Managing Your Services Business with Open Source Software

Posted by conz on May 21, 2006 12:53 AM EDT
Cybersource; By Con Zymaris
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Modern businesses are quickly recognizing the need to make intelligent use of information throughout the organization to better address support issues and other business problems. An open source professional services automation solution can help track and manage customer requests, problems, complaints, tasks and any other projects that need to be tracked, along with the billing and expenses related to those activities.

Do you run a services-based business? One that sells people's time and effort? Examples include IT services, marketing and management consultancies, legal and financial services work. If so, then you would normally need some way to track that work, track who is supposed to be doing that work, track the clients that you're doing work for, the documentation which changes hands between you and the clients and finally track the billing for your time and effort.

PSA solutions are readily available – search the web and you'll find dozens of examples. What I would propose however is that due to the nature of professional services business, and more specifically your professional services business, you really need to be using an open source professional services automation solution. Why is this? Well, your services business more than likely doesn't operate like any other services business. Your workflow, your management oversight, your procedures and policies likely match no other firm's.

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