Whether you're an accountant, engineer, architect, designer, consultant, IT expert, or one of dozens of professionals, technology has transformed how you work. The impact of technology we take for granted - be it email, smartphones, or specialist software like PhotoShop, AutoCAD - has boosted productivity and accelerated the pace of doing business.
Unfortunately, technology hasn't done nearly as much to transform how service businesses and teams run their core operations - the gap between closing the sale and getting paid. Operations is the glue that connects value as well as workflows and manages the delivery of services, the creation of value, and is where profits are made or lost. Running service operations is still incredibly manual, stressful, and hard work, and has hardly changed in decades: lots of time spent in spreadsheets and status update meetings. Where modern, easy to use technology is available, it is only as a part of a cocktail of disconnected tools that is a lot of work to maintain and digest. No wonder the people running service businesses and teams work 70 hour weeks and rarely take vacations, right?
Why can't we track the profitability of a project in real time in our own operation, but we can track a package as it moves across the country?
The reason is that, until recently, the only way to automate operations with technology was to spend millions with Oracle or SAP, and/or building it yourself. While large enterprises in a variety of industries have done this, only 0.1% of service businesses have more than 500 employees, which meant that big tech companies (who pioneered related technology categories like ERP) frankly didn't care about the service industry. This also meant that buying or building technology to streamline and automate operations has been too expensive, hard to use, and out of reach for almost everyone, leaving businesses to choose between the clunky, manual legacy systems with almost no automation, or to buy half a dozen disparate tools that don’t talk to each other but try to cobble them together - it never ends well.
The good news is that changes in technology, especially the cloud, have made it possible for a tech company like Accelo to finally create affordable, easy-to-use systems that streamline operations for service businesses and teams.
This new category of technology, designed specifically for service businesses and teams, is called Service Operations Automation (or ServOps for short).
From our headquarters in San Francisco and together with thousands of service businesses and teams, we're helping pioneer this category. We apply Silicon Valley tech expertise to our extensive experience in running service businesses to create a system that helps people actually run a business or team. When we started out we weren't sure if it would even be possible to automate service operations, but we now have many examples where clients have boosted utilization, increased revenue, improved efficiency, and doubled profit margins!
With the launch of ServOps today, we're also very aware of how much more work we need to do for Accelo to deliver on this category promise. With our newly announced $9M round of funding (which we raised despite being profitable), we'll be investing a lot more into building out the product and the category. In addition to focusing on ease of use, we'll be investing more into reporting and dashboards, integrations (with more partners and by improving the integrations we already have) and making Accelo more and more valuable for your business.
We'll also be implementing machine learning (a field of artificial intelligence), so Accelo can tell you when it thinks something might become a problem in the future by combining statistical analysis of the tens of millions of team, time, and financial data points we see each month.
We're excited to be on this journey with our amazing clients, and would love to hear what you think in the comments below!