It’s no secret that automation is a fundamental way for businesses to streamline processes and find ways to compete more effectively. Across the organization, from sales to operations and beyond, automation is a great way to accomplish a myriad of objectives, such as:

  • Profit optimization
  • Time management
  • Quality improvements
  • Competitive advantages
  • Culture/employee satisfaction

Automation has increasingly become essential to today’s businesses—catapulted to the forefront during the COVID-19 pandemic—and professional services automation (PSA) is trending at the top.

PSA software tools can be an excellent way to streamline your business. The challenge becomes narrowing things down with so many PSA software options available in today’s marketplace.

This PSA buyer’s guide will help you take a closer look at some of the most popular software choices and identify which of their features are best for your business.

What does PSA software do?

Professional services automation software helps businesses automate the processes surrounding service delivery with the goal of improving delivery execution, customer experience and overall profitability.

A PSA tool can help you manage resources, projects, time, expenses, budgets, financials, billing, and customer interactions from a single dataset. It offers a complete view of business operations, which will provide holistic insights that can be used to streamline, optimize, and offer agility.

Top PSA solutions

Wrike

Wrike is a popular professional services automation platform that uses cloud-based software to help growing businesses of all sizes manage projects and foster team collaboration to boost business results. Equipped with enterprise-level security, Wrike is designed to scale as your team and organization grow.

It offers a suite of features that help businesses streamline most functions of their business from marketing, creative, product development, business operations, and professional services teams.

Pros:

  • User-Friendly Interface: Wrike offers low learning curves and ease of installation.
  • Collaboration: It is easy to share files and collaborate with internal and external team members, stakeholders, and business partners.
  • Support and Learning Materials: It is easy to access customer service and knowledge base support.
  • Customizable and Flexible: Features are customizable and flexible to fit business needs.

Cons:

  • Training: Training and support are available, but some users have reported that Wrike can be difficult to learn.

Mavenlink

Mavenlink is a comprehensive, cloud-based software that enables service-based businesses in industries such as IT services, marketing, software, and HR to manage and streamline project and resource management, team collaboration, accounting, and business intelligence.

It offers functionality to connect CRM, leverage project data, integrate leading cloud-based apps, and allow the business to pivot based on data influences and external changes.

Pros:

  • User-Friendly Interface: Users report an easy-to-use interface and a smooth implementation process.
  • Depth of Features: Mavenlink offers a large array of features real-time analytics, reporting, project status, and more. 
  • Flexible: Mavenlink is customizable to specific business needs.
  • Team-Oriented: Mavenlink caters to the team environment, enabling team members to share documents and communicate easily.

Cons:

  • Customer Support: Mavenlink’s customer support team has been reported to be challenging to get in touch with.
  • Mobile Issues: Mavenlink’s mobile capabilities are limited in comparison to the desktop version of the PSA software.
  • Limited Integrations: For CRM users, it’s a good idea to make sure Mavenlink can integrate with your current tech stack.

aACE

aACE is a PSA system that caters to the customization and integration needs of small businesses, offering functionality of ERP, CRM, and accounting software and seamless integrations for payment processing, sales tax, shipping, email marketing, calendar, and e-commerce.

It offers customization that is useful to SMBs as well as depth in integration to existing tools with a focus on ERP, sales software, and shipping and receiving.

Pros:

  • Customization Capabilities: When customization is needed, aACE is a solution that can address the unique needs of the business in regards to handling work processes related to accounting, sales, and inventory.
  • Integration: aACE offers multiple built-in integrations with external systems.
  • Clear Interface: The interface design is clear and consistent, allowing for an easy acclimation for new users. 

Cons:

  • Pricing: If you are looking for a professional services automation software solution that meets the needs of your small business, the aACE pricing plans may not match your budget.
  • Customer Support: Many users have reported a subpar experience with aACE customer service support.

What features you should look for and why

As with any technology decision related to your business, the choice of a PSA software is going to be contingent upon the unique setup of your business, your goals, and your limitations. Some features you may want to consider when making a professional services automation software purchasing decision include:

  • Current Tech Stack: Even the best PSA software in the marketplace can be a misfire if it doesn’t integrate with the tools you are using for your CRM, accounting, inventory, and marketing processes.
  • Your Team’s Technology Prowess: Some businesses have an extensive internal IT team to support their new tools or a tech-savvy team that is ready to adapt to new software; others don’t. Many businesses fail at this point because they select a PSA solution that checks all the boxes, but the team can’t get up to speed quickly enough.
  • Plans for the Future: Be sure your PSA software choice matches your business objectives in both the short and long-term, including the ability to scale over time or to pivot due to circumstances that may arise.
  • Your Customer: An often-overlooked component of the addition of new tech is the customer experience. Your new technology should account for any changes to the customer experience, both positive and negative.
  • Implementation and Maintenance: Beyond ensuring your team can use the PSA software, you’ll need to consider the ease with which it can be implemented and what type of maintenance it will require.
  • Security: In today’s technology environment, any vulnerabilities to your data and the internal infrastructure of your business should always be at the forefront.

For more information about professional services automation software buying tips, check out TechnologyAdvice’s library of software reviews, tips, and resources.

Technology Advice is able to offer our services for free because some vendors may pay us for web traffic or other sales opportunities. Our mission is to help technology buyers make better purchasing decisions, so we provide you with information for all vendors — even those that don't pay us.