and resource management software, to be shared in a meaningful and usable manner, facilitating smart decisions from management.

Collaboration between management, sales, and projects teams sets the right expectations for customers. The customer can get exactly what they are looking for, when they are looking for it, and the professional services firm can execute plans with efficiency and cost-savings. Cross-functional collaboration requires cross-functional systems. Communication – essentially the data shared between teams – is they key to providing better service. As time goes on and more projects are completed. more data is shared, and information begins to flow cleanly. The result: similar future projects are easier to complete, and the shared knowledge means that professional services organization are utilizing the expertise of their employees to the fullest. Cloud based integrated systems bring it to the next level. These resources, when hosted in the cloud, become accessible from anywhere, allowing your company to move just as fast (if not faster) as your customers.

Next Steps
Accelerate the adoption and implementation of these three principles within your organization by partnering with Bi101. We have deep expertise in cloud-based PSA. For more information, schedule a free cloud strategy consultaion, or contact an Account Manager at (925) 443-3387 or

Our whitepaper outlining the power of PSA can be found here.