FinancialForce.com, the cloud applications company, today announced the Summer ’11 release of FinancialForce PSA, a cloud-based solution that leverages Salesforce CRM and Force.com for services organizations. Innovations in the release include a Salesforce Chatter enabled timecard entry app for the iPhone, the ability to add Chatter streams and increase visibility to tasks synchronized with MS Project, and an automated project status report configurator.
The update combines the power of social media, mobile applications and FinancialForce SRP – the first complete Services Resource Planning (SRP) solution built entirely on Force.com – to provide more visibility into projects, drive further collaboration and make professional services organizations (PSOs) more effective and competitive.
“Professional Services projects are social by nature,” said Todd Bursey, General Manager of Professional Services Automation at FinancialForce.com. “The work is done in teams, often virtually, in close collaboration with the customer, which makes Professional Services Automation a natural for social media, mobile and cloud-based applications. FinancialForce.com continues to extend our lead in social PSA with solutions that break down the silos of information between project data and other business systems.”
"The sharp economic shift over the last few years to project- and services-based work has presented organizations across the globe with additional visibility concerns that eclipse typical spend management," said Christopher J. Dwyer, research analyst at the Aberdeen Group. "Less than 15 percent of companies have high visibility into project-based expenses, milestones and delivery dates, presenting a significant concern within billing processes. Automated systems for streamlining and enhancing these procedures can vastly improve visibility into project-based / services spending and help companies accurately forecast completion of SOW-based tasks."
New social professional services automation features in the Summer ’11 release of FinancialForce PSA include:
Timecard entry app for iPhone – FinancialForce PSA leverages the form factor of the iPhone and unique capabilities of iOS to allow consultants to quickly enter their time cards and view assignments. Chatter is embedded into the application, making it easy for consultants to post to a centralized project wall while on the road or on a client’s premises. Chatters replace emails, voicemails and conference calls, becoming part of a project’s audit trail.
Ability to synchronize more efficiently and provide visibility to MS Project tasks – FinancialForce PSA provides wider visibility into project tasks, which are otherwise locked away on individual laptops in MS Project. Now, users can create Chatter streams triggered by changes to task statuses, enabling project managers to see tasks in context of the overall project, including resource allocation, skill set planning and other collaborative interactions.
Automated status report configurator – FinancialForce PSA automates the collection, collating, formatting and electronic delivery of customized project status reports to services customers on behalf of project managers. This saves time for project managers, conveys a more professional image and increases customer satisfaction by delivering customized project status information in a timely fashion. The configurator also ensures that status reports become part of project audit trail.
“The Summer ‘11 release builds on our vision of helping project teams collaborate more effectively, while reducing the distance between services professionals and their customers,” said Bursey. “We continue to innovate with social media and mobile apps to help PSOs collapse time from the data collection cycle. The new iPhone app, along with our creative uses of Chatter, increase the ambient awareness of all team members involved with a project and improves the efficiency of all downstream activities, including billing, project reporting and resource management.”
FinancialForce SRP enables PSOs to manage their people, projects and financials in one integrated services management application. FinancialForce SRP combines Salesforce CRM, FinancialForce PSA, and FinancialForce Accounting on the Force.com platform to help PSOs to sell, deliver and bill projects collaboratively and overcome the obstacles found in a siloed systems approach.
FinancialForce PSA Summer ’11 also includes more flexibility to define project milestones, cost rollup structures and rates. It is available immediately.