Shout out for VPA from Shane at Data Magic

Check out the podcast with Stuart Crawford talking with Aaron Fox from Global Quest Solutions in Buffalo and Shane Kimbrel from Data Magic Computer Services in Dallas. 

Shane Kimbrel talks about working with VPA to help them set up with using AutoTask and how working with VPA through the process was the best choice for him and his business.

Stuart Crawford: 00:00 Hey everyone. This is Stuart Crawford. Welcome to our weekly Ulistic training. We are glad that you are on. As we’re waiting for people to get on here, we’ll go ahead and just remind you that we do these training almost on a weekly basis. It’s open to clients of Ulistic and those future clients that want to engage with us, and we always want to bring some really good content into talk about things that have to do websites, SEO, Google Ad Words, and then sometimes we just bring some great people on to kind of talk about things that is going on in the industry. Today is one of those calls that we’re just going to talk about some stuff going on in the industry and I think the timing is perfect given some of the news that just broke yesterday. So, we’ll get just right into it. I have Aaron Fox from Global Quest Solutions in Buffalo and Shane Kimbrel from Data Magic Computer Services in Dallas. Guys, what about that news yesterday coming from ConnectWise? Aaron, I know that you’re the ConnectWise shop. What does that mean to you guys?

Aaron Fox: 00:55 Well, for us, it was a little bit of a surprise, I guess, with the timing of it. But for us it’s really been the trend that we’ve seen from PSAs to PSAs, you’re either small and get gobbled up or you’re big and people invest in you and that’s kind of the way we’re looking at this is that ConnectWise has just got some additional money now with this new investment.

Stuart Crawford: 01:15 I guess from everything I read, looking at Joe Panettieri’s columns and a few others that and having a personal conversation yesterday with Arline Swanson who parted the HGG peer groups that became a way to evolve, he tells me it’s onwards and upwards, the future looks bright I think is quote on quote was Future looks bright, he has to wear shades, I think that’s what his email said to me. Shane, I know you’re the AutoTask guy in the group, but what does that, did AutoTask have anything to say about ConnectWise acquisition?

Shane Kimbrel: 01:43 No, not at all. In fact, I talked to my data guy today and he didn’t even mention it. I didn’t really talk with him much about it, but no, it is what it is. Like, that’s just the way it is now. People are building these companies up with the intention of selling them, so …

Stuart Crawford: 01:59 Well, don’t we all? Isn’t that the intention of all of us?

Shane Kimbrel: 02:01 Yeah.

Stuart Crawford: 02:03 So, for the people who are on the call that haven’t got to know you before, Shane, give us the overview of Data Magic and all the cool stuff you guys got going on down there in Dallas.

Shane Kimbrel: 02:14 Well, we’ve been in business since ’94. We started out, obviously as a brake fix shop, we converted over to manage services probably about 12 years ago. We met Stuart through Eric Simpson’s-

Stuart Crawford: 02:27 [crosstalk 00:02:27] MSDU, yeah, back-

Shane Kimbrel: 02:29 [crosstalk 00:02:29] university-

Stuart Crawford: 02:30 … that was a long time ago.

Shane Kimbrel: 02:31 Right. So, that book actually that Eric came out with is what made us to switch over to manage services and we still use some of the things that he had put out back then, but yeah, we do all you can eat plans for businesses and we just recently moved to AutoTask. Before that, we had our own in house PSA basically. We had a ticket system and then we had Quick Books and it was just convoluted and nothing really talk to each other, and it was a … you know, you had to really manually go in to add parts and other vendors, that wouldn’t link to other vendors, so you had to manually look at bills and match up to things. It was a mess, so we recently in December switched over to AutoTask. The reason that we did that was that we were converting a bunch of data vaults that we had purchased through Continuum, that’s our RMN tool that we use. We had 30 of those vaults that we had to move other, so we negotiated a deal with AutoTask and Data to move those vaults over and also start using their PSA tool.

Stuart Crawford: 03:46 Great, and Aaron, what about the quick intro to Global Quest slash Buffalo Computer Help.

