The Power of PPM & PSA Integration
Deploying a solution to help automate critical project-based business processes will deliver significant business improvement and operational efficiencies. Connecting that value to your other mission critical business systems completes the picture whether you are a services based organization within a product company or an IT group.
As a critical driver of your business, your PSA / PPM solution should fit seamlessly within your working environment. This means integration with your desktop tools, enterprise applications, and internal portals without the need to log in to multiple systems. Changepoint’s integration strategy delivers on that.
Value of Integration
The business value of integrating all of your systems is considerable as the dependency on technology to run your business continues to grow.
- Integration eliminates duplication of data in multiple systems. Removing duplication protects integrity of information.
- Integration reduces data errors. Information is entered once and used in multiple places, but there is a single source of truth. Improving data accuracy is critical to better decision making.
- Integration improves the flow of information between core operational systems without the need to log into multiple systems.
While the value is significant, there is a cost for this value, and your solution has to balance “time to market”, cost and maintainability. The integration approach must be balanced with the business need – is real time required or can updates be nightly? Is it a straightforward import or export of data, or does some more sophisticated business logic need to be required?
Whatever the need, your chosen solution should provide options and allow you to leverage best practices when your needs are similar to a broader community of users and personalize what is specific to your business. And, don’t assume that “suite” vendors have the answer. Their standard integration may not fit your business needs.
Connecting to the Desktop
Changepoint provides native integration with Microsoft Project, as well as integration to Microsoft Outlook for Resource Management.
The bi-directional integration, which operates in real-time, shares extensive information with MSP in order that customers can take full advantage of its functionality, and do not have to re-enter any information in either solution. In this way, high-level planning and detailed task lists are supported through the combination of critical path scheduling from Microsoft Project, and the capture of actual time, task status, and cost information within Changepoint.
Changepoint features standard bi-directional integration with Microsoft Outlook for calendar updates from Outlook to Changepoint regarding resource availability, and from Changepoint to Outlook for task and calendar-based assignments. Additionally, standard integration includes Outlook email notification based upon Changepoint events, and the ability to publish Outlook emails directly into Changepoint as new knowledge items.
We also offer many opportunities to leverage email triggers within the solution, easily connecting information and business process to the email tools customers use day in and day out.
Out of the Box Integration to Commonly Used Applications
As you consider your organizations eco-system, Changepoint provides out of the box and custom integration solutions.
Salesforce.com - Changepoint’s salesforce CRM adaptor ties together professional services automation (PSA) and customer relationship management (CRM) business processes allowing companies to better market services as standalone offerings or as part of a whole product solution.
Microsoft Dynamics – Great Plains – Changepoint’s Great Plains adaptor easily integrates these two systems. Some features of the integration include:
- Initial upload and ongoing synchronization of chart of accounts from Great Plains to Changepoint
- Initial upload and ongoing synchronization of tax detail IDs and tax schedule IDs from Great Plains to Changepoint
- Synchronization of resources/vendors between systems for expense reports and AP
- Expense reports in Changepoint are transferred to Great Plains as vouchers
- Synchronization of customers between systems for invoices and AR
- Invoices created in Changepoint are transferred to Great Plains
- Credit Memos created in Changepoint are transferred to Great Plains
- Cash Receipt Payment created in Great Plains are transferred to Changepoint
- Create, upload, view and delete documents on a server that is running SharePoint from within Changepoint
- Use the SharePoint document management abilities within Changepoint: checking document in and out, viewing version history, changing document properties.
- SharePoint sites can be rendered as portlets on the Changepoint dashboard
- Changepoint provides the capability to store knowledge items associated with records in Changepoint such as project artifacts, resource documents and contracts. Knowledge items can be stored and maintained in SharePoint and accessed through a link providing seamless visibility and connectivity to relevant documents within the Changepoint solution.
- Changepoint portlets can be dropped onto a SharePoint site to render information without the need to open Changepoint
- Specific Changepoint records, ie. a project record, can be accessed directly from SharePoint.
There are many enterprise applications that participate in business process and share data with Changepoint. The most common integration points include:
- To an HR system for resource information
- To the CRM system for opportunity visibility and ability to forecast resource requirements
- To ERP/financial systems to share financial data such as time, expense, invoices
- To Help Desk for support, change, and work requests
Similarly, there are many ways to integrate, and our options range from simple to sophisticated.
For the most straightforward of needs that are not time sensitive, we offer a wizard driven file import/export capability. When you need consistent business logic applied or real time data transfer, our web services api provides access to all key entities managed in Changepoint.
Integration to any system can be accomplished using our Web Services API.
For organizations that have already deployed or wish to invest in Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) type architecture to support application integration, Changepoint’s Integration Framework will provide an opportunity to leverage this more standardized approach to manage sharing of key business data between Changepoint and other third party systems. With this framework, customers can facilitate the transfer of Financial transactions, Resource information and Requests, and tap into ESB solutions such as Microsoft BizTalk, Oracle Fusion or SAP Netweaver.
Few business processes live out their life within a single system anymore. The ability to integrate business systems is critical for businesses to improve overall efficiency, service levels, capitalize on their investments and maximize data integrity.
Studies demonstrate that an organization’s return on investment increases when core business systems are integrated into a PSA / PPM solution.
Companies that integrate their applications have real-time visibility into their operations and have achieved significant productivity and profitability gains.