Microsoft has made some great acquisitions in the past 18 months (now including LinkedIn) which have added features including surveys, customer portals, and field service. The addition of Project Service Automation is however not an acquisition, but was instead developed in-house by Microsoft, showing that solution development isn't just for the ISVs.
The Project Service Automation solution is an excellent match to the Field Service components Microsoft acquired with Field One, but while that focused on work orders and feild service delivery, the Project Service Automation components are an way to manage resources and project delivery which work incredibly well for organizations in the professional services, consulting, or other fields where tracking of physical resources like equipment is not as relevant as tracking time/employee resources.
It would be very difficult to touch on everything Project Service Automation can do in a single post, so this will be split up into a series overviewing nearly all the areas of the new solution. To start things off right, a breif comparison will be done between the Project Service Automation and Field Service solutions to help identify which one is right for your needs. The blog series will follow the outline below, and links will be updated as new posts are created.
Project Service Automation Series Outline
- Project vs Field Service: What's right for me?
- Resource Management
- Sales to Project Process
- Projects and Templates
- Finances and Forecasting
- Project Execution and Tracking
- More to come...
The topics and order above may change, but hopefully the end result will act as a guide for what this solution covers, how you can implement it, and how it can benefit your organization. As a Microsoft Partner ourselves, we're very excited to start utilizing many of the new features to be able to constantly improve our service.
As a quick teaser, here is a look at the site map for the Project Service area of CRM 2016 Update 1 with the Field Service, Project Service Automation, and Voice of the Customer solutions installed, as well as some of the Project Service component feature screenshots.