Aaron Fox: 03:52 We’ve, Global Quest Solutions been around since 2000. My partner and I purchased the company about 6 years ago, as long term employees. Since we purchased it, we’ve grown the company about 40%. We are a classic integration company, so we handle everything from the internet handoff all the way down to the end user device. We do classic manage services, as well as still do a little bit of TNM project work. Then we have a large procurement side of the house for licenses in hardware and software. We’ve been on ConnectWise since June of last year. We purchased it right after the beginning of the year and took us about 6 months to go live because we were pretty, we did a lot of due diligence and we were pretty methodical about it. Prior to that, we were using a PSA called Navarisk, which when we first got involved with them several years before, they were a nice little company that gave us a lot of personal attention, did a lot of development to our needs at no cost. Then, of course, they got gobbled up by another company and the road map really shifted. So that’s when we started looking at a new PSA and made some decisions to eventually go with ConnectWise.

Stuart Crawford: 05:06 So, we’re going to get into that decision process here shortly, but let’s start off this way, Shane. I’m going to ask you this question first. And coming from your own in house system, you know, there’s a lot of talk on the MSP forums, even on Reddit, or on Facebook groups from people, “Should I have a PSA or shouldn’t I?” Is a PSA an essential part of your MSP practice?

Shane Kimbrel: 05:31 Oh, yeah. I mean, we created that program years ago back in the 90s and it was working fine for years, but then once we got, we’re starting to use more of these other tools, other third parties. Just getting those to link up into that program, it was just a nightmare. It was a tough decision for my partner at the time. He was the one that was doing the software development and that sort of thing. He was on his way into retirement anyways, so it just made a lot of sense for us to go ahead and make the move to AutoTask and put it in. But now that we’ve been running on it here for 3 months, it’s amazing how we even got by before. I mean, we’ve added probably an extra $12,000 a month in monthly revenue without adding a single customer. That was just reworking our contract and looking at the accounts that we had and there were things that were slipping through the cracks that we thought were getting built, but they were not, so it was an easy investment for us.

Stuart Crawford: 06:31 Finding that new revenue, a good positive ROI on the investment of AutoTask just in revenue, finding that new revenue, right?

Shane Kimbrel: 06:38 Yeah. I mean, that’s like 12 times what we pay for AutoTask that we just got in monthly revenue with existing customers.

Stuart Crawford: 06:49 So, and Aaron, what about you on the ConnectWise side? Obviously the platforms are different, the way you do things could be similar or different, but the tools a tool, at the end of the day, it’s the same thing. What made Global Quest eventually make that investment in going first in Navarisk, lets even go back as far as that. What made you go to Navarisk, because I know the Navarisk company, they were a great company at one time. Don’t know much about them now, but what made you make that jump from even something, to Navarisk and then eventually to ConnectWise?

Aaron Fox: 07:16 Well, you’re right. Prior to Navarisk, we’d always done time and expense management, which is not really that true PSA. So when we moved into Navarisk, it was kind of a maturing of our manage services offerings and we … You have to understand that we specialize in small to medium businesses, and when I say small, we handle the small of a company as one user. So we work kind of at a volume business and we got to a point to where we had grown so much of our manage services just in numbers that we really didn’t have a choice. We had to, number one, start automating some stuff, and number two just having that management of tickets and knowing what was going on with customer accounts. So that was our first foray into Navarisk and that suited us pretty well for a while until there were some acquisitions. At that point, it was actually becoming a determent to us because we were missing a lot that was going on. We were having some technical issues with the actual software and there was really no roadmap as to how this was going to get fixed. I’ll be honest with you, we looked at several packages and we had it down to two packages. It was AutoTask or ConnectWise, and for us, it really came down to, in our feeling and the way that our businesses is run. The automation piece of ConnectWise was just a much better fit for our practices and our processes here. So, Shane talks about the recognized revenue that he found. I think we were a little bit different. I don’t think I can really monetize what we’ve brought in to say, “Hey, we’ve paid for our software x number of times over”. For us, it’s much more of a, “We have such a volume that we handle that we don’t have really a choice”. We kind of had to go with what we saw as the most mature product for us. I’ll be honest with you, we took a little hit financially in the beginning. I think that we’ve probably balanced out and it’s probably paying for itself, but for us it’s much more intangible recognition than it is true dollar and cents for us. So, we kind of got pushed into it just because of the nature of our business and the number of customers we have.

Stuart Crawford: 09:29 You’re my poster child when it comes to somebody making it with working with companies as small as one user. So I hope you don’t mind me using you as an example of why companies need to look at ways that they can make money with single user companies. So obviously that’s a big part, it’s not a big, big part or you business revenue wise but it’s a big part of your growth plans right?

