The Autotask ANZ users group was held at the Stamford Plaza in Brisbane on November 28th 2013. The group was made of Autotask users and technology partners from most parts of the region. Here is a quick overview of the day.
Aline & Tony from Autotask in Sydney presented the new Dashboard features in Autotask that have been warmly received by current users. The dashboards leverage Excel and many users found that a convenient way to distribute the reports to management.
Crispn Kerr from Webroot provided an overview of the new Cloud-based version of Webroots Endpoint security service which makes it easier for MSP’s to manage their customer End Point Security.
Roy Solterback from Intellectit provided a presentation on the benefits of using Due Dates vs SLA’s. He found this provided a better way to manage internal resources and provide better customer service.
Nathan Franks from Dynamic Business Technologies showed the group how to automate all parts of your business for greater profitability, management & transparency. He records jobs down to 6-minute intervals so they have a great ability to manage time & deliver service on customer contracts. He had also written many custom reports from Autotask to manage this.
Cloudmgr was presented as an Integrated Cloud Service between Autotask & Amazon Web Services. Craig covered how the Industry was strongly adopting AWS as the preferred Cloud Platform and challenged the group to incorporate greater use of the Cloud in their business moving forward and move to be a Cloud Services Broker.
Rohan Milne from TAAconnect showed the group the value of customer reporting in managing client relationships. Rohan was able to show examples of detailed reports they provide to clients as a part of their account management and contract management process.
Gary Henderson from iSell demonstrated ITQuoter a simple to use quoting tool that is heavily integrated with the major supplier/vendor price lists. ITQuoter is able to provide the MSP’s price, not just retail price from the vendor & can handle special bid pricing scenarios.
Brendan Gibson from AnswersIT provided a demonstration on scheduling & workflow rules for service management. AnswersIT uses a sophisticated method for managing & dispatching jobs through their system. This process has been implemented in a number of MSP’s who require a centralised job dispatching system.
A general discussion session followed covering Business Challenges & Opportunities.
Autotask System Service Levels. – As a very independent group of business professionals discussion was held on how we could ensure backup & disaster recovery options at a local business level. Suggestions included a DR solution, Additional Service level reporting and the possibility of Cloudmgr building a data backup solution to provide an independent backup store for AWS users.
Customers becoming more cost-conscious – The group the best way to manage this was to have a business discussion with the customers (more than just the IT buyer). This may include regular reviews and planning sessions. The team also believed that not all customers were the right for their business so customer fit was an important issue. During these meetings with customers opportunities to provide more services would become apparent.
Cloud Strategy – The Cloud was seen as an important way to grow your business. Many opportunities exist for BYOS (Bring your own Service) solutions and to become the thought leaders for your customers in Cloud Solutions. This could be achieved through partnerships and leveraging new relationships.
Commoditisation – The group saw greater use of Office 365 and other Cloud products that were previously run and managed by the MSP’s in-house. In many case’s this can lead to an increase in profitability however some customers may seek a discount because of the change. This just means that the MSP role changes to more of a call management & escalation management role.
Technicians roles changing – A need to provide a greater business & analytical focus for client-facing professionals in the future. This required a different training program and mentoring role in the business for staff. It was emphasised that getting the right staff member upfront made these types of changes easier to manage. The other role change was a move towards greater software development and system operations known as DevOps.
Other Industry Changes – Ticket volumes are less than they used to however this means that revenue per ticket can be higher and thus increase profitability.
Grievance List issues: the projector didn’t like Mac’s. A special thanks to all the organisers and sponsors on a great day.