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Integrated Computer Systems Support Inc. (ICS) has grown from humble beginnings, operating out of a spare bedroom, where 4 techs shared 1 desk and a phone, into one of Washington’s fastest growing IT service providers. Currently divided into 3 primary areas of service - IT, enterprise resource planning (ERP), and financial - ICS’s 15-person team provides a well-rounded list of offerings designed to optimize virtualization, network infrastructure, and security for their small and midsized client base.
ICS had been working with an outdated business management platform that offered no reporting or data analysis, and took twice as long to create time entries for services than the actual tasks took to complete.
The software developer implemented ConnectWise Automate, followed by the ConnectWise Manage, which streamlined workflows, captured all time, and added visibility into day-to-day operations.
Five months after implementing ConnectWise Manage, ICS increased T&M service revenue by over $93,000, paying off their 4-year commitment in 3 months, and setting themselves up for a 27.5% YOY growth.
Prior to implementing ConnectWise’s remote monitoring and management (RMM) solution in 2014, ICS used Continuum®. The initial reason for switching to ConnectWise Automate was price, according to Chris Faist, Director of Networking Services. Continuum was just too expensive.
After switching to Automate, Faist saw a major positive impact in the day-to-day operations for his staff. Being able to tap into the solution’s powerful automation, ICS was now able to stay one step ahead of problems before they grew into catastrophes, which had all too often resulted in angry calls from frustrated clients.
“Automate gave us the opportunity to put agents on all of the machines for our clients. We even did it without charging some of them. We know that if Automate identifies a problem, that’s going to generate revenue,” explained Faist.
With the improvements Automate was clearly making for his team, Faist next turned his attention to the malfunctioning business management software. ICS had been relying on Clientele since 1999, putting up with its shortcomings until they started to pose serious problems for the company’s growth.
“Clientele didn’t have the ability to consolidate multiple tickets onto a single invoice, and it didn’t integrate with anything,” Faist explains. “As a result, every single issue that popped up generated an invoice, and that became a real problem.”
Things started slipping through the cracks. Faist’s staff was spending twice as much time completing time entries as they were doing actual work. And that wasn’t the only issue. The platform didn’t have built-in reporting, offering murky insight at best into ICS’s internal data.
“One of the things that was sorely lacking from our previous product was reporting. It was just about impossible to do any baseline measurements.” Without access to critical data insights, along with a general lack of visibility into his staff’s daily workload, Faist knew things had to change.
Researching the top options available in the market, he considered solutions from Autotask®, Tigerpaw®, and ConnectWise Manage. “It became clear right up front that Manage was one of the leading products in the marketplace.” That, coupled with ICS’s positive experience with Automate, made the choice a no-brainer.
ICS rolled out ConnectWise’s business management platform on June 1, 2015. After 5 months of continuous use, Faist analyzed the numbers and the results shocked him. “In that 5-month period, between June and November, we increased our time and material revenue by $93,310, with the same staff.” ICS essentially covered the cost of their 4-year commitment in just 3 months, with additional earnings to spare.
Faist attributes the revenue increase to ConnectWise Manage’s time-capturing features. “The thing about Manage is everything relates to time: time entry, time capture, all of that became easier. It’s also a mindset change. It makes your people look at the value of time much more closely because there’s accountability.”
Most of ICS’s clients send support requests through email. With Manage, their request automatically generates a ticket, so even small tasks like 3-to-5 minute calls or brief email interactions are easily captured by the staff, ensuring that nothing slips through the cracks. And now, in addition to time tracking, reports can be generated for a new vantage point on ICS’s data.
The added visibility that comes with Automate and Manage lets the techs at ICS approach service proactively, bringing Faist a new sense of confidence in his staff’s ability to efficiently help the company’s diverse client base. Everything is visible, and everyone is accountable.
“Now, we have a much better pulse on what’s going on—and confidence that things are being addressed in a timely manner.”
Another integral tool in the effort to boost efficiency at ICS is ConnectWise Control. Faist notes that ICS has used the remote support solution for 5 years, and that all practice areas company-wide appreciate its fast and effective features. The solution eliminated the need for ICS clients to take extra steps to get support. The techs simply call the clients to request permission, and are able to access their machines with the click of a button.
“It’s great to be able to render support instantly. And obviously having the integration with ConnectWise Automate has made that even better. You just click a button and the client doesn’t have to do anything. It’s just fabulous.”
Recognizing the similarities between ConnectWise, LLC. and ICS, Faist points out that as ICS is a fellow software publisher (developing and implementing ERP platforms), he has firsthand knowledge of the energy it takes to create solutions that truly solve problems. And not only is development key, but a positive attitude plays a huge role in a successful partnership.
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