Posted by: Eric Wichhart | January 19, 2012

Tip: LabTech Configurations Missing from Service Ticket

Problem: When you open the Configurations tab of a service ticket to attach a configuration, none of the configurations created by LabTech appear even though they are syncing properly from LabTech to ConnectWise.

Solution: When LabTech creates a configuration, it does not assign a Location or Department. When you go to the Configuration tab of a ticket, it automatically filters configurations based on the default Location and Department, therefore it does not find any. To see all the configurations, including the ones created by LabTech, when on the Configurations tab, just click the Clear button, followed by the Search button and they will all appear.

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Posted by: Eric Wichhart | January 11, 2012

See Our IT Nation Video

If you missed Eric’s presentation at IT Nation 2011, you can see it online at: Video

To download the PowerPoint Slides: PowerPoint Slides

To download the accompanying guide: IT Firm Getting Started Guide.

Posted by: Eric Wichhart | January 4, 2012

What is Your iPad Strategy?

As the workforce becomes more mobile, so does the importance of mobile devices like the iPad. A survey of small businesses by the NPD Group, a business research firm shows that 73% of small businesses plan to purchase tablets in 2012. As the popularity of these devices come more popular, we as technologists need to be ready for provide service, support and guidance to the users of these devices. If we are not there on the forefront of the implementation of these devices, we may get left in the dust.

So where can we benefit from the iPad and tablet market? Selling any tablets seems to be a dead end. The big player Apple has indefinitely put on hold accepting applications for new partners into their channel program. From what I am told, they accepted too many partners in the beginning, many of which are not selling any products and Apple is in the process of revamping their partner program to better benefit them. You can keep track of the status of the Apple Channel Program here. The other tablets come and go so quickly that keeping up with the different models and such may not only be a daunting task, but may be a less than profitable.

The next profit center which seems to be a growing market is the development of apps for your clients. There seems to be two different avenues with apps, apps for the client to use internally and customer facing apps. The easier place to start would be the customer facing apps. It is often an easier sell to the client because you can show a direct cost/benefit to the client. They spend X dollars and can expect X*Y in return. The numbers on an internal apps are more gray, the cost/benefit is dollars to productivity plus cost of the tablet. Before venturing off into the app world, you need to set in place a strong infrastructure (development team) and plan accordingly. Some people have taken the road of selling a app, then outsourcing the app to “Bob” from India. While this is cost effective in the beginning, what are you going to do when the app doesn’t work, its half finished or the customer needs updates and “Bob” is no where to be found? I think outsourcing is great as long as you have a plan of action when presented with a missing developer.

The final profit center around tablets is helping the customer integrate the table into their existing infrastructure. Whether they need help accessing a terminal server, setting up email, using a VPN to connect into the network resources, we need to be there for them so that they can continue to count on us and we can continue to be their trusted adviser.

Posted by: Eric Wichhart | December 30, 2011

Having Trouble Getting Technicians to Enter Time

One of the chief complaints that I hear from business owners is that they are having a hard time getting their technicians to enter their time. Ilya Pozin in his article 9 Things That Motivate Employees More Than Money talks about different things you can try to get your employees motivated and things we all do that demotivate our employees. What things have you tried to get your employees to enter their time? There is a guy is south Florida that gives everyone in the company a quarterly bonus that can be as much as $1,500 per technician and if a technician fails to complete their time sheet by 6 PM even once during the quarter, they loose out on their share of the bonus. I’m sure that keeps the techs putting time in by the end of the day. But there has to be other ways to be successful. What gets your employees to enter their time?

Posted by: Eric Wichhart | December 28, 2011

Do You Have a Cloud Strategy?

In Joe McKendrick’s article How Cloud Computing is Changing Many Job Descriptions he discusses how cloud computing is changing the enterprise. No longer is Information Services a red headed step child left to maintain PC and put together a network with duct tape and string, but it has become a centerpiece of the organization. No longer is technology reactionary to business, but business has become reactionary in many respects to technology. I remember the days when you had to talk the boss into getting a smart device, now days you can’t keep the boss away from his smart phone or tablet. So where does this leave us, the technologists?

As technologists we can no longer afford to set back and work in a break fix world. As cycle always begins at the enterprise level and moves toward the small business, so we must prepare to become more of a business consultant than a guy who fixes computers. We need to be the one that the head guy calls when he is at the Apple store trying to buy an iPad and wants to know if it is compatible with his email. We need our clients to think of us when they sit down to have their business planning meetings. If we have a seat at the table, we become a trusted adviser instead a of vendor. We become part of the company, someone they can rely on.

So how do we become a trusted adviser?

Posted by: Eric Wichhart | December 21, 2011

Should I Give a Prospect a Free Network Audit?

