FinancialForce Applies AI to Professional Services Automation

    FinancialForce is betting that the number of businesses relying more on services to drive profitability is about to expand exponentially.

    The company has expanded a professional services automation (PSA) cloud application that it makes available as a complement to the suite of ERP applications built on top of the same customer records that Salesforce uses in its software-as-a-service (SaaS) application to now include support for the Salesforce Einstein artificial intelligence (AI) engine.

    FinancialForce PSA Analytics will make use of the Einstein AI Engine to provide real-time visibility into key performance indicators (KPIs) involving issues such as billings, backlog, utilization rates and other milestones. FinancialForce PSA Analytics will be offered in preview availability as part of the Summer 2018 product release, with general availability anticipated in the Fall.

    Previously, the need for PSA applications was limited to a comparatively small number of companies that engaged in, for example, the delivery of IT services. But Johnny Ola, vice president of business development and global alliances for FinancialForce, says the need for PSA software is starting to rise as more organizations start to wrap value-added services around their core product offerings.

    “It’s now a services economy,” says Ola.

    In fact, in a lot of cases, it’s becoming increasingly common for companies to make their core product offering available for a nominal cost to drive demand for a wide range of profitable add-on services. The ultimate degree to which that services-based business model may become the dominant business model remains to be determined. But the one thing that is clear is that there are now a lot more organizations than ever building professionals services teams around a core product that in one way or another will need to be optimally managed.

    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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