Archives For Labtech

OK – Back to talking about technology things! ūüôā

I feel like again I should state this – I’m not a shill for any product, If I’m talking about it, it’s because I use it (or my customers do) and love it or I hate it.

With this particular product line, I can also say that I’ve sat on the Quosal advisory board for a meeting so have a little more view point to the future of the product than some other people. But I have no financial interest in any of the customers, nor do I get paid from any of them!

Now, that’s out of the way, I want to spend some time talking about what I consider to be the Dream Team of the MSP world.

Anittel utilise what Connectwise calls “The IT Office bundle” of Connectwise, Quosal and Labtech. We have used Connectwise for all 3 years of Anittel, Quosal for probably 2 and Labtech for only 4 months or so.

Firstly, Connectwise is the secret sauce, this is our ‘source of truth’ and where all of our data resides in one format or another – configurations from Labtech, Quotes as Opportunities from Quosal etc – everything goes into this system and it’s where we pull and push data to and from, for instance to our reporting tool for MIT customers (shoutout to Brightgauge!) and to our accounting package. It’s utilitarian and built as a robust PSA for MSPs – you’re limited by your imagination only with what you want to do with and all of our 210 staff use this on a daily basis for everything from documentation to time sheeting and invoices. This isn’t a basic service desk bolted onto a RMM tool – this is a ITIL based full featured PSA tool.

Quosal, well, what can you say about Quosal. We purchased it basically to get uniformity to our sales proposals – but it’s so much more than that today. Kent, Steven and Sam are pretty much geniuses and this is actually my favourite product of the three. Quosal will do opportunity management for you (in conjunction with Connectwise), has a fully featured web and mobile client, picture based quoting (ask them¬†for a demo of this)¬†and enables you to protect sales margin in a way unseen in any competing products. We have seen a significant improvement in hardware and software gross margin from the implementation of this product and it has more than paid for itself many times over.

I’ve also been fortunate to see the ‘next’ version of Quosal and you’ll just have to take my word for it, it’s awesome.

What I like a lot about Quosal is that it’s designed for sales people, it’s not designed for highly technical people, so it’s very simple to use and will save sales people time which means adoption is¬†a breeze.

Finally, Labtech – we recently transitioned from Kaseya to Labtech and it’s probably the best decision I’ve made over the last 3 years. We were using Kaseya as a simple remote control tool and not really unlocking the true value of the product, one could debate whether it was the¬†Kaseya product, or our adoption of the Kaseya platform¬†– but the Labtech product itself more than stands on it’s own two feet as a stand alone RMM tool whereas Kaseya was a RMM and PSA tool built into one (with more development¬†work being done on the PSA than the RMM), it’s value therefore was limited as we already had a investment in Connectwise. Our staff are loving¬†Labtech thus far and the work that it’s done on minimising our alerts, maintaining our clients PCs and Servers without as much intervention has done wonders for the improvement of our productivity.

But the main reason we transitioned to Labtech because we saw a lot of value in the integration piece between Connectwise, Quosal and Labtech which holds a lot of promise to us due to our size and the synergies we can obtain by having tight integration between the three products.

I know Arnie at IT Nation 2012 demonstrated¬†a similar¬†scenario I’m paraphrasing here, which if you saw should have made you run out and buy all three products but if you didn’t I’m about to blow your mind with awesomeness

Arnie demonstrated a PC installed with Labtech, a Quosal client and a Connectwise Client – the PC was underspecified with resources and required additional RAM. Here’s the information flow which mostly occurs AUTOMATICALLY!

  • The Labtech agent showed too little RAM for the users performance requirements
  • This pushed a configuration into Connectwise
  • A quote was then raised for RAM options automatically¬†in Quosal and emailed to the Account Manager for their review (maybe 1 x 8Gb or 2 x 4gb with options for both)
  • An opportunity was created in Connectwise for this opportunity
  • The customer receives an email quote via OrderPorter and gives their approval electronically
  • This approval closes the opportunity in Connectwise and posts an order to your accounting package (if setup)
  • A ticket is created automatically for the install of the RAM into Connectwise
  • Once the ticket is completed and closed, the configuration is updated in Connectwise and a ‘before and after’ configuration email is automatically sent to the customer showing the amount of RAM they had before and what they have now

How awesome is that?!?!?! Did your head just explode?!

