Managing Projects is one of the key challenges today across the software services industry and, delivering them in the most profitable manner, is what Project Managers focus upon. We recently completed our first implementation of Dynamics 365 (PSA and Sales/Service app) for a software services company. This article covers the contours of our solution map and how it helped our customer meet their business objectives.
This Dynamics 365 implementation was done for a software development and services company, with around 200 employees serving customers across the globe with a major focus in Europe, USA, and UAE.
Their pre-implementation business challenges were manifolds, the primary ones listed below:
- There was no centralized system to manage sales operations, project management and accounting, time and expense entry by employees, all the existing systems used were in standalone mode with no integration among them
- Month-end closing activity was performed manually in excel sheets which involved computation of Revenue recognition, cost allocations and consolidation for internal analysis.
- Resource availability, skill management, and allocation were done manually over excel sheets and changes were not controlled against the project budgets
- Timesheet data was manually compiled for invoicing which led to an error in invoicing or delayed invoicing and was attributable to the information gap between sales, Delivery and accounting team as they worked in silos
- Generation of reports and MIS required a lot of manual effort and was time-consuming
- There was a need to have a unified platform to upscale operational activities aligned with the aggressive growth plans of the organization.
In order to mitigate all the challenges and issues faced, we adopted a solution stack including Dynamics 365 (PSA and Sales/Service app), Dynamics NAV, and Power BI. Dynamics 365 is used by the sales team to manage all leads, campaigns, opportunities, tightly coupled with PSA (Project Service Automation) module. Once opportunities mature and get converted to projects, the control is taken over by PMO. This solution stack covers the following business areas.
- Creation and setup of projects (T&M, Fixed price etc.)
- Contract creation with effort and cost budgets, milestones, Travel costs and expenses
- Approval workflows with delivery and finance
Manage Project Information
- Budgets and milestones revision
- Change Requests Management
- Project Closures
- Request, Allocation, and Release of resources
- Block hardware and software access to resources for a particular project
- Resource costs and visibility, skills matrix
- Bench report and forecasting
Timesheet and Expense Management
- Capture and Tracking of timesheet/expenses
- Timesheet Approval workflows
- Expenses Approval across the integrated systems
- Warning /Flagging to managers and alerts on time capture
Invoicing and Revenue Recognition
- Revenue Computation
- Invoice proposals
- Tracking payments
- RMG reporting pack
- MI pack
- Project Reporting and analysis
Post-implementation the operations were streamlined resulting in a host of business benefits.
- A unified view of Customer
- Integrated environment for sales, project and financial accounting – with added benefit of viewing the application data on mobile
- Automated sales process, advance information provided to the Delivery team for resource planning and mobilization
- Diversified project and resource management
- Every resource now enters timesheet and is approved by managers timely
- Alerts and reminders have brought change in behavior
- Project Profitability is now readily available through Power BI advanced analytics, as data comes from Dynamics 365 and NAV instantly
With this implementation, there is a clear business case for the software services businesses to invest in IT to have an integrated ecosystem with state of the art mobility solutions to better manage their sales, project operation and accounting, which is tightly integrated with ERP back office. This will surely lower the operating costs and boost its revenue.
If you are ready for it, contact a Microsoft Dynamics 365 Partner who helps successfully overcome the challenges.