Aaron Fox: 09:48 Yeah. In terms of services, small businesses make up, financial percentage wise we’re probably looking at 60% of our revenue comes from sub 20 user accounts. So in my services revenue is smaller compared to my product revenue, but small business is a major piece for us. Yeah it’s taking us 20 years to really perfect this. But at least for us it’s an untapped market. There’s a lot of need out there and if you can master how to solve those needs in a cost effective way, you get a lot of enjoyment out of satisfying those customers because these are people who don’t, they can’t afford a big IT firm to handle their stuff. It’s always nice when someone says “You guys do a great job for us and you are not costing us an arm and a leg to do the work”.

Stuart Crawford: 10:38 Yeah, fantastic. We have the question and chat panes open for it. Any questions, anybody on the webinar today wants to ask either Aaron or Shane and thanks Aaron for stepping in, Mike being sick today, so he’s pitching in for Mike so that’s great. True partnership right there. So Shane, tell me about the decision process because I know you went back and forth and I even tried to sell you some ConnectWise license at some time.

Shane Kimbrel: 11:02 Yeah.

Stuart Crawford: 11:03 Describe your decision process, what did you guys do to say “Okay AutoTask is the right one for us?” I know you had some relationship with Data so that probably influenced a little bit. Describe to me your decision-making process.

Shane Kimbrel: 11:14 I’ll tell you what, we met this company called Virtual Partner Advantage, they work out of Louisiana out of Alexandria over there. There’s a girl that we work with, Michelle, we walked through the different options. Virtual Partner Advantage, what they do is they help people maximize the PSA tool that they have. But they also work with companies to implement new PSA tools.

Shane Kimbrel: 11:44 Early on in the process, when we were trying to decide whether to use ConnectWise or AutoTask, we would just have conference calls with Michelle and she would go over, she was unbiased, she’s not a salesperson for either one of them. She would go through our business processes and took into consideration the data situation that we were in. We’re primarily a data shop when it comes to disaster recovery.

Shane Kimbrel: 12:11 But the other thing that was unique with us is our RMN tool is Continuum and we’re very happy with Continuum and it has the knock that goes and does quite a few things for us. There wasn’t enough integration with ConnectWise when it came to Continuum because I think they were pushing more of their automation tool. See that part of it, we were in really good shape because we had, had that relationship with Continuum, and it has had really integration with that tool. AutoTask has it’s own RMN tool, which eventually we may end up using that. But we were not ready to bite off on the big change like Aaron did and change the RMN tool that same time we do the PSA. We may do it down the road but those two things, having the data backup solution and them supporting, AutoTask supporting Continuum was really the two main deciding points for us.

Stuart Crawford: 13:11 What was the name of that company again, Virtual Partner Assistant? Is that correct?

Shane Kimbrel: 13:15 It’s Virtual Partner Advantage.

Stuart Crawford: 13:17 Advantage, okay perfect, I’ll look them up.

Shane Kimbrel: 13:20 They were really good. We did end up having to get some onboarding from AutoTask, but Virtual Partner Advantage, Michelle over there took it from inception and designed everything for us, sat down with us and we had a great plan laid out. I think we implemented a lot quicker than Aaron did because I think we were only a two month period before we went live with it, then added the modules on. We just added on project management. 

Shane Kimbrel: 13:40 Yesterday we had a meeting with Virtual Partner Advantage, VPA is what we call them. But it was really good, a non-biased approach that she took and she would make sure that when we were implementing it that we didn’t shoot ourselves in the foot down the road.

Shane Kimbrel: 14:10 She would really take into consideration everything that we’re doing. Whereas I think if you were going straight to the PSA technical team, they would give you what they have been trained. They would not have as much insight as someone who has actually implemented these things and been into all these different type environments and that sort of thing. Really helpful with the process of deciding but then the implementation has been superb.

Stuart Crawford: 14:36 Great, that’s VPAdvantage.com for anybody who wants to go look online. I went on Google while you were telling me that. That’s great. Shane, wasn’t that the company that Michael was talking about in the Buffalo HPC meeting?

Shane Kimbrel: 14:48 That’s correct yes.

Stuart Crawford: 14:49 Yes, that’s what I thought.

