What’s better than a dashboard of your business? How about a search engine for your business that returns real time information about your business metrics?

Joe Pannone of managed services provider Forza Technology Services wanted a real time view of his business and not just reports of what had already happened. So he built one to use with his professional services automation platform (PSA), ConnectWise.  And when he showed it to his HTG (Heartland Technology Group) Peer Group members, they all wanted to use it, too.

A few years later that tool, CWDash, is in use by 6500 MSP employees across dozens of MSP businesses. It has evolved to provide several different views of the business for users, depending on particular roles, from technician, to sales rep, to dispatcher to owner.  It also provides instant answers to some of the key metrics about the business.

'ConnectWise is my Google'

“It’s like ConnectWise is my Google,” Pannone told MSPmentor. “You ask it something and it tells you.”

Here’s how it works.

“The goal was to see real time information out of ConnectWise,” Pannone said, explaining the tool’s development.  “I wanted to see how many tickets were open and closed today and how many were open and closed this week.”

For Pannone it was important that the information be available on a dashboard, not a report.

“The problem with a report is that as soon as you print it, it’s dead.”

But the dashboard does more than real time numbers. In each panel there’s also a button that enables users to send the data to Excel if they want to do more analysis or deeper dives.

Another way MSPs have used the tool is to create reports to give to customers during quarterly business reviews.

Showing customers what they are paying for

“Sometimes a client doesn’t see us for a month,” Pannone said. “This kind of report shows them what they are paying us for.” It can include tickets closed, average resolution time and other metrics.  All the data can be sent to Excel in a under a minute, Pannone said.

At Pannone’s own MSP NOC, he’s also mounted a big video screen high up on the wall that provides technicians with metrics. And it’s helped address the classic problem of technician’s not keeping track of their time. The monitor shows who is the top performer in entering time and who is lagging behind. It has gamified the whole help desk process. The top performer is a star and the bottom performer is a donkey.

Technicians can also get their own custom view of their own work, such as their outstanding tickets.

Other views

Pannone said his dispatch person uses CWDash in a different way – to monitor tickets and alerts and to keep track of how many tickets each technician has open.

Other views and metrics that MSP owners can see include the following:

  • Technician utilization – how are technicians being used?
  • SLA monitoring – are you meeting all your agreements?
  • Sales funnels – how are sales people performing?

All the sales of the tool up until now have been by word of mouth. But we were lucky enough to catch up with Pannone recently and find out more about the tool.

CWDash is currently offered as a site license and costs $119 per month, which includes all support and updates. Pannone has standing meetings with 10 companies who are users of the tool to gain insight on how to shape the future of the product. Last year the company released four updates. The goal for this year is to release two.