This is true demand generation from your RMM tool out to your quoting tool and delivers value through your tools to your customers that you couldn’t have with really any other tools in this same format.

All of this stuff isn’t future technology or pipe dream stuff, it’s here and now. If you want to talk about how we leverage these tools, please feel free to call, email or message me below!

 

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Before I start on a review of this product, I just want to make something clear – I’m not a shill for any product – if I’m writing about it, it’s because we use it and¬†either my customers or I¬†like it (or loathe it).

So, in the interests of full disclosure, Anittel recently purchased 10000 agents of Webroot SecureAnywhere for our clients and internal use. This was after an exhaustive review process and many, many vendors input and sales pitches.

To preface why this was an important decision and one in which a lot of diligence was undertaken is because the two things that cause the most problems for any MSP is Malware and Backup issues. The amount of time burnt on these two issues the world over must be enormous because just internally here at Anittel I have worked out that we spent between 400 and 500 hours in any given month on these two issues, that’s a lost revenue opportunity of $50-60k which is straight off the bottom line.

Traditional issues are malware infections including ones created through zero-day exploits, clients not updating through traditional signature based updates, issues caused by AV installations (particularly ones that include a firewall) and other simple and niggling issues. It’s a running joke that the second something goes wrong with a PC or server, after you’ve rebooted it just uninstall the AV package and it’ll probably fix it.

So, to say it’s a pain is an understatement – when we were looking for something to replace our existing AVG/Kaspersky implementation through Kaseya we wanted to address these issues, not lock ourselves into another nightmare scenario.

I was fortunate enough to come across Webroot as part of our reviews and I was very impressed with a few things in theory with their product, namely:

  • It isn’t signature based, no need to ensure machines get signature updates every day
  • It has a very small install footprint
  • It has a very small scanning footprint
  • It retains a cloud based library of processes/applications that are allowed and not and if it doesn’t fall into one of these two categories it journals the changes made by that process/application and allows you to roll back if it becomes a known bad process/application.
  • It can be installed alongside other AV implementations without conflict (which was key, given we were going to be migrating from an existing AV installation for clients and wanted no lapse in protection)

I got talking to some guys there about the fact that I liked the product, but didn’t like the fact it was yet ANOTHER portal, something I talk about in an earlier blog. They were keen to work with us and Labtech to¬†integrate¬†it into our RMM tool which was a great outcome for all.

Anyway, we’ve been running it in beta internally and with some selected customers now for about¬†3 months and it’s been a stellar success, I’ve been very happy with the rollout and we’re now planning a schedule to cut all customers over to this platform in the immediate future.

There’s a few bad things, so on balance, I’m going to share them as well

  • It’s not great on a machine that’s already infected, it doesn’t have a clean up tool like McAfee Stinger that is good on pre-infected machines, you really want this out there before a breakout (obviously) then it’s very effective
  • The web portal, if you have to use it, is annoying – I don’t like it’s authentication mediums (although I understand why) and I think it’s clunky and not easy to understand. We’ve limited access internally to a few super users of the platform and setup standard packages for customers, this has worked well, I’d caution against rolling this portal out for 30 engineers – you’ll spend more time resetting passwords than having them working.
  • The integration to Labtech is in it’s infancy, it’s basically deploy/remove from Labtech using scripts, I’m working with Webroot on further integration such as logging tickets when a virus is found and remediating them/closing the ticket but that’s a while away

Otherwise, I can highly recommend Webroot to MSPs and in fact to corporates as well who are looking for a excellent anti-malware solution.

I’m getting a demo of their web security product as well this week, which looks to be interesting too and based on the same model (lightweight client and cloud based ‘definitions’) – I’ll let you know how it looks next week