Shane Kimbrel: 14:51 They also offer bookkeeping and things like that, there’s a couple of different divisions over there. I had not worked with them on the bookkeeping side of it. It’s been more of just this implementation. They will also go in and help. They will work with either tool. They will work with ConnectWise or AutoTask. So if you currently use it or are thinking of using one of these tools, they’re definitely the people to talk to about it.

Stuart Crawford: 15:18 There’s another company called, I think in San Francisco does something similar, Sierra Partner, something like that. Sierra Partners, I have to look them up again and double check but I do believe they’re kind of similar to VPA in that sense as well. That’s great, perfect. I liked how you leveraged a third party there to help you with that. I think that’s a very, very important. Aaron, not to forget about you in the conversation. Describe to me about how you and Mike eventually came to making that decision that ConnectWise was the right tool and did you have any outside assistance to steer you in the right direction as well?

Aaron Fox: 15:55 Well I did. I think for us it really came down to, we’d kind of gone into it all the time thinking that we were going to buy all the modules, just because it was going to be a larger investment for us and we really wanted to be able to say “All aspects of our company received some sort of benefit for making this investment”. So we implemented the automation, we’ve implemented ConnectWise manage, we implemented ConnectWise cell and we did it all at once.

Aaron Fox: 16:24 We used to have a division years ago of ERP consulting and that’s where I actually cut my teeth was on ERP consulting. So a few of us have had some background in rolling out ERP solutions and we’ve changed PSAs before. So we decided we certainly were going to do it in house ourselves and we did take longer than Shane, but I think it was because of the size of project that we took on and the fact that we’ve made mistakes in the past and we were really trying to be super, super careful not to make the same mistakes when we rolled out this product. So we were real careful about it. We did a lot of brainstorming and process mapping and things like that to get the modules to where we wanted them. We did purchase some consulting time on each of the products with ConnectWise. We used those consulting times pretty well, we’ve used a lot of it. Whether it’s just a phone call for a wrap up of a feature that we’re trying to implement, or that we’re having a problem, to have somebody from the product line take a look and see exactly what we’re doing. But we really did it ourselves, and like I said before, it was probably about, it was actually probably about a five-month period to go live. Then when we went live, we went live with probably about, I want to say about 85 or 90% of the features. There’s still a few features that we still haven’t implemented yet. They were second tier stuff that we wanted to roll out. But at the same time, we were integrating ConnectWise with quick books as well for our financials, and that was certainly another piece that we had to add into the equation. The long and the short of it, it was five months. That included my staff training, I have a staff of 18 people, they all had to be trained on all the different aspects, that took a while. Probably just a month of our implementation was really getting the staff up to speed on the product. All in all, I think we did a pretty good job. We’ve been really satisfied with the product and it was certainly a large step up from when we were before this.

Stuart Crawford: 18:23 Great. Just a reminder, if anybody has any questions you can use the question pane inside the go-to webinar and we’ll get your questions or even bring you on the call since this is a smaller group today. We’ll bring you on and you can ask your questions to Aaron and Shane directly. So, let’s get into major lessons learned Shane. From what I understand about AutoTask, again that’s very limited, it’s not as technically complex as let’s say ConnectWise would be, but what, from what I understand, but what important lessons did you learn through the deployment of AutoTask, or mistakes that you made that you could help others avoid?

Shane Kimbrel: 19:01 Well, I’ve been very happy with the implementation of the tool. I don’t feel like we’ve made many mistakes as far as that goes, but I think that having Virtual Partner Advantage there for the entire process is what kept us from making mistakes. My only mistake is I wish we would of done it sooner.

Stuart Crawford: 19:22 You know it’s funny because a lot of people mention that as one of their biggest areas that they say they wish they would’ve known, they wish they did it from day one when they were smaller because it gets more complex as you go. We rolled out ConnectWise geez, ten years ago ourselves and I had the same feedback, that I wish we would have did it when we were smaller because it was so much simpler to do. What do you say, Shane, because we all started as basically two or three-man operations at one time. There’s a lot of chat back and forth around different types of tools, and I don’t know much about repair shoppers, there’s all these other PSAs and Aaron’s been with it with Navarisk. Should people just bite the bullet and go to their mainstream ones or what do you know about these new ones, these up and coming ones? Did you do any research on some of the up and coming PSAs that are out there?

