Learnings from a New ConnectWise partner.

News   Written by Paul MacNeill on May 13, 2016    

It's almost 4 years since we launched, and not much more since we embarked on our ConnectWise  Payment journey as an MSP.  Having amassed a following of over 300 (subscribers), which is close to 60% of our estimated market size for 3rd Party (Cloud) Accounting Integrations for ConnectWise. Our success has been backed by over 64 5 Star Reviews, and countless passive supporters throughout the user base. Much of this success is as a result of our tireless quest to make the integration the best it can be - backed by a comprehensive understanding of what a partner needs to do to make ConnectWise do what is needed. This translates into a solution that when implemented correctly - works.

The biggest learnings for us over this time have been around Inventory, Expense Management (not just parking fees), Financial Reporting to products such as Service Leadership, and Payments. There's an age old adage, that any system is only ever as good as it's implementation - and too often we've met with challenges in using the platform resulting from a lack of commitment (or understanding) of what is needed during implementation.

If you've not already, now is the time to register for the Wise-Sync Workshop, coming to Sofitel Sydney Wentworth on Thursday May 19th.

The workshop is a full day with several speakers and will cover a range of topics including:

  • ConnectWise Financials

  • Growing your Business

  • Managing Inventory in ConnectWise

  • Payments of the Future

 

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Virage IT - The journey of an MSP

The past four (almost five) years have been about constant growth and change for us. We've learnt a lot about ConnectWise, and the inner workings of how to make it function proficiently, while understanding the pitfalls and challenges that partners can get into, when ConnectWise is configured or used incorrectly. The challenge for us is about managing the way in which partners guide themselves through the implementation process. Wise-Sync is by no means a simple application to configure. And considering that 90% of the setup is completed in ConnectWise, for which we have no access to partner systems, it's almost like riding a bicycle blindfolded on a busy road. As a support agent you need to use your 'Inner User' to make sure that the right buttons are clicked, or that the user is even looking at the same screen as what you think they should be.

Writing an integration that has direct impact on the financial output of a business, has a distinct and very heavy responsibility; one that we take seriously. Partners look to us to understand when their sync is not working - and in most cases it's as a result of changes in either application (ConnectWise / Xero or QBO). Every day for us is a new chance to understand more about this gigantic application that we integrate with, and drive efficiencies into processes that people rarely even think of being an impact. One salient point is that partners are always looking to streamline process, reduce effort (cost) of managing financial information and increase efficiency of the supplementary processes (such as payments). We see that in every interaction, where often our features are at the request of partners - looking to improve their daily activities so they can get back to what they do best. It's this responsibility and committment that fuels our passion - so in our mind - it's a great fit; our products deliver real value - even though the output may be non-tangible.

The biggest learnings for us over this time have been around Inventory, Expense Management (not just parking fees), Financial Reporting to products such as Service Leadership and Payments. There's an age old adage, that any system is only ever as good as it's implementation - and too often we're met with challenges in using the platform, resulting from a lack of commitment (or understanding) of what is needed during implementation.

I recall clearly the day that we moved our business from a collage of disconnected systems to ConnectWise. The promises of Visibility, increased ease of invoicing and financial management was like no other. The challenge in our mind was that we were trying to make our 'Square Peg' fit the ConnectWise 'Round Hole'. No matter how much we forced our processes to be triumphant over the ConnectWise blue-print, we'd always be dealt with a 'ConnectWise is always right' result. 

It wasn't until the day that I decided to swim with the current, that we realised that the way that we were operating was complex, difficult to manage and overly cumbersome. So we changed. And that was the point of demarcation, and we set sail on a journey of hyper growth.

Within two years we had doubled revenue, ranked 6th in MSP 501 Small Business Category and 24th in the AANZ Region - a result that we felt was representative of the changes and value that we were creating in our own business.

It wasn't until 2015 that we realised the potential for Wise-Sync and the opportunity for us to add value to other businesses around the globe.

Being a member of HTGunderstanding our business philosophy, learning from others and sharing ideas - theese things have been key to our growth. Part of that journey has been in understanding the financials of our own Managed Services Practice. Service Leadership, through the S-L Index, has shed a lot of light on our own business, and something that we have shared openly through our onboarding engagements, where we've become the go-to partner for new HTG members looking to align to the S-L financial benchmarking framework.

Having been through the process as a new partner, to understand how your financials need to align was something that we too had to go through. With thanks to Xero, and our understanding of the process, we're able to help partners to take their management financials and display a SL-Index entry Income Statement & Balance Sheet; taking the hard work out  (and excel risk) out of the equation. It's only when you hear stories like that of Grant Klaaysen from GPK, does the nature of the changes we have helped to facilitate really become evident.

The culmunation of this entire process has really been around how we now take these learnings, and translate them to use as education for partners. It's something that we're passionate about, leading to us scheduling our first ever Wise-Sync Training Workshop, with a view to offering more training events, both in face-to-face,  and delivered via online mediums (AKA webinars).

I still remember my days at CPA Australia in the early 2000s, working as a Business Process Executive, trying to explain to the business that web delivered mediums were going to be the new way to deliver internal training. Webinar was the term I used, and people scoffed. If only I'd taken naming rights - I could be rich!. 

So in closing, if you're not focused on how you can be better in business, and not finding the time to get away from the 'doing', then in today's changing market, you're about to be out-dated. 

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