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First Stop IT’s in-house ticketing system didn’t allow engineers to properly manage their workload or communicate service updates to clients outside of a phone call or email.
ConnectWise solutions have allowed First Stop IT engineers to better track and organise their tickets, while staying in communication with clients on updates to their problems.
First Stop IT can now easily and efficiently manage tickets, communicate with clients, and manage endpoints automatically.
First Stop IT is a managed service provider (MSP) based out of Harlow in Essex, England. Their services include everything you’d expect from an internal IT department. First Stop IT monitors all clients’ networks, servers, and cloud services, as well as provides proactive maintenance and technology strategies to make sure clients’ tech is working to make their businesses better. The company is made up of 11 team members, ranging from engineers to an office administrator. While the team is growing steadily, First Stop IT’s Solutions Director Tai Daly is quick to point out that they want to manage how that happens. “We didn’t want to just grow by getting bigger and less efficient,” Daly says, “because we’re interested in customer experience, and we’re interested in profitability, rather than just being huge.” Daly explains that the growth they’ve experienced has come with difficulties in managing client support.
As the company has grown, so has the workload. This has presented problems in tracking and managing the work of the engineers. First Stop IT didn’t have a proper system in place to manage the workload and response times of their engineers, the types of tickets they would work on, or the communication between the engineers and the end user.
For 13 years, First Stop IT had been using a ticketing system they built in-house. The engineers had a way to internally keep track of tickets and updates—but nothing else. “The process would run,” Daly notes. “The customers would phone, we would log a ticket. We would do some work on the ticket and update it, and the customer would have no visibility of this.”
According to Daly, the support process at First Stop IT was inefficient. They lacked the transparency needed to keep their engineers accountable to their clients, which hurt the customer experience they were hoping to provide. First Stop IT needed a better way to manage work.
The solution came in the form of a phone call. “The first time I came across ConnectWise, I was contacted by one of the sales reps,” Daly remembers. Admittedly, he was skeptical at first, but seeing the ConnectWise solutions in action opened his eyes. “We had the demo and we went through the process. I thought, ‘You know what, actually, this could make some real big differences to our business’.”
Tai attended IT Nation in Orlando in 2015 and had the opportunity to talk with existing ConnectWise partners. As he participated in breakout sessions and talked with more partners, he saw the different ways ConnectWise works to improve the lives and operations of MSPs. “They understand the problems that MSPs face, and they seem very passionate about bringing MSPs together and producing a kind of best-of-breed attitude,” Daly says.
Since implementing ConnectWise solutions, First Stop IT has seen improvements in support efficiency and the overall customer service experience. “It’s revolutionised the way that every department in the business operates.”
ConnectWise Manage has drastically changed how First Stop IT’s engineers manage their time and support. Having separate service boards keeps them better organised to see exactly what types of problems they are working on for clients. On the client side, the closedloop communication system makes logging tickets a breeze. “If a customer emails from their work email domain, it knows who the ticket is from, so it logs the ticket to the right customer, the right site, and the right user. That’s all there,” Daly explains.
In addition to ConnectWise Manage, First Stop IT also implemented ConnectWise Automate—the remote monitoring and maintenance (RMM) software—and support has never been easier. Engineers don’t have to log in to each machine to figure out a problem. With a simple script and command, the engineer can take a look at a computer without disturbing the end user.
Integration with ConnectWise Manage makes logging tickets a breeze. “You could log a ticket if there is a hard disk error, or you could log a ticket if the machine drops below a certain level of patching,” Daly highlights. “You can be really proactive without having to spend time—engineer time—going through and checking these machines manually.”
Replacing client computers is no longer a difficult task. As Tai mentioned, before using ConnectWise Automate, engineers would have to get on the computer or ask the client what software they were using. Clients would wonder why their IT company didn’t know what software was on their computer.
With ConnectWise Automate, First Stop IT’s team can produce asset reports with information about CPU, RAM, and disk space usage and other system utilisation. “We can address quoting for a new machine with all the knowledge without having to disturb the user.”
For First Stop IT, implementing ConnectWise solutions was no small task. “The most important thing to do, in my opinion, is plan it well, decide which modules you want to implement at the beginning, then use the ConnectWise consultancy service,” Daly suggests.
First Stop IT’s implementation took place from January to March 2016. During that time, their ConnectWise consultant took them step-by-step through the entire process. Everything from how their business was run to the service types and service-level agreements (SLAs) were taken into account to ensure implementation went smoothly.
“If you take the time in the beginning and you use the consultancy,” Daly says, “You will have a much, much better experience in the first 12 months of ConnectWise.” After talking with other partners who tried implementing on their own, Tai learned he made the right choice. “Use the help that’s available, and it will be a real asset.”
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