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August 28, 2014

IT Insanity: Overcoming Inefficiencies and Productivity Loss

Drew McCallum
Product Solutions Analyst
ConnectWise, Inc.
IT Insanity: Overcoming Inefficiencies and Productivity Loss with Platform Thinking

Imagine being flooded with emergency tech support calls every morning from panicked users unable to access their email. That’s what Shannon Anderson with Corporate Network Services (CNS) was dealing with when clients inundated his team about expired passwords in their Microsoft Office 365 environment. While CNS spent valuable time researching background information, logging in and searching through the clunky Office 365 portal, only to discover the user’s password had expired, Anderson knew there had to be a better way.

Clients were experiencing IT insanity, resulting in inefficiencies and productivity loss. Platform thinking provided CNS with the ability to overcome this.

Avoiding IT Insanity with AutomationHere’s How

Anderson and his team were able to utilize the ecosystem of the LabTech Synergy Platform to quickly build a solution—the Office 365 Plug-in for LabTech—that allowed them to easily reset passwords in LabTech, bypassing the clunky 365 portal completely.

After the initial plug-in was released and received positive feedback, Anderson began to brainstorm on other issues his technicians were facing that could be solved with additions to the plug-in. The next source of insanity in this area was identified by analyzing tickets: setting up basic permissions for users to access mailboxes. Thus, a subsequent version of the plug-in included the ability to add and update permission sets.

“Then we started querying Office 365 data to bring user data to the forefront, so techs could see everything they needed in one place,” Anderson explained. “Now our techs can handle user management, licenses, permissions, add and delete users, add users to groups, determine what user groups are available to clients, and more without ever leaving LabTech.” Now within just a few minutes of getting a ticket, they have all the info they need in front of them.

The plug-in is still evolving, with input from Anderson’s own techs and others in the LabTech Geek community who have downloaded and installed the plug-in. Anderson has found that adding new functions to the plug-in is easy.

“LabTech put together such a well-groomed SDK and provided the ‘Hello World’ plug-in template, and those came together to accelerate the plug-in development process,” Anderson shared. “The LabTech development team put something together that gets even the least experienced person really close to what they need to do,” Anderson continued. “If I had to start from scratch, it would have been a game-changer. It probably would have stopped us from even starting.”

By solving a serious problem with an easily automated solution, Anderson was able to create efficiencies at CNS and with clients. In any business, if the same inefficiencies happen countless times a day, they compound to negatively impact your bottom line. Your business can’t thrive when your technicians are spending all of their time on tasks that could easily be scheduled, automated and carried out behind the scenes. As you grow your client base, you’ll be hiring more headcount just to take over these wasteful tasks.

A true platform gives you the tools to easily expand the out-of-the-box features and eliminate sources of IT insanity in your business. Check back next week to see how platform thinking addresses another source of IT insanity: meaningless integrations that do not affect the bottom line.

Think Platform. Think Productivity.

Learn how the right automation tools can eliminate IT insanity in any business.

Drew McCallum Product Solutions Analyst
ConnectWise, Inc.

As co-founder of his own managed services business, Drew truly understands the day-to-day challenges of building an IT services business from the ground up.


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Learn how the right automation tools can eliminate IT insanity in any business.