How ConnectWise Helps Ash Creek Enterprises
Ash Creek Enterprises, Inc.
With more than 20 years of experience as a managed service provider, Ash Creek Enterprises builds tailored IT solutions for SMBs, nonprofits and educational institutions throughout Connecticut. Mark Calzone, President of Ash Creek, shares how partnering with ConnectWise over the past decade has been — and continues to be — beneficial.
They’ve done a great job staying ahead of the curve and keeping the product updated and moving in the right direction.
- Mark Calzone, President of Ash Creek
Ash Creek’s Story of Growth
Now in its 22nd year of business, Ash Creek Enterprises, a Connecticut-based tech services provider, has seen steady growth in the variety of both its offerings and its clientele. But while the TSP grew more and more adept at creating seamless external programs, its internal operations remained stagnant.
In its early years, Ash Creek was using disjointed, siloed tools. They had one tool for ticketing, another for their knowledge base, and even more for time tracking and other operations, and none of them spoke to each other. Mark Calzone, President of Ash Creek, discovered ConnectWise when researching how to close those operational gaps and became an early partner of its hosted product, now called Manage.
Calzone said the initial goal was to streamline the company’s operations like accounting, billing and configuration storage. From there, the partnership with ConnectWise grew to include Automate, Command, and several security offerings. “We like that we didn’t have to go to multiple vendors,” Calzone said. “We were happy that the Continuum acquisition happened because it brought us all into one location.”
Calzone said the partnership with ConnectWise has always been seamless, even during acquisitions of companies like BrightGauge and Continuum. “Any time two companies come together, especially two bigger packages, you're always wondering what’s going to happen,” Calzone said. “We haven’t had any issues with them combining things, and I think they’ve done a pretty good job of that so far.”
He said the ease of having everything in place, and only one vendor contact, has been a big-time saver and efficiency booster. “The way the tools tie together, like having our ticket flow through ConnectWise and all of our configurations stored there, makes it a lot easier for our guys to be able to use it.”
ConnectWise Brought Big Benefits
Having four or five separate tools can make it easy for things to get lost in the shuffle, but Calzone said he observed a marked reduction in missed opportunities after partnering with ConnectWise. Another big advantage was an increase in billable percentages. But perhaps most importantly, Calzone said, was notable and repeatable revenue growth.
“We’ve been in business for almost 22 years,” he said. “We’ve mostly always been profitable, but early on, especially after switching over (to ConnectWise), I would say we easily saw a 20% bump in revenue growth.” And it wasn’t just a one-time jump — it’s a number that’s repeated itself year after year.
How the IT Nation Has Helped
Calzone said that of the many IT Nation events he’s attended over the years, two things always stand out: The first is the chance to learn from his peers how they’re using ConnectWise, and what they’ve learned since the last event.
Next, he said the vendor booths and breakouts have led to many valuable partnerships over the years — even with products that aren’t ConnectWise-owned. “It’s not always product sales pitches,” he said. “And it’s not just about ConnectWise. It’s about all the different vendors,” which he said is a refreshing change from other partner summits that usually focus on the host’s agenda and benefits.
Advice for Potential ConnectWise Partners
For companies who currently have no centralized structure in place, Calzone said the biggest advantage of partnering with ConnectWise is the chance to bring all your various “silos of chaos” into one, organized spot. “Bringing all that together is definitely key, because it makes you be able to run your business more efficiently and having that relationship with just one vendor means that if you have an issue or need to work on something, you’re not going to a million different places trying to figure out how to tie it all together.”
The Future is Bright
Without his ConnectWise partnership, Calzone said that Ash Creek might still be putting things into spreadsheets or using disjointed systems. And the company might not have matured with the industry. “I think we’d probably not be in business, or not have the growth that we’ve had,” he said.
Calzone is excited about the future and what’s in the pipeline over the next couple of years, including added services. “Even during the pandemic, ConnectWise has been busy with acquisition and bringing new products in, so we like to see that,” he said. “They’ve done a great job staying ahead of the curve and keeping the product updated and moving in the right direction.”
In the true spirit of partnership, Calzone said that ConnectWise is quick to ask its customers what’s working, what’s not and what they’d like to see. At the same time, however, they’re always working on their own improvements. “Usually when I bring something up, it’s ‘Yep we’re already working on that!’,” he said. “It’s also them asking for feedback from us, not just doing what they think is best.”