Shane Kimbrel: 20:10 Yeah I did. I’m very similar in Aaron, I was only looking at these two tools that were out there. I think there was one, TigerPaw that’s been out for a long time, but I just stuck with these two as far as my choices that I was going after. The big part of having this tool is also having integration with other third-party packages out there and I think that they would, like a Pax8, I don’t know if anybody’s using that or using that area in Pax8. But what they do is they will automatically bill for Microsoft Office and some, as your in some of those other packages, and it links it directly into AutoTask, which bills. So just once a month you go into Pax8 and sync up with AutoTask and it bills. If any quantities have changed or anything like that then it will automatically put those things in there. I didn’t want to go down the path of trying to reinvent something or risk going with a startup or something like that. I think it was a great choice for us.

Stuart Crawford: 21:20 Aaron, what important lessons did you guys learn that you can share with everybody through your implementation of ConnectWise? Was there any major errors or mistakes that Global quest made that you can say “Hey, just don’t do this”?

Aaron Fox: 21:33 That’s funny. I think my best advice for people would be, be careful how much you bite off at once. We took the attitude that, we didn’t want this whole implementation to go on and on and on. We tried to figure out ways that we were going to bite off the different modules and in the end we decided that we’re just going to do them simultaneously with three lead people leading the three different product groups. In hindsight I personally wish we would have maybe taken one of the two of the modules off initially and just done it as a modular implementation. I think that now we have more knowledge of the product and understand it’s working, I think we could have done a better job at piecemealing it together and we would have been okay. Taking the one big chuck and doing all the implementation at the same time was pretty hectic. We were lucky because we did a lot of advanced planning and testing. But I think if you don’t have the patience for a multi month implementation like that, or you don’t have the staff to do that, that process mapping and testing how the systems going to work with you and what you need to modify, then I think you really have to take off small bites of it, because it is a very complex product. It’s got a lot of great things but I think you’ve got to take them at stages. The only other issue that we’ve really had with them was, and again it’s on a personal note, I don’t even know if all of my staff would completely agree with me on this. But we had the option of either bringing it in house with our own equipment and keeping control of the software, or doing a cloud based implementation, which we chose to go cloud based. Mostly because we didn’t want to be tied to our physical location. Our only regret with that is that we really lost a lot of control over updates and being able to plan for updates. I think that’s caused us some issues in the past and I think some of that just the way myself and my staff all go at doing updates to software. We like to try and roll it out, test it before we really push it to the masses and this really just takes that power away from us. So those are probably the two big tips. Small chunks if you can do it and just be conscious of how you’re hosting your software, whether you’re keeping it in house or your putting it into the cloud.

Stuart Crawford: 23:43 That’s a good statement you make, because that’s the challenge with the cloud across any application really is the control of the updates correct? Even Microsoft Office 265 and other things like that. At least with the desktop versions you can, with Office, you’ve still got to update the desktop version but the server stuff, I could use that argument for any cloud solution that you lose the control right?

Aaron Fox: 24:04 I agree Stuart. I think also part of it’s the nature of our business right? We’re mainly service providers so what do we do all day, we control people’s equipment, we’re maintaining it, we’re updating it. So I think our character and our nature to have that control. I think being industry insiders, it makes it harder when we don’t have personal control over that, unlike our customers who, the majority of my customers could really careless as long as it works. We tend to nitpick on the control features.

Stuart Crawford: 24:35 With the ConnectWise implementation that you’ve been having, it’ll be coming up to a year pretty soon. What are some of the daily best practices that you’ve implemented at Global guest to make sure the team is all on board, they’re using the product correctly. Is there anything you’re doing, either compensation wise, make sure people are getting time in, that’s a big thing a lot of people is giving their time in, or making sure tickets are closed. What is Global Quest doing to make sure the application is getting used to it’s maximum potential?

