PSA, The Killer Social Application
Today, social users exceed email users and that trend is growing. As a new generation moves into today’s businesses, they will expect to be using the best social collaboration tools – that’s their world and this is the group that will shape the future of business. Projects are social by nature making professional services a perfect fit for social networking tools like Chatter. Professional Services organizations are more virtual than ever with vast extended teams including contracters and other third parties. Although we are already working socially, we’re doing it the hard way – messaging, Skype and email for example are all disconnected from core business systems, with no audit trail and conversations only visible to a select few. It is difficult to run a successful and competitive services company in this context. The industry is more competitive than ever, making it vital for firms to find areas of differentiation, where they can offer value over competitors. One of the biggest challenges firms face is managing virtual project teams in a way that makes them as effective as possible and delivers differentiation. The way to do this is through intellectual property development which will help PSOs to productize services, routinize services and help develop new competencies. In today’s environment, how do firms know where their experts are and where their intellectual property resides? The firms that are leveraging social media and integrated CRM, PSA and Accounting applications are successfully creating differentiation and higher bill rates.
Chatter is an internal collaboration tool very much like Facebook that enables teams to collaborate in reference to any object on the Force.com platform, so it could be a Chatter stream related to a competitor, project, bid or invoice for example. Users can follow the status of a project or account and ensuing conversations enabling them to easily engage with the experts in the business. By connecting the experts in this way firms can build intelligence to help win projects and differentiate. Projects can be managed more effectively and consultants can help each other to learn.
This topic is covered more extensively in a recent webinar, which provides more specific everyday use cases, clearly demonstrating the value of social media in professional services organizations. For those firms already benefiting, it’s no longer a question of the purpose of social collaboration tools, but how they can deliver even more differentiation.