Microsoft Professional Services Automation and AXIO and Progressus…Oh My! Which is right for me?
Determining which professional services automation or project-management solution is right for your company can be overwhelming. ERP or CRM based? Cloud or on-premise? Keep reading and we'll break it down to help you determine the right PSA software for your business needs.
Another solution from Microsoft, Dynamics 365 Project Service Automation (PSA), is available to project-oriented companies who wish to dive into the Dynamics 365 platform. Instead of an ERP-based project management solution, Dynamics 365 PSA is based upon Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales (CRM).
How do you know which solution is right for you?
Here are the players:
AXIO Professional Services for Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations, Enterprise (formerly Microsoft Dynamics AX).
Origin: ERP and Cloud. Based on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations, Enterprise (formerly Microsoft Dynamics AX)
Ideal for Company Size: $50-100 M plus
In A Nutshell: AXIO for Professional Services spans all the important processes in your firm, including resource management, project management, marketing, human capital management, and financial management. Additionally, AXIO ERP for Professional Services includes the core financial features of AXIO Core Financials. Optimized for the cloud and mobile-first world, AXIO for Professional Services can also be deployed on-premises and is compliant with all GAAP, IFRS, Sarbanes-Oxley, and DCAA requirements.
Perfect Scenario: Your employees’ time is your primary product, your business is complex, and on the high end of mid-market to a large company.
Progressus Professional Services Automation for Dynamics 365 Business Central
Origin: ERP and Cloud. Based on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central (formerly Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Business Edition, formerly Microsoft Dynamics NAV). Quit changing the names already!!!!!
Ideal for Company Size: $1 M – $150 M
In a Nutshell: Progresses Professional Services Automation software provides the capabilities needed to manage all processes, including resource management, project management, sales and marketing, and financial management of professional services and project-based businesses, delivering a complete cloud PSA solution.
Perfect Scenario:Your employees’ time is your primary product, your business is complex, and you are a small to mid-market company.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation (PSA)
Origin: CRM and Cloud. Based on Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales
Ideal for Company Size: Any, but with simpler project management needs.
In a Nutshell: Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation Enables project-based organizations to deliver every customer engagement on-time and within-budget through an end-to-end solution for sales, planning, resourcing, delivery, and billing.
Perfect Scenario: Marketing and media firms, light management/consulting firms, smaller IT services firms, and many other consulting firms who already have an accounting package they are happy. Although I’m calling out smaller companies, it could be a great fit for large companies as long as their project delivery is still fairly simple or they have a backend ERP package they would like to integrate PSA with.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 PSA helps companies manage the entire project sales and delivery cycle, but shines more in earlier, front office, stages of the client engagement like sales and quoting. Because it is based on a CRM platform, the solution is fairly flexible and many per-company customizations can be created without back-end programming. Integration with Office 365 and other Microsoft tools is robust as well. However, this flexibility comes with a price. While the solution provides strong collaboration benefits between sales and delivery resources, it is most effective for companies with smaller delivery teams and less complex projects.
Here are some example questions you might ask yourself when selecting a CRM-based (Microsoft PSA) vs ERP-based (AXIO and Progressus) Dynamics 365 solution for a project-oriented firm:
Do we manage inventory?
Do we require advanced revenue recognition processing?
Are our projects complex? In other words, do you have multiple clauses? Do you bill based on Performance Milestones (ASC 606 and IFRS 2015)
Do we need project accounting to be auditable?
Do we require union payroll?
Do we require T&E reporting audits for DCAA compliance?
Do we need to staff/manage projects across multiple entities?
Do we manage subscription revenue along with or post project completion?
If you answered yes to any of the questions above, then an ERP-Based PSA solution such as AXIO (larger co.) or Progressus (small to mid-market co.) are likely the better options. Some of these issues can be dealt with in Dynamics CRM PSA, but it is unlikely that the amount of development or process configuration required to do so would be worth the effort when systems already exist that meet these challenges.
Reach Out to Us if you Still Have Questions
If you are researching your next solution, please feel free to reach out and we’ll help you dig into the details. After all, selecting your professional services automation software can be one of the most important decisions your company will make.
Learn how Velosio can help Professional Service and Project Driven Firms reach their organization goals.
Robbie Morrison has spent nearly 20 years helping customers build and deploy elegant technology and business solutions. From start-ups to enterprise-class organizations worldwide, his knowledge of the Microsoft Dynamics ecosystem and products helps Velosio customers maximize ROI on technology investments.
Today, Robbie serves Velosio customers in his role as Chief Solution Strategist where he provides thought leadership and manages the development of B2B solutions. Robbie received his MBA from the University of Georgia, Terry College of Business. https://www.linkedin.com/in/robbiemorrison
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