Invarosoft has outlined plans to reduce workload and improve productivity for managed service providers (MSP) amid a heightened need for automation.
Headquartered in Sydney, the software-as-a-service (SaaS) start-up serves an emerging market within the channel, focusing on client portal software.
Built from the ground up, Invarosoft’s product line-up aims to remove the manual process associated with logging a ticket, allowing MSPs to focus on the more lucrative aspects of customer management.
“The only way MSPs interact with their customers is through the human element, phone, email or web portals that nobody uses,” said Jamie Warner, CEO of Invarosoft. “Of these options, email is the most common way for a customer to engage with an MSP.”
Speaking to ARN on the sidelines of IT Nation 2018 in Orlando - an annual gathering of ConnectWise partners - Warner said the start-up is aiming to transform the notion of customer experience through the channel, backed up by improved automation capabilities.
“We’ve built a desktop and mobile app to provide an easier way for customers to interact with MSPs that provides the right information first time,” Warner added. “This also means MSPs can customise offerings for customers and start to make services a lot more stickier.
“This is about MSPs offering something that adds value, rather than just a sticker with a help support phone number on it.”
According to Warner, most MSPs receive tickets via email, incorporating a common subject line and body text.
“Ticketing systems work by having type and sub-type categories but if MSPs don’t receive this information, they can’t auto-route tickets to where they need to go,” Warner explained. “This means MSPs have to spend time triaging the ticket.
“Given the majority of tickets come through via emails, MSPs are wasting a lot of productivity triaging tickets which includes going back and forth with clients because they haven’t provided the right information in the first place.
“Increased productivity is a huge benefit for MSPs and this also helps boost differentiation in the market through improved customer experience.”
Warner is well placed to offer such advice having launched eNerds in 2000, an Australian-based MSP targeting the small business sector.
During this time, Warner remain challenged to brand his services and improve productivity, leading to the creation of an internal product in 2009.
The new platform enabled end-user access to a streamlined branded portal, spanning IT support and ticket logs, as well as feedback and news reading capabilities.
Through using the product internally, Warner doubled the size of eNerds organically, sprouting to over 40 staff and more than $7 million in revenue.
Warner began commercialising the product in 2014, taking three years to build before launching in 2017.
“Another key feature we have is the self service functionality,” Warner added. “Self service is a concept and a feature that doesn’t exist in the market today but this can provide real value to MSPs.
“When a user is logging a ticket you can’t put a message in front of them offering advice or guidance. But we’re bringing out a feature that will provide documentation articles to ticket types for customers to help reduce workload.”
Specifically, Invarosoft offers IT providers, MSPs and IT departments a front-end application designed to “super-charge” ticketing or professional services automation (PSA) back-end capabilities.
Delivered through ITSupportPanel, ITNewsPanel and ITAppsPanel features, Invarosoft - which taps into the ConnectWise ecosystem - aims to provide increased support experience for MSPs, aiding business profitability in the process.
“We have an API arrangement through ConnectWise and we’re working with MSPs within their ecosystem,” Warner added. “We’re here to help any sized MSP across the world, with the US as a main focus alongside Australia and New Zealand.
“We’ve been thinking global from day one because as a SaaS business we don’t want to be restricted by boundaries.”
Specialise at the front-end, automate at the back-end
During the next 12 months, 25 per cent of customers plan to deliver more projects and programs of work than the year previously, placing partners in pole position to capitalise.
That’s according to EDGE Research, commissioned by ARN and Reseller News in association with Tech Research Asia.
Yet to maximise end-user appetite for innovation - and crucially, differentiation - the channel must look from within to instigate change.
In short, partners must specialise at the front-end and automate at the back-end.
“Specialisation at the front-end is not just the service offering,” said Mark Iles, executive analyst at Tech Research Asia. “It’s not just what you build and how you take it to market.
“It’s how you build and the messaging from your website and the voice of your sales team.”
But while specialisation is key, Iles cautioned against partners executing such an approach in isolation.
“Automation at the back-end has to also be in play for this entire model to work,” he said. “Automating processes is key because every customer a partner acquires, should now be seen as a customer for life.
“This is the only way for partners to think about their business operations moving forward. It’s imperative to automate at the back-end because partners can’t be having excess costs.
“If you’re adding a customer at the front-end, you must be able to do this without adding any human resources at the back-end.”