Aaron Fox: 25:03 Wow that’s a really good question and it’s probably a really long answer but I’ll tell you this. We’ve started off doing an implementation meeting as we were doing the implementation. We started off doing it twice a week, then as we went live and we pulled away from the go live date and issues started to slow down. We changed that to once a week and now that meeting has now more of a management meeting and that’s exactly what we talk about. We talk about issues with users and how our employees are using the system, and we’re constantly tweaking practices. We thought we were going to do timesheets one way and after a number of weeks and issues that we ran into, we decided to do it in a different way. The same thing with expenses. We would do expenses one way and then we would learn our lessons. We’re constantly meeting on a weekly basis to talk about issues and to make sure that people are doing the right thing. My pattern Mike does probably a daily audit of the status of tickets and we have literally probably hundreds of tickets every day and we’re constantly going through and looking at, he’s doing an audit of the status of the tickets. Then there’s how does the billing happen with the ticket and are you consolidating tickets, are you not billing them until an issues completely closed. All of these issues have to be sorted out. Everyday we tweak it a little bit more to get it to where we want it to be and we’re always giving feedback to the staff. I know one of the my other employees, one of my middle managers runs a weekly educational series on a Friday afternoons for about an hour where the frontline staff all get a chance to get together and meet and talk about their issues, then he presents that back to our management group and talk about product wide issues. Certainly as people have gotten more familiar with it, issues become less but they tend to be more complicated. That’s a good group to but I think that’s really worked for us, really just a lot of communication and revisiting every week, “What are we doing, are we doing the right way, are people closing their tickets. Are customers being attended to the right way, what’s the satisfaction from the customer?” That’s how we handle it.

Stuart Crawford: 27:12 Are you taking advantage of their user group meetings that come to the north east every quarter?

Aaron Fox: 27:20 We haven’t been doing that yet. We’ve been doing the IT nation once a year. We’ve done that twice now. We have intentions of continuing to do that. We’ve not started the quarterly meetings yet just because we’re knee deep in about six different product user groups right now and it’s taking up some of our time. But I could see as we use the product more, I think that’s certainly something that we’re going to take advantage in the future.

Stuart Crawford: 27:43 Great, so Shane what about you guys in the AutoTask, now that’s up and running for a few months, getting to use it. What best practices or things that you’re doing at Data Magic just to make sure the applications getting used to it’s proper potential?

Shane Kimbrel: 27:55 We use the EOS, the traction tools. So we have meetings weekly, that always helps because everybody can voice their concerns. If something is being entered in incorrectly into the tickets, then we can go over it as a group so everyone’s in the meeting and we go through it. We just implemented Bright Gauge, that’s a tool that adds on to AutoTask and it pulls out quite a bit of information that without writing custom reports inside of AutoTask it’s very difficult to get that information out. But it brings up all kinds of canned reports that are just brought out of the box ready to go that tell you who’s closed the most tickets, who has worked the most hours and it has leader lists and all kinds of things. We just implemented that last week and literally you just log in to AutoTask through Bright Gauge and it pulls all the information for you. We have not implemented it with quick books yet but you can also use it for financials and different reports that come out of quick books. That’s our next task. The EOS, Entrepreneurs Operating System, we’ve found that’s the best way to communicate with everyone, what is happening with the new software and any other issues that we have that come up, but that’s how we address those things.

Stuart Crawford: 29:21 So for the two or three people that might be listening to us, Shane that don’t know Traction or EOS, can you give me the cliff notes version of that?

Shane Kimbrel: 29:31 Yes, the Gino Wickman is the one who wrote this book called Traction and he’s got several other books out there but basically it teaches you how to communicate with your team and have meetings, how to run your meetings, teaches you how to do quarterly meetings with management to project what your goals are for the next one to five years and ten years in some companies, but we got out five years. It’s just really common sense things that this guy has come up with to communicate, like I said with your team. It also has a scorecard system where, I mean their big thing is that everyone has a number so everyone has something that they can be scored on. So every week you go over those numbers and it’s all right there in front of their peers. It holds them accountable with the team if there’s a problem, then we discuss it as a team and try to find a resolution, and it really has built a very good environment. We’ve had zero turn over since we’ve started this and we’re on our third year of using Traction tools. It’s just been a really good situation. I would say, if you’re going to do it, you would probably want to look at a website called Traction Tools and that would help you, it really helps manage the meetings and the scorecards and all those things. But I’ll see if I can put up a link for that unless you just did that?

Stuart Crawford: 31:06 There’s the link up on the chat there to the EOSworldwide.com for the Traction page there if you could check it out and have a look at it there. But how does that tie into, there’s no tie between that Traction tools and AutoTask is there? We’re just talking about you guys just use the level ten meeting to bring up any AutoTask issues?