One of the big questions in the IT community today is whether to offer a free network audit or free service as an enticement for new prospects. In Geoffrey James’ article in Inc magazine “Why Free Consulting Is a Bad Idea” he talks about the difference between giving away free consulting and using free consulting to exchange for information about the prospect. To boil down the article, he states that if you are giving something away for free and in return you are getting valuable information to further along the sales process or qualify the lead, then it is a good idea, but if you are not getting anything for the value of the service provided, then it is not. For example, when you use a Free Network Audit to go in and extract information about the prospects computer systems and use that to sell your services, then it is a valuable tool. But if you are working with a prospect and they want you to come in and clean up a few computers for free before they will move the sales process forward, then run.

See his full article here.

Posted by: Eric Wichhart | December 20, 2011

Year End Procedures 2012 (Updated)

 

2011 is quickly coming to a close. To get your business ready for 2012, please complete the following ConnectWise year-end procedures:

A. Set Up Time and Expense Periods:

  1. Navigate to Setup > Setup Tables > Time category > Time Period Setup Table
  2. If there is an existing Time Period for 2012, click the link to review the settings that were defined.
  3. If you need to make any changes to these settings, you will need to delete this period and create a new one.
  4. If you do not have any time or expense periods set up, create them by: clicking the New Item button and completing the required fields.
  5. Click Save and Close when finished.
    After time has been entered on a time period, it cannot be deleted
    For more information, refer to the Time Periods Setup Table page in the online documentation.
    Watch the video on how to Create Time and Expense Period

B. Update your Mileage Reimbursement Rate:

If you need to change your reimbursement rate for 2012, update the rate on the date you want the change to take effect. This rate is picked up at the time that the expense is entered.

  1. Navigate to Setup > Setup Tables > Expense category > Expense Type Setup Table.
  2. Select Mileage and update the required fields.
  3. Click Save and Close when finished.
    For more information, refer to the Expense Type Setup Table in the online documentation.

C. Update your Calendar (Holidays):

  1. Navigate to Setup > My Company > Calendar tab
  2. Using the calendar on the screen, navigate to the date for the holiday
  3. Click on the day you want to modify and set the Override Default Hours.
  4. Select the Set to non-working check box and enter a Description of the holiday
  5. Click Save and Cose. The date will be grayed out (just like the weekends).
For more information, refer to the My Company – Calendar Tab page in the online documentation.


Images and Text for this post Copyright ConnectWise 2011. All Rights Reserved.

Posted by: Eric Wichhart | December 16, 2011

The CW Blueprints Now Available for All Browsers

If you haven’t had the time to check out the CW Blueprints, they are packed full of valuable information regarding the flow of information through CW, Best Practices and How Tos. If you have not checked them out lately, they are now available to all browsers. Check them out here: http://www.connectwise.com/University/PageView.aspx?short_name=blueprints

Posted by: Eric Wichhart | December 15, 2011

Newer deeper integration between SonicWALL GMS and ConnectWise PSA

Flowgear has introduced a very rich expansion to the existing integration between the SonicWALL Global Management System (GMS) and the ConnectWise PSA product.

Existing integration: Out of the box integration is available for export of SonicWALL GMS reporting data for use in the ConnectWise PSA Executive Summary reports. For further detail please refer to this technical note.

New integration: For deeper integration, look to the Flowgear solution. The Flowgear ConnectWise – SonicWALL Accelerator makes it easy to stay on top of device status by raising a ConnectWise ticket when an alert is created. The ticket is automatically associated with the correct customer for the device and the device Configuration is also attached. You can can meet customer Service Level Agreement (SLA) requirements by managing device events effectively from within ConnectWise!  Additionally, firewall device information will be periodically synchronized with ConnectWise as a Configuration giving you access to key information at a glance. Where more detail is needed, you will be able to jump straight to the appropriate page in the GMS console to manage the SonicWALL firewall of their choice. For more detail please refer to this PowerPoint presentation or the Flowgear website.

Posted by: Eric Wichhart | December 14, 2011

5 Reasons Arnie Bellini has the Right Strategy

ConnectWise is pioneering a new vision in which it’s neither fully acquiring companies nor getting bloated through assimilation. Yet, by taking on substantial equity positions and instilling its experience in these companies’ management teams, it’s able to steer new product creation and the development of mutually beneficial functionality.

The journey began in 2009 when Bellini and his brother, David, formed ConnectWise Capital with the intended purpose of supporting promising technology companies to increase their viability and accelerate growth. It’s no surprise that most of the companies in which the fund has invested now have products that complement ConnectWise’s core PSA products or align with the business models that ConectWise supports.

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