Every now and then we come to the difficult decision, or a set of decisions, that might impact the way our partners work. This is my personal attempt, as the guy who is paying to make all this happen, to explain our situation and answer the questions before you’ve had a chance to form your opinion based on the first few keywords that upset you.
Later this month we (Own Web Now Corp) will be announcing our next generation integrations with Autotask, Connectwise and yes, even Shockey Monkey. This is a significant effort, a significant gesture – because it is in no way a part of our products functionality – to help you think about OWN a lot less and make a lot more money. I will go a step ahead and even say that what we are bringing to the integration picture (and beyond, in custom software for the platforms) is unlike anything available on the market… and if you’re an MSP you owe to give us a look.
On to the imaginary questions:
Q: How are we going to implement the integration? Can I have the white paper? Can you walk me through it?
There are two possible ways to get Own Web Now integrated with your PSA deployment:
Supported – Under this scenario we will offer you the whitepapers, create the integration workflows, queues, service boards, dialin numbers, offer best practices and support the integration when it breaks. This service will come at a reasonable one-time cost and will include training and ongoing best practices from others that use it.
Unsupported – Under this scenario we will send you the whitepapers and wish you the best of luck. This will be available free of charge and will include all the features of our integration suite. No support is available. If you choose this route you will not be able to upgrade to the supported product in the future. I know, I know, while it may make sense for you to try it on your own, fail, and then blame my staff into doing it for you for free while also training you to use your PSA, it is really not a fair scenario and not one I expect to see – you know exactly how much time goes into supporting, managing and billing the solution, so if there is even an ounce of question of whether our service is worth $500 then you have more serious questions to address.
The integration is available between us and Connectwise, Autotask and Shockey Monkey.
Q: We use ____ PSA? Will you integrate with that? When will you integrate with it?
No, we only integrate with Connectwise, Autotask and Shockey Monkey. We never (ever, ever) expect to integrate with anything else. If your product doesn’t contain Connectwise, Autotask or Shockey Monkey we will not integrate with it.
Q: Will the integration be different between different platforms?
While we have tried to bring the identical level of integration to all platforms, there are many factors prohibiting us from offering the same feature set across all platforms. Things contributing to differences between platforms can be attributed to the maturity of the API we are using to integrate with your platform, similarity of data types for services / contracts / products, vendors willingness to assist with problems, vendors restrictions of features across product lines.
Most importantly, our technical inability to create an integration point because of our unwillingness, incompetence and BSTDWOT (better “stuff” to do with our time). It’s not that we are bad people, it’s that your feature request will never generate enough money for us to justify writing the software in the first place.
Q: But..but..but… Vlad! If you can make this work with Autotask, why can’t I have it in Connectwise? Why does it work on the dedicated installation of Connectwise and not hosted? I have this feature in ConnectWise but I’m moving to Autotask Go to save money, I can just assume it will work the same right?
I don’t want to oversimplify this but here it goes: If you see a feature that you don’t have in Connectwise, it’s Arnie Bellini’s fault. If you see a feature you don’t have in Autotask, it’s Bob Godgart’s fault. If it’s a feature that you don’t have in Shockey Monkey then it’s coming in the next release.
Joke aside, see the above answer. The platforms are too different for us to offer the same feature set. If you see a feature in Connectwise that you need in Autotask or your business will implode, please switch to Connectwise. Or vice versa. Again, we are not bad people, we just need to explain that it’s not really apples to apples out there:
All OWN workflow and order management is designed on top of Shockey Monkey. That work is then ported to an extent to two different sync APIs. Some stuff will work with your PSA, some will not. That’s just the reality of software development.
Q: Is this just an elaborate ploy to sell more Shockey Monkey?
No. As a matter of fact, we will not take competitive orders for people looking to switch from Autotask or Connectwise. Truth is, we develop software for our platform and then extend it, within reason, to our partners platforms. We do not have any more advanced access to either platform than any other vendor, we are bound by the same legal and licensing as every other vendor and it’s a leveled playing field.
Q: When will you do ____?
Official answer will always be no. I cannot stress this enough, we are talking about software and features that save you money and make you more productive – I do not want to put more pressure on my staff or shift their focus from our tasks. We don’t write our software in India or China for $2/hr so the feature you are looking for will be available in the next release (maybe not the very next one)
This may sound harsh, and I wanted to give you an idea of the possible conflicts I see in this initiative so you can know where our line is drawn. We will do everything in the power to help out the people that see the value in this.
By all means we’re going to do everything in our power to give our partners an advantage with their PSA choice. All of the above will be made very pretty contract language with blog posts and screenshots to follow.