Anderson Yates independent review of Harmony PSA Integrated Business Management Solution for IT & Technology Companies
“ Harmony has been designed from the start to support multi-divisional, multi-jurisdictional software and services businesses. It isn't a compromised vertical customisation of a generic ERP solution. Being specific allows the solution to contain the deep niche functionality required to support the complex requirements of this type of business.
Also, it has been designed to support the entire business lifecycle from lead to contract renewal. All the staff in the company will use the system, ensuring nothing needs re-keying and lifecycle reporting is available on demand. The aim is to eliminate disconnected processes, lost or out-of-date data or manual re-keying.
The data model has been developed to enable the key contractual aspects of each order line to be inherited from the price book, allowing components to be correctly routed through the system and accounted for. Invoicing is driven from the system on an event or periodic basis so that invoices may be raised (or released if auto-generated) at the first available opportunity, not always as part of a month-end cycle. In addition, key quality steps have been built into the process lifecycle so that data can be corrected at the earliest opportunity thus saving re-work and reducing errors downstream.” - Harmony Product Team.
HarmonyPSA is not like your traditional PSA tools such as OpenAir or ChangePoint. It is developed specifically to assist Software companies, IT Services and technology companies selling to global clients to win business quickly and professionally and to manage the global delivery of software and services. Unlike most PSA systems in the market today, Harmony PSA allows companies to run Sales Ledger, Purchase Ledger, Purchase Order Processing and Sales Orders within one integrated system including cash receipts and payments. Harmony integration by design supports General Ledger integration via journal and document level integration using its RESTful API. Users are therefore able to choose the best option for their integration strategy. Harmony expects the financial management system to handle VAT return. Your choice of financial management system may drive which integration option open to user organisation.
Harmony key strengths are:
Sales Management for Software, IT Services and Technology companies
- Ability to hold scripts for lead generation and sales teams when using telephone prospecting technique
- The opportunity handover includes handover notes from lead generator to sales
- Easy to select product configuration combining software (with and without annual maintenance), Services, 3rd party products, consumption based billing and pre-pay services. Unique to Harmony is the fact that the product configurator contains significant amount of intelligence to make it easy for sales team to price up a quote, ensuring that no necessary products or services are missed. For example, if support is to be charged on software, these are specified in the product configurator and added to the quotation.
- Harmony Quotation splits out one off software costs from recurring charges costs. Harmony output is the most comprehensive for quotation and proposal I have seen for the IT industry. It includes contractual notes specified on during discussion to be reflected on the printed document.
- Harmony enables companies with multiple brands to manage consistency across brands.
- Harmony also supports full service desk functionality allowing the incident tickets and software feature processes to reside within the same commercial framework. This means you will never do support work without knowing you are in contract.
Management of Global Contract (Project) delivery
- Harmony allows a single global project to be created (referred to as Contract) and all its components managed from a single point.
- Invoicing is split between items to be billed on contract signature/ acceptance by client, recurring invoices based on contract rules with multi-year contract management.
- Project team can be sourced from a global pool (or limited to region or country) and allocated to global projects. Harmony has the concept of jurisdiction (separate legal entity). Each project and employee belong to one legal entity. When a resource from a different legal entity is assigned to a project from another legal entity, Harmony creates inter-company transactions. An intercompany invoice can be created from the resource owning company to the project company. A mark-up percentage can also be applied.
- As expected, employees can enter time and expenses against project they work on. Reports can be produced detailing budget vs actual time booked. Harmony also tracks remaining budget for services elements.
- Revenue Generation concept in Harmony allows invoices and revenue to be separated – thereby allowing complex invoicing and billing points to be utilised whilst recognising revenue on a separate basis.
- AR Receipts can be posted in Harmony and updates the AR ledger and aged AR reporting. Only basic debt chasing facility is currently incorporated into the product. However, more advanced rule-based alerts and escalations can be easily created using Harmony’s rule engine. These alerts can include auto-creation of customer chasing emails and contractual escalations.
- Harmony uses the concept of Purchase Orders to track expected costs and commitment costs on projects. Purchase orders are automatically created for 3rd party products. No rekey or manual PO creation is needed unless they need to be amended. Approval workflow for PO is a standard feature in Harmony.
- Receiving can be done for each order and a purchase invoice (with 3 way matching) can be prepared from PO.
- Purchase Invoice approval is standard in Harmony. Approvers can decide whether the full amount is due or a lesser amount is due (part delivery, etc.)
- Contractor remittance is a breeze in Harmony. Contractor will enter their time and once approved, remittance can be generated based on timeline entered.
- You can make payment to suppliers directly from Harmony. Payments can be cash or directly into the bank by BACS.
Whilst Harmony is extremely competent in project financial management, it currently lacks resource and workload management capabilities. These are under development and are scheduled for release in H1 2016. The current solution allows project managers to assign resources to projects and have this scheduled to their calendar. Resourcing of current workload in Harmony is simple. The new workload management capabilities will provide predictive resource requirements based on opportunities and quotes. The new software also promises to provide tighter integration between sales and services by using standard phases in quotations and orders.
The whole product has been architected with the users in mind. With a few clicks, users are able to create quotes and orders. Adoption – which is often a stumbling block for most enterprise system implementations should be relatively simple for the sales and operations team. However, finance team will need more convincing to adopt Harmony’s AP, AR, Cashbook and bank reconciliation. The greatest threat in our view to successful Harmony implementation is the lack of adoption of Harmony AP, AR and Bank reconciliation features and embarking on complex integration to overcome them.
Nevertheless, Harmony’s pricing model provides a cost effective platform for both small and large Software and IT Services companies looking to streamline their entire project lifecycle. The flexibility to choose users’ preferred financial ledger provides an interesting choice for businesses as is the ability to select whether to implement Harmony on premise or on the cloud.
“ We have designed it (Harmony) so that replacing a number of local ledgers is not on the critical path for a global PSA. This both de-risks the project and provides for staged implementations” Steve Duckworth, MD, HarmonyPSA.
We highly recommend Harmony to any Software, IT services and Technology companies looking to replace existing ERP, PSA or SRP solutions to improve performance and profitability.
About Yuwan Effendi, Principal Consultant, Anderson Yates
With over 15 years’ experience of helping Professional Services Organisation to improve performance and profitability, Yuwan has evaluated and overseen the implementation of a number of PSA solutions including Deltek, ChangePoint, OpenAir, NetSuite, SharpOwl (now V1), SunAccounts PSA (now Infor), MS Navision and Financial Force. An accountant with 8 years CFO level experience in industry, Yuwan oversee a team of consultants, project and change managers for Anderson Yates, a Cambridge based independent consultancy providing successful selection and implementation of Business Management (CRM,ERP,BI) solutions to growth focused SMBs.