How many cloud-based apps do you use with your business? Five? Ten? Fifty? You probably use more apps than you realize.
The most important apps in your stack probably include:
A customer relationship management (CRM) tool
A professional services automation (PSA) tool
An accounting package
As an IT or managed service provider (MSP) business, you need to track prospects (marketing), turn them into clients (sales), provide services to those clients (service delivery), and bill them (accounting).
For this process to work efficiently, each app needs accurate data, and this data needs to be consistent across your tech stack. This is easier said than done.
Many IT businesses spend an inordinate amount of time manually moving data from one app to another — often bringing along typos and mistakes that come with manual input. This leads to inefficiency at best and costly mistakes at worst.
So, how can you successfully link your cloud-based applications so that they work to the best of their ability? Read on to find out.
Why You Should Sync Data Between Apps
If you want to avoid manually uploading data, you need to make sure those apps talk to each other. This means syncing data between them.
This is sometimes done via a manual process, or exporting data from one app and importing it into another. But it’s best if you look for automatic processes: systems where changes in one app are automatically synchronized with another.
Think of the relationship between your remote monitoring and management (RMM) tool and your PSA tool.
If you had to manually add each new workstation and printer to your PSA configuration, you could spend a long, long time keeping data between your RMM and PSA up to date.
Yet this is what many IT businesses spend their time doing.
The most progressive MSP businesses don’t handle their app data in silos. They understand the value of automatically sharing it between apps.
Synced Data Makes You More Efficient
Syncing data between apps makes your staff more efficient by keeping everything up-to-date at all times.
If your MSP business has linked its RMM and PSA tools and a client adds a new workstation, then your RMM tool discovers it and automatically adds that configuration to your PSA tool.
The PSA tool then makes that data available to Service Delivery, avoiding the embarrassing scenario of a client calling your helpdesk, only to be told: “Oh, we didn’t know about that PC...”
Once your PSA tool knows about a workstation, it can then tell your accounting package to bill for work.
This is incredibly important. IT businesses can face an enormous amount of lost revenue where MSPs are simply not billing for workstations they are supporting for their clients. This is one of the main reasons that IT companies need to sync data between their cloud apps - to increase their billable revenue.
Keeping Every Department in Sync
Setting up automatic synchronization between different apps means that every department in your business is aware of the latest data.
For example, you might use a CRM to track sales opportunities and leads, and use iPaaS to automatically synchronize your CRM with Google Contacts two ways — so any contacts that you enter into Google Contacts are synchronized to your CRM, too.
Once a prospect has been converted into a client, there’s no retyping data — that information is automatically updated in both apps.
When you’re ready to bill that new client, your accounting package automatically has all the information it needs, thanks to data synchronization.
No missed billing. No mistyped data. Just a set of applications that work together. It’s so simple, yet so effective.
Building a Stronger Tech Stack
Take five minutes to do a quick audit of your IT business. List the cloud-based apps you use to manage your business on a day-to-day basis.
How many of these apps are synchronizing their valuable data to the other apps you use? If you’re not synchronizing data, and instead are relying on manual methods, then you should expect to lose time and miss revenue opportunities.
Instead, it's important to realize that this data is the lifeblood of your business and needs to be freed from the silo it is currently trapped in. Synchronize your data and watch the efficiency of your business rise, along with your profits.
Originally published Oct 22, 2021 1:18:23 PM, updated October 22 2021