As with any growing company, at some point you need to upgrade your internal software to match the changing needs of the organization. PCM is no different and we knew it was only a matter of time before we needed to retire our current customer databases and billing applications. The question was, which system should we switch to? Do we stay with our current systems and just upgrade them? Or do we move to a totally new system, perhaps something specifically designed for our industry?
In March of this year we decided it was time to purchase a PSA (Professional Service Automation) solution specifically designed for the IT industry. This new system replaces our existing Microsoft CRM database, many different custom spreadsheets, as well as our Timeslips billing database (after using it for 18 years!). In addition it gives us a new service module that will allow us to properly create tickets and track all outstanding client tasks/projects. We have been excitedly watching this product for a while as it offers an amazing amount of capability in one integrated system which seamlessly integrates with our existing remote monitoring database. Now our monitoring database, client database, service contracts and billing databases are all tied into one solution!
Implementing a new system internally is a huge task, and this one was no different. Staff spent many hours on training to learn the new system plus we spent a fair number of hours with the implementation consultants getting the system properly configured for our needs. The result was amazing and everyone here is excited about the new functionality. April 1st was our cut-over date (no, this wasn’t a joke!) and we are now fully operational in the new system. It will take some time to implement all of the new areas, but we have stopped using our old databases completely and moved over to the new ConnectWise 2011 system.
An immediate effect of this change is that we will now track all service requests as “tickets” in our system. With the new ticketing system we will be able to more easily track the progress and history of all service requests, even if multiple staff works on the same issue. As items are resolved or completed clients will receive an automated email from our server, similar to the “Tasks completed” email we used to send for onsite visits. This new setup will also let us keep a better eye on outstanding items and avoid things falling between the cracks.
To create a new service request you can just email firstname.lastname@example.org, with a clear subject and details of what the request is about and any other information that will help us resolve the item. Our system will automatically convert that email to a service ticket and place it on our service board. This board will be monitored and tickets assigned to staff based on the urgency and content of the request. The system will also immediately respond with a reply email outlining the ticket number so that you can reference this specific item at any time. Should you have something to add to the ticket related to the same issue you can simply reply to the email and your comments will be automatically updated in our system and available to the staff. Once the ticket has been resolved you will again receive an email with our personalized comments related to the resolution and work done. Our hope is that this new system will make our system more efficient, resulting in faster turn-around times and better customer service.
In the future we plan to activate our new client portal feature; however that’s another topic for another time. We hope you find the new system an improvement and we look forward to any feedback or comments you may have.