Shane Kimbrel: 31:26 There’s not a directly in AutoTask but Bright Gauge does take, they are big Traction tool type company. Their scorecards and all those things, they go by the EOS system.

Stuart Crawford: 31:40 Gotcha and Aaron what about you guys at Global, do you guys employ any third party tools or anything like that to enhance the ConnectWise experience?

Aaron Fox: 31:50 Well I will tell you, just like Shane, we’ve implemented Bright Gauge as well and we’re using it for very similar stuff that they’re doing there too. It is a really nice add on. We’ve been probably using Bright Gauge now for about three months and it gives nice dashboarding for what’s going on. As a result of using ConnectWise we’ve started to when we look for third-party solutions, we’re now, one of our first criteria is looking to see how well they integrate into ConnectWise. Just to make a lot of the automation easier for us and to become more efficient at what we’re doing. When we decided to look at a new backup product, we went to look to see what was out there from ConnectWise for integration and that was how we made decisions when we were changing products. So in that way, we’re taking them on one at a time but we certainly are using probably I would say four or five integration points currently with ConnectWise.

Stuart Crawford: 32:47 So what’s the one thing that you wish that ConnectWise did better Aaron?

Aaron Fox: 32:52 I would love it to integrate a little bit better with quick books, the cell module was purchased, they bought another company and integrated it into ConnectWise and I ..

Stuart Crawford: 33:03 I believe that was Closal at the time.

Aaron Fox: 33:06 Yep it was Closal. I believe that their road map is that they are planning to spend a lot of time rebuilding that product, I think that that’s actually in q1 road map for this year. So I’m going to be interested to see how they make that better as well as the integration into quick books. We’ve had some issues in the past with this transferring data and some lack of detail sometimes. Part of that is that’s an area I’m in, being in charge of operations and the financials here, it’s hard for me to break my habits sometimes too, putting in a new product and running a different way to look at things. But if they could strengthen those two integration points, that would make life a lot easier for me personally.

Stuart Crawford: 33:45 Shane what about you, what about the AutoTask, what’s the one thing you wish it did better?

Shane Kimbrel: 33:51 We didn’t use their quoting system but we use quoteworks and we integrated it and we love quoteworks. It pulls from all the vendors and I’m thinking it’s very similar to Closal but when you go and close a sale and quoteworks, then it creates the opportunity and the invoices inside of AutoTask. If you go to a vendor and this maybe something that can be corrected but if you have, it creates the purchase orders and everything for the vendors that you selected, and if one of those parts is back ordered you have to back the entire thing out and redo the whole process. It just seems very clunky with that part of it. Then I think the other thing that we wish was a little bit better, was when you make payments in quick book you apply your deposits in quick books, if it’s a partial pay, it doesn’t show that anythings been paid inside of quick books of the accounts receivable. So it will only close it out saying that it’s be paid when the entire invoice is paid. So it makes the account receivable in AutoTask almost useless. So that integration, I’m like Aaron the quick books and just other integrations I wish it were a little bit better but we’re working through it.

Stuart Crawford: 35:14 Guys fantastic information as always. Really appreciate you taking some time out of your day to come and share your insights in ConnectWise and AutoTask. I hope for the folks that are listening to us live here or listening to it on youtube or on a podcast, get some value from this as well. Aaron Fox with Buffalo Computer Help slash Global Quest you can check them out at buffalocomputerhelp.com. Shane with Data Magic in Dallas at datamagicinc.com are their websites. Guys thanks again for doing this, I really appreciate your insights and your thought leadership into this particular discussion area.

Shane Kimbrel: 35:53 Thanks Stuart.

Stuart Crawford: 35:54 So guys next week, we’re getting it all tuned up, but next week we’re going to have an interesting discussion with Miles from, I can’t remember the name of his company now, drawing a blank. He’ll be with us, Miles is with the old reframe your clients brand and they’ve just recently rebranded their company. We’re going to be talking about VCIO versus VCTO and what the challenge is with managed service providers calling themselves VCIO’s or are they really VCTOs, we’ll find out next week, same time two o’clock next Tuesday. We’re getting all the details wrapped up but tune into us next week and then we’re going to, in future training we’re going to be doing some things around inside Google search console, getting a bit more of the technical, technical website stuff so tune into those as we go forward here.

Stuart Crawford: 36:38 Thanks again a lot to Aaron and Shane for joining us and we’ll see